Whether you’re splatting it up in Turf War or testing your skills in Anarchy Battles, your weapon choice is the most important decision you have to make prior to jumping into the fray. Splatoon 3 offers a wide variety of weapons to choose from, ranging from shooters to sloshers and chargers, rollers and brushes, and even the new stringers and splatanas. Each weapon has its own unique play style, adding to the fun, frenetic energy that makes Splatoon such a beloved series. But with all these different weapons, it can be hard to decide which one is right for you.
Today, we’re looking at the five best weapons in Splatoon 3, ranked by their overall utility and how easy they are to pick up and use in battle. Since each weapon loadout in Splatoon 3 is made up of a Main Weapon, a Sub Weapon, and a Special Weapon, we will be taking all three into consideration and giving you a breakdown of how to use each. Soon you’ll be splatting like a pro!
5 Best Weapons in Splatoon 3
Let’s Super Jump right into our list of the five best weapons in Splatoon 3, ranked from splat-tastic to ink-credible!
First up on our list of the best weapons in Splatoon 3 is the Inkbrush. Unlocked at Level 7, the Inkbrush serves as the Main Weapon of its loadout, with the Splat Bomb as the Sub Weapon and the Killer Wail 5.1 as the Special Weapon.
Main Weapon: Inkbrush
The Inkbrush is a brush-class weapon in Splatoon 3. It serves as Splatoon’s equivalent of a melee weapon, offering high damage and inking capabilities at a short range. It acts similarly to a roller, allowing the player to hold down the attack button to move the Inkbrush along the ground, leaving a trail of ink as they move. While the area inked performing this move is quite small compared to a roller, it allows the player to move very fast — faster than swimming through ink.
Pressing the attack button once allows the user to flick ink in an arcing pattern in front of them. This action consumes 2% of a full ink tank. Repeatedly pressing the attack button allows the player to flick ink back and forth quickly, dispensing ink in a short but wide range in front of them. Compared to other brushes like the Octobrush, the Inkbrush offers a faster rate of attack and more efficient ink consumption at the cost of less overall range and damage. The speed of this weapon makes it the more favorable option, as it allows for greater mobility.
Sub Weapon: Splat Bomb
The Splat Bomb has been a staple Sub Weapon of the Splatoon series since the very first entry. It deals 30 splash damage in a radius around it within one second of hitting a surface after being thrown. Direct hits deal 180 damage to an enemy. It consumes 70% of a full ink tank, so be careful not to be left exposed after tossing it. To help balance this ink consumption, abilities like Ink Saver (Main) and Ink Saver (Sub) can be useful.
Special Weapon: Killer Wail 5.1
The Killer Wail 5.1 is a variant of the Killer Wail Special Weapon new to Splatoon 3. This Special Weapon spawns six floating speakers that shoot beams of sound, damaging any enemy hit. The user can target enemies using their camera after activating this weapon to have the beams follow the target. This differs from the original Killer Wail in previous games, which fires a singular, stationary shockwave of sound across a wide radius. The attack lasts for 6s and requires 180 Battle Points of the Special Gauge to activate.
The Inkbrush is fantastic for moving quickly around enemies, closing in, and then splatting. Holding down the trigger and running with the brush along the ground grants you a speed boost that is perfect for rushing to the center of the map and gaining control early. With how important map control is in Splatoon 3, the Inkbrush becomes a top tier weapon thanks to its speed advantage.
You will need to be close to enemies in order to splat them due the limited range of the Inkbrush. The ideal strategy is to approach them from behind, hiding within the ink, and then popping out to quickly dispatch them with rapid swings of your brush. Then Ninja Squid ability may be helpful here so enemies don’t see you swimming through the ink.
The main drawback of the Inkbrush is its limited range. Having the Splat Bomb as a Sub Weapon helps make up for that. If an enemy is able to escape a close encounter, use the Splat Bomb to finish them off from a distance. This can also be effective at flushing distant enemies out and drawing them into range of your Inkbrush. The Killer Wail 5.1 is also great at accomplishing this. Locking on to an enemy will cause the beams emitted by the Killer Wail 5.1 to follow them, potentially forcing them into closer splatting range.
Unlocked at Level 14, the Sloshing Machine serves as the main weapon for this loadout, with the Fizzy Bomb as the Sub Weapon and the Booyah Bomb as the Special Weapon.
Main Weapon: Sloshing Machine
The Sloshing Machine is a slosher-class weapon in Splatoon 3. Sloshers act a lot like the shotguns of Splatoon delivering large amounts of ink in short bursts. The Sloshing Machine fires slowly, but has a long range and leaves a trail of ink as the shot travels. These shots do high amounts of damage and can often splat an enemy in one shot. This is not the best for turf inking, but is great for taking out enemies. It also fires in an arcing pattern, making it perfect for splatting enemies behind cover or from atop a high point like the tower in Tower Control.
