Surface width is determined first (green rectangle), then the depth below those tiles (arrows). Tiles falling outside the originally calculated surface width are not counted (red areas).
Fishing is accomplished by using a Fishing Pole at a body of liquid (water, honey, or lava) while having Bait in the player's inventory. While near the body of liquid, clicking a point over the liquid will cast a line into the liquid. Click again when the bobber moves up and down in order to reel in the line and, hopefully, an item will come up with the line.
75 connected tiles of liquid are required (1,000 for oceans, 50 for honey) in order for fishing to work. The width of the top row of continuous liquid tiles (the row where the fishing bobber sits) determines the calculated pond width, and then the depth directly below those is counted. If the pond becomes wider at lower depths, that additional width is not counted. The player may successfully fish in a 1 tile-wide pond, as long as it's 75 tiles deep. The distance of the bobber to the shoreline does not matter.
It is not possible to fish when the player is submerged in liquid, even partially, and even within a completely disconnected body of water. Fishing can however be done while moving, flying, while grappled to blocks, while floating on water with the Slime Mount, or while standing on top of water, eg. using Water Walking Boots. Fishing can be done in Lava, but will only work with the Hotline Fishing Hook.
Catching a quest fish for the Angler NPC requires fishing in the proper biome and height for the day's current quest, which can be determined by talking to the Angler. You don't need to speak with him beforehand, nor have even encountered him, but the chances of finding the correct area to fish for a quest are much lower without speaking to him first. Quest fish cannot be caught if the player already has that particular quest fish in their inventory, nor if the quest fish was already turned in that day. However, if you put the Quest fish in your safe/bank then you may catch another Quest Fish. You can then transfer the Quest Fish to a chest if you wish. The Angler gives out special rewards when a proper quest fish is turned in.
Given the prerequisites for fishing are fulfilled, a number of factors influence the quality/rarity of the caught item. All are combined into a total "Fishing Skill" that determines the chances of higher-quality catches. Percentages in the tables below that influence Fishing Skill are marked green or red.
- The Fishing Power of the Fishing Pole used.
- The Bait Power of the Bait used.[fb 1]
- Equipped items and Potions.
- The time the player is fishing. (note that all the factor of time is multiplied with the bait power above, and will round down after the calculation of each one).
- The size of the lake. Lakes with fewer than 300 tiles incur a Fishing Power penalty.
- When fishing without the High Test Fishing Line, there is always a 1 in 7 chance that the fishing line will break on reel-in, forfeiting the caught item. Chances of consuming bait remain the same even if the line breaks. With the High Test Fishing Line equipped, the line never breaks.
| Cloudy or Overcast
| 4:30am - 6:00am
| 9:00am - 3:00pm
| 6:00pm - 7:30pm
| 9:18pm - 2:42am
| Full Moon
| Moon 2 or 8 [fb 2]
| Moon 4 or 6 [fb 2]
| New Moon (no moon)
| Lake Size [fb 3]
| Water Tiles
|| no penalty
- ↑ % Bait Power also means % Fishing Power, and is combined with all other Fishing Power factors, such as the Fishing Pole's power and the Time factor, etc. Bait Power additionally determines the chances that the Bait item will be consumed from the player's inventory. Items with higher Bait Powers will tend to last through more fishing attempts: Higher Bait Power means lower chance of consumption.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Moon phases are numbered according to the graphic shown on the Moon Phase page.
- ↑ Lake sizes listed here are example numbers to illustrate the lake size effect, and are not thresholds. The penalty is actually determined by an equation:
(tiles / 300) * Fishing Power. In effect, a lake n times smaller than 300 tiles (200 for honey) results in n times less Fishing Power. Any increase or decrease in total tiles between 75 and 300 will alter the lake size penalty.
For example, if you have the Golden Fishing Rod
, Master Bait
, equiping full Angler set
and Angler Earring
, with the buff of the Fishing Potion
, and it's Raining, at 5:00 am, at New Moon, your fish power will be calculated as following:
- Add the fishing power of the Fishing Rod, Bait, Equipment and buff, so it's 50+50+(5+5+5+10)+15=140.
- Apply the influence of the weather: 140*(1+20%)=168.
- Apply the influence of the time: 168*(1+30%)=218.4, round down, 218.
- Apply the influence of the Moon Phase: 218*(1-10%)=196.2, round down, 196.
So, you have 196 fishing power.
Fishing Poles are used with Bait for Fishing. Some are craftable, while others are either sold by NPCs, found in Chests, or are awarded by the Angler.
These items can be caught at any time. Most can serve as crafting material for Food and other Potions. Some can also craft other item types. Jellyfish can be used as bait. Most can be sold to NPCs.
These are fish items that can be caught only when their particular quest is active, and serve no purpose other than acquiring quest rewards. Their catch chance is around 1:10. You can determine the day's quest by speaking to the Angler NPC. There are 39 distinctive variants of quest fish.
