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5 Things I Learned From Playing Splatoon 2

I know I’m really, really late to the party here, but I just got a Nintendo Switch this year, and only just recently picked up Splatoon 2. I’d never played a Splatoon game before, and bought it pretty much entirely based on the fact that I like playing as Inkling in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

This turned out to be a really good impulse buy, since I’m enjoying the game quite a bit. But you see, I’m not typically the sort of person to play games like this. I don’t usually play shooters, nor do I play very many co-op team-based games, so this is a pretty new experience to me. As a result, I’ve managed to learn a few things about myself and other gamers by playing Splatoon 2, and I’d like to share my findings with all of you.

#5–I’m Not Very Good at Shooting Games

This probably shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to me, considering that I can count the number of shooting games I’ve played in my life on my fingers, but I’m pretty terrible at shooters!

Shooters, especially of the first-person variety are definitely something I don’t have a lot of experience with, but hey, I’ve played some Grand Theft Auto games, and those are third-person shooters like Splatoon 2, so I figured I’d have no problem rising up the ranks. Turns out there’s a big difference between playing a single-player shooter and playing a competitive shooter versus players who have 2+ years of experience on you.

Almost immediately out of the gate, I was getting splatted onto the pavement by thick streams of enemy ink, often multiple times per match. I was getting killed left and right, which was kind of surprising to me, mainly because the game is actually not focused primarily on killing opponents, but rather on shooting your ink around the stage to mark as much territory as possible in your team’s color. So I’m just minding my own business trying to ink some floors and the next thing I know, I’m dead for the eighth time in less than three minutes.

Sadly, I was almost as bad at shooting ink at other players as I was at dodging their ink. My kill counts were low for quite a while, sometimes not even managing to splat one foe in a match. This improved as I unlocked better guns, and improved even further when I realized that, for some reason, the motion controls on my right Joy-Con drift to the left if I bring the system out from sleep mode without the Joy-Con on a flat surface.

So thanks, Nintendo, for making shoddy hardware that makes me feel like I’m a worse shot than I actually am. Or maybe I really just suck. Who knows.

#4–Sometimes, Even Higher Level Players Have No Idea What They’re Doing

My player level in Splatoon 2 is slowly increasing as I continue to be carried by much better players to victory, and as of writing, I’ve already made my way up to level 16. But when I was a much lower level, and occasionally even now, I’d have another player join my team that was much higher level than me, but yet they didn’t seem to have any clue how to play the game…

I’ve seen countless stupid plays from players that are a higher level than me–the kinds of things that I picked up several hours of play ago, yet they seem to not have gotten the memo about. I’ve seen players in Rainmaker mode run the titular super weapon to the wrong base instead of the one they’re supposed to take it to. I’ve seen players inking random areas around the field, far away from the zones they’re supposed to be inking to win the game in Splat Zones mode. And I’ve seen players super jump into a firefight where it’s all four of the opponent’s team vs one of their own team, only to get instantly killed upon landing next to their dead teammate, seemingly not realizing that the game literally marks an icon on the screen where a player is about to land from a super jump.

The point is, never assume that just because someone has a higher level in a game than you do, that they actually have a single clue what they’re doing. Remember–I’ve been carried for half of my matches too, and chances are, so have these players.

#3–Seemingly Impossible Odds Mean Nothing If the Opposing Team Sucks Enough

You know what sucks? Playing an online co-op team-based shooting game and having one of your teammates disconnect before the match even starts. You know what sucks even worse? Having two of your teammates disconnect! You are instantly at a disadvantage, especially in a game like this where it isn’t just about killing your foes, but about spreading your territory as far as possible. You have half the killing power and half the inking power. How can anyone win in such circumstances?

Well… I guess the answer is simple–be matched against a bunch of awful players.

I was doing the best job I could, trying to ink as much territory as possible, as was my ally, but it seemed like the opposing team had no clue what they were doing. I looked at the map several times during this match and saw that they were basically making no progress. They were inking very slowly and me and my ally kept killing them over and over. Even though we had such a disadvantage, we managed to barely squeeze out a win with 2% territory control over them.

