Splatoon 3’s Ability Chunk mechanics, explained

At the time of writing, Splatoon 3 is still in full swing, and there are plenty of Splatfests left to participate in! That means you should be as ready as can be, and Ability Chunks are a great way to upgrade your gear and increase your chances of winning a competitive match. Unfortunately, Splatoon 3’s in-game Ability Chunk descriptions are sometimes vague or outright lacking detail. Today, we’ll be going over what each type of Ability Chunk does and how to make the most of each one!

What are Ability Chunks?

In Splatoon 3, each piece of gear has four Ability Chunk slots — one primary slot and three secondary slots. When you buy a piece of gear, it’ll already have a primary Ability Chunk. Thankfully, that can be changed later if you have enough Ability Chunks on hand — all you have to do is talk to Murch (Splatsville) or Spyke (Inkopolis), who appear in the city. If your gear doesn’t have all three of its secondary slots unlocked, you’ll have to increase its Star Power. Murch and Spyke can do that too, but only if you have Super Sea Snails or lots of cash.

Basically, each Ability Chunk, shown above, grants its user a small boost of some sort. They stack with one another, so the more instances of an Ability Chunk you wear, the greater the effect they’ll have on your stats. Generally speaking, it’s probably best to try and match all four Ability slots on any given piece of gear — that way you can easily mix and match them later on depending on which weapon you decide to use in battle.

Speaking of battles, after completing one, your gear will earn experience points. After it earns enough, it’ll roll a random-ish Ability (more on that later) to occupy one of its secondary slots. Chances are, the Abilities your gear rolls will all be different from each other. That’s okay — with enough play time and matches under your belt, you’ll be able to change your gear’s Abilities.

How do I get Ability Chunks?

When all three of your gear’s Ability slots are occupied, you can visit Murch in Splatsville and have him scrub your gear. You’ll receive those Abilities as Chunks — when you have Ability Chunks of a specific Ability, you’ll be able to visit Murch again and customize your gear to your liking. If you’re wondering how to get Ability Chunks, it’s simple: keep scrubbing your gear or let it level up some more after its secondary slots are already filled. In this case, the Ability Chunk you receive that would normally occupy a slot will instead pop right into your inventory.

You can also use drink tickets, which are obtained from Salmon Run and special offers. With a drink ticket active, your gear will be more likely (but not guaranteed) to roll a specific Ability. It’ll also gain more experience points! During Splatfests, Murch will scrub your Splatfest tee for 2,000G instead of 20,000G — making Splatfests a great time to farm some Ability Chunks with drink tickets active.

Unfortunately, it does take quite some time to gather enough Ability Chunks to completely deck out a piece of gear. With each consecutive slot of the same Ability, Murch requires more and more Ability Chunks. For example, you’ll need to dish out a whopping 30 Ability Chunks to fill the third slot! Luckily, you can obtain Ability Chunks from the Shell-Out Machine and Salmon Run as well. It shouldn’t take too long, but it will take some solid work.

What does each primary Ability Chunk do?

There are several types of Ability Chunks, and as mentioned before, certain kinds can only occupy the primary slot. We’ll start off by describing those! As a heads-up, primary-exclusive Abilities can only appear on certain types of gear; for example, the Comeback Ability only appears on headgear. We’ll also let you know which Ability chunks you need if you’d like to change your gear’s primary slot to the Ability in question!