These items can be used directly without further crafting. Some are Tools, while others are Weapons, Accessories, Potions, or Mount- or Pet-summoning items.
Crates are grab-bag type items that can each contain random loot. They can be right-clicked from within the player's inventory, which will unload their contents. Rarer Crate types contain more valuable loot. Each Crate type can be stacked up to 99 in a single inventory slot.
See Crates for additional information.
These items have no use or coin value. They can each be stacked up to 99 in a single inventory slot. You will only "catch" these if a lake is too small or if your Fishing Power is too low. When a lake is at least 300 tiles (200 for honey) in size or your total fishing power is at least 50 you will no longer catch junk.
Note that the Seaweed junk item should not be confused with the Seaweed pet summon item, which is not found by fishing.
- For pre-hardmode players, fishing can be a good way of earning money.
- The bobber will move two or three times per bite, after which the fish will go away, but the line will remain cast. As long as the reel-in occurs before this animation ends, the timing of the click doesn't affect the quality of the catch (the Sonar Potion shows this plainly).
- It is possible to get a day's quest fish without having asked the Angler about it, though that would be a lucky event since the player won't know where to fish for it. Taking it to him will then successfully complete the quest.
- Time must pass naturally from 04:29-04:30 (new day) before another quest begins.
- The maximum possible fishing power is 282.
- Crate contents are determined upon opening them. Crates caught in normal mode can therefore yield Hardmode items when stockpiled and opened in Hardmode.
- Ocean-only catches, including the Capn' Tunabeard quest fish, cannot be obtained from a Hallowed or Corrupted Ocean shoreline, but may be obtainable further out towards the map edge, where Corrupted or Hallowed sand is farther from the water surface. When the Ocean Biome music plays, Ocean fish can be caught.
- Possible catches are determined by the biome that the player is currently within, rather than the biome the liquid body is in.
- However, the height of the bobber is what determines the height requirements of the catch, not the height of the player.
- On the 3DS version, you can catch many different fish in the Ocean Biome, even those not native to it, including the Jewelfish and Golden Carp.
- Some biomes override other biomes. The biome order for fishing is (if you are in both Corruption and Crimson, there will be 50% chance to be considered as Corruption and 50% for Crimson each time it attempts to generate a fish):
- Lava > Honey > Corruption = Crimson > Hallow > Snow > Jungle > Mushroom > Ocean > Forest(including sky, surface, underground, cavern, etc.).
- NOTE: Possible catches determined by biomes have different priorities from how the music plays. The background music of Terraria is misleading because its priority for music is:
- Ocean > Mushroom > Corruption > Crimson > Jungle > Snow > Hallow > Others
- Because the music priority is drastically different than the fishing priority, this may explain why you could not find a quest fish in a part of the world that is playing the music for the biome that fish could be found in. (For example, you stand where Jungle and Snow overlaps, so you will hear Jungle music but harvest Tundra catches.)
- There is inconsistency in the mushroom biome criteria. Note that 200 mushroom tiles is considered valid when it refers to fishing, while for other uses 100 is mostly enough.
- The height requirement (surface/underground/cavern) is set by the surface of the water not the position of the player. This can be exploited by creating two adjacent pools with different level at the transition from surface to underground where one can fish either while standing at the same spot.
- The game will attempt to generate a fish each tick with probability (fishing power + 75)/2 %, reaching a cap at 125 fishing power.
- Additionally, each biome has its own list of catches that each occupy "rarity slots". Each fishing attempt yields a particular slot. When fishing in overlapping biomes the higher-priority biome's catch occupying that slot will be caught. A fish from the lower-priority biome will only be caught if the higher-priority biome(s) has no fish occupying that rarity slot.
- The chance for catching a particular fish is determined by its rarity slot and the player's fishing power. The rarer that fish's rarity slot, the lower the chance to catch that fish. The higher the fishing power, the higher the chance to catch that fish. The formula for the chance is listed below:
- Common: (fishing power)/150, capped at 1/2 (at 75 fishing power).
- Uncommon: (fishing power)/300, capped at 1/3 (at 100 fishing power).
- Rare: (fishing power)/1050, capped at 1/4 (at 263 fishing power).
- Very Rare: (fishing power)/2250, capped at 1/5 (at 450 fishing power).
- Extremely Rare: (fishing power)/4500, capped at 1/6 (at 750 fishing power).
- Most quest fish occupy the "Uncommon" slot, with the exceptions of the Mirage Fish and Pixiefish, which are "Rare". However, quest fish have higher priority within their native biomes than other fish.
- Some fish may occupy more than one slot, and also some fish may have an additional chance to lose even if it gets the slot. For example, the Toxikarp occupies the Extremely Rare slot, but even when in the slot, there is also a 50% chance failed to obtain it.
- The Ocean overrides all lower priority biomes and defaults to catching Trout. All other biomes default to catching Bass.
