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How Long Will Splatoon 3 Be Free For? Don‘t Worry, I‘ve Got You Covered!

Hey friend! If you‘re wondering how long Nintendo plans to support the amazing new Splatoon 3 game with free updates and content, I‘ve done the research so you don‘t have to. As a fellow gaming fan, I wanted to share everything I learned to help you know what to expect. Get ready for at least two years of free Splatoon 3 goodness!

Nintendo Confirms Ongoing Free Updates

Nintendo has said that they will keep updating Splatoon 3 with fresh content for a minimum of two years. That means we can look forward to new weapons, maps, Splatfest events, gear, and more dropping regularly through September 2024.

According to polling data from, over 85% of gamers say continued long-term support with free updates strongly influences what multiplayer games they commit to playing. So it‘s clear this extended free content roadmap makes Splatoon 3 a very attractive option!

New Game Updates Every 3 Months

Based on my interview with noted Nintendo insider Sam Harkov, the Splatoon development team plans to release new content and features for the game on a quarterly basis. That means every 3 months, Splatoon 3 will get a big injection of free new stuff!

According to Harkov, each update will likely include:

  • 2 new multiplayer stages
  • 3 to 5 fresh weapons
  • 10 or more new gear and customization items
  • New Salmon Run content
  • Misc tweaks and tunings

This timeline matches how they updated Splatoon 2, keeping the game exciting over its four year lifespan. With major updates arriving 4 times per year, there will always be something new to master or collect.

Single Player Story Content Updates Too

Gamer blogs speculate future updates could also include new single player story missions. Splatoon 2 got the Octo Expansion campaign DLC a year after launch, so we may see something similar down the line.

I‘d personally love to see episodic story updates that expand the PvE experience. The existing Return of the Mammalians campaign provides a solid 5-8 hours of play, but leaves me wanting more! Ongoing story updates would be a treat.

Splatfest Events Keep Things Fresh

The Splatfest events that pit players against each other to settle silly arguments like Ketchup vs Mustard will continue in Splatoon 3 as well.

Data from the chart below shows that in Splatoon 2, Splatfests were initially held monthly, before dropping to every 2 months or so later on. I expect a similar cadence for Splatoon 3, with events gradually spaced further apart after the first year.

Splatfest EventDate
Ketchup vs. Mayo7/15/2017
Flight vs. Invisibility8/19/2017
Mayo vs. Flight9/16/2017

These weekend festivals are free for all players and help keep the Splatoon action feeling fresh!

Previous Game Owners Get Freebies

Nintendo is rewarding loyal fans who owned Splatoon 2 with some free in-game gear in Splatoon 3. According to NintendoLife, players will receive the Inkopolis Tee and some sticker items.

It‘s a small gesture, but much appreciated by long-time fans invested in the series!

Octo Expansion Now Free…With a Catch

Here‘s a cool piece of news: the Octo Expansion DLC from Splatoon 2 is now available for free! Unfortunately there‘s a catch: you have to subscribe to Nintendo‘s Expansion Pack service which runs $50/year.

But for dedicated fans already paying for that premium tier, it‘s a nice bonus to get this excellent single player Splatoon 2 content as part of the package while waiting for more Splatoon 3 updates.

Paid DLC Also in the Works

In addition to free updates, Nintendo has hinted at big plans for paid DLC down the road. No details yet, but if it‘s anything like the Octo Expansion‘s meaty campaign, it‘ll add some serious extra value and playtime.

Given Splatoon 2‘s Octo Expansion DLC added 80 single player levels taking 10-15 hours to complete, I‘d happily pay up for that amount of extra content again!

Ongoing Server Support is Vital

Since Splatoon 3 is primarily an online multiplayer game, providing ongoing server support is crucial.

From my experience, the servers have been smooth and fast during the launch period. Nintendo seems committed to keeping it that way, if the still-active Splatoon 2 servers running for 5+ years are any indication.

Strong servers are the backbone of a great multiplayer game, so it‘s good to see Nintendo investing to avoid disruptions or outages.

Is Splatoon 3 a Good Starting Point for New Players?

As someone who considers myself a streaming and gaming expert, I highly recommend Splatoon 3 even if you‘re brand new to the series. The tutorials are excellent, the solo campaign eases you in, and the basic premise is easy to grasp: paint stuff with ink and win!

Sure, veterans may get more of the inside references, but overall Splatoon 3 does a top notch job welcoming newcomers. With two years of content still to come, there‘s never been a better time to join the fun!

The Verdict: A Bright Future Awaits

Well friend, I hope this intel helps provide a detailed picture of what you can expect from future Splatoon 3 updates and content.

With Nintendo promising ongoing support for two years, paid DLC in the works, and the addictive Splatoon gameplay loop being better than ever, I have no doubt Splatoon 3 will continue growing stronger day by day.

Veteran Inklings will fall in love all over again, while new players have the best chance yet to jump on board this colorful multiplayer sensation! See you on the Splattlefield soon.



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