Splatoon 3 is one of the best competitive shooters, not only on the Switch but also in the greater gaming space. This is thanks to stellar mechanics, refined gameplay, and Nintendo’s signature brand of easy-to-pick-up, difficult-to-master game design. Splatoon 3 is a blast to play from the word go, but if you want to get properly into it, you are going to have to dig deep.
One of the core concepts of Splatoon 3 is the team dynamic. You are always on a team with three other mates and everyone should have a role in mind before they go in to play. There are three broad archetypes that most players will fall into, and these are Support, Slayer, and Anchor. Today, we are looking at the mighty Anchor role.
What Is An Anchor
Anchors in Splatoon 3 are your backline - you bulky, buff, long-ranged, characters whose main goal is to not die. Where Slayers move up for kills and to push ground, and Supports are designed for a mixture of coverage and utility, Anchors are purely there to plant their boots on an advantageous position and unleash inky-heck.
Should You Play Anchor?
If you like big guns with long range, and you don’t fancy the idea of getting into fair fights, then Anchor is for you. If you like to support your team with firepower and the passivity of your existence, then Anchor is for you. However, if you want to be in the thick of things and pushing ground, then Anchor probably isn’t going to appeal.
How To Play Anchor
A good Anchor is, simply put, oppressive. Their existence is a nightmare for characters who are looking to push up into your team's turf. Anchors carry the biggest guns in the game. We are talking about Splattling Guns, Stringers, and Chargers. An Anchor packing a Splatling Gun can easily mow down an entire team if they aren’t careful, whilst Stringers and Chargers can snipe key targets from afar.
Anchors loveto plant their boots on elevated ground. This is an advantageous position for any character, but Anchors, with their powerful ranged weapons, can be horrifically overbearing from a solid spot with good sight lines. The best locations (generally) for Anchors are raised platforms/bridges that exist at or near the middle of the map.
You have three key positions on any map, and depending on the game state, you will want to take up one of them. These locations are:
- Off-centre spawn side
- Off-centre enemy side
There are of course more than this (especially when considering Mode), but in an ideal world and using broad strokes, these three areas are good places to start. You are either trying to take the middle, have taken the middle and are trying to hold it, or you have pushed the enemy back and are trying to keep them contained.
Anchors are not all about giving fire support. In fact, one of the most important aspects of an Anchor is not being dead. Passively, being alive as an Anchor means you are doing your job, and this opens up a vital Super Jump location for your team to rally to. Without doing anything, you are assisting your team when things go south.
Anchors are integral to any team, and a good Anchor will be holding ground, getting coverage, and killing all at the same time.
Best Loadouts For Anchor
As we have already covered, Anchors love weapons with a hefty range to them. This generally covers most, if not all Splatlings, Chargers, and Stringers. We will be covering some of the better loadouts, but just about any of those weapon types work wonders in this role.
First things first, we have to talk about the Heavy Splatling. This gun is available very early and is devastating from the word go. It has a reasonable Charge Speed and Mobility, but excellent Range, and Damage. The Heavy Splatling can take up any position and lay down a disgusting amount of Ink whilst outranging most guns in the game.
The Heavy Splatling’s Sub and Special are more of a mixed bag. This does limit its effectiveness overall, but the power of the gun itself does help make up for it. The Sprinkler is fairly underwhelming as a Sub and honestly, you will probably forget it exists.
The Wavebreaker on the other hand is excellent. The Wave Breaker sends out shockwaves that reveal enemies hiding in ink and dealing damage. This allows the Heavy Splatling to spot hidden threats and quickly dispatch them.
Great Abilities to look for on gear would be Ink Resistance, Last Ditch Effort, Ink Saver (Main)/Ink Recovery, and Respawn Punisher.
The Hydra Splatling is very much like the Heavy Splatling, however, it exchanges Charge Speed and Mobility, for increased Range, Damage, and far longer barrage. The Hydra takes a while to get to full power, but once there, it can lay a withering amount of Ink. Be aware that the Hydra does not need to charge to full to be effective. The Hydra is more than capable of Splating enemies long before reaching full charge.
The Sub and Special on the Hydra are also great. Autobomb is a great tool to lure enemies into the open. The Booyah Bomb, similarly, can force enemies into unfavourable positions as its large AOE and devastating damage can quickly end an enemy push if they underestimate it.
Abilities that work well on the Hydra are things like Ink Resistance, Last Ditch Effort, Ink Saver (Main)/Ink Recovery, and Respawn Punisher. You could also consider Thermal Ink to give you more visibility and support your team.
The Tri-Stringer is one of the newest weapons to grace Splatoon, and it makes for a good Anchor. It has Range, Damage, and Utility in droves. Unfortunately, it won’t have the killing power of the Splatlings or the Range of the Chargers. This makes the Tri-Stringer more of a Jack-of-all-trades, which could be a strength depending on your outlook.
For the Tri-Stringer’s Sub and Special, you have access to Toxic Mist and Killer Wail 5.1. Toxic Mist is fairly underwhelming but is far from useless. At the very least it will slow enemies hit, which makes them easier to hit with your arrows. Killer Wail on the other hand is excellent. It locks onto enemies and fires six tracking ink lasers. At worst, you will disrupt the enemy's movements. At best, you will land a sneaky kill.
For abilities, the Tri-Stringer likes mobility. Run Speed and Swim Speed are great to augment this. You could also pick up Thermal Ink for visibility and Ink Saver (Main) for better tank health.
Finally, we have the E-Liter 4K (although most Chargers can fill in for this weapon). The E-Liter 4k has excellent Range and Damage, but the trade-off is slow Charge Speed and low Mobility. With a steady aim, the E-Liter 4K can lock enemies down and take out key targets before they can ravage your team. They are especially good at taking down Rollers, Brushes, and Splatlings.
Its Sub is also pretty good with Ink Mine. This lets you cover your position with some degree of passivity. It also comes with the aforementioned Wave Breaker which is just as good here as it was on the Heavy Splatling.
Because the E-Liter can hold a charge in squid form, abilities like Swim Speed Up, Ninja, and Ink Recovery really help the E-Liter do its job.