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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Life as a Salmon Run Profreshional after Version 2.3.0

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - The Splatoon 2 version that changed the Salmon Run experience forever.

Almost six months ago, I received a request from an anonymous reader asking me to write about Splatoon 2's most fun mode, Salmon Run. Obviously, I didn't feel a rush to take the request, but eventually I realised it was worth commentating on the topic, especially my thoughts on the difference between Salmon Run before Splatoon 2 version 2.3.0, and Salmon Run after Splatoon 2 version 2.3.0.

If you don't remember or know what happened with 2.3.0, look here for the change log. In terms of Salmon Run, here is the notable change:
Made it so that more Rank can be carried over at the start of the next job when the player has the title of Profreshional and a Rank of 100 or higher.”
Basically, if you reach Profreshional rank 100 to 190, you start at 100. From 200 to 290, you start the next time at 200. Etcetera until Profreshional 400 to 999, where you start at 400. As shown before the update in this article, if you were a Profreshional of any caliber, you'd start at 40. (For the uninitiated, Profeshional is the highest rank you can get (and it's trivial to achieve), and the number is the difficulty level. 40 is pretty easy. 400 isn't.)

So if I ended Saturday's Salmon Run at 400, then next time I play Salmon Run, I'll start at 400. Beforehand, there was mandatory scaffolding where you'd start at 40 and you'd get used to the unique weapon set for the rotation and how that goes with the map. Now, you better be ready from the first time you play that rotation, or you'll drop in rank. You might drop to 380 and never win again, so you'll start the next time at 300. It creates pressure to keep playing past the DAILY SUPERBONUS.

Salmon Run Profreshional 400 start Splatoon 2 version 2.3.0
As seen in this not-the-most-up-to-date screenshot available (couple of weeks old), I started the rotation at Profreshional 400 without playing anything.

Prior to the 2.3.0 update, I never got anywhere close to the 400 rank. More like 150. I just wasn't going to sit down and keep going up the ranks when I already got the Superbonus, just to start all over again at 40 the next time I play. Go to DAILY SUPERBONUS and be done. Now it's different.

If you don't understand what the DAILY SUPERBONUS means, the previous in-game incentive before 2.3.0 to play Salmon Run was for the DAILY SUPERBONUS, which you had to get 1200 points to get. That might've taken several rounds of Salmon Run. (The higher difficulty you're at, the faster you can accumulate points.) But if you want to maintain a 400 difficulty score for the next time you play (which means you will win more bonuses more quickly because it's a risk-reward dynamic), then you cannot let yourself drop below 400. You might clear the 1200 point benchmark with something lower. Then you'll want to keep playing, and hope you don't keep losing.

I'd know, that's what happened to me in today's rotation, which has some pretty dreadful weapons that don't work well together. (The Carbon Roller, the Goo Tuber, the Hydra Splatling, and the Blaster. Those weapons tend to be very slow, which can get you easily overrun by Salmonids.)

What happens in this video happens to be what got me from rank 380 to 400 so I could stop playing:

You may notice that I did something very bad for that Salmon Run playthrough: I didn't use any of my specials the whole time! I ended it with two Splashdowns. To be honest, I didn't feel like I needed to use any of my Splashdowns at any point in all three waves... except for the very end where I was being overwhelmed and got splatted. That would have been a great time to use the Splashdown, so I wouldn't have to watch helplessly and hope my teammate managed to make it to the basket.

A lot of players make that mistake. They hoard their specials. It's okay to use them in the first two waves if it's necessary. Nothing worse than getting wiped out in Wave 1 because you're being overwhelmed by Grillers, and the guy with the Sting Ray isn't using it. In my case, not using the Splashdown is kind of lame, since it's the easiest special to use. The Sting Ray could get you killed since you tend to be immobile using it, so if you're surrounded by enemies and you're lasering across the stage, it could be bad news for you when you get attacked from behind. Misuse of the Inkjet could be awful for you, like if time is running out and you don't have enough eggs in the basket. Being a big damn hero and rescuing your whole team while flying around with the Inkjet feels great, though. Unfortunately, you can't collect and submit eggs to the basket if you're using the Inkjet! As for Bomb Launcher... it's not obvious when the best time is to use it, since there isn't a real role for it.

The worst Boss Salmonid to deal with, besides the event-only Griller, is the Stinger. Then the Flyfish. Then Steel Eel. The Stinger and the Flyfish hang out at the edges of the map and shoot projectiles at you. They can be a big pain to deal with, and a pain to dodge when they are allowed to accumulate. The Flyfish in particular is notable for requiring two bombs to destroy, which requires a LOT of effort and ink. At higher difficulty levels, it's best to destroy just one of its missile launchers and leave it alive, to stop more from respawning while leaving the existing Flyfish half-crippled. The reason I put the Stinger as the absolute worst is that some weapons can't even deal with the thing, and they are exclusively at the map edges. At least Flyfish could go near your spawn.

