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Splatoon Science - Color Psychlogy

Discussion in 'News & Features' started by SmashCapps, Nov 19, 2015.

SmashCapps, Nov 19, 2015 at 2:43 PM
  1. SmashCapps

    SmashCapps Senior Squid

    Apr 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Hey there squids and kids! Like some science with that Splatoon? Well have we got something perfect then. Welcome to a special article on Splatoon Science! Today we're going to look at Splatoon through a more scientific lens to learn some interesting things about the game. Imagine if the colors that came up in any given match could actually account for who won a particular game. Think if the color of gear or an arena might change the way a particular player performs in a match. Both of these things are VERY possible. So sit down and prepare to learn the science of Color Psychology!

    Color Psychology

    Color psychology is a very unique form of psychological study where scientists study how various color hues can affect human behavior. It may not seem like colors have that much power over the human psyche but it has been proven they often do. They can change how we taste food, reduce crime rates, change how attractive we find people, and make people more likely to purchase products. So with colors being so powerful in our psyche, could they change the outcome of a Splatoon match?

    Red vs Blue

    Many competitive sports as well as video games place competitors into separate uniforms with specific colors with the most commonly used being red and blue. While most would never see this as unfair the competitors in red have actually been shown to win more matches of even skill than those who were in blue. In a study publish in 2008 data was taken from 1,347 games with equally skilled players in Unreal Tournament 2004, a game in which teams were either the red team or the blue team. While the data was expected to be split much closer to the middle it turned out that the team in red won 5% more matches than the team in blue.

    While it may not seem like a large number, those conducting the study found it to be quite significant. "Our data suggest that joining the red team may offer a slight advantage over the blue team in virtual competition, and this should be accounted for when designing FPS games." the study published. So why is it that the red could actually increase their win rate? "It is likely that "seeing red" may trigger a powerful psychological distractor signal in human aggressive competition that can affect the outcome of sports and virtual contests alike."

    It doesn't stop in the world of virtual competition either. A study done during the 2004 Olympic games showed that those of equal skill who wore red while competing in boxing, taekwondo, and freestyle wrestling won 10% more of their matches than their blue wearing counterparts. Another study also showed referees were more likely to award the player wearing red more points than those in blue. A study of the 2004 EUFA European Championship found teams in red were more likely to win games and perform better. Yet another study showing player taking penalty kicks in soccer were likely to perform worse if the goalkeeper wore a red uniform.

    So does this article just end with Red is Best? It might have if not for studies done within League of Legends. In said study done for The Daily Dot, it was shown that players who were on the blue team were the ones winning a significantly larger number of matches. In the 2014 North American Summer Playoffs for League of Legends the teams in blue won 79.3% of games over their red counterparts. The colors actually affected many aspects of play whether red or blue was chosen all of which can be found in the original study here.

    This study however does not show that red cannot offer an advantage, nor does it show that these color choices and results came from random luck. It shows that different colors will help players perform in different ways. It seems that blue colors encourage creativity and thinking in the long term where as red colors encouraged more aggression among players. Famous Youtube channel The Game Theorists covered this subject in more detail in a video released in June of 2015 which can be viewed by those wanting to learn even more.

    Applications In Splatoon

    For those who are fan of our sister site Smashboards, they may be wondering if there will be many differences between how color can affect Smash games to how to can affect Splatoon games. In Splatoon the choice of colors becomes very interesting as in each match teams are given one of two contrasting colors. Did Splatoon developers consider this in their balance of color choices? Let's find out!

    The Sunken Scrolls Showing Off Many Color Combinations

    There are MANY color combinations available in a Splatoon match. Including Splatfests there are over twenty possible combinations. An interesting website called Colour Affects UK has descriptions on the general associations and affects colors can have on the human psyche. Comparing many of these combinations would show that each team should be gaining various psychological advantages in each game that could be weighing unfairly on each other but in Splatoon things get a little more interesting.

    To start: players do not pick their colors before any given match. So the players cannot choose n any way to receive an advantage. Colors often cycle out as well so that any long term advantage a team would potentially gain is minimized. With both colors of ink splattered across the screen it also helps minimize the effect as players have to focus on not only their own color, but the color of the opponent as well more frequently than most other kinds of games.

    Also remember that the advantages a player could gain from color only start to really show themselves in games where players are equally skilled. In short it seems the balancing team not only made some seriously fresh combinations but also kept color psychology in mind for the game design.


