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How can I get the Octo Expansion for free? A Splatoon expert‘s guide

As a huge Splatoon fan, you‘ve probably heard about the Octo Expansion for Splatoon 2. This massive DLC adds a hefty new single player campaign and the ability to play as Octolings in multiplayer. You‘re hyped to play it, but don‘t necessarily want to pay $19.99 for that privilege. Well friend, there are ways to get your tentacles on all that sweet, sweet content without emptying your wallet! Let this Splatoon expert walk you through the perfect strategies.

Why should I care about the Octo Expansion anyway?

First, a quick primer on why the Octo Expansion matters. Splatoon 2 has been a massive success for Nintendo, selling over 11.9 million copies as of 2021. Fans and critics praised the addictive ink-based shooter gameplay and style. Developer Nintendo EPD knocked it out of the park again with the Octo Expansion, delivering an expansive new single player campaign.

Response from players was extremely positive, with an impressive 92% review score on Metacritic. Gamers loved the challenge, branching levels, unlockable Octolings, and deeper lore. Basically, the Octo Expansion represents one of the best post-launch content additions in any Nintendo Switch game so far.

Here‘s the deal on getting it for free

Alright, let‘s get down to business – how can you get your hands on the Octo Expansion without paying extra? The best way is simple: a Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack membership.

This upgraded membership tier bundles online play with access to select DLC content, including the Octo Expansion. You‘re looking at $49.99 a year for an individual membership. Compare that to paying $19.99 separately just for the Octo Expansion – the subscription saves you money in the long run if you want to play a lot of DLC.

Here‘s a comparison of the Nintendo Switch Online membership options:

Individual$3.99 per monthOnline play
Family (up to 8)$7.99 per monthOnline play
Expansion Pack (Individual)$49.99 per yearOnline play, DLC, retro games
Expansion Pack (Family)$79.99 per yearOnline play, DLC, retro games for up to 8 accounts

More than just the Octo Expansion

Now you might be thinking – what else can I get with a Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack membership? Well along with the huge Octo Expansion campaign, it also grants you free access to other quality DLC:

  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – Booster Course Pass: Ongoing waves of classic remastered tracks.

  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Happy Home Paradise: Design vacation homes on new islands.

That‘s up to $24.99 worth of Mario Kart DLC and $24.99 for Animal Crossing DLC that you get bundled in. An amazing deal!

Having access to all this DLC makes the Expansion Pack membership an even sweeter value. But you‘re here for the Octo Expansion, so let‘s get specific on what makes it so great.

Here‘s what you get in the Octo Expansion

Alright, time for the good stuff! Here‘s an in-depth look at everything included with the Octo Expansion:

  • 80+ single player levels spread across an underground subway system
  • Challenge types range from blasting enemies to sliding rails to rhythm games
  • New story campaign following Agent 8, an amnesiac Octoling
  • Evil DJ Octavio forces you to complete dangerous trials
  • Boss battles against massive lethal contraptions
  • Unlockable Octoling characters – Play as Octolings in multiplayer after completing the story!
  • Fresh hairstyles like the Octoling Mohawk, afro, and ponytail
  • Mem Cakes – Collect these hidden collectibles to unlock gear
  • Estimated completion time ranges from 8-14 hours

As you can see, the Octo Expansion basically doubles Splatoon 2‘s solo content with a full new campaign. And being able to play as Octolings in online matches is a huge bonus!

What we know about the Splatoon 3 Expansion Pass

Looking ahead, Nintendo has already announced DLC plans for Splatoon 3 launching in 2022. They are offering an Expansion Pass for $24.99 which will include:

  • Two waves of DLC content, releasing by end of 2023
  • New weapons, stages, and customization items
  • Can only be purchased as the full pass, not individually

For comparison, the Octo Expansion for Splatoon 2 was also priced at $19.99 on its own. So based on Nintendo‘s DLC track record, we can expect the Splatoon 3 Expansion Pass to offer similarly robust content updates.

However, it‘s still unclear if this Pass will integrate with Nintendo Switch Online subscriptions. We‘ll have to wait for more details as the Splatoon 3 release date approaches.

Is "free" DLC really free? An analysis

Now that we‘ve covered the main methods for accessing the Octo Expansion, let‘s talk philosophy. Is DLC obtained through a subscription service like Nintendo Switch Online really "free?"

Well, you are still paying for access with the cost of membership fees. But bundling services together does save money compared to paying for everything individually. Let‘s crunch some numbers:

  • Octo Expansion separately: $19.99 one time cost

  • 1 Year Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack: $49.99 per year

If you purchased the Octo Expansion by itself, you‘d spend $19.99 immediately. That‘s $19.99 spent over a 1 year period.

With the Expansion Pack membership, you‘d spend $49.99 for the year. But that grants you ongoing access to the Octo Expansion, Mario Kart 8 DLC, Animal Crossing DLC, and more over that full year.

So while not completely free, subscription access does provide savings in the long run for fans who play a lot of DLC. Just be aware you lose access if you unsubscribe later!

Don‘t sleep on this DLC!

Alright friend, that covers the core info you need on getting the Octo Expansion without paying extra. Here‘s my expert take: this is an absolute must-play DLC for any Splatoon fan.

The Octo Expansion basically doubles the solo content, while unlocking sweet new playable characters. All at a great value bundled with the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack membership.

Seriously, don‘t sleep on this DLC! The Octo Expansion represents some of Nintendo‘s best post-launch support. You owe it to yourself and your squid kid to experience everything this massive expansion has to offer. Stay fresh!



Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.