Splatoon 3 gear and abilities – how to unlock new stuff

There’s a whole load of Splatoon 3 gear to unlock, with weapons, headgear, t-shirts, and shoes, so you can make sure your squid kid looks as good as possible

A screenshot from Splatoon 3 showing a large manta ray stood behind two characters with masks covering their faces.

Splatoon 3 is here, bringing with it countless hours of mayhem-fuelled nonsense full of ink-splatting battles out on the battlefield. Sure, winning battles is the main objective, but it’s also pretty important to look good doing it. You’re not playing Splatoon right if you’re not aiming for the freshest fits.

So, we’re here to break down all the details about Splatoon 3 gear. If you’re wondering where to buy it, how to equip it, or what the various abilities mean, we’ve got you covered. But, if you want my two cents, the only reason to buy any new clothes in Splatoon is because they look cool, so I wouldn’t start min-maxing (at least not anytime soon).

So, head below to find all those details and get ready to jump into the next game of Turf War like it’s a catwalk in Milan. If you’re still on the fence, check out our Splatoon 3 review to see why we think it’s worth it. We’ve also got a feature evangelising the exceptional Splatoon 3 soundtrack, as well as a Splatoon 3 weapons and Splatoon 3 Salmon Run guides.

Anyway, let’s mosey…

The Splatoon 3 menu showing different shops you can visit.

Where do I buy Splatoon 3 gear?

To buy Splatoon 3 gear you need to head to one of the shops. While you can walk to them within Splatsville, as detailed below, the easiest way to access them is as follows:

  • Press X to open the menu
  • Choose the shop you want to go to
  • When in a shop press L or R to scroll between all five

The headgear shop in Splatoon 3 where you can buy hats. On the right is the player character dressed in casual stylish clothes. On the left is a shrimp humanoid character. In the middle is the item currently selected, below it are other buyable items.

Naut Couture

This is the headgear shop, which offers hats, masks and glasses. It’s run by Gnarly Eddy and Nails. You can find it up the metal stairs just along from the weapon shop on the corner by the large stairs up to the lobby.

The Splatoon 3 shop Haut Couture where you can buy tops. On the left is abulbous-headed sea creature dressed smartly. On the right the player character in casual clothes. In the middle is the item currently selected, below it are other items you can buy.

Man-o’-Wardrobe

This shop sells t-shirts and jackets, and is run by the old-fashioned Jel la Fleur. You can find it on the left-hand side of the street when walking away from the steps up to the lobby.

The shoe shop where you can buy Splatoon 3 gear. On the right is the player character in casual clothes. On the left is a large lobster type man. In the middle is a currently selected item, below it are other buyable items.

Crush Station

This is the footwear store selling trainers and sandals, all sold by the big lobster Mr. Coco. You can find it on the left-hand side of the street when walking away from the steps up to the lobby.

The Hotlantis shop where you can buy Splatoon 3 gear. On the left is a strange person with pink hair and gum hanging out of there mouth wearing very vibrant clothes. On the right is a character with bluehair and casual clothes on. In the middle is a speach bubble saying 'oh, hey', below are menu options to buy stuff.

Hotlantis

This is the general store to buy customisable items for your locker (more below), run by Harmony. You can find it on the corner opposite the stairs up to the lobby.

The Splatoon 3 gear customisation menu, showing a character on the right with blue hair and a big jumper on, next to various menu options for changing gear.

How do I equip Splatoon 3 gear?

It’s super easy to customise your squid with various Splatoon 3 gear, just follow these simple steps:

  • Press the plus button on the right joycon
  • Choose from the bottom five options
  • You can also customise other things like emotes

Murch, who can alter your Splatoon 3 abilities, saying 'oi chum'. He's a teenage-styled one-eyed fish humanoid, with orange skin, red top, and blue jeans.

What are Splatoon 3 abilities?

Each piece of clothing – headgear, shirts, and shoes – has various abilities attached to them. Splatoon 3 gear can have between one and four abilities. Thanks to the folks at Game8, we’ve got them all listed below.

  • Ability Doubler – doubles the effect of other gear abilities attached to this gear
  • Comeback – boosts some of your abilities for a short time after respawning
  • Drop Roller – tilting the Left Stick during a Super Jump lets you perform a roll in that direction when landing
  • Haunt – once you’ve respawned, reveals the position of the players who splatted you
  • Ink Recovery Up – increases ink-tank refill rate
  • Ink Resistance Up – reduces damage taken and improves mobility when walking through enemy ink
  • Ink Saver (Main) – decreases the amount of ink consumed by your main weapon
  • Ink Saver (Sub) – decreases the amount of ink consumed by your sub weapon
  • Intensify Action – makes Squid Rolls and Squid Surges easier to do and steadies your aim when firing after jumping
  • Last-Ditch Effort – boosts ink-recovery rate and weapon-ink efficiency for the last 30 seconds of battle
  • Ninja Squid – leaves no trace when swimming in inked ground but slightly reduces swim speed
  • Object Shredder – increases damage dealt to all nonplayer targets
  • Opening Gambit – boosts your speed while moving for the first 30 seconds of battle
  • Quick Respawn – reduces respawn time after getting splatted repeatedly without splatting any opponents
  • Quick Super Jump – increases Super Jump speed
  • Respawn Punisher – increases respawn time and special-gauge spawn penalty for you and any player you splat
  • Run Speed Up – increases movement speed in Inkling or Octoling form
  • Special Charge Up – increases special-gauge fill rate
  • Special Power Up – upgrades your special weapon
  • Special Saver – reduces special-gauge decrease after getting splatted
  • Stealth Jump – hides your Super Jump landing point from distant players
  • Sub Power Up – upgrades your sub weapon
  • Sub Resistance Up – reduces effects and damage from sub-weapons
  • Swim Speed Up – increases movement speed in swim form
  • Tenacity – fills special gauge automatically if your team has fewer active players than the enemy
  • Thermal Ink – allows you to track distant players hit with shots from your main weapon

Murch, who can alter your Splatoon 3 abilities, lounging next to the menu options to do just that.. He's a teenage-styled one-eyed fish humanoid, with orange skin, red top, and blue jeans.

How do I change my Splatoon 3 gear abilities?

If you head to the front of the lobby at the top of the stairs, you can chat to Murch, a lounging teenage-looking sea creature humanoid. He’s there to sort out everything when he comes to gear abilities.

  • Ability chunks – use these to change a single ability
  • Scrub slots – remove the three non-primary abilities for 20,000
  • Reroll – you can randomly reroll all your abilities once they’re all unlocked with Super Sea Snails

That’s all there is to it. Splatoon 3 gear can be a little unclear from time to time, but you’re good to go now. We’ve also got Splatoon 3 hairstyles and Splatoon 3 idols guides if you’re up for even more reading.