The Battle Lobby, also referred to as simply the Lobby (or spelled in lowercase as lobby), is the online mode category selection screen in the Splatoon series where players can choose a type of battle mode to play. In Splatoon, the player can enter Inkopolis Tower from Inkopolis Plaza or tap on "Lobby" on the map to access the Battle Lobby. In Splatoon 2, the player can enter Deca Tower from Inkopolis Square or select "Lobby" after pressing . In Splatoon 3, the player can enter the Battle Lobby Tower from Splatsville or select "Lobby" after pressing . In the Expansion Pass, the player can enter Inkopolis Tower from Inkopolis Plaza or select "Lobby" after pressing .
In Splatoon, to join a lobby, the player must enter the Inkopolis Tower.
Upon entering the tower, the player is presented with five different connection options to choose from. These options are Squad Battle, Ranked Battle, Regular Battle, Join Friends, and Private Battle. Selecting any of these options allows players to join online or create lobbies. A sixth option, Recon, is also available, although it does not connect players to online lobbies.
Squad Battles allow players to join Ranked Battles. However, unlike the Ranked Battle option, this allows any two to four friends to form a squad to battle in ranked matches against another squad. If a squad is comprised of only two players, it is paired up with another two-player squad to form a team of four against four other players. If a squad only has three players in it, it can be put in a 3v3 or 3v4 battle. Four-player squads can be put up against three- or four-player squads. Players' ranks go up and down as they win and lose until they reach either of the "S" ranks. The matches are played on either of the two stages in the rotation and with the mode currently in the rotation for normal Ranked Battles. Unlike other online modes, players can change their weapons and gear before matches and can leave the lobby at any time.
This option allows players to join Ranked Battles with players around the world as a random online version of Squad Battles. This mode has a ranking system that groups players of similar skills together in a battle. This mode is more competitive as teams get significantly more Battle Points and Cash upon winning a battle. The players' ranks are also negatively affected by a loss, making winning an even bigger priority in these battles. Due to this competitiveness, players cannot join their friends in this mode. There are three potential modes in Ranked Battles: Splat Zones, Tower Control, and Rainmaker.
This mode returns in Splatoon 2, acting identically to how it did in the first game. Additionally, one extra mode was added, in the form of Clam Blitz. In Splatoon 3, the mode was succeeded by Anarchy Battle.
This option allows the player to join non-ranked online battles with all players around the world. These battles are for more casual play and both the winning and losing teams get rewards at the end of each battle. The only mode in Regular Battles is Turf War, Splatoon's main mode.
This mode returns in Splatoon 2, acting identically to how it did in the first game.
This option also allows players to join turf wars or ranked battles (although this can also be done in league battles). However, rather than joining a game with random players from around the world, it instead allows players to join any friend who is currently playing in a Regular Battle. If the friend is joinable, upon selecting their name, the player has to wait in a loading screen until their friend's match is over before being able to join. After the results screen is finished, and if one of the eight slots opens up in the friend's lobby, the player can then join them. It should be noted that this option does not guarantee that the two friends are put on the same team.
This mode returns in Splatoon 2 and Splatoon 3, acting identically to how it did in the first game.
Private Battles allow players to create a custom lobby that friends can join. The host of the lobby can change several different factors of the match, including which mode is played and which stage is played on. The host can also decide which players can go on each team. The team match-ups can range from any combination of one to four players. Players' ranks and levels are not affected in these battles. However, like Squad Battles, players can change their weapons and gear before the match, and any player can disconnect from the lobby at any time.
This mode returns in Splatoon 2. In addition to the eight players in each battle, there can now be up to two additional spectators added to the lobby. The host can also set a password for the lobby.
Recon, accessible by pressing while in the Battle Lobby, allows the player to freely explore any of the stages currently in the rotation for Regular Battles, Ranked Battles, and League Battles before going into an online lobby. This mode is useful for finding vantage points on a stage or getting used to a new stage in rotation. If the player does recon on any stage currently in the rotation for Ranked Battles, the Tower, Splat Zones, and Rainmaker will also be on the stage (along with any changes to the stage layout), depending on which mode is currently in rotation.
This mode returns in Splatoon 2, acting identically to how it did in the first game. With the addition of Clam Blitz, clams and the clam basket can appear on the stage as well.
In Splatoon 2, to join a lobby, the player must enter the Deca Tower.
Upon entering Deca Tower, the player is presented with six different connection options to choose from. These options are League Battle, Ranked Battle, Regular Battle, Join Friends, Private Battle, and Online Lounge. Selecting any of these options allows players to join online or create lobbies. A seventh option, Recon, is also available, although it does not connect players to online lobbies.
