This article or section discusses unreleased content. Information is subject to change.
In an interview with the weekly Famitsu magazine from around July 2019, Splatoon series producer Hisashi Nogami said that after completing Splatoon 2, the team focused on the Octo Expansion and updates and would not think about the future until completing version 5.0.0 of the game. This means that Splatoon 3 development had not started as of July 2019 and presumably started after the release of Version 5.0.0 on 31 July 2019. This is quite different compared to the timing of the development of Splatoon 2, which started immediately after Splatoon was released.
On 17 February 2021, in the Nintendo Direct Splatoon 3 was announced.
On 24 September 2021, in the Nintendo Direct more information was revealed about Splatoon 3, specials and stages were shown before getting interrupted by the reveal of the story mode: Return of the Mammalians.
The game takes place in the Splatlands, a sun-scorched desert inhabited by battle-hardened Inklings and Octolings, and Splatsville, a city of chaos, one and a half years after the final Splatfest, Chaos vs. Order. The outcome of the Splatfest is likely the reason the game's design is themed around chaos.
The Splatoon 3 single-player story mode is called "Return of the Mammalians", and it is implied that mammals besides Judd and Li'l Judd will appear. This includes some kind of mutated Octarian with brown fur. However, other Octarians do make an appearance such as Octopods and DJ Octavio.
Like its predecessors, Splatoon 3 is a third-person shooter game focused on online multiplayer battles, in which eight players are divided into two teams of four. Players have two main forms and may switch between the two at will: their humanoid form, in which they can use weapons to spread ink and splat opponents, and their squid or octopus form, which, if they enter their team's ink while in the form, allows them to swim through ink at great speed, including up walls, recharge their ink tank faster, and hide.
Players will have access to new movement techniques to dodge attacks and expand the possibilities of attacks. A "squid roll" allows them to leap and twirl out of their ink and a "squid surge" allows them to quickly swim up ink-covered walls and jump out at the top.
In the Splatlands, players in online battles enter the battlefield with a spawner drone. It floats above the stage behind each base and allows players to aim at their desired deployment location within a certain reach. After choosing where to deploy, the spawner drone launches players to that location in squid or octopus form in a similar fashion to a Super Jump. The regular spawn points are still present on at least Scorch Gorge but are not confirmed to be usable.
In story mode, a Smallfry, nicknamed "little buddy", accompanies the player. They can be thrown to attack Octarians, interact with contraptions to solve various puzzles, and clear Fuzzy Ooze out of the path. The method of throwing the little buddy is currently unknown, although Power Eggs presumably may be required to make them clean up the Fuzzy Ooze based on the Orange circles surrounding them when thrown and the energy they provide.
At this time, the following characters are known:
- Agent 3 (new)
- The player's partner "little buddy", a Smallfry
- New Squidbeak Splatoon
- Craig Cuttlefish
- DJ Octavio
- Judd and Li'l Judd
The genders of the Inklings and Octolings are no longer explicitly stated. Instead, the player "selects a style". Octolings can now be selected from the outset and the Inkling girl model has been seen to have a cut in their left eyebrow, though this appears to be optional.
New player customization options have been added:
- New eye colors, including heterochromatic eyes that form a gradient from one color to another.
- New hairstyles
- Hairstyles and legwear are no longer split between genders, though hairstyles are still split between species.
- At least four new Inkling hairstyles and four new Octoling hairstyles will be available.
- In keeping with the "chaos" theme, many of the new hairstyles are asymmetrical.
- The "Hippie", "Topknot", "Haircut", "Pigtail", "Banger", "Double-Bun", "Punk", and "Tentacurl" hairstyles are also shown to return.
- Returning headgear includes the Annaki Beret & Glasses, Annaki Mask, Fugu Bell Hat, Full Moon Glasses, Golf Visor, Knitted Hat, Safari Hat, Short Beanie, Sneaky Beanie, Studio Headphones, SV925 Circle Shades, Swim Goggles, Fake Contacts and White Arrowbands.
- Returning clothes include the Annaki Yellow Cuff, B-ball Jersey (Home), Camo Layered LS, Camo Zip Hoodie, King Jersey, N-Pacer Sweat, Purple Camo LS, Red Hula Punk with Tie, Rockenberg White, Shirt & Tie, and Zekko Long Carrot Tee.
- Returning shoes include the Amber Sea Slug Hi-Tops, Blue Power Stripes, Choco Clogs, Punk Cherries, Red FishFry Sandals, Snowy Down Boots, Tea-Green Hunting Boots, and Turquoise Kicks.
- One new legwear option.
- New gear.
Players now have a "little buddy"; a Smallfry with seven hair customization choices.
At this time, these locations are known:
- Scorch Gorge - A new stage with a visual aesthetic very similar to Saltspray Rig or Salmon Run stages, but located in a desert wasteland instead of at sea.
- Eeltail Alley - A new stage set in an alley in the middle of Splatsville. Various bridges placed around the stage give it a separate upper and lower layer.
- Museum d'Alfonsino - A returning stage from Splatoon, still located in Inkopolis. The shape of the large rotating platforms in the center of the stage appears to have been altered.
- A job listing for a level designer by Nintendo announced at the same time as the game's reveal includes "既存ステージの改修" (renovation of existing stages). This could either mean that stages from the previous games will be returning, or that the role's responsibilities will include fixing bugs and balance issues in stages after the game's release. It is assumed to be the former due to Museum d'Alfonsino being confirmed to return in Splatoon 3.
