If you only ever play one Splatoon 2 event, make it Splatoween

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Splatoon 2 has been squelching along for more than a year now but its finest (read: spookiest) hour may still be ahead. Nintendo announced today that Splatoween is coming to the game on Friday, October 19, and it will be much more than just your usual day-long Splatfest. Literally, because it's going to last two days, but also figuratively, because it will go above and beyond the standard pick-your-side event with special costume gear and other seasonal touches.

What is Splatoon 2 Splatoween?

Splatoween is Splatoon 2's in-game Halloween event. The event proper will be a special two-day Splatfest with players choosing to fight for either the Trick team or Treat team on maps decorated with glow-in-the-dark graffiti and other spooky junk like that. Even Inkopolis Square will get a freaky fun look with ectoplasmic streamers, lights, and costumed Jellyfish.

Like any other Splatfest, participating in the event will earn you Super Sea Snails that can be used to add more ability slots to your gear or reroll their existing abilities. How many Super Sea Snails you receive is based on whether your team wins and how much you participate. You don't have to wait for the Splatfest to start having some Halloween fun in-game, though.

How do I get Splatoon 2 Splatoween gear?

Nintendo will give away four special pieces of Halloween-y headgear ahead of the event, but you'll need to subscribe to the Splatoon 2 News Channel on your Switch to get them. Here's a quick walkthrough on how to make sure you're ready to get your cute AF jiangshi hat.

  1. Select the News button on the Switch home screen and press A.
  2. Hit Y to check your Channel List and see if you're already subscribed to the "Squid Research Lab Report (Splatoon 2)" channel.
  3. If not, hit Plus or select "Find Channels" in the upper right.
  4. Scroll down until you find the "Squid Research Lab Report (Splatoon 2)" channel.
  5. Select the "Follow Channel" button to the right of the channel name and hit A. You're all set!

Keep an eye out for the gear post from the Splatoon 2 channel, then launch the game using the included button (it has to be from the post itself or you won't get anything). Look for the news update to arrive around October 5 - and make sure you activate it ASAP so you don't miss out!

When is the Splatoon 2 Splatoween Splatfest?

The Splatfest itself will last for 48 hours, during which time you'll be able to battle for Tricks or Treats across specially decorated stages. You can pick a side starting on October 10, and here are the start and end times for the actual event.

US Splatoween Splatfest times: Friday, October 19 at 6 pm EDT / 3 pm PDT to Sunday, October 21 at 6 pm EDT / 3pm EDT.

UK Splatoween Splatfest times: Friday, October 19 at 3 pm BST to Sunday, October 21 at 3 pm BST.

Will there be more Splatoon 2 seasonal events?

Short answer: probably not. Long answer: kind of, maybe? Both Splatoon games have done a number of seasonally themed Splatfests (including a Vampire vs. Werewolf event for Halloween 2017) but those didn't do much of anything else on top of the usual proceedings. And Splatoon 2's final new map arrived in the recent 4.1.0 update, the flow of new weapons will cease in December, and the final Splatfest is set for July 2019.

In other words, it doesn't sound like this is a game that Nintendo plans to keep pouring a ton of new content into for years and years. Best to look at Splatoween as a one-off celebration of the best holiday (there, I said it) for loyal players, though we'll probably get some kind of Christmassy Splatfest at least.

Do I need a Nintendo Switch Online Service membership to play?

Yes. Ever since the Nintendo Switch Online Service went live in September, a subscription has been required to play Splatoon 2 online. If you haven't used your week-long free trial yet, you could always save it until the week of the Splatoween Splatfest.

Find more stuff to play at home or on the go in our list of upcoming Nintendo Switch games.