With the full version of Ninjala unleashed, gamers are piling into the Nintendo Switch title, battling with katanas, hammers, and yo-yos.
It’s a remarkably deep game, with a strong selection of weapons, abilities, special moves, and upgrades to make the gameplay dynamic and customisable.
To help you get started as a beginner, here are some tips and tricks for playing Ninjala.
Use your ninja moves
In the early sessions of the game, far too few ninjas utilised key aspects of the movement in the game. As a ninja, you can run up walls, stick to walls, slide along gum beams, and speed through the air.
Many fly into scraps and just accept that they’ll either come out as the winner or get knocked out. There’s nothing wrong with fleeing while you recover, or even running up walls and waiting above eye-level to avoid combat or to sneak attack from above.
There isn’t a sprint button in Ninjala, with each weapon offering players a different amount of foot speed. Yo-yos provide the highest grade of foot speed, followed by katanas, hammers, and then the particularly heavy hammers.
So, with some weapons, you can outrun some opponents, but the best move for a quick getaway is the Gum Boost. The boost consumes three units of S-Energy (shown along the sectioned bar to the bottom left of the screen) but allows you to surge out of range and potentially out of sight.
Use a weapon that suits your style and strategic preferences
There are 12 weapons to use in Ninjala, with each weapon offering a different Gum Ninjutsu move (X to activate), Special (Y to activate), Gum Shoot (ZL + ZR to use), abilities, parameters, and attacks.
While the best weapons in Ninjala offer the user very favourable set-ups and attacks, all Ninjala weapons have their uses. Finding a weapon that suits your style and strategic preferences is key to being good at the game and enjoying the game.
To get a feel for the weapons that you like the look of, turn to Ninjala’s excellent Training Mode. Found under the PvP Menu from the home screen (the option with two katanas), training offers a vast range of customisation for set-ups so that you can thoroughly test a weapon and practice your attack timing.
Once you’re in training, press + to bring up the menu. As you can see above, you’ll be able to change the setting of your opponent. By pressing L or R, you can also change the settings of your load-out, including the size of your weapon.
Run through some weapons, see which ones appeal to you, and then try them out in a Team Battle or Battle Royale game.
While the game is all about beating your fellow ninjas in the arena, winning parries, and scoring Ippons, Drones are vital to your success.
Your S-Energy bar (the sectioned yellow bar beneath your health bar) dictates how powerful your moves are, the size of your weapon, and how often you can spring crucial manoeuvres, such as the Gum Boost.
By destroying a Drone, you’ll get an additional unit of S-Energy. You’ll want to work your way up to having eight or more units of S-Energy as then you can craft a big weapon – a prompt with the controls will show on the screen to do so.
Being able to craft a big weapon early in a match should be a priority, with the additional incentive of Drones rewarding you points.
If you destroy the most Drones of all ninja in the match, you’ll get a significant boost at the end when all of the points are tallied.
Use Shinobi Cards
Found in the Closet, within the Battle Equipment menu, Shinobi Cards become increasingly influential to your Ninjala gameplay.
You can unlock eight of the ten Shinobi Cards fairly quickly, with them only costing a few of the two lesser forms of Ninja Medals (the currency rewarded for battling online). However, Starting Dash and Life Drain cost several golden Ninja Medals to unlock.
Unlocking and then equipping a Shinobi Card will grant you the perk stated, but you can further enhance the benefits granted by the Shinobi Card by upgrading its Assist Codes.
From the Shinobi Cards screen, press Y to view and upgrade the Assist Codes of a particular Shinobi Card.
Upgrading the Assist Codes and equipping them requires Ninja Medals and the Assist Codes themselves (both of which are earned by playing online battles). Doing so will increase the cost of the Shinobi Card.
The ‘Total Cost’ bar on the Shinobi Card screen indicates how much your currently equipped Shinobi Cards and Assist Codes cost to hold, with there being a maximum cost cap.
To increase the Total Cost available to you – which will allow you to equip more Shinobi Cards and Assist Codes to become more powerful – you’ll need to unlock another Shinobi Card slot from the Equipment menu.
Doing so costs a fair bit of all three forms of Ninja Medal, particularly the gold medals, but it’s certainly worth saving up for as Shinobi Cards are the best way to enhance your Ninjala character.
Get off to a good start in Ninjala by finding the best weapon for you, smashing Drones as much as possible, utilising movement controls like Gum Boost, and boosting your character with Shinobi Cards.