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Splatoon 3: Gear Seeds & How to Use Them

Splatoon 3: Gear Seeds & How to Use Them

Full Disclosure
This guide is basically just a re-telling of the Gear Seed Checker tutorial linked as an additional resource, but in words that normal people will understand. Even if this guide isn't original, I imagine that it'll be helpful.

What's a Gear Seed, Anyway?
Deep within the catacombs of Splatoon 3's inner workings, the gear you slap onto your character to charge into battle with has something called a "seed." The seed of a piece of gear determines what new ability will be rolled into a slot when the gear levels up. Naturally, if we mere mortals had a method to determine a gear seed and track it, we could theoretically determine every single future roll of a piece of gear!

That Already Exists, Doesn't It?
That it does! Introducing LeanYoshi's Gear Seed Checker: a wondrous website where you do a little bit of tracking and the website does all of the hard parts for you! This tool lets you track gear seeds and pre-determine rolls, as well as other things like what you'll pull from your Shell-Out machine, how accurate Murch's orders will be, and what rewards you'll get from any given Salmon Run shift!

Great! How Do I Actually Use It, Though?
That really depends on how much you want to get out of it. Let's break it down!

Step 1: Get Your Seed Key
Your "seed key" is the initial thing the game uses to figure out what the rest of your seeds are. Luckily, the seed key is massively easy to determine, to the point where the bare minimum you have to do is upload a battle replay! However, there are two options.

Option 1: Get It From A Battle Replay
Getting your seed key from a battle replay is incredibly simple, but only serves to give you the utter bare minimum of information in the tool, leaving you to do a fair amount of manual labor yourself. I'd only really recommend this if you just bought the game, or if you don't have a lot of gear. Regardless, here's what you do to find your seed key with this method:
  1. Play any kind of match in Splatoon 3.
  2. Go to the lobby terminal and upload the replay of the match. Take note of the replay's ID.
  3. Go to the User Settings page of the Gear Seed Checker.
  4. Under the heading "Seed Key Only," click "Enter your replay code here."
  5. Enter your replay code, and let the website do its magic!
Option 2: Get It From A JSON File
While this method is inherently more complex since you have to go out of your way to find external tools to do it, this is the method I would recommend using. Importing your data from a JSON file not only pulls in your seed key, but also your entire gear list. You'll still have to work out the seeds, but having them all there instead of having to go through and add them all manually is certainly a plus.

While there are easier and more efficient ways to get this file, such as through the Discord bots
Spyke and Lanista, I'm personally going to opt to make a sub-guide on how to install and use s3s for stat.ink instead. Why? Propaganda and data, baby!

What Are S3S And stat.ink?!
To keep it brief: stat.ink is a website that allows you to track the logs of your battles (Turf, Anarchy, X, and Private) and Salmon Run jobs in a more permanent fashion than the SplatNet3 app, which only keeps upto the last 50 battles/jobs you've had. s3s is a tool written in Python that automatically takes your battle/job data from SplatNet3 and pushes it to stat.ink. s3s also comes with a tool built-in to export one of those handy JSON files we need for the Gear Seed Checker!

To install s3s, you can either
follow the instructions on its GitHub page, or use these handy batch files I made myself to speed up the process. Note that the batch files assume that you have both Python and Git installed.

registering a stat.ink account, installing s3s, and following s3s's first-time setup instructions, we can finally export that JSON file we've been needing all this time. At this point, all we have to do is open a console window in our s3s installation folder, and enter the command python s3s.py --getseed. After a small wait, you'll now have a shiny gear_(numbers).json file in your s3s directory. Whether or not you continue to use s3s/stat.ink for battle logging purposes or future gear dumps is up to you at this point.

Option 2: Get It From A JSON File (For Real This Time)
However you may choose to acquire your JSON file, it's a simple endeavor after you have it.
  1. Go to the User Settings page of the Gear Seed Checker.
  2. Under the heading "Seed Key and Gear," click "Upload".
  3. Click "Open" and select the JSON file.
  4. The website should show the amount of new gear being added to the database. Click "Update Database".
Ta-da! Now you have your seed key and the database is already chock-full of all your lovely, lovely gear. Now, it's time to get figuring out what your gear seeds are!

Step 2: Determine Your Gear Seeds
This section is the bulk of this guide, and what you all actually came here for. So, now that we have our seed key, how do we go about determining what our gear seed is? Honestly, Lean's tutorial goes over this more thoroughly than I ever could without just straight-up copy-pasting all of it, so I'm just gonna give you the important parts.

The Easy Way: Brand New Gear
If the gear you're trying to find the seed of is brand new; that is, it hasn't been leveled up a single time (yes, this means that Murch orders, SplatNet orders, and Salmon Run rewards that already have abilities on them are included), then finding its seed is monumentally easy.
  1. Go to the Gear Database page.
    1. If it's gear you already have in the database: scroll down and click on it.
    2. If it's gear you don't already have in the database: click "Add new gear," and click on the picture of the gear you're looking for.
  2. Click the checkbox next to "Brand New Gear." The seed should figure itself out automatically.
  3. Click "Save."
That's literally it! You're now ready to mess about with your gear as you please! Believe me, this is the easiest way to determine a gear seed there is. If you're like me and you stay on top of adding gear to the database as soon as you buy it, you should never have to do it the hard way.

