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Friday, September 9, 2022

Splatoon 3 has Launched—and I Regret Not Transferring My Splatoon 2 Data

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - 2022's most anticipated game. Speaking for myself.

Ever since the Splatoon 3: Splatfest World Premiere, I've been super-hyped about Splatoon 3 coming out. And now it has! Today!

For the first time in slightly over three years, I physically went to my local Best Buy and it looks completely different. It's a good thing that I pre-ordered Splatoon 3... the day before (Thursday), because with their post-pandemic store floor redesign, there's way less space for merchandise and way more space dedicated to storage/warehouse/fulfillment. Almost everything in the games section says to go to the cashier to actually get something. One of the very few things available right on the shelf was a copy of... BALAN WONDERWORLD. Yikes. (There was also physical copies of No More Heroes and No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle... and a couple of boxes of Ring Fit Adventure! Y'all should what I just mentioned... well, only the things in these parenthesis.) Splatoon 2 was also there, but not its sequel. Fortunately, when I went to the pick-up area, they handed me Splatoon 3, and now I'm a proud owner of it.

When I booted up Splatoon 3, I got this message:

Splatoon 2 Splatoon 3 save data found import bonuses
There are several benefits to importing Splatoon 2 save data, especially if you want to get right into some competitive aspects.

I was in decision paralysis for a while here. Should I transfer my Splatoon 2 save data? I figured that I'm not in a rush to unlock other weapons—Splattershot Jr. was actually my main weapon in Splatoon 2, and it's the starter weapon for everyone in Splatoon 3. Anarchy Battles (ranked modes) aren't something I'm especially itching to start playing—I think Turf War is more fun anyway. As for facing opponents closer to my skill level, I have the impression that my player vs. player skills in Splatoon are rusty at best and fraudulent at worst. Sure, I'm Ranked X in every rank mode in Splatoon 2, but that's from being carried by other people and from me no longer playing the ranked modes after getting to X, which means I never had the opportunity to be ranked downward.

And so I decided NOT to import my data. This was my first Turf War experience:

My next match? Also a disconnect almost right away. This kept happening. In Splatoon 3, unlike Splatoon 2, when someone disconnects the match, it'll end in a draw and you return to the lobby. (The disconnector gets a loss.) In Splatoon 2, the team with the lost player would have to fight a 3 vs. 4 match, and that whole team would certainly go and lose. This new way of approaching it is more fair, but it also means that I can't level up from Level 1 if I can't ever play a match to completion.

Eventually, I was getting normal matches that actually finished, and here's a sample result:

Splatoon 3 level 1 Turf War battle results carried smurfing
My performance WAY out-performs everyone else.
I basically have the skills of a whole additional person compared to these newbies.

Does this count as smurfing—a behaviour I've advocated against before, especially within a Splatoon context? Let me know in the comments section what you think about that—remember, I had the choice whether or not to be fast-tracked to playing against people who supposedly are similar in skill than I am (even if I feel like that matchmaking algorithm would overrate me), and I chose to be treated as a total newbie.

Before putting my Switch on sleep mode to go write this article, I played a couple of rounds of Salmon Run (I'm loving the new egg toss mechanic—there is a trade-off to it, though—it costs a lot of ink, though the throw also has a Salmonid-damaging hitbox) and I played several rounds of Tableturf Battle. Tableturf Battle is fantastic and full of flavour, and definitely gives me the Tetra Master vibes that I thought it would.

I haven't yet touched the story mode, but I definitely want to. (And I recommend if you actually are a franchise newbie, do that first.) I mean, I don't want to live like this:

Splatoon 3 Great Zapfish Missing conserve energy turn off lights set temperature 90 degrees Fahrenheit
I'm sure people who say to keep politics out of games are upset by this.
But I think this is a hilarious quote lampooning what's currently going on in California.
It's basically an actual thing California governor Gavin Newsom has said.
(Californians, please never vote for him again.)
And EVERYONE who plays Splatoon 3 has to see this quote.

Ludwig will probably be playing Splatoon 3 all weekend. He'll still check the comments section and reply to whatever you have to say, of course. Especially if you opine about the smurfing.

They're trying to fix the constant disconnects.


  1. Well, today when I'm playing Turf War, there aren't disconnects and everyone is playing significantly better. And there are a high number of people who've apparently beaten story mode already.

    I've noticed that Splatoon 3, unlike its predecessors, no longer tell you the levels of people in your room.

  2. The story mode is definitely what I'm most curious about. But since this article isn't about that, I'll ask instead if there are any changes to the ranking system that you've noticed, or is it pretty much the same as before?

    1. Changes to the ranking system...
      Well, I haven't touched Anarchy Mode either.

    2. Now that I'm past level 10, yes, ranked mode progression is totally different.


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