|“||Maintain zone control!||”|
— Objective quote seen before battle in Splatoon 3
Splat Zones was announced on 23 March 2015 when video game journalists from around the world were invited to a Nintendo event in Seattle, Washington. It was revealed that this mode would not be available at launch, but would instead be released at a later, unspecified, date. Splat Zones, along with the Ranked Battle section of the lobby, was added to the game on 1 June 2015 after enough players reached Level 10.
Splat Zones was first confirmed to return for Splatoon 2 on 2 June 2017 in a Nintendo YouTube video.
Splat Zones was confirmed to return for Splatoon 3 on 10 August 2022 in the Splatoon 3 Direct.
Splat Zones plays similarly to the King of the Hill mode in other video games. It revolves around a number of "zones", usually one single zone in the center of a map, which players must attempt to cover in their team's ink. Once a team has covered 70% of a zone in their ink, the zone is "captured" by the team. When all of the zones have been captured by a team, that team is "in control" of the zones and their respective "countdown clock" (or simply, "clock" or "timer") begins to count down from 100. The opposing team must try to capture the zones in the same manner. After five minutes, the team who remains in control of the zone(s) and gets their countdown clock (excluding penalty) lowest wins a match; if a team's clock reaches 0, the game ends instantly as a knockout win for that team.
Controlling the zones causes the team's countdown clock to start. The team will lose control of a zone when 40% in Splatoon or 50% in Splatoon 2 of it is covered in the opposing team's ink. Losing control of one or more zones causes the team's countdown clock to stop. If the opposing team then takes control of the zones, a "penalty" is given to the team that was previously in control. Upon retaking all of the zones with a penalty, the penalty clock will tick down first, before the team's main countdown timer resumes.
The timer counts down at a rate of 1 point per 36 frames (or 0.6 seconds), which translates to 1.667 points per second.
The total time for a team to win a match after they control the zone without additional penalty or losing control is 60 seconds, given by 100 * (36/60).
Additional information for Splat Zones in Splatoon 2 can be found at Splat Zones data.
Overtime will begin if the losing team (with a higher timer count[a]):
- has full control of all zones
- lost control less than ten seconds and not retaken by the winning team
at the moment of the end of regulation. After this point, Overtime will end when:
- The losing team lowers their timer below the winning team's timer, thereby giving the losing team the victory.
- The losing team loses control of a Splat Zone (i.e. Splat Zone neutralized), and cannot regain control within ten seconds.
- On maps where there are two Splat Zones, the winning team need to neutralize (or capture) at least one for ten seconds to win the match.
- The winning team retakes control of the Splat Zone.
- On maps where there are two Splat Zones, the winning team has to take both of the two Splat Zones in control to end the match immediately.
|“||In Splat Zones teams battle for control of a stage's Splat Zones. Each stage has one or two zones. To gain control of a Splat Zone, just splatter it with ink! Once your team controls a zone, try to hold it for as long as possible. Your team's timer will start once you control all of the zones in a stage. If your timer reaches zero, your team wins! But if you lose control of a single zone, your team's timer will stop. There's also a penalty for losing control of all the zones to the enemy, so guard them with all your might! If the battle ends without a winner, the team with the lowest count on its timer will claim victory! In this ranked battle, Battle Points are awarded based on your timer. Oh, and here's a pro tip for ya: if you lose control of a Splat Zone, wait for your team to regroup instead of trying to be a hero!||”|
— In-game Info
The penalty assigned to a team is dependent on how long the team has held the zone for in one go. The opposing team's progress is not taken into account. Teams only make progress when holding the zone for a long period of time.
The penalty for losing control of the zone is calculated as follows:
- start = points remaining (including penalty) when the team gains control
- end = points remaining (including penalty) when the opposition gains control
- Exception: If the team reaches the tied point later than opposition, 'end' will be considered as 'points remaining right before the team loses control (tied point)', not 'points remaining when the opposition gains control.'
- penalty applied = 0.75 × (start - end)
- The penalty value is rounded to the nearest integer and added to any existing penalty.
- If the starting points is 100, 1 is added after rounding.
The full formula in spreadsheet format is:
- ROUND(0.75*(start-end)) + IF(start=100, 1, 0)
Values are calculated when gaining control from the other team, and not from when a zone is in its neutral state.
- Splat Zones bears a strong resemblance to King of the Hill mode and Domination Control Point mode from Team Fortress 2, where a team needs to capture a zone and their clock to countdown to zero in order to win the match.
- In an older version of Splatoon 2, there was a glitch allowing players to capture the zone on Sturgeon Shipyard if they fully ink the tops of the two boxes on the zone.
Names in other languages
|French||Défense de zone||Zone defense|
|Italian||Zona splat||Splat Zones|
|Russian||Бой за зоны
Boy za zony
|Battle for the zones|
zhēngé qūyù (Mandarin)
zhēngé qūyù (Mandarin)
- Including reaching the tied point later than opposition, which causes 1 point increase to the losing team's timer (not to the penalty) when losing control of Splat Zone(s)