Dredge is a psychological horror fishing game released by Blacksalt Games and Team17 in 2023. What starts as normal gradually becomes more demented and twisted as you stay out later on the waters. Gradually you will dredge up more of the story and the artifacts to go with it.
The world around you will become warped with Eldritch magic, and soon enough, you will be pulling up fish who have also been warped and mutated.
These Aberrations are only the first clue that something isn’t quite right in these waters. You will be the one to solve this mystery, whether you want to or not. Welcome to a Dredge Aberrations Guide.
A Quick Cast
Aberrations are fish that have been mutated thanks to the eldritch energy that lurks in the depths. Aberrations can be pulled up with any of your fishing tools.
They are most effectively found, however, when utilizing the Atrophy spell and Mixed Bait. Some can be passively gathered with your trawl, though you should reference your in-game Encyclopedia to see which ones.
If you gather every Aberration, you’ll earn the Aberration Attractor Achievement. For those completing every pursuit, there are three quests associated with Aberrations: Grotesque Fish, Package Delivery, and Craven Courier.
What Are Aberrations
Aberrations are distorted and mutated fish that you can occasionally fish up. They will sell at a higher price to the Fishmonger and the Travelling Merchant than their standard counterparts.
There are some fans that have theorized these fish are incubators, as some are lumpy and covered in strange masses – sometimes of odd coloration.
But, the more likely theory is just that the cosmic energy that seems imbued in every aspect of the sea had mutated and distorted susceptible parts of its environment. Given enough time, maybe all fish would become Aberrations.
Listen To The Whispers
There are a few reasons why you may want to hunt down Aberrations in specific: namely for their high sell prices and out of a desire to be a completionist.
For the Coin
Trying to catch Aberrations and even going out of your way to hunt them down ultimately pays off. Aberrations will sell for a higher price than your standard fish. If you’re trying to rack up some money quickly, whether for repairs or upgrades, you’ll want to collect as many of them as you can. Throw out the standard fish if it means that you can put an Aberration into your hold.
Generally, each Aberration will be worth about $5+ more per slot compared to their non-aberrated counterparts’ per-slot value.
For the Achievement
If you want to get every achievement in Dredge, you must hunt down every Aberration in the game. Unfortunately, only one achievement is attached to catching every Aberration: Aberration Attractor.
However, if you chase this trophy down, you can proudly boast of being one of the few people who has managed to get their hands on it. When I first snagged it, only 6% of Steam players actually managed to get it.
Reel In Insanity
When you’re actually hunting down Aberrations, there are a handful of tools that you have at your disposal. For the most part, Aberrations can be caught with whatever tool matches their tag (Abyssal, Coastal, Hadal, Mangrove, Oceanic, Shallow).
You don’t need any special tools to pull up an Aberration, but a few things can make your time fishing for them more accessible.
Magic – Atrophy
Atrophy is possibly one of the most terrifying spells in the game. This is the last ability you get, gained from turning in the second-to-last relic to the Collector.
This spell lets you harvest the entirety of the closest shoal. It gives you a higher chance of pulling in an Aberration. It’s worth noting that that specific disturbed water patch won’t return for three in-game weeks after using this spell.
Atrophy takes 12 in-game hours to refresh. So, it’s best to stick close to a dock if you plan on abusing this spell. Specifically, you should stick close to the Traveling Merchant’s or Greater Marrows’ dock. Any fish you pull up with the Atrophy spell will be stale or rotting, giving you only a day or two, at most, to sell them.
If you use it enough, you may even get the Unsustainable Fishing achievement.
Mixed Bait is a great way to fill out your Encyclopedia and hunt down any hard-to-find fish. In turn, this makes it easier to hunt down any hard-to-find Aberrations. To get your hands on the Mixed Bait, you’re going to have to finish the main questline in the Twisted Strand.
After that, the Airman will make you Mixed Bait out of whatever fish you give him. Every fish you give him should make about one bucket of bait, even small ones like Anchovies.
Mixed Bait can help with many things, but pulling up more Aberrations and rare fish with your trawl is not one of them.
Your Encyclopedia is a great reference, even if you haven’t found every fish in the game. Even for the fish you haven’t found, the Encyclopedia will tell you what you can find them in, what their type is, and if it’s applicable, what depth they’re found in.