- A bow and arrow-style weapon was added. Once charged, it fires three strings of ink simultaneously. Its design seems to be based on a fishing rod, using the reel and string. The weapon also appears to have two stages of charge, as seen in the Nintendo Switch OLED trailer.
- Several weapons already present in the previous games seem to have gone through a re-design, including an E-liter Scope, Range Blaster, Splattershot, Hydra Splatling, Gold Dynamo Roller, Blaster, Sloshing Machine, and .96 Gal, as shown in the first Direct, and the Splash-o-matic, Glooga Dualies, Undercover Brella, Splat Roller, Clash Blaster, and Splat Charger in the second Direct. It is currently unknown if they will keep their attributes from the previous games or what some of their kits will be.
- Some hidden weapons in Splatsville's Ammo Knights store, although they aren't confirmed yet.
- The Splat Bombs, Curling Bombs, and Burst Bombs all make appearances in the second Direct. It is currently unknown if they will retain the same attributes from the previous games.
- A special weapon similar to the Inkzooka called the Trizooka appears that fires three blobs of ink together.
- The weapon is shown to eject white capsule-shaped shells when firing. Three capsule slots are seen, so it may be assumed this weapon can only fire three times.
- A player using the bow and arrow weapon is seen firing a shot and then activating the Trizooka, meaning it is part of the unnamed-bow’s set. It was also seen reverting into a Splattershot, so it is likely a part of a Splattershot's weapon set.
- A new miniature floating beam special weapon called the Killer Wail 5.1 was added. It consists of six separate Sting Ray-like lasers that pierce any stage obstacles, and seem to follow enemy players in pairs. The design of the contraptions these lasers originate from appears similar to miniature Killer Wails with the bottoms of Suction Bombs attached to them. Pictures of the special weapon have revealed that it is part of both the Sloshing Machine and Range Blaster’s set.
- A crab-shaped robot that can transform into a ball called the Crab Tank has also been seen. It made a reappearance in the Direct where it demonstrated firing both bullets and a more powerful charged shot. The character seen holding a Clash Blaster is also the player using the Crab Tank, and it was being used next to where the Clash Blaster was last seen in the trailer. This implies the Crab Tank is part of the Clash Blaster’s set.
- A deployable shield dome called the Big Bubbler was added. It is part of the Splat Roller’s set.
- A grappling hook-like special weapon called the Zipcaster was added. It appears to be part of the Splash-o-Matic’s set.
- An Inkjet landing spot can be seen in one of the trailers, though the landing icon looks slightly different than the one in Splatoon 2. It is confirmed to be for the Zipcaster.
- The Tenta Missile-like projectiles can also be seen in one of the pictures and the Nintendo Switch OLED trailer. An image posted by Nintendo shows it could be part of the new E-Liter Scope’s set.
The trailer contains a new remix of Splattack!, different from both the original Splatoon version and the Octo Expansion remix. It is currently unknown if this remix will be included in the game, or if it was created only for the trailer. This remix seems to suggest the game's music will follow a more rock-esque style, especially considering the overall theme of the game seemingly being based on Chaos winning Chaos vs. Order.
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- In the Splatoon 3 announcement trailer, it can be seen during the Turf War match that the bow and arrow player starts at the yellow team and switches over to the purple team mid-match.
- The ink color set shown in the announcement trailer is similar to the Color Lock set in Splatoon 2, as well as one of the Ranked Battle color sets in Splatoon.
- This is the first Splatoon installment to take place outside of Inkopolis.
- Inkopolis Memorial Mixtape ends with the same drum loop used in the Splatoon loading screen followed by the opening of the original version of Splattack!, similar to the Splatoon 3 announcement trailer.
- On one of the apartments, there is a sticker resembling the button on Squid Squad's first album.
- In the Splatoon 3 announcement trailer, it can be seen that, during the part showing individual Inklings and Octolings, the Octoling who appears to be using a modified Hydra Splatling has the symmetrical teeth of an Inkling, counter to the asymmetrical teeth Octolings usually have.
- Additionally, in the "Return of the Mammalians" trailer, only some Inkling girls are shown with a cut in their eyebrow.
- The jellyfish seen in the Octo Expansion can be seen in Splatsville, implying that they were able to escape the Deepsea Metro. With this, there is a possibility that other denizens of the deep will be present in Splatsville, as well as other locations in Splatoon 3.
Names in other languages
si1 pou2 laai1 deon6 3(In Cantonese)/ sī pǔ lā dùn 3(In Manderin)
- Official English Splatoon 3 websites ( America, United Kingdom, Australia )
- Announcement trailer
- Nintendo Twitter Splatoon 3 announcement thread ( America Japan)
- Story mode trailer
- Nintendo Twitter Splatoon 3 story mode thread ( Japan)
- Splatoon™ 3 for Nintendo Switch - Nintendo Game Details
- 17 July 2019 Splatoon 3 development hasn't started yet
- Nintendo of Korea
- Nintendo of Hong Kong
- @NintendoAmerica - Post about the story's timeline
- Splatoon 3 for Nintendo Switch - Nintendo Game Details
- Splatoon 3 - Nintendo of America Twitter thread
- New Splatoon 3 details from the Squid Research Lab
- @Splatfacts - No slit eyebrows in 2nd trailer
- Nintendo of Japan