Splatoon 3 receives its 2.1.0 update today with a slew of bug fixes and balance changes. It also has a pretty heft nerf to one particular ability that has proven to be a must-have among both Inklings and Octolings.
That ability is Ninja Squid, which allows players to swim through ink without the usual ripples to tell other players of their passing. Normally, those ripples are pretty obvious, but with the Ninja Squid ability equipped, those ripples become almost invisible on non-wall surfaces (you can still see ripples pretty clearly if a Ninja Squid user tries to up along a wall). The ability costs you 10 percent of your overall swim speed, but most players found it to be more than a fair trade.
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Ninja Squid has been considered a must-have ability for most Splatoon 3 players ever since the game was released. With the game's time-to-kill so short, losing track of your opponent even for a split second could mean the difference between life or death. Combined with the ability to mitigate Ninja Squid's speed penalty through other equipment, Ninja Squid was basically present on most players in every competitive game.
That might change as of update 2.1.0. As of the new update, a player's ink splash will no longer be invisible for half a second after returning to kid form, making it easier to spot Ninja Squid users when they pop back up. Additionally, the speed penalty for Ninja Squid will no longer be mitigated by gear with the Swim Up ability, meaning Ninja Squid users will actually lose that 10 percent of overall swim speed.
Some fans are already mourning the death of Ninja Squid, while some are actually celebrating the change. We’ll have to wait and see if the nerf makes an appreciable dent in the population of players that like to swim stealthy.
There are a bunch of weapon balance changes in the patch notes, such as increasing the area inked by the Aerospray MG and RG and improving the minimum damage of the Big Swig Roller when slashing horizontally. For the full list, check out the patch notes here.