This handy-dandy tool is available to you from the very beginning of the game. It will even clue you in as to how many Aberrations each type of fish has, assuming that they have any at all.
Do not skip out on your trawl. I have caught so many different Aberrations just by having a trawl that can catch Oceanic fish equipped. By catching these Aberrated fish, like the Anchovy King, while I’m zipping around trying to finish other parts of the game, I have inadvertently saved myself so much time.
Of course, there is one Aberration you can’t catch without a trawl, so Dredge is going to force you to use it anyway. The Parhelion Jellyfish is an Aberration of the Aurora Jellyfish – both of which can only be caught at night and with the trawl in the Stellar Basin.
If you’re having a hard time catching this one, I recommend circling around the Research Outpost during the night and sleeping during the daytime.
There are specific patches of disturbed water where you are guaranteed at least one Aberration. At least, you’re guaranteed one so long as you don’t miss a beat while reeling the fish in. These patches have little ember-like particles flickering up and distorted lights wavering over the top. During the daytime, they’re fairly identifiable, even from a distance.
Now that you know your tools, here is a strategy that can step up your fishing game.
Mixed Bait + Atrophy
If you’re struggling to pull up rare fish and their Aberrations, consider using Mixed Bait and Atrophy. Mixed Bait will naturally give you higher access to the area’s rare and hard-to-find fish.
Using Atrophy on your Mixed Bait patch will help you to sift through the patch quickly and give you a higher chance of catching an Aberrated version of whatever is there.
If you try this method, you are going to want to sit next to the Traveling Merchant’s dock so you can quickly refresh your Atrophy and head out to throw out some more Mixed Bait.
The only time where this is going to be a bit of a pain is when you’re trying to catch the Open Ocean Aberrations, like the Charred Sunfish or the Congealed Rattail.
In Dredge, you’ll run across one pursuit that is directly tied to Aberrations and two that are implied to directly involve Aberrations.
This quest is picked up from the Fishmonger, and it leads into the main quest of the game, the Collector’s Pursuit. You can give any Aberration to the Fishmonger, at which point he’ll close up shop for a few days, horrendously ill after, presumably, eating the fish.
However, there’s no need to worry. Eventually, he’ll open back his doors back up, perfectly fine and as healthy as before.
This is another quest that is almost unmissable, given to you by the Mayor in the early stages of the game. Here he will have you deliver a mysterious package to the dockworker in Little Marrow.
You can guess from some description clues that this package contains an Aberration – hence why the Mayor doesn’t want you to dawdle with it aboard. It’s a safe guess to assume that the dockworker eats it.
This pursuit is picked up from a floating ship on i10. Here the sailor will give you another mysterious package, also meant for the dockworker. This is, more than likely, another Aberration. You can bet that, once more, the dockworker eats it. Though, unlike the first time, something isn’t quite right the next time you go to visit him.
Dredge Aberrations Guide: FAQs
Question: Is Dredge a horror game?
Answer: Yes, Dredge is technically a horror game. It’s somewhat of a psychological horror, preferring to set atmosphere rather than jumpscare you at every opportunity.
Question: How long is Dredge?
Answer: If you’re trying to 100% the game, it takes about 18 to 20 hours.
Question: How many endings does Dredge have?
Answer: Dredge has two set endings. Both can be played out on the same save file. Keep the last artifact in your inventory or stash for one of the endings.
Reeling It All In
Fishing up every Aberration in the game was one of the last things I did in Dredge. I went through both endings before finally searching out every Aberration, and when I started, it took me far too long.
Instead of using Mixed Bait, I just wandered around and used my Spyglass Telescope to try and spot the fish I needed. This usually left me empty-handed and docking for the night with an empty hull.
Once I started to use Mixed Bait and find the fish I needed, I was frustrated by not pulling up any Aberrations of said fish (such as the Bony Wreckfish).
Then I learned that Atrophy would help you to get more Aberrations. Hopefully, this guide saves you from the same pain and tedious work that I put myself through before realizing that I absolutely did not have to do that.
I promise, fishing up all the Aberrations is worth it for more than just the achievement, though. Some of them have absolutely amazing designs, and it’s a bit of a shame if you don’t get to experience them for yourself.