Guide:Empress of Light strategies

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This is a Guide page.
This is a Guide page.
This means the page will walk you through a specific task, strategy, or enemy/boss fight.
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Empress of LightFirst FormHardmode exclusive
Empress of Light.gif
Map Icon Empress of Light.png
Map Icon
Classic mode icon.png Classic
Expert mode icon.png Expert
Master mode icon.png Master
AI TypeEmpress of Light AI
Damage80110248 (contact)[1]
120165372 (dash)[2]
90120180 (Prismatic Bolt 1)[3]
100140210 (Sun Dance)[4]
90120180 (Everlasting Rainbow)[5]
100120180 (Ethereal Lance 1[6])
Max Life70000/98000/124950
KB Resist100%
Immune toConfused
Coins25 GC62 GC50 SC
  • Death Aurora
    (Spawning light effect)
    Death Aurora
  • Prismatic Bolt
    Prismatic Bolt
  • Sun Dance
    Sun Dance
  • Everlasting Rainbow
    Everlasting Rainbow
  • Ethereal Lance
    Ethereal Lance
Empress of LightSecond FormHardmode exclusive
Empress of Light (second form).gif

Empress of Light (second form) (enraged).gif

Map Icon Empress of Light.png
Map Icon
Classic mode icon.png Classic
Expert mode icon.png Expert
Master mode icon.png Master
AI TypeEmpress of Light AI
Damage80110248 (contact)[1]
120165372 (dash)[2]
100140210 (Prismatic Bolt 1/2)[3]
120160240 (Sun Dance)[4]
100140210 (Everlasting Rainbow)[5]
120140210 (Ethereal Lance 1/3)[6]
130120180 (Ethereal Lance 2)[6]
Max Life35000/7000049000/9800062475/124950
KB Resist100%
Immune toConfused
Coins25 GC62 GC50 SC
  • Prismatic Bolt
    Prismatic Bolt
  • Sun Dance
    Sun Dance
  • Everlasting Rainbow
    Everlasting Rainbow
  • Ethereal Lance
    Ethereal Lance
Empress of Light Trophy.png"Responsible for all those flashy lights and glitter."Empress of Light Trophy.png

The Empress of Light is a Hardmode post-Plantera boss. The fight with her can be started in the Hallow.

Spawn Conditions

The Empress of Light can be spawned by killing a Prismatic LacewingPrismatic Lacewing, which is a rare critter that spawns in the surface Hallow during the night once Plantera has been defeated in the world. As it is a rare creature, it can be detected by the Lifeform AnalyzerLifeform Analyzer. The Prismatic Lacewing will only spawn naturally between 7:30 PM and 12:00 AM, and only one can have spawned in the world at any given time.

Like most critters, the Prismatic Lacewing can be caught with any bug net, which can then be released, and killed, by the player manually. This can be used to spawn the boss at a more desired place and time. However, the critter will almost instantly despawn if released outside of the Hallow, so it must be killed quickly in order to summon the boss. If you want to catch multiple Lacewings in one night, it is recommended to farm for them during a Blood Moon.

The Fight

Time of Day

The Empress of Light, if summoned by a natural spawning Lacewing, will be fought at night. She will enrage if still alive or if summoned during the daytime, causing her attacks to do tens of thousands of damage, instantly killing players who are hit by her attacks. This enraged state is indicated by her attacks turning from rainbow to bright yellow.

She will always drop the TerraprismaTerraprisma if all damage dealt to her was during the day.


  • Prismatic Bolts – Summons a cloud of prismatic bolts that home in on the player after a short time. These bolts do not have perfect tracking, and will miss if the player makes a sharp turn as they approach. If enraged, extra bolts are created, and they will spread out more before homing onto the player.
  • Dash Attack – Positions herself to the left or right of the player before charging horizontally in the player's direction.
  • Sun Dance – Hovers above and slightly to the left of the player and emits 6 rays of light (8 if enraged) that slowly rotate clockwise. 3 sets of rays are created per sun dance, each positioned slightly more clockwise from the last.
  • Everlasting Rainbow – Releases a ring of 13 stars that spiral out clockwise, then spiral back in the same direction. These stars leave behind a trail of light that will damage the player.
  • Ethereal Lance – Summons a swarm of swords that launch in the direction the player was headed when they were summoned, telegraphed by colored beams. These swords are summoned behind where the player was moving, or all around the player if they were stationary. The swords do no damage until launched. If enraged, extra swords are summoned, and they will launch faster.

Attack Pattern

The Empress of Light has set attack patterns for both of her phases.

First phase

When spawned, the Empress of Light will hover in place for a few seconds before executing the following attacks in order:

  1. Prismatic Bolts
  2. Dash Attack
  3. Sun Dance
  4. Dash Attack
  5. Everlasting Rainbow
  6. Prismatic Bolts
  7. Dash Attack
  8. Ethereal Lance
  9. Dash Attack
  10. Everlasting Rainbow

This sequence of attacks will repeat indefinitely until the second phase starts.

