A Beginner's Guide to Splatoon:
Part 1 Inkopolis Plaza
Say you just got a copy of Splatoon, and need some help understanding the game. I was the same way when I got it, so I'm writing this 6-part guide to help you out. I'm not going to be super detailed about everything in the game, but this should give you the help you need to get out there and start splatting!
Note: Many of the game's main features require you to have created/linked a Nintendo Network ID, so you may want to do that first if you haven't already.
When you first turn on the game (I'm not going to explain that) you'll be asked some basic questions concerning the appearance of your character (gender, skin color, etc.). You can always change it later if you don't like how you look, so no need to think too hard. After that, you'll have to make your way through a little tutorial area before you can begin. Everything is explained, but just in case here's a little diagram of the controls:
Once you reach the end of the area, you'll be able to Super Jump to the central plaza of the city of Inkopolis. You'll then be shown a news broadcast detailing what courses are currently playable in the regular and ranked battle modes. Since this is your first time, you'll also be informed that the source of the city's power, the Great Zapfish, has been stolen by a UFO. This is the basis for the game's solo mode, Octo Valley, which will be explained more in part 4 of this guide. These news broadcasts, hosted by the Squid Sisters Callie and Marie, will be shown every time you turn on the game, when the courses are switched, and when there is a special event.
Now you're ready to begin exploring. You'll be informed of some of the main areas of the plaza, and then you can go do whatever you want. For this part of the guide, I'll explain what all the various areas of the plaza are. First, let's take a look at the plaza map that will be shown on the Gamepad. If you tap on any of the labeled areas, you'll be transported there. You can also view your equipment and change the settings on here.
The central area of the plaza is mostly used as a hub to connect the other areas. Other Inklings can be seen walking around the plaza, often with a Miiverse post above their head. If you want to see specifics on an Inkling in your plaza, you can walk up to them and press A. Then you can see their clothing and weapon, Yeah! their post (if they have one), and order their clothing from Spyke.
Walking into the giant Eiffel Tower-like building brings you to the Lobby. Here you can fight in various kinds of online battles, provided you have a Nintendo Network ID. This will be explained more in parts 2 and 5.
If you dive into the grate over to the right of the Lobby, you will enter Octo Valley. Here you can play through a variety of single-player levels to rescue the Great Zapfish from the evil Octarians. This will be explained more in part 4.
Climbing the stairs to the right of your starting point and entering the building there will bring you to the Battle Dojo. Here, you can engage in a simple 1 on 1 balloon popping battle with one of your friends.
Booyah Base is a collection of four buildings to the right of your starting point where you can buy clothing and equipment. The four buildings are Shrimp Kicks, which sells shoes, Jelly Fresh, which sells shirts, Cooler Heads, which sells various headgear, and Ammo Knights, where you can buy all of your weapons. However, you can't enter the clothing stores until you're a level 4, and all the money to buy stuff with comes from battling; so you have to compete in some turf wars before you can buy anything here. These shops will be explained in greater detail in part 3.
Right in front of the lobby (marked on your map with some smiling green stick figures), is the Miiverse Posting box. In order to use it, you must first have opened the Miiverse application on the Wii U menu and agreed to the terms of service. By pressing A in front of the box you can write a Miiverse post from the game, which will then show up above your head in other people's plazas. Your post may also show up as graffiti on the plaza, or on a billboard or wall on a stage.
Judd the Cat
Also in front of the lobby (marked with a white cat head) is Judd the Cat. Judd is the referee for all of the online matches, but he can be found sleeping here the rest of the time. If you talk to him he'll give you some advice (not that you'll need it with this guide) and also give you monetary rewards for being on an online winning streak.
If you walk into the alleyway on the right side of the map, you'll meet Spyke (marked on the map with a ball of purple spiky hair). Once you've reached level 4, you can talk to him and he'll set you up with his clothing ordering service. Basically, when you're looking at another Inkling on the plaza, you can order a piece of their gear from Spyke. You can order three items at a time, and they will show up one per day starting the next day. Make sure you have plenty of money, because he charges much more than the stores and will only keep an item for one day. Items ordered may not have the same abilities (see part 3) though, and he can't get rare clothing or clothing you unlock from Amiibo.
Nestled in a corner on the lower right part of the map is the Amiibo box (marked with the Amiibo logo). Here, if you have a Splatoon Amiibo you can scan it in and play special challenge stages to win money, special clothing, and new minigames.
Finally, in the lower left corner of the map is the Squid Jump arcade machine (marked with a black squid). Here you can play the 8-bit Squid Jump minigame that is available while waiting for a battle in the lobby. You can also play some other minigames after you unlock them by completing Amiibo challenges.
That's all for this section. You'll probably want to start with some regular battles, but you can really do whatever you want in the plaza. The next part of this guide is going to cover the main mode of the game, Turf Wars.
I'm the guy who programmed this whole website from scratch and I'm responsible for most of the content you see here (including these cool author profiles!). I've been a huge fan of Nintendo since I picked up my first NES controller when I was 3. When I'm not writing articles or filming a new video, I enjoy playing and composing music, reading, math, art, and computer programming.