Big Run Is Imminent! A Short Guide To Winning At Salmon Run In The Splatoon 3 Chill Season Event

Big Run Is Imminent! A Short Guide To Winning At Salmon Run In The Splatoon 3 Chill Season Event
Contributor: Renee O’Flynn

Earlier this week, Nintendo shadow-dropped a trailer announcing a new Chill Season event will arrive in Splatoon 3 on December 1st. While the update will drop new stages, weapons and a fresh seasonal catalog, it was the very end of the trailer that caught fan eyes: a shot of the Salmonids invading Wahoo world. The once-a-season Salmon Run event, Big Run, is coming! So, if you’ve never played Salmon Run before (or just want to improve), this is a handy guide to teach you all the basics you need to survive and secure the win.

Image: Nintendo

What Is Salmon Run?

Salmon Run is an optional PvE mode in Splatoon 3, designed for people who aren’t interested in the game’s more competitive PvP. Each game consists of surviving three waves of Salmonid enemies. Players scoop up Power Eggs and Golden Eggs dropped by fallen enemies, and deposit them in a central basket. Grizzco, the company that wants the Salmonids stopped, loans each player one of four random weapons per wave. Players that perform well increase their overall rank, which reduces the time between boss-tier Salmonids appearing. It is a chaotic mode, so knowing the enemy is the first step to winning the battle. Scroll down to the Salmonids subheading for more intel.

Your character will change their look a little for this mode, and will be dressed in a set of Grizzco-branded coveralls and a hard hat with two tuna packs containing random special items, and one of the four aforementioned weapons. You’ll get a look at the four weapons available in the match before it begins and Splatoon 3 even has a warm-up round that lets you get used to them before kick-off. If one of the weapons is marked with a ???? icon, it means any weapon in Splatoon 3 could potentially fill this loaner slot. Finally, Grizzco Weapons round out the weapons range, illegally modified versions of the base weapons that are, in technical terms, stupidly OP.

Image: Jay_RPGee on Reddit

Tide and time of day

You wouldn’t think you’d need to take note of the tide and time of day in Salmon Run, but you really should. At the beginning of each wave, a graphic will display whether the match will be played at low, mid or high tide. This is important information! A round played at high tide greatly reduces the amount of safe ground teams will have to work with. Inking the walls is a must for any high-tide battle. Low tide means the fights won’t happen in the main area, and will kick off toward the water’s edge. It’s unknown if tides have any effect on the Chill Season Salmonid invasion.

The time of day is also important! Usually, matches are played in either daytime, evening or night modes. The corollary to this is special modes, which only happen during nighttime.

The Salmonids

Regular Salmonids

There are three main regular Salmonid types. Any of them will push players into the water so beware of that.

Smallfrys are small but can overwhelm you in large numbers. Use crowd control weapons like rollers and blasters to wipe them out. Chums are mid-sized Salmonid, and Shooters are good for dealing with them efficiently. Cohocks are big and sturdy boys. Your best bet for dealing with these guys are strong burst weapons like the Splatana, Luna Blaster and the Gals.

A Smallfry. Image: Nintendo

Snatchers sit alongside the regular Salmonids, but pose a greater threat: they grab any eggs your players leave unattended. They will grab four eggs before attempting to flee at high speed.

Boss Salmonids

Boss Salmonids are stronger than the average foe and require special tactics to beat. These are priority targets as they are the enemies that drop those valuable golden eggs.

Image: Nintendo

The Scrapper is not an especially huge threat, and you’ll know it right away because it looks like a car. If possible, draw it as close to the egg basket as you can so you can throw the Golden Eggs in the moment they drop. After being shot a few times, the car will lose its wheels and be unable to turn, allowing players to swim behind it and attack its unprotected rear. Danger rating: 1

Maws! Image: Nintendo

Maws stay underground and stalk their prey. Only its floater is visible until the ring lights up, telling you it’s about to attack. Move away and throw a bomb for it to swallow. This is the most efficient way to take it down. Of course, normal attacks still damage it, but it takes longer to whittle them down. Like the car, try to lead it to the basket and bring it down there for rapid egg delivery. Danger rating: 1

A Stinger. Image: Nintendo

Stingers are another enemy you’ll identify right away: it looks like it’s wearing a pot on its head. The Stinger will target one player and shoot a laser at them. If you’re the unlucky target, stay away from your team mates so they don’t get killed. If taking it on Solo, run towards it in a zigzag pattern to avoid incoming fire. Danger rating: 2

A Steel Eel. Image: Nintendo

Steel Eels will target one player and chase them down, splashing ink in a line as they go. The Salmonid driving the Eel is at the back, so use cover to get behind it, or allow another player to kill it if it’s targeting you. Danger rating: 2