Each shot of the Sloshing Machine uses 7% of a full ink tank. Direct shots deal 76 damage while indirect splash damage deals 38 damage. That huge difference in damage means you really want to make sure you’re dealing direct hits. Unlike other sloshers, the Sloshing Machine fires in a relatively narrow radius. This makes landing direct hits easier, but also is less efficient at inking turf.
Sub Weapon: Fizzy Bomb
The Fizzy Bomb is an interesting Sub Weapon because it can be shaken to increase the number of bursts it releases. This weapon does 50 points of direct damage and 35 of splash damage. It also consumes 60% of a full ink tank. Simply pressing the right shoulder button tosses the Fizzy Bomb, just like any other Sub Weapon. But holding it down and moving the right stick up and down allows the user to shake the Fizzy Bomb, increasing the number of bursts it releases by up to three. This is great for catching enemies off guard, thinking they had dodged the first splatter only to get hit by a subsequent burst of ink.
Special Weapon: Booyah Bomb
This Special Weapon takes advantage of Splatoon’s signature cheer to boost the speed at which the attack charges. Activating the Booyah Bomb has the user rise into the air while prompted to repeatedly press the down button on the D-pad to charge the bomb with “booyahs.” Teammates can do the same to help charge the bomb. Once charged, the player throws it to create a swirling vortex of ink at the site of impact. The Booyah Bomb needs 200 Battle Points to activate it.
Sloshing Machine Strategy
The Sloshing Machine is ideal for quickly eliminating enemies with disregard for inking turf. While it has its use in Turf War, it is far more suited for the game modes within Anarchy Battles. Those game modes have a greater emphasis on splatting enemies than inking turf, so it’s a place where the Sloshing Machine can thrive. Tower Control in particular benefits from the Sloshing Machine because its long range and arcing shot is perfect for defending the tower.
Since the main weak point of the Sloshing Machine is its limited turf inking ability, a good strategy is to utilize the other weapons in this loadout to make up for this weakness. The Fizzy Bomb can be great for inking additional turf, especially if you shake it to its max level. The Booyah Bomb is also great for inking a large area of the map. Use it to flush out enemies in an area and tilt the map control to your team’s favor.
Unlocked at Level 19, the Bloblobber serves as the Main Weapon for this loadout, with Sprinkler as the Sub Weapon and the Ink Storm as the Special Weapon.
Main Weapon: Bloblobber
Another slosher-class weapon, the Bloblobber is unique in that it doesn’t launch globs of ink. Instead, it launches bubbles of ink that bounce and leave ink splatters at the sites of impact. This may seem a bit chaotic and difficult to control, but it can catch your enemies off guard and give you the edge in battle. Each shot of the Bloblobber launches four bubbles that have a fairly long range. Contrary to other weapons, these bubbles do not suffer from damage decay. One of the reasons this is one of the best weapons in Splatoon 3 is that one shot can splat an enemy if all four bubbles hit.
Each bubble does 30 damage. While the damage does not decay over time, the size of the bubbles do. At close range, it is easy to splat an enemy as the bubbles travel in a straight line before spreading out over a distance. The bubbles also travel in an arcing fashion, making it great for splatting enemies from above. A shot from the Bloblobber consumes 8% of a full ink tank.
Sub Weapon: Sprinkler
Rather than an offensive Sub Weapon, the Sprinkler plays a more defensive role. Unlike most Sub Weapons, it does not disappear after making contact with a surface. Instead, it sticks to that surface, sprinkling ink within the surrounding area. It has a base damage of 20 and consumes 60% of a full ink tank. The Sprinkler works great for area denial if you throw it on a wall or platform. While it won’t get you a splat, it will make enemies think twice about approaching an area covered by it.
Special Weapon: Ink Storm
The Ink Storm starts by having the user toss a metal capsule that flies up into the air creating a cloud that rains ink down on the battlefield. This cloud is slow-moving, but can be deadly to anyone caught underneath. While this Special Weapon is fairly easy to avoid, it works great at covering enemy territory in ink and forces enemies to avoid its path. You only need 190 Battle Points to activate it, making it relatively easy to unleash.
This weapon loadout is all about area denial. The chaotic bouncing bubbles of the Bloblobber work in tandem with the Sprinkler and Ink Storm to leave the opposing team scrambling to avoid getting splatted. It’s best to avoid close combat and hang back launching bubbles down strategic avenues to catch unsuspecting opponents off guard. We recommend maintaining a vantage point where you can toss bubbles down from above, using the Sprinkler to help cover your position. If you have to take on an enemy from close range, try to lead your shots as the delay between each bubble launched will cause them to hit a moving opponent in succession and get you the splat.
