Splatoon 2's massive holiday update adds new maps, gear, and modes

Perhaps anticipating a rush of new Splatoon 2 players thanks to the holiday season, Nintendo has announced a massive new update for the game. New content will be rolled out in two phases, with the first phase coming later this week. That first update will be followed by a second one in mid-December, giving Splatoon 2 players plenty of new content over the next couple of months.

The first update launches on November 23, and it'll bring the first of four new battle stages with it. That stage is called MakoMart, which is set in a giant supermarket. In addition to MakoMart, Walleye Warehouse and Arowana Mall from the first game will be releasing at some point in the weeks after Black Friday, along with a second all-new stage called Shellendorf Institute.

Players will also be getting a new Salmon Rush stage called Salomnid Smokeyard once the update drops on November 23. Combat will take place on two platforms divided by a beach, and players will need to navigate fan lifts to jump between those two platforms quickly. It sounds like there's an element of team work to operating the fan lifts, so get ready to cooperate with your team mates beyond simply trying to win the game.

On top of those new stages, we'll see 140 new pieces of gear added, including winter-themed gear and items from the first game. Two new battle themes, four new hairstyles, and a level cap increase are also on the docket. While currently capped at level 50, players will be able to climb all the way to level 99 – once you reach the new cap, you'll even be able to reset your level so you can continue climbing, similar to prestige systems found in other shooters.

The update slated for mid-December doesn't have as much announced content yet, but what it does add should be pretty big. We'll see the launch of a new game mode called Clam Blitz, which will have players collecting clams that are scattered around the battlefield and depositing them into a basket near their opponent's base.

All your team needs to do is score 100 points for the win, but barriers around each basket and the fact that your clams are stolen by the enemy team if they manage to splat you should make for some intense matches.

So, it sounds like Splatoon 2 players are in for quite a treat as we head toward the end of the year. We'll likely hear more about these updates soon – we still need a release date for that mid-December update, after all – so stay tuned for more.