Big update for Splatoon arriving Thursday

Nintendo continues to roll out new content and modes for their squad-based shooter Splatoon with a large new update arriving August 6. The update brings new matchmaking modes, new weapons, a new level cap and over 40 new wearable items.

The new matchmaking modes are Squad Battle and the much-requested Private Battle. Squad Battle allows players to run Ranked Battle rule sets with their friends. In its current state the game will allow friends to join the same game but will still divide players into teams at random, meaning you end up facing off against your friend as often as you’re working together. All a player has to do is to create a squad. After that they can recruit two or three of their friends to make up the four-person side. They will then play cooperatively against randoms.

Private Battle lets friends create private lobbies with customised gametypes. You can have up to eight friends in a Private Battle and no-one gets in without an invite, meaning you wont be matched up against randos at all. You can play in match groupings from 1v1 to 4v4 but that doesn’t mean the teams have to be even. You can also choose groupings like 1v4 or 1v2 to accomodate to uneven numbers.

The level cap in Ranked and Regular Battles has been raised from 20 to 50, and Ranked Battle now has S and S+ rankings to achieve above the previous high of A+.

Two new weapons, the Slosher and the Splatling, are also dropping with the update. The Slosher is a ranged weapon that lobs big ink balls impressive distances for aggressive area denial. The Splatling is essentially a paintball minigun. Charge it up and become an unstoppable paint-throwing damage vortex.

Splatoon will also receive over 40 new gear items from leather jackets to chef outfits. All will appear in the in-game shops once the update is downloaded and installed.

Nintendo’s press release on the update was quick to assure that the sizable update will not be the last free DLC Splatoon will receive. Ninty says they plan to roll out more free content (like the recently announced Rainmaker Ranked Battle mode) from now until the beginning of summer. They promise new maps and weapons will be a part of that DLC but aren’t talking details just yet.

For more on Splatoon, check out our full review.