With its moderately fast fire rate, it’s easy to get many bubbles down range fast. While each does not produce much ink on its own, quantity beats out quality in this case. Once you have the Ink Storm ready to activate, use it for cover as your team approaches enemy turf since enemies will move to avoid it. This is also a great time to splat displaced enemies with your Bloblobber. The Bloblobber can take some getting used to since it functions so differently from all other Splatoon 3 weapons. But once it clicks, it can be a terror for the enemy team.
Unlocked at Level 6, the N-ZAP ‘85 serves as the main weapon for this loadout, with the Suction Bomb as the Sub Weapon and the Tacticooler as the Special Weapon.
Main Weapon: N-ZAP ‘85
Straight out of the era of classic Nintendo, the N-ZAP ‘85 takes the form of the real-life NES Zapper peripheral. It is a shooter-class weapon with a decent range and a high rate of fire. Shooters are the standard “gun”-type weapons in Splatoon 3, and the N-ZAP ‘85 really leans into that classification with its iconic design. While it doesn’t have the longest range, it makes up for it with its fire rate. The fast rate of fire and the fact that you can splat an enemy with only four shots makes it a very popular weapon for a variety of situations.
The N-ZAP ‘85 fires ink in a very tight pattern, making it great for splatting enemies at a medium distance, but less efficient at inking a wide area. It consumes 0.8% of a full ink tank per shot, with each shot doing a base damage of 28. The fantastic fire rate and efficient ink consumption make this one of the best all-around weapons in Splatoon 3.
Sub Weapon: Suction Bomb
Another classic Sub Weapon returning in Splatoon 3, the Suction Bomb is unique in that it sticks to surfaces before exploding two seconds later. It deals 180 points of direct damage and 30 points of splash damage. The Suction Bomb consumes 70% of a full ink tank, so be sure to watch your ink levels when use it. Unlike some Sub Weapons like the Splat Bomb, the Suction Bomb does not bounce, making it ideal for precision. Suction Bombs stuck to unexpected places like a wall or underside of a platform can catch you opponent unawares.
Special Weapon: Tacticooler
The Tacticooler is a Special Weapon new to Splatoon 3, though it acts like less of a weapon and more of a support ability. When used, it creates a cooler that dispenses four soda cans for you and your teammates to grab. Taking a can boosts your movement speed and respawn time by a significant amount for a limited time. While these buffs don’t stack with the abilities equipped to your gear, they are a huge benefit when your whole team takes advantage of them. Use the Tacticooler to give your team a quick boost and make a push to take control of the map.
N-ZAP ‘85 Strategy
The N-ZAP ‘85 is perfect for precision and team coordination. While it is a viable option for both Turf War and Anarchy Battles, the more team-oriented nature of this loadout makes it ideal for competitive battles. Use the range and fire rate of the N-ZAP ‘85 to keep enemies at a distance while covering your turf. It works wonders on both the offensive and defensive side of matches, particularly in game modes like Clam Blitz and Rainmaker, where defending your side while pushing into the enemy’s side is key to victory.
Use the Suction Bomb to help flush enemies out of hiding or throw them off course. A well-placed Suction Bomb can splat an enemy behind cover or out of range of your Main Weapon. To further assist your team, take advantage of the Tacticooler, especially during a push. This loadout works best when you have good team synergy. Being such a well-rounded weapon, the N-ZAP ‘85 can really supplement deficiencies in your team composition and flex to fill whatever role is required of it.
Our top pick for the overall best weapons in Splatoon 3 is the Aerospray MG. Unlocked at Level 5, the Aerospray MG serves as the Main Weapon, with the Fizzy Bomb as the Sub Weapon and the Reefslider as the Special Weapon.
Main Weapon: Aerospray MG
Another classic Splatoon weapon, the Aerospray MG is a shooter-class weapon that takes on the form of a spray paint pen. While it is not the most accurate or farthest reaching weapon, it uses these deficiencies to its advantage to become the most consistently useful weapon in the game. It fires ink at a short range with a fairly wide spray. This actually helps the Aerospray MG for two reasons: it inks more turf per shot, and it doesn’t require the precision accuracy some weapons need to get splats.
The Aerospray MG’s high rate of fire is also a major boon for the weapon. Each shot only has a base damage of 24.5, but has a fire rate of 15 shots per second. Given its low damage per shot, the high rate of fire makes up the difference and enhances the weapon’s splat potential. Each shot consumes 0.5% of a full ink tank. This is an excellent ink consumption efficiency on top of an already stellar weapon.
Sub Weapon: Fizzy Bomb
The Fizzy Bomb finds its home as a Sub Weapon on this loadout as well. With the Aerospray MG’s lack of range, the Fizzy Bomb makes a great companion, as it lets you hit enemies in cover from a distance. It is also perfect for flushing enemies out of their position and forcing them into range, where you can splat them with your Aerospray MG.