Second phase

When the Empress of Light is below half of her max health, she will disappear for a second, then reappear above the next estimated location of the player before executing a new set of attacks, with slightly shorter attack intervals than before:

  1. Ethereal Lance Ver. 2: Summons four evenly spaced waves of swords that travel across the screen, telegraphed by colored beams. The first wave travels from the left side of the screen to the right, the second from right to left, the third wave from top-left to bottom-right, and the fourth wave from top-right to bottom-left.
    • If enraged, there will instead be six waves of swords that target specific points around the player instead of traveling from one side of the screen to the other. The first wave travels from the left side of the screen to the right of the player, the second wave from the right side to the left of the player, the third wave from top side to the bottom-right of the player, the fourth wave from top side to bottom-left of the player, the fifth wave from the bottom side to top-right of the player, and the sixth wave from the bottom side to top left of the player.
  2. Prismatic Bolts
  3. Dash Attack
    • If enraged, she will cast Ethereal Lance after the dash before resuming her normal pattern (targets where the player is rather than where they will be, or do nothing if the player is stationary)
  4. Everlasting Rainbow
  5. Prismatic Bolts
  6. Sun Dance
  7. Ethereal Lance
  8. Dash Attack
  9. Prismatic Bolts (Cast in a circle around the Empress of Light instead of a cloud directly above her)

This sequence of attacks will repeat indefinitely until she is defeated.

General Strategies

General Tips

This content is transcluded from Guide:Practical tips § Combat.

  • For nocturnal bosses, starting the battle just after the sun sets (7:30 PM) will provide the maximum amount of time to defeat the boss. In Hardmode, the Moon CharmMoon Charm and/or Moon StoneMoon Stone and their upgrades are also useful at night.
  • Boss battles can be won or lost before the battle ever starts. Choose your equipment and have it ready; find and/or make potions and placed buffs; use the highest-tier food you have available; set up an arena appropriate to the boss; learn the strategies for the boss you're facing.
  • Prepare your Boss-fighting arena with adequate lighting, CampfireCampfires and Heart LanternHeart Lanterns for health regeneration, and Star in a BottleStars in Bottles for mana regeneration if you use magic. Bast StatueBast Statues(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) will provide a significant defensive boost. Garden GnomeGarden Gnomes(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) and (Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) (if underground) proper torch placement will reduce damage taken and increase damage dealt due to the luck. The Torch God's Favor(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) helps with this. HoneyHoney pools can also be used for extra health regeneration.
  • (Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) SunflowerSunflowers provide the Happy!Happy!(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) buff to nearby players, which grants a +10% movement speed bonus and 17% reduction in enemy spawn rate.
  • Always carry around a stack of the highest-tier healing potion available, as relying only on natural Health Regeneration is not a good idea. Depending on the game stage, this can include items such as Lesser Healing PotionLesser Healing Potions or HoneyfinHoneyfins. On the Desktop version Desktop, Console version Console, and Mobile version Mobile versions, Restoration PotionRestoration Potions are healing potions with a shorter cooldown.
  • It is suggested to build houses for the DryadDryad and the NurseNurse NPCs in your arena. The former casts the Dryad's BlessingDryad's Blessing(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) buff, which increases your defense and provides you with a thorns-like effect, while the latter can heal and remove debuffs instantly, at the cost of some Silver Coincoins.
  • Bosses are displayed on the Minimap: Follow the boss's icon to track it when you're struggling to find it. You can identify the boss icons by checking their respective wiki pages.
  • Once you have freed the MechanicMechanic in the Dungeon, you can use WireWire to enhance your arena with Dart TrapTraps and helpful Heart StatueHeart and Star StatueStar Statues. The former helps to damage the enemies, though be careful to set them up correctly in order not to hurt yourself during the battle. The latter will spawn heart and star pickups, respectively. Connect these devices to 1 Second Timertimers to activate them infinitely.
  • In Hardmode, the Brand of the InfernoBrand of the Inferno(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) and Sergeant United ShieldSergeant United Shield(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) can be used to parry incoming contact damage.
  • It may be useful to summon and kill the Eye of Cthulhu or King Slime before summoning any harder boss in order to spawn an extra one-use pool of Hearts. Note that this will prevent any Heart Statues from spawning new Hearts.
  • Remember to use the Sharpening StationSharpening Station(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions), Ammo BoxAmmo Box(Desktop, Console, Old-gen console and Mobile versions), Crystal BallCrystal Ball, Bewitching TableBewitching Table(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions), War TableWar Table(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions), and Slice of CakeSlice of Cake(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) before you go to explore or battle bosses/invasions. These will give boosts that are useful to have, with the first five being class-specific. They give SharpenedSharpened(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions), Ammo Box (buff)Ammo Box(Desktop, Console, Old-gen console and Mobile versions), ClairvoyanceClairvoyance, BewitchedBewitched(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions), StrategistStrategist(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions), and Sugar RushSugar Rush(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions), respectively.

