Ninjala basics and how to play

The basics of Ninjala explained.

Ninjala Nintendo Switch

Image via GungHo Online Entertainment

Ninjala is a battle royale, fighting game where you use your skills as a ninja and your control over gum to defeat your enemies. The game features combat with players relying on special gum-based powers, seamlessly traversing the map, and upgrading your melee weapon to defeat the enemy. Here’s what you need to know about the basics of the game and how combat works.

Basic controls

Screengrab via GungHo

To traverse the map, you want to use the left-stick control. When you find yourself in front of a wall or an obstacle, continue to use the left-stick to run up it, allowing you to traverse the city quickly. If there’s a location you can’t reach, use the B-button to perform a jump, and if you hit it twice, you can do a double-jump. 

When you find yourself face-to-face with an enemy, be it a player or one of the drones found across the map, use the ZR-button to attack them using a basic attack. Your character will use their melee weapon, and if you click it multiple times, you can perform a short combo. You can attack while running up a wall, too. 

When you need a little extra firepower, make sure to remember to use your ZL-button to use your gum and blow a bubble. A bubble forms in front of your character, readying it, and you can then fire it at an opponent using the ZR-button. The bubble can travel great distances, so don’t feel you need to be too close to your foes to hit them with it. 

Instead of using it as a projectile, you can click the A-button to craft your blown bubble into a weapon, instead of shooting it. Your melee weapon will become larger, making it more powerful during the match.

You should have an alternative gum-based ability attached to your Y-button. It should vary on your playstyle, but make sure to use it to your advantage whenever you can.

When you have enough ninjutsu to fill your entire gauge, you’ll see the lower-right icon is ready to go. It should glow yellow when it’s ready. Click the X-button to fire your ultimate attack, devastating any enemies caught in it.

Parry and Showdown

Screengrab via GungHo

If two characters hit their weapons together at the same time they will engage in a parry. The two weapons clash together, and you’ll need to beat your opponent in a brief showdown. When you win a showdown, you’ll score an IPPON. An Ippon is harder to achieve than landing a KO against an opponent, thus giving you more points at the end of a match. There are other methods to scoring IPPONs, beyond winning a showdown like this.

Attacking drones

Screengrab via GungHo

Drones are scattered throughout the game in Ninjala. They don’t do too much, but they’re a great way for you to raise your S-energy. Your S-energy is the bar underneath your health, and attacking more drones gives you a larger bar. You want to go out of your way to make sure you find them so you use additional S-energy.

S-energy makes your gum stronger and gives you bigger bubbles to work with. For example, if you have only five S-energy bars, the bubble you blow will be large, but only be a little bigger than. If you have nine bars S-energy, when you blow your bubble it’ll become three times the size of you.

How to win

To win Ninjala matches, you want to take out opponents and engage them in fights. You score points by hitting them and score higher points by landing KOs, and by performing IPPON. Beyond winning showdowns against an opponent, you can also score IPPON by binding your opponents with Gum Shoots or Gum Break, and then KO them, you will score an IPPON.

You win the match by walking away with the highest amount of points. So switch between seeking out drones to gather up S-energy bars, and engaging enemy players you encounter.