You wake up in a grassy forest. For some reason, there’s a weird nerd next to you, and you’ve got an axe, a pickaxe, and a pathetically tiny sword in you hands. There are slimes that want to digest you alive, and the nerd tells you zombies pop out after dark to eat your brains. Well, nothing to it, get to work! Welcome to our comprehensive Terraria guide!
Terraria is an indie sandbox metroidvania game available on PC, Mobile, Nintendo Switch and certain consoles, made by Re-Logic and faithfully ported to mobile by 505 Games Srl. with crossplay being planned in the future. Think of Terraria as Minecraft’s estranged, extremely murderous 2D brother, with a much heavier emphasis on fast action, combat and bloodthirsty exploration rather than Minecraft’s more careful, even sneaky survival game nature.
Years of updates has made this one of the best games anywhere, with music that gets you blood pumping, pixel graphics with some darn good special effects, and the ability to do and build dang near whatever the heck you want.
The game can be difficult, but its sandboxy nature gives you much more power over your foes than most other games are willing to grant. Constructing arenas, making the terrain more favorable to you than the enemy, and forcing the world to give you more mobility and safety in battle is how you’ll live through all it can throw at you, with runs where you avoid doing so being self-imposed challenges.
In all that you do, you have the options of using any mix of skill, brains, preparation, and most importantly, raw hardheadedness. If you’ve played Terraria on PC before, specifically the 1.4 versions and beyond, you’ll likely be familiar with many of the tips here. There are a couple of quirks specific to Mobile that we make note of though.
Here are some tips and tricks that will generally make your life easier in Terraria, though they do not fit in any other categories. Keep these in mind, and you should be fine.
Picks and Drills get Priority
Say you got some fancy new bars made of some fancy new ore that you found. Do you make a shiny new sword? Or a better bow? Even some armor? Nah, make a Pickaxe first! Prioritizing the Pickaxe over everything else you can craft allows you to progress more quickly, to the point that you can skip some whole armor sets since you are now able to mine better materials for the next one.
This is especially important during Hardmode, since skipping on something like say, the Drax or Pickaxe Axe means you might have to fight yet another Mechanical Boss just to be able to mine Chlorophyte.
The World Hates You and Only You, Use This To Your Advantage
All enemies will only aggro against players, prioritizing them over NPCs at all times. Any NPC deaths that happen in the vicinity of the player is an accident, with enemies simply running into them like a car runs into a pedestrian. You can use this sheer hatred of you to your advantage in several situations. You can set up your panic bunker or any fighting station just near enough town that Invasions still spawn enemies, but far enough away that NPCs are offscreen and are at minimal risk.
You can also lure them very easily into AFK grinder structures, since they will happily jump into lava to strangle you, even if there’s no chance of them getting to you. This also makes most mobs fairly predictable: No matter how they move, they’re always looking for a way to get in your face, unless they use ranged attacks. Even then, they still try!
Touch, Controller, or Keyboard?
We’ll be honest, Terraria with touch controls can be a real handful. It can be rather difficult to jump and shoot at the same time the way one would do if they’ve played it on PC before, so you’ll have to move the fire button next to the jump button for easy access, and rely on target locking and good positioning for lock-on since manual aiming without a flying mount will be troublesome.
It’ll work similarly to how you’d use a controller, though with a controller the existence of shoulder buttons can make things easier, and the presence of a D-pad along with a joystick makes use of Gravitation Potions much more smooth and intuitive. If you like Gravitation Potions, get a controller with a D-pad.
On mobile, whether you use touch controls or own a Bluetooth gamepad, a flying mount like the Witch’s Broom, UFO Car Keys or the Black Spot will make your life a lot easier, since flying and shooting is markedly easier than running, jumping and shooting on a touch screen or twin sticks.
Auto-Target and Auto-Fire
While jumping and shooting at the same time can be rough on Mobile, you do have two advantages over PC and keyboard players: Auto-Target and Auto-Fire. Auto-Target allows you to lock onto an enemy, which allows you to actually jump and shoot with a touch screen, though it can be a bit janky. Setting Lock-On to Clearest Line in the settings menu can cause your character to aim for someone far away while an enemy is about to eat your face in melee range, and you need to get them off you first.
Setting it to Closest Enemy makes it much more predictable, but can cause a few problems if you lock onto someone behind a wall or under the floor while someone is further away but clear to shoot. There are also some enemies programmed to deny a target lock, such as the Lunatic Cultist who escapes from your lock every time they teleport, and can summon hallucinations that confuse your target lock. To lock on, tap the little yellow triangle button.
Auto-Fire, on the other hand, makes a lot of usually slept-on weapons in PC a lot more viable, since they now take full advantage of their swing and fire speed instead of being reliant on you torturing your mouse and clicking finger for maximum performance.
Suddenly, Night’s Edge swings automatically, Phoenix Blaster feels like a baby Megashark, and Venus Magnum changes from a less desirable gun than the Megashark, to an absolute war crime that kicks both Megashark and Uzi down the curb with similar fire rate and vastly superior damage per hit, on par with the endgame Vortex Beater without the inaccurate spread or occasional guided missile projectile. Of course, if you feel bad about it, you can turn Auto-Fire off in the Settings menu, but we’re not here to play nice with a world that wants us dead.
Start With A Medium World, Or Else Fight Bosses over Spawn
If you’re new, you’re likely to be a bit scared and try a Small World before going for Large or Medium. You’ll make your earlygame easier with this since both the Underworld and Sky Islands are easier to reach. But after Hardmode, a Small World is actually markedly more dangerous than a Medium or Large World for two simple reasons: The sky is located much lower down, and Wyverns exist.
Wyverns spawn high up in the sky, but what counts as high in a Small World is much, much lower than in a Medium or Large world, to the point Wyverns might pick a fight with you just because you stood or jumped while on a sufficiently tall mountain. This also makes certain bossfights (Particularly, any flying boss) more difficult, since you don’t have enough space for a dogfight without Wyverns swooping in to ruin your day.
If you already started in a Small World though, you can avoid this by setting up your main boss arena in the middle 1/3 of the map: No Harpies or Wyverns spawn there, since the game assumes that’s your home, even if you built your main base elsewhere. There’s also bringing a weapon with AOE damage or piercing to deal with Wyverns of course.
Buy A Piggy Bank
So you’ve killed enough of the local wildlife to get your first gold coin. Do you buy yourself some ammo, potions, or better equipment? Nah, buy that Piggy Bank first. A Piggy Bank allows you to store money away from yourself, so you don’t lose it any time you get your face digested by a slime. You can do the same by putting your money in a Chest, but you can spend money directly from the Piggy Bank rather than having to take it out and put it in your inventory first, making it infinitely more convenient.
You can place multiple Piggy Banks across the world and one in your inventory, and they all share the same inventory as you since whatever a player sees inside a piggy bank is tied to the individual player character, not the Piggy Bank. They have the same inventory space as a Chest though, so fill them wisely. Similar items become available later on, such as Safes, giving you even more personal inventory space.
Keep Blocks In Your Hotbar When Possible
Wood, Dirt, Stone or Bricks, it’s always useful to have placeable blocks in your hotbar, especially when travelling in dangerous places you’re under-equipped for. Like say, Jungle spelunking naked to look for a Boomstick before you even get a Gold Bow or half-way respectable armor, or if you find yourself in an early Hardmode blizzard and an Ice Golem starts shooting lasers at you.
You can use them to set up a barricade if you find yourself in danger and unable to fight on even or superior terms, or if you brought Wood blocks and a Bed, set up a temporary Pylon-less outpost or checkpoint so you don’t immediately get sent all the way home when you get several whole airfleets worth of bees flying into your nostrils.