League Battles allow players to join Ranked Battles. As the replacement for Squad Battles, it acts very similarly; rather than having eight random people from around the world join the lobby, this option instead allows any two or four friends to form a squad to battle in ranked matches against another squad. If a squad is comprised of only two players, it is paired up with another two-player squad which is put up against four other players. Four-player squads can only be put up against other four-player squads. Players' ranks are not affected. The matches are played on either of the two stages and the mode in rotation. Unlike other connection options, players can leave the lobby at any time.
Battle Lobby Tower
The Battle Lobby Tower is the central tower in Splatsville in Splatoon 3. It does not have an official name.
The tower is designed to look modern, its build is round. Three large screens are wrapped around the entire tower. The screens showcase the ink colors of, from left to right, Big Man, Frye, and then Shiver. The walls not covered by the screens are made of glass, with patterns on the inside. In total, there are four steps leading up to the lobby, three leading up to a platform, one leading up to the entrance, the entrance is a clear automatic door, which opens when the player walks up the three stairs leading to the platform. The inside is decorated with reflectional glass with the middle being the entrance to the lobby, the door to the lobby has a white Turf War logo on it.
Once the player enters the tower, the player will be able to access the online competitive modes, Join Friends, Tableturf Battle, Private Battle, Challenge, Turf War, and Anarchy Battle; a version of Ranked Battle. Selecting any of these options allows players to join online or create lobbies. Recon is located outside of the lobby and hosted by Staff, it does not connect players to online lobbies.
This option allows players to join lobbies or create lobbies for the game mode, Tableturf Battle. It is the card game version of Turf War, more casual without severe penalties for loosing, and the only reward for playing a game is experience points. Both players get rewards, even without winning, however, the winning side's reward is higher than the losing side's reward.
Challenge is a temporary game mode similar to how Salmon Run is scheduled in Splatoon 2, it replaces Splatoon 2's League Battle. Challenges are competitions with unique conditions for the players. The mode the Challenges are on vary, some modes are on Anarchy, while some are on Turf War. Winning five Challenges award the player with Shell-Out Machine Tokens for free rolls.
Anarchy Battle is the successor of Splatoon and Splatoon 2's Ranked Battle. The mode uses a ranking system that groups players of the same level together for battles. This is the competitive equivalent of Turf War, players get more for winning than they do losing, and losses are treated more as penalties than in other modes.
In Splatoon 3, Anarchy Battle has two versions, Open and Series. Series Battle is similar to Ranked Battle, because of its competitiveness, it can only be played solo. Players are supposed to win five games before losing three, if the player wins five before then, they are given a large sum of points to go towards their Anarchy rank, if the player loses before then, they are given a small sum of points.
Open Battle is a less competitive version of Series Battle. Players are still ranked, however, the players do not need to win five games before losing three, instead, they play one single game and are given points depending on whether they won or not. Unlike Series, Open Battle can be joined by friends.
The game modes in Anarchy Battle are the same as Splatoon 2's, Clam Blitz, Rainmaker, Splat Zones, and Tower Control.
|“||Welcome to the lobby! It's your portal to online battles... and where you stash all your gear. As you splat forth in online battles, you'll level up and earn cash, to boot. Why level up and get cash? So you can access and afford the freshest gear in Splatsville! And some battle modes are restricted to players at a higher level too. So get that level up!||”|
— In-game description
Unique to Splatoon 3, the Battle Lobby is now a physical area inside the tower that the player can walk around in. The lobby houses a Test Range in which players can practice while queuing for a match, the locker room, and the Crab-N-Go where players can purchase food and drinks. Anyone on the player's friends list can be found inside near the exit, where each friend is represented as a ghost. Players can interact with these ghosts and use them to join their friends in an online battle. Anyone who is queued for battle alongside the player will also be represented as a ghost to said player, with their actions in the Test Range being displayed in real time. Additionally, as of Version 3.0.0, the player can join Pools that allow them to coordinate with specific groups from the lobby menu.
In the Test Range area at the back right is the Copy Machine. On the inkable wall to the left of the machine is a drawing of the Lobby layout.
The Battle Lobby has an upstairs café area accessible by walking up the staircase next to the terminal. Once a player steps on the staircase, their weapons and specials are removed until they re-enter the ground floor of the lobby. Additionally, the player's user interface is changed, displaying their level, cash, Anarchy Battle rank, amount of Super Sea Snails, and any experience or cash boosts they may have active. A jellyfish referred to simply as Cool Jelly in Tableturf Battle is seen attending the café counter, stocked with miscellaneous café items such as coffee machines, mugs, and bean bags. On the same floor, there are five arcade-like machines used for accessing Tableturf Battles online. A studio is visible in this area operated by two jellyfish, one being the Aggro Jelly seen in Tableturf Battle.
