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Defense is a statistic that determines the decrease in damage taken per hit. The player's defense can be increased by wearing armor and accessories, and temporarily boosted/decreased by various buffs/debuffs. Enemies also have a defense statistic.

Defense cannot be reduced to below 0.[1] Also, the damage dealt to an entity will always be at least 1, regardless of defense (with the exception of a player whose multiplayer ally is wearing a Paladin's Shield).

Some forms of damage are impossible to reduce through defense, e.g. damage from damage over time debuffs like Cursed Inferno or from drowning in water. Damage taken from lava, however, can be reduced through defense.

Some items have the ability of armor penetration, which effectively allows them to ignore part of the target's defense when calculating damage.


Defense gives a flat reduction in damage, i.e. damage is reduced by a fixed amount per hit (as opposed to a multiplicative damage reduction, which would reduce damage by a percentage). It is calculated after the general ±15% damage randomization.

The formula is:net dmg = \lfloorattack dmg - def × factor\rfloor, where factor is 0.5 in Classic Mode, 0.75 in Expert Mode, and 1 in Master Mode.[2]


Atk. dmg Def. Net damage
Classic mode icon.png Classic Expert mode icon.png Expert Master mode icon.png Master
40 20 30
<floor40 - 20 * 0.5\rfloor = 30
<floor40 - 20 * 0.75\rfloor = 25
<floor40 - 20 * 1\rfloor = 20
40 30 25
<floor40 - 30 * 0.5\rfloor = 25
<floor40 - 30 * 0.75\rfloor = 17
<floor40 - 30 * 1\rfloor = 10
75 20 65
<floor75 - 20 * 0.5\rfloor = 65
<floor75 - 20 * 0.75\rfloor = 60
<floor75 - 20 * 1\rfloor = 55
75 30 60
<floor75 - 30 * 0.5\rfloor = 60
<floor75 - 30 * 0.75\rfloor = 52
<floor75 - 30 * 1\rfloor = 45


Enemies have a defense statistic just like players do, but they do not gain more protection from defense in Expert Mode or Master Mode. They will always reduce incoming damage by 50% of their defense: net dmg = \lfloorattack dmg - def × 0.5\rfloor.


Weapon Green SlimeGreen Slime
0 defense
Chaos ElementalChaos Elemental
30 defense
50 defense
100 defense
Gold BroadswordGold Broadsword
13 damage
13 1 (-2) 1 (-12) 1 (-37)
200 damage
200 185 175 150


Armor and accessories

A player's defense score can be increased by equipping armor and accessories. Armor usually consists of three items, granting an additional bonus if all pieces match, the set bonus, which may increase the defense score further. Some accessories grant direct defense boosts (see the following table), but all accessories can also be reforged to have defense-increasing modifiers.

See armor for detailed defense information about every piece of armor.

Item Accessory defense
Cobalt ShieldCobalt Shield1
Obsidian SkullObsidian Skull1
Obsidian ShieldObsidian Shield2
Shield of CthulhuShield of Cthulhu2
Ankh ShieldAnkh Shield4
Frozen ShieldFrozen Shield6
Paladin's ShieldPaladin's Shield6
Berserker's GloveBerserker's Glove8
Flesh KnucklesFlesh Knuckles8 / 7
Hero ShieldHero Shield10
Item Accessory defense
Moon CharmMoon Charm 3 (only during the night)
Moon ShellMoon Shell 3 (only during the night)
Moon StoneMoon Stone 4 (only during the night)
Sun StoneSun Stone 4 (only during the day)
Celestial ShellCelestial Shell 4 (during the day)
7 (during the night)
Frozen Turtle ShellFrozen Turtle Shell 30 (when below 25% health)
Modifier Defense
Hard 1
Guarding 2
Armored 3
Warding 4

Buffs and debuffs

Buffs and debuffs can temporarily alter a player's or an enemy's defense. Currently, there is no buff increasing enemies' defense.

