Salmon Run is a co-op multiplayer mode available in Splatoon 2 for up to four players. It can be played via local multiplayer (local wireless or LAN) at The Shoal, or online via Grizzco Industries during certain time slots. The online version requires the player to be at least Level 4 to be able to play.
According to producer Hisashi Nogami, Salmon Run was created to take advantage of the portability of the Nintendo Switch console, and to provide smaller groups of players with an engaging local multiplayer experience, given the relatively large number of players (eight) required for other game modes.
Each Salmon Run consists of three waves; to complete waves, players must collect Power Eggs and Golden Eggs by defeating Salmonids and depositing them at the egg basket. Each Boss Salmonid splatted yields three Golden Eggs; if they are not picked up, a Snatcher appears after a few seconds to retrieve them. Each player can carry only one Golden Egg at a time.
Each wave has a quota, which varies depending on the number of players present and its ranks. If the quota is not filled before the wave timer ends or if all players are splatted, they fail the run. Completing a run increases the player's pay grade, which also determines the difficulty of runs. If they fail, players are still paid for the Golden Eggs they collected, but their pay grade may be reduced.
The highest possible quota for three waves is 21 - 23 - 25 when the difficulty is at its highest. This happens when the squad's average rank is Profreshional 600 or above. A message appears on-screen at the start of such a shift stating "Hazard Level MAX!!".
Inklings and Octolings in this mode are equipped with special gear that allows them to be revived if they are splatted. When splatted, a lifesaver appears at their last position after a few seconds. By inking it, a teammate can revive them and they come back with a short period of invulnerability. If they collected a Golden Egg before being splatted, it is not lost. Additionally, if they did not have a Golden Egg before being splatted, they may pick one up while in a lifesaver. However, eggs cannot be deposited in the egg basket until they are revived. Each player wears an uniform consisting of a green cap, orange overalls, green gloves, and green boots during the entirety of this mode's gameplay, regardless of the gear the player wore prior to entering this mode. Also, no gear abilities apply during this mode's gameplay.
Each player is provided a different main weapon for each wave, and two uses of one type of special weapon, which last for three waves. These include the Inkjet, Sting Ray, Splashdown and Splat-Bomb Launcher. The sub weapon provided will always be the Splat Bomb. There are also various special waves called Known Occurrences, such as Fog and Rush.
In Salmon Run, Inklings' and Octolings' ink level and special weapon uses are displayed visually. The lifesaver on their back acts as their ink tank, which depletes clockwise from top. Their special weapon stock appears as two silver packets strapped to their hat, which disappear as special weapons are used.
When one of the squad is down, or when there are fewer than four active players, the box surrounding the squid or octopus icons glows orange to alert this.
When the time reaches thirty seconds remaining, it starts to appear yellow and if the quota is not yet met, the box surrounding the timer and quota glow orange as a warning. During the last ten seconds, a separate countdown appears in the middle of the screen as an overlay, with the color of the numbers being orange if the quota is not met or green if it is met.
Salmon Run is not always playable online, as the Grizzco Industries building can sometimes be closed. It opens in an irregular pattern but can be expected to be available every other day. Each Salmon Run rotation features one random stage and four random weapons to be assigned to players.
The stages menu shows the opening times of the next five Salmon Run rotations, with the stages and weapons shown for the next two. Due to the rotations being laid out in advance, newly-added stages and weapons may not appear for some time.
All main weapons aside from variants can appear in a Salmon Run rotation. Each player is randomly assigned one of four Special weapons, being the Splashdown, Sting Ray, Inkjet, or Bomb Launcher. Despite there being multiple main weapons and special weapons that players could receive, the only Sub weapon a player can obtain while in Salmon Run is the Splat Bomb.
Main weapons and some special weapons loaned to players have different stats than their standard multiplayer counterparts. For these stats, see Salmon Run data.
There are five stages available for Salmon Run:
|Spawning Grounds||Spawning Grounds features a wide variety of terrain on each corner of the map. A multilayered slope leading to three small piers is located just behind the basket. To the right is a grated walkway overlooking the lower grounds. To the left, slopes go down to small sandbar. During low tide, the sandbar expands exponentially, revealing three protruding landmasses.||Initial Release|
|Marooner's Bay||Marooner's Bay features a large ship marooned on a sandbar. Its stern has three ramps down onto the beach where there are three piers on the starboard side. During low tide, a sandbar rises behind the ship, revealing a large ring of land and one smaller protrusion. This stage contains propellers which Inklings and Octolings can use to power lifts that rise from the ground.||Initial Release|
|Lost Outpost||Lost Outpost features a walled-off building surrounded by various docks. Directly in front of the building lies a completely netted area. To the right is an uneven slope down to the water. To the left are three varying docks. During low tide, another dock behind the building reveals itself, consisting of various walkways and grated paths.||23 August 2017|
|Salmonid Smokeyard||Salmonid Smokeyard is a small island with two lone structures. Ramps on each structure lead down to the sandbar while propeller platforms connect the two structures. During low tide, a large dock reveals itself to the side of the island.||24 November 2017|
|Ruins of Ark Polaris||Ruins of Ark Polaris is the wreckage of what appears to be a space shuttle. The area possesses a large amount of verticality with ramps circling the entire island. The basket is located at the highest point of the map. There are many Ride rails scattered throughout the map which Inklings and Octolings can use to quickly travel around the map.||7 November 2018|
There are two types of wildcard rotation. During the first kind, the weapons loaned to all four players are random and not known until the start of a wave. During the second kind, three weapons are pre-set and the fourth is a wildcard slot. Rare weapons appear only at the random slots.
