Fish is one of the two default characters that are unlocked from the start. As a starter character his abilities are pretty simple to understand, his roll allows him to get away from danger more easily and traverse levels much quicker. His passive makes ammo consumption much more forgiving as being low on ammo is much less of an issue. These powers combined makes Fish an extremely well-rounded character for starting out the game/being in preloop, making him an extremely solid choice for those learning the game.

During loop play, Fish has an option between two ultra mutations that similarly enables him to lean into aggressive, high ammo consumption builds very easily. Pair this with always starting loop with a guaranteed melee(Guitar) and Fish has multiple options between playing it safe or very offensively, which makes him a very strong and versatile choice for those who are playing in loop. He remains a strong choice for deeploop making him a solid recommendation for any area of play.

Fish
Unlock Default
B-Skin Loop as all 12 chars
Weapon Revolver
Active Can Roll
Passive Gets More Ammo


Abilities



Preloop Guide


Fish's active and passive have the benefit of being easily understood by new players and helpful to more advanced players. This is best illustrated with his passive, where learning proper ammo management and the best way to use each weapon are important skills that new players must hone and Fish makes this skill curve more forgiving. This also makes weapons that have high ammo consumption much more forgiving to use which gives Fish easier choices to make between weapons than other characters may have to make. Overall this passive is just a very nice addition that makes Fish not have to worry about ammo very much, as having to focus less on ammo levels is a plus and having easier mutation choices is an even bigger plus.

As for his active, rolling may not seem as useful as other games where rolling mechanics usually includes giving temporary invulnerability, however it is important to focus on its strengths instead. While being useful to speed up gameplay in general, the strength in rolling is that it functions as a good panic button. If taking sudden damage or running out of ammo then rolling can serve as a panic button to quickly escape a dangerous encounter, or to quickly reach ammo/health pickups before enemies have a chance to block you off. Rolling is best reserved for these situations as rolling in close proximity of enemies can be a bad idea when still learning enemy behavior as an unpredictable movement or enemy attack can put Fish in a position he may not be able to recover from.

Between active and passive, the takeaway is that Fish just makes the game more forgiving in terms of ammo and lets him get breathing room more easily during close encounters. While this is not as eye-catching as some mutants' powers it shouldn't be underestimated for making any run easier to handle.

In terms of taking mutations on Fish they largely will not differ from your average playthrough on any other character, so always take what is most useful to you personally. Mutations related to ammunition gain can be viewed as slightly lower priority on a normal run because of his passive, unless the player plans to heavily lean into weapons that burn through ammo very quickly, in which case his passive will enhance these ammo mutations even further. Mutations taken should be where the player wants to end up with their build, so they can either focus more on mutations that can help Fish's survival or lean entirely into increasing DPS.

Thronebutt within preloop is something that can easily be taken or left behind, while it can be viewed as an upgrade to the roll it's not something that is fundamental to a run's success, as usually a quick roll or two can be enough to get Fish into a better position without the extra mutation slot to boot.

Overall Fish gets a strong recommendation for preloop. He is great to run while learning game mechanics and testing out new weapons without having to worry about being low on ammo or any sort of complex character mechanics. He is a starting character along with Crystal for a reason, they offer a good introduction to the game while having powers that remain viable throughout it, so sticking with Fish until getting consistently further is a good idea.


Loop Guide


Within loop, Fish has an option to become an absolute DPS monster. Both of his ultras are amazing choices allowing him to lean entirely into damage output without being too much at risk of death.

His first choice is Confiscate and while is the less popular of the two in terms of meta, is still a great choice nonetheless. Normal ammo pickups being converted to a chest will result in twice the ammo gain, and the same goes for HP being converted into a health chest. This means that throughout the level Fish can have extra ammo and HP constantly on standby, and he can quickly roll over to a chest when need be to heal quickly or get out additional shots. Since drops are tied to the player's current ammo level, if in a safe enough position it's a good idea to quickly exhaust a lot of Fish's ammo when near an ammo chest, leading enemies to drop even more pickups/chests, then he can quickly open the nearby chest to gain even more ammo to burn through. Given the right weapon this can lead to a snowball effect and he can clear levels quickly and efficiently.

Confiscate works better for any build while Gun Warrant is more specialized, in Confiscate's case though the drawbacks notably are that while chests give more pickups overall they also require Fish to directly walk over them, so there are some occasions that Fish could get overwhelmed if he's not able to reach any chests if there are too many enemies or projectiles blocking his way. Present chests spawning is a more clear drawback of the ultra, as during fast-paced gameplay they're pretty useless.

Gun Warrant is a bit more on the popular side due to Fish being able to quickly spam out shots at the start of the level which can be extremely satisfying/fun to use. This ultra is more specialized as the best way to use it is to bring any weapon that has high ammo consumption, as the goal is to get as many shots as the player safely can get out during this 7 second window. Any spawn that is relatively unsafe Fish can trivialize due to the vast amount of DPS potential without having to worry about ammo levels at all. Ammo management is trivialized for the most part, as ideally a good chunk of the level will be completely cleared out by the time Gun Warrant wears off at which point Fish will most likely be full on ammo levels once again.

One thing newer players should be cautious of(especially with Gun Warrant) is that clearing a level very quickly can lead to the IDPD units/vans to spawn all at once. In L2 this can be especially dangerous, so if a level is cleared fast one also needs to react to IDPD spawns quickly in order to not get overwhelmed.

