Splatoon 2 gets new maps, gear, hairstyles, music, modes, and more

Revealed in an energetic trailer, Nintendo showed off a wide range of new features coming to Splatoon 2 very soon. There are stages, modes, and even a few quality-of-life changes that the game strongly needed.

The majority of it will have arrived by this weekend!

Look at those adorable pigtails!

Over the next few weeks four new stages will be introduced, which consists of two returning Splatoon 1 favourites and two brand new maps.

MakoMart is a giant supermarket stage and will be the first to arrive on 25th November. It seems feature a lot of ramps and ‘blocky’ platforms within its aisles, so Blasters and Sloshers may have a good time here. The other new stage is Shellendorf Institute, which features a large sea creature’s skeleton hanging from the ceiling. Arowana Mall and Walleye Warehouse have also been confirmed to be returning from Splatoon 1 with slight changes evident in the trailer. Veterans may remember that these are two of the five original stages that launched with the game. Blackbelly Skatepark is already back with us, which leaves Urchin Underpass and the divisive Saltspray Rig in absence.

MakoMart, which was most definitely named after the Splatoon 2 UK Champions, Team Mako

A new Salmon Run Stage is due immediately after the update, called Salmonid Smokeyard. In this stage, two platforms are separated by a wide beach. However, there is a fan lift that can move horizontally between the platforms. Teamwork is key in using this effectively, although I’m fully expecting to be left to fall onto the beach or left behind at least once.

Remember to wait for teammates before you move that fan lift!

We’re far from done: there’ll be a whopping 140 new items of gear added on Friday, which includes returning gear from the original game. With the new gear, we’ll be seeing a large increase in brand & ability combinations. Splatoon 2 launched with 225 items of gear, so this import comes close to doubling the catalogue. Hope you’ve saved up on coins!


As you can see in the image above there are four new hairstyles, two each for boy and girl Inklings. Once you’ve kitted out your Inkling in new garb and given them a fresh cut, you take photos using an Amiibo. This was already a feature, but now you can take them to set locations on the various stages, apply filters, and give the Inklings weapons for the shots.

Shooting on location

The trailer features a quirky, energetic piece of music that is one of several incoming tracks provided by two new bands: Bottom Feeders and Ink Theory. There’s a shark that plays bass guitar and wears a hat. That’s all you need to know really.

There are two major changes elsewhere: for starters, the level cap will be raised from 50 to 99. Once a player has reached Level 99 they can talk to Judd, who will reset their level and add a star next to it. This means the top level now is Level ★99 and I dread to consider how long it will take to reach that. Ah, remember the days on the original game when the maximum was a mere Level 20? We’ve come a long way.

It’s a shark wearing a tiny little cap – what more could you want?

The other big change is something that the game has sorely needed: you can now change gear between battles without exiting the lobby! This applies to Regular Battle, Ranked Battle, and Splatfest Battles in solo mode. Finally, players can continue to stay in a particular lobby while able to change their gear (this presumably includes their weapon).

In December, a new ranked mode is coming to Splatoon 2 called Clam Blitz. Players collect clams to throw into a basket near the opponent’s base, with a KO requiring 100 clams to be scored. The basket is protected by a barrier that requires a Power Clam (which looks just like a regular American football) to break before any points are scored. Players earn these by collecting 10 regular clams. Judging by the trailer, these Power Clams can be passed to teammates. Once the barrier is broken, clams can be thrown into the basket. Being splatted means dropping your clams, which is where strategy will play a big part in deciding the winner.

A perfect combination of American Football, Basketball… and Coin Runners

Not mentioned on Nintendo’s webpage but noticeable in the trailer are some weapons that aren’t available yet: the Hydra Splatling is eagerly anticipated by many players and it makes an appearance here. Viewers may spot a new type of Dualies, and a new Splat Brella that doesn’t close when firing. The final weapon is an entirely new class called the Squeezer, which invitingly looks like a champagne bottle. It’ll be interesting to see how this weapon works, but there was info given beyond these sneak peeks.

We’re four months into Splatoon 2’s life, and added content shows no sign of slowing down. This is a huge update, and arguably the biggest in the whole series.

What new feature(s) are you most looking to? Let us know in the comments below!

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