Welcome to Map Essentials, this is a series I've decided to start up where I go over some of the most valuable points on each map, and cover their uses and weakness in both Turf Wars and Splat Zones. Today I'll be covering Blackbelly Skatepark.
Here's a map that I've altered to show an overview of key points. The white X's are Splat Zones, and the rest are color/number coded. I will cover each and every area located on this overview. Please refer to this if you are confused by my pictures, as I will notate each screenshot with it's corresponding area. I will be going over each area as numbered on the overview.
Area 1 - Skate Ramp Choke Point
As you can see upon leaving spawn toward this path you have a couple of approach options. You can take the grate to the left over the two cover areas I've marked with X's. You can swim up and over the right cover area for a surprise attack, or take the ramp all the way up to the small ridge at the top of the ramp. You should take note however of the two cover areas. These are important as enemies will be approaching from 6 often and can hold up in 2 for ambushes. This area can be difficult to defend, and invaders will often use it as a quick escape when under fire. It's one of the more common invasion points, so keep an eye on it, and flank from 6 to pin invaders in towards your base.
The grated path above will give access to higher ground. It's a more versatile approach towards 2, and even though it lacks any defensive options due to being so open and grated, it allows for quick escapes, or access to the cover below if you squid through the grates. Do note however that if you drop below the enemy will have the advantage due to 6 being such a safe area to fire from.
This area is generally highly contested in Turf Wars, while in Splat Zones it's an alternative entry point to your teams zone. It can be smart to take this route in Splat Zones due to being less open, and predictable since the main entry point to the middle will be more commonly used. In Turf Wars this is a defensive area, while in Splat Zones it will be an important entry point to the main area. Beakons are often set up here and in 2 to attempt easy entry into your zone/base, or to initiate pincer attacks be on the look out for them.
Area 2 - Alcove and Overhang
Here we have a popular defensive/ambush zone. It's very easy to alternate between the top and level and the middle level because of the ramp placed here. This can be used on the opponent's side of map to ambush incoming enemies from 1, while on your own side to stop incoming enemies from 6. This area is a popular place for sneaky Krak-On rollers to place Beakons as well, so make sure to check it from time to time. You can also use the opposing side of the cover from area 1 depicted by that ink I've splatted on the ramp for ambushes, though it's not as safe since your target can approach from the ridge up top. The area on the bottom there is a decent cover position as well since you can hide around the corner of the ramp. This area is used most often as an invading point, since it's easily accessible from 6.
The eye in the upper right hand corner is meant to signify a vantage point. The upper level of this area hangs over 6, and the center of the stage. You can't quite see your teams Splat Zone here, but it can be used as a high ground to bolster your defense against opponents attempting to reach your zone via 3 (the tower), the main entrance point down the middle, or enemies attempting to invade via 6, and 4. You can ink the small thin wall here and squid onto it for an even higher point of view, and use it as emergency cover to fall behind against longer ranged opponents attempting to pick you off while you're perched. Rollers, and Gals will attempt to scale as close to the top of this area on the outside wall, to hit you with stray ink as well, so caution upon being spotted is recommended. This is a fairly safe defensive position for Chargers, and Squelchers. You also have a decent view of area 1 in the case of enemies attempting to sneak around behind you, or escape upon being caught inside the base.
In this area the enemy will attempt to steal your side during Splat Zones, to lock you out of your own zone. During Turf War however it is more oftenly used as more of defensive position. It can be used
interchangeably between modes, and is often a popular spot for Chargers, Squelchers, and Beakons.
Area 3 - The Tower, and the highly contested middle
This area is one the most important parts of the map. The ownership of tower typically shifts between teams constantly and can cause major power shifts, and quick access to either Splat Zone. The open areas at the bottom also make up a large portion of the turf you'll want to cover in Turf Wars, and the tower grants a sort of temporary ownership to this area. This is aided in part by the fact that the tower is approachable from any angle. The ramp on either sides means Splat Bombs, and Seekers can easily make their way to the top, and this point is a popular area to place Ink mines. Chargers, and Squelchers will find more use from this point than most other weapons though nearly all weapons benefit from this position, however there is a large weakness in this huge pillar of strength.
As you can see here you have a full view of 6, the overhang portion of 2, 4, and 5. The advantage this location gives far reaching weapons is massive. However you are also wide out in the open with easy access to your location from all sides. Chargers from 5, 4, the central entryway, and 2 will have no problems taking cover, while you will need to rely on Ink mines, quick escapes, or hiding in your own ink on top, and ambushing greedy opponents who see the tower as free. It's a hot seat. It's also one of the more frequent Ink Strike targets in Splat Zones, since it gives you such an advantage.
Here I show you one of the more common approaches to the tower. The ramps on the sides seem like the obvious choice, and are often watched more carefully by enemies perched up top. The small platforms at the bottom here however are less watched and if your sneaky, you can easily catch your opponent off guard. These side areas with the fencing also give decent cover against throwables, such as Splat Bombs, but not against Point Sensors, and Disruptors. One of the most common tricks to find out where the enemy is hiding up top (since the surface area on top of the tower is fairly large, and easy to hide in) is hang just on side of the wall watching for when the enemy pops up to scout, or take out approaching enemies and strike at that moment. You can also see just how much access the tower gives either team to both Splat Zones, not to mention the height advantage allowing them to cover most turf in the center of the stage in Turf Wars. The tower is the obvious choice for players who make an aggressive push for the middle, and the most commonly used entrance to it is down the central entryway. Sprinklers are another common sub you'll find stuck up top. Always proceed with caution when attempting to take 3 as you will become a target almost immediately upon arrival. The sunken areas around the tower are also hazardous as they are difficult to retreat into your base from due to the walls being fairly high and constantly splattered with different inks. The only safe escape route is directly through 6. It's very easy to get pinned into corners down here.
