After you’ve played the Salmon Run tutorial in Splatoon 3 you will be able to start earning Fish Scales. These rare resources lets you buy new Salmon Run outfits, decorations for your locker, and banners at the rewards station in Grizzco. They can only be earned by playing the wave-based co-op mode.
Fish scales come in bronze, silver, and gold rarities and are only dropped by the ultimate boss of Salmon Run; the King Salmonid. You won’t always get a King Salmonid to spawn, but when you do now you’ll need to know exactly what to do to collect as many scales as possible.
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How to spawn a King Salmonid
When playing Salmon Run Next Wave, the run will typical end after three waves of enemies. Sometimes, though, you will get an Xtrawave where a King Salmonid will spawn. It is subtle, but there is actually a way to tell when you a King Salmonid is going to spawn next run.
If you go into a Salmon Run lobby, you can see there is a bar under your rank and EXP in the shape of King Salmonid Cohozuna. This will fill up by playing multiple sessions in a row with the same team. Playing with friends will ensure this meter goes up faster without having to worry about players disconnecting or quitting.
After you spawn a King Salmonid, it is time for a limited-time battle where you need to do as much damage as possible to the giant boss.
How to get Bronze, Silver, and Gold Fish Scales
Fish Scales drop when you damage the King Salmonid. The more damage you do to the boss during the time limit the more scales you earn. It’s pretty much as simple as that. However, know that most of what you’re going to be seeing at first is a lot of bronze and the rare silver.
Drops are determined by Hazard Level, which is the sum of all the participants’ ranks. This increases the payout and difficulty for regular Salmon Runs, but it also increases your chances of getting Silver and — especially —Gold scales when you fight the King Salmonid. You probably won’t see any gold scales until you’ve leveled up significantly.