1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Squidboards now has its own Discord server!

    Join us on Discord!

  3. Welcome to SquidBoards, the largest forum dedicated to Splatoon! Over 15,000 Splatoon fans from around the world have come to discuss this fantastic game with over 150,000 posts!

    You are currently viewing our boards as a visitor. Click here to sign up right now and start on your path in the Splatoon community!

Gear, Brands, and You! (Part 2)

Abilities Galore!

  1. NuclearStrawberry
    Hello there squiddos, NuclearStrawberry here giving you the finale to this two-part guide series talking about gear and their relation with the diferent in-game brands so you can stay fresh without having to sacrifice power. This part will be discussing abilities and how to optimize them to YOU; the real meat of gear itself.

    Well then, grab a seat you squids out there because class is in session!

    If you haven't read Part 1 I recommend that you read that before this so that we brush up on the basics before delving deeper. The link is below. TIME TRAVEL MARTY MCFLY!

      • MAIN
      • SUB
    4. GEAR SETS


    There is no argument when saying that abilities can make or break someone on the battlefield. Even the best players will have a much harder time keeping an edge if their abilities can't support them and their weapon of choice whatsoever; thus making an optimal set of gear and abilities a pivotal point when engaging in combat. This is a pretty long winded rant of mine I always like to discuss so I won't put you to sleep by rambling on about it. I'd rather get straight to the point for simplicity's sake. (You'll recognize my guides easily when they discuss gear at some point). Let's get started shall we?


    In the game there are are a total of 24 abilities, only 13 of which can be stacked for what is called "Diminishing Returns" that I will elaborate on in the Stacking section of this guide. The other 11 abilities are non-stackable, main ability exclusive, and exclusive to specific types of gear; for instance Ninja Squid can only be found on clothes and cannot be stacked because of this nor will it be rolled when the game is selecting a sub ability.

    Below I will list the abilities by categories of stackable and non-stackable with some extra commentary regarding that ability.
    Note that the game offers a brief description of each ability under the gear tab. Let's begin


    Exposes the location of enemy ink mines and tracks enemy bombs as skull icons on the screen. Useful for avoiding traps and bomb flanking that may otherwise be ultimate demise, however, awareness and quick reflexes can also do the job. Still useful for finding sneaky bombs

    Reduces the duration of position tracking attacks by 75%! HOLY BUCKETS! This is my personal favorite ability since it reduces the effects of an Echolocator from roughly 10 seconds to THREE. Need i say more?

    Grants the user Ink Saver, Ink Recovery, Run Speed, and Swim Speed for 20 Seconds after respawning. This makes for an extremely useful tool to quickly spring back into action and re-gain momentum should you get splatted.

    Exposes the position of an enemy that splatted you much like an Echolocator or Point Sensor. This ability can make enemies proceed with caution if played right, just remember the Cold Blooded can and will counter this. Have a few more tricks up your sleeve to counter the counter

    Reduces damage, speed, and jumping penalties when treading through enemy ink. Very useful for rollers and asault players who're constantly charging through enemy ink. Very handy ability to have, however, not completely necessary if you know what you're doing

    This is the other side of the coin in relation to Opening Gambit. This grants Ink Efficiency and Ink Recovery Up rather than movement buffs at the final 30 seconds of a match. Since controlling the center and key choke points are critical, this ability can be useful in regaining or maintaining key areas to the bitter end.

    Covers up the ripples made when swimming in your own ink on horizontal surfaces at the cost of a -10% swim speed. A common tactic is to use swim speed up to counter the speed penalty, however, this ability alone is useful for prowling a choke point and taking out anyone who dares enter. Cue the Jaws music.

    Boosts Swim Speed and Run Speed and Ink Efficiancy during the first 30 seconds of a match. Since it is absolutely vital that you control the middle and choke points to obtaining victory, getting a head start is always good.

