splatoon 3 inkbrush
Image via Nintendo

I’m willing to bet you’ve had at least one instance in your life when you picked up a paintbrush and used it to flick water at someone. It’s just one of those natural impulses, inexplicable from a scientific perspective. In the world of Splatoon 3, though, some of the craftiest weapons come from those odd little impulses. Here’s a guide to using Brushes in Splatoon 3.

Splatoon 3 Brush Guide: Tips, Build, and Perks

Brushes are technically a spin-off of Rollers. They’re similar in application, yet distinct enough to occupy their own niche. Mashing the trigger will rapidly swing your Brush back and forth, flicking ink in a small arc in the direction you’re facing. Holding the trigger will place the Brush tip on the ground, allowing you to paint the ground as you run.

There are two primary types of Brush to choose from:

  • Inkbrush: Baseline Brush, no particular gimmicks.
  • Octobrush: Slower swings, but larger, more powerful ink flicks.

Brushes were basically Splatoon’s main melee weapon types before Splatanas were a thing. As you’d expect, they do their best work at close range, with a few fast swipes at point blank being more than enough to splat most foes. They’re decent at inking turf too, with their line painting function being good for making quick pathways, though they’re definitely better suited to outright combat than turfing.

> Splatoon 3 Splatana Guide: Tips, Build, and Perks

Of course, as a borderline melee weapon, Brushes are kind of useless at long range. You need to be able to get in close, either through brute force or through a coordinated sneak attack. I hope you’ve got tough fingers, too, because all the mashing you have to do for even a bit of turf inking will wear a hole into your hand.

Paint Misbehavin’

splatoon 3 octobrush swing
Image via Nintendo

Both the Inkbrush and Octobrush are held in similar esteem, so your choice depends mostly on whether you want speed or strength. The Octobrush is a little easier for newer players thanks to its higher damage potential, and the included Zipcaster special is great for quickly closing the gap with opponents without endangering yourself.

Splatoon 3 Blaster Guide: Tips, Build, and Perks

If you’re coordinating gear for a Brush build, keep these abilities in mind:

  • Ninja Squid: Remember how I said sneak attacks are necessary for Brushes? Ninja Squid is a vital component for that, as it hides your presence while you swim.
  • Special Saver: Both Brush types are heavily reliant on their specials to maximize their potential. If and when you get splatted, you don’t want to lose all of your built-up meter if you can help it.
  • Ink Resistance Up: As a frontline combatant, you’ll be wading into enemy ink frequently. In addition to protecting you from damage, this ability also makes it a bit easier to navigate enemy turf.
  • Ink Saver (Main): Brushes eat up a lot of ink with how much you have to swing them, so best to maximize the size of your tank.
  • Comeback: With frequent jaunts into enemy territory will come frequent splattings. If you’re getting splatted over and over anyway, you might as well get some buffs for your trouble.

Brushes are great weapons for aggressive players that love to swing large objects around. Go ahead and indulge that weird little paintbrush-flicking impulse.


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