As for the Steel Eel, it can basically chase its own tail at times, which can get you in situation where you can't actually touch its weak point, and it's a moving area of denial for you. Very problematic...

...Your partners missing horribly when trying to revive you is also problematic.

A lot of your Salmon Run experience can be determined by what the weapons are (you may wish to skip rotations with horrible weapon load-outs, such as anything with an Inkbrush or Octobrush), who your partners are, and some luck with what bosses spawn. I mentioned bosses that are bad to deal with, but I've also been given breaks where we were behind on eggs and time was running out, but a Maws came right by our basket and allowed itself to get killed with one bomb, giving us the eggs we needed so we could get to the next wave. ...Or sometimes a whole family of Maws comes by.

Obviously, having bosses come right to your basket reduces travel time between eggs and the basket, which makes things smoother for everyone.

As for partners, if you have people to play with and you can coordinate, that's the best. I play with randoms, though, and they vary from incompetent to disconnecting (which can actually help you meet the quota) to very good. If they don't BOOYAH! at the start of a round, don't trust them.

...If YOU don't BOOYAH! at the start of a round, they shouldn't trust YOU.

You can also get coworkers in randoms where you're just all on the same page, like this:

Those are the best times.

Best weapons for Salmon Run include the Dynamo Roller, Splat Roller, and most Shooter and Dualies weapons. Squiffers are great Chargers here, too. As I said, Inkbrushes are horrible, and if they're in the rotation, don't play it.

Salmon Run is deep, and there is a lot of advice I can give. Ask me some stuff in the comments section, if you want.

Update April 22: There is also some ADVANCED TECHNIQUES in Salmon Run, like the MAWS JUMP! But jumping around and learning how to dodge enemies with precision inking is very important and a crucial skill you'll learn. It's all about mobility!

Along the lines of what you want, if you want to play Salmon Run with Ludwig, weekends are the best time to arrange that. His Profreshional 400 rank could make things pretty hard for you if you are far away from that rank and not used to it, however. Send Ludwig a friend request with the friend code provided on the Contact page!

Ludwig wrote an entire article dedicated to the Booyah! part of this article. Good reading.


  1. "Unfortunately, you can't collect and submit eggs to the basket if you're using the Inkjet!"
    Well you already saw my video on Twitter but I will link it here in the comments for others to see.

    You can collect eggs and even deliver them in Ink Jet but the only way to do it is to go into squid form when that special is activated. I was not able to show myself delivering the egg while squidding as an Ink Jet as time ran out for the special but you can see me get the egg while I turned into squid form while the Ink Jet is activated.

    1. Well, I meant for "using the Inkjet!" to mean, you know, flying around and shooting up stuff.
      Similarly, you can be mobile and swim around after you've activated the Sting Ray, as long as you're not pressing the shooting button. But you're locked into that for a while, which is a risk.

      Splashdown and Bomb Launcher have no risks, since you can continue to do everything you could before after activating it, like shoot and swim normally with no long end-lag.

    2. "His Profreshional 400 rank could make things pretty hard for you if you are far away from that rank and not used to it, however." I did plenty of Salmon Run with friends. If they are a lower rank such as in Overachiever, the difficulty and quota would be like in an overachiever round but Profreshionals won't rank up at all. this is probably to discourage carrying Profreshionals will still earn points for getting capsules though.

      If everyone is all Profreshional then it probably goes with an average of everyone. When i did Profreshional runs with friends who were all Profreshional the quotas were very high but when i did it in freelance the quotas were like when people started at Profreshional 40, meaning the average of those in freelance were probably low.

    3. Right, if you got a Pro 400, a Pro 400, a Pro 400, and a Pro 40, that Pro 40 dude is going to have a difficulty bump they might not be used to.

      I've played with a friend group before and I was the best dude there and others were having visible struggles they weren't used to.

  2. I have not played much of it lately, but Salmon Run is slowly becoming one of my favorites new modes. I like that each player is limited to the predetermined set of weapons at the beginning of each round. It brings a sense of balance that can be lacking in other modes where other higher level players have some overpowered equipment. Since each subsequent round is usually more difficult than the round before, I always hope that I get the worst weapon first and the best weapon for last. I am not even close to profreshional rank yet, but I shall try my best to get there soon.

    1. Well... if you're not a Profreshional, or even close, then you really need to play more Salmon Run before you can really have an opinion on it.


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