Splatoon 3 demo players found Tricolor Turf War battles to be unbalanced

You’d think rock-paper-scissors would be perfectly balanced.

Image via Nintendo

The results of Splatoon 3’s first Splatfest are in: Rock took first place, Paper came in second, and Scissors finished last. The Splatfest demo was a chance for players to try out the new three-sided game mode, but the results are mixed.

It’s important to understand how Tricolor Turf War works first. It features three teams, but it isn’t the 4v4v4 that you might imagine. Instead, it’s 4v2v2, where the team currently in first place in the Splatfest has four players placed in the middle of the map, while two members representing the other teams attack from both sides. This setup works well enough, but there have been many complaints about it feeling unbalanced.

These complaints can be found across multiple websites. One GameFAQs poster brings up the issue of camping from the four-player team, and replies to Nintendo’s own Splatfest winner tweet consist of similar complaints and balance suggestions. Most of these posts can be found on Reddit, as you might expect. There are plenty of memes about how it felt to play the first Tricolor Turf War, with particular empathy for Team Scissors and its trailing third-place finish, despite being in first place at halftime.

The more you look at the various memes, the more it seems that just about everyone has something to say about the balance of Tricolor Turf War. It’s natural to hear complaints about fairness from the losing teams in any circumstance, but the abundance of these posts suggests that there really is an imbalance that Nintendo ought to look at before the next Splatfest is held. At least we got more Deep Cut fanart out of the first one.

At the very least, Nintendo needs to look into the issue of cheaters in Splatoon 3. Some savvy players took the Splatfest demo as an opportunity to mod the game and try out features that were not intended to be seen yet. Nintendo has issued console bans as a result — that’s well within its rights. In any case, Splatoon 3 will see a full launch on Switch soon. Its release date is Friday, September 9.