This is doubly important on Mobile since placing blocks and furniture directly from your backpack is tougher than in PC, since your character may just throw the block stack out of their inventory outright.
Sleepytime Time Travel
Beds do not only act as a new spawnpoint for you to use, you can also sleep on them to speed up time. This means you don’t have to wait too long for nighttime, allowing you to fight bosses more often, look for nightime-blooming Moonglows in the Jungle, and other sleepy-time tasks.
This ability is especially good if you plan to use a Star Cannon or Super Star Shooter: Star Cannons are a Pre-Hardmode weapon with stats befitting an early or mid-Hardmode weapon, but use Fallen Stars as ammo.
The Super Star Shooter is a Hardmode upgrade for the Star Cannon, with a similar role. Sleep the mornings away, travel the night for Stars, keep doing it until you’ve got a few hundred or even a thousand stars.
Now you can melt whatever boss has been giving you trouble, provided you spent several nights gathering ammo. You can craft beds by bringing some Silk (made from cobwebs at a Loom) and some Wood to a Sawmill. In multiplayer, everyone has to sleep at the same time to trigger the time speed up.
DEVICES AND WIRING
There are many machines you can make in Terraria, whether by exploiting glitches or by clever use of wiring. Learning how to use wires can be a godsend for quality of life, allwoing you to make automated brick doors using actuators, transfer water easily over long distances using Pump Blocks wired together and to a switch or engine of some form, or simply to make all the lights in your house blink repeatedly. Here are some things you can build that will help you understand wiring a bit more easily.
Hoiks are devices abusing the way sloped Blocks work. Hammering a row of blocks to a certain shape and direction allows them to push enemies, items and players that clip into them or touch them, to a certain direction at utterly crazy speeds. Slope blocks prioritize pushing a player up or down based on where they point, but if anything blocks that, they move them left or right based on where they point instead. People use them as cheap Conveyor Belt substitutes, home defense, weird, needlessly complex but amusing Boss arenas, or even to prank other players.
Since it requires you clip into blocks to make them work, you have two options: The more reliable option is the use of Wire and Actuators (Wire-powered placeables from the Mechanic that you can put over blocks, which shunts blocks into the background or back into the foreground when activated) which you can then activate while you’re in the blocks, but that costs money or a trip to the Underground dismantling traps.
Another option is to use Hermes Boots, taking advantage of that glitch which lets you drop through a one block gap if you hit a wall at top speed. Its main practical application is to automate Fallen Star collectors (A Hoik skybridge can be done early in the game, when you need Fallen Stars the most for the Star Cannon, and even if you do it later, a hoik sky bridge is much cheaper to construct than a Conveyor Belt sky bridge of immense length from the Steampunker) and to bust through the Lizahrd Temple door without a key.
Now, a lot of the things it can do can also be done with a Minecart track, with less hazard to your sanity since Hoiks can get complicated and often need heavy testing when made by a newbie.
Early on, as you travel, you may find statues of critters and enemies around. Pick at least some of them up, since they can be used to grind certain materials without need for proper combat, as we’ll discuss in the section below this on Auto-spawners. Statues of either critters or monsters typically spawn said monster if you attach them to any form of switch, button or activation device via Wire.
Speaking of which, one way to power an Autospawner is with an Animal-powered Engine: These structures use wiring and certain types of animal statues (Bird, Crab, Slime and Goldfish statues are favored for engines) to power either another statue or some other sort of device that requires repeated activation to be useful.
Different animals require different designs, since the goal is to manipulate an animal or monster’s AI into jumping on a button repeatedly. These tend to be faster compared to Timers, but they have the downside of taking up more space.
Also, Critter powered engines like Bird Engines are easier to make than Enemy powered engines like the Crab Engine, since Critter statues can be crafted if you capture 5 of the same critter with a Bug Net, then mix them with Stone Blocks at a Heavy Workbench.
Wire an Animal-Powered Engine to any monster statue, and you get an automatic monster spawner. While monsters spawned in by statues drop nothing when killed by lava and don’t drop coins at all when killed by any means, they DO drop their drops if you kill them with your weapons, albeit at a reduced rate, unless they’re spawned Mimics since they drop nothing. You can still AFK-kill them using Summons, allowing you to grind such drops. The usual things that get ground are:
Unicorn Statues for their Unicorn Horns, which are a component for Greater Healing Potions Holy Arrows, one of the more powerful arrow types in the game. They also sell for a good amount of Coins, if arrows and proper medical attention aren’t your thing.
Slime Statues for Gel, used as Flamethrower and Elf Melter ammo, and used to craft Torches.
Most other monster statues are grinded for their rare drops than their common drops, which means you don’t activate their spawners as often. Usually, the statue is placed inside a box and the spawned monsters are killed with Summons, since they are still dangerous enough to kill you.
Another use for Auto-Spawners is for lifesteal abuse: While Moon Lord doesn’t let you lifesteal by attacking him directly, a bunch of statue spawned mooks do, and weapons like Vampire Knives, Life Drain, and Specter Hood set turn these clones into walking healing potions. Also, certain monsters that are statue-spawned still keep a chance at dropping Heart pickups on death, healing you even if you din’t use a lifesteal weapon.
For the record, don’t do what our writer did in the image, Wraith statues are about the worst possible statue you could attach to an engine, since they drop nothing and tend to kill non-enemy-powered engines that run on critters like Goldfish with their ghostly wallhaxing nonsense. Unless you’re trying to prank a friend or your NPCs of course.
A DEFENSIBLE HOME IS A HAPPY HOME
There are many ways to keep your home and personal space being invaded by things that go bump in the night. Oddly enough, only a couple of them involve murdering such creatures violently.
High Door Gun Bunker
If you want an easy to build home that is also easy to kill enemies from without having to resort to unsightly, dangerous traps and lava, a simple gun bunker with doors placed 2 blocks high, and a floor recessed by one block can work.
Having the door placed 2 blocks above the ground means enemies can’t kick it open or break it, and having the floor one block deeper than the outside means you can poke a small hole through your house (Make sure to fill that hole with a platform block so it counts as valid housing!) which you can fire most ranged weapons out of.
This is one of the easiest ways to kill Ice Golems during Hardmode Blizzards, so making such a structure in the Snow Biome as an outpost is usually a good idea if you want parts for Frost Armor or the Cool Whip, but less important in other biomes. Whether you make it look like a house with an oddly placed door, or an actual concrete bunker straight out of a war movie (Stucco blocks made of Stone and Silt are great for the poured concrete look!) is up to you.
A Hole Through The Welcome Mat
The enemy’s AI when it comes to opening doors is fairly dumb, as they need to be standing on the block horizontally adjacent to the door to detect said door. Get rid of that block, and the AI gets confused, unable to open a door that by all means they should be able to reach.
This is great if you want to keep your house decently safe while still making it look pretty, without having to resort to things like wiring and actuators, or oddly placed doors. Or lava for that matter.
While both of the above designs are safe vs land enemies, you’ll soon find yourself having problems with Wraiths and Ghosts come Hardmode, or if you let too many Gravestones accumulate nearby. Here’s the thing about Wraiths though: While they can go through blocks, they can only hover some distance above the ground, and NEED to go through solid blocks to raise altitude, a lot like worms.
Placing your home about 5 blocks off the ground will render it safe from Wraiths and Ghosts, since they will simply hover under the house while they try to reach you. If you think a house floating for no reason looks ugly, you can use backwalls as stilts or scaffolding so it still looks like the house is touching the ground.
