This portion will be quite detailed. If you are not familiar with this system, it may be hard to follow this section.
Let us start with the abilities exclusive to certain types of gear. With headgear, the exclusive abilities are the same, with minor changes.
For clothing, the ninja squid and haunt abilities are the only ones that return. Haunt has been noticeably edited, though. Missing is the recon ability, and meanwhile, cold-blooded can now be on any type of gear. Added to the game is thermal ink and respawn punisher, the latter is annoying to deal with when skilled opponents are using it.
For shoes, only stealth jump returns, though it has been edited as well. Bomb sniffer is gone, and ink resistance is no longer shoes specific. New are the drop roller and object shredder abilities.
Next, let’s look at the stackable secondary abilities. Cold blooded and ink resistance are now in this category. Damage up is completely removed. Defense up has been replaced by bomb defense up. Bomb range up has been replaced by sub power up. Special duration up has been replaced by special power up. With these last two, the effects are similar, but benefit all sub weapons and special weapons more directly.
Now the complex part. Abilities can be acquired in a few new ways. In Splatoon 1, you had to get experience by playing online battles to eventually gain a random new ability on a piece of gear. Each gear could get up to three extra abilities. Using super sea snails, you could enable weaker gear to gain the full three abilities. Once these abilities are filled, you had two options. One, use a super sea snail if you don’t like the abilities you get to change all three abilities at random at once. Super sea snails are somewhat scarce, being available only after participating in Splatfest, which runs for one day a month. Near the end of Splatoon 1’s life-cycle, you could win a single super sea snail after winning a set number of battles.
The other option was to order the same gear from another player with the abilities you do want. With ordering, you had to wait until the next day to see if you get what the other player has. It should be noted that you might not get the exact set. In some cases, it might be preferred to get the same gear with some or none of the abilities so you can try again. You do have to pay for it if you want to do so. If it requires super sea snails to upgrade it, you will need to spend them again.
This old system requires a lot of luck, and no doubt led to some hacking to speed up the process. Now let us look at the changes in Splatoon 2. There are now things called drink tickets, which increases the ability experience awarded each match. Each drink corresponds to a specific ability. That ability will have a 30% chance of being added to that gear when you unlock it. It should be noted that this happens no matter what piece of gear is worn when you get that ability. All abilities normally have lower than a 30% chance without the drink ticket active, though some gear has lower odds than others.
There is also a new collectible called an ability chunk. There are ability chunks for every ability. With enough of these, you can change any unlockable ability to the corresponding ability. If that gear has none of the matching abilities, it costs 10 chunks to change one ability. If it has one copy of the ability you would like to add, it will cost 20 chunks. To make the third ability match, it will cost 30 chunks. Since most players seek for all three abilities to match on one piece of gear, it will require anywhere from 30 to 60 chunks to get the desired results!
How do you get ability chunks? There’s a few ways, so let’s start with the simplest. Players now have the option to “scrub” their gear of any abilities they gained on it. These abilities will be removed, but each one removed becomes one chunk. Since the most cost-effective method is to apply 30 chunks on gear that already has two of the ability you seek to have, chances are the scrubbed gear will have three different abilities. This means you have to scrub gear with the ability you seek 30-60 times! You have to pay 20,000 in-game currency per scrub, though you may get lucky in between scrubs.
Like in Splatoon 1, you can use a super sea snail on any full gear to get three random abilities. In Splatoon 2, the old abilities become chunks. This is fastest, but costs super sea snails, which are acquired slowly outside of the game’s Splatfests. You can still order gear from other players, and see if you can get or modify a better set.
As you might guess, this method is slow, and costs a fair amount of in-game cash. It is still better than the old method that relied entirely on luck. There is one more method of acquiring ability chunks, which will be covered in the next section concerning new game modes.
Go to page three for the new modes section.