Splatoon 3: All new and returning modes explained, from Salmon Run to Tableturf Battle

James Busby
Splatoon 3 official artwork

Although Turf Wars might be the star of the show in Splatoon 3, there are actually loads of new and returning modes to sink your tentacles into. Here’s everything you need to know about them.

After months of waiting, Splatoon 3 has finally arrived! The latest installment of Nintendo’s premier multiplayer splat-em-up game has plenty of content to enjoy, from new maps to new weapons and all the variety of modes on offer.

Aside from the usual Turf War, there’s a brand new story mode, a TableTurf card game, Salmon Run, and even Tricolor Turf War battles. So, in order to give you the lowdown, we’ve covered every Splatoon 3 game mode in the game so far. 


All Splatoon 3 game modes (so far)

Splatoon 3 Turf War gameplay
Turf War is the most iconic mode from the Splatoon series.

Turf War

Turf War is back and better than ever in Splatoon 3. Two teams of four compete to ink the most turf on the map within three minutes. However, in order to spice up the gameplay, new techniques have been introduced.

For example, the Squid Surge ability enables players to swim up walls in a single burst, while the Squid Roll makes it possible to jump out of ink while turning around. Additionally, when a player’s character glows while executing the move, it also repels ink from opponents.

Anarchy Battles

Aside from Regular Turf Wars that see the winning team cover the stage with the most paint, there are also Anarchy Battles. It’s here where players can compete for rankings across four separate modes, which are on rotation. These modes are as follows: 

  • Splat Zones: Players attempt to cover a zone in ink and try to stop the opposing team from taking it.
  • Tower Control: Both teams battle it out to control the tower and must move it into the enemy team’s territory to win. 
  • Rainmaker: Two teams fight to obtain the Rainmaker and must carry the special weapon into their enemy’s base. 
  • Clam Blitz: Collect clams that are scattered around the stage and throw them into the opposing team’s goal to score points.

Tricolor Turf War battles

Tricolor Turf War battles are a new mode that is part of the game’s Splatfests, a special event where players vote for their favorite choice out of three in an announced theme. However, unlike regular modes, Tricolor Turf War battles pit three teams against one another at the same time. 

Tableturf Battle

Splatoon 3 Tableturf battle
Tableturf battle is a new mode that makes its debut in Splatoon 3.

The Tableturf Battle is a new 1-v-1 competitive card battle spinoff of Turf War. It’s here where players can ink different shapes with different cards, charge up power, then unleash it all at once with a special comeback attack. This mode is located at the Dojo in Splatsville’s vacant lot and over 150 cards can be collected. 

Splatoon 3 Salmon Run

Splatoon 3 Cohozuna in Salmon Run
Splatoon 3’s Salmon Run features plenty of new bosses.

Salmon Run returns in Splatoon 3, which requires four players to work together to collect Power Eggs from waves of advancing Salmonids. It’s here where players can test their might against AI enemies and claim an ultimate victory over these fishy fiends.

Aside from the usual Salmonid grunts, there are also boss encounters that require even more teamwork to take down. For example, the new Slammin’ Lid boss slams down into the ground, crushing anything that dares to stray underneath it. 

Inklings will need to jump atop the flying saucer and defeat the Salmonid pilot to avoid getting splatted. There was also the addition of the Big Shot, an enemy that unleashes paint bombs that explode, dealing large amounts of AoE damage. 

However, by far the biggest threat is the Cohozuna – a giant King Salmonid who appears during later sections of the stage. Not only does it have a massive health bar, but its attacks are particularly ferocious. 

Lastly, Nintendo also announced that every few months a Big Run event will take place, which will see Salmonids invade the city in which Inklings and Octolings live. We’ll likely hear more info about Splatoon 3’s Salmon Run in the weeks to come, so be sure to check back here regularly. 

Splatoon 3 story mode

Splatoon 3 characters
Splatoon 3’s Story mode is a great way to practice various mechanics.

Splatoon 3’s story mode, also known as Return of the Mammalians is a completely new campaign. It’s here where players can try out a variety of weapons and movement mechanics, before setting off into the game’s multiplayer modes. 

Expect plenty of colorful levels and platforming segments as you blast your way through waves of Octarians to find the answers behind the Fuzzy Ooze that has suddenly begun appearing across the world. 

So, there you have it, everything you need to know about every Splatoon 3 game mode. Make sure you check out our Splatoon 3 page for all the latest news and guides.

Related Topics

About The Author

James is Dexerto's Associate Games Editor who joined the website in 2020. He graduated from university with a degree in Journalism, before spending four years freelancing for GamesRadar+, PCGamesN, RPS, LoL Esports, Red Bull Gaming, and many more. You can find him covering everything from CoD, Apex Legends, Genshin Impact, and Monster Hunter. Need to get in touch? Email James at james.busby@dexerto.com.