From Inkipedia, the Splatoon wiki

S3 Tableturf Battle card Steelhead.png
Species Salmonid
Hair color
Eye color
Location Salmon Run, Salmon Run Next Wave
HP 300 (bomb)
1,000 (direct, Salmon Run)
500 (direct, Salmon Run Next Wave)
Maximum HP
Other forms

The Steelheads are Boss Salmonids that appear in Salmon Run and Salmon Run Next Wave in Splatoon 2 and Splatoon 3.


The Steelhead's only attack is to inflate a bomb on top of its head, then throw it in front of itself. The bombs resemble green inflatable bags and can instantly splat players, with a much larger blast radius than normal bombs. The Steelhead shuffles forward very slowly when idle, and it only throws bombs once a player is in range. A Steelhead's entire body is covered in invulnerable armor; the only way to damage it is to attack the Steelhead's bomb before it throws it. Splatting a Steelhead creates a large explosion that deals colossal damage to any other Salmonids nearby.


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, Grizzco Slosher, or Grizzco Splatana.
  2. The damage dealt by the Steelhead's bomb depends on how far away the player is from the explosion.

See also: Salmon Run Next Wave data
Hits to splat Steelhead
Weapon Min/Max
S3 Weapon Special Booyah Bomb.png Booyah Bomb 1 - 43
S3 Weapon Special Crab Tank.png Crab Tank 1 - 5
S3 Weapon Special Inkjet.png Inkjet 1 - 4
S3 Weapon Special Killer Wail 5.1.png Killer Wail 5.1 1
S3 Weapon Special Reefslider.png Reefslider 1
S3 Weapon Special Triple Inkstrike.png Triple Inkstrike 1 - 6
S3 Weapon Special Wave Breaker.png Wave Breaker 1 - 2
S3 Weapon Main .52 Gal.png .52 Gal 6 - 9
S3 Weapon Main .96 Gal.png .96 Gal 4 - 6
S3 Weapon Main Aerospray MG.png Aerospray MG 13 - 16
S3 Weapon Main Ballpoint Splatling.png Ballpoint Splatling 9 - 12
S3 Weapon Main Bamboozler 14 Mk I.png Bamboozler 14 Mk I 2 - 5
S3 Weapon Main Big Swig Roller.png Big Swig Roller 2 - 6
S3 Weapon Main Blaster.png Blaster 2 - 3
S3 Weapon Main Bloblobber.png Bloblobber 2 - 5
S3 Weapon Main Carbon Roller.png Carbon Roller 2 - 5
S3 Weapon Main Clash Blaster.png Clash Blaster 4 - 6
S3 Weapon Main Classic Squiffer.png Classic Squiffer 1 - 6
S3 Weapon Main Dapple Dualies.png Dapple Dualies 7 - 10
S3 Weapon Main Dark Tetra Dualies.png Dark Tetra Dualies 10 - 12
S3 Weapon Main Dread Wringer.png Dread Wringer 2 - 3
S3 Weapon Main Dualie Squelchers.png Dualie Squelchers 10 - 12
S3 Weapon Main Dynamo Roller.png Dynamo Roller 1 - 3
Egg Cannon.png Egg cannon 1 - 2
S3 Weapon Main E-liter 4K.png E-liter 4K 1 - 6
S3 Weapon Main Explosher.png Explosher 3 - 4
S3 Weapon Main Flingza Roller.png Flingza Roller 1 - 5
S3 Weapon Main Glooga Dualies.png Glooga Dualies 5 - 10
S3 Weapon Main Goo Tuber.png Goo Tuber 1 - 4
S3 Weapon Main Grizzco Blaster.png Grizzco Blaster 6 - 9
S3 Weapon Main Grizzco Brella.png Grizzco Brella 4 - 20
S3 Weapon Main Grizzco Charger.png Grizzco Charger 2
S3 Weapon Main Grizzco Dualies.png Grizzco Dualies 3 - 12
S3 Weapon Main Grizzco Slosher.png Grizzco Slosher 1 - 2
S3 Weapon Main Grizzco Splatana.png Grizzco Splatana 1 - 2
S3 Weapon Main Grizzco Stringer.png Grizzco Stringer 1 - 9
S3 Weapon Main H-3 Nozzlenose.png H-3 Nozzlenose 5
S3 Weapon Main Heavy Edit Splatling.png Heavy Edit Splatling 9 - 12
S3 Weapon Main Heavy Splatling.png Heavy Splatling 9 - 12
S3 Weapon Main Hydra Splatling.png Hydra Splatling 5 - 12
S2 Icon Ink Cannon.png Ink Cannon 1
S3 Weapon Main Inkbrush.png Inkbrush 8 - 15
S3 Weapon Main Jet Squelcher.png Jet Squelcher 8 - 10
S3 Weapon Main L-3 Nozzlenose.png L-3 Nozzlenose 8 - 9
S3 Weapon Main Luna Blaster.png Luna Blaster 2 - 3
S3 Weapon Main Mini Splatling.png Mini Splatling 9 - 12
S3 Weapon Main N-ZAP '85.png N-ZAP '85 11 - 15
S3 Weapon Main Nautilus 47.png Nautilus 47 9 - 12
S3 Weapon Main Octobrush.png Octobrush 5 - 8
S3 Weapon Main Painbrush.png Painbrush 2 - 6
S3 Weapon Main Range Blaster.png Range Blaster 2
S3 Weapon Main Rapid Blaster.png Rapid Blaster 3 - 5
S3 Weapon Main Rapid Blaster Pro.png Rapid Blaster Pro 2 - 4
S3 Weapon Main REEF-LUX 450.png REEF-LUX 450 2 - 9
S3 Weapon Main Slosher.png Slosher 3
S3 Weapon Main Sloshing Machine.png Sloshing Machine 2 - 3
S3 Weapon Main Snipewriter 5H.png Snipewriter 5H 2 - 5
S3 Weapon Main Splash-o-matic.png Splash-o-matic 11 - 15
S3 Weapon Main Splatana Stamper.png Splatana Stamper 1 - 7
S3 Weapon Main Splatana Wiper.png Splatana Wiper 1 - 9
S Weapon Sub Splat Bomb.png Splat Bomb 2 - 10
S3 Weapon Main Splat Brella.png Splat Brella 2 - 10
S3 Weapon Main Splat Charger.png Splat Charger 1 - 6
S3 Weapon Main Splat Dualies.png Splat Dualies 10 - 12
S3 Weapon Main Splat Roller.png Splat Roller 2 - 5
S3 Weapon Main Splattershot.png Splattershot 9 - 10
S3 Weapon Main Splattershot Jr..png Splattershot Jr. 11 - 15
S3 Weapon Main Splattershot Nova.png Splattershot Nova 10 - 15
S3 Weapon Main Splattershot Pro.png Splattershot Pro 7 - 10
S3 Weapon Main Sploosh-o-matic.png Sploosh-o-matic 7 - 10
S3 Weapon Main Squeezer.png Squeezer 7 - 12
S3 Weapon Main S-BLAST '92.png S-BLAST '92 1 - 2
S3 Weapon Main Tenta Brella.png Tenta Brella 1 - 7
S3 Weapon Main Tri-Slosher.png Tri-Slosher 3 - 5
S3 Weapon Main Tri-Stringer.png Tri-Stringer 1 - 8
S3 Weapon Main Undercover Brella.png Undercover Brella 2 - 12