There are no limits as to how many players can be using the same weapon at once (including rare weapons and repeats of the pre-set weapons in a partial wildcard rotation), and the player can receive the same weapon multiple times in a game (again, including rare weapons). As of Version 4.0.0, a song called Frantic Aspic by ω-3 plays in place of Deluge Dirge during these rotations.
For a history of wildcard rotations, see Salmon Run data.
During wildcard rotations, one of Mr. Grizz's weapons can be accidentally added to the mix. Grizzco weapons are tweaked versions of normal weapons with much more powerful stats. The following weapons have been available:
|A rapid-fire blaster with moderate damage. It appears to be an illegally modified Blaster. The firing rate is much higher than even the Clash Blaster, having a firing rate equal to the .52 Gal.||16 September 2017|
|A rapid-fire brella with moderate damage. It appears to be an illegally modified Splat Brella. There is no canopy on this brella, so it cannot open. Instead, holding down the trigger fires rapidly, similar to the Undercover Brella but with a superior fire rate, with the fire rate equal to the .96 Gal.||15 October 2017|
|It appears to be an illegally modified Bamboozler 14 Mk I. The weapon is an instant-charging charger weapon with powerful shots and extremely long range but lacks the ability to hold a charge. The weapon's charge speed is instantaneous and the damage it deals is not reduced due to its fast charge rate.||29 April 2018|
|It appears to be an illegally modified Sloshing Machine. The weapon has a very slow wind-up time and projectile speed and consumes a large amount of ink. However, it also possesses notably large projectiles, a unique projectile trajectory, and the unique ability to pierce through armor. It behaves similar to the Dynamo Roller.||17 June 2018|
These weapons cannot be accessed when playing Salmon Run at The Shoal.
Rare weapon-only rotation
On occasion, a wildcard rotation has golden question marks instead of the normal green ones. This signifies that the supplied weapons are all rare. Each player is equally likely to receive any of the four rare weapons. The first such rotation took place on 14 July 2018 and was announced in a Tweet citing a message from Mr. Grizz saying he could not get the standard weapons ready on time, so the shift would take place using only his personal belongings. Like other random rotations, Frantic Aspic replaces Deluge Dirge during normal waves.
- Main article: Known Occurrence
There are seven different events in Salmon Run, with some having variants.
There are six possible rank titles in Salmon Run, with Profreshional having four additional ranks depending on the player's point range, introduced in Version 2.3.0.
The title's point range goes up by twenty points when a player makes the quota for all three waves, regardless of how much work players did. If players fail, the number of points lost is calculated with the formula 30-10w, where w is the number of the wave failed. In the event of a disconnected teammate or a player did insignificant work (for example, if the total Golden Eggs is 48 and two players collected 23 and 19 eggs, the other two only collected 3 each), players only get half the punishment. Also, if the player got the best statistics in the crew, regardless of how the others did, instead of having their point range go down, it will show the message “rank retained”. As the point range increases, players are awarded titles. Titles are retained across Salmon Run rotations, but the point ranges are reset to the 40-point mark within the player's current title across Apprentice to Profreshional (0 - 99). If the player meets Profreshional 100, they have their rank reset to the previous checkpoint of 100 points up to 400. As of Version 4.0.0, players who are Profreshional 100 or above have the option to reset their rank to Profreshional 40, which is done by entering Grizzco and pressing .
The Pay Grade increases by 5% after every twenty-point increase, up to Profreshional 980 - 999.
|Title / Rank||Pay Grade||Title / Rank||Pay Grade|
|Intern (2 tutorials)||90%||Profreshional 300 (300 - 399)||265% - 285%|
|Apprentice (0 - 99)||90% - 110%||Profreshional 400 (400 - 499)||290% - 310%|
|Part-Timer (0 - 99)||115% - 135%||Profreshional 400 (500 - 599)||315% - 335%|
|Go-Getter (0 - 99)||140% - 160%||Profreshional 400 (600 - 699)||340% - 360%|
|Overachiever (0 - 99)||165% - 185%||Profreshional 400 (700 - 799)||365% - 385%|
|Profreshional (0 - 99)||190% - 210%||Profreshional 400 (800 - 899)||390% - 410%|
|Profreshional 100 (100 - 199)||215% - 235%||Profreshional 400 (900 - 999)||415% - 435%|
|Profreshional 200 (200 - 299)||240% - 260%|
Completion of a round of Salmon Run grants players Grizzco Points, which they can redeem for bonus prizes at the window outside Grizzco. The reward amount is based on the number of Golden Eggs and Power Eggs collected and the player's current pay grade. The points earned after any run is calculated with the formula (G/100)(E+P/200), where G is the pay grade number after any raises or penalties, E is the number of Golden Eggs collected, and P is the number of Power Eggs collected. All counts are rounded to the nearest integer.
