Splatoon 3’s first post-release Splatfest was a bit of a mess

With a bunch of same-side matches, network connection errors, and the almost total lack of Tricolour Turf Wars, the most recent Splatoon 3 Splatfest was rough

A Splatoon character dancing in a nighttime city full of vibrant lights -- they have a white t shirt and orange shoes on.

Splatoon 3 is great, don’t get me wrong. I love it. Just go read my Splatoon 3 review. But, just as always with Nintendo stuff, it’s still struggling to maintain a solid and stable online environment for everyone to play in, which was especially noticeable during the most recent Splatfest. And that sure is sad.

With the latest Splatoon 3 Splatfest we got a look at the first post-release celebration. They’re big parties where the hub world gains a festival atmosphere, and more people are online, all battling it out. Each player picks a side – previously one of two, but now from three. This splits the player base into three teams based on what each person picks.

This Splatfest asked the simple question: what would you take to a desert island? There were three answers to choose from; gear, grub, or fun. I personally chose team gear (who doesn’t love gear?), but it seems that everyone else loves gear too. As a result, for the most part, it was gear vs gear matches.

It goes without saying that we ought to battle it out against different opinion-havers, not those on our team. This isn’t really the end of the world – everyone’s a winner when the only winner can be the team that you chose, right? – but it’s still a bit wonky.

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To compound this, I personally had a bunch of network connection errors on my lovely 300mbps Wi-Fi, which annoyed me so much that I just stopped playing. That’s pretty sad, but something I and many other people have come to expect when it comes to Nintendo’s online offerings.

The weirdest bit, though, is that I didn’t see a single Tricolour Turf War. This is the headline feature of Splatoon 3 – now, three different colours of ink are on the battlefield, as the leading Splatfest team defends against the other two.

Nintendo reduced the frequency of these events after the pre-release Splatfest, but I think that, with the team imbalance and the reduction in frequency, they just disappeared altogether. I’m not the only one, either, with many players on the Splatoon subreddit complaining similarly.

Ah well, the game is still great. But it’s a shame that Splatoon 3’s Splatfests have got off to such a rocky start. For something more solid, check out our Splatoon 3 weapons guide to pick the best gun for the job.