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S2 salmonid steelhead.png
Species Salmonid
Hair color
Eye color
Location Salmon Run

The Steelheads are Boss Salmonids that appear in Salmon Run in Splatoon 2.


Steelheads attack by throwing bombs that grow from the top of its head. The bombs resemble green inflatable bags. The bombs instantly splat players and the blast radius is wide-reaching compared to other bombs. Steelheads can be splatted by attacking their bombs to detonate them before they are launched. The bombs can only be harmed while on the Steelhead's head. The Steelhead moves very slowly and does not start throwing bombs until close to a player. Splatting a Steelhead clears any Lesser Salmonid that gets too close.


The following text is quoted from the Salmonid Field Guide.

Basic Information
  • An extraordinarily large specimen, it moves very slowly.
  • Its body is covered in hard, protective scales. Shooting it with ink has no effect.
Attack Behavior
  • Generates bombs from its head, which it throws at enemies. It can't throw these bombs very far.
  • The resulting explosion covers a large area.
  • The only way to defeat the Steelhead is to shoot ink at the bomb on its head as it inflates.
Supporting Information
  • The company commander of a Salmonid troop.
  • Its powerful physique capable of supporting heavy armor and its ink-resistant scales are the result of arduous conditioning.
  • It forms the bomb on its head by collecting its own explosive saliva.


See also: Salmon Run data
HP Damage  Attack/Defeat/Total Power Eggs Golden Eggs
300/1000 [Sal. 1] 180 / 80 / 30 [Sal. 2] 8 / 7 / 15 3


  1. The Steelhead's bomb has 300 HP. The Steelhead itself has 1000 HP for the purposes of directly hitting it with the Sting Ray or Grizzco Slosher.
  2. The damage dealt by the Steelhead's bomb depends on how far away the player is from the explosion.


  • Due to its slow movement, Steelheads can be ignored for a while if there are higher-priority Boss Salmonids on the battlefield.
  • New bombs made by the Steelhead retain any damage that was done to previous bombs it launched.
  • It takes three to four seconds for Steelheads to throw a new bomb, so you should balance your time from killing lesser for 3 seconds and killing the Steelhead next.
  • The bomb is very small and is located high up compared to other Boss Salmonid weak points, so you must position yourself correctly to take it down.
  • It is safe to stay right next to the Steelhead because it cannot directly attack players near it. Its only method of attack is the bomb that it throws.
    • Rollers deal variable damage based on distance from the target. Therefore, roller players should get close to the Steelhead and jump before every attack to deal the most damage.
  • Using the Splashdown while the Steelhead has the bomb exposed can instantly splat the boss.
  • During Cohock Charge, shooting the Steelhead with an Ink Cannon instantly defeats it as long as it has a bomb.
  • Upon being defeated, they explode, dealing damage to any Salmonids around them. Thus, it can help to target Steelheads first.
  • Despite what the employee manual says, Steelheads are actually vulnerable to two sources of direct damage; the Sting Ray and Grizzco Slosher can deal direct damage to a Steelhead without having to detonate the bomb on its head.
    • Note, however, that Steelheads have notably higher health than their bombs, and thus, this method may take slightly longer.
  • Steelheads can't target or see players that are directly above their model, so it is possible to lure it using Inkjet and being on a platform that makes you higher than the boss.
    • If the map you're on doesn't have platforms that make you high enough, being on top of the basket works too.
    • The walls on Lost Outpost won't work, but the walls in the back outside will.
    • You should only do this if there are other bosses/lessers coming up so you can kill them fast.


  • Steelheads were the first Boss Salmonid to be revealed in the 12 April 2017 Nintendo Direct.
  • In reality, steelheads are a form of rainbow trout, a fish that is closely related to salmon and has a similar life cycle.
  • It is possible to splat the Steelhead on the exact frame that it throws its bomb. Doing so makes the bomb act and appear as if it had been successfully thrown, even though it exploded and splatted the Steelhead.


Names in other languages

Language Name Meaning
FlagJapan.svg Japanese バクダン
FlagNetherlands.svg Dutch Staalkop Steelhead
FlagFrance.svg French Tête-de-pneu Tire head
FlagGermany.svg German Bäm Onomatopoeia for an explosion
FlagItaly.svg Italian Bomber Bomber
FlagRussia.svg Russian Дядя Семг
Dyadya Semg
Uncle Salmon
FlagSpain.svg Spanish Ferroz From ferroso (from iron) and feroz (fierce)