STRUCTURES WORTH BUILDING
Houses, towns, and statues of things you like aren’t the only things you can build. Construction and the ability to edit the terrain with some elbow grease is a far more powerful tool which can do much more than prettify the landscape, and there are quite a lot of functional things you can build which may help not just with combat but also quality of life.
AFK Grinders are any structure used to grind enemy mobs down while AFK, taking advantage of their hyper aggressive but not entirely wrinkle-brained AI to, say, lure them into a lava pool thin enough not to melt coins.
A commonly used and highly effective (though time consuming to construct) mob-grinder design, the Pyramid of Death consists of a huge box of empty space with a thin layer of lava (less than a block thick) at the bottom to prevent enemy spawns in any spot other than the actual mob grinder part, the double half-pyramids on top of the box with thin lava in between.
You also have a station directly under the trap proper from which you can gather loot, preferably with a chest or two and a Piggy Bank and Safe, but no NPCs as they reduce the spawn rate.
As long as you stand in the protective station under the lava grinder, enemies will spawn in and walk up the half-pyramids, dropping into the lava which should be thin enough to burn them, but not the coins they drop.
The half-pyramids should be tall enough to prevent them from jumping out once they fall into the lava, and come Hardmode, a pair of Dart Trap blocks wired to timers can be used to wake up and annoy any normal small Mimics that spawn. Just watch out for wall-ignoring or teleporting enemies like Worms, Chaos Elementals, Enchanted Swords, Cursed Hammers, Crimson Axes, Pigrons, and worst of all, large Biome Mimics.
The safest place to construct this is in a clean (Without Hallow, Corruption or Crimson) Underground Snow Biome, since it lacks any wallhaxing enemies, though a more important consideration is what item you’re looking for. Enemy spawns are determined by what block they spawn from.
You can also install some extra quality of life things, such as Water Candles and Gravestones to increase the spawn rate, and a roughly 300 block solid square of Stone you can turn Hallow, Corrupt or Crimson to allow the enemies to drop Souls of Light or Night.
Instead of having all your NPCs hang out in the center of the map in a single town, you can make both yours and their lives better by using them to set up Pylon outposts near important areas you frequently visit. To make an outpost, you need two NPCs, the biome’s respective pylon, and two valid rooms for said NPCs, with a bed and small warehouse for you as optional but useful extras. Just remember you can only have one Pylon for each biome type across the entire world, so keep that in mind when planning Outpost locations.
Also keep in mind the NPCs you pick for each biome, as they’ll only sell you the Pylons if they’re sufficiently happy. You’re not gonna get an outpost out of an Arms Dealer and Demolitionist together in the Snow, unless you already have a Snow Pylon in your warehouse. Pylons need happy NPCs to be bought, but will activate with any 2 NPCs living next to them, even if said NPCs despise each other and the place they live in.
The writer typically prefers having outposts next to a Glowing Mushroom biome, one in the Underground Jungle, and one not too near the Dungeon (NPCs don’t like living near the Dungeon) at minimum, with other outposts usually being built more to keep NPCs happy and their wares cheap. You can increase spawn rates (And therefore, loot!) by placing Gravestones to turn the place into a Graveyard, then add a Water Candle, then a large zig-zagging patch of Jungle Grass within view of your character. All those things increase spawn rates.
Essentially an AFK Grinder, but placed somewhere near your town (Far enough away for enemies not to run into your NPCs, close enough that it still counts as being in town or near an outpost and thus invasion enemies still spawn) and without the giant empty anti-spawn box that takes up most of its build time, since you’re only using this to lazily defend your home rather than grind for loot. A Pyramid of Death, or heck even a plain old pit of lava, is a great way to burn most invasions to death.
Unlike an AFK Grinder though, take note to give yourself a decent amount of moving space under the grinder part: All invasions have methods of attacking you through walls, especially in Hardmode, and you need at least a bit of space to dodge their attacks while you go to town on the particular offender using either an airstrike weapon (Meteor Staff, Daedalus Stormbow, and Blizzard Staff are notable examples) or a wallhaxing weapon (Vilethorn for very early game, Crystal Vile Shard for Hardmode and absolutely anything a Summoner uses as long as you place the summon outside the structure).
This tunnel is especially important for fighting the Martian Saucer, which relies on a highly predictable but extremely destructive horizontal sweep deathray attack that can go through blocks. Note that this doesn’t work on the Old One’s Army event, since those guys are lavaproof and wall-proof as an anti-cheese measure. It’s also less effective vs the Pumpkin or Frost Moon, since their wallhaxxers are far more effective than what most other invasions have, and don’t care about your little hidey hole.
As for Solar Eclipses, you can mostly hide in there then use a teleporter or actuated block exit to fly out if Mothron pops up. Just watch out for Reapers and Deadly Spheres, which can go through walls. Teleporters at each tip of the tunnel allow you to run in a single direction continuously, especially useful against the Martian Saucer’s deathray attack, though they’re not mandatory.
Get your wirecutters, wrench, and some wire because we’re going… farming? An herb farm is going to be a giant boon through your playthrough, as buff potions make Terraria boss fights a lot less likely to spike your blood pressure.
The bare minimum for an Herb farm is some seeds and a flat patch of grass or whatever terrain those seeds grow on (Ashes for Fireblossoms, Sand for Waterleaves, Jungle Grass for Moonglow, Ebonstone or Crimstone for Deathweed, Snow for Silverthorns, grassless Dirt for Blinkroots, and of course, Grass for Dayblooms) though later on you have better options. The Dryad sells Planter Boxes, essentially pot/platform block hybrids which can double as arena platforms and protects your plants from weapon swings, requiring a pickaxe or drill to pull said plants out.
Planter Boxes have different types, but they are all cosmetic and will grow any plant inside them without problems. The best part, you can attach Actuators to them and wire them to a switch, making them retract into the background, detaching the plants from them with a flick of a switch. Switch them back on, replant the seeds, wait a while, repeat.
As a side note, making your Underworld Wall of Flesh road out of Dirt, Ashes or Snow will guarantee you endless amounts of Blinkroots, Fireblossoms, or Silverthorns respectively, since they spawn naturally on those blocks without the use of seeds. All plants spawn naturally on their respective block given enough time, but those three have the least competition against tall grass, random rocks and other such things, and tend to spawn in fairly large numbers.
Defensive And Travel Hellevators
Hellevators are essentially gigantic holes you can dig that reach all the way from the Surface to the Underworld. They can serve two functions:
A Hellevator near a spawn point or Pylon can act as easy access to the Underground and Cavern Layer, along with the Underworld. You can build other structures around it, such as an AFK grinder, a Glowing Mushroom farm, or an underground artificial fishing hole so you can access them easily too.
A Hellevator around the edges of your planned home area, the edges of the local Corrupt or Crimson chasms, or around the Jungle can act as a defense against Corruption spread, particularly if the Hellevator was created using bombs or explosives.
A wide enough hole will prevent the spread of Crimson or Corruption, though you may have to make more once Hardmode arrives, since it spreads a new stripe of Corruption/Crimson and the Hallow diagonally and puts your home and other biomes at great risk. That being said, previously made Hellevators can help slow down their spread, giving you more time to isolate patches the Hellevators couldn’t catch.
In almost every bossfight, especially if you don’t have a flying mount, you will need some form of space in which you can fight without being hampered by the terrain. While some bosses will do with a simple plot of flattened land, the typical boss arena often consists of several floors of Platform blocks (Stuff like Wooden Platforms, Grey Brick Platforms, maybe Planter Boxes if you want your arena to look pretty) all within jumping distance of each other, usually with the bottom being made of Asphalt Blocks.
What that distance is depends on what jumping accessories you have, and the width simply needs to be something you’re comfortable with depending on the boss you build it for (Plantera will do fine with a tall arena, while the Wall of Flesh may require you to turn nearly half the Underworld into a parking lot or railroad).