Fishsticks! Image: Nintendo

Fishsticks (which I call Doots, Dooty Fucks, or Fucking Dooters depending on my mood) will drop onto the map and cover the area around it in ink. Players with short-range weapons need to ink the sides, climb up and shoot the salmonids playing their trumpets. Players with long-range weapons can help clear the ink but don’t need to climb, as the chargers can be inefficient. Danger rating: 2

Slammin’ Lid! Image: Nintendo

Slammin’ Lid (get it?) will protect any Salmonids (GET IT??) inside from the enemy ink. However, if a player zooms near it, it will slam down killing any Salmonids it was once protecting. When it’s on the floor, jump on, kill the driver and collect the eggs. Danger rating: 2

A Steelhead! Image: Nintendo

Steelheads are big guys that are completely indestructible but for the bomb that appears on their heads. Long-range weapons are the obvious hard-counter, but Steelheads can be killed by a Roller if they’re the right height and you can time it well. Danger rating: 3

A Drizzler! Image: Nintendo

Drizzler (or Poppins) hide under an umbrella made of steel. It will hide under there until it launches a bomb, after which it will relocate and hide again. Get up close and take them out quickly. Danger rating: 3

A Flipper-Flopper! Image: Nintendo

The Flipper-Flopper will create a circle of ink on the ground. Players must change the ink to their own colour so when the Flopper attempts to dive, it hits the ground and loses its armour, rendering it shootable. Rollers may find it difficult to fill the entire circle when playing solo, but teams should be able to mop these guys up quickly. Danger rating: 3

A Flyfish! Image: Nintendo

Flyfish likes to fly about, staying completely indestructible, until it opens its baskets to release a volley of fire. Players need to throw a bomb into each side of the basket to kill the Flyfish. This enemy requires two people working together to kill quickly, and two can easily wipe out a whole team if you’re not coordinated. Danger rating: 4

A Big Shot. Image: Nintendo

Big Shots emerge from the ocean, launch a cannonball and piss off back into the ocean. The cannonball will bounce three times creating three shockwaves. Because they’re a ranged enemy, it’s all too easy to ignore the Big Shot until it wipes the whole team. Don’t mess about: take it out. It drops the launcher, which players can use to send golden eggs home more quickly. Danger rating: 4

Nighttime events

When night arrives, watch for the tides and predict the chaos.


Fog rolls in and makes it difficult to see what’s happening. Use a buddy system! Work in pairs to reduce the likelihood of death. Goldies will appear and drop 5 golden eggs if defeated. Tides: All


Glowflies will target a single player. All the Salmonids will rush at that player at an intense speed. Once that player dies, the glowflies will move to another player and the Salmonids will swarm them. The glowflies will swap after a while even if they survive. Ink the walls to give breathing room. Rollers are great at crowd control and watch ink consumption. Tides: Mid/High


Grillers will have a laser attached to the player they’re targeting. Grillers are only vulnerable on their tail which sticks out of the BBQ. If the tail is hit a few times, they will stop. Rollers can’t help with Grillers, but they can deal with the Smallfry that will swarm the ground. After a while, two grillers will target two different people at the same time. Tide: Mid/High

Cohock Charge

The normal enemies are Cohocks. There are cannons to help deal with them, but they use the player’s ink. Flyfish and stingers can also kill any players while in their cannon. Tides: Low


Chinooks holding polystyrene eskies will descend from the sky. If they are shot before they land, one golden egg will drop. If they land, Salmonids will stream out until destroyed or they run out. At set times the Mothership will descend on the Egg basket and suck up the eggs. Attack the underside of the ship to repel it. Tides: Low/Mid

A Gusher! Image: Nintendo


Gushers will appear on the map and a Goldie will be hiding in one. When revealed Goldie will run and drop eggs as it’s shot at. Its speed will increase with damage and its size will shrink. Open gushers will release Salmonids and the higher the water, the closer the Goldie is. Tides: Mid

Tornado *New*

Occuring on low tide, the golden eggs will be in a treasure chest. The egg basket will be in its usual mid/high tide position. Players need to work together to ferry the eggs to the far away egg basket will Salmonids are randomly dropped from the sky.

A Mudmouth! Image: Nintendo

Mudmouth *New*

Salmonids will spill out of Mudmouths. Players throw bombs into the mudmouths mouths. Golden Mudmouths give more golden eggs.


Be aware that you could get hit with an Xtrawave if you perform especially well. Xtrawave is a special 4th wave of enemies where Cohozuna appears. Use the Golden Egg Cannon and a special to take down the monster in the allotted time.

And there you have it! Your easy breezy guide to kicking Salmon Run’s arse during the Splatoon 3 Chill Season event! Experience really helps so I recommend playing it a few times to get used to how it works. Best of luck surviving out there! Got any Salmon Run starts of your own? Let me know in the comments below.

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