Splatoon 2 is a quirky shooter, and that means there are going to be a few mechanics that new players haven’t experienced in a shooter before. The game’s unique approach to competitive gameplay, combined with the Inklings’ squid powers—which allow them to swim through ink—make the game a fun and unique experience. In this article we’ll go over all of the basic controls, as well as discuss some helpful strategies that you can employ when first starting out to learn how to play Splatoon 2.

Keep in mind that all of this information will be available within the game’s tutorial level, this article merely acts as a refresher.

How to Play Splatoon 2

The first thing you might notice is that Splatoon 2 utilizes a very unique control scheme. By default the game runs using motion controls, which you can turn off at any point from the settings. To learn how to turn off motion controls, check out our other guide.

By default motion controls are used to control where you aim your Inkling’s weapon. If you choose to use motion controls, you’ll have to get used to moving the controller around. If you choose not to use motion controls, then you’ll use the Right stick to move the camera around, allowing you to look around the levels.

Once you have the aiming down, it’s time to move on to firing your weapon. You can fire your weapon at any time by pressing the ZR button. This button will allow you to shoot ink from your chosen gun, allowing you to cover the level with your team’s ink color. Keep in mind that each weapon has its own drop off distance, and that many of the weapons included in Splatoon 2 will not fire very far.

Now that you know how to fire your weapon, it’s time to move on to Bombs. Bombs can be utilized by pressing the R button, and then you can hold down the button to see the Bomb’s trajectory, allowing you to aim where you want it to go. Bombs are very useful for taking out large groups of enemies, but they will drain your Ink reserves, which in turn will force you to refill it.

You can refill your Ink reserves at any time by simply stepping into your team’s ink color and pressing the ZL button. This will activate squid mode (which is a very useful mode for many reasons) and allow you to refill your Ink reserves. Beware that enemies can still see you in this mode, so keep moving to avoid any enemy fire.

Now that you know the basics of Splatoon 2, it’s time to dive headfirst into the action. Be sure to take a look at our guide on how to start the campaign, or head back over to our Splatoon 2 guide for even more helpful articles and tips!