  • 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 time should be balanced from killing lesser Salmonids 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 players must positions themselves 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 if its bomb is inflating.
  • 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 a few sources of direct damage; the rare weapons Grizzco Slosher and Grizzco Splatana and special weapons Sting Ray, Booyah Bomb, Triple Inkstrike and Killer Wail 5.1 all pierce armor and 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 is higher than the boss.
    • If the current map does not have platforms that make players 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.
    • This should only be done if other bosses/lessers are coming up and can be killed quickly.
  • Steelheads will only attack once fully on land. If they are still partially in the water, they will not attack.
    • Due to this, unless using the Grizzco Slosher, do not swarm a Steelhead that is spawning. This is time consuming and the eggs are away from the egg basket.
  • A direct hit with a Grizzco Slosher at the bomb on its head can instantly splat the Steelhead, although this method could be tricky. The trick is to aim slightly higher at the bomb so it directly hits the bomb and not the Steelhead itself.


Main article: Badge#Salmon Run

Splatting Steelheads a specific number of times in Salmon Run: Next Wave will reward the player with special badges that they can use on their Splashtag.

Steelhead Badges
S3 Badge Steelhead 100.png Steelhead Splats x 100
S3 Badge Steelhead 1000.png Steelhead Splats x 1,000
S3 Badge Steelhead 10000.png Steelhead Splats x 10,000



  • Steelheads were the first Boss Salmonid to be revealed, shown in the 12 April 2017 Nintendo Direct.
  • 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.


"Steelhead" is derived from the metallic body of the Salmonid, as well as steelheads, a form of rainbow trout, a fish similar to salmon.

Names in other languages

Language Name Meaning
Japan Japanese バクダン
From 爆弾 bakudan ("bomb")
Netherlands Dutch Staalkop Steelhead
CanadaFrance French Tête-de-pneu Tire head (A pun with the expression "Tête de nœud" meaning "Fool")
Germany German Bäm Onomatopoeia for an explosion
Italy Italian Bomber Bomber
Russia Russian Дядя Семг
Dyadya Semg
Uncle Salmon
SpainMexico Spanish Ferroz From ferroso ("from iron") and feroz ("fierce")
China Chinese (Simplified) 炸弹鱼
zhàdàn yú (Mandarin)
Bomb Fish
Hong Kong Chinese (Traditional) 炸彈魚
zhàdàn yú (Mandarin)
Bomb Fish
South Korea Korean 폭탄
From 爆彈 poktan ("bomb")
Translate logo.svg Internal SakelienBomber [1]