10 Tips for Going From Zero to Hero in Splatoon

Tips That Changed Me From a Splatoon Loser to a Splatoon Winner

When I started playing Splatoon online, I was absolutely terrible at it. Even though I loved the game I was often a match's lowest scorer; I was happy there was no voice chat because I pictured people just ridiculing me and telling me to go elsewhere. But after reading various tips on how to succeed, I'm actually gotten pretty good at laying ink and avoiding destruction. Here are ten tips for those trying to get from low scores to high ones. 

01
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Don't Worry About Walls

Nintendo

The only parts of the map that are scored by the game are the parts you see in an overhead view, so a straight vertical wall with paint on it is ignored during scoring. The only reason to paint a wall is because you want to swim up it. Surface areas and ramps are where you want to focus your ink.

02
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Neutralize the Other Side's Work

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You’re playing a shooter, so when you see someone from the other team you’ll feel like taking them out, but you only get points for paint laid, not squids inked. Focus on covering ground with ink, especially if it's been painted by the other side; taking out opponents is only a method for making that easier. Yes, it's satisfying to give them a good splat, but often running away is a better tactic than engaging in a fire fight. 

03
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Be More Squid Than Kid

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Swimming is a lot faster than running, and fills up your tank while you do it. So swim. I don’t just mean swim when there’s a wide open field of friendly ink, I mean swim through every puddle. With one of the splattershots you can fire paint, dive in, jump out when you reach the puddle's edge, fire while airborne and dive into the new paint to cover a lot of territory very quickly.

This advice is somewhat weapon-contingent. Rollers, for example, are designed for those who want to stay kid and just submerge occasionally for a refill. Even then, don't roll if you can swim.

04
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Slop It On

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You're not a house painter, so don't worry about perfectly coating every surface. Getting that walkway 100% inked is less important than covering a lot of ground, especially since it’s likely most of what you ink will be re-inked by both teams several times. 

05
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Go Where You're Needed

Splatoon
Nintendo

Check the map and see if there's a place you can jump where you can be helpful. It's better to jump to a teammate on the edge of the action rather than in the midst of it; otherwise you could wind up landing where your teammate just drowned in a sea of enemy ink.

06
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Find the Color-Free Zones

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Sometimes certain spots get ignored by both teams. Check the map; if there’s a big, blank area, you might as well take care of it. Just hope someone on the other team hasn't noticed it at just the same time.

07
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Wear Varied Attire

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If you wear shoes that make you swim faster, you might think that adding a hat that makes you swim faster will make you go really fast. Alas, while you can stack abilities, you will get diminishing returns. Better to try for a variety of abilities.

08
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Campaign For New Weapons

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Throughout the single player campaign you will find scrolls. The scrolls you find after beating bosses can be taken to the weapons shop, at which point a new weapon will be crafted. It's not essential - you also are offered new weapons when you level up, and the initial weapons are quite effective - but it's a good way to find the weapon that works best for your play style.

09
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Have an Escape Plan

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A roller’s coming right towards you, you’re surrounded by enemy ink and your tank is empty. If you want to make a quick exit, you can tap on a team member’s icon to join them, but that brief time searching for an icon may be too long. The fastest escape is to tap the spawn point icon. It’s on the lower right hand corner of the screen, so you don’t even need to look down. Better to visit the spawn point voluntarily then jump where you're needed than go there involuntarily and do nothing for five seconds.

10
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Learn All the Little Details You Can, Like These

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  • The tank on your avatar's back indicates how much ink you have left.
  • Talking to the cat every day will gain you some coins.
  • If you don't like the motion controls (personally I love them), you can turn them off in the options. Give them a chance first, though; many people go from hating to loving them.
  • If you're colorblind, turn on color lock, which changes the paint palette.
  • Pushing the up cursor key will call your teammates to your side, although often they will ignore your cry.
  • If you don't care about getting the high score, you can grab a charger and snipe enemies to protect the front lines.