The engine research menu in DREDGE.

DREDGE: The Best Engine Setup

Gotta go fast!

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Reyadh is a writer of fantasy, horror, and science fiction who loves to play video games full of monsters and magic. When he's not scribing unique and unrelenting speculative fiction or slaying demons in virtual worlds, he is writing strategy guides to help others reach their gaming goals.

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Marshall is a seasoned writer and gaming enthusiast based in Tokyo. He's a prolific wordsmith with hundreds of articles featured on top-tier sites like Business Insider, How-To Geek, PCWorld, and Zapier. His writing has reached a massive audience with over 70 million readers!

Key Takeaway

After you fully upgrade your ship, you’ll have 10 engine slots. In these slots, you should put one Engine Stack (takes up six slots) and four Jet Drive Engines.

Also, be sure to get and read the books called “Correct Engine Operation”, which gives you +5% movement speed, and “Push the Limit: Engines”, which gives you +7.5% movement speed.

Once you have all of the above, your ship will sail at 123.8 knots.

You begin your seafaring adventure in DREDGE moving slower than a sea slug. However, you can change that by upgrading your ship and finding the best engine setup. To do so, there are two engines in particular that you want to use…

Table Of Contents

    DREDGE: The Best Engine Setup Video Guide

    The Best Engine in DREDGE

    The best engine in DREDGE: the Engine Stack.

    First off, the Engine Stack is the best engine in the game. Next, the second best is the Twin Jet Drive Engine. Rounding out the top three is the Jet Drive Engine.

    Sadly, you won’t ever have enough space for two Engine Stacks—or an Engine Stack and a Twin Jet Drive Engine. Although, you can definitely fit a bunch of Jet Drive Engines around an Engine Stack!

    Use one Engine Stack with one or more Jet Drive Engines on your ship to go as fast as possible! Though, don’t just take our word for it! We’ll show you how we came to this conclusion.

    Every engine in the game takes up one or more equipment slots on your ship. However, they all have different speeds. By dividing their speed stat by how many slots they take up, we can get a figure that represents how much speed they each give us per slot used. From this, we can determine what engine has the best speed-to-size ratio.

    Engine Speed-to-Size Ratios (00:16 in the Video Guide)

    • Improved Outboard Engine – 16.9 knots/2 slots = 8.45 knots per slot
    • Refined Outboard Engine – 28.1 knots/3 slots = 9.37 knots per slot
    • Twin Prop Engine – 39.4 knots/4 slots = 9.85 knots per slot
    • Jet Drive Engine – 10.1 knots/1 slot = 10.1 knots per slot
    • Twin Jet Drive Engine – 56.3 knots/5 slots = 11.26 knots per slot
    • Engine Stack – 72 knots/6 slots = 12 knots per slot

    The Maximum Number of Engine Slots on Your Ship

    Once you fully upgrade your ship (which requires Refined Metal), you’ll have 10 engine slots. To reach the maximum speed in DREDGE—which is 123.8 knots—you need to install one Engine Stack and four Jet Drive Engines (plus the two books that increase movement speed).

    To give you a frame of reference, 123.8 knots lets you travel close to two full grid squares in about an hour of in-game time. As such, you can go from coordinates 1A all the way to coordinates 15S in about 12 minutes. With the best engine setup, it won’t take you long to get anywhere in the game. We even did a short speed test to verify this (01:57 in the video guide).

    Get the Books That Increase Movement Speed (02:39 in the Video Guide)

    A book called "Correct Engine Operation" in DREDGE.

    In DREDGE, there are two books that passively increase your movement speed once you read them. The first is called “Correct Engine Operation”, which is given to you by the Shipwright in Greater Marrow near the beginning of the game. You’re pretty much guaranteed to get this book unless you completely avoid the Shipwright. When read, it increases your movement speed by 5%.

    The other is called “Push the Limit: Engines”, which you get from the Figure in Purple after doing their pursuit—but that’s easier said than done. This book increases your movement speed by 7.5%.

    If you have read both books, your movement speed gets passively increased by 12.5%. This is crucial for reaching the fastest speed possible on your fishing vessel.

    Where to Find the Figure in Purple

    To find the Figure in Purple, you need to go to the northwest corner of coordinates 9E. There’s an island here, and you’ll find the Figure in Purple along its southeast coast.

    When you speak to the hooded figure, they’ll first ask you to catch them a Tarpon. Next, they’ll ask for a Horseshoe Crab. Finally, they’ll ask you to get them a Barreleye. To see where you can catch these fish, check out our all-fish locations guide.

    Be wary, as this is a timed quest. If more than five days go by without you delivering a fish, the Figure in Purple will die. This time limit resets every time you give them a fish. We recommend catching all of these fish before starting the pursuit for the Figure in Purple. It doesn’t matter if the specified fishes are rotten; the hooded figure doesn’t seem to mind.

    Benefits of Sailing as Fast as Possible

    A ship sailing through the rain in DREDGE.

    Right away, sailing at top speed saves you time! The only way to fast-travel is to use the Manifest ability to teleport back to Blackstone Isle. However, to get everywhere else, you need to sail. As such, being able to sail as fast as possible cuts down on a lot of travel time.

    What’s more, if you get stuck out at sea when it gets dark, you’ll be able to get back to a safe place sooner rather than later. This’ll help you avoid the dangers of the deep. Also, you’ll go less crazy—which is almost always a good thing, right?

    On a related note, the faster you are, the easier it is to escape sea monsters—both the real ones and those that are hallucinated when your sanity is low. The only sea monster that can outspeed you at 123.8 knots is the hallucinated shark. Thankfully, this beast disappears after it hits you once, so an encounter with it won’t cause a game over in most cases.

    High Speeds Come at a Potentially High Cost

    The only downside of zooming around the map at maximum speed is that you become a bit of a danger to yourself. The faster your ship moves, the harder it is to control. As a result, you may bump into a stray rock here and there. If you feel that you’re getting too close for comfort to any obstacle: hit reverse and back away. It would also be smart to hang onto some emergency repair money…just in case.