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Fish are a monster type that spawn and swim in liquids. They can spawn in water, poison, lava and in many other types of liquids, but they may become poisoned or melted if spawned in the aforementioned poison or lava. Fish appear in various colors and shapes, like other monsters, but they are often much smaller. While large aggressive fish can be captured using a Capture Pod, most fish can only be moved using a Relocator. Specific species of fish must first be caught using a Fishing Rod before they can be relocated.

Like ground monsters fish have a variety of procedrually generated components, and can be different in color and appearance from planet to planet. Procedurally generated fish come can be either small or very large and can attack the player. Their behavior can be either peaceful or aggressive. A fish won't attack another fish. Fish have no ranged attacks and weak melee attacks, and larger fish may have stronger attacks. Be careful fighting larger schools without proper equipment - they are quite fast relative to some other types of monsters in Starbound.

Unlike monsters on land and in the air, fish can drop anything in their Treasure pool regardless of whether they are killed with normal or hunting weapons. Most fish have very low health compared to the other monsters, and they deal low damage.


Fish will just swim from left to right in any type of liquid. If the player drains the liquid completely or to a height that is below the fish with the Matter Manipulator, the fish will stop moving, and stay in place. Fish AI is less complex then most regular monsters, however they share the same traits as normal monsters: they attack back when hit by players, and they move around; however regular monsters have much more capabilities than the aforementioned ones for the fish.


Large hostile fish can be captured using a Capture Pod. This includes fish who are neutral toward the player but will attack when provoked. They'll follow the player when released, but outside liquid can't do much but flop on the ground. They can survive outside liquid and can attack enemies, but their mobility is very limited. If released into an aquarium they must be held inside a Pet Tether.

Outside large generated fish, other fish cannot be captured using Capture Pods. Instead they're picked up using a relocator. After being released from the relocator fish will not follow the player, but behave normally as they would in the wild. Relocators can capture wild fish as well as fish caught using a Fishing Rod. Fish caught with a Fishing Rod that are released from a relocator will not drop anything when killed. Using a relocator players can easily make aquariums to house found and caught fish.


There are a number of fish which can only be caught using a Fishing Rod. These fish won't be seen swimming in the wild without a fishing lure to attract them.

Catching each of these fish will complete their entries in the fishing collection screen.

These fish will only appear on ocean planets (ocean, toxic, magma, arctic). Day or night and depth can also be factors in where they appear. The more rare a fish is the less frequently it will appear.


Fishing controls are either left click or up to reel in, down to let out more line and descend, and left and right to steer the lure left and right respectively.

One of the key mechanics for fishing is lure control. Moving the lure away from undesirable fish and close to fish you're trying to catch is an important part of catching rare fish. Different lures offer varied control options and may make catching specific fish easier.

Once a fish grabs the lure it will start swimming with the line attached. Fish must be reeled in only while not swimming directly away. When a fish pulls the fishing line will blink quickly, indicating reeling should stop. If it pulls too much it will break the line and escape.


When attempting to catch fish, one must make sure the lure is at least 8 tiles below the surface of the liquid ocean - if the lure rises above this depth, no more fish will appear, and any fish that had been following the lure will get scared and swim away. Shallow fish will only appear when the lure is not yet 25 tiles below the surface of the ocean, and deep fish will only appear when the lure is at least 25 tiles below the surface of the ocean.

Every time the lure is cast, the first fish that appears will always be a common fish, and the second fish that appears is either common (90% chance) or uncommon (10% chance). From the third fish onward, the probabilities are as follows:

  • 80% chance that the next fish is Common
  • 16% chance that the next fish is Uncommon
  • 3.9% chance that the next fish is Rare
  • 0.1% chance that the next fish is Legendary (only in deep liquid)


There are a few different pieces of equipment specific to fishing. The upgraded Durable Fishing Rod provides the ability to fish more dangerous biomes like toxic and magma, though neither rod can be used to fish in the lava oceans at the bottom of most planetary Core layers. Lures provide control options and illumination, and reels can give more line, increase line strength and adjust winding speed.

Rods start with a Basic Reel and Basic Lure attached. Upgraded lures and reels can be added to the rod by selecting the upgrade in inventory and right clicking it onto the rod. Similarly to how EPP Augments and Pet Collars function, only one lure upgrade and one reel upgrade can be active at a time - using another one will overwrite the previous upgrade with the new upgrade, destroying the old upgrade in the process.

The inital rod can be crafted using a foraging table. All lure and reel upgrades have an equal chance of being found as treasure when catching an uncommon, rare, or legendary fish.

Rods Reels Lures

Basic Reel Icon.png Basic Reel

Basic Lure Icon.png Basic Lure

Basic Reel

The Basic Reel grants the following benefits while its fishing rod is in use:

  • The fishing line can extend 50 tiles down from the tip of the fishing rod.
  • When a fish is not pulling the line, the lure is reeled up at a speed of 11 tiles per second.
  • The fishing line can sustain 0.7 seconds of reeling while a fish is pulling the line before it breaks.

