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Splatoon 3: Splatfest Mechanics Explained

Time to put on a show.
Image via Nintendo

Both Inklings and Octolings have a love of competition hard-rooted in their DNA. They love having something to fight for, even if it’s something silly or inconsequential. This is why, in Splatoon 3, the regular Splatfests are the most important events to the denizens of the Splatlands. Here’s an explanation of Splatfest mechanics for Splatoon 3.

Splatoon 3: Splatfest Mechanics Explained

Generally speaking, a Splatfest is broken up into four phases:

  1. The Splatfest Sneak Peak
  2. The Splatfest Proper
  3. The Half-Time Report
  4. The Results

Altogether, these phases last for about a week, give or take a few days. You get a week of preparation, then a day of Splatfest glory, a day to bring it all home, and a couple of days until the results. Let’s start from the top.

The Splatfest Sneak Peak

The Splatfest Sneak Peak is when an upcoming Splatfest is officially announced and its theme is revealed. Unlike in previous games, Splatoon 3‘s themes have three choices instead of just two, each represented by a member of Deep Cut. Shiver commands the first choice, Frye commands the second choice, and Big Man commands the third choice. When the theme is revealed, the Splatfest terminal appears in Splatsville alongside the beginnings of the festivities.

As soon as the theme is revealed, you should visit the terminal and pick your team for the Splatfest. Choose wisely, as you’ll be locked into that team for the whole event. Once you pick your team, you’ll receive your rental Splatfest Tee. These special t-shirts not only mark you as a member of your team, but they also have the exclusive ability Ability Doubler, which doubles the ability effects of every other gear piece you’re wearing. Your Splatfest Tee also has a few empty ability slots, so go play some matches to fill them up before the Splatfest.

Image via Nintendo

As a side note, Murch offers a special service during Splatfests. For 2,000 Cash, he’ll scrub all of the secondary ability slots on your Splatfest Tee, giving you the ability chunks. He’ll do this as many times as you want until the Splatfest ends. This service usually isn’t so cheap, so take advantage of it while it lasts! If you want to add specific abilities to your Splatfest Tee, Murch can do that as well, and for fewer ability chunks than it would normally require.

Related: The Best Abilities in Splatoon 3 – Splatoon 3 Abilities Tier List

Additionally, if you raise your Catalog level during the Sneak Peak, as well as during the Splatfest, you’ll receive Conch Shells, which both contribute to your team’s score and can be spent at the Shell-Out Machine in the lobby. You don’t need to hold onto Conch Shells to get the point bonus, so feel free to spend them right away. In fact, you should spend them all because they’ll disappear once the Splatfest ends.

The Splatfest Proper

After a week of preparation, the Splatfest begins! Splatsville will switch to a nighttime venue adorned with flashing lights and parade floats. It’s a lovely sight to see, but don’t hang around too long. You’ve got a war to win!

During the Splatfest proper, the usual battle modes switch out to Open and Pro modes. These work like the regular Turf War and Anarchy Battles, but victory in these modes will add to your team’s score. Whatever mode you pick, when you queue up for a match, you’ll be teamed up with other members of your team and pitted against a team of representatives from one of the other two teams at random. Win the match, and your team will accumulate Clout.

Image via Nintendo

Clout is the Splatfest scoring system. As your team plays the game and wins matches, you’ll accumulate Clout. You’ll still get Clout if you lose a match, just not as much; it’s not about who wins and loses, but rather who plays the best consistently. In addition to base Clout rates, there are also Clout multipliers. For example, if every member of your team in a match is wearing the same kind of gear brand or using the same kind of weapon, that’ll multiply your Clout gains slightly. On rare occasions, you may experience a 10x Battle, where victory gives your team ten times the Clout. If you win a 10x Battle, you’ll earn Festival Shells, which increase the likelihood of a rare 100x Battle. Best of all, if a member of both teams triggers a 100x Battle, it becomes a 333x Battle! You definitely want to win those.

