Fall in, troops, we’re back with more of Private I.N.Kling’s Splatoon tips from behind enemy lines! This time around we’ll be focusing on battle tactics for Turf War, Splatoon‘s introductory multiplayer mode. The main objective in Turf War is to cover territory with ink, but there’s more than one way to see you and your team to victory beyond acting like a glorified paint brush. So strap your helmets on and get to note scribbling!
Regardless of the map you find yourself on, to truly excel at Turf War it’s necessary to think strategically. One of the drawbacks of Splatoon‘s multiplayer from a logistical perspective is a distinct lack of voice chat. As a result, coordinating with teammates is virtually impossible, making it all the more important to use what tools you do have at your disposal as efficiently as possible. That means reading your map during battles, tracking the locations of your teammates, and deciding what type of role you want to play, be it support, pure offense, or a mixture of the two.
The most boring and useful tool in your entire arsenal is the map displayed on the GamePad. It may not seem all that valuable, but the map is providing you with far more intel on the flow of a given battle than you might realize. For one, the map displays the current state of how soaked in ink the battlefield is. Locate trouble spots where enemy forces have laid down excessive amounts of their color and move in to begin wiping it out. Leaving chunks of terrain unattended to is one of the fastest ways for a match to start going downhill quick.
Secondly, it’s also wise to keep track of where the Inklings in your squad are. If you see teammates disappearing off the map in a certain location, it likely means they’re being overwhelmed by your foes. If that’s the case, carefully gauge how to respond. Super Jumping (we’ll cover that below) to their coordinates can be useful for providing some extra muscle to ward off enemy combatants, but you could also potentially be landing in the middle of crossfire and get splatted right away, instead. There’s no definite way of knowing what to expect beforehand, but if you see one or two squad members on the map in close proximity to each other, the odds of safely entering the fray are higher. Alternatively, you can trek over to your team members on foot and try to flank enemies, too.
This leads us to the aforementioned Super Jumps, a technique that’s incredibly important for traversing the map and acting to squelch coordinated assaults from enemy Inklings. Super Jumps are easy to perform– spot a squad mate on the map, touch their location on the screen, and your Inkling goes soaring right to them. As mentioned above, using the map to read potential situations is paramount to success. Seeing your squad bunched together on the map and continuously being splatted, respawning, and then returning to the same spot with Super Jumps is a strong indicator that a major fight is going on. These splatfests can become hectic and nauseatingly back and forth, with no real progress being made for either side to claim territory.
There are ways to use Super Jumps more usefully, however. To start, don’t always tap on a squad mate who is right in the middle of a skirmish. Sometimes it’s more tactical to tap on a team member who is close to the fray, but nearer to the outskirts. This allows you to move in without being launched right into a firefight, able to survey and carefully determine the best course of action. A frontal assault can often do the trick to turn a battle, but be smart about it. I recommend having a special attack charged up, ready to engage at the last possible moment before striking the enemy. It catches them off guard, as most foes will immediately pounce on an Inkling out in the open and aren’t necessarily expecting for someone to roar into action as a Kraken or suddenly begin firing freely while ensconced in a Bubbler shield.
Going Solo Vs. Staying Together
There’s no “I” in “team,” but sometimes the wisest strategy is to go off on your own to mark territory. It’s not uncommon to be placed on a team with members who are sloppy ink sprayers, barely touching terrain and opting instead to seek out your opposition for a direct assault. That’s not a good move when winning is predicated upon claiming territory, period. Using the map as described above, make decisions on the fly about how your team is performing before deciding to enter a combat zone. If the quarrel doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, with both your teammates and the enemy not budging from their positions on the map, use it as an opportunity to invade other areas on the arena and lay down your color. Inundating a map with your team’s ink can create quite the headache for the opposition if they become tunnel visioned and obsess over one spot or fighting your squad instead of claiming land. Having to play catchup later can be a real disadvantage, so use it to your own.
Of course, being a good teammate can sometimes trump trying to bullrush a battle alone, too. If your allies are competent but in a tricky jam, there are a number of ways to provide backup. To repeat, read your map– if your squad is being cornered, trying to position yourself behind the enemy can be a huge help. If you have a special move ready to go, that too can be a real boon. A Killer Wail, Bomb Rush, or Ink Strike can burst through a wall of enemies and ink blasts in a snap, scattering your foes or, in the best case scenario, splatting them and send them back to their spawn point. Leading by example isn’t foolproof, but sometimes teammates can pick up on techniques you’re using and help by mirroring your actions. Perhaps most importantly, if you’re striking out solo and getting torn apart every time, you’re going to be more of a detriment to your team than anything else. Being reckless can lead to other squad members getting caught in the crossfire, which drags everyone down in the end.
That’s the first part of our Turf War overview! Next time, we’ll be going over more stratagems and how to best optimize each weapon type for this online mode, Dismissed!