Multiplayer games are fun, but some players want to cooperate with one another rather than compete against each other. In Splatoon 3, you’re free to work with your peers and earn some sweet cash in Salmon Run: Next Wave.
In an improved version of Salmon Run which first debuted in Splatoon 2, players can form a team with up to three others, where they are tasked with filling a quota with Golden Eggs for a mysterious employer known as Mr. Grizz. Why do you need Golden Eggs? Just don’t ask any questions. Mr. Grizz pays well, after all, and you wouldn’t want to disappoint your boss. Think of the team!
Salmonids, a fish-like race of creatures who are strangely obsessed with frying pans, are the source of Power Eggs, but only Boss Salmonids cough up precious Golden Eggs once defeated. Ensure you don’t miss a check by clearing several waves of Salmonids; make sure you stay alive and fill that Golden Egg quota!
How to play Salmon Run: Next Wave
Salmon Run: Next Wave is available 24/7 in Splatoon 3, with the stages and weapons changing periodically in shifts. In order to win a round, teams must clear three 100-second waves by filling the Golden Egg quota and having at least one player alive by the time the timer hits zero. When a King Salmonid is present, players are asked to complete a fourth wave, though this must not be cleared to constitute a win.
At the beginning of every round, each player is given one weapon from a pool of four that is available during each shift. Players must work together and use their weapons to defeat Boss Salmonids, then bring the Golden Eggs dropped back to one of two baskets. The location of the basket will be indicated before each wave starts.
Depositing a Golden Egg is now much more streamlined compared to Splatoon 2, thanks to the new egg-throwing mechanic. To deposit a Golden Egg, players can either press the A button to deposit while standing next to the basket, or hold the A button and aim the Golden Egg at the basket in the same way they would a bomb during online multiplayer matches. Just like throwing bombs, throwing Golden Eggs uses up a portion of your ink tank, as you deal 100 damage to any enemy in your vicinity upon throwing the Golden Egg.
Players are meant to collaborate to meet the quota, and should one player get splatted by a Salmonid, other players can simply ink them to revive them. While there is no voice chat available directly in-game, players can use the D-pad buttons to communicate. Up on the D-pad can signal “This way!” to guide teammates or “Help!” if they’re in need of reviving. Down on the D-pad is used to send out a “Booyah!” to thank players for reviving them or to celebrate small wins.
Completing three waves counts as a win, and players are rewarded with points towards rewards, as well as experience points for the catalog. Winning can also result in a player’s pay grade being increased, which can help increase their rank. Your rank determines what percentage of the base pay players receive, and are as follows:
- Profreshional Part-Timer
- Profreshional +1
- Profreshional +2
- Profreshional +3
- Eggsecutive VP
Depending on your performance, you may receive an increase or decrease in your pay grade. As pay grade and rank increase, so does the difficulty of each wave. If the performance was competent up until the end, teammates can retain their pay grade. Failing to clear enough waves will result in players falling in rank. For players who wish to lessen their burden, they can also rank down willingly from the lobby.
Lesser Salmonids in Salmon Run
Salmonids are a unique race of creatures that, while producing their own ink like Inklings and Octolings, seem to resemble fish and can swim in water. They come out of the sea onto your turf, leaving dangerous ink trails behind them that can harm you.
Not all Salmonids are super scary, though, and some of the lesser ones won’t one-shot you. Here are the different kinds of Lesser Salmonids and what their behavior is like:
These are your run-of-the-mill, medium-sized Lesser Salmonids. Brandishing a frying pan, they move throughout the stage and can do some real damage if they gang up on you.
Chinooks are Chums that managed to find a propeller hat. Chinooks only appear during the Mothership hazard event, dropping packages containing other Salmonids who try and hunt players down. They descend onto the map but do not attack, and are the only kind that will drop one Golden Egg upon being defeated.
These big boys are the largest kind of Lesser Salmonid. They are slow, but mighty, and can one-shot a player with one swing of their frying pan. They are the only kind of Salmonid aside from Boss Salmonids to appear during the Cohock Charge hazard event.
These tiny Salmonids often swim onto the shore in groups. They may resemble your Little Buddy from Hero Mode, but beware! These ones are not friendly at all. Though they don’t do much damage on their own, a group of them can easily fell a player after nibbling on their ankles for long enough. They can be seen accompanying Grillers during the Griller event. You’ll also recognize this creature as one of the new Splatoon 3 amiibo figures that has been announced.
