Region and localization

From Inkipedia, the Splatoon wiki

In the context of the Splatoon series, region refers to an internal setting present in each game which is tied to each player's assumed general geographical location in real life. The region system aims to match on a worldwide scale with players located on the same continent as often as possible to maximize gameplay stability. This system is also sometimes used to define localization-exclusive content, such as pieces of gear or Splatfest events.

In Splatoon and Splatoon 2, the available region options are tied to the broadly defined real-life geographical location the copies of the games were bought from approved vendors, as Nintendo distributes different versions of both games in different continents. In those games, the region setting cannot be changed. In Splatoon 3, players are prompted to choose their initial region setting, allowing for mismatched real-life and in-game region choices. Players may subsequently change the setting with cooldown restrictions preventing repeated region changes. Different versions of Splatoon and Splatoon 2 per region feature varying degrees of region-lock restrictions, while Splatoon 3 does not.

Localization refers to the individual different languages that games in the Splatoon series are available in; the term in general refers to how content is altered to suit its geographically different target demographic in a marketing sense, usually accompanied by translation. For Splatoon and Splatoon 2, the region system heavily affects which localization options are available.

List of localizations

Localization Games Other
Splatoon "S" icon.svg Splatoon 2 "2" icon.svg Splatoon 3 "3" icon.svg Official social media
China Chinese (Simplified)
Germany German
As of Splatoon
United Kingdom English (United Kingdom) [note 1] [note 1]
As of Splatoon
Spain Spanish (Europe)
As of Splatoon
France French (Europe)
As of Splatoon
Italy Italian
As of Splatoon
Netherlands Dutch
As of Splatoon
Russia Russian
As of Splatoon 2[note 2]
Japan Japanese
As of Splatoon
South Korea Korean
As of Splatoon 3
Hong Kong Chinese (Traditional)
As of Splatoon 3
Mexico Spanish (Latin America)
USA English (United States)
As of Splatoon
Canada French (Canada)
Portugal Portuguese (Portugal)
As of Splatoon 3?

To change between localizations in all three games, players must change their system's internal language and/or region setting. Splatoon and Splatoon 2's available localizations highly depend on which type of cartridge the player is using; setting one's system language to German but using an NTSC (Americas) cartridge rather than a PAL (Europe) cartridge of Splatoon 2 will result in exclusively English text displaying in-game. This is not the case for Splatoon 3, where all available localizations are accessible in any version of the game.

Official social media includes Nintendo-owned Youtube, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram and Facebook accounts, several of which cover more than one language at a time, which at any point has covered Splatoon media. Certain social media accounts post localized content despite the lack of in-game equivalent (e.g. the Russian social media posts for Splatoon 2, and Portuguese social media posts for Splatoon 3).

Splatoon regions

Both the Wii U system and its game discs were region-locked. The Wii U system can only run games with regions that match its internal region setting; the different regional copies of consoles and games were distributed according to their real-life geographical region. Mismatched region-locked hardware and software are not compatible. For example, a Wii U bought in Japan (NTSC-J) will not run a copy of Splatoon bought in the United States (NTSC-U).

The Wii U's internal region setting nor its region-lock restrictions may not be changed without the use of hacking.

Wii U regional variations
Region code[note 3] Equivalent real-life region
NTSC-U Americas
PAL Europe, Oceania, Africa, Middle East

Different localizations are present depending on which type of Splatoon disc the player uses; certain gear and Splatfest events were exclusive to certain regions.

Splatoon regional variations
Region name In-game region Available localizations
JPN (NTSC-J) Asia region Japan Japanese
USA (NTSC-U) Americas region USA English (United States), Mexico Spanish (Latin America), Canada French (Canada)
EU (PAL) Europe, Oceania region United Kingdom English (United Kingdom), France French (France), Germany German, Italy Italian

List of region-locked content in Splatoon

The following Splatfests were only available in certain regions:

