splatoon 3 splatling
Image via Nintendo

To quote some wise words from a bobblehead toy, “the best way to win an argument is to be the loudest.” When a plain ol’ gun just doesn’t cut the mustard, you use more gun. If more gun still isn’t enough, you use the most gun possible. You use a Splatling. Here’s a guide to using Splatlings in Splatoon 3.

Splatoon 3 Splatling Guide: Tips, Build, and Perks

Splatlings are gigantic ink-launching Gatling guns, pumping out an entire tank’s worth of ink in a soggy barrage of shots. Hold down the trigger to spin up a Splatling, filling up the circular charge reticle. When the reticle is full, release the trigger to fire off rapid ink shots in the direction you aim until the reticle empties. You can charge the reticle up to two levels for higher damage and fire rates, though you can’t fire until at least one circle is full.

Splatlings come in five primary variants:

  • Heavy Splatling: Baseline Splatling, no gimmicks.
  • Mini Splatling: Shorter charge time, but lower range.
  • Hydra Splatling: Highest damage, range, and firing time at full charge, but slow charge and high ink consumption.
  • Ballpoint Splatling: Variable weapon. One level of charge fires at short range with a high fire rate, while two levels of charge has a longer range and higher accuracy with lower fire rate. Can pause firing to recharge, and will stay in the second firing mode until the reticle empties out completely.
  • Nautilus 47: Shorter range with middling fire rate. Can store its charge for a few seconds after submerging in ink and can pause firing to recharge.

Much like the legendary minigun of the Heavy Weapons Guy, Splatlings are primarily intended for laying down high-speed suppressing fire, either to drive off foes or cover teammates. Hide in cover as you spin up, then leap out and let the torrent of ink loose. Even if you don’t hit anyone, you’ll definitely send a message.

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Splatlings occupy a similar sphere to Chargers in that they need a little practice to get the timing of the charge down. The Ballpoint Splatling in particular is not recommended for newbies due to its wacky variable firing system. This also isn’t a great weapon if you like to move around a lot, as you’re more or less glued down while firing.

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splatoon 3 hyydra splatling
Image via Nintendo

Out of all of the Splatling variants, the most well-regarded is the baseline Heavy Splatling. It’s got the most balanced stats of the bunch, and perhaps more importantly, it doesn’t have any weird gimmicks. You just spin it up and let it loose. Nice and simple, relatively speaking, plus it comes with the Wave Breaker special, which is great for maintaining a defensive line.

If you’re coordinating gear for a Splatling build, you can’t go wrong with these abilities:

  • Run Speed Up: The inherent weight of a Splatling doesn’t do you any favors in the mobility department, so this ability will alleviate some of that burden.
  • Ink Resistance Up: You’re probably going to take your share of licks while laying down suppressing fire. With this ability, you can take a few more than usual, as well as escape enemy ink better.
  • Special Charge Up: The Wave Breaker Special is great for flushing out foes hiding behind walls, getting them into your line of fire. With this ability, you’ll get it much sooner.
  • Quick Super Jump: Much like Run Speed Up, you need to get your extra mobility wherever you can, especially if you’ve been splatted and need to make a quick return to the battlefield.
  • Ink Saver (Main): It’s particularly annoying to run out of ink in the middle of spinning up a Splatling. Stretch your tank out a bit to keep that from happening as often.
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Carrying a Splatling is a big responsibility, literally and metaphorically, but if you’ve got strong enough shoulders for it, you can be an invaluable asset to the team.


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