Splatoon 3 launches in September but Nintendo has revealed that it’ll be giving Switch owners the chance to try out the game early.
A Splatoon 3 demo will be available to download from the Nintendo eShop for free from August 18, Nintendo confirmed during a recent Direct presentation (opens in new tab). While parts of the demo will become playable from August 25, things will really start to kick off on August 27 with the Splatoon 3: Splatfest World Premiere.
The special multiplayer events known as Splatfests are making a return in Splatoon 3. They look a little different than previous iterations, as this time you’ll be asked to choose one of three themed teams, rather than one of two. The team options for the Splatfest World Premiere, for instance, are Rock, Paper and Scissors. Choose wisely.
According to Nintendo, the twelve-hour Splatfest is to be a battle of two halves. The first half will have the teams compete in a 4-v-4 Turf War format. The second half will lean into Splatoon’s reputation for all-out chaos and have all three teams duke it out in a new 4-v-2-v-2 mode called Tricolor Turf War.
The Splatfest World Premiere will be open to all Nintendo Switch owners. A Nintendo Switch Online membership is required but if you don’t have one you can still take part as Nintendo has said that those who download the demo ahead of the event will receive a code for a 7-day trial. Codes will begin going out by email from August 25 and they’ll be redeemable until August 29, even if you’ve claimed access to a free trial before.
Nintendo seems to be going out of its way to make this Splatoon 3 demo as easy to access as possible by distributing those free Nintendo Switch Online trials. If you’re a long-term Splatoon fan, this Splatfest will no doubt be a great pre-release treat to whet your appetite. If you haven’t delved into the colorful world of Splatoon at all, though, then this could be the perfect way to see if it’s for you.
The rest of the Nintendo Direct gave us a good look at how Splatoon 3 will be stepping things up from 2017’s Splatoon 2, with new weapons, new locations and extensive post-launch support that includes two years of free updates and even plans for “large-scale paid DLC”.
If you do end up getting involved in the demo and you enjoy what you play, the good news is that you’ll only have to wait until September 9 for Splatoon 3 to release in full as a Nintendo Switch platform exclusive.