Extra additions can include honey puddles small enough not to hamper your mobility, Heart Lanterns (made from Crystal Hearts and Iron Chains) for extra HP regeneration, Bast Statues found in Underground Desert chests which give a defense aura as long as you can see them on screen, Star in a Bottle lanterns to give Mana Regen, and Sunflowers to increase movement speed and reduce the chances some random jerks from outside the arena barge into your fight.
You can set up a multipurpose arena on the surface for most bossfights, though you will also need to set one up in the local World Evil biome, somewhere deep in the Underground Jungle, one easily accessible from the Dungeon, one in the Snow, one in the Hallow, one over or in the Ocean (depending on your access to water mobility accessories or Gills potions) and one in Golem’s pre-made room since some bosses will only fight you in certain locations, and either run away or get hilariously angry when dragged out of their homes.
Even if you have flying mounts, Arenas can still be useful: They provide a wide open space to fly around in which have various buff-giving decorations, and some even use the Party Girl’s Bubble Blocks to store Honey you can fly into to buff your HP regeneration.
AGRESSIVE BIOME MANAGEMENT: STOPPING CORRUPTION, CRIMSON AND HALLOW
The World Evils, Crimson and Corruption, are areas loaded with rather threatening foes, but that isn’t the real problem with letting them spread, since after all, enemies mean loot and a good time. These places are so foul with decay and the stench of the dead that your NPCs will refuse to live in any home set up within or even too near them. Early in the game, the Evil biomes are not much of a threat to your housing and other areas around them, considering they can only spread through boring green grass at that time, and the game is kind enough to set up Evil-blocking Sunflowers near World Evil Biomes on world generation.
It’s after you kill the Wall fo Flesh where it gets out of hand, with them being able not only to uproot Sunflowers by spreading under the grass they’re on, they now also gain the ability to corrupt/crimsonify Ice Blocks, any kind of Sand Blocks, and Stone Blocks, and they spread at an alarming speed with a range of 3 blocks.
On top of this, now you have the Hallow too, which does the same but slightly slower, and your NPCS are willing to live in it. The downside? The enemies there are markedly more deadly than what spawn in plain boring Forests, and while living in the Hallow is ludicrously lucrative with enemy drops, you’ll also risk getting your NPCs murdered constantly without some defensive housing techniques. Leaving home at night becomes a nightmare with Gastropods shooting lasers into your eye sockets, and Unicorns randomly popping up to turn you into roadkill.
Here are some thoughts about controlling aggressive hostile biome spread, for the sake of your hometown and your NPC’s funeral bills.
Why Purify The World When You Can Just Blow It Up?
Early on, you have only two real options for keeping the Corruption out of you house’s face: Purification Powder, and block-destroying explosives. Purification Powder is cheaper, but it has limited range and you need to kill at least the Eye of Cthulhu to buy it, since it’s from the Dryad.
Bombs and Explosives on the other hand have much better vertical range simply because they destroy the blocks in the way, and can be had as soon as you get a Demolitionist, who is available as soon as you have an empty house and a single Bomb in your backpack.
You’ll often use bombs in the local Evil chasm to blow the Ebonstone or Crimstone out of your way, before you even have a good enough pickaxe to mine them away manually. Late into the game, explosions are still your best friend for isolating Evil biomes, since the post-Plantera NPC Cyborg sells rock-destroying Rocket II ammo during Blood Moons, and you can find Rocket Launchers from Skeleton Commandoes by revisiting the Dungeon after you wither Plantera.
Now you can make large horizontal holes too! As a side-effect, you can now use that evil stone to make house-safe, clean Ebonstone and Crimstone bricks.
Jungle and Sand Next To Evil? Immediate Isolation
Controlling the World Evil biomes is much easier early on, particularly just before killing the Wall of Flesh, in that area where you’re strong enough to kill everything in your way but haven’t started Hardmode yet.
This is especially important if you notice an Evil biome chasm spawned near or especially inside the Jungle or Desert: Isolate it immediately with Bombs or Dynamite before killing the Wall of Flesh, as Hardmode World Evil will spread through Jungle Grass, and you can only revert them to Forest biome grass with the Clentaminator since they also dry out the Mud into Dirt, which Jungle Grass can’t grow on. Bomb a Hellevator down the edges of the Jungle if you must.
If the Evil stripe generates through the Jungle of course, it’s still in a bad spot, though a Hellevator might give it a harder time spreading and make whatever got past said Hellevator easier to pinpoint and isolate with either a Clentaminator, more bombs, or both. This goes double for any Desert that’s uncomfortably close to your house, since the Desert lacks any Evil-proof buffer blocks that may slow down the spread of Evil or Hallow, like Mud, Snow or Dirt.
Late Isolation? Hallow It Up
A last ditch thing you can try if you happened to isolate the Jungle a bit too late (Or the Evil stripe just blasted through it after the Wall of Flesh in a massive display of bad luck like what happened for our writer) is to protect it with the Hallow.
While Holy Water and the Clentaminator can spread Hallow over Jungle Grass, the Hallow grass and stone themselves can’t convert Jungle Grass, meaning they act as an effective (but dangerous: bad enough Hornets shoot you full of holes in the Jungle, now there’s a chance Chaos Elementals and Unicorns suddenly ambush you down there along with those horrible Gastropods since you’re dealing with Hallow grass instead of Hallow Pearlstone) buffer against Corruption or Crimson.
Killing Plantera will halve the spread speed of both Hallow and Evil biomes, and prevent Evil grass from spreading under Sunflowers once more. That being said, they can and will still spread through Stone, Jungle Grass and the Desert. This is a fine time to wrap up anti-biome defense measures, though ideally, your house should have been isolated ages ago! If the spread is too much for you to handle, you know which boss to gun for.
EQUIPMENT OF NOTE
This section is about all the equipment that will generally make your life easier. This also acts as a guide for progression goals: Many of the weapons and gear here are listed not only because they’re strong, but also because sometimes they’re available relatively early in their sections of the run: The Boomstick is meant to be used on Skeletron and even the Wall of Flesh, but is available at the very start of the game, before any bosses, if you’re bonkers enough to go into the Underground Jungle wearing nothing but Wood Armor.
For that, you need sheer dodging skill, clever use of your ability to place blocks to escape foes and kill them safely, or pure unadulterated smooth-brain stubbornness and cheerful acceptance of the fact that every early game spelunking run is a suicide mission. Sky Fracture, Meteor Staff, Daedalus Stormbow and Dart guns are all powerful Hardmode weaponry that you can craft as soon as you fry the Wall of Flesh and get to grinding certain enemies and places.
Then there are weapons that are busted specifically because of Mobile Terraria’s quirks, such as every single pistol in the game that was semi-auto on PC. Especially the normally mediocre Venus Magnum, which Mobile’s Auto-Fire option turns into one of the absolute deadliest guns you can get before Moon Lord.
As a side note, while Expert and Master Mode worlds are harder, they allow you to equip more accessories: In Expert Mode, the Wall of Flesh drops the Demon Heart, which gives you an extra accessory slot. In Master Mode, the same thing happens, and on top of that you start with another extra slot on the get go.
AVAILABILITY: GAME START
This gear is the stuff you’re technically able to get as soon as you’re plopped into the world, before killing even a single boss, with nothing but beef gates trying to stop you. It can be surprising just how powerful some of the stuff you can get early on is, if you know where and how to find them.
Part of the crossover with Don’t Starve, Abigail, Wendy’s dead sister, is a seemingly weak starter summon that can get ridiculously powerful when paired with a full Summoner build. Rather than having more of them appear when summoned, Abigail is only a single summon that gets stronger, faster and just plain angrier the more minion slots you let her take up.