Snatchers are another passive kind of Salmonid that players can encounter. Similar to Chinooks, they do not attack the player, instead opting to snatch up any Golden Eggs left unattended. Defeating Snatchers will cause them to drop any Golden Eggs they were holding, which can be up to four.
How to defeat Boss Salmonids in Salmon Run
These are the big boys, and are the main focus of Salmon Run shifts. They deal the most damage, but more importantly, hold those sweet Golden Eggs. Each kind of Boss Salmonid can be defeated in a specific manner, with different weapon classes being well-suited for individual Boss Salmonids.
Here are the different kinds of Boss Salmonids players can encounter and how to defeat them:
These Boss Salmonids are one of the new ones introduced in Splatoon 3. They bring with them an egg cannon to the shoreline, which they use to lob cannon balls onto the stage repeatedly before going back into the water. These cannon balls leave shockwaves, which spread out around the map and harm players upon impact. The shockwaves mirror those left behind by the Wave Breaker special weapon.
Be prepared to jump over the shockwaves as you attack the Big Shot. While you can accomplish this with any weapon, heavy weapons like Blasters or Splatlings are ideal. They leave the egg cannons with you, though, so make use of them and send Golden Eggs closer to the basket!
Drizzlers are Smallfrys that somehow found an umbrella under the sea. They fly around the stage with their umbrella, before landing and hiding underneath it. Drizzlers will then fire a projectile that unleashes a steady downpour of dangerous ink rain, similar to the Ink Storm special weapon.
To defeat the Drizzler, wait until it flips over its umbrella to peek out at its surroundings. Once the Drizzler’s face is visible, attack! Do so quickly, as it will eventually fly to another part of the stage. These Boss Salmonids can be defeated with any weapon, though quick-fire weapons like shooters and Splatlings are ideal.
Another new Boss Salmonid in Splatoon 3, Fish Sticks are quite easy to beat. Consisting of several Smallfrys tethered to what seems to be a concrete pillar, the group descends onto the stage, planting the pillar in place. They then orbit the pillar, dropping ink beneath them, which can spell trouble for any employee accidentally caught beneath it.
Eliminate the Fish Stick by inking and swimming your way up the pillar. Defeat the flying Smallfrys to unleash the Golden Eggs they hoard. You can technically defeat them with any weapon, but fast-firing weapons like Shooters and Splatlings work the best. Once a Fish Stick makes its way to the map, the concrete pillar remains until the end of the round. Use this to gain a height advantage, and take out other Boss Salmonids!
These enemies made their first appearance in Splatoon 3 and while they don’t attack similarly to any special weapons, they lay down a bordered circle of ink similar to Splat Zones in Anarchy Battles. After laying their circle of ink, they jump into the air and dive into the middle of it.
To defeat them, cover their circle with your own ink, until it changes to your team’s color. Upon diving down, the Flipper-Flopper will bump their head onto your ink and flop onto its side. Ink like there’s no tomorrow to defeat it while it’s exposed. While all weapons will work, Roller and Slosher users are better off taking on this Boss Salmonid.
The Flyfish is one of the more tricky Boss Salmonids to defeat. Similar to the Tenta Missiles special weapon, they target each player and fire off missiles that affect the entire stage. Flyfishes have two hatches from which their missiles emerge, and the only way to defeat them is by throwing a bomb into the hatches before they close. Try not to ignore these Boss Salmonids, as they can disrupt gameplay if too many are on the map.
Another bombtastic Boss Salmonids, these enemies swim beneath the stage and sneak up on unsuspecting players. Maws will one-shot-splat you, so look out for the red buoy that signals their location!
You can defeat Maws by inking them with your weapon in a pinch, but the fastest way to get rid of them is to drop a bomb right on top of the place they plan to surface. They’ll eat the bomb, and splat! You’ll want to get rid of these, as they can swim almost anywhere, even on top of pillars and grates.
Scrappers move towards players and hit like a truck — literally. You’ll have to stop them in their tracks by firing at them. While you can defeat them from the front, it’s more efficient to sneak behind them and fire at their exposed behinds. Heavy weapons that spread lots of ink like Rollers, Sloshers, and Splatlings work well against this Boss Salmonid.
This new Boss Salmonid doesn’t attack the player directly, unless you provoke it. They hover above ground, beaming Lesser Salmonids onto the stage to aggravate players. If you move beneath their beam, they’ll slam down on you, splatting you with one hit.
