Xtrawave is a special event in Salmon Run Next Wave. In an Xtrawave, a King Salmonid appears, and players must work together to defeat it within the allotted time.
The chance of triggering an Xtrawave increases as players' Salmometers fill. When an Xtrawave has been chosen to occur, the ending jingle after the third wave plays in a distorted manner, and a new wave begins at the same tide level with the text "Emergency!" displayed on-screen as an alarm blares.
All players Super Jump back to start. If it is a wildcard rotation, each player will be given a random weapon as normal, but if it isn't, their weapon will be the one they haven't used yet. There is no countdown after weapon assignment. A King Salmonid will appear along with other Boss Salmonids. All players are given one special each, regardless of how many had been used beforehand. Players are also given an egg cannon, which allows them to fire Golden Eggs that do a large amount of damage (800 per shot) to the King Salmonid. Losing the Xtrawave does not count as losing the shift. The player will gain their normal amount of points and an extra 50 points for clearing the Xtrawave, on top of the 50 bonus points for clearing wave 3. The players will also be awarded fish scales based on the hazard level and the amount of damage inflicted upon the King Salmonid.
Each player has a Salmometer (called "smell" in the game's files) that increases by 1 after every shift without encountering a King Salmonid, no matter the outcome of the shift (win or loss at any wave). This meter can be seen in the top right of the screen while in the Grizzco building. It starts out empty until it becomes full after 5 shifts, or an encounter happens, resetting it back to zero.
The sum of every team member's Salmometer gives the probability of a King Salmonid appearing at the end of wave 3. When all four meters are full, the encounter is guaranteed.
Note that the visual representation below is only for easier readability, not the exact meters needed. For example, four meters at 1 would be equal to one meter at 4.
The second table shows a simplified version for 4-person teams playing together with their meters synced — mainly, if a King is encountered and the team keeps playing together afterwards.
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- Prior to Version 1.1.1, the text appearing before the third wave would read "Wave 3" instead of the regular "Final Wave" if an Xtrawave would occur for that shift.
- Beating the Xtrawave changes the success jingle to a triumphant fanfare.
- If an Xtrawave begins during low tide, all players will super jump to the exposed area instead of the normal spawn. This does not happen at any other time in Salmon Run Next Wave. The exception to this is Marooner's Bay—this is likely due to the regular starting point being very close to the exposed area.
- In the results screen, the Xtrawave appears like the other 3 waves, but with "XTRAWAVE" instead of the wave, and the King Salmonid instead of the Golden Egg count.
- While the Golden Eggs players fire from their egg cannon can deal a lot of damage to the King Salmonid, they can also be shot at the weak point of most other Boss Salmonids. This takes most of them down in a single shot. The Boss Salmonids that cannot be defeated with a single Golden Egg are the Maws, Drizzler, Big Shot, Stinger, and the Flyfish when its baskets are closed.
- However, when the Flyfish's baskets are open, players can either fire a Golden Egg into a single basket to destroy one, or toward the center gap between the basket lids to defeat it with a single shot.
- When not defeating bosses for Golden Eggs, attack the King Salmonid directly. Every bit of damage counts.
- Very high DPS weapons such as the Hydra Splatling, Sploosh-o-matic, Dapple Dualies, and Grizzco Stringer should be used to damage the King Salmonid directly whenever possible.
- Most specials should be used to clear clusters of Boss Salmonids instead of dealing raw damage to the King Salmonid. However, there are a few exceptions.
- The Crab Tank's rapid fire can do heavy damage to the King Salmonid but should be used in a clear area to avoid being splatted from behind.
- The Killer Wail 5.1 can also deal heavy damage if all six beams lock on to the King Salmonid.
- Always make sure to keep the amount of Boss Salmonids on the map during this wave close to or at zero. This means players can use those Golden Eggs to defeat the King Salmonid as, without them, it will be very difficult to defeat it.
- Avoid focusing solely on the King Salmonid. If ignored, the other Salmonids can overrun the team easily.
- Keep turf control at all times. This will grant your crew far better mobility and ink recovery. If you manage to keep turf control of the map, you will have a significantly easier time defeating the King Salmonid and the Boss Salmonids that will spawn.
- Make sure to revive your teammates if possible, as it is impossible to defeat the King Salmonid alone. However, only do this when it is safe to do so. Do not get splatted trying to save teammates.
- Don't be afraid to use your egg cannon. Unlike the egg throw, the egg cannon does not require any ink to use, so make sure to hit the King Salmonid as much as possible.
- Ensure the area is clear when using the egg cannon to avoid hitting a random Lesser Salmonid on accident and wasting the shot.
- The splash around the player caused by an egg throw is still present with the egg cannon; thusly, it can be used to take out Smallfries and Chums nearby as a last resort. This should only be done if you already have clear aim at the King Salmonid or as a last-ditch effort to save yourself, since the egg cannon shatters the egg on contact unlike the egg throw.