Every 100 Grizzco Points (200 after reaching 1200 points in a rotation) earns the player one bonus "capsule", which come in different colors representing the type of the contents, or a piece of gear. The gear is selected from a list of items available only through Salmon Run and was initially rotated every calendar month. The main ability of this item is randomly determined when the bonus is redeemed. It usually has three blank slots for sub abilities, but there is a random chance that the sub ability slots may come already filled. The pink capsule can contain any Grizzco gear that has been released. If the player receives gear they already have, they can either replace the old gear with the new version or receive cash (if the new gear has no slots filled) or ability chunks (equal to the filled slots) instead.
The most unclaimed bonuses a player can have at a time is 99; once the limit has been reached, any new bonuses are lost.
Bonus capsules can contain cash, meal or drink tickets, ability chunks, or Grizzco gear. As of Version 3.2.0, after exiting Grizzco Industries players will spawn just outside rather than returning to the center of Inkopolis Plaza, making it faster to claim their bonuses from the window.
Normal, non-superbonus capsules have a 50% chance of providing a poor reward, a 40% chance of providing a good reward, and a 10% chance of providing an excellent reward. At 600 and 1200 points, the player earns a superbonus, which always contains the 10% chance reward. The type of superbonus capsule is fixed for the length of a rotation. After 1200 points, the player only earns gear, alternating between the current gear and previous gear until the rotation ends. The capsules of the rewards until the second superbonus are different for every player.
During the first two years of events, a new piece of gear arrived on the first of every month.
Starting from 1 August 2019, the featured gear is different each shift, cycling through each item in order of its original release.
There is an option to play and host a Salmon Run locally at The Shoal, requiring other players having a separate console and copy of Splatoon 2 to participate. Local play is independent of the online Salmon Run rotation, thereby being available at all times. The host of a local Salmon Run can select which maps are played and set the hazard levels (not to be confused with the Pay Grade), which range from 5 - 200% as of Version 4.0.0. Versions before this one had a range of 5 - 100% at the start of a play session, where the players have to clear a match set at the highest hazard level to be able to gain the option to increase the difficulty by 10%, with 200% being the max limit. A hazard level of 100% is the equivalent to Profreshional 100, having a Pay Grade of 215%, meanwhile, a hazard level of 120% equals to Profreshional 200 with a Pay Grade of 240%. Matches played in the local mode do not affect the rankings and battle records of the online version.
The following is a table of the different Hazard Levels' corresponding Job Title:
|Apprentice||5% - 15%|
|Part-Timer||20% - 35%|
|Go-Getter||40% - 55%|
|Overachiever||60% - 75%|
|Profreshional||80% - 200%|
Instead of Mr. Grizz, a character known as "Raspy Voice" comments during matches, having the same dialogue as Mr. Grizz. At the end of the result screen, there is no dialogue present, unlike the online version of Salmon Run.
Players can choose the weapon that they play with during a match, with a selection screen being similar to the Equip screen. There is also an option to choose a random weapon. The weapons that are available to use are not tied to the weapons that are purchased in Ammo Knights, having a separate weapon selection.
The following is a list of all available weapons in local Salmon Run.
|1.1.1|| Splattershot Jr.
|Ten initial weapons|
E-liter 4K Scope
|21 additional weapons|
Rapid Blaster Pro
Bamboozler 14 Mk I
|Ten additional weapons|
Dark Tetra Dualies
|Five additional weapons|
|3.2.0|| Ballpoint Splatling
|Two additional weapons|
|Two additional weapons|
2D art of an Inkling boy in Salmon Run gear for The Art of Splatoon 2
3D art of the egg basket
3D art of a lifesaver
Concept illustration of inkling in Salmon Run attire
Workers storing the Salmonids' Golden Eggs.
Inklings wearing the Salmon Run uniform.
The egg basket.
The weapon selection menu for Salmon Run in The Shoal.
An Inkling shooting a propeller.
An Inkling running from a Steel Eel.
A team of Inklings fending off some Chum.
An overview of the Ruins of Ark Polaris.
An overview of Salmonid Smokeyard.
- On 21 July 2018, Splatoon 2's first anniversary, a Salmon Run shift took place in Spawning Grounds with the Splattershot Jr., Splat Dualies, Splat Roller and Splat Charger. This is identical to the first ever Salmon Run rotation that took place on 21 July 2017.
- The same stage and weapons were also used in a shift that took place on 24 December 2017, for Christmas.
- All rare weapons, except the Grizzco Slosher, have prescription medication containers attached to them.
- Not commonly heard in game, the match intro music ends with what seems to be a distorted version of the main melody from Splattack!.
Names in other languages
|Rare weapon||Hazard Level MAX!!|
Salmon Run rank names
|Semi-pro||Mitarbeiter des Monats♂
Mitarbeiterin des Monats♀
(Employee of the month)
- キケン is an emphasized spelling of 危険