    This wonderful colorful game that is Splatoon really had some funky fresh ideas on color implemented into its creation and it seems color psychology was one of them. Learn something interesting from the article or noticed something we may have missed? Let us know in the comments below and don't forget to stay fresh!
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Discussion in 'News & Features' started by SmashCapps, Nov 19, 2015.

    1. Nintendome
      But that's just a theory...

      thanks for watching
    2. SmashCapps
      tfw you wish yo were as cool as the game theorists
      Kaynil, Toaster, Splats and 12 others like this.
    3. Helios42
      Great article. I started reading the article and was already making mental notes about how important radomization in splatoon's color system was, because I was afraid this was going to be another "x and y color combination is broken, unfair advantage" but you addressed that really well ^^

      I personally think that the designers did put a lot of thought into the color, but more so for ease of play for players with trouble distinguishing colors. And the big thing, as you mentioned, is they put a lot of safeguards in to prevent systematic color effects from getting in the way of competitive play.

      I know some color combinations inspire me to do a whole lot better: "Teal is my favorite color, I can't lose!!!" or in the specific case of swamp green "I'm gonna shRECK" the other team. Those are my best colors lol.
    4. AspireArt
      Perhaps it would make a difference if in tournaments the default colors were set to Blue/Orange. Thoughts?
    5. Splatoon❤️
      Pink is my favourite colour but whenever I am pink team I fail miserably
      I hate the colour orange but when I'm orange team I succeed amazingly

      Gotta love logics

      Hmm this is a very intresting idea would it make teams fair or would it not make them fair surely if everyone has the same colour combos then it's fair but what if me for example hates orange but succeeds like a pro when equipped with that colour but I am faced against an opponent who performs terribly with blue equipped in that case I would win faster than you could say splatting children with ink

      So hmm were gonna need Stephen Hawkins on this one
      Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2015
    6. GeneraLight
      I imagine dark purple has an advantage during Splatfest since the color is hard to see at night.

      You should do an article on Gear/Weapon Psychology.
    7. Zerul
      i see factoids but no one even bothers to do some HARD MATH the color thing is accurate...for FPS.

      TACarbuncle likes this.
    8. Kbot
      Hey Squids it's Hank from @Nintendome here today with another episode of Squid Science. ;)
    9. Zwei
      You can actually wait until you get pink vs blue then in options you can disable the color switching (same screen you use to change sensitivity I believe)
    10. Sora Blue
      Sora Blue
      You can also lock colors in-game, so then you can be orange or blue all the time you wish.
      mercenariez likes this.
    11. Mateiüsthesquidwarrior
      I've been playing for almost four months but didn't realize until recently how many color combinations are possible for matches!

      Seeing this makes me understand why there may never be a true red ink in the game (something I've been thinking about).

      Color psychology is fascinating!
    12. OG String
      OG String
      Wow well done, I did not see this coming at all when I read the title. Really interesting analysis!
    13. Splatoon❤️
      It's not to me when it was rock vs pop in uk I were pop and magically rock members (the colours were purple and light blue) were popping out everywhere so I just increased my gamma and by gamma I mean shining 8 torches at my tv screen
    14. Podote
      The differences between red and blue side are much more then just color in LoL; for example, Blue side gets first ban and first pick, red side gets last ban and last pick. Blue side's pick is 1/2/2 (one player picks, then red side, then two players pick, then red side, then two players pick), while red side's pick is 2/2/1. This makes red side almost inherently about counterpicking generally. There's also the map; back in these days (2014-early 2015) a fair chunk of the screen was obscured by the HUD; however, this only affected red side. Also, blue side gets a sort of over the shoulder view, while red side feels like a second person view. Locked camera shows more of the upper side of the map then the lower side, which also favors blue side. In short, blue side advantages go beyond color.
      Zwei, Splatoon❤️ and GeneraLight like this.
    15. HarmonyX
      great article. good read. More science related topics in the future, please.
    16. DarkGold777
      "Hey there squids and kids!"

      i feel discriminated against as a young adult inkling

      this is an outrage

      In all seriousness, though, interesting article. Especially the part on how the colors red and blue seem to cause psychological effects when pitted against each other. Funny; I remember watching Nick GAS shows as a kid and always rooting for the red team because I wanted to like that color at the time.
    17. Robogamer64
      This is pretty interesting. I've already watched Matpat's video on Red vs Blue but maybe its worth doing a Splatoon color theory too.
    18. Splatoon❤️
      *gasp* squid boards will not accept racism does this make you feel better

      Squids, kids and young squidults
    19. DarkGold777
      You aren't a notable representitive, and age has nothing to do with racism, so no. :p

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