Basic Lure

The Basic Lure grants the following benefits while its fishing rod is in use:

  • While in the water, the lure can move sideways at a speed of up to 6 tiles per second using a control force of 20. In practice, the lure has limited horizontal movement capabilities.
  • The lure has a gravity multiplier of 1.5 and a buoyancy of 0.6, making it sink at an average speed when line is let out.


Fish that are caught with a fishing rod will flop around on dry ground before dying and dropping a piece of Raw Fish. Additional rewards will appear on the fish's death depending on its rarity:

Fishing Collection

Each of the fish which can be caught using a Fishing Rod is listed below alongside their collection number and spawning details.

Rarity directly corresponds to how often the fish will appear. Behavior determines how they'll respond to the fishing lure - approachers keep swimming toward the lure and then dash when they're close enough while lurkers sit still and wait for the lure to get close enough to them before making a quick dash for it. The best way to avoid lurkers is to keep them in the shadow, however the approachers can be kept within the lighted area and will not bite unless close to the bait.

# Image Name Size Rarity Biome Description Behavior Depth Time
Jerkfish Small Common Ocean This fish has a natural impolite demeanour. Approach Shallow All
Sandy Dirtwhisker.png
Sandy Dirtwhisker Small Common Ocean This fish has evolved two extra eyes just for looking disappointed. Lurk All All
Toothy Mudchomp.png
Toothy Mudchomp Medium Common Ocean It camouflages well in the muddy seabeds where it feeds. Approach Deep All
Funnyfish Medium Uncommon Ocean Thinks it's funnier than it really is. Approach Shallow Day
Squareboy Medium Uncommon Ocean It's surprisingly capable at swimming despite its shape. Approach Shallow Night
Frilled Tadguppy.png
Frilled Tadguppy Small Uncommon Ocean Its large tail can create rhythmic pulses that distract potential predators. Approach All Day
Copper Bonejaw.png
Copper Bonejaw Medium Uncommon Ocean It is born with a soft jaw that calcifies and hardens through its lifespan. Lurk Deep Night
Pink Sunbeam.png
Pink Sunbeam Large Rare Ocean A jawless fish often sought after for the way its scales sparkle in sunlight. Approach Shallow Day
Crescent Hoopfish.png
Crescent Hoopfish Large Rare Ocean The hoop through its body creates a current that propels it through water. Approach All Night
Hermit Tonguile.png
Hermit Tonguile Medium Rare Ocean Its body is one long pink muscle, curled tight into a fossilised shell. Lurk Deep Day
Banded Wormeel.png
Banded Wormeel Small Rare Ocean The long antenna on the Wormeel's head can pick up radio waves from nearby planets. Approach All Night
Chucklefish Large Legendary Ocean Haven't I seen this fish before somewhere? Approach Deep All
Barbed Redeye.png
Barbed Redeye Medium Common Toxic Its creepy red eyes unnerve anyone who unexpectedly meets it underwater. Approach Shallow All
Spotted Gulptredder.png
Spotted Gulptredder Medium Common Toxic It can somehow swallow 10 times its body mass. Approach Deep All
Irradiated Globfish.png
Irradiated Globfish Medium Common Toxic Its body contains no flesh - it's entirely composed of an organic slime. Lurk All All
Silkpig Small Uncommon Toxic Their strange, silky texture and squealing mating cries make them highly sought after as pets. Approach All Day
Mortilus Medium Uncommon Toxic This cephalopod's tendrils are coated with a deadly toxin that can paralyse even a fully grown Poptop. Approach Deep Night
Nosy Scoutier.png
Nosy Scoutier Medium Uncommon Toxic It can smell prey approaching from a mile away, but it's also too slow to react. Lurk All Day
Night Clawnacle.png
Night Clawnacle Small Uncommon Toxic The skin on its mushroom-like body changes colour when it's threatened. Approach Shallow Night
Silver Curloach.png
Silver Curloach Medium Rare Toxic Its body curls up throughout its life, until it is too rolled up to even swim. Approach All Day
Blighteel Medium Rare Toxic It has no eyes, so it prefers hunting at night when prey can't see it coming. Approach Deep Night
Crimson Fantail.png
Crimson Fantail Large Rare Toxic This echinoderm uses curious pink limbs to disguise itself as a decorated fish-like creature. Approach Shallow Day
Brown Chordopod.png
Brown Chordopod Large Rare Toxic Its stomach is constantly overflowing with venomous liquids. It can barely hold on to it. Approach All Night
Dark Gembrane.png
Dark Gembrane Large Legendary Toxic Most of its body is brain matter, protected only by a thick frontal shell. Approach Deep All
Arctic Speartooth.png
Arctic Speartooth Small Common Arctic It maintains a hard icy shell around its body for protection. Approach All All
Salt Rampskull.png
Salt Rampskull Small Common Arctic It polishes the diagonal crest in its head against rocks and coral reefs. Approach Deep All
Blue Sabertrout.png
Blue Sabertrout Small Common Arctic Can be trained to harvest ice cubes with its tiny, sharp front teeth. Lurk Shallow All
Sealacanth Large Uncommon Arctic Nearly identical to its prehistoric ancestors, but more blubbery. Approach Shallow All
Whiskered Chub.png
Whiskered Chub Medium Uncommon Arctic Its long, drooping whiskers grow continually. They can eventually exceed the length of its body. Lurk All All
Coral Chirpfish.png
Coral Chirpfish Small Uncommon Arctic It chirps when it's happy. Does it think it's a bird? Approach All Day
Glacial Wimp.png
Glacial Wimp Small Uncommon Arctic It spends much of its time avoiding predators by scurrying away with its tiny legs. Approach Deep Night
Luminous Swindler.png
Luminous Swindler Small Rare Arctic Lures in prey with its shiny head bobble. Infamous among fish for being a bit of a jerk. Lurk Deep Night
Garland Conger.png
Garland Conger Medium Rare Arctic Multiple swim bladders along its body give it fine control of its buoyancy. Approach All All
Right Gazer.png
Right Gazer Medium Rare Arctic Its huge eyes help compensate for distortion caused by differing water temperature and salinity. Approach Shallow Day
Muckfang Medium Rare Arctic This slow moving amphibian can spend hours approaching prey before paralysing them with venomous fangs. Approach All All
Variegated Breacher.png
Variegated Breacher Large Legendary Arctic A strong fish that uses its robust horn to break through thick sheets of ice. Approach Deep All
Orange Ashlet.png
Orange Ashlet Medium Common Magma The gray stripes on its body camouflage it against the ridged crust of the magma's surface. Lurk Shallow All
Red Hand.png
Red Hand Medium Common Magma This odd creature is not a single entity, but rather a group of separate symbiotic organisms. Lurk Deep All
Sulphish Small Common Magma Its body creates a constant chemical reaction that propels it forward. Approach All All
Scarlet Swellpurl.png
Scarlet Swellpurl Large Uncommon Magma It doesn't inflate when it's scared, but instead when it's bored. It's always bored. Approach All Day
Lampred Medium Uncommon Magma It has the highest tooth to body ratio of any known fish. Approach Deep Night
Basalt Darter.png
Basalt Darter Small Uncommon Magma Its narrow, angular body fits tightly into cracks in the volcanic rocks where it sleeps. Approach All Day
Scorcheye Small Uncommon Magma This creature's feathery tendrils extend from its hard shell to filter bits of food from the magma as it swims. Approach All Night
Gold Feudibranch.png
Gold Feudibranch Small Rare Magma Its tubular body is entirely soft except for the long, keratinous pincers on its head. Approach All Day
Volcaris Medium Rare Magma A creature that has managed to avoid extinction despite its frail body. Approach Shallow Night
Imperviray Large Rare Magma Its smooth skin is coated with a heat-resistant layer of Impervium. Approach All Day
Seadragon Small Rare Magma This delicate creature uses the tiny, winglike fins on its back to ride gentle currents in flowing magma. Lurk All Night
Magmalodon Large Legendary Magma A near-legendary fish said to be magma brought to life. A true challenge to catch. Approach Deep All

