Splatoon 3‘s Salmon Run co-op content pits four players against three waves of salmonids. The goal is to collect eggs that are dropped by various bosses and place them in an egg basket. There is a quota to meet and players get more rewards the more eggs they collect. More eggs mean more experience, higher pay, and unlocking more gear.

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Salmon Run has a lot of different salmonid bosses, each requiring different strategies to defeat. While Chums, Smallfrys, and Cohocks can crowd a player and kill them, the bosses can wipe a whole team if they are not dealt with quickly. Some bosses are also far more of a threat than others. It is good to know which boss to deal with immediately when there is more than one out. There are also event-specific bosses that get their own unique waves that require different strategies.


Regular Bosses

Big Shots

Big Shots are one of the new bosses introduced in Splatoon 3. The salmonid, while large, does not actually attack players. Instead, it focuses on loading a launcher with cannonballs that will land near the egg basket and make two shockwaves.

The salmonid can be taken care off in the normal way, and its launcher will remain until the wave is over. The launcher can actually be used to shoot eggs towards the egg basket.


The Drizzler bosses are salmonids with umbrellas. The umbrella acts as a way to fly around and armor against ink attacks. The time to attack a Drizzler is right after it fires a projectile, as the salmonid will be briefly unarmored.

If players time their attacks right, they can also reflect a Drizzler’s projectile back at it which can kill it in one hit. Its attacks explode into showers of ink if not dealt with.

Fish Sticks

Fish Sticks are a boss introduced in Splatoon 3. These salmonids place a pillar down and fly around its tip while spraying ink below. The best weapons for this boss are guns that can shoot high enough to get rid of all the salmonids.

While the boss will be defeated, the pillar will remain for the whole wave. The eggs will also drop at the top and will require climbing to get to. This is a boss that does not usually kill players, but can severely limit movement space to make players vulnerable to other salmonids.


These dolphin-like salmonids are also new additions in Splatoon 3. Compared to other bosses, Flipper-floppers are easy to avoid and defeat. They always show where they are going to land by placing an ink ring on the ground.

Any weapon works with this boss, as players just have to ink the insides of the ring until the circle is fully inked in their color. Then, when the Flipper-flopper dives, it will die. Just be careful not to be in the ink circle if it is green when the boss dives. Players can also kill it by shooting it while it is exposed in the air.


Flyfish are known to be the most dangerous boss of salmonids (other than the King itself). Due to this, it should be killed ASAP. They fire missiles at both the furthest and closest players. Their inkjet exhaust can even splat players if they stand under it too long.

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Killing Flyfish itself can be a challenge, as it wears ink-repelling armor and can only be killed by having bombs land in its missile launchers. Due to this difficulty, killing these usually requires a team effort.


Maws are only seen in full when they are actively trying to eat a player, as they move under ink and can even move up walls. Once under a target, they leap out and can kill a player in one hit. They can be defeated in two ways.

To defeat it fastest, placing a bomb for it to eat will kill a Maw immediately. Players can also shoot ink at it whenever it surfaces.


Scrappers are salmonid bosses that have to be attacked from behind. Their front and sides have shields that are impervious to ink. They attack at close range, charging at players.

Shooting their armor will eventually make it break down which will put the Scrapper at a stand still. It is then that players can move behind it to shoot.

Slammin’ Lid

Another new boss added in Splatoon 3, Slammin’ Lids are easy to avoid but can crowd the map by deploying salmonids. They will also try to crush any player that goes under them. To defeat this boss, the pilot has to be targeted. This can be done with ranged weapons, or players can lure the boss down, jump on the saucer, and kill the pilot from there.

To lure the boss down, go under it and get out in time to not be crushed. Also, keep in mind that the saucer beams down a barrier so salmonids directly under it cannot be hit.

Steel Eels

Steel Eels target one player at a time, but use their long bodies to block escaping. The target to defeat is at the back end of the eel. Killing these bosses is usually a team effort, as the player it targets will often get trapped if they try to get to the tail end.

This is one of those bosses players want to defeat quickly, as it spreads a lot of ink and also is relentless in its chase of players. They are especially dangerous during high tide, when there is little room for players to move.


Steelheads date back to Splatoon 2 and are one of the salmonids that players want to take care of as soon as possible They throw bombs that can wipe a team and ink up a lot of space. Ranged weapons are best for Steelheads.

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With a ranged weapon, players must aim for the bomb on the boss’s head. This will cause the bomb to explode on the boss and kill it.


Stingers are very dangerous because their jets are far-reaching and can go through walls. It is best to take care of them quickly to avoid team wipes. To defeat them, players must attack the pots from the bottom.

Once all the pots are dealt with, the salmonid will be defeated. On the positive end, this is a boss that does not move from its position, so it is easy to find once it spawns.

Event Specific Bosses


Grillers appear as an event wave. When they appear, there many of them at once. LIke Steel Eels, they target one player at a time and chase them. If targeted, it is best to run and let other players attack it. The Griller sprays ink under itself, which can kill a player in one hit.

The Griller’s weak spot is the exposed fishtails that stick out of the grill. Shooting the exposed tails will stun and eventually kill the Griller.


Goldies are event bosses that typically appear along with foggy weather. They have a lot in common with basic Chums, but they hit harder, are faster, and have more health. As they take damage, they also get even faster.

During their events, like Grillers, they are the only boss around. For them, fighting is all about speed to get the most eggs possible. They are not very dangerous.


Motherships are event bosses that deploy crates of salmonids. They are also the only boss that can take away eggs from the egg basket. Motherships are best for ranged attacks, and most attacks should go to the deployed crates before they land because they drop eggs.

When the Mothership is close enough to hit (usually when sucking up eggs from the egg basket), players should focus on hitting it to push it back and protect the eggs.


Mudmouths are new event bosses introduced in Splatoon 3. They are one of the few bosses that remain stationary. Out of their mouths, salmonids spawn. To defeat Mudmouths, players have to use Splat Bombs and throw them in the boss’s big mouth.

Special weapons like Crab Tanks also work. These enemies typically take up to three bombs to explode. Golden Mudmouths should be prioritized as they spawn tougher enemies and drop more eggs when splatted.

Splatoon 3 is available for Nintendo Switch.

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