Warframe's Fish Are Acting A Little Strange

The shooter MMO Warframe recently added fishing to the assortment of activities you can spend your life grinding through. The fish are big and beautifully weird and can be turned in for various rewards. They also like to warp space and time and render themselves immune or sometimes swim through solid rock.

The Warframe community can be more forgiving than most, but fishing is a serious business and the water life in the game at the moment has proven exceptionally elusive. Sometimes players manage to miss fish despite appearing to have struck them dead-on with their space-spears. In other cases the fish clip through the shoreline into a mysterious and invincible region just beneath the ground.


Players have been trading stories about their catch of the day that wasn’t. In most cases it’s due to wonky hitboxes. In order to fish, you line your reticule up with what you want to hit and launch your javelin at it, but a lot of the time it doesn’t work. The fish’s hitbox can actually end up being a little above where the fish appear to be floating, forcing players to learn how to aim at phantom fish in order to impale the little suckers. “Try hitting goopies by the middle and near the tail if its facing sideways. Goopies are easy hit,” was one player suggests.

Originally the problem with fish was they they spawned too infrequently. That problem was addressed in a recent patch that may have also ended up being responsible for the current weirdness. When players first got into the activity, they discussed where to position yourself so as not to get hit with the glare of the sun off the water. Players who are dedicated though are now all using Luminos Dye, a consumable that makes all the little fishies glow so they’re easier to see.


People have gone through the trouble of crafting the dye because fishing in Warframe is a job, unlike in other games, where it’s more of a side activity. Catch more fish, improve your reputation and earn more resources with which to do god knows what—hence why a small hitbox problem can have big repercussions. When thousands of people are traipsing through ponds trying to snag a Mortus Lungfish or Khut-Khut, every second matters.

That’s why instead of just waiting for developer Digital Extremes to go and fix the problems in a future update, players have even gone as far as to construct diagrams outlining the deviations between where you think you’re supposed to throw the spear and where it actually needs to be aimed. The black dot is you. The red one is the fish. The distance between them? Space magic. As one player put it, “You must learn the secrets of the ancient Orokin if you are to master... dirt fishing.”


The study of fishology that’s currently ongoing in Warframe is thanks to the game’s recent Plains of Eidolon update. Released last month, it introduced a big social space where players can take part in activities aside from shooting other aliens and one another. Imagine Destiny 2’s Farm but with actual things to farm. A lot of things. As a free-to-play game, Warframe is all about collecting stuff to make other better stuff and convincing yourself it wouldn’t be better just to give the game your money instead of your time. That’s why every missed fish is also a missed second of your life, lost down the wormhole of a fictional universe.


While the area is already live on PC, console players have yet to be able to partake. Fortunately, Digital Extremes revealed yesterday that the Eidolon update will be coming to Xbox One and PS4 on November 14. We’ll find out then whether the fishy lessons above will carry over or if the problems have been patched on console.

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About the author

Ethan Gach

Kotaku staff writer. You can reach him at ethan.gach@kotaku.com