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Serpents are large snake-like creatures that spawn in the Ocean biome. They are most commonly encountered at night or during heavy rain.

Their drops are quite valuable and obtainable relatively early in progression. Serpent stew and Cooked serpent meat are some of the best food in the game.

They cannot spawn naturally as a 1 or 2 star variant. The information below about those variants is accurate when spawning via console commands.

Drops

Item 0 Star 1 Star 2 Star
Serpent meat.png Serpent meat 6-7 12-14 24-28
Serpent scale.png Serpent scale 8-9 16-18 32-36
Serpent trophy.png Serpent trophy 33% 33% 33%


Strategy

Locating

Hunting Serpents can be desirable for their drops, but finding one quickly is not intuitive.

  • Serpents only spawn at night or during heavy rain (with or without thunderstorm). Light rain is not sufficient.
    • Serpents that spawned from the night will despawn on morning. However if the area is only visited during the night then they will remain there.
    • Serpents that spawned from the rain won't despawn during the day and can be later found even during calm weather.
    • When it's both night and heavy rain, there is no way to tell if the Serpent despawns on morning.
  • Each zone has a chance to spawn a Serpent when a player sails through it. The chance is 5% when it's night time or raining, or 10% chance if it's both. A zone only attempts spawning every 1000 seconds so backtracking won't trigger more spawn attempts.
    • Sailing to non-cardinal directions (north-west, north-east, south-west and south-east) can trigger more spawn attempts due to how zones are in a grid.
  • Not all Serpents will spawn close enough to spot the player.
    • Up to half[1] of the Serpents will spawn close enough to see the player and will attack on their own.
    • Some[2] of the Serpents will spawn outside of player vision (render distance) and will always be missed.
    • The rest can be spotted by a player scanning the boat's rear 180 degrees. Sailing at full-mast (as opposed to half-mast) may cause the player to miss spotting some spawns, but ultimately encounter more Serpents due to triggering more spawn attempts.
  • With optimal searching, players should be able to find at least one Serpent per full night of sailing more often than 0.

See here for detailed spawning mechanics.

Killing

Serpents can be killed at sea for their meat (Frost Arrows are most effective) but using an Abyssal harpoon and dragging it onto land is the only way to retrieve their scales or trophy because they will otherwise sink in the ocean. While beached, serpents do not attack, they only move slowly back toward the ocean.

If Serpents are not harpooned, they will retreat if they aren't able to attack for 60 seconds. They do not despawn from this, players can chase them down again.

The Abyssal harpoon continually drains stamina from the user while it is pulling an entity (i.e. when there is no slack). The leash breaks if the leashing player attacks with a different weapon or right-clicks. Ideally the leashing player gets assistance from other players or mobs. Without mob assistance, a solo player may have difficulty keeping the Serpent on land and killing it without stamina issues.

Notes

  • A player with a Finewood bow or better should be able to kill a Serpent before it destroys a Karve, but not before it would destroy a Raft. Use caution on long ocean voyages with Rafts, as a lone player will not be able to kill a hostile Serpent before it destroys their raft.
  • Serpents are currently the only hostile creatures in the Ocean biome. According to the developer Road Map, this will change in the future.
  • When sailing through a serpent during its roar with a Longship, there is a chance the serpent may get stuck on the ship, becoming defenseless as it is on land. The railings of the Longship prevent the serpent from escaping into the water.
  • When trying to capture a sea serpent to hold it captive, it's recommended to hunt them during day time (with a bad weather). Serpents spawned from night time will despawn during the day.
  • Frostner is extremely effective against a serpent due to its frost damage, and is able to fairly reliably kill a serpent in a three-hit combo.

Trivia

  • The Serpent is likely based on Jörmungandr from Norse mythology, the giant sea serpent who roams the waters of Midgard.

Gallery

Creatures
Passive CrowDeerFishGullLeviathan
Aggressive BoarNeckGreylingGreydwarfGreydwarf bruteGreydwarf shamanTrollGhostSkeletonRancid remainsBlobOozerDraugrDraugr eliteLeechSurtlingWraithWolfDrakeStone GolemFenringDeathsquitoLoxFulingFuling BerserkerFuling shamanSerpent
Boss EikthyrThe ElderBonemassModerYagluth
NPC HuginHaldorHalsteinOdin
  1. Monte Carlo simulation resulting in 47% of spawned Serpents being within 50 meters of the boat path: https://jsfiddle.net/6xpnhdgL/. A delay between the Serpent spawning and being able to aggro will lower this value a little.
  2. Serpents can spawn up to 80 meters away while their render distance is from 64 to 128 meters (depends on the location of the underlying zone system).
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