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.
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.
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:
- Common fish have a 30% chance to drop Money Treasure.
- Uncommmon fish will drop either Money Treasure (97%) or a lure or reel upgrade (3%).
- Rare fish will drop one of the following: a lure or reel upgrade (30%), Treasure Chest Money (30%), a Manipulator Module (15%), a Tech Card (12.5%), or a Diamond (12.5%).
- Legendary fish will drop 2 instances of Treasure Chest Money as well as one of the following: a lure or reel upgrade (40%), a Pet Collar (15%), an EPP Augment (15%), an Instrument (15%), or a Costume piece (15%).
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.
|01||Jerkfish||Small||Common||Ocean||This fish has a natural impolite demeanour.||Approach||Shallow||All|
|02||Sandy Dirtwhisker||Small||Common||Ocean||This fish has evolved two extra eyes just for looking disappointed.||Lurk||All||All|
|03||Toothy Mudchomp||Medium||Common||Ocean||It camouflages well in the muddy seabeds where it feeds.||Approach||Deep||All|
|04||Funnyfish||Medium||Uncommon||Ocean||Thinks it's funnier than it really is.||Approach||Shallow||Day|
|05||Squareboy||Medium||Uncommon||Ocean||It's surprisingly capable at swimming despite its shape.||Approach||Shallow||Night|
|06||Frilled Tadguppy||Small||Uncommon||Ocean||Its large tail can create rhythmic pulses that distract potential predators.||Approach||All||Day|
|07||Copper Bonejaw||Medium||Uncommon||Ocean||It is born with a soft jaw that calcifies and hardens through its lifespan.||Lurk||Deep||Night|
|08||Pink Sunbeam||Large||Rare||Ocean||A jawless fish often sought after for the way its scales sparkle in sunlight.||Approach||Shallow||Day|
|09||Crescent Hoopfish||Large||Rare||Ocean||The hoop through its body creates a current that propels it through water.||Approach||All||Night|
|10||Hermit Tonguile||Medium||Rare||Ocean||Its body is one long pink muscle, curled tight into a fossilised shell.||Lurk||Deep||Day|
|11||Banded Wormeel||Small||Rare||Ocean||The long antenna on the Wormeel's head can pick up radio waves from nearby planets.||Approach||All||Night|
|12||Chucklefish||Large||Legendary||Ocean||Haven't I seen this fish before somewhere?||Approach||Deep||All|
|13||Barbed Redeye||Medium||Common||Toxic||Its creepy red eyes unnerve anyone who unexpectedly meets it underwater.||Approach||Shallow||All|
|14||Spotted Gulptredder||Medium||Common||Toxic||It can somehow swallow 10 times its body mass.||Approach||Deep||All|
|15||Irradiated Globfish||Medium||Common||Toxic||Its body contains no flesh - it's entirely composed of an organic slime.||Lurk||All||All|
|16||Silkpig||Small||Uncommon||Toxic||Their strange, silky texture and squealing mating cries make them highly sought after as pets.||Approach||All||Day|
|17||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|
|18||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|
|19||Night Clawnacle||Small||Uncommon||Toxic||The skin on its mushroom-like body changes colour when it's threatened.||Approach||Shallow||Night|
|20||Silver Curloach||Medium||Rare||Toxic||Its body curls up throughout its life, until it is too rolled up to even swim.||Approach||All||Day|
|21||Blighteel||Medium||Rare||Toxic||It has no eyes, so it prefers hunting at night when prey can't see it coming.||Approach||Deep||Night|
|22||Crimson Fantail||Large||Rare||Toxic||This echinoderm uses curious pink limbs to disguise itself as a decorated fish-like creature.||Approach||Shallow||Day|
|23||Brown Chordopod||Large||Rare||Toxic||Its stomach is constantly overflowing with venomous liquids. It can barely hold on to it.||Approach||All||Night|
|24||Dark Gembrane||Large||Legendary||Toxic||Most of its body is brain matter, protected only by a thick frontal shell.||Approach||Deep||All|
