The simple Dos and Don'ts of Splatoon ranked battles

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Splatoon has been out for a couple of months now, and the splatting community is as vibrant as ever! While we've had some great guides published in the past, Splatoon has added a bunch of new weapons and ranked battle modes since then. Since it's been a while since the ink has settled after the rainmaker patch, let's look at some of the dos and don'ts of Splatoon!

Rainmaker Mode: Do

In Rainmaker Mode, always use the Rainmaker to your advantage. The Rainmaker is a lot like the Inkzooka special weapon in that its tornados travel over any objects in its way. This can make it very useful for hitting enemies over walls or behind objects, and since the Rainmaker doesn't use ink don't be afraid to spam it!

Rainmaker Mode: Don't

Stand in the crossfire. As the Rainmaker bearer, your job is to escort the Rainmaker to the enemy base (don't make me count how many people have taken it to our base instead). You can't escort the Rainmaker if you're dead, so make sure that you aren't putting your life at risk unless you are making that final mad dash for the goal (as seen above).

Rainmaker Mode: Do

Make a path for your Rainmaker bearer to follow. Even if you aren't there to help protect the Rainmaker bearer, ink the area leading toward the enemy base so that he or she will be able to get there that much faster. If possible, make the path outside of the main area, that way they can sneak behind the enemy lines and reach the goal!

Remember, the Rainmaker is heavy, and so being submerged in ink is vital if the bearer is going to make it to the goal quickly.

Rainmaker mode: Don't

Don't stand near the Rainmaker's shield if it's getting really big and is the enemy's color. That means that the Rainmaker's shield is about to burst, and when it does it will ink the entire area in the enemy's color. Being too close to the Rainmaker's shield is a guaranteed death unless your team has the upper hand.

Also, remember that the Rainmaker bearer is your number one priority, regardless of what team currently has it. If your team does, protect them with your life. If the enemy does, STRIKE WITH GREAT VENGEANCE!

Splat Zones: Do

In Splat Zones your job is to capture the marked zone for as long as you can. However, you can't do that if you get splatted! Standing in the middle of a splat zone is a guaranteed death, so get out of there as fast as you can. Since everyone is trying to ink the splat zone, try your best to avoid using rollers as it will only put you in the crossfire.

If rollers are your style try using one that has a sprinkler, bomb rush, or inkstrike ability. That way you can still help with inking the splat zone while you're out trying to keep the enemy from approaching. The best way to do this is to cut off their ink lines so that they will be forced to re-ink the area on their way back to the splat zone from spawn.

Splat Zones: Don't

Stand around behind or in the splat zone after you have captured it. Even though the splat zone is yours now, the enemy will do their best to steal it back. That means that you are in the crossfire once more! Also, if you're standing on the opposite side of the splat zone - like in the picture above - you're not helping keep the enemy away from the zone. This can lead to splat zone battles becoming a tug-o-war instead of a surefire victory, so get in there!

Splat Zones: Do

Remember that some maps have two splat zones instead of just one. If the map has multiple splat zones, try to find somewhere that you can rather watch both zones, or split up into two groups to ensure that at least one person is defending the zone closest to your base. While this seems like a boring job, I've lost many games where a member of the enemy team sneaked behind our front lines and captured the zone closest to us while we were away.

Splat Zones: Don't

Don't go on a road trip. Unlike the Rainmaker mode, splat zones aren't about going into the enemy base. As such, every inkling that's not fighting in the splat zones is an inkling that is losing you the game. While you can't stop everyone from thinking this is Turf War mode, you can at least not be part of the problem yourself.

Seriously... don't be that guy. You know who you are.

Tower Control: Do

Stand behind the crystal-like object on the platform. Doing so will stop most attacks from hitting you. While it may seem counter-intuitive since it means that you can't hit the enemy, your job isn't to kill the enemy. It's not your job to capture enemy territory as well. Your job is to stand on the point. That's all there is to it.

Also, remember that while the tower does move faster with multiple people, it doesn't go that much faster once two people are already standing on it. As such, leave only one or two people standing on the tower at any given time. Unless you like getting team-wiped, then go right ahead.

Tower Control: Don't

While Nintendo's official screenshots show some inklings using rollers on a Tower Control map, don't do it. I'm serious. There is virtually no reason to use a roller on a Tower Control map unless you are never going to stand on the tower itself.

The only practical use of the roller is to splash people with a wave of ink in order to free the tower for other players. However, the roller itself uses way too much ink for this to be effective, and using the roller means your team will have one less person to stand on the point. If you really want to take up the role of splashing players, use the bucket instead.

Tower Control: Do

Take advantage of your secondary weapons. Splash Walls are useful for preventing enemy fire, and Ink Mines are equally useful for preventing enemies from jumping onto the platform. Weapons that have the Killer Wail special ability are also useful for clearing out narrow corridors, so take advantage of them whenever possible.

Be warned... Inkstrikes and Sprinklers are just about useless on Tower Control maps, since the tower - and the enemy - is constantly moving. Don't use them unless you really have to.

Tower Control: Don't

Unlike rollers, chargers can be useful for splatting enemies on the tower from a distance while still being reasonably ink-onomical. However, you should never stand on the tower itself while using a charger. Since chargers have to... well... charge, you are putting yourself in danger every second you spend on that little platform.

Instead, use chargers to stand on ledges where you are either above or beside the oncoming tower. That way you can hit enemies even if they're hiding behind the central column.

And that's all folks! With these simple dos and don'ts, you can expect to get yourself all the way to Splatoon's S-rank without much difficulty. Just remember, even if your team isn't the best, you being that much better can make a difference between losing horribly and barely scraping together a win.

What about the readers? Are there any Ranked Battle tips that you'd like to share with your fellow inklings? Leave your ideas in the comments section below!

Published Aug. 19th 2015

Featured Columnist

Author, GameSkinny columnist, and part-time childhood destroyer. David W. Fisher (otherwise known as RR-sama) is a no B.S. reviewer and journalist who will ensure that you get as close to the facts as humanly possible!

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