Chargers are best suited for this Boss Salmonid, as the key to defeating them is to attack the tiny Smallfry at the top. However, players with other weapons can handle them just fine, so long as they get on top of the lid. Try baiting these Boss Salmonids by quickly swimming in and out of their beam to draw them to the group, then climb on top and get to inking!
This classic Boss Salmonid is a giant snake-like behemoth driven by a Salmonid at the back. Don’t let the scary face confuse you, though, as you’ll have to target the rear end of the creature! Work together with your teammates to lure the Steel Eel to a location where another player can run behind it to splat it. Be careful when attacking this enemy, however, as it spreads enemy ink once defeated, that can splat you.
Steelheads are a slow-moving Boss Salmonid that inflate an ink-filled balloon on their head, which they throw onto the stage before it explodes. As their name suggests, Steelheads are fortified and cannot be defeated by just attacking them.
To counter a Steelhead, players must pop the ink balloon on its head with their own ink before the Steelhead throws it. Weapons with a focus on precision, like Chargers and Stringers, are best suited for this enemy.
The Stinger is a sniper-like enemy that sits atop a tower of pots. These Boss Salmonids fire a high-pressure ray of ink similar to the Sting Ray special weapon used in online multiplayer. They remain on the edge of the stage, targeting players in the middle.
To defeat a Stinger, simply knock it down a few pegs (actually, all of them). Firing at the pots knocks them away, eventually leaving just the sniper on the floor for you to take out. These Boss Salmonids should also be prioritized, as they can disrupt the movement of all players.
Weather conditions to look out for
Anyone who’s been at sea knows that weather conditions can change in the blink of an eye. In Salmon Run: Next Wave, it’s possible to have conditions change from wave to wave. Here are the ones you should look out for:
At the beginning of each wave, the sea level will appear as a green overlay on the screen. There are three sea levels to watch out for: High Tide, Medium Tide, and Low Tide. During Low Tide, the basket for depositing Golden Eggs can appear on the shoreline, with the exception of the Tornado hazard. Inklings and Octolings detest water, so make sure to pay attention to the water level in order to avoid falling off the edge of the stage. Salmonids may be able to swim in water, but you can only swim in ink!
Fog can be observed at all levels of your career, making things tricky for you and your co-workers. While the fog won’t harm you, it will obscure your vision, making the landscape — and Salmonids — harder to see. During Fog environments, you may even bump into a sneaky Goldie! Be sure to take note of the sea level when you see fog rolling in, as you wouldn’t want to accidentally jump into the water during high tide.
Hazard waves in Salmon Run
Hazard waves don’t feature classic Boss Salmonids, often opting for one type of Boss Salmonid. Some hazard waves, like the name suggests, feature an environmental hazard that makes it harder for you to get the Golden Eggs you need. Hazard waves occur at random and may pop up at the beginning of any wave during a round. Here are the hazard waves to watch out for:
This hazard features waves of powerful Cohocks, who make getting to Boss Salmonids much harder. Cohock Charge occurs at low tide and offers a series of cannons for players to occupy to combat the waves of Cohocks. You can enter a cannon by swimming into them with the ZL button, then fire with the ZR button.
Cannons use up ink from your ink tank, meaning that you can run out of ink while operating a cannon. You will need to leave it from time to time to refill your ink tank, though this makes you vulnerable to enemies. I would recommend that players with weapons that take a long time to charge, such as a Charger or Splatling take up the reins with the cannon. Specific weapons with weak output or fire rates, like the Nozzlenose, are also best suited for the cannons, as they are not very useful against Cohocks.
Goldie waves happen at night, where visibility is low. Glowing hatches called gushers appear around the stage, with the elusive Goldie hiding in one of them. Find the gusher with the brightest glow to release the Goldie, who will quickly scurry to hide elsewhere. While the Goldie is visible, hit it with your weapon, where it will drop one Golden Egg at a time. This process will repeat until the wave ends.
If you open the wrong gusher by accident, it’s not the end of the world — all that’ll come out are various Lesser Salmonids. By process of elimination, you can find out which one is hiding the Boss Salmonid. Don’t forget to deposit your Golden Eggs before the time limit ends, and you’re golden!
Grillers also appear at night, and take the form of a huge barbecue filled with Salmonids. They leave a trail of ink behind them as they move around the map, which will take you out instantly if you get caught inside.
