The single-player Hero Mode in Splatoon 3 is the most in-depth and expansive campaign the series has produced yet. Playing as the yellow ink splattering Agent 3, you are sent on a mission by some Splatoon 2 fan favorites. This is where you will be able to use and upgrade your Hero Gear.
Hero Mode is a series of stages, each of which contains a set of missions. With the help of your little salmon buddy Smallfry, you’ll use the Power Eggs you earn to clear the Super Mario Sunshine inspired fuzzy ooze that impedes your progress throughout each of the stages.
Hero Gear is an upgradable Hero Suit given to you in this mode, and that’s where it stays. This unique loadout can be used in all the Hero Mode missions, but Hero Gear can’t be used elsewhere (sorry, no multiplayer or Salmon Run for this one). Most importantly, collecting resources and gaining experience allows you to upgrade your Hero Suit and tackle the more challenging missions in the late game without breaking a sweat.
Where to Get the Hero Suit
The Hero Suit is a piece of Hero Gear given to you by Cuttlefish, who you encounter when you first begin playing Splatoon 3‘s single-player component. You’ll watch a brief cutscene where the old fish enlists you on a mission and gives you a yellow Hero Suit.
Hero Gear Upgrade Tree
After you play through the Crater section (the opening 30 minutes or so) and hit the Squid Sisters camp, you’ll be able to access the Hero Gear upgrade tree. This skill tree contains a list of passive traits and active abilities you can unlock as you progress through Hero Mode. The full list of Hero Gear upgrades is listed below (some appear twice):
- Smallfry HP Up
- Ink Resistance Up
- Better Hero Shot
- Ink-Tank Capacity Up
- Smallfry Quick Respawn
- Get Splat Bombs
- Suit Recovery Up
- Smallfry Ink Saver
- Get Sensor
- Ninja Squid
- Get Burst Bombs
- Better Hero Shot
- Get Curling Bomb
How to Upgrade Hero Gear
To upgrade your Hero Suit and Hero Gear in Splatoon 3, there are a couple of things you need to do. First, and most simply, play the mode. The more missions you complete and fuzzy oozes you clear, the more upgrade points you gain. These upgrade points are one of the two resources needed to improve in single-player, and luckily, they’re plentiful.
It’s the other part of the equation that can slow down your progress through the skill tree.
Where to Find Sardinium
To upgrade Hero Gear, you need Sardinium. This resource is rare, and each island of the six-stage campaign only has a handful of the stuff. While some Hero Gear skills are easily accessible, others are locked away and require you to use Sardinium to access them. Only after you’ve unlocked a section using Sardinium are you able to put your upgrade points into those nodes.
Sardinium is most often found on the islands themselves, either in crates or hiding under fuzzy ooze. Being a completionist about ooze removal is the best way to get more Sardinium quickly.
Sardinium also drops from boss fights. There are only a few of these in the whole game at Sites 2,4, and 6, but each drops multiple chunks of the resource for Hero Gear upgrades.
You can blow through the areas without even confronting a boss, so make sure you do the extra legwork to carefully examine the area and clear your way to the boss fight. If you are unsure where one is on a given stage, remember you can always go to the birds-eye-view icons, which allow you to see the level from above by pressing and holding ZL.
And that’s everything you need to know about Hero Gear, upgrade points, and Sardinium in Splatoon 3. If you’re wondering how to get Food and Drink Tickets, we’ve got you covered there. Looking for a list of every hairstyle in the game? Click over here. For more guides to mastering all the modes the game has to offer, follow our Splatoon 3 guides hub.