Think of her as Stardust Dragon but instead of hitting more often when summoned repeatedly, she hits for more damage, allowing her to get through heavily armored foes and disallow enemies from escaping her with her rather insane speed. Farming her is a hilarious affair: She has a chance to spawn on normal Green Grass that happens to be next to a Gravestone.
That means the easiest way to get her is to insult the local wildlife and have them eat your face repeatedly, or pick a fight with gravity in a Forest biome. Abigail’s on this list because she gets a fat stat boost come Hardmode AND she’s strong enough to render other Pre-Hardmode summons after her not entirely necessary, provided you run a full Summoner build. She excels at mulching invasions and slower bosses, though faster bosses have a rough time getting away from her too.
The most important thing you can find out of any Gold Chest underground, Hermes Boots and its many, many upgrades will last you throughout the whole entire game. Unless you decide to use flying Mounts permanently, which won’t happen until later in Hardmode, especially in Classic where the only flying mount item available is the UFO Car Keys.
They allow you to run 40% faster than normal while equipped, drastically increasing dodging ability and travel time to other places before you set up your Pylon outpost network. They can be upgraded into Specter Boots which allow flight, Lightning Boots which run faster, Frostspark Boots which run faster and allow ultra-fast safe movement on Ice Blocks, then Terraspark Boots which allow running over Liquids (even Lava) and, of course, make you go faster. All these upgrades are available before Hardmode, though you’ll go bonkers fishing in the Underworld for the Terraspark Boots’ Lava Waders.
With some luck and a fat stack of Rope, you might find a Floating Island, usually above a really tall mountain in the outer 2/3 of either side of the map. If it has a Chest, pray it has Fledgling Wings: These are pre-Hardmode wings which allow you to fly for a short period of time, while allowing you to fall or glide slowly enough to avoid fall damage. If the island has a pond instead, grab your fishing rod and fish until one of the Sky Crates drop these bad boys.
Again, all you need to find these are a ton of rope and some luck, so they’re available before beating any bosses. That being said, they become a lot easier to find after beating the Eater of Worlds, because Meteors might fall from the sky and you can mine them to make bouncing Meteor Shot for your guns.
Aim up and fire wildly until you see bullets rain back at you, because that’s your cue to climb up! Come Hardmode, you can use the same island you found this in to pick a fight with the local Wyverns and Harpies and get a better set of wings.
Boomstick, Musket, The Undertaker
These weapons seem far away, especially the Boomstick which is meant to be used right before the Wall of Flesh, but technically, they are available to you at the very beginning of the game. All you need to get either the Musket or Undertaker is a few Bombs, skill, and lots of courage to jump into the Corruption or Crimson early.
They are always the first to drop from breaking either Shadow Orbs or Crimson Hearts deep in the Evil Biome chasms, along with a handful of Musket Balls for ammo, allowing the Arms Dealer to move in. As for the Boomstick, you can find them in an even more dangerous place, the Underground Jungle. You can find the Boomstick if you get lucky from the chests inside metal brick jungle Altars or inside gigantic underground Living Mahogany Trees. They can also drop from Jungle Crates that you fish out from large Jungle water ponds.
While you’re looking for the Boomstick, take some time to kill the local Hornets and Man-Eaters, and mow those glowing Jungle Spores to craft the Thorn Chakram, Amazon, and Blade of Grass, or anything else you can craft with them. The entire Jungle armor and weapon set is available to you again at the start of the game if you’re crazy and/or stupid enough to try and get them that early.
With the paltry weapons you have early on though, you’ll need to fight smart if you want these immediately, setting up safe firing positions using Blocks so the Hornets don’t shoot you full of Stingers, avoiding beehives like the plague, and making sure you’re not within man-eating plant range. This equipment is strong enough to last you all the way to the end of pre-Hardmode, with the Blade of Grass being a component of the Night’s Edge.
Ancient Shadow Set
If you’ve got a Corruption world, lucky you! You can get Shadow Armor (Albeit with the admittedly ugly Terraria Version 1.0 sprites) with a small chance if you grind Eaters of Souls. Stat-wise, it is completely identical to craftable Shadow Armor, available even before fighting the Eater of Worlds, and can be mixed and matched with the modern craftable version and still get the set bonus.
But how do you grind the Eaters? Craft a Metal Bucket from some Iron or Lead bars, use it to grab some Lava, and set up a thin-lava AFK grinder (The anti spawn box below, while nice, is unnecessary since they all want to fly towards you anyway, build it midair so Devourers don’t devour you) and hide under it while you go do something else. Eaters can fly, but they’re silly enough to try and crash into you from above, thus burning themselves to death with lava.
Shield of Cthulhu
The only way you have to dash for the majority of the game until all the way near the end of Hardmode when the Tabi becomes available, the Shield of Cthulhu is available in Expert Mode after killing the Eye of Cthulhu and will likely stay with you through the whole game, unless you go for a flying mount which disallows dashing. It lets you do a shield-dash, damaging an enemy if you hit them.
Not only does this provide mobility, but also protection: A successful dash attack gives you invinciframes, meaning dashing toward a boss charging at you can save your life more effectively than dashing or running away from them. Just don’t dash into projectiles. Some players have even killed Duke Fishron with absolutely no weapon but this shield just to prove that point.
Skeletron’s death opens up the Dungeon, which was previously locked by the Dungeon Guardian, a fast giant skull that deals 10000 damage on a single touch. This is the point where Pre-Hardmode is about to end. You also likely have killed the Eater of Worlds or Brain of Cthulhu by this time, making the Nightmare or Deathbringer Pickaxe, and therefore Hellstone, available to you.
Cobalt Shield/Obsidian Shield
These shields are the first you have access to (The Shield of Cthulhu doesn’t count, since it acts much differently compared to all other shields), adding defense, and more importantly, knockback immunity. The Obsidian Shield in particular renders you immune to fire blocks like Meteorite and Hellstone, though not against Lava.
They can be crafted into the Ankh Shield later on, which makes for a great general spelunking shield thanks to its immunity to most debuffs. That being said, the later Paladin Shield and its derivatives are far superior for boss battles since bosses rarely use debuffs later on, and Paladin Shield derivatives have far and away higher defense than the Ankh Shield. Not to mention the Ankh Shield has one of the most insane, long-winded crafting trees in the entire game.
Take a Handgun from the Dungeon. Then get some Obsidian by redirecting Water ponds into Lava, and mine some Hellstone in the Underworld to make Hellstone Bars at a Hellforge. Jam the hot spicy bars into your Handgun at an Anvil, and now you’ve got some real heat in your hands.
A good but not outstanding weapon for its tier on PC (Unless your fingers and mouse can handle its full fire rate), the Phoenix Blaster is markedly more deadly on Mobile thanks to Mobile’s Auto-fire option.
With auto-fire on, it’s less a powerful handgun and more a beefy machinegun, having similar base damage to the Megashark (24 to the Megashark’s 25) while still firing just rapidly enough (The post-Mechanical Boss Megashark is still faster) to count as a completely illegal in most countries.
Wire Cutter and Mechanical Lens combo
As soon as you rescue the Mechanic in the Dungeon after giving Skeletron a skull fracture, traps are a thing of the past for you. Wire Cutters have extremely long range, and with Smart Cursor enabled, will very easily render traps onscreen useless even faster and with less thinking required than its upgrade, the Grand Design.