Each time a Griller appears, it will target a player with a red laser pointer and follow them. The targeted player should lead the Griller away to another location, while non-target players hit the exposed weak spot on the Griller’s back. The weak spot looks like a pink fishtail, and if hit enough times will spawn even more of them that spin around. Upon being defeated, Grillers will drop five Golden Eggs. Be careful, however, as Grillers are always accompanied by Smallfry, who love nothing more than to whittle at your health until you’ve been splatted.
The Mothership is a peculiar occurrence where a mysterious flying vessel resembling a fish crate makes its way to the stage. Chinooks will descend onto the stage, carrying with them crates containing Lesser Salmonids. No Boss Salmonids appear during this hazard wave.
How do you get Golden Eggs, then? Simply attack and defeat Chinooks before they reach the ground. They’ll drop one Golden Egg for you to deposit, and you won’t have to worry about the Salmonid inside the crate.
Eventually the Mothership will make its way to the Egg Basket to attempt to reclaim the Golden Eggs. While it’s sucking the Eggs out of the Basket, attack it furiously! Watch out for Salmonids who try to distract you with lobs of their frying pans as your gaze is pointed skyward. While you may lose a couple of Eggs, the Mothership will eventually retreat, allowing you to continue.
Mudmouths are a new type of hazard wave introduced in Splatoon 3. These tall, haunted-looking Boss Salmonids erupt out of gushers with mouths wide open, from which Lesser Salmonids emerge. If you have trouble finding them, just follow the trail of Lesser Salmonids to find these tall boys.
To get Golden Eggs, throw a bomb into the Mudmouth’s…mouth, which will cause it to drop one Golden Egg. Defeating a Mudmouth grants you multiple Golden Eggs at once, and defeating a rare Golden Mudmouth will net you even more Golden Eggs.
Rush, also known as Glowflies, is a hazard level that occurs when it’s dark out. The only Lesser Salmonid to appear during these waves are Chums, who are frenzied and have red eyes. Glowflies will smother one player at random, attracting the ferocious Chums to them who will run over everything in their path. To get Golden Eggs, defeat the Goldie hiding amongst them.
Rush waves can be overwhelming, so try to lead the stampede of Chums to a choke point if you’re targeted by Glowflies. It is possible to hide out on a wall where Chums can’t reach you, but they may eventually climb it if you wait there long enough. Remember to stay together as a team above all else, and approach the wave calmly. Don’t forget to deposit Golden Eggs either — Goldies can disperse them further away than normal Boss Salmonids upon defeat.
The last type hazard wave, the Tornado, was also introduced in Splatoon 3. Here, a giant Tornado appears on the sea, leaving a giant cage of Golden Eggs to wash up on the shore at Low Tide. Players will have to break it open by inking it, but the nearby Egg Basket was destroyed by a rock. You and your team will have to work together to throw Golden Eggs up land into the other Egg Basket!
Salmonids will be around as well, so watch out for them. One team member can stay behind and throw Golden Eggs upward, while the other three can bring them to the basket. If you’d like, a second teammate can throw eggs from the midpoint between the thrown eggs and the basket runners, kind of like moving eggs up a chain.
How to defeat King Salmonids
Splatoon 3’s theme may be things coming in threes, but an entirely new fourth wave was added to Salmon Run: Next Wave in the form of King Salmonids. At the time of writing, the only King Salmonid available is the Cohozuna, a Kaiju-sized Salmonid who jumps in the air and sends massive waves of ink out when it lands.
Every time you finish three waves of a shift, your Salmometer increases. When at least one teammate has a full Salmometer, players can experience what’s called an Xtrawave after the third wave is completed. Players will be given an Egg Cannon, a portable version of what the Big Shot Salmonid brings ashore. This will be instrumental in defeating the King Salmonid.
While you can whittle the King Salmonid’s health down with your regular weapon, firing Golden Eggs is where it’s at. Defeat the Boss Salmonids that gather to support the King Salmonid, then aim your Golden Eggs at the King Salmonid to greatly reduce its health bar. Things can get overwhelming, so be sure to work together to focus on reducing the number of Boss Salmonids and firing the eggs as quickly as possible.
Defeating King Salmonids will grant you a combination of Bronze, SIlver, and Gold Scales. However, King Salmonids can be quite tricky to defeat, so even if your team does not manage to fend it off, don’t get discouraged. Players will still be rewarded with some scales, and won’t have their pay grade reduced.