The Hard Way: Not Brand New Gear
But let's be honest: you have gear that isn't brand new. Whether you forgot to add something to the database before leveling it up, or just have gear leveled up from before thinking to do any of this gear seed stuff in the first place, you're now going to have to go through the motions to calculate your gear seed. This is where the Gear Seed Recovery page becomes your best friend, and the page you're going to have to stare at for several minutes.

First, the basics on using the GSR page:

  1. In the first section of the page, select the gear you're calculating the seed for. The gear has to be in your database and lack a seed to show up in this menu.
  2. The third section of the page is the most important. In this section, you input the slots you unlock on your gear, and whether or not a drink was in effect when you got them. Putting in enough of these slots will allow the website to determine your gear seed.
  3. After putting in your slots, click "Search Seed (Fast)" in the fifth section of the page.
    1. If there's more than one seed that shows up as a result, you need to roll more slots and add them to the third section of the page.
    2. If only one seed shows up as a result, click "Update Gear" in the fifth section of the page, and you're done! The seed is now calculated.
Since this method relies on you keeping track of what abilities you roll on your gear, there are three ways to do it:
  1. Put in the one ability slot that gets rolled into an empty slot.
  2. Put in the one ability chunk that falls off of your gear if all of the slots are full.
  3. Put in the three ability slots from left to right (with no drink) if you reroll with Super Sea Snails.
Theoretically, while the rerolling method is the fastest, it's also the most expensive. The fastest free method to get as many ability unlocks on your gear as possible would be to level it up to fill all the slots, and then scrub it and repeat until your seed is calculated.

Step 3: Using Your Knowledge
So now your gear is in the database, and has its seed associated with it. Awesome! It's time to head over to the Gear Seed Checker page and have all of your effort pay off. In the second section of the page, select whatever piece of gear you'd like to look at.

There are two things we can do on this page: display future rolls and plot a path to certain abilities.

Displaying Future Rolls
To display the future rolls for the gear, simply click "Display Results" under the "Show All Results" tab of the fourth section of the page. By default, it'll then show the next 10 ability rolls the piece of gear will get. Next to each result will be two buttons:
  • "Update Seed" simply replaces the search to have the seed of that roll. So, if you clicked "Update Seed" on the first roll shown and clicked "Display Results" again, it would show the next ten rolls ahead of that first roll.
  • "Update Seed and Save" replaces the search and saves that seed to that piece of gear in the database. My advice would be to only click this button when you've leveled up a piece of gear into that roll.
Additionally, you can show what the future rolls will be while under the effects of a certain drink; just click on the "Drink" dropdown in the third section of the page and select the drink you like. If you're looking to "Update Seed and Save" when you leveled up a piece of your gear, remember to select the drink you had active, or else everything will be messed up really fast and you may have to calculate your gear seed all over again.

Optionally, there's also a "Show Timeline" button. If you click that, a visual flowchart will show up at the bottom of the page. This will show the seed you're starting with, the possible roll with no drink and every drink, and what seed that roll will flow into. While I haven't had much use with this particular tool, maybe you will!

Plotting a Path
Let's say that you have a piece of gear that you really want to have pure abilities on, but you don't want to go through the slog of grinding through Salmon Run to get all of the requisite chunks. This tool is for you! By clicking "Search Target" in the fourth section of the page, a whole new menu will be brought before you. Allow me to break it down for you:
  • Assuming the gear you have selected is up-to-date, and you don't want to do some insane future planning, then "Current Seed" and "Start Slot" won't matter.
  • "Maximum Number of Slots to Search" is just that: how many slots ahead the website will look to try to plot your path to the abilities you want.
  • "Allowed Drinks" are the drinks the website will try to work with to make the path as short as possible. You can add or remove as many drinks as you like.
  • "Target" is the section you care about most: this is where you put the ability slots you're looking for.
  • "Allow Chunks" determines whether or not the website will allow the use of chunks for up to 2 slots of the path, just to make the process of getting to your end goal as short as possible.
  • "Fixed Order" determines whether or not the website looks for your target abilities in any order, or if it should find them in the exact order of slots that you put them in.
After setting everything to your liking, simply click "Find Result." If it shows "No results to display," just artificially inflate the "Maximum Number of Slots to Search" setting until it does. After a path is found, the website makes it pretty simple to follow: it tells you the number of times you need to advance your gear's seed (with an optional collapsed section on the exact way to do so) and then the drinks you do/don't need to consume when leveling up your gear to get it the abilities that you want.

That's All For The Relevant Stuff!
Thanks for reading this unwieldily long guide! Hopefully, you now bear the knowledge to go forth and make your gear builds as busted as you please with minimum grinding and/or mental gymnastics.

While I could also explain how to get the seeds for the Shell-Out Machine and Murch, not only are those not relevant to this guide, but they would also take another few paragraphs that I simply don't want to write. If you're inclined to do those things, this guide's additional information URL will tell you how.

Happy Rolling, Folks!
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