- Once you catch a fish, it will wait for 1.5~4 + fishing power/60 seconds for another attempt.
- A good way to grind for Lightning Bugs is to either convert a large slab of land to Hallow, or one can dig a large hole (lined with dirt) and convert it to Hallow.
- If you get no bites at all, then check if you have the Truffle Worm in your inventory. If it's the upper left-most Bait-item in your inventory, then try to move it. That should make the fish bite again.
- On some nights, many fireflies will spawn in the area around NPCs; however, if several NPCs live in the hallow, the same effect can occur with lightning bugs. This seems to happen on any night when fireflies are spawning in large numbers.
- A good way to grind for Bait is to create a jungle farm, to allow and break the plants that grow, due to the high odds of getting bait per plant. Possible drops are Grubby, Sluggy or Buggy.
- One reliable way of obtaining Bait seems to be fishing in a surface forest, at night, close to NPCs. Staying still and restricting the spawns to critters will result in a lot of Fireflies spawning, and if alternating fishing and catching it's easy to end with dozens more bait. Water Candles and Battle Potions can be used to increase the spawn rate of critters, while the NPCs still prevent enemy spawns. Alternatively, if one obtains Flower Boots from a Jungle Shrine, they can stand on grass with a yoyo or flail and have the plants spawned by the boots be constantly destroyed, generating many worms and grasshoppers.
- The simplest way of obtaining Bait is to use the Crate Potion. Then you should catch enough Crates to produce excellent Bait, especially if you use the Sonar Potion to pull in only Crates (or your desired fish).
- There are a total of 16 different fishing locations that can yield distinct catches: Surface: Forest, Ocean, Jungle, Corruption, Crimson, Hallow, Snow, Honey; Underground: Forest, Snow, Hallow, Jungle; Cavern: Snow + Hallow/Corruption/Crimson; Floating Island; Any Layer: Lava, Mushroom.
- Since quest fish cannot be fished or picked up when that same quest fish is already in the player's inventory, duplicate quest fish can be saved in Chests or other storage items, which can be useful since quests often repeat. Duplicate quest fish can however be placed in a player's inventory manually by moving them from Chests afterward.
- An easy pre-hardmode way to tell if it's a full moon, and thus an ideal night to fish, would be to use a Deathweed's blooming as an indicator. A Deathweed only blooms under either a full moon or a Blood Moon, therefore -unless a Blood Moon is currently occuring- if the plant blooms when placed in a Pot, it means the Moon is full.
- It's typically a good idea to save up your crates until hardmode has been activated because of their chance to drop hardmode bars. This can make it substantially less difficult to start Hardmode while in an Expert world.
- The quest is the same for every character every day. The quest fish can also be stored in a chest - you can use one character to fish up and then piggy bank the quest fish, and then fish up another and bank it over and over, then move the fish from the piggybank to a chest back in the house - and then use other characters to log in, grab the fish, then complete the quest. Rather than making different worlds to do the daily quest, you can use different characters to drasticlly increase the number of fishing completes per in game day.
- If you have a very high fishing power (Master Bait, Golden Fishing Rod, along with fishing buffs and equipment) it is possible to have a net gain of Master Bait from the crates obtained.
- The Neon Tetra and Golden Carp have no use, aside from their coin value. The Golden Carp is especially valuable at 10 .
- The Clownfish quest description is a reference to the 2003 Pixar film, Finding Nemo.
- The Batfish quest description is a reference to the iconic Batman Theme.
- The Double Cod is required to make a Ammo Reservation Potion, possibly because the word 'Cod' is a shortcut or abbreviation of the popular 'First Person Shooter' game called Call of Duty.
- Sometimes, if the player goes fishing, the player could receive items the player usually does not catch. For example, in an Ocean biome, a player could fish a Pirate Map.
- 3DS 1.0: Introduced.
- Console 1.07 Holiday Update: Console introduced fishing, including fishing rods, 24 various fish (and fish recipes), various tools, weapons, accessories, and junk that can be "caught", Scaly Truffle (mount), Zephyr Fish (pet), crates (Wooden, Iron, and Golden), jellyfish (Blue, Green, and Pink), crafted jellyfish jars, the Angler NPC, various fishing gear, fishing quests, and fishing quest rewards.
- 220.127.116.11: Seedler can no longer be obtained through fishing.
- 18.104.22.168: Loot from fishing is now properly highlighted in highlight system.
- 22.214.171.124: Added Jungle Crate, Sky Crate, Corrupt Crate, Crimson Crate, Hallowed Crate, and Dungeon Crate. Sky quest fish can no longer be found on the surface. Reduced the number of water tiles needed to fish successfully in the sky.
- Fixed bug where repeated clicks after your line broke would nevertheless produce a catch.
- Fixed bug causing Seaweed to turn into Seaweed (pet item) if in the inventory of a dying Mediumcore character (the Seaweed now simply disappears).
- 1.2.4: Introduced.