I don’t even think it was just because my ally was a higher level than anyone else, nor do I try and claim that I was somehow good enough to make such a huge difference. I just think the opposing team was mostly comprised of relatively new players like myself and hadn’t quite figured out the most effective ways to ink territory.

What I’m getting at is that just because it seems like you can’t win, you shouldn’t give up! I thought it was pretty much hopeless as soon as I saw my allies disconnect at the start, but it worked out in the end! However…

#2–Seemingly Impossible Odds Are Sometimes Actually Impossible, Even If You Try Really Hard

On another occasion, the same thing happened. Two of my allies disconnected at the very start of the match and it was up to me and one other guy to defeat the opposing team, comprised of all four of their players.

But unlike the previous scenario, where I just kinda did whatever (and miraculously won), I was ready this time. I had learned to never give up, and I was determined to win! But then something amazing happened. Me and this other player had some kind of cosmic connection going on, and despite not being able to voice chat with one another, we both seemed to have come up with the exact same plan – stick together, cover as much of the opponent’s ink as possible instead of seeking out blank areas, and kill anything that moves. For a while, this actually worked out perfectly. The opponents kept trying to come at us, but we would both focus fire on one enemy at a time and kill them before they could kill us. We were in the zone. Nothing could stop us!

Or so it seemed. The enemy eventually got wise to our plan and had everyone fan out, covering far more terrain than we could keep up with. In the end, despite our initial lead, we lost by 8%, which still isn’t too bad, all things considered.

Point is, I learned that sometimes, even if you believe in yourself, develop a psychic connection with your teammate, and simultaneously come up with the same brilliant plan… things aren’t always going to work out. Or maybe it was just a stupid plan from the start.


#1–Some People Will Pay $60 to Not Play a Game


In all of my years of playing video games, this is among the dumbest things I have ever seen.

Splatoon 2 is an online, co-op team-based shooting game. It revolves around two teams fighting against each other for territory dominance. But here’s a crazy idea… what if we just… didn’t fight? What if we all turned into squid form and just flopped around like a bunch of idiots, spamming the “Booyah!” button and not shooting anybody or anything!

“But that sounds totally stupid and pointless!” you might be saying. Welcome to the world of Squid Parties, where players who have paid $60 to play this game… don’t play the game!

You never know when it’s going to happen. You might be ready to go shoot some floors and walls and enemy squids, but then as soon as the match begins, everyone starts spamming “Booya!” and the next thing you know, nobody is doing anything but flopping around. Congratulations, you have been matched with a group of morons!

Squid Party supporters will tell you that it’s just “fun” to flop around and do nothing, or draw silly things with ink together. They don’t care who wins the match, they just want to laugh at the silly squid things flopping around shouting “Booyah!” And you know what? If that is the way they want to enjoy the game, they totally can do that!

…In a private lobby entirely comprised of their friends who also like to Squid Party. Because people like me who paid $60 for this game and actually would like to do something so crazy as play the frickin’ game do not want to have to sit through three minutes or more of an online match just so a bunch of dumb*ss kids can screw around and not play the game.

Now you might be thinking that this kind of idiotic behavior only extends to Turf War, the game’s unranked mode (which would still NOT be acceptable), but no, you actually see this in ranked battles from time to time. And they don’t even care if the other team actually wants to fight. Your teammates will still just Squid Party around your base and basically throw the match, causing you to lose ranking, just because they think it’s “fun”.

You know what I find fun? Actually playing the game I paid $60 for!

In short, if you ever do this in any mode other than a private battle comprised entirely of your friends, you are an asshole. You are an irredeemable piece of crap, and I hate you. And this sentiment extends to every single person who does garbage like this in any sort of online game, especially in ranked modes. You having “fun” is ruining the game for everybody else. Stop it, you jackass.