Month Americas region theme Europe region theme Japan region theme Notes
June 2015 Rice vs. Bread
July 2015 Cats vs. Dogs
Roller Coasters vs. Water Slides
Rock vs. Pop
Eating vs. Sleeping
Red Kitsune Udon vs. Green Tanuki Soba (July 2015)
Lemon Tea vs. Milk Tea
August 2015 Marshmallows vs. Hot Dogs North Pole vs. South Pole Grasshopper vs. Ant
September 2015 Art vs. Science Messy vs. Tidy Airhead vs. Wisecracker
October 2015 Cars vs. Planes Cats vs. Dogs Squid vs. Octopus
Love vs. Money
November 2015 Pirates vs. Ninjas Zombies vs. Ghosts Land Food vs. Seafood
December 2015 Burgers vs. Pizza
Naughty vs. Nice
Delicious vs. Disgusting Red Kitsune Udon vs. Green Tanuki Soba (December 2015)
January 2016 Past vs. Future Get Fit vs. Get Rich
Barbarian vs. Ninja
Perfect Body vs. Perfect Mind
February 2016 Pokémon Red vs. Pokémon BlueNA/EU / Pokémon Red vs. Pokémon GreenJP [S notes 1]
March 2016 Snowman vs. Sandcastle Hoverboard vs. Jet Pack Show No Mercy! vs. Focus on Healing
April 2016 SpongeBob vs. Patrick Tuna & Mayonnaise vs. Red Salmon [S notes 2]
May 2016 Fancy Party vs. Costume PartyNA/JP / Black Tie Event vs. Fancy Dress PartyEU/OC [S notes 3]
June 2016 Early Bird vs. Night Owl World Tour vs. Space Adventure Chocorooms vs. Chococones
July 2016 Callie vs. Marie [S notes 3]

Splatfest notes

  1. Shared theme between all regions, though the events themselves were separate
  2. Shared theme between Americas and Europe/Oceania regions, though the events themselves were separate
  3. 3.0 3.1 Global Splatfest

Splatoon 2 regions

The Nintendo Switch system removed the region-locked restrictions present in the Wii U (except Nintendo Switch systems officially sold in Mainland China); as such, any Switch game cartridge or eShop purchase is compatible with any Switch system.

The system's region setting may be freely changed in its settings, though this does not affect Splatoon 2 regions.

Despite the removal of region-lock restrictions, individual cartridges of certain games contain region-lock information; Splatoon 2 is one of the affected titles. Unlike the Wii U's region-lock system, Splatoon 2 mismatched region-locked hardware and software are compatible; the region-lock restriction serves to limit the amount of localization data available to the player per regional copy of the game. As such, certain gear and Splatfest events were locked per region, similar to Splatoon's system.

Oceania was notably "moved" to be a part of the Americas region.

Splatoon 2 regional variantions
Region name In-game region Available localizations
JPN (NTSC-J) Asia region Japan Japanese
USA (NTSC-U) Americas, Oceania region USA English (United States), Mexico Spanish (Latin America), Canada French (Canada)
EU (PAL) Europe region United Kingdom English (United Kingdom), Spain Spanish (Spain), France French (France), Germany German, Italy Italian, Netherlands Dutch, Russia Russian

List of region-locked content in Splatoon 2

Month Americas region theme Europe region theme Japan region theme Notes
July 2017 Cake vs. Ice Cream Rock vs. Pop [S2 notes 1]
August 2017 Mayo vs. Ketchup (2017) [S2 notes 2]
September 2017 Flight vs. Invisibility Fries vs. McNuggets [S2 notes 1]
October 2017 Vampire vs. Werewolf Front Roll vs. Back Roll Dexterity vs. Tenacity
November 2017 Sci-Fi vs. Fantasy Warm Breakfast vs. Cold Breakfast With Lemon vs. Without Lemon
December 2017 Sweater vs. Sock Film vs. Book Warm Innerwear vs. Warm Outerwear
January 2018 Action vs. Comedy [S2 notes 3]
February 2018 Money vs. Love Gherk-OUT vs. Gherk-IN The Champion vs. The Challenger
March 2018 Chicken vs. Egg Flowers vs. Dumplings
Newest Model vs. Most Popular Model
[S2 notes 1]
April 2018 Baseball vs. Soccer Salty vs. Sweet New Life-Forms vs. Advanced Technology
May 2018 Raph vs. Leo
Mikey vs. Donnie
Raph vs. Donnie
Hello Kitty vs. Cinnamoroll
My Melody vs. Pompompurin
[S2 notes 1]
June 2018 Pulp vs. No Pulp Hello Kitty vs. My Melody [S2 notes 1]
July 2018 Squid vs. Octopus [S2 notes 2]
August 2018 Fork vs. Spoon Adventure vs. Relax Chocorooms vs. Chococones
September 2018 Retro vs. Modern Tsubuan vs. Koshian [S2 notes 1]
October 2018 Trick vs. Treat [S2 notes 2]
November 2018 Salsa vs. Guacamole Eat It First vs. Save It for Last Pocky Chocolate vs. Pocky Gokuboso
December 2018 Hero vs. Villain [S2 notes 2]
January 2019 Family vs. Friends [S2 notes 2]
February 2019 Pancakes vs. Waffles Airhead vs. Wisecracker [S2 notes 1]
March 2019 Knight vs. Wizard [S2 notes 2]
April 2019 Hare vs. Tortoise [S2 notes 2]
May 2019 Time Travel vs. Teleportation Ce League vs. Pa League [S2 notes 1]
June 2019 Unicorn vs. Narwhal Kid vs. Grown-Up No Pineapple vs. Pineapple
July 2019 Chaos vs. Order [S2 notes 2]
May 2020 Mayo vs. Ketchup [S2 notes 2]
August 2020 Chicken vs. Egg Chicken vs. Egg Chicken vs. Egg [S2 notes 2]
October 2020 Trick vs. Treat [S2 notes 2]
January 2021 Super Mushroom vs. Super Star [S2 notes 2]