|25||Arctic Speartooth||Small||Common||Arctic||It maintains a hard icy shell around its body for protection.||Approach||All||All|
|26||Salt Rampskull||Small||Common||Arctic||It polishes the diagonal crest in its head against rocks and coral reefs.||Approach||Deep||All|
|27||Blue Sabertrout||Small||Common||Arctic||Can be trained to harvest ice cubes with its tiny, sharp front teeth.||Lurk||Shallow||All|
|28||Sealacanth||Large||Uncommon||Arctic||Nearly identical to its prehistoric ancestors, but more blubbery.||Approach||Shallow||All|
|29||Whiskered Chub||Medium||Uncommon||Arctic||Its long, drooping whiskers grow continually. They can eventually exceed the length of its body.||Lurk||All||All|
|30||Coral Chirpfish||Small||Uncommon||Arctic||It chirps when it's happy. Does it think it's a bird?||Approach||All||Day|
|31||Glacial Wimp||Small||Uncommon||Arctic||It spends much of its time avoiding predators by scurrying away with its tiny legs.||Approach||Deep||Night|
|32||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|
|33||Garland Conger||Medium||Rare||Arctic||Multiple swim bladders along its body give it fine control of its buoyancy.||Approach||All||All|
|34||Right Gazer||Medium||Rare||Arctic||Its huge eyes help compensate for distortion caused by differing water temperature and salinity.||Approach||Shallow||Day|
|35||Muckfang||Medium||Rare||Arctic||This slow moving amphibian can spend hours approaching prey before paralysing them with venomous fangs.||Approach||All||All|
|36||Variegated Breacher||Large||Legendary||Arctic||A strong fish that uses its robust horn to break through thick sheets of ice.||Approach||Deep||All|
|37||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|
|38||Red Hand||Medium||Common||Magma||This odd creature is not a single entity, but rather a group of separate symbiotic organisms.||Lurk||Deep||All|
|39||Sulphish||Small||Common||Magma||Its body creates a constant chemical reaction that propels it forward.||Approach||All||All|
|40||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|
|41||Lampred||Medium||Uncommon||Magma||It has the highest tooth to body ratio of any known fish.||Approach||Deep||Night|
|42||Basalt Darter||Small||Uncommon||Magma||Its narrow, angular body fits tightly into cracks in the volcanic rocks where it sleeps.||Approach||All||Day|
|43||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|
|44||Gold Feudibranch||Small||Rare||Magma||Its tubular body is entirely soft except for the long, keratinous pincers on its head.||Approach||All||Day|
|45||Volcaris||Medium||Rare||Magma||A creature that has managed to avoid extinction despite its frail body.||Approach||Shallow||Night|
|46||Imperviray||Large||Rare||Magma||Its smooth skin is coated with a heat-resistant layer of Impervium.||Approach||All||Day|
|47||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|
|48||Magmalodon||Large||Legendary||Magma||A near-legendary fish said to be magma brought to life. A true challenge to catch.||Approach||Deep||All|
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.
|Appearance||Name||Spawn Name||Area||Region||Time||Planet Types||Mini-Biomes|
|Arctic Fish||arcticfishcritter||Liquid||All||All||Arctic Ocean Floor|
|Char Fish||charfishcritter||Liquid||All||All||Arctic Ocean Floor|
|Fish||fishcritter||Liquid||All||All||All non-Ocean planets|
|Jello||jellocritter||Liquid||All||All||Toxic Ocean Floor|
|Narfish||narfishcritter||Liquid||All||All||Arctic Ocean Floor|
|Poison Fish||poisonfishcritter||Liquid||All||All||Toxic Ocean Floor|
|Puffer Fish||pufferfishcritter||Liquid||All||All||Toxic Ocean Floor|
|Skelly Fish||skellyfishcritter||Liquid||All||All||Toxic Ocean Floor|
- 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 in the game.