  • Opening Gambit only appears on headgear. It boosts your speed while moving for the first 30 seconds of battle… which isn’t all that useful, so this Ability is seldom run. You’re probably better off running Last-Ditch Effort. Still, if you’d like this Ability on your gear, you’ll need 15 Run Speed chunks, 15 Swim Speed chunks, and 15 Ink Resistance chunks.
  • Last-Ditch Effort only appears on headgear. It increases your ink-recovery rate and decreases your weapon’s ink usage for the last 30 seconds of battle. In ranked modes, this Ability activates when the opponent’s counter reaches 30 or less. This means Last-Ditch Effort is helpful in almost every kind of match! You’ll need 15 chunks of each Ink Saver type and 15 chunks of Ink Recovery.
  • Tenacity only appears on headgear. It slowly fills your special gauge, but only when your team has fewer active players than the enemy. Unfortunately, Tenacity does not activate if one of your teammates disconnects. You’ll need 15 Special Charge chunks, 15 Special Saver chunks, and 15 Special Power chunks.
    • This works great alongside the Special Charge Up and Special Power Up secondary bonuses! Just make sure you know what Special Power Up does to your weapon’s special — info on that in the next section.
  • Comeback is exclusive to headgear. For 20 seconds after respawning, your movement speed, special-gauge fill rate, and ink recovery will increase. Your weapons’ ink consumption will also be decreased. For this one, you’ll need 15 Run Speed chunks, 15 Swim Speed chunks, and 15 Special Charge chunks.
    • Works great alongside Quick Respawn, Quick Super Jump, or Special Saver. Quick Super Jump is likely best here, as you’ll be able to get right back into the action with your boosted abilities.
  • Ninja Squid only appears on clothing, and it makes you essentially invisible while swimming in squid form. You’ll create ripples for a brief moment after entering ink, but from then on your movements will be undetectable (for the most part). You’ll need 15 Ink Recovery chunks, 15 Run Speed chunks, and 15 Swim Speed chunks.
    • Works great alongside the Swim Speed Up secondary Ability! You can also run Ink Recovery Up to help keep your tank full. That way you’ll be more likely to have enough ink to defend yourself against anyone you sneak up on.
  • Haunt is exclusive to clothing. When you’re splatted, the opponent responsible will be highlighted with a white silhouette. The silhouette disappears while they’re swimming in ink, however. If you splat that player, they’ll be penalized with an increased respawn time. You’ll need 15 Quick Respawn chunks, 15 Sub Power chunks, and 15 Ink Resistance chunks.
    • Works great alongside Quick Respawn or Special Saver! If you have a strong long-distance special like Tenta Missiles or Killer Wail 5.1, you can take advantage of Haunt to splat your killer from afar.
  • Thermal Ink is exclusive to clothing, and lets you track players you hit with shots from your main weapon. These shots must be direct hits, so the low-damage range from a Blaster isn’t going to cut it. Just like Haunt, the player will show up with a white silhouette — except this time, it goes away after about 16 seconds. You’ll need 15 of each Ink Saver chunk and 15 Intensify Action chunks.
    • This works great alongside Ink Saver (Main). You’ll have more ink to track your opponents with! You can also run Special Power Up, depending on your special. That way you can hit opponents who are being tracked from afar.
  • Respawn Punisher is exclusive to clothing. It increases the respawn time and special-gauge spawn penalty for you and any player you splat. Respawn Punisher is negated if you or an opponent is under a Tacticooler’s effects, however. High-risk, high-reward. You’ll need 15 Special Saver chunks, 15 Quick Respawn chunks, and 15 Sub Defense chunks.
    • Quick Respawn helps negate the corresponding punishment for yourself, but only by a little bit. You can also try out Quick Super Jump or Special Charge Up to get back in the game faster.
  • Ability Doubler is only present on Splatfest tees, and it doubles each of the secondary Abilities on the shirt. The Splatfest tee is a SquidForce brand, so it’s more likely to roll Ink Resistance Up as its secondary Abilities.
  • Stealth Jump only appears on shoes. It hides your Super Jump landing point from faraway players, but opponents close to you will still be able to see your landing point. A Charger might not see your landing point, but an Inkbrush definitely would, for example. You’ll need 15 Quick Super Jump chunks, 15 Sub Resistance chunks, and 15 Intensify Action chunks.
    • Quick Super Jump works great alongside Stealth Jump. The faster you jump, the less time the enemy has to figure out you’re performing a Super Jump at all. You could also run Sub Resistance Up to take less damage from bombs opponents throw at your landing spot.
  • Object Shredder is exclusive to shoes, and it increases the damage you deal to all non-player targets. The damage increase depends on the object you’re shooting; for example, you’ll destroy Squid Beakons and Sprinklers much faster. This also works on the Rainmaker shield, sponges, and inactive inkrails. You’ll need 15 Ink Recovery chunks, 15 Special Power chunks, and 15 Sub Power chunks.
    • Works great alongside Ink Saver (Sub). With this, you can easily throw a bomb at Squid Beakon or Sprinkler and focus on something else with your main weapon.
  • Drop Roller is exclusive to shoes, and lets you tilt the left stick while Super Jumping to perform a roll when you land. It only takes effect if you’re not using your weapon toward the end of your Super Jump. You’ll need 15 Quick Super Jump chunks, 15 Ink Resistance Chunks, and 15 Intensify Action chunks for this one.
    • Works great alongside Quick Super Jump to get you back into the action faster. Sub Resistance Up and Ink Resistance Up work well here too; Ink Resistance comes into play in case you Super Jump directly into enemy ink.

Remember, these Abilities can only occupy a piece of gear’s primary slot. This means it’s impossible to, say, run both Ninja Squid and Haunt at the same time. You’ll have to choose based on the kind of weapons you like to use. Ideally, you’ll prepare several pieces of gear each with its own Abilities to mix and match on the fly later on.

What does each secondary Ability Chunk do?

Each of these Ability Chunks can occupy both primary and secondary slots! A primary slot grants a bigger boost than a secondary slot, so keep that in mind just in case. It’s also important to note that certain brands of gear are more likely to roll certain Ability Chunks, so we’ll be including that information here as well.

