Casual vs. Ranked Case Studies

We will now cover the rules for Splatoon 2. As you will see, the variations are quite interesting:

Splatoon 2

Splatoon 2 has the greatest variation of rule sets in comparison to the last two. Let’s start with the general, turf war mode, the only mode that isn’t ranked:

  • 3 minutes
  • Paint as much of the game’s floors (not walls) as you can
  • Whichever side has more paint on the ground wins

That is about it in terms of rules. These rules definitely give the basics of paint the ground, swim, knock out opponents to slow them down temporarily, and repeat each step as needed.

Now the ranked modes are quite different. Here’s the general rules:

  • 5 minutes to score enough points a certain way
  • First team to 100 points wins, and game ends, even if 5 minutes aren’t up
  • Overtime if losing team is capable of scoring at the end of 5 minutes
  • If losing team gets ahead in overtime, they win
  • If losing team loses control of the scoring method in overtime, the winning team wins

There are four modes of ranked mode in Splatoon 2. Note that not all modes are available at the same time:

The status screen showing the player’s rank in four different rank modes. Notice that there is no turf mode rank shown.

Splat zones:

  • Each team must paint a certain area (or areas) of the map (the splat zone(s)), and keep it painted to score
  • The longer the zone is in control, the closer that team gets to winning.
  • Score 100 points to win
  • If the zone is taken over by the other team, a penalty is applied to the previously owning team’s score
  • The total score doesn’t change here, but it does mean that more time is required to before they start scoring again

Tower control:

  • To score, at least one player has to ride the tower, which starts moving towards the opposing goal
  • Get to the goal to win
  • Get as close to the goal as possible when time is out
  • The team that brought the tower closest at the time limit wins

Rain maker:

  • One player has to grab the Rain Maker (a super weapon), and carry it to a stump near the opposing base
  • Deliver it to this stump to win
  • Players must break the shield to access the rain maker
  • Whichever team brings it closer to the opposing stump at the time limit wins

Clam blitz:

  • Players must gather clams throughout the stage
  • One player must gather 10 clams to create a super clam
  • Throw the super clam at the opposing goal to temporarily open the goal and score 20 points
  • Throw regular clams to score 3 points each. The goal will stay open longer as well
  • Only one side can score at a time
  • Whoever is ahead at the end of the time limit wins

So the most interesting thing here is the win conditions are different. This is to such a degree that one could argue that all 5 of Splatoon 2’s modes are testing very different skills! In turf war, there’s an advantage to painting even small gaps of uncovered ground. You can do well even if you mostly ignore fighting your opponents.

A sample of turf war results. Notice how there are few gaps in how much paint is on the map

In all four ranked modes, painting small gaps is not encouraged. If you or your team won’t travel in a location, there is usually no reason to paint that area. In each ranked mode, you generally need to control a certain chunk of the map, mostly the center area, with the exception of slowing the opponents down. You also will confront opponents much more, so surviving long enough to knock them out before you go down is more important. The exact strategies vary from mode to mode quite a bit too.

A sample of ranked mode (splat zones) results. Notice how there is less paint in non vital areas.

So let’s go to page 4 to summarize what different skills are tested in each game’s ranked and casual modes:

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