Buff/Debuff Buff/debuff defense
Well FedWell Fed 2
Plenty SatisfiedPlenty Satisfied 3
Exquisitely StuffedExquisitely Stuffed 4
The Bast DefenseThe Bast Defense 5
Dryad's BlessingDryad's Blessing 8
IronskinIronskin 8
TipsyTipsy −4
WeakWeak −4
Ichor (debuff)Ichor −15 / −20
Betsy's CurseBetsy's Curse −40
Broken ArmorBroken Armor −50%

Armor penetration

Armor penetration is a hidden player statistic that determines the effective amount of the enemy's defense portion that is ignored when dealing damage to it. It works by increasing the damage dealt, and this increment is determined by the following way:[3]

  • Calculate the total armor penetration the player has.
  • Then, compare the armor penetration value with the target's original defense (i.e. before defense is reduced by certain debuffs).
    • If armor penetration > defense and defense >= 0, the damage is increased by half of the target's defense.
    • Otherwise, the damage is increased by half of the armor penetration value.

For example, a Duke Fishron in its first phase has 50 defense, and is inflicted with Betsy's Curse, reducing its defense to 10. When using the Blade Staff and having the Shark Tooth Necklace equipped, the player's armor penetration value will be 30. Since 30 is lower than 50, the Blade Staff's damage would be increased by half of the armor penetration value (15). The Betsy's Curse in this case is irrelevant to related calculations.

The following items grant armor penetration:

Item Armor penetration
Shark Tooth Necklace Shark Tooth Necklace 5
Stinger Necklace Stinger Necklace 5
Sharpening Station Sharpening Station 12 / 4
(for melee weapons only)

In addition, the projectiles of certain weapons and accessories have an own armor penetration stat, which is added to the player's armor penetration when inflicting damage upon an enemy with them:[4]

Item Armor penetration
Blade Staff Blade Staff 25
Dark Harvest Dark Harvest("dark energy") 50
Cool Whip Cool Whip(snowflake) 30
Bone Glove Bone Glove 25
Crystal Vile Shard Crystal Vile Shard 10
Nettle Burst Nettle Burst 10
Wasp Gun Wasp Gun 10
Star Cloak Star Cloakand its upgrades 25
Arkhalis Arkhalis 20
Weather Pain Weather Pain 10

Maximum defense

The highest possible defense can be attained using the setups described in the following sections.

Desktop version Desktop version, Console version Console version, and Mobile version Mobile version

The maximum possible defense is 186 / 196 / 204:

Legacy tModLoader version Legacy tModLoader version

The maximum possible defense is 165 / 173:

Accessories (48 / 56 defense)
Other (20 defense)

Old-gen console version Old-gen console version and Nintendo 3DSNintendo 3DS version version

The maximum possible defense is 128:

Accessories (42 defense)
  • At night or day (depending on Moon/Sun Stone), at low health
  • Warding modifiers on all accessories
Buffs (10 defense)


  • Although not possible in-game, if a piece of armor were to gain a modifier, it would apply the effects just like an accessory would. For example, a set of Warding modified armor would add 12 defense total; each piece adding 4 defense to the total.
  • Damage dealt by enemies is doubled in Expert Mode and tripled in Master Mode compared to Classic Mode. This means that despite the higher factors of defense in those modes, defense is still generally less effective than in Classic Mode.
  • If the player somehow has negative defense, they will take more damage according to the damage taken added with half / three quarters / full amount the defense.

See also


  1. Information taken from the Desktop version Desktop source code, method StrikeNPC() in Terraria.NPC.cs.
  2. Information taken from the Desktop version Desktop source code, method CalculateDamagePlayersTake() in Terraria.Main.cs. There may be inaccuracies, as the current Desktop version Desktop version is
  3. Information taken from the Desktop version Desktop source code, method checkArmorPenetration() in Terraria.NPC.cs.
  4. Information taken from the Desktop version Desktop source code, method Damage() in Terraria.Projectile.cs. There may be inaccuracies, as the current Desktop version Desktop version is