The special gauge is an indicator during a battle of how close a player is to activating their special weapon. When the indicator is full, a noise will be heard, the gauge will show a prompt, and the head of the player will begin to sparkle, indicating that they can use their special by pressing . The special gauge can be filled up by inking turf, having control over the objective in Ranked Battle, helping charge a teammate's Booyah Bomb, and (if the player's current headgear has Tenacity as a main ability) having not as many team members alive as the enemy team; the latter three fill up the gauge a lot slower than inking turf.
The special gauge fills up in a clockwise fashion with the player's current ink color (or in Splatoon 3, in orange segments). It glows and can be used by pressing when full. During use, it depletes counter-clockwise until empty. Some special weapons instantly deplete the entire gauge, such as the Killer Wail depleting slowly upon aiming and instantly depleting upon firing.
Each special weapon requires a specific amount of turf painted to charge regardless of the main weapon.
|Special Weapon||Special points|
Prior to version 2.7.0, when a player was splatted before the special gauge was depleted, the player would respawn with half of the remaining gauge filled (barring the use of Special Saver-equipped gear). With version 2.7.0, all main weapons fall into one of three special depletion classes: light, medium, and heavy. Light-class weapons lose 40% of the special gauge when the player is splatted, medium-class weapons lose 60%, and heavy-class weapons lose 75%.
A table showing the depletion class of all weapons can be found at the list of special weapon sets in Splatoon.
The gauge also shows the player's primary abilities below it.
In this game, the gauge also shows the current sub weapon on its top left corner, but no longer shows the player's primary abilities.
The required amount of turf painted now depends on the main weapon rather than the special weapon. For example, despite both weapons having the Tenta Missiles as their special, the Bamboozler 14 Mk I needs 200 points to charge, while Splat Dualies only need 180 points to charge.
Without abilities, players lose 50% of their remaining special gauge after being splatted regardless of their main or special weapon. If a player is splatted while executing a Splashdown, only 25% of their remaining special gauge is lost.
Similar to Splatoon 2, the gauge shows the sub weapon alongside the special weapon. Turf required to fill the special gauge depends on the main weapon, and is not tied to specific special weapons.
The special gauge is not activated in Octo Valley, Octo Canyon, the Octo Expansion, or the Battle Dojo. Instead, the player must collect their special weapons from cans.
In Return of the Mammalians, the special gauge is present in missions where the player has the Hero Gear equipped, functioning similarly to multiplayer. The default special weapon is Splashdown, but other special weapons can be used through cans. Some missions focus on specific special weapons, and have those special weapons set as default with infinite duration.
Specific special weapon missions in Return of the Mammalians:
- 0106 Zip, Splat, and Jump
- 0205 Tread Heavily
- 0405 Amusing a Bemused Muse
- 0506 Zipping over the Neighborhood
- 0508 Making Waves with Splashdowns
- 0511 Simply Zipcastic!
- 0610 Mission: Fly-Fishin'
Turf Wars and Ranked Battles
In multiplayer Turf Wars and Ranked Battles, as well as in the Shooting Range, the player's special gauge fills as they cover turf in ink. Only turf that would normally earn the player points in Turf War counts towards filling the special gauge, such as the floor. When the player is splatted, their special gauge will be partially depleted upon respawn.
In Salmon Run, each player starts the run with two charges of a special weapon (represented by two silver pack icons on the gauge's top left corner, replacing the sub weapon icon) across the entire run. The gauge cannot be refilled under all circumstances. When the special is not in use, the gauge itself is always full when the player has remaining charges and is empty when they have no charges left. On use, one silver pack icon is removed and the gauge shows the remaining duration of the current charge like in other modes.
The gauge reappears in Salmon Run Next Wave and its function is unchanged from Salmon Run. During Xtrawave, all players will be set to one charge, regardless of whether or not they have already used all or any of their charges.
Abilities on a player's gear can affect the special gauge:
|Comeback||Upon respawning, Comeback gives 12 AP in Splatoon or 10 AP in Splatoon 2 of Special Charge Up to the player for 20 seconds.||✓||✓||✓|
|Haunt||Starting from Splatoon 2, if the user splats someone they are currently tracking, increases the special gauge penalty like the Respawn Punisher.||X||✓||✓|
|Respawn Punisher||Increases how much the special gauge decreases after being splatted, for both the user and their opponents.||✓||✓|
|Special Charge Up||Increases the rate at which the special gauge fills by up to 30%.||✓||✓||✓|
|Special Saver||Reduces how much the special gauge decreases after being splatted.||✓||✓||✓|
|Tenacity||Automatically fills the special gauge any time the player's team has less active players than the enemy team.||✓||✓||✓|
A special gauge from Splatoon charging towards a Killer Wail.
A special gauge from Splatoon 2 charging towards Ink Armor.
A special gauge from Splatoon 3 charging towards Reefslider.
- The Slopsuits and Gloopsuits available in Salmon Run Next Wave feature two visible gray packs on the headwear. These correspond to the two special gauge charges players get at the start of a shift. If a charge is used, the corresponding pack will disappear.
Names in other languages
|Dutch||Meter van je speciale wapen||Meter of your special weapon|
|French (NOE)||Jauge spéciale||Special gauge|
|Spanish (NOE)||Medidor especial||Special gauge|
Tèshū wǔqì xù lì cáo (Mandarin)
dak6 syu4 mou5 hei3 cuk1 lik6 cou4 (Cantonese)
|Special weapon charge gauge|