‘Splatoon 2’ Salmon Run Tips: How to Conquer the Co-Op Horde Mode

Doug Trein
Games Nintendo
Games Nintendo

Splatoon 2, the sequel to the 2015 smash-hit, released on the Nintendo Switch last week. Featuring a wide variety of multiplayer modes and a fun single-player campaign, the game has given Inklings everywhere plenty of exciting ways to splat their enemies and earn gear, weapons and rewards. A unique addition to the game’s popular Turf War and Tower Control modes is Salmon Run. This co-op horde mode puts teams of four players against waves of deadly Salmonoids for the benefit of Grizzco Industries.

The mode provides unique rewards and a healthy challenge for new and expert players alike. Looking to make an impact and claim some new gear? Learn all about this exciting mode and some strategies that can help seal victories for you and your team.

Getting Started and Salmon Run Details

Salmon Run is an online mode and a limited-time event that occurs during hourly blocks. Keep an eye out for Pearl and Marina’s announcements when you start the game to see if the event is currently running. You can also check the upcoming events by bringing up the X button menu in the Inkopolis Square, head across to Stages and then down to Salmon Run and you’ll be able to see the next five planned events.

Despite this restriction, players can play local co-op at any time. By heading to The Shoal in Inkopolis Square, you can host a lobby or join one nearby.

Salmon Run pairs up to four players together to destroy three waves of Salmonoid enemies, each of which has unique weak spots. Boss Salmonoids drop Golden Eggs when they’re destroyed and players must collect a certain number of them to continue to the next round. Golden Eggs are harvested by picking them up and bringing them to the egg basket. Be careful, if a Golden Egg remains untouched for too long, Salmonoids can steal them away.

The difficulty of the mode is shown as a percentage number shown in the lobby. The difficulty increases by 5% for every successful game. The highest difficulty is capped at 200%.

Helpful Tips

  • Each player is assigned a specific weapon before each match. Familiarize yourself Splatoon’s various weapon types so you aren’t blindsided by using a weapon you haven’t mastered.
  • Each Salmonoid boss drops three Golden Eggs when defeated. This usually results in players needing to destroy 1-2 bosses per round early on before the quota begins to increase.
  • Be sure to cover the stage with ink while your team spreads out. Increasing your mobility across the stage can help you dispatch bosses quicker.
  • Defend Salmon Rushes by luring the waves of enemies closer to your egg basket, reducing the travel time between collection and harvesting.
  • Stick together! This tip seems self-explanatory but once you start getting overwhelmed it can be easy to lose track of your team. Stick close to them and don’t push off on your own.
  • Be mindful of your Super Moves and when to best use them. Smart use of them can help turn the tide of battle if you’re getting overwhelmed.
  • Change your strategy depending on triggering weather effects. Fog can drastically reduce your visibility, so stick even closer to your teammates when it rolls in.
  • If you get splatted, hope is not lost! Teammates can revive you. When you’re downed, you can move towards your teammates. Salmonoids will ignore you. Not only that, you can still collect Golden Eggs when you’re downed as well. Even in death, a squid is never useless!
  • You can only store eight Salmon Run bonuses at a time. Be sure to claim them before launching Salmon Run or you will permanently lose them!


Salmon Run features a wide variety of different Salmonoid Boss enemies with their own unique weak spots. Reacting to the enemies closest to you and knowing how to dispatch them quickly is the key to winning rounds. A list of known bosses are as follows:

Giant Salmonoid – These are the glowing Salmanoids. Take them out by simply coating them with enough ink.

Steelhead– This boss fires massive ink bombs at you. Aim for the large bomb as it forms on the top of its head to destroy it quickly.

Steel Eel – Steel Eels charge at you and can quickly overwhelm you if you aren’t paying attention. Maneuver behind them to aim for the pilot that’s controlling the beast.

Scrapper – Another charging boss type. Destroy the Scrapper easily by attacking the pilot or stunning it and shooting it from behind.

Stinger – This tall, tower-like boss is can be cut down to size by shooting all the pots stacked underneath it. Once the boss is down to your level, inking them will dispatch them quickly.

Maw – The Maw submerges itself underneath the ground and jumps upwards after getting close to players. The easiest way to dispatch them is to plant a bomb/grenade where they surface. If you’re quick, you can shoot them during the few moments of their upward attack as well.

Drizzler – Drizzlers wield umbrellas and can fire ink-splattering rockets. Dispatch them in two ways – by shooting the rockets in mid-flight so they deflect back towards them. Or fire at them when they pop their heads out.

Flyfish – They Flyfish hovers around on jets of ink and can fire multiple missiles. Take them out by throwing bombs/grenades into each of their open missile ports.

Goldies – Goldies are bosses that appear only during the nighttime stages. They can easily be destroyed by coating them in ink.

Griller – Grillers are rare bosses that can appear in higher difficulties. They spawn surrounded by swarms. They tend to hone in and follow one Inkling until they are destroyed. Have your team focus on the exposed tail of the Griller. Once it’s stunned, three other tails will appear. Destroy them to dispatch the boss for good.


Every successful game of Salmon Run will net you points based on how many Golden Eggs collected and how many Salmonoids you defeated. Play matches to raise your level from intern to high ranks.

Players can shoot for collecting daily and monthly super-bonuses that can grant you powerful gear. Salmon Run includes some unique gear that you can only obtain by taking part in this game type — so be sure to play a few rounds whenever the game mode is available to you.

Check out our expansive Splatoon Fan Community for more information on weapons, gear, and online events. See you at the next Splatfest!

Doug Trein
Doug Trein is a staff contributor at Fandom and focuses primarily on video games and animated television shows. His game genre favorites include strategy and turn-based role-playing games, first-person shooters, 2D fighting games, and action/adventure titles.
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