Gaming

5 Ninjala tips & tricks to help you become a master shinobi

by James Busby
Nintendo / GungHo Online

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Ninjala has finally hit the Nintendo eShop, meaning players around the world can now entertain themselves by duking it out in the free-to-play ninja battler. In order to help you become a master Shinobi, we’ve put together five tips that will aid you on your path to success. 

The video game first caught our eye back in March when the developer's Direct Mini gave us a good glimpse of GungHo's colorful brawler. Unfortunately, news on the title went quiet as the global situation delayed testing and its subsequent May launch. However, Nintendo and ninja fans can now rejoice as the free-to-play title is now available to download.

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While the vibrant art style and cutesy character designs may be reminiscent of Nintendo’s ever-popular Splatoon series, Ninjala shares only a passing semblance. Players will need to have their wits about them if they wish to survive the 4v4 melee-focused team fights and competitive battle royal mode, so make sure you check out the tips below. 

Pick your fights wisely

Ninjala
Nintendo / GungHo Online
It's often best to not rush straight into battle.

While it can be incredibly tempting to rush into combat and stick the nearest enemy with your oversized katana, it’s often best to wait in the shadows and rush in when your foe’s health is low.

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This may not be the most honorable tactic, but a master ninja must always be ready to pounce, particularly when they can gain even the slightest advantage. This is especially true in the Ninjala’s solo Battle Royale mode, where multiple players can end up fighting the same target.

Of course, there will be times where you’ll need to stand your ground and duke it out against those that wish to rob you of your first-place position. After all, defeating opponents will net you the points needed to secure that all-important victory.

However, you should never be afraid to back out of a fight, especially if things begin taking a turn for the worse. Use the game’s dodge function to try and slip away and get some distance between you and your opponent. There’s no shame in ducking out of a battle if it will enable you to live to fight another day. 

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Manage your S-Energy to unleash powerful attacks

Ninjala
Nintendo / GungHo Online
It's easy to forget about these yellow orbs, but they will help keep your S-Energy gauge topped up.

Your S-Energy gauge is located directly beneath your health bar and it’s this powerful mana-like source that allows players to unleash empowered versions of their abilities and craft deadly weapons.

The use of these flashy moves can often be the deciding factor in many a fight, so it is imperative that you keep this energy bar constantly topped up. While S-Energy will naturally refresh over time, it’s often best to seek out the golden orbs that are scattered around the arena. 

There are also a number of Drones that will appear on the battlefield and destroying these will reward you with a lot of this all-important power source. Not only do Drones net you a decent amount of points, they’ll also upgrade your S-Energy bar by one. This is incredibly important as when you manage to get eight points, you’ll be able to craft a Big Weapon.

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These monolithic variants not only look awesome, but they also have a much wider reach and deal more damage to your opponent, effectively allowing you to take command of the battlefield. 

Camp near Drones for quick kills

Ninjala
Nintendo / GungHo Online
Sometimes you need to be a little sneaky to get those all-important knockouts.

Now that you know the importance of Drones and S-Energy, you’ll want to constantly deny players from getting this game-changing buff. Fortunately, doing so is fairly easy. Simply find a Drone or area that has a lot of player traffic and use your Gum Morph ability blend in with your surroundings.

Patiently wait for your enemy to begin attacking the Drone, then sneak up behind them to deliver a flurry of devastating blows. This technique will invariably net you with both a stealthy kill and a bounty of energy/points. 

A lot of enemy Ninjas will be trying to secure some quick Drone takedowns in the early-game, especially if they wish to start mopping up kills with the game's craftable Big Weapons. As a result, it’s imperative that you learn each Drone's spawn point and be ready to constantly deny them from your foe. 

Unlock and equip Shinobi Cards

Ninjala
Nintendo / GungHo Online
Shinobi cards can help give you a competitive edge.

Shinobi Cards can be found under the game’s Battle Equipment menu and allow you to access a wide variety of skills. While this system may sound like a pay to win strategy, these cards can be unlocked and upgraded via medals – Ninjala’s in-game currency.

You will naturally acquire a variety of bronze, silver, and gold medals as you play through the game and rank up the battle pass. However, the type of medals you receive will be largely dependant on your overall performance. 

As of writing, there are a total of 10 Shinobi Cards to collect and each one can be upgraded to further enhance their unique abilities. From cards that increase your ninja’s S-Energy gauge to those that reveal Drone locations, there’s a variety of different playstyles for you to experiment with. 

Weapon types and mastering attack priority

Ninjala
Nintendo / GungHo Online
Learning a variety of weapon types will increase your knockout potential.

Whether you prefer the lightning-fast slices of the Ippon Katana, the heavy-hitting blows of the SK8 Hammer, or the lethal ranged attacks from the Shinobi Spinner, Ninjala has something for everyone.

Each gum weapon has its own unique specials, combos, break attacks, and inherent strengths/weaknesses. There’s certainly more than enough archetypes to play around with here, and you’ll need to master them all if you wish to truly crush your foes. Make sure to head on over to Ninjala's training room to get a feel for how each one performs. 

When it comes to combat, it’s best to think of Ninjala’s duels like a virtual game of rock paper scissors as you’ll need to try to read what moves your opponent will choose. Attacks are broken down into three main categories: normal, back, and wide. These attacks all have different priority as well, giving savvy players the chance to truly dictate the flow of battle.

The full priority attack breakdown can be found in Ninjala's online battle manual, but we've put it below for your convenience: 

  • Normal attacks are effective against wide attacks, but ineffective against back attacks.
  • Back attacks are effective against normal attacks, but ineffective against wide attacks.
  • Wide attacks are effective against back attacks, but ineffective against normal attacks.

Ninjala
Ninjala
Ninjala's combat is a lot like rock paper scissors, except the loser won't simply get to walk away.

While you may be able to simply button mash your way through fights against less experienced foes, you’ll need a little more focus when dealing with the game’s seasoned shinobi. One wrong sword swing can quickly land you in trouble, particularly when you enter the game’s parry phase.

This deadly clash of blades occurs when players input the exact same attack, creating a window where both ninja must quickly pick one of the three attacks (normal, back, and wide) to try and best their foe. At face value, Ninjala’s combat may look deceptively simple, but there’s certainly enough depth here to keep even the most competent players on their toes. 

If you follow these Ninjala tips & tricks, you’ll be able to secure more knockout wins in no time.