Special gauge

From Inkipedia, the Splatoon wiki
A full special gauge in Splatoon 3, featuring Killer Wail 5.1 (when used with the Inkbrush)

The special gauge is an indicator during a battle of how close a player is to being able to activate their special weapon. When the indicator is full, a noise is heard, the gauge shows a prompt, and the player's hair begins to sparkle, indicating that they can use their special by pressing Right Stick. The special gauge can be filled up by inking turf, having a summoned Sprinkler of Doom ink turf after activating an Ultra Signal, helping charge a teammate's Booyah Bomb, by meeting certain conditions in Ranked Battle or Anarchy Battle, and (if the player's current headgear has Tenacity as a main ability) having less team members alive as the enemy team; the latter two fill up the gauge at a constant rate.


The special gauge fills up in a clockwise direction with the player's current ink color. In Splatoon 3, it is split into 23 segments. It glows and can be used by pressing Right Stick 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
Bomb Rush 180p
Bubbler 180p
Echolocator 200p
Inkstrike 180p
Inkzooka 220p
Killer Wail 160p
Kraken 200p

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.

Judd's Advice
Meow! (Your first move after a battle begins can prove very important! Will you charge in and try to grab the strategic positions before your foes? Or focus charging up your Special Gauge to seize the advantage later? Think about these choices carefully!)

Splatoon 2

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.

Splatoon 3

Similar to Splatoon 2, the gauge shows the sub weapon alongside the special weapon. The turf required to fill the special gauge depends on the main weapon and is not tied to specific special weapons.

When filled, it starts to glow in different colors. The icons for specials in Splatoon 3 have a much simpler color scheme compared to the previous two games.

Additionally, like in Splatoon and Splatoon 2, some special gauges instantly deplete, while some gradually disappear.



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 battles. 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:

In Side Order, the special gauge is present and functions similar to multiplayer battles, but with the inclusion of color chips that can modify gaining special charge as well as cans which fill half of the special gauge. The one exception to this is when achieving Full Spectrum against Overlorder, where the gauge is replaced with the icon for the Color Wail instead.

Turf Wars, Ranked Battles, and Anarchy Battles

In multiplayer Turf Wars, Ranked Battles, Anarchy Battles, as well as in the test range, the player's special gauge fills as they cover the turf with ink. Only turf that would normally earn the player points in Turf War, such as the floor, counts towards filling the special gauge. If the player is splatted, their special gauge is partially depleted upon respawning. If splatted while the special gauge is still draining after using a special such as Ink Storm or Wave Breaker, this does not apply.

Salmon Run

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 are 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:

Ability Effect Games
Comeback Upon respawning, Comeback gives 12 AP in Splatoon or 10 AP in Splatoon 2 and Splatoon 3 of Special Charge Up to the player for 20 seconds.
Haunt Starting from Splatoon 2, if the user splats someone whom they are currently tracking, the amount their special gauge decreases gets increased.
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 if the player's team currently has fewer active players than the enemy team.



  • 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 disappears.
  • According to the Employee Handbook, players have limited special use in Salmon Run because the equipment needed prevents the gauge from charging.

Names in other languages

Language Name Meaning
Japan Japanese スペシャルゲージ
Supesharu gēji
Special gauge
Netherlands Dutch Meter van je speciale wapen Meter of your special weapon
France French (NOE) Jauge spéciale Special gauge
Germany German Spezialanzeige Special display
Russia Russian Шкала особого оружия
Shkala osobogo oruzhiya
Special weapon scale
Spain Spanish (NOE) Medidor especial Special gauge
China Chinese 特殊武器蓄力槽
Tèshū wǔqì xù lì cáo (Mandarin)
dak6 syu4 mou5 hei3 cuk1 lik6 cou4 (Cantonese)
Special weapon charge gauge
Norway Norwegian Spesialmåler Special gauge