Special Weapon: Reefslider
Another new addition, the Reefslider joins the Aerospray MG at the top of its respective class. It is by far one of the best Special Weapons in Splatoon 3. Activating this Special Weapon has you jump on the back of an inflatable pool toy that charges forward before exploding. The explosion can be detonated manually by the player or automatically once maximum distance traveled is reached. Enemies hit during the charge or by the ensuing explosion are hit with 180 damage, with an additional 60 points of splash damage. A well-timed Reefslider is nearly impossible to avoid. This makes it almost a guaranteed splat!
Aerospray MG Strategy
The Aerospray MG excels at fast-paced, close-quarters combat. Thanks to its fast rate of fire and wide spread, this weapon can splat enemies at close range without having to worry about accuracy. It is also very efficient at spreading ink over a large area. As such, the ideal strategy with the Aerospray MG is to play fast and aggressive. Quickly laying down ink and then using it to swim towards enemies, ducking in and out as needed to get the splat, is the most effective way to use this weapon. Speed-enhancing abilities are your friend in this situation. Utilize abilities like Swim Speed Up to help you work your way around the map quickly, splatting enemies as you go.
If you’re having trouble approaching an area, use the Fizzy Bomb to take out enemies from a distance. You should also be using the Reefslider whenever possible. The efficient inking capabilities of the Aerospray MG should allow you to build up Battle Points quickly enough to use the Reefslider frequently. Using it to clear out a group of enemies or push past enemy defenses can be useful in giving your team the edge. The fantastic synergy between some of the best Main, Sub, and Special Weapons in the game makes this loadout universally useful and our pick for the overall best weapons in Splatoon 3.
Join the High Ground!
Do you agree with our list of the five best weapons in Splatoon 3? Which weapons are your favorites? Share your thoughts with us in the comments down below. Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter so you don’t miss out on any of our upcoming Splatoon 3 guides!
Sorry, but no, just look at the splatoon 3 meta rn for competitive, the best weapon right now isnt even a shooter, it is the sloshing machine, and the top competitive teams have been seen always using 1 to 2 of them.
I see two major problems with this rank, and can be quite misleading. First of all Bloblobber is not very great (as of this time). It had a pretty useful niche in Splatoon 2 that made it viable in ranked at higher levels. The normal blob had splash wall and inkstorm which filled the role of a defensive midline support that specialized in displacement (main weapon has good displacement + inkstorm which is a displacement special). The blob deco had sprinkler and suction bomb rush which filled a role of midline support w/ displacement/paint control. However blob in splat3 got stuck with sprinkler and inkstorm. This dommed bloblobber to be only really good in turf war. The loss of splash wall make it really easy to rush blob down when your team doesn’t have control and loss of suction bomb rush removed it’s splat zones niche. The new blob kit is made for a turf war setting, and not a ranked one. Not to mention blob has a ton of weaknesses. First of all it has the lowest shot velocity, so it’s very easy to dodge at longer ranges. Not to mention it’s extremely weak in close range and to chargers, which dominate the meta due to E-liter. I used to be a blob main back in splatoon 2, but I don’t suggest this weapon (in ranked) for splatoon 3 because of its many weakness.
I don’t think aerospray is the best. I’m sorry, but the splattershot jr just outclasses it. The aerospray is good in turf war because of its high painting power, but not great in ranked. First of all let’s address the main weapon. The reason why it paints so well is because of its massive shot rng, combined with it’s extremely fast fire rate. However in return you have a 5 shot kill and RNG so bad that your kill time is slow. Also the kit is not that good. The fizzy bomb is quite good as it allows poking at a range, painting, and reducing the shots to kill. However reef slider is NOT good for it. Reef slider is better for aggressive weapons (like the dark tetra dualies which benefits from the special because of its hyper-aggressive playstyle), but the aerospray is not an aggressive weapon, so it doesn’t benefit much from it. The reef slider also isn’t that great of a special right now because of its massive amount of end-lag. Honesty, just use the splattershot jr. It’s a better main weapon, and a kit that allows the weapon to see competitive play.
As an aerospray main, I can confirm that it is nowhere near the best weapon in the game. It has the lowest damage in the game, bad RNG for combat, and reefslider is awful on it in particular. It should be played as a support weapon using bombs to poke for your teammates to get the kills. You should never play aggressive with it because it gets out DPSed by almost any other weapon in the game.
You make some great points! The focus of the ranking was to cover weapons that can work well for both Turf War and Anarchy Battles, which both have completely different and ever-changing metas. So you’re totally right that the Blobblobber and Aerospray are currently outclassed in competitive, but from a very broad and general standpoint, I think they strike a good balance of usefulness across both Turf War and Anarchy battles and can be used by a variety of skill levels.