Fish Critters

Critters are small, friendly unique monsters found on planets, and there are a variety of fish critter types. They have a tiny amount of health and appear in the bodies of liquid without a Fishing Rod.

Critters can be captured, like caught fish, using a Relocator, and placed again in the appropriate liquid type. Capture of these fish do not award any progress toward the Fishing Collection.

Appearance Name Spawn Name Area Region Time Planet Types Mini-Biomes
Arctic Fish.gif Arctic Fish arcticfishcritter Liquid All All Arctic Ocean Floor
Char Fish.gif Char Fish charfishcritter Liquid All All Arctic Ocean Floor
Fish.gif Fish fishcritter Liquid All All All non-Ocean planets
Fish Berry.gif Fish Berry fishberrycritter Liquid All All Ocean
Fish Chili.gif Fish Chili fishchilicritter Liquid All All Ocean
Fish Eye.gif Fish Eye fisheyecritter Liquid All All Tentacle
Fish Lemon.gif Fish Lemon fishlemoncritter Liquid All All Ocean
Frogpole.gif Frogpole frogpolecritter Liquid All All Swamp
Glowing Fish.gif Glowing Fish glowingfishcritter Liquid All All Bioluminescence
Jello.gif Jello jellocritter Liquid All All Toxic Ocean Floor
Jelly Critter.gif Jelly jellycritter Liquid All All Ocean Ocean Floor
Narfish.gif Narfish narfishcritter Liquid All All Arctic Ocean Floor
Poison Fish.gif Poison Fish poisonfishcritter Liquid All All Toxic Ocean Floor
Puffer Fish.gif Puffer Fish pufferfishcritter Liquid All All Toxic Ocean Floor
Skelly Fish.gif Skelly Fish skellyfishcritter Liquid All All Toxic Ocean Floor
Squid.gif Squid squidcritter Liquid Exposed All Ocean Ocean Floor
Steam Fish.gif Steam Fish steamfishcritter Liquid All All Steamspring


  • The Chucklefish is a reference to Starbound's developer, Chucklefish.
  • The Jerkfish and Chucklefish make an appearance as catchable fish in Wargroove.
  • The Imperviray is stated to be made out of Impervium, which was a crafting material that existed in beta versions of Starbound. It is the only canon reference to Impervium left in the game.