Beneath the café is the locker room. To get to the locker room, the player must be level 4 or higher and simply walk up to the sliding doors that open just as the player gets to them. The sliding doors remain blacked out at a distance and before the player hits level 4. Once inside, the player can view their own locker, edit it if the player desires to, and view the lockers of players they have recently played with, as well as a random selection of highly 'Fresh' rated lockers.
As of Version 3.0.0, there is a jukebox near the Crab-N-Go, replacing one of the vending machines. Players can use it to change the background music in the lobby to a song of their choice. More songs can be selected as the player progresses. Selecting a new song in a Private Battle room also sets it to play in the lobbies of other players in that room.
Lobbies are the areas where players wait for battles to begin. Once a player joins a lobby after selecting any of the options listed above, they cannot leave or change their weapon or gear unless it is a Private Battle.
Before a battle
When the player selects one of the connection options, Nintendo's matchmaking service finds a lobby for the player to join. If there is no joinable lobby for the option the player selected, they are placed in a waiting screen with a timer that shows when the first joinable lobby will become available. Upon joining a lobby, the player must sit on a lobby screen until the battle begins. This screen displays eight slots on the right of the screen, each of which fills up as players join the lobby. The screen also displays several other things, including:
- The names of the players currently in the lobby, their Levels, and their rank, if in a Ranked Battle.
- The current mode and stages.
- The player's vibe meter or Splatfest Power during a Splatfest as well as their amount of cash.
- A countdown in the upper-left corner of the screen. If this countdown reaches zero before eight players have joined the lobby, everyone in the lobby is disconnected.
While waiting for the battle to start, as well as while waiting to join a lobby, the player can play a minigame on the by pressing . Squid Jump is the only minigame available from the start, but more minigames can be unlocked by playing through amiibo challenges. Once eight players have joined the lobby, the screen will display "BATTLE TIME!" in the North American version of the game, and "Let Battle Commence!" in the European version. Then the minigame will pause and the battle will start.
After a battle
After the battle has finished and Judd has determined which team has won, each player is taken to a results screen, which shows how many splats and deaths each player had and how many Battle Points each player earned. After this, the player's Rank (Ranked Battle only) and level may change depending on performance, and the player is given the option to either play another round in the same lobby or disconnect from the lobby. If the player chooses to disconnect, they are taken back to the Battle Lobby.
Matchmaking mode choices are available from the battle lobby menu. The matchmaking mode determines which stages a player can play on, which game modes can be played, and how opponents are chosen.
In Ranked Battles, players play against players with the same letter grade as the players are split between different skill brackets.
Each matchmaking mode in Splatoon 2 has a specific "index number" assigned to it. These indices differ between regions. Each number represents a specific matchmaking configuration. While everyone is put into the same matchmaking pool (per matchmaking mode), the matchmaking server will attempt to match a player using the configuration for their region and matchmaking mode. To determine which session someone should be matched with, each criterion in the configuration is assigned a score value, and the session with the highest total score is chosen.
Here is the list of criteria that Nintendo can assign scores to, among others:
- The difference in power level between the session owner and the joining player
- The difference in the rate of disconnection between the owner and joining player
- How far the distance between the owner and the joining player is
- If the country of origin matches
- How long the session has been waiting for players
In Ranked Battles, before Splatoon 2 version 4.3.1, the number of players using weapons from different classes, such as shooters or rollers, had a significant impact on team breakdown. From version 4.3.1 onward, the specifications for each specific weapon are given more weight when splitting up teams. Each weapon got a rating value named matchmaking range that is relative to its firing range. The matchmaking server forms teams with a similar average of the weapons' matchmaking range.
If a player's internet connection is not good enough to stay in the lobby or battle, they are disconnected from the lobby. This is also called a communications error. If this occurs before the battle starts, the player simply receives a message that states that "A communications error occurred" and they are disconnected from the lobby. If this happens during or directly after a battle before the results screen, a message comes up saying the same thing, and the player will again be disconnected. On the results screen, it shows that the disconnected player had zero splats and deaths, and in Regular Battles, it shows that they inked zero points of turf (unless their team won, in which case it shows that they earned 1000p). In both instances, the disconnected player returns to the Battle Lobby. If a player disconnects too often, they will not be able to play online for a while.
During Splatfest, the lobbies are a bit different than normal. Upon first entering Inkopolis Tower, the player is not given the five normal connection options. Rather, the only options in the Battle Lobby are to create a Private Battle or to join a Splatfest Battle. Upon joining a Splatfest lobby, one can notice other differences in the online lobbies as well. Rather than having eight player slots on the right of the screen all in a row, the eight slots are divided into two groups of four. These two groups represent the players that will be battling for both Splatfest teams. Once all the players of one team have joined, the screen says that that team is ready. Once the other team joins, the game says that they are ready, and then the battle starts.
Counters and meters
Several different counters and meters are displayed in the lobby, each serving a different purpose.