Of course, you won’t be working for free, as all Grizzco employees are compensated fairly for their work. Not only are you awarded money based on your rank and experience for your catalog, but there are other things you can collect, too.
Here’s what you get for your hard work:
After each shift, you’ll be granted prizes based on how many points you’ve racked up. Points are influenced by how many Golden Eggs you’ve deposited, how many Power Eggs you got from defeating Salmonids, and other factors. Employees earn money, ability chunks, food tickets, and drink tickets from playing, with better rewards being awarded the further you are in the rotation.
Players can earn gear, some of which are exclusive to Salmon Run, from a rotating pool, each with their own abilities and ability chunks. If you earn a duplicate gear item, you can choose whether to keep the new gear or trade it in for the ability chunks attached. The more points you earn within a certain shift rotation, the better the gear will be.
Have you ever been in a pit of Boss Salmonids and thought, “Wow, my outfit really sucks, I wish it were yellow”? Well, you can switch up your look in Salmon Run: Next Wave! Slopsuits can be bought with silver scales obtained from King Salmonids. With enough dedication, you can look super fresh while at work!
Scales can also be used locker decorations. Bronze, silver, and gold scales can be used for both statuettes and stickers, so you can show the world just how dedicated you are to Grizzco’s cause. Hey, it’s great advertising, at least!
There’s no better way to show your love for your corporation than showing off your Grizzco Splashtag! Like everything else at Grizzco, these are paid for with cold, hard, King Salmonid scales. Once you’ve got one, feel free to equip it at your leisure either at the Lobby Terminal or from the menu.
Playing with friends
There are different ways to get together with friends in multiplayer. Players can set up Salmon Run rounds via local multiplayer at The Shoal, with the ability to customize the weapons, stages, and hazard level.
Remember, local wireless play requires each player to have their own console and their own copy of the game. Here’s how to set it up:
- Press the L button to enter the menu.
- Select Salmon Run.
- If you’re joining, select the appropriate room. If you’re setting up a room, press the Y button to create a room.
- Set a password, if necessary, by pressing the Y button.
- Select the stage with the D-pad. By default, the game will select a random map.
- Select the hazard level/difficulty. By default, it will be set to 10%.
- Select “OK” once all your friends have joined.
- Have fun!
There’s also a way to play with friends online, with random players filling in any empty slots. Note that teaming up and winning with friends whose job ranks are way below yours won’t raise your job level.
In order to play online, each player will need their own system, their own copy of the game, and a subscription to Nintendo Switch Online. The Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack is not necessary to play Splatoon 3.
Here’s how to set up a room online from the Grizzco lobby:
- Press the L button to enter the menu.
- Under “Freelance”, press left/right on the D-pad to switch to “Freelance with friends”.
- If you’re joining, select the appropriate room. If you’re setting up a room, press the Y button to create a room.
- Set a password, if necessary, by pressing the Y button.
- Select “Ready!” once all your friends have joined.
- Work together and have fun!
Sometimes, not everyone plays fairly. It can be particularly frustration when another player’s malicious actions caused you to lose rank, causing hours of hard work to be lost. In this case, you may want to report someone so that they can’t inconvenience others.
Here’s how to report inappropriate behavior:
- Head to the practice area in the Grizzco lobby. Next to a blue container containing different weapons to try, is the Grizzco Terminal. Press the A button to select it.
- Scroll down and select the relevant match that the offender in question participated in.
- Press the — button to report someone in the selected match.
- Select the appropriate type of report.
- Select “Next”.
- Select “Report”.
Players can be reported for the following reasons:
- Inappropriate nickname
- Intentional disconnection
- Unsportsmanlike play (self-destruction)
- Unsportsmanlike play (disrupting team)
- Intentionally not contributing
- Network manipulation
- Malicious use of glitches or errors
Nintendo takes its reports seriously, so make sure that the report is sound before you send it off. Sending false reports could result in your own account getting banned instead.
Make way, Smallfry!
Salmon Run is an excellent change of pace from the various other multiplayer modes in Splatoon 3, especially if you’ve already completed hero mode. Even if you don’t have a Nintendo Switch Online membership, you can play so long as you have friends nearby.
Remember to work together, communicate using the tools available, and fall into the necessary roles your weapon necessitates during each wave. If you’re not a fan of the weapons or the stage, that’s okay! Simply wait for another rotation. Golden Eggs will always be around, and Mr. Grizz will always be… craving them.