The open areas which house the Splat Zones are also vital portions of the map to winning Turf Wars. The area below is the middle of this map, with tower being your power play. However the tower means nothing if it's surrounded in enemy ink down below.
Another important note about these fenced in areas around the tower is their defensive potential. The fence allows for easy escapes, but difficult entry, and they give you a decent view of both side of the bottom area. You can see half of the opponents splat zone, and a full view of your own. The only downfall to this area is that if an opponent from atop the tower takes notice, they can easily get the drop on you. Ink mines are also ideal here upon escape in similar fashion to the tower.
Area 4 - The Defensive Approach to the Center
Here I show how the winding path leads directly to the area we're talking about. In picture one, I show how at the end of the path, on the upper left there exists a small wall that can be used for cover, or ambushes against enemies that attempt to invade through this area. The path will typically not be used as much by most players, eschewing it for the direct path straight ahead past the inflatable pictured there. This winding path does go unchecked fairly frequently since it's inaccessible unless they walk directly past the front of your spawn. Enemies may spray ink up here to flush out hiding players, but it's rare. It works as vantage point as well.
Here we are at the end up the path. See how you get a very decent view of your home area? This can be used to catch sneaky opponents attempting invasions through the center entry point, which are quite common, and they'll frequently zip around the wall there on the left, and towards area 1 for a quick escape while covering key areas in your home base. The path is crucial for this reason only, and it's frequently not used since it's such a situational place to be, it should primarily be used as travel to area 4, and not much else. Sticking around here in either Turf War, or Splat Zone is useless and usually a waste of time. Just keep an eye out on your way through for large enemy ink spots - using the vantage point to scout home base for any large messes.
Anyways, here we are at the important part of area 4. As you can see, you can use the top of the wall much like on the overhang in area 2. From this vantage point you can see both Splat Zones, and the tower of area 3. Notice that it's made up of an exit to the left, and a small corridor. The corridor is a popular place to throw Splat Bombs since it's perceived you will only escape left or right, and can be easily baited into an ambush. However escape via the small wall in front of you, is often an unpredictable move, and can be used to escape an incoming flank, and Splat Bombs. This is also a prime location for Rollers, Chargers, and Beakons. Rollers can use the height from the small wall to ambush over head with splash attacks, Chargers will use the wall as cover, and Beakons can be placed in the enemy corridor to allow pincer strikes, or stealthy invasions. The wall can be scaled from the outside however, which leaves surprise attacks from above a threat. This area is one of the key cover points on the map, since it gives a decent vantage point of both Splat Zones, it's used less as a vantage point in Turf War, than in Splat Zones, but Beakon placement here is fairly common. Shooters may choose this path in the opening moments of a match because the path directly on the left there leads straight in the enemy sides area 6.
Area 5 - The Chargers Perch
Area 5 is very self explanatory. It's a defensive Charger position. It gives you a vantage point over your own Splat Zone, the tower, and the enemies area 4. I didn't get a screenshot of the grate path directly in front but it's rarely used, it leads out so that you can view your area 6. This position on the map is one of the less contested, and seemingly less crucial places to be. Just like areas 2, and 4 the small wall can be climbed for a higher vantage point. You're completely open on the right side however and usually any enemy coming from their area 6 will see you plain as day unless you're hiding. On the plus side of things you have direct access to area 4 immediately to your left, so Chargers can play guerilla tactics if need be. This area is often overlooked as there are better points to be at in either mode, though it does see more effective use in Splat Zones.
Area 6 - The Skirmish Zone
Like area 5, this position is pretty self explanatory. It's typically a high traffic zone, that leads into the center from 2, and 1. This point is where a lot of shooters will be fighting due to the close quarters nature of it. The enemies area 4 leads straight into it, and it has a very large opening towards the tower and the center. You can usually see the opposing area 5, and their center entry point. This area has an uninkable inflatable object in the center, making it great cover in skirmishes. There's not a lot to say about this area, aside from it's high traffic and access into area 2, and 1.
The Center Entryway
The reason I save this for last is because this is a pretty neutral area. It's important in that you'll find a lot of invaders attempting to break through here due to it being so open. The biggest use of this entry point seems to be to push for the tower at 3, or straight into 6. Often 4, and 5 go unused at the beginning with 4 being used a bit more throughout the match. While not a key point, it's an easy path straight into your home territory, so it's important to keep an eye out.
The weapons that have the hardest time on this map, are the short range shooters, and the Inkbrush. There's not a lot of flat ground that makes it easy for an inkbrush to invade and escape quickly, forcing them to be more resourceful, and use specific routes. Aerosprays suffer due to a lot of higher up vantage points that can be used by Squelchers, Pros, and Chargers, and Seekers are very powerful on this map due to all of the slopes, which they can travel up. Blackbelly Skatepark's dynamic however revolves around the center tower. It's arguably the most contested point in both Splat Zones, and Turf Wars. Denying access to it via Ink mines, Ink Strikes, Killer Wails, and Seekers is the key to forcing your opponent off of it. Since the dynamic revolves around the tower however, the side areas go unchecked very often, usually leaving just enough of an opening that they can invade, and force a clean up, this forces one or two people out of the center area, and allows for domination of the tower... Best strategic tips I can give, are to keep out invaders, and limit enemy control of the tower.
I hope my basic map guide was able to help you in anyways understand the map dynamics of Blackbelly Skatepark. It's one of the few maps where I've witnessed teams get locked into their spawn point. If you enjoyed this guide please leave a star rating, or a like and if you have any input to add into the guide let me know! I'll try to add it in. I'll be updating each map as more modes are released so please stay tuned! Next up is: