Splatoon 3 demo: How to play, release date & storage requirements

James Busby
Splatoon 3 gameplay screenshot

Wondering how you can play the Splatoon 3 demo and get access to the game ahead of its release date? Then our handy hub has you covered with everything you need to know. 

Splatoon 3 is the latest title in Nintendo’s colorful third-person shooter series and the developers are giving players the opportunity to play the game before release. The Splatoon 3 demo will feature the brand-new Tri-Stringer with its explosive arrows, Tricolor Turf War, and much more. 

Not only is the demo a great way to test out your ink-splatting skills, but it’s also a good opportunity to try out the new content that is on offer. So, if you’re wondering how and when you can try the game before launch, then be sure to check out the start times and all the content that’s included below. 


How to play the Splatoon 3 demo

Splatoon 3 official screenshot
The demo will enable players to get an early glimpse of the game ahead of launch.

In order to download the Splatoon 3 demo, simply follow the steps outlined below: 

  • Boot up your Nintendo Switch 
  • Click on the Nintendo eShop and select your desired account.
  • Head over to the ‘Discover’ page on the right-hand side of the menu.
  • Select the Splatoon 3 demo.
  • Press the ‘Free Pre-Order’ button.

Once you’ve followed the instructions above, you’ll be able to play the Splatoon 3 demo as soon as it goes live. It’s important to note, that players will need an internet connection and a Nintendo Switch Online membership to participate in the Splatoon 3: Splatfest World Premiere demo. 

By downloading the demo from Nintendo eShop, you can receive a free 7-day trial for Nintendo Switch Online. So, if you are not a current Nintendo Switch Online member, now you’ll still be able to try out the game for free. 

Splatoon 3 demo release date & times

Splatoon 3 gameplay screenshot
Splatoon 3’s demo lets players check out the first Splatfest event ahead of the game’s launch.

The Splatoon 3 demo is only playable for 12 hours, but players can log in early starting August 25 to do a few things to prepare.

Players can customize their Inkling and Little Buddy’s appearance, play the intro tutorial, and check out Splatsville.

While players can’t jump into any matches early, they can still pick their team ahead of the event, check out gear and weapons, and get familiar with Splatoon 3’s controls.

The full 12-hour demo starts on August 27 and enables players to dive into a game of Turf War and play the brand-new Splatfest Tricolor Turf War Battles. 

Event Times

You can only participate in the Splatfest during the following times:

  • First half (Splatfest Battles Begin) – 8/27 (Sat) 9:00 a.m. PT – 3:00 p.m. PT.
  • Second half (Tricolor Turf War Battles Begin) – 8/27 (Sat) 3:00 p.m. PT – 9:00 p.m. PT.

Demo content

The game’s demo includes a number of exciting features for players to enjoy, so we’ve listed them below for your convenience: 

  • New Splatfest Mode – Tricolor Turf War (4v2v2 battles) during the second half of the Splatfest.
  • 26 weapons make an appearance —  The brand-new Tri-Stringer makes its debut. There’s also the iconic Splattershot, close-range Splat Roller, and more.
  • Splatsville – players can check out Splatoon 3’s new hub town and familiarize themselves with the layout and various shops.
  • Test Range – practice using weapons before you battle.
  • Customizable team messages — share art that others can see in the square. 

So, there you have it, everything you need to know about the demo for Splatoon 3 and how you can play. Make sure you check out our other Splatoon 3 content for all the latest news and information. 

Splatoon 3: Release date | Splatoon 3 stages | Splatoon 3: All new and returning modes | Splatoon 3: All new and returning weapons