Splatfest notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Shared theme between NAOC/EU regions, unified event
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 Global Splatfest
  3. Global Splatfest with altered start times per region

The following pieces of gear were only available on Japanese copies of the game:

In all versions of the game, players can view other players wearing this gear as well as localized names of the gear, but the codes required to unlock and receive them are incompatible with all but JPN region cartridges.

Splatoon 3 regions

The available region options when booting up the game for the first time

Splatoon 3 removes the region-lock restrictions present in the previous games, but still contains two sets of region options.

All localization options are available in any copy of the game, regardless of region option. In instances of region-exclusive Splatfests, if there is ever missing text, it is typically replaced with the other region's text by default.

Oceania was notably "moved" once again, but only during the Splatoon 3 Splatfest World Premiere, likely for timing reasons (the full game has it grouped with the Americas just as in Splatoon 2).

Splatfest regions

Referred to as "Splatfest regions", the regions are split into:

  • Japan
  • The Americas, Australia, New Zealand
  • Europe
  • Hong Kong, S. Korea

During the Splatfest World Premiere demo, the regions were instead split into:

  • Japan
  • The Americas
  • Europe
  • Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, S. Korea

This regional choice affects the posts they will see and which Splatfest themes they will participate in.[1] Players choose their region either upon the game's initial startup before the tutorial (if a Nintendo Switch Online membership is active), or upon entering the lobby for the first time. There is a cooldown period of 60 days before the player is allowed to change the region again; this cooldown restarts every time the player votes on a Splatfest or change the region selection.[2] The player's choice of region may be changed via the Lobby Terminal as long as this cooldown period is not active.

X Battle divisions

X Battle offers a separate region choice, referred to as "divisions":

  • Takoroka Takoroka Division covering players from Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand
  • Tentatek Tentatek Division covering players from the United States, South America, and Europe

This regional choice affects which regional players the player is more likely to get matched with exclusively in X Battle. X Battle scores are measured separately between the two divisions, and as such different sets of badges become available depending on the player's division choice. Players choose their division the first time they play X Battles in a given season, and are unable to change the division until the next season.[3]

List of region-locked content in Splatoon 3

Notice informing of localization-exclusive text when selecting a Splatfest region

Splatoon 3's Splatfest region system allows for separate per-region Splatfest themes, similar to Splatoon and Splatoon 2's equivalent Splatfest systems; all but three Splatfest events have thus far not utilized this feature, as they were global Splatfests.

During a region-locked Splatfest, the title, team names, and Anarchy Splatcast dialogues may not be available in all languages. In case of a Splatfest outside of the Japan region, if the system language is set to Japanese, the English Splatfest-specific text will be used and mixed in with the Japanese interface.

In case of a Japan-exclusive Splatfest, the Japanese Splatfest-specific text will be used and mix in with the current game language, except for Chinese and Korean. If the system language is set to Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, or Korean, since the game is unable to use the fonts required for these languages at the same time as the Japanese font, the game is forced to reload into Japanese for the entire Splatfest while connected to the Internet, from the Splatfest Sneak Peek all the way until getting the final results announcement and receiving Super Sea Snails, after which the game automatically reloads back into the system language.

The three Splatfests to utilize this feature comprise region-locked content:

The Americas, Australia, New Zealand/Europe/Hong Kong, South Korea region theme Japan region theme Notes
Handshake vs. Fist Bump vs. Hug Kaiten-yaki vs. Ōban-yaki vs. Imagawa-yaki Both events occurred concurrently; event text was separate and exclusive to the two region groups; team colors were shared
Friday vs. Saturday vs. Sunday Red Bean Paste vs. Custard vs. Whipped Cream Both events occurred concurrently; event text was separate and exclusive to the two region groups; team colors were not shared
Drums vs. Guitar vs. Keyboard Lightly Salted vs. Consommé vs. Salted Seaweed Both events occurred concurrently; event text was separate and exclusive to the two region groups; team colors were not shared


Splatoon 3


  • The Oceania region comprising Australia and New Zealand has been moved four times.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Has no dedicated translation, uses North American translation
  2. The Russian language official social media accounts documented Splatoon 2 and Splatoon 3 related information until February 2022.
  3. The region codes "NTSC" and "PAL" originally referred to technical differences in real-life television encoding systems which typically differed per continent, but within the context of video games over time evolved to primarily refer to per-continent release variants.