Now that Splatoon 2 has landed on the Switch, people from far and wide have begun to embrace their primal need to spread their inky residue to every imaginable corner, leaving no crevice uncoated. Naturally, this extends to Salmon Run—Splatoon 2’s own take on the popular wave defense mode. But with so much inky essence flying across the place, it can be difficult to score big as you fight against the salmon hordes, which is why we’ve come up with several tips to help you become the bane of salmon everywhere.
Just like the rest of the game modes in Splatoon 2, making sure that your surroundings are sufficiently coated in your own juicy substances is the key to success. Every salmonid has its own way of spreading enemy ink trails, and if you allow this to build up over the course of a round, you and your team will start having trouble getting to and from the egg basket as your range of movement becomes severely restricted. To makes matters worse, these ink trails will also remain on the level for the remainder of the match
To combat this, you and your team should make it a habit to splat as much of your surroundings as possible as you navigate your way across the map, just as you would in Turf War. There is also a short period of time at the start of each round where no salmonids have spawned yet. Try making the most of this time by building up a healthy layer of squid sauce across key areas on the level, the most important being around the egg collection basket and any major ramps and pathways in the surrounding areas..
This might sound a little strange considering how poorly implemented the Switch’s online communication tools are, but bear with me. When playing a round of Salmon Run, each player has two contextually sensitive automated chat commands they can send out, alerting the other players that something important is happening and that they should stop gunking up a wall for a few seconds and pay attention to their allies.
In lieu of an actual voice chat, these commands are vital to making sure you and your team knows exactly what’s happening across other areas of the level. Ignoring the important, if inessential, “Booyah” taunt for a second, the two main commands are “ This Way” and “Help.” The first can be used when you are upright, and can be helpful when trying to signal to your team that a boss salmonid is at your location, or that there are golden eggs waiting to be collected nearby. The second command can only be used when you have been downed, either by enemy ink or by taking a regrettable dip in the nearby waters, and serves as a beacon to let your allies know you need them to come and shower you in their inky ichor.
Left to their own devices, any one of the boss salmonids can pose a serious threat to the success of your team. Not only do they coat the surrounding area with enemy ink at an alarming rate, but their special attacks can also target unsuspecting squid kids from across the map. Since they drop the coveted golden eggs required to complete each round, taking down these salmonid bosses should be at the top of every player’s priority list.
Luckily there are a couple of ways to look out for these nasty blighters as they appear. For starters, a notification will pop up at the top left side of the screen whenever a boss salmonid spawns, although this can be easily missed when you’re in the thick of the action. It’s also worth knowing that a loud foghorn will play whenever a new boss shows up, which makes tracking them much easier during combat. Just like regular salmonids, the boss variety will always spawn at the coastline, regardless of whether they are able to fly or not, so make sure to cast an eye over the shoreline whenever you suspect a new boss has surfaced.
One of the most common mistakes in Salmon Run is that players gets overzealous in their salmon splatting and end up venturing too far away from their allies. Alone and outnumbered, it’s very easy for the salmon hordes to overrun unsuspecting squids, cutting off your escape route with their inky droppings as they batter you from all angles.
To solve this, players should try and stick to the immediate area around the egg collection tank. This isn’t always possible when boss salmonids with high range appear, but for most occasions the enemies will come to you. Not only does this give you and your team a central point to gather around, but it also makes depositing golden eggs a lot easier if you kill them within spitting distance of the egg basket.
When you’re out there slathering salmons in your silky syrup, it’s easy to forget that you have more than just your firearm at your disposal. Along with the weapon that you are randomly assigned at the start of each round, you’re also given two charges in a special ability, and remembering to use these super powered payloads can easily mean the difference between success or failure.
While you might think holding onto your special for a particularly nasty boss spawn is a good idea, it’s almost always better to activate it whenever things look like they are going south. Specials can be great for clearing away large buildups of enemy ink, reviving multiple teammates at once, and even just creating some breathing room so you can regroup and gain control of the situation.
When playing Salmon Run, it’s very easy to get carried away with your trigger finger. There’s a lot of salmon to spray with your sticky serum, after all. And whilst it’s not necessarily a bad move to make sure you thin the horde’s numbers, you should try to remember that you’re not just a kid, you’re also a squid. Not only does slipping into squid-form grant you a much faster way to navigate around the map, it also opens up access ways and shortcuts that you can exploit to make ferrying golden eggs much more efficient.
To make the most of your cephalopodic agility, try inking up some of the nearby walls connecting lower and upper areas. These often don’t get inked over by enemy salmonids, and offer you quick access routes that may otherwise be blocked off by the enemy. You should also aim to use squid form exclusively when ferrying golden eggs. Not only can you avoid enemies much easier, but being in squid form also gives you the ability to jump across larger horizontal distances, which can help clear obstacles and avoid incoming fire.
Speaking of golden eggs, one of the worst habits players pick up in Salmon Run is the idea that they need to collect every golden egg that drops. Of course, it’s important to meet the quota set in each round, but target number is almost always easily achieved, and you and your team should never need to sacrifice a member for the sake of extra eggs.
By waiting around and guarding dropped eggs, you are also risking the egg that you yourself could be cashing in on. The important thing to remember here is that there is no shortage of boss salmonids throughout each round. If the rest of your team can’t make it over to the drop site in time, you shouldn’t try and hang around to protect them.
Andy Moore is a gaming freelancer based in the UK. When he’s not writing, he can be found staring blankly out of the nearest window, or spending way too much time on Twitter.