Terrain Preparation

The Empress of Light's moves (mainly Everlasting Rainbow, Prismatic Bolts and Sun Dance) can easily trap you. Therefore, a wide arena is strongly suggested for the fight against her if you do not possess an infinite-flying mount. The arena should span as far and as large as possible. 3-5 rows of platforms separated 15-25 tiles from each other will do.

  • Teleporters can help avoid getting overwhelmed by her attacks, but be wary of her long dash and her prismatic bolts, which home aggressively and have a fairly large range.
  • Fighting her in the Ocean provides a large open space to move around which can help a lot.
  • A reliable strategy to defeat the Empress of Light during the day is to lay down Minecart Tracks in a large loop. This has a distinct advantage over using Asphalt Blocks, because enemies cannot spawn on Minecart Tracks. Booster Tracks can also be used to quickly accelerate to full speed upon summoning the Empress of Light. This is especially helpful on Expert or Master Mode since the Mechanical Cart is available.

Gearing up


  • Hallowed Plate MailHallowed armor provides good stats and its Holy Protection set bonus makes it a solid choice for all classes. It is not useful when fighting during the day, as Holy Protection does not allow the player to survive "instant kill" attacks.
  • Beetle HelmetBeetle armor, specifically the defensive variant, can be used by any class for more consistent tanking. However, it will not help at all during the daytime.
  • Hallowed MaskHallowed Mask or Chlorophyte MaskChlorophyte Mask, Monk's ShirtMonk's Shirt, and Valhalla Knight's GreavesValhalla Knight's Greaves make for the best offensive melee set that is reasonable to obtain. The Valhalla Knight's BreastplateValhalla Knight's Breastplate can be a defensive alternative for the chest slot.
    • While the offensive variant of Beetle armor provides better melee speed, the only viable weapon that has its DPS boosted by melee speed is the Terra Blade.
  • Spectre MaskSpectre armor offers an excellent combination of offense and defense for mages. It is advised to use the Mask for most of the battle, and switch to the Hood when healing is necessary.
  • A Shroomite HeadgearShroomite Headpiece, the Shroomite BreastplateShroomite Breastplate/Red Riding DressRed Riding Dress(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions), and Mythril GreavesMythril Greaves/Red Riding LeggingsRed Riding Leggings(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) make for the best offensive ranged set. Adamantite MaskAdamantite Mask is an alternative head slot piece that boosts all weapon types and provides optimal damage for rocket type weapons.
    • The full Shroomite set has better damage output when stealthed, but maintaining stealth is not feasible in singleplayer mode.
  • Spooky HelmetSpooky armor is the best offensive armor for summoners, with its defensive counterpart being Hallowed armor.
  • Tiki MaskTiki armor is preferable if whips are being used, as the additional range allows for a more safe distance to be maintained.


For Melee users:

  • The Influx WaverInflux Waver, Terra BladeTerra Blade and the Flying DragonFlying Dragon are the best swords available, having strong reliable projectiles.
  • The FlaironFlairon is also viable thanks to its good damage and homing capabilities.
  • The Eye of CthulhuThe Eye of Cthulhu can deal good damage, although its reach is lacking.
  • As with other bosses, Vampire KnivesVampire Knives are excellent for replenishing lost health during the fight, and are a very useful secondary weapon, especially if dodging the Empress of Light' attacks is proving challenging.
    • These become useless if fighting the Empress of Light in daytime, since it instantly kills the player.

For Ranged users:

For Magic users:

  • Betsy's WrathBetsy's Wrath and Golden ShowerGolden Shower are both great secondary weapon for all classes due to their defense-lowering debuffs.
  • The Blizzard StaffBlizzard Staff is a very good choice due to its consistent and high DPS. The RazorpineRazorpine is an alternative with roughly the same mana cost/DPS ratio but shorter range.
  • The Laser MachinegunLaser Machinegun and Charged Blaster CannonCharged Blaster Cannon are both obtained from the Martian Madness events and are both good options. The beam of the Charged Blaster Cannon is not compatible with the set bonuses of Spectre Armor, so works better with hybrid armor sets.
  • The Razorblade TyphoonRazorblade Typhoon may be utilized due to its homing capabilities and long range, however its very lacking DPS makes it a weaker choice as a main weapon.
  • The Spectre StaffSpectre Staff doesn’t deal as much damage as other options but can be obtained without fighting any Bosses or Events making it a good choice for fighting the Empress of Light immediately after Plantera. It also fires homing projectiles allowing you to focus on dodging the Empress’s attacks.
    • When using the minecart strategy or otherwise traveling at very high speeds such that the Empress is almost always off your screen, the Rainbow RodRainbow Rod may be a better option due to its better homing and higher projectile speed.

