Team Scissors Isn’t Very Happy With Splatoon 3’s Tricolor Turf War Mode

The mode, which many are calling unbalanced, caused the team to go from first to last place in just six hours.

During the first six hours of Splatoon 3’s Splatfest World Premiere, everything was going well for Team Scissors. The team had over a 1% lead, spirits were high, and adorable stingray idol Big Man was overjoyed with his team’s success. Unfortunately for Team Scissors, after halftime, a lack of balance in the new Tricolor Turf War caused the team to come in last, and now fans are urging Nintendo to adjust the mode.

Last Saturday, Splatoon 3 kicked off its first ever Splatfest via a free demo. Splatfests, which have been part of every Splatoon game, are global events where players pick a team and then battle to earn points for their team. Splatfests in Splatoon 3 introduce a new mode: Tricolor Turf Wars. During a Tricolor Turf War, whatever team is in the lead at halftime (in this case, Team Scissors) defends an Ultra Signal. If another team captures an Ultra Signal, they’re given an appropriately named Sprinkler of Doom that helps them cover the map. Ultimately, the goal is to ink the most turf, though once the Ultra Signal is captured by an offensive team, it’s pretty difficult for the defensive side to regain control of the map.

In the end, this task proved to be pretty overwhelming for Team Scissors. By the time Saturday’s Splatfest was over, Team Scissors, which originally took the lead, ended with a whopping zero points in every region except for Asia (congrats, Team Rock…).

Sturgeon Shipyard, the map chosen for this Splatfest’s Tricolor Turf Wars, became a large component of this lack of balance. Most maps in Splatoon have raised areas that can only be accessed by the team that spawns in that area, giving these teams a reliable area to ink and hold. These maps were designed with two teams in mind, however, so the defending team’s spawn point simply sits near the middle of the map where other teams can reach.

Sturgeon Shipyard proved to be a slightly odd map choice as well due to its moving platforms, which mean plenty of the map’s turf is inaccessible at times. (Nintendo also hasn’t confirmed if there will be other maps available for the mode, leaving some fans wondering if they’ll be trapped in Sturgeon Shipyard hell for the rest of Splatoon 3’s lifespan.)

To potentially rebalance the mode, some fans have suggested that Nintendo should add new maps specifically catered to three teams.

Others have thought up different ways to fix the balance, asking Nintendo to let the sprinklers be destroyed, weaken their turf-inking abilities, or allow the defending team to capture Ultra Signals of their own.

Of course, because of their lack of balance, winning Tricolor Turf Wars against all odds became a massive achievement for Team Scissors online. For plenty of players, however, attempting to beat these odds wasn’t fun at all — some fans have even begun devising plans to lose future Splatfests during the first half so they wouldn’t be forced to defend during the second half.

Nintendo has since stated that it will improve matchmaking and Tricolor Turf Wars, though the company hasn’t elaborated on what improvements might be made (or if whatever team Big Man endorses next will be subjected to even more suffering in the future).