As you compete in Splatfest matches, you’ll raise your Splatfest rank. Your rank, determined by a separate XP bar from your regular level, will determine how big your rewards are at the end of the Splatfest. If you want to maximize your winnings, play a whole bunch!

Another side note: in the event that the teams are lopsided, you may occasionally be matched against members from your own team. These don’t count toward your Clout, unfortunately.

The Half-Time Report

Once a full day of the Splatfest has passed, Deep Cut will deliver the Half-Time Report. This report lets players know which of the three teams is currently leading the pack. Being in the lead at the Half-Time ain’t exactly a blessing, though, because the winning team becomes the target for a Tricolor Turf War!

Related: Splatoon 3 Tricolor Turf War Explained

After the Report, Tricolor matches are added to your matchmaking options for the remainder of the Splatfest. In a Tricolor Turf War, the two losing teams will team up to take on the winning team in a 2v4v2 battle. If the winning team wins, they’ll earn Clout, but if either of the losing teams wins, they both get Clout.

Image via Nintendo

Bear in mind that, in the interest of balance, queuing for a Tricolor match doesn’t guarantee you’ll end up in one. If you don’t, you’ll just end up in a regular Open Turf War. Additionally, only the members of the losing team can queue for Tricolor, while members of the winning team will have it randomly sprung upon them. It’s just as well, though, because you still need to earn Clout for your team in regular matches!

The Results

Once the final day of the Splatfest ends, that’s the official end of the festivities. At this point, it may take the number crunchers a couple of days to figure out who won, so keep an eye on the official Splatoon Twitter for the announcement.

The winner of the Splatfest is determined by a 45-point system, broken up into four categories:

  • The team that earned the most Conch Shells during the Sneak Peak gets 10 points
  • The most popular team, with the most members, gets 10 points
  • The team that earned the most Clout from Open matches gets 15 points
  • The team that earned the most Clout from Pro matches gets 10 points

This system is set up so that, even if all three teams clinch a category, there won’t be any ties. You’ll get a notification when the results have been tabulated, so tune in to the Anarchy Splatcast to see who won!

Image via Nintendo

Once the results have been announced, your Splatfest Tee will be returned automatically, and you can claim your prize at the Terminal: Super Sea Snails! These little guys can be traded to Murch for all kinds of handy services, from scrubbing and rerolling your ability slots to raising your gear’s Star Power, adding new ability slots in the process. The number of Super Sea Snails you receive depends on whether you were on the winning team and how high you got your Splatfest Rank. Even if your team didn’t win, you can still get a pretty tidy payout if you played your heart out.

Additional Notes

Here are a few other little quirks to keep in mind for Splatfests:

  • Every one of the game’s four regions (Americas/Australia/New Zealand, Europe, Japan, Hong Kong/South Korea) hosts a separate Splatfest with independent results. If you want, you can change your region at any time in the options menu if you want to compete in a different Splatfest or play with friends in other countries. Bear in mind, though, that you can only change your region once while a Splatfest is going on.
  • Playing in Pro Splatfest Matches builds up your Splatfest Power. This statistic determines who the strongest players in the Splatfest are; as you raise your Splatfest Power, you’ll be matched against players with Splatfest Power equal to yours in Pro matches. Those who earn the highest Power during the Splatfest will be placed in the Splatfest Top 100! You don’t get anything for that, it’s just for bragging rights.

And that’s all you need to know about Splatfests! If that was a bit much to digest, though, here’s the abridged version: pick a team, get a t-shirt, win matches, get Sea Snails. Whether you want to stand at the top of the Splatfest Top 100 or just want to play in slightly more festive Turf Wars than usual, the Splatfest is the time to really lay it out on the line and have some fun! If nothing else, you can look forward to all the salty Splatsville posts from the last-place team after it’s over. And the salty first-place posts. There’s a lot of salt on all sides, really.

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