The Mechanical Lens or Grand Design lets you see wires on screen as long as they’re in your backpack, which tells you where traps are too. It will render the Dungeon and Lizahrd Temple’s teeth partially blunted, leaving only the murderous local skeletons, non-wire traps like Flame Wheels, Spike Balls, and Geysers underground, and Lizahrd warriors to deal with in whatever bloodthirsty manner you see fit. Make the Grand Design for precision wiring work, but keep another pair of non-upgraded Wire Cutters for spelunking purposes.
As a side note, you can take the cut Wire and either use it for your own home improvement tasks, or just sell it for a quick buck.
POST-WALL OF FLESH
The ancient spirits of light and dark have been released, and now they’re your problem! This is the start of Hardmode, and just like the start of the game, there is some powerful gear you can find that can make the rest of the run all the way to the end easier. Or they at least provide some nice quality of life upgrades.
The Ice Rod sold by the Wizard is only decently useful as a Magic weapon, allowing you to rapidly shoot ice at enemies while setting up a temporary ice wall to protect yourself. This is good especially against projectile-reliant enemies like Moss Hornets and Gastropods, but there are other better Magic weapons you could use for DPS at this stage, such as Crystal Storm.
Where the Ice Rod truly shines is as both a flight restarter and for combat engineering shenanigans: A simple trick to fly “infinitely” is to fly using your wings, fire an Ice block under you, then land on it to reset your Wings.
As for combat engineering, the ability to very quickly set up a temporary wall around you then set up an actual wall made of proper bricks (Blocks can be attached directly next to Ice Rod blocks, without needing backwall) allows you to build bunkers or elevated hidey-holes during rather heated engagements.
Not to mention it lets you reach high places more easily as a Builder player, letting you make weirder stuff like airship-style homes. It will likely find a spot on your hotbar forever as a handy tool rather than a weapon, if that’s your style.
Biome Mimic Loot
Biome Mimics are extremely dangerous enemies that can ambush you underground in Evil or Hallow biomes. Compared to normal Mimics who only have high damage and HP going for them, Biome Mimics have wallhaxing attacks, move at alarming speed, have the ability to close and deflect projectiles, and generally jumpscare you underground.
They also drop some good stuff, especially for Rangers! The thing most players look for in Biome Mimics are Dart guns from Evil Mimics and Daedalus Stormbow from Hallowed Mimics, with Dart guns being highly reliable spelunking weapons thanks to Crystal Darts, and Daedalus Stormbow being great invasion busters with their ability to drop arrows from the sky and being the primary way to cheese the Destroyer flat when paired with Holy Arrows and a long solid block sky road, all while you hide behind blocks sipping tea.
On top of this, they also have some powerful accessories and useful drops, with the Crimson Mimic’s Flesh Knuckles being a particular standout, along with the mundane but important Greater Healing Potions they drop letting you save on materials to craft them.
Farming them underground by waiting for them to spawn naturally in caves is pure unmitigated torture: Instead, collect 15 Souls of Night or Light by murdering anything in the Underground Hallow or Evil biomes, craft the Souls into Keys, stuff them into an empty Chest on a Platform block arena, and fight them on your terms.
They are much easier to fight in the open Surface than in the cramped, uneven caves underground. If you really want to fight them Underground though, you might want to hang around the center of the Underworld and use your old Wall of Flesh arena road: the middle of the Underworld is close enough to the Hardmode Hallow or Evil worldgen stripes to trigger their spawns on your old arena, if you had one.
Frozen Turtle Shell
A trip to the Underground Snow can net you a Frozen Turtle Shell from the highly murderous local Frost Tortoises, though admittedly at a fairly miserable drop rate. This is an immensely powerful defensive tool that cuts all damage you take down by 25% before calculating for defense when you’re below half HP, giving you more time to chug that Healing Potion you need really badly right now.
Best of all, it can be merged with the Paladin’s Shield much later on to create the Frost Shield, one of the strongest defensive accessories in the entire game. And you can get it very early in Hardmode.
If you have a Crimson world, then this book is a good weapon to own no matter what class you’re running, unless maybe you’re a Ranger using Ichor-based ammunition. Golden Shower fires an arcing stream of yellow Ichor which reduces defense.
Even as a mage, this isn’t going to be your main damage dealing weapon (There are better options for raw DPS like Crystal Storm, Crystal Serpent, and Sky Fracture), but the defense reduction can be followed up by absolutely any other weapon you have in your inventory.
It can be crafted by buying an empty Spell Book from the Wizard NPC, gathering Ichor and Souls of Night from the Underground Crimson, and writing it next to a Bookshelf of any sort. Now stop snickering!
Rod of Discord
While this item is a very rare drop from Chaos Elementals in the Underground Hallow, it’s not only one of the most useful items in the game, it’s also available to grind for as soon as Hardmode begins. The Rod of Discord is a magic rod that lets you teleport wherever you point it at.
Teleporting too much too fast damages the player as their internal organs get rearranged through space-time by the Chaos debuff, though for bossfights using this periodically can be a giant lifesaver.
Particularly against the Moon Lord and Martian Saucer deathrays, which you can avoid by teleporting past them. It’s a bit harder to use on Mobile touch controls, and a lot harder with a controller, so use it if you’re using a touch screen or PC.
Shrimpy Truffle/Cute Fishron, And Everything Else Duke Fishron Drops
If you’re completely off your rocker, or just happen to be a bored veteran on your third or fifth run looking for a gear tier skip difficult enough to make you shave your head completely bald, you’ll notice that Duke Fishron is technically available to fight right after the Wall of Flesh.
Truffle Worms, his summon item, start popping out in Glowing Mushroom caves as soon as Hardmode rears its ugly head. Catch them with a Bug Net from the Merchant, use them as bait to fish in the ocean and lo and behold, the Duke splashes out to kick your butt!
All their drops are good enough to render the rest of the game before Moon Lord completely trivial, though the Shrimpy Truffle is what most players are looking for no matter their class: The Shrimpy Truffle is a mount item dropped by Duke Fishron that most people use to fight the Moon Lord, if they want a clean fight instead of cheesing them to death with a railroad and maximum HP regen kit.
It’s a fairly slow flyer and can barely crawl on contact with land, so why is this the choice people usually use? Cute Fishron suddenly becomes the fastest, most maneuverable flying mount in the game (80 miles per hour!) AND gives you a 15% damage bonus when it’s wet, so most people wait for a rainy day or set up Bubble Block squares with Water in them to recharge Cute Fishron’s wet buff mid battle.
It would be easier to fight the Duke after at least one Mechanical Boss is dead though, since you can cheese Duke Fishron with a Teleporter arena. And it still counts as a big fat skip since they’re rated to be just below the Empress of Light in terms of power. Note that the Shrimpy Truffle is exclusive to Expert Mode and Master Mode, though in Classic worlds you can still get the Duke’s eye-wateringly powerful weapons.
AVAILABILITY: POST-MECHANICAL BOSSES
Once all three Mechanical Bosses are down, you gain access to the Drax or Pickaxe Axe, which have the ability to mine the green Chlorophyte in the Underground Jungle. The usual stuff you would be looking for by this stage is Chlorophyte weapons and armor, and maybe the Turtle Armor if you’re a melee fighter. There is one piece of kit that has a special niche worth noting here.
While in normal play you should definitely upgrade past Hallowed Armor at some point, it has one niche in which it is truly unbeatable: Fighting the Empress of Light in the morning. The Empress of Light hits for 10000+ damage in the morning, obliterating your 500hp character several times over if she so much as gently brushes her hair against you.
Hallowed Armor has a recharging buff though, which negates any single hit completely before charging up again for the next 30 seconds. That includes the Empress of Light’s instakill attacks. Defense doesn’t matter against her, so you’ll either stock up on maximum firepower to end the fight immediately, or stock up on damage avoidance accessories like Master Ninja Gear, Brain of Cthulhu, Star Veil, and of course, Hallowed Armor.