  • Ink Saver (Main) decreases the amount of ink consumed by your main weapon. As you might expect, it’s best used on loadouts with weapons that consume lots of ink (E-Liter 4K and the Dynamo Roller, for instance). The Splash Mob and Toni Kensa brands are most likely to roll this Ability.
  • Ink Saver (Sub) decreases the amount of ink consumed by your sub weapon. If you use lots of sub weapons during battle, this one’s perfect for you! Suction Bombs, Splat Bombs, and Squid Beakons all use at least half a tank of ink, so Ink Saver (Sub) pairs well alongside them. The Firefin and Annaki brands are most likely to roll this Ability.
  • Ink Recovery Up increases your ink-tank refill rate. You really can’t go wrong with this one — it works well on just about any weapon! The Tentatek brand is most likely to roll this Ability.
  • Run Speed Up’s in-game description indicates that this Ability increases movement speed in Inkling or Octoling form. What the in-game description does not indicate is that it doesn’t work when you’re using certain weapons! This means Run Speed Up is useless while you’re running with an active Roller or Inkbrush. For weapons like Splatlings, however, your movement speed is increased while you’re firing — just not while you’re charging. The Rockenberg brand is most likely to roll this Ability.
  • Swim Speed Up increases your movement speed in squid form. It pairs well with Ninja Squid from the last section, but it’s okay to run Swim Speed Up on its own as well. The Krak-On brand is most likely to roll this Ability.
  • Special Charge Up increases your special-gauge fill rate. Perfect for players who like using their specials (looking at you, Aerospray users)! The Takoroka brand is most likely to roll this Ability.
  • Special Saver reduces the special-gauge decrease you receive after getting splatted. This works well alongside Respawn Punisher to alleviate some of the extra penalty to your special gauge when you’re splatted. The Zekko and Z+F brands are most likely to roll this Ability.
  • Special Power Up “upgrades your special weapon”. Thanks for the detailed description, game! In reality, Special Power Up has a different effect on every special in the game. Here’s a full list! The Forge brand is most likely to roll this Ability.
    • Increases the duration of Kraken Royale, Big Bubbler, Killer Wail 5.1, Inkjet, Ink Storm, Crab Tank, Trizooka, Ultra Stamp, and Zipcaster. It also increases the length of the Tacticooler’s stat increases. Handy!
    • Lengthens the explosion radius of Reefslider and the Wave Breaker’s shock wave radius. The Super Chump’s explosion radius is increased as well.
    • Increases the throw distance of the Triple Inkstrike. That’s all it does, so you might want to use a different Ability if your favorite weapon’s special is Triple Inkstrike!
    • Boosts the Booyah Bomb’s throw distance and slightly decreases its charge time.
    • Increases the Ink Vac’s suction radius and the distance the shot can be fired afterward.
    • For Tenta Missiles, this Ability increases the size of the targeting reticle and then increases the ink coverage of the missiles. Thank goodness that’s all it does…
  • Quick Respawn reduces your respawn time — but only if you’re splatted repeatedly without splatting any other players. If you’re often on the short end of the stick, this can be a decent Ability to run. The Skalop brand is most likely to roll this one.
  • Quick Super Jump increases your Super Jump speed. It also takes effect when you jump to other players’ Squid Beakons! The Zink brand is most likely to roll this Ability.
  • Sub Power Up “upgrades your sub weapon”. Another detailed description! Unfortunately, this Ability is kind of underwhelming in many cases. Here’s a list of this Ability’s effects on each sub weapon. The Enperry brand is most likely to roll this one!
    • Increases the speed of any thrown bombs. This counts for Splat Bombs, Suction Bombs, Burst Bombs, Fizzy Bombs, Torpedoes, Autobombs, and Toxic Mist.
    • Increases the duration of the Sprinkler’s first two phases. In other words, it does slightly more damage for slightly longer.
    • For sub weapons that track an opponent (Ink Mine, Point Sensor, and Angle Shooter), this Ability increases the amount of time they’re tracked for. Ink Mines’ ranges are increased, and Point Sensors are also thrown faster.
    • For Squid Beakons, this Ability increases the speed at which other players can Super Jump to the Squid Beakon — even if they don’t have the corresponding Ability Chunks. This is great for players who like hiding Squid Beakons in tricky areas!
    • This Ability also increases the number of hits Splat Walls can take before disappearing!
  • Ink Resistance Up is somewhat misleading. In-game, the description says it reduces the damage you take and improves your mobility in enemy ink. In reality, it reduces the damage taken while you’re standing in enemy ink — it has no effect on direct damage. Given that you’ll want to avoid enemy ink regardless, this Ability isn’t very useful. The SquidForce brand is most likely to roll this one.
  • Sub Resistance Up reduces effects and damage from opponents’ sub weapons. It increases your defense against all kinds of bombs, and decreases the amount of time you’ll be tracked  (from Ink Mines, Point Sensors, and Angle Shooters). The Inkline brand is most likely to roll this Ability.
  • Intensify Action makes Squid Rolls and Squid Surges easier to perform and steadies your aim while firing after jumping. Generally speaking, it’s not very helpful, but it works decently if you use lots of Squid Rolls and Squid Surges. The Barazushi and Emberz brands are most likely to roll this Ability.

That’s all of them, then! Picking out Ability Chunks is certainly tricky. So many to choose from! At any rate, we hope this guide helped introduce you to Ability Chunks. If you need any additional help picking out optimal Abilities for your preferred weapon, feel free to join our Discord server! We’ve also got more Splatoon 3 content you can check out via the link below. Have fun!

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