a conch shell with gray, blue, and yellow paint splotches behind it on a black background. below it white text are the words
Image via Nintendo

Splatoon 3 is gearing up for another Splatfest soon, which means players will be splitting into teams to determine who’s the best at inking turf. Conch shells return alongside the Splatfests, and you can only earn this unique currency during the window of time around the high-stakes competition. These special shells can be used to stylize your banner or score some cool new gear, and earning them is a pretty straightforward process.

How To Earn Conch Shells

a young person with yellow hair in a torn white t-shirt stands in a metropolitan square. ahead of them is a small stand with a sign out front with purple, orange, and green posters on it. The stand is circled in red
Image via Nintendo

The first thing you’ll need to do is head to the Splatfest Pledge Box in the main square. This small stall will have three t-shirts available for purchase, one associated with each team of the current Splatfest. Choose your team wisely, as you can’t change your mind later. It’s crucial you do this before heading into any battles, as any conch shells you earn without choosing a team could vanish from your inventory.

Next, head to the lobby. As you play matches of Turf Battle in Splatoon 3, you’ll earn experience for both an overall level and catalog level. Raising both is key to advancing in the game, but the catalog level is what counts when trying to earn conch shells.

Related: Splatoon 3 Stringer Guide: Tips, Build, and Perks

Whenever your catalog level goes up, you’ll earn a new item from the General Store. This can be anything from a sticker for your locker to a food ticket that offers special benefits. But during a Splatfest, raising the catalog level also rewards you with a single conch shell. There’s no need to jump into a special mode or even participate in the Splatfest itself (just make sure to pick a team first).

How To Spend Them

a menu screen on a gray background. white text at the top reads
Screenshot via Nintendo

Conch shells can be spent in one place: the Shell-Out machine located in the in-game lobby. This gacha-style machine deposits a random item whenever players use it such as banners, titles, and even rare clothing. The first use per day for the machine usually costs 5,000 coins with every subsequent use jumping to 30,000, but a single conch shell will also do the trick.

It’s also important to use up all your conch shells before the Splatfest is over, as they don’t carry over past the event’s end date. Besides, the sooner you spend those shells, the sooner you can show off the cool new gear you earned!

Splatoon 3 is available now for the Nintendo Switch. For more on the game, check out our guide on all the mechanics of Splatfests.