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Ink is the Inkling's main gimmick of playstyle. Ink comes in 8 different colors, one for each alternative palette swap to distinguish each fighters' ink. The amount of ink stored by an Inkling is displayed next to the Inkling's HUD. Ink can be refilled by pressing the B button while shielding.
When Kirby copies this ability, he will gain an Ink Tank next to his HUD and is able to splatter his own orange ink. Unlike the Inklings, Kirby cannot refill his Ink Tank and will lose the ability after running out.
Ink serves 4 main properties:
- Makes opponents take more damage depending on how much ink is splatted on them
- Provides usage to the Splattershot and Splat Roller
- Slows down opponents when walked upon by the Splat Roller
- Deals more damage to Smash Attacks, Splat Bomb, and Super Jump
Ink can be splattered on opponents through all of the Inkling's special moves, jab, and smash attacks. The more ink splattered on a opponent, the more damage they will take from subsequent attacks. Ink is temporary and will wear off after some time. All smash attacks and specials apply ink to the opponent, and they all use up a small amount from the Ink Tank. Ink can also be applied to Assist Trophies who can be KO'd.
- Inked opponents who are Screen KO'd will still have ink on them when they hit the screen.
- Despite how much ink an Inkling has, he/she will always dash in a pool of ink.
- Interestingly enough, only the Splat Roller can paint the ground despite every weapon used by the Inkling in its own game series having the ability to do so.
- Ink painted on the ground slowly dissolves away instead of disappearing magically.
- This is reminiscent to the Splatoon games as “The ink sprayed during a Turf War vanishes almost immediately after the battle ends.”