Either ultra mutation should be run with Trigger Fingers and, less importantly, Stress in an ideal situation in order to maximize damage output. Fish's focus in loop play should be built around getting as much damage output as possible. High ammo consumption weapons would include ones such as Plasma Cannon, Super Plasma Cannon, Super Flak Cannon, Super Crossbow and Double Minigun. Running any ultra weapon with Gun Warrant is also a viable option as rad management is far easier as well, most of them are high ammo/rad consuming.

Ammo mutations still can be something the player decides to purposefully take or avoid depending on their build and end goal, Fish's passive leads him to be gaining ammo back extremely easily so it's a matter of how much the player intends to spam use of their weapon and what the mutation choices are against. Reeling it in a bit and picking mutations that are good for survivability instead can be a good call, but the nice part about playing Fish is how much his abilities gives him versatility. Back Muscle is a good choice regardless of build as he rebuilds ammo much quicker than any other character.

At this point in the game, rolling takes sort of a backseat and Thronebutt can be ignored pretty easily. Especially with a good melee Fish can quickly roll between pickups while batting away any enemy projectiles, otherwise rolling quickly away from elite IDPD that may be dangerous in close proximity. While it may not be defining to Fish's run, it's still a tool that the player should constantly have in mind as an option to use to help weave in and out of danger much quicker.

Guitar is one of the most useful extra character perks too, while on many runs the player has to gamble on whether they'll see their desired weapons during that run, Guitar is guaranteed. The general consensus is that it's the 3rd best melee, behind Ultra Shovel and Energy Sword(with Laser Brain), at the very least being the best ammoless melee. So even with poor weapon drops, Fish is guaranteed to have a strong start in loop which many other mutants cannot boast. Long Arms can be taken in any run with the knowledge that it will immediately come in handy upon fighting Throne 2 and starting in loop Desert, which can be dangerous areas given poor weapon drops.


Meta Guide


Fish remains a powerhouse upon reaching meta, while at this point in the game he may not dominate the top tiers he's still a very viable and powerful choice.

The question of taking Confiscate and Gun Warrant in this point of the game is up to preference, meta mutations would look fairly typical as one could imagine. Fish's passive enables SPC to be spammed even more, combined with either ultra to fully take an aggressive DPS approach. Having double damage mutations is a great idea to quickly clear out levels, Rabbit Paw synergizes well with his passive as well to get even more shots out or more Confiscate drops. Back Muscle while not a part of a perfect set on Fish lets him get even more use of his ultras/passive as there are less chances to 'waste' any ammo.

Taking Confiscate is more useful for boss fights between the two ultras, as Fish can have chests he can quickly fall back to mid-fight. While this isn't necessary to his survival this makes the game much more forgiving whether learning how to deeploop or just wanting the run to be safer/easier. In general it is very useful for clearing levels quickly and always having a 'safety net' to fall back to as well.

Gun Warrant is more useful in quickly clearing out dangerous spawns(especially in levels such as Palace or bad Frozen City spawns), as not only does it quickly clear out dangerous enemies, Fish can also shoot off excess SPC shots towards his spawn to give him a lot more breathing room. While this ultra may not come in much use during most boss fights, it is still the more popular ultra to pick because Fish can shoot out an enormous amount of SPC shots in very little time if he has an opportunity to hotswap, or the vast amount of enemies usually makes Trigs refresh the weapon's usage extremely quickly. And as an added bonus, Ultra Shovel will pretty much always have refilled rads at the start of a level, which is a nice addition to those who are learning rad management still or are playing a very casual run.
One of the best examples to use Gun Warrant would be the 0-1 spawn, as Fish can hotswap SPC with any weapon brought through the 7-3 portal and repeatedly fire at nearby walls to significantly increase the size of the arena. Once Popo Freaks start to attack Fish he can switch to shooting inbetween trig procs while defending himself. A larger T2 arena can significantly reduce risk by giving Fish far more maneuverability.

Both ultras are strong picks regardless and should be left to player preference as there are benefits to both, ultimately. While a rare issue, one should be careful of accidentally hotswapping into a cursed weapon as that could potentially end a run. Similarly, hotswapping an explosive weapon while spamming the fire button could accidentally lead to Fish's death. While getting used to playing Fish in deeploop, it never hurts to pause for a second to process what's going on.

Fish's roll can be done to get to pickups quicker while spamming Ultra Shovel to handle enemy projectiles, but high caution should be exercised during these rolls; since swinging Ultra Shovel can redirect rolls, this can lead to unintentional directional inputs that can lead to unintended damage. Be careful on levels where it is easy to roll into explosives such as from Golden Tanks or Snipers. Rolling is the most useful during the trickier boss fights. It's useful to hide behind walls quickly against Big Bandits and maneuver around the level to avoid endless popo freak spawns, it helps with avoiding taking direct hits from Mom or even trying to keep up with her(use carefully here), and any extra movement options during Throne 2's fight is always welcome given how hectic the fight gets in later loops.

As for any of the bosses a lot of Fish's strategy boils down to simply being able to use SPC more often than other characters, and will likely be going into fights at higher ammo/rad levels. For that reason he can take some more risks during a fight if the player is comfortable doing so, at least in terms of firing SPC pretty mindlessly.

Overall Fish is just a character who makes gameplay go a lot quicker with not having to worry about managing rads or ammo as much as other characters because of his high DPS potential. While he's not extremely popular because his gameplay is slightly on the vanilla side, he's a solid pick at pretty much any skill level and he can come back from any scary situation fairly easily. This makes him a solid choice regardless of skill level.