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Disgusting little critters who dish it out, but can't take it.

Quake Manual

In Quake, a Rotfish is a light-brown fish with green eyes and blood around its gills. Their only attack is biting you for a small amount of damage. It's the only Monster that is exclusively found in the Water.

A Rotfish normally cannot be gibbed, but it can be in Scourge of Armagon.


  • Alone, a Rotfish is extremely easy to kill. Keep your distance and attack it with anything you have. Even the Axe is effective on the Rotfish. However, it's rare to have a Rotfish by itself, they often come in schools.
  • In a group, Rotfish are still easy to kill. Take out your Super Shotgun and open fire. Since the Super Shotgun has a large spread and the fish are weak, it's quite possible that you'll kill multiple Rotfish in one blast. However, a very large group of Rotfish are very dangerous and can hurt you badly.
  • The simplest strategy for dealing with Rotfish is to just jump out of the Water (when possible). They will stop moving once they lose sight of you, but their fins will stick up out of the water, making them extremely easy to take out with the Shotgun. Or, in a larger swarm, if you can't wait that long to kill them like that, grab a Grenade Launcher and fire one in the middle of all the Rotfish.
  • Like the Knights, the Rotfish doesn't provoke a monster fight as it only has a melee attack and thus cannot be provoked by another enemy since they can only be found in the Water. Don't let a school of Rotfish corner you, or you'll be a pile of bones in no time. The Rotfish can be very easy to take down if you know where they are. If you are not in the Water, they can't see you.

Death Messages

  • "Player" was fed to the Rotfish



The Rotfish being aware of threat
The Rotfish assaulting somebody
The Rotfish being killed
The Rotfish being gibbed


  • The Rotfish is one of the buggiest opponents in Quake. In the event that they get alerted and the player leaves the vicinity, they can find ways to get stuck in the walls themselves to chase the player, resulting in falling in the grey void or otherwise clinging to walls. It's highly recommended to kill a Rotfish as soon as they're detected to prevent this glitch from occuring.
  • Once killed, the Rotfish corpse will appear, which has a smaller head than the rest of its body.
  • The Rotfish also has a glitch that causes it to be counted as two enemies for the total monster count, but not the individual monster count, in the original game; this glitch was carried over to WinQuake and GLQuake. Note that this bug affects any swimming based Monster. The reason why it's often seen as a Rotfish glitch is due to the Rotfish being the only swimming opponent in the vanilla game.


  • In Beta3, the obituary stated "Player" was gummed by a Piranha". As such, the Rotfish was originally known as the Piranha. It's possible that this enemy is inspired by the real-life Piranha.