    Allows you to see enemy position on the gamepad only while standing on spawnpoint. Seeing the enemy team can help figure out their strategies and proceed with caution when leaving spawn, super jumping, charging forward, etc. However, it is not meant to be watched like a surveillance camera, but rather like rear mirrors

    Hides the Super Jump Ring that'd normally appear when super jumping to an ally, giving away your landing spot, at the cost of slower super jump.
    This requires more thoughtful planning of who to jump to now that time is constricted, however, it can be handy when trying to surprise an ememy holding a choke point

    Charges your special gauge if there are less allies on the field compared to the enemy. This can help charge up a special such as an Inkzooka or Kraken in a pinch without having to cover turf, however, this is only granted given that your alive teammates are outnumbered
    Makes sub-weapons such as Point Sensors, Suction Bombs, and Disruptors travel farther when thrown. Not much to say here. Can allow you to pick off chargers and other troubling enemies from a distance. Pretty straightforward.

    Increases the damage of all weapons by about 30%. One important thing to note here is that the shots to kill on a weapon will often remain the same. Stacking this will not make an L-3 Nozzlenose a one-shot weapon, the weapon will not go over two tigger pulls to kill because the game prevents this ability from exceeding 100 hit points. BUT, it does inflict more damage compared to the base damage of a weapon....

    Much like Damage Up this will not (dramatically) change the shots to kill an enemy weapon will do. An Aerospray will always take 5 shots to kill regardless of buffs. However, this reduces the amount of damage taken when shot...slightly

    Increases ink tank refill rate by 40% when swimming in squid form. This can make for an excellent recovery when engaging in a heavy firefight by constantly swimming to a new position and having plenty of ammo to spare as your opponent struggles to keep up.

    Reduces the amount of ink consumed by a main weapon to 60% when equipped. For some of the most ink hungry weapons out there like the Gal. family and chargers, this'll help squeeze out a few extra rounds. That dreaded "click-click" sound is never pleasant to hear.

    On the flip side, this reduces the ink consumption of sub-weapons by 75%. Sub-weapons are some of the most ink hungry weapons in the game, often consuming more then half your ink supply per sub-weapon. If you plan on using sub-weapons like beakons or splat bombs, this'll give you room to fire more founds from your main and avoind the "click-click"


    This will reduce the amount of time it takes to respawn after getting splatted by up to 66%. Time is crucial in Splatoon, and it takes a chunk of time to respawn. Plus the fact that less players on the feild gives the enemy a chance to push forward, getting to the front lines as quickly as possible to stop the enemy push is essential. READY FOR THE FRONT LINES SOLDIER, NOW GO GO GO

    Increases Super Jump speed by up to double. Let me repeat myself there. DOUBLE. Similar to Quick Respawn, this helps get to the front lines extremely quickly and makes mobility a sinch by hopping back and forth between teammates and beakons as well as getting out of sticky situations.

    Increases the speed at which you run in inkling form by up to 50%. This allows you to capitalize on movement that not a lot of players take advantage of by making yourself a harder target to hit and being able to move even quicker on the battlefeild.

    This increases the rate the Special Gauge fills by up to 30%. Special weapons can be scary in the hands of those who know how to use them, so this makes specials TERRIFYING by letting you pop more specials more often to keep enemies pinned down.

    This ability extends the time a special weapon can be active such as Inkzookas or Karakens and gives them a little extra life before they run out. Definately can help in area denial or a longer and stronger offensive strike

    Decreases the depletion of the special gauge after being splatted by up to 100%.This ability makes bouncing back much easier by only requiring you to fill the missing puzzle piece and BAM. Especially treasured with more offensive specials such as the Inkzooka and even the tactical Echolocator. SHOW 'EM WHAT YOU'RE MADE OF!

    Increases movement speed while swimming in squid form by up to 25% If going fast and out-swimming your opponent is your thing, then this'll definitely keep enemies on their toes as they try to keep up with you. Critical to movement based gear sets.


    All pieces of gear in the game have locked main abilities and there is absolutely no way to change this. A Varsity Jackey will ALWAYS have Damage Up as its Main Ability no matter what happens. Pretty simple.

    Another thing, Main Abilities will have stronger buffs than their sub ability counterparts given that three or less sub-abilities of the same nature are equipped. Since you're restricted to only three main abilities, you need to think out which ones to bring to battle but this delves into Gear Sets which I'll discuss later.


