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Splatoon 3 Tableturf Battle – how to find, collect, and battle


Splatoon 3 is just the gift that keeps on giving. Not content with just offering the sublime turf wars online multiplayer mode, the addictive salmon run co-operative mode, and the deeply satisfying story mode; there’s another mode nestled away in the back alleys of Splatsville and it could be the most compelling of the bunch. Have you got a few hours to lose?

The Splatoon 3 tableturf battle mode is a competitive deck-building card game that emulates the main turf wars, as it tasks you with covering most of the battlefield with your own colours. Instead of paint here though, each card has a certain amount of blocks, and the battlefield is a grid made up of squares. It sounds strange on paper, but believe us when we say, it’s off the hook.

Before we dive into our guide like a thirsty squid leaping back into the ocean, if you love Splatoon 3, be sure to check out all of our great coverage. We’ve got loads of guides to help you on your journey, as we cover Splatoon 3 bosses, Splatoon 3 codes, Splatoon 3 lockers, Splatoon 3 hairstyles, and Splatoon 3 gear.

Are you a kid? Are you a squid? Or are you about to scroll down and read our great Splatoon 3 tableturf battle guide? It’s the last one.

Splatoon 3 tableturf battle: a screenshot from Splatoon 3 shows an Inkling stood on the steps of the plaza

How do I find Splatoon 3 Tableturf Battle?

Like everything in Splatoon 3, it’s not quite as easy as you might think to find the tableturf battles. In the centre of Splatsville, you can see the steps that lead up to the multiplayer lobby, head up these stairs and to your right is a couple of buildings. If you look to the immediate right of those buildings, you should see a slim alleyway, head down here, and you can find another area with a vendor in front of a table ready to introduce you to the magic of tableturf battles.

Splatoon 3 tableturf battle: a menu shows a series of Splatoon 3 tableturf cards

How do I find Splatoon 3 Tableturf Battle cards?

When you find and start playing tableturf battles, you unlock one deck of cards. It’s not much, but it’s a start. There are three ways to find more packs, should you want to find more cards and expand your deck. First of all, you can use your money to buy an item from the Shell-Out machine in the multiplayer lobby. Rewards from this are random though, and while once a day you can pull for 5,000 coins, every additional pull is 30,000. This makes this both a random and very expensive way to get new cards, but if you use this machine once a day for the reduced cost of 5,000 coins, you’ll definitely pick up some cards before long.

The next way to unlock more cards is to increase both your catalogue level and your tableturf battle rank. Playing in the online multiplayer modes turf war or salmon run grants you catalogue exp, and among the many rewards for completing each level are the occasional pack of cards. Alternatively, just play a few matches of Tableturf Battle, and as you defeat opponents and slowly rank up, you’re rewarded with additional packs so you can unlock even more cards for your deck. There are 162 cards in total, so there’s a lot of work ahead of you to complete the set.

Splatoon 3 tableturf battle: A screenshot shows a game of Splatoon 3 tableturf battle

How do I play Splatoon 3 Tableturf Battle?

In tableturf battle, you face off against a series of NPC opponents in a strategy card-game version of turf wars. Each battle takes place on a grid made up of multiple squares, sometimes they look like a rectangle, a square, and many other different shapes. Each individual card has a series of connected squares on it, like a weird tetromino. The point of the game is to place these as carefully as you can, to take up as much space on the level as possible. Some types of cards fit perfectly next to another, and sometimes you have to spin your card to find the optimal position to place it.

Splatoon 3 tableturf battle: a screenshot shows a selection of Splatoon 3 tableturf battle cards
Amongst the squares that make up the pieces in each card, you can see that one square is a darker colour than the others. This a special square, and is essential to performing special attacks. In normal gameplay, while you can place your card anywhere on the battlefield that it fits, you cannot put it over any already placed enemy pieces. However, if you manage to carefully piece together your units to put three of the special squares together, your next move is a special attack. This means you can place your next card anywhere on the battlefield including over enemy pieces. The only caveat is that you can’t place them over enemy special squares, so you still need to think strategically.

Once each player uses all the available cards in their hand, the match is over, and the player who has the most squares in their own colour wins. You might notice at the start of the battle that your opponent plays quite strategically and only places units at their end of the battlefield, so it can be advantageous to really manspread your units and take up as much space as you can early on, instead of neatly stacking squares in your corner. You can carefully fill those empty slots later, as long as you’ve filled your hand with complimentary cards.

Splatoon 3 tableturf battle: a screenshot from Splatoon 3 shows a huge variety of tableturf battle cards

To help you pick the right hand for each type of level, you can prepare up to sixteen different decks from your available library of cards, and choose the one that you think best suits the type of level for each match. That’s about all there is to it, so enjoy your battles, and good luck getting to some of the tougher opponents later on in the game. You might be surprised to see which characters turn up for a battle…

That’s it inklings, everything you need to know about Splatoon 3 Tableturf Battles. If you’re a Switch owner looking for another great way to relax in between turf wars, be sure to check out our review of the cosy lifestyle sim all about those giant cuddly animals (that will rip your face off) in our Bear & Breakfast review for Nintendo Switch.

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