- Main article: Level
- Main article: Vibe
The vibe meter shows how well a player is doing in the current game session. It is measured using flags, with every victory scoring one extra flag, but every loss decreasing the number of flags by a variable amount. A player's vibe determines the amount of Cash they get from Judd when they talk to him.
- Main article: Power level
- Main article: Rank
The rank meter shows what rank the player is at and how close or far they are to going up or down a rank. Ideally, players in Ranked Battle get paired up with players with similar ranks.
- Main article: Splatfest#Reward Tiers
During Splatfest, players had a meter that started them off at the lowest classification, and as they battled more, it went up. A player's classification determined how many Super Sea Snails they got at the end of the event.
- Main article: Cash
The cash counter shows how much cash the player currently has.
Super Sea Snails
- Main article: Super Sea Snail
The Super Sea Snail counter shows how many Super Sea Snails the player currently has. It only appears once the player collects their first Super Sea Snail. Using up all the snails does not remove the counter.
|“||With that out of the way, let's talk a bit more about how the lobby works in Splatoon 3. At the center of all multiplayer battles, the lobby is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities to help Inklings and Octolings get matched up in Turf War battles and more.||”|
— @SplatoonNA on Twitter
|“||Splatlands' main tower is home to the all-new lobby. Here, you can customise your locker, warm up on the test range, view recent results and replays, and team up with friends by talking to their ghost!||”|
— @NintendoEurope on Twitter
|“||Welcome to the lobby! It's your portal to online battles...and where you stash all your gear. As you splat forth in online battles, you'll level up and earn cash, to boot. Why level up and get cash? So you can access and afford the freshest gear in Splatsville! And some battle modes are restricted to players at a higher level too. So get that level up! First things first. Why don't you check out the battle pot over there and select Regular Battle. That'll get you into a Turf War battle. Your team will have three minutes to ink the most turf! Eh, less chat, more splat. Let's get started!||”|
— When a player enters Splatoon 3's lobby for the first time.
- Main article: Music
|Fictional Band||Song Name||Audio|
|Bob Dub||Dubble Bath|
|Fictional Band||Song Name||Audio|
|Without a Dop Doubt|
|Bob Dub||Dubble Bath (DIY Remix)|
In Splatoon 3, a variety of music can play in the Splatsville Battle Lobby, including a number of new lobby music, and multiplayer battle songs from the previous games. The lobby music changes every hour. The Inkopolis Battle Lobby plays Inkopolis Lobby and Inkopolis News, in which replaces Sinkopated and Drip Feed respectively in the rotation of lobby music. During Splatfests, only Soak & Stomp will play in both lobbies, however, during the Splatoween, Deepers Creepers played. Starting from Version 3.0.0, the player can also change the music in the Battle Lobby by using the jukebox.
- New lobby music in Splatoon 3
|Fictional Band||Song Name||Audio|
|Turf Love||Drip Feed|
|Wading Room||Heliocentri City|
|New Shores||Fuzzy Dazzler|
|All Swell||Gilded Cage|
|Coral Kiss||Dressed to Krill|
|Missing Ink||Pour It On|
|Chroma Chaos||Pop 'n' Schlock|
|Nothing in My Wave||Dorsal Slicer|
|Anglerfish||Soak & Stomp (First Half)|
|Soak & Stomp (Second Half)|
|Bloody Hook||Deepers Creepers (First Half)|
|Deepers Creepers (Second Half)|
- In Splatoon, while in the Battle Lobby, if the player presses and opens the Friends List, a communications error occurs when the player returns to the game, being sent back to Inkopolis Plaza and having to connect to the internet once again.
- On Splatoon 2's battle lobby screen, the player can make their own remix of Dubble Bath (DIY Remix) while waiting for the remaining players to join. Pressing any button will play a unique recording or special effect or change the song in some way. The and will adjust the volume and distort the sound respectively. , , and will add different "echoing" voice effects. , , , and play different voice recordings. This feature is unavailable in Private Battle lobbies.
- In Splatoon 3, the lobby has a chance of playing previous multiplayer songs from Splatoon and Splatoon 2.
- The battle pot's design seems to be based on an electric water boiler.
Battle Lobby menu (pre-Version 2.0.0).
Battle Lobby menu during a Splatfest (pre-Version 2.6.0).
A Private Battle lobby.
Splatoon 2 menu icon.
Splatoon 3 menu icon.
Splatoon 3's Lobby menu
Splatsville's tower during a Splatfest.
Names in other languages
daai6 teng1 (Cantonese)
|French||Faitout des matchs|
|Spanish||Hervidor de combate||Battle kettle|
duìzhàn hú (Mandarin)
deoi3 zin3 wu2 (Cantonese)
|Korean||배틀 포트||Battle pot|
- From knokken ("to fight, to beat up") and pot