Plantera’s death truly opens the world to its fullest, upgrading the Dungeon to give it Hardmode enemies and drops, and unlocking the Lizahrd Temple for exploration. There are other bosses left for progression such as Golem, the Lunatic Cultist, the Moon Lord, and various other optional bosses and events, but it is after Plantera bites it where the world is fully explorable.
Weapons such as the Magnet Sphere, Sniper Rifle, Possessed Hatchet and other things are the obvious choices you’ll go for, though here are some special mentions among those, especially on Mobile where flight mounts are king and pistols are busted.
Paladin Shield And Upgrades
The Paladin Shield is available after you uproot Plantera, in the Hardmode Dungeon. They drop from massive, heavily armored and incredibly aggravating Paladins, and can be upgraded into some of the strongest defensive accessories in the game, either the Frozen Shield (With the Frozen Turtle Shell) or Hero Shield (with the Flesh Knuckles). Between the two, the Hero Shield provides 10 extra DEF in a single accessory slot, while the Frozen Shield increases defense by 6 but cuts damage taken by 25% if you’re at 50% HP.
In multiplayer, all 3 shields allow you to take 25% of damage happening to your teammates, which then gets further reduced by defense and damage reduction percentages, and the Hero Shield makes enemies target you more actively than they do others.
If you see a Paladin, pour the fire on them with any rapid weapon, as they cannot throw their nonsense wall-ignoring hammers at you while they take any damage. The best part? Nothing is stopping you from wearing all three different shields at once other than you accessory slot limit, stacking their incredibly bloated Defense together!
Take what we said about the Phoenix Blaster, and triple it. With a base damage of 50+, a maximum fire rate akin to the Minishark or Megashark, and the ability to turn normal Musket Balls into piercing High Velocity Bullets, the normally semi-auto-on-PC Venus Magnum is a glory to behold in Mobile if you turn on Auto-Fire.
Its stats mixed with full auto puts it on par with the utterly maniacal Vortex Beater, the last gun most Ranger players get on PC before killing the Moon Lord for the ultimate lead-spewing device, the Space Dolphin Machinegun. You get it from Plantera, which is 3 bossfights early compared to getting the Vortex Beater.
On the other hand, it’s often slept on by PC players, since you’d need to risk breaking your mouse just to get close to its maximum theoretical potential. For phone rangers, a Venus Magnum with Hardmode ammo isn’t beaten in maximum potential DPS until the Phantasm becomes available, and that’s only because you can drink an Archery Potion with it!
A flying mount that’s relatively easy to get (albeit rather late in the game being post-Plantera) while being quite fast, the Witch’s Broom is dropped by the Mourning Wood miniboss from the Pumpkin Moon.
While the Pumpkin Moon itself is a rather difficult event to live through, the Mourning Wood is one of the easier minibosses in the whole game considering when you can fight it, as it is limited to walking across the ground and wallhaxing if you try to hide underground.
While it does spam a frightening amount of projectiles, it’s a huge easy target much like Golem, and will happily eat all your attacks. The Witch’s Broom is a faster mount than the UFO from the UFO Car Keys, which is dropped by the far more punishing Martian Saucer miniboss.
As you progress through the game, you’ll attract, find or even rescue multiple characters who will then ask you for a home. Build them a home (the barest minimum being a dinky little dirt box with player-made dirt backwalls (Naturally spawned dirt backwalls won’t work), a wooden table, chair and any source of light like a Torch, and an opening guarded by either any sort of door or platform blocks) and they will live there, selling you wares. Well, they’ll sell you wares anyway even without a home, but giving them houses makes them more easy to reach.
Also, you’ll need them to set up Pylon teleportation outposts across the map to make travel easier. Homes also allow them to respawn after they die (or after you heartlessly murder them for their fancy rare drops), unless it’s the Party Girl who spawns at a random chance if you have at least 14 NPCs living in homes and have an empty house.
She can take upwards of a few days to come back if something ends her partying violently. The happier the NPC, the cheaper they sell their stuff while buying your stuff for more gold, and their non-sale services get cheaper too. Also note that overcrowded towns make NPCs unhappy, and the ideal number of NPCs inside a single home of several rooms is about 2 or 3 depending on their likes and dislikes. Here they are.
Moves in when: Start of the game, build him a house so he can respawn!
Services: Gives progression tips, can tell you what you can make out of any material you lend himm and on what crafting station, can be dropped in Underworld lava to summon the Wall of Flesh
Likes: Zoologist, Clothier, Princess, Forest
Dislikes: Steampunker, Ocean
Moves in when: All players in the server have a collective total of 50 silver in their inventories (Starter NPC in “Not The Bees!” seed worlds)
Important Wares: Wooden Arrows, Lesser Healing and Mana Potions, Anvil, Sickle for builders who want access to Hay Blocks, Bug Net for capturing Critters and Fishing Bait animals, Copper Tools in case you toss all of your pickaxes into the trash for some reason
Likes: Forest, Princess, Golfer, Nurse
Dislikes: Desert, Tax Collector
Moves in when: You have eaten at least 1 Crystal Heart.
Important Services: Instant heal, Arena Healing Station (If you can tap her and the menu fast enough!)
Loves: Arms Dealer
Likes: The Hallow, Wizard, Princess
Dislikes: Snow, Dryad, Party Girl
Moves in when: You’ve killed at least 50 different types of enemies at least once.
Important Wares: Guide to Critter Companionship [Your attacks become harmless to Critters, allowing you to more easily capture them with Bug Net, prevents accidentally summoning the Empress of Light via attacks hitting Prismatic Lacewing butterflies], Digging Molecart [available after 314 different enemies have been put in the Bestiary, a minecart that automatically digs and places Minecart tracks, but only underground], Universal Pylon [when the Bestiary is full at 523 entries, acts as any other Pylon but works anywhere], Pet Licenses [Summons pet animal town NPCs that count towards Pylon activation needs]
Loves: Witch Doctor
Likes: Forest, Golfer, Princess
Dislikes: Desert, Angler
Hates: Arms Dealer
Found where and how: Absolutely anywhere, knocked out drunk
Notes: Only Ale, Eternia Crystal and Stand prices are affected by Happiness, since other products require Defender Medals instead of Coins
Important Wares: Summoner Hybrid armor sets, Sentry weapons, Eternia Crystal and Stand to summon Old One’s Army invasion
Likes: Goblin Tinkerer, Princess, Hallow
Dislikes: Snow, Guide
Hates: Dye Trader
Moves in when: You have at least 1 Bomb or Dynamite (oddly enough, not Explosives blocks or Grenades) in your inventory, Starter NPC in “For the Worthy” seed worlds
Notes: Useful to get early Musket or The Undertaker, and therefore Arms Dealer, by bombing through Evil Biome stones to reach Crimson Hearts or Shadow Orbs
Important Wares: Grenades as earlygame weaponry, tile-destroying explosives, Liquid bombs for making artificial fishing holes if you have some in your backpack
Likes: Cavern, Princess, Mechanic
Dislikes: Goblin Tinkerer, Arms Dealer, Ocean
Moves in when: 8 NPCs in the world total
Important Wares: Paint, Painting tools, Wallpaper
Likes: Jungle, Party Girl, Princess
Dislikes: Forest, Cyborg, Truffle
Moves in when: You have any gun that can fire Musket Balls and its upgrades as ammunition, or if you have Musket Balls in your inventory
Important Wares: Musket Balls, Various guns (Minishark, Flintlock Pistol, Quad-barreled Shotgun, Shotgun), Illegal Gun Parts at night
Likes: Desert, Princess, Steampunker
Dislikes: Snow, Golfer
Found where and when: Deep underground after massacring the Goblin Invasion, build them a home so they can respawn once you find them
Notes: They’re gonna burn through your wallet like napalm via the Reforge option, Rocket Boots are important to get Specter Boots, a powerful mobility accessory you can eventually upgrade into the Terraspark Boots
Important Wares: Reforging (Used to change Accessory and Weapon prefixes at random), Rocket Boots, Grappling Hook if you haven’t crafted one by this time
Likes: Caverns, Dye Trader, Princess
Dislikes: Jungle, Clothier
Found where and when: Tied up in the Dungeon after you give Skeletron a lethal skull fracture
Notes: You need both the Mechanic’s and Goblin Tinkerer’s wares to get the Grand Design, a powerful wiring tool
Important Wares and Services: Wrenches, Wire Cutter, Wiring Tools and Materials
Loves: Goblin Tinkerer
Likes: Snow, Cyborg, Princess
Dislikes: Caverns, Arms Dealer
Moves in when: After you break all of Skeletron’s bones
Wares and Services: Familiar Clothes (They mimic your initial character creation choices), various costumes based on time, season, game progress and living space
Likes: Cavern, Tax Collector, Princess
Dislikes: Hallow, Nurse
Moves in when: Usually after you poke the Eye of Cthulhu out, but killing any boss other than King Slime will do if for some reason you want to skip the Eye
Notes: One of the better home defense NPCs, as she immediately casts Dryad’s Blessing, a burning aura that damages enemies and gives you a defense buff as soon as enemies are within range of it.