    These are the bits that will vary from player to player due to their flexible nature. As I discussed in the previous guide Brands will have an impact when the game is determining what sub abilities to roll for a piece of gear, for example Forge gear is 5x as likely to have Special Duration Up when leveled up or re-rolled from Spyke.

    One good rule of thumb to keep in the back of your mind is to remember that three sub abilities roughly equal one main ability. So let's say you have Ninja Squid equipped but don't like the speed penalty. If there are three Swim Speed Up sub abilities somewhere on your gear, you still get the benefit of the main ability without having to take up one of your three main ability slots. Pretty handy right?


    You've probably heard "Diminishing Returns" somewhere before right? Sounds familiar? It should because this is an important factor to keep in mind when stacking abilities. One thing to mention right off the bat is that abilities DO NOT double their effects, but rather the gained buff is less than the initial buff. Still a bit lost? Don't worry... so am I. The stacking mechanic of the game can be difficult to list from memory and can get very confusing for many players.

    This video made by Casperr explains the stacking mechanic in a way that is easy to understand and also brushes up on subjects i brushed up on such as Brand effects and many more aspects relating to gear that is way too complicated to talk about without the official Strategy Guide right in front of you.

    Also, Nintendome has a series called "Squid Science" that beautifully displays ability stacking in action in as much accuracy as possible. Here's their clip regarding swim speed, and I do encourage you to hop over to their channel to see more.

    Such beautiful science. Mmmmm yes the scientific method- WHA. OH! Sorry, YES! BACK ON TRACK!


    Here is where I potentially ramble on and on like an old grandma on an rocking chair. I absolutely cringe when I see players with random abilities tossed onto their gear when they have so much potential! Drives me mad it does! So what am I talking about?

    Basically, the set of gear and abilities players often roll into battle with are what I like to call "Gear Sets" and you can probably start to see what I mean.
    Let's get an example out there, so let's say we have a player who's main weapon is........ummm........the Splash-O-Matic. This player could definately benefit from Bomb Range Up as a main ability since they're probably going to be chucking suction bombs whenever possible plus the terrifying special Bomb Rush. Let's take this one step further and give them the Pilot Goggles which is a Forge product and thus has a 5x likelihood of rolling special duration when leveled up or re-rolled. Now this player can throw suction bombs much farther and have their special last much longer thanks to this one piece of gear.

    You can start to see how the gear you roll out with can really have an impact on the battlefeild. Similar to how you have a set outfit for a certain occasion like going to the park or movies, you can have a certain outfit/outfits depending on the role you're playing. The L-3 Nozzlenose can befefit much more with Ink Saver Sub and Cold Blooded than the E-Liter 3K due to the Nozzlenose's niche of harassing with Disruptors and taking pot-shots at enemies while keeping their position unknown. Now I would contunue this rambling but you'll see this come up VERY often in my guides, especially when talking about weapons. WOO I go off like Sheldon when talking about weapons, so let's wrap this up with some Splatfest eh?


    This subject is pretty simple. When the voting for Splatfest begins and you have selected a team you will be automatically be given the Splatfest Tee to level up freely in the days leading up to Splatfest.

    Here comes the kicker- The Splatfest Tee will automatically be equipped during Splatfest and cannot be unequipped at all until Splatfest is over. This means you'll need to compensate with your headgear and shoes for the lost abilities on your clothes. HOWEVER! The Splatfest Tee is s SquidForce brand gear!(At least as far as we know from the previous splatfests). I hope you were paying attention to the previous guide because this can potentially work to your advantage...

    Don't even bother re-rolling the Splatfest Tee either as it will be returned the day after. Bummer right? With this in mind you need to seriously adapt to what the shirt gives you as it may not fit your niche. On the flip side though, you know exactly what Main Ability your opponents have since the main ability cannot be changed and thus evens things out somewhat...


    Well, that's the end of this guide on gear. But you haven't heard the last of me! This is NuclearStrawberry reminding you squids out there to stay fresh! See ya later squiddos!

Recent Reviews

  1. Nintendome
    Great job!
We know you don't like ads
Why not buy Premium?