Important Wares and Services: Corruption percentage check, Arena buffer, Home defense, Planter Boxes, Purification Powder to rescue the Tax Collector, Pumpkin Seeds, World Evil Seeds during Blood Moon, Opposite World Evil Seeds in a Graveyard
Likes: Jungle, Princess, Truffle, Witch Doctor
Dislikes: Desert, Angler
Found where: In the Underground Desert, trying to play golf in the worst possible place, try to get them before Hardmode as Hardmode Underground Desert enemies are excessively lethal and may kill them before they’re rescued.
Wares and Services: Golfing equipment, Golf Cart mount, Lawnmower to mow Grass Blocks flat and reduce enemy spawn rates on such blocks
Likes: Zoologist, Painter, Princess, Forest
Dislikes: Caverns, Pirate
Wares and Services: Hair Styling, Hair Dyes, Team Hair Dyes for Multiplayer
Loves: Dye Trader
Likes: Ocean, Princess, Pirate
Dislikes: Snow, Tavenkeep
Hates: Goblin Tinkerer
Moves in when and how: 2.5% chance to spawn in any empty valid housing after accumulating 14 NPCs and there are no other NPCs waiting to move in, spawn rate stays even after she moves in and you somehow get her killed so it takes her a while to come back. Starter NPC in “CelebrationMk10” seed worlds.
Important wares: Confetti, Celebration Mk 1 (A safe-to-use rocket launcher that deals no self-damage, sold after Plantera dies), Bubble Blocks for advanced arena construction, various adorable decorations
Loves: Wizard, Zoologist
Likes: Hallow, Princess, Stylist
Dislikes: Caverns, Merchant
Hates: Tax Collector
Moves in when: After you dismantle one of the Mechanical Bosses
Notes: Clentaminator is useful for clearing out Evil biomes and the Hallow, Blend-o-matic makes Asphalt, useful for advanced arena construction
Important Wares: Clentaminator, Clentaminator solution, Cog blocks, flight accessories, Blend-o-matic
Likes: Desert, Princess, Painter
Dislikes: Jungle, Party Girl, Dryad
Moves in when: After you sink your first Pirate Invasion
Note: Wares are useful for Invasions if you have teammates to focus on minibosses and wallhaxer enemies
Important Wares: Cannons, Cannonballs, Bunny Cannons
Likes: Ocean, Princess, Tavernkeep
Dislikes: Caverns, Stylist
Moves in when and where: After meatgrinding the Wall of Flesh, build a Mushroom Biome specifically on the Surface (Underground Mushroom Biome won’t work) using Mud blocks and Mushroom Grass Seeds, then construct a home there
Notes: Autohammer is mandatory for Ranger progression unless you use Red Riding Armor from the Tavernkeep instead
Important Wares: Autohammer (post-Plantera), Blue Solution, Hammush, Mushroom Spear (After 1 Mechanical Boss has been sent to the scrapheap)
Likes: Glowing Mushrooms, Princess, Dryad
Dislikes: Clothier (No point making them hate any Biomes since they can only live in a Glowing Mushroom Biome)
Hates: Witch Doctor
Moves in when: After you exterminate the Queen Bee
Important Wares: Imbuement Station, Tiki Armor, Leaf Wings, Blowgun
Likes: Jungle, Dryad, Princess, Guide
Dislikes: Hallow, Nurse
Found where: Floating on top of the Ocean water, asleep
Services: Trades Quest Fish for rewards, rewards increase with Happiness and with quests finished
Likes: Ocean, Princess, Party Girl, Demolitionist, Tax Collector
Found Where and When: Tied up anywhere Underground after you turn the Wall of Flesh into corned beef
Important Wares: Bell (used to craft Fairy Bell light pet or to play music), Harp (Used to craft the weapon Magic Harp, or play music), Spell Tomes (used to craft Crystal Storm, Cursed Flames or Golden Shower magic weapons at a Bookcase), Ice Rod, Greater Mana Potions, Crystal Ball (Used to buff Magic users, or to craft Endless Musket Pouch and Endless Quiver for Rangers)
Likes: Hallow, Merchant, Princess
Dislikes: Ocean, Witch Doctor
Moves in when: After you defoliate Plantera and pry a Grenade Launcher from her cold, dead bulb
Important Wares: Rockets (Rockets I and III are safe vs tiles, II and IV destroy tiles, same with Cluster Rockets and once you craft them, Mini Nukes), Dry Rockets (can be turned into Liquid Rockets near bodies of Water, Honey or Lava), Nanites for Flask of Nanites and Nano Bullets, Proximity Mine Launcher (high damage mine launcher, uses Rockets as ammo)
Likes: Snow, Pirate, Steampunker, Stylist, Princess
Dislikes: Jungle, Zoologist
Found where and how: In the Underworld as a Tortured Soul enemy after murdering the Wall of Flesh, spray them with the Dryad’s Purification Powder instead of attacking them
Services: Collects taxes from NPCs, essentially generates free money for you
Likes: Snow, Party Girl, Princess
Dislikes: Hallow, Demolitionist, Mechanic
Hates: Santa Claus
Moves in when: After melting the Frost Legion, when your device’s System Clock is set to December, explodes (No, he does not leave, he actually explodes into a messy pile of gore) in mid-January
Services: Holiday decoration sales, Santa’s clothes
Hates: Tax Collector
Moves in when: You have all other town NPCs except for Santa Claus, so Post-Plantera at least because of the Cyborg. Starter NPC in “CelebrationMk10” seed worlds.
Notes: When killed, she has a chance to drop the Resonance Scepter, a powerful lategame Magic weapon which spawns a highly damaging pink sparkly circle where you tap
Services: Highly expensive but pretty costumes and furniture, is so nice she can lower prices for everyone near her, sells extremely rare weapons in CelebrationMK10 seed worlds
Loves: 3 Nearby NPCs
Hates: Loneliness (Needs at least 2 nearby NPCs to alleviate this)
And this is the end of our general purpose guide for Terraria. We’ll also be setting up a bossfight guide soon. If you have tips to add, leave them in the comments below for others to see!