For Summoners:

Summoning Weapons are great against the Empress of Light due to the fact that they'll target the boss and deal consistent damage, allowing the player to freely dodge without worrying about attacking as well.

  • The Xeno StaffXeno Staff's High DPS and accuracy makes it the best option against the Empress of Light. The UFO minions can occasionally lose their target since the Empress of Light tends to frequently teleport above the player, which can be mitigated by moving upwards towards the Empress of Light.
  • The Desert Tiger StaffDesert Tiger Staff(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) is the best option before defeating Golem. It should be used with the Dark HarvestDark Harvest and FirecrackerFirecracker.
  • The Raven StaffRaven Staff may be used as a high damage low accuracy option. Its DPS is more consistent in the 1st phase, and suffers slightly in the 2nd phase due to its slow tracking.
  • The Tempest StaffTempest Staff has similar DPS to the Raven StaffRaven Staff, performing slightly worse than in the 1st phase but slightly better in the 2nd phase due to its lower base damage but higher attack range.
  • The Sanguine StaffSanguine Staff is another viable option. The slightly weaker damage of the minions is made up by their perfect tracking, allowing you to hit the boss consistently provided you are within range. The perfect accuracy and tracking will allow one to focus on dodging alone rather than trying to get minions within targeting range.
    • Due to the AI changes in the 1.4.4 update, the DPS may be lower than other available minions at this stage of progression, but is still viable.
  • The Blade StaffBlade Staff is also an excellent option for skilled players who can use multiple whips for their tag damage boost, if used correctly, the Blade Staff outperforms the Sanguine staff due to its rapid attack speed and armor penetration.
  • For whips, Dark HarvestDark Harvest and Morning StarMorning Star combined are the best whips available for summoners.
    • The FirecrackerFirecracker can be used for minions with high base damage such as the desert tiger, and the DurendalDurendal is an alternative for Dark Harvest if the Pumpkin Moon has not been beaten yet.


  • Wings are a necessity. The Fishron WingsFishron Wings or Betsy's WingsBetsy's Wings are the best wings available for the fight. However, Steampunk wings and their equivalents can also be effective.
  • The Berserker's GloveBerserker's Glove is the best accessory for whips, giving them autoswing, speed and boosting defense.
  • The Yoyo BagYoyo Bag is a must when using a yoyo for the fight.
  • The Master Ninja GearMaster Ninja Gear is an incredibly useful mobility item due to its dash alongside its dodge chance.
  • The Brain of ConfusionBrain of Confusion and the Worm ScarfWorm Scarf are great items for survivability, although they are both completely ineffective during the day.
  • As a ranger, equipping both the Recon ScopeRecon Scope and the Sniper ScopeSniper Scope will maximize DPS. Due to their multiplicative increases, the Magic QuiverMagic Quiver and its upgrades should be used when using a bow as your main weapon.
  • The Celestial ShellCelestial Shell is a very good choice for all classes due to its large boosts to both offensive and defensive stats.
  • The Celestial EmblemCelestial Emblem is a strong magic damage accessory that can be used with Star Statues for mana regeneration.
  • The Papyrus ScarabPapyrus Scarab and the Necromantic ScrollNecromantic Scroll are good offensive summoner combat accessories, giving a total of 2 extra minion slots with better damage.
  • TheAmphibian BootsAmphibian Boots give a very noticeable ascent speed boost and some utility on the ground with its extra running speed.
  • The Charm of MythsCharm of Myths can be used for its health regeneration and a reduced Healing Potion cooldown. Note that the accessory must be equipped for the reduced cooldown, as unequipping it increases the cooldown to its normal time.
  • The Frozen ShieldFrozen Shield is the best knockback immunity shield due to its high defense and Ice BarrierIce Barrier effect.
  • The Cross NecklaceCross Necklace can be useful for avoiding rapid hits.
  • The Soaring InsigniaSoaring Insignia , an Expert Mode drop, can be used in the daytime fight for its increased mobility and infinite flight time.



  • The ability to teleport using the Hook of DissonanceHook of Dissonance and Rod of DiscordRod of Discord can be useful for dodging hits.
  • In master mode worlds, the Hexxed Branch mount is useful to move quickly, as it very quickly reaches its max speed even while in the air. Because it cannot fly or double jump, using it without wings is not a good idea.
  • The Slimy SaddleSlimy Saddle and Gelatinous PillionGelatinous Pillion mounts allow the player to quickly descend during the fight, making them the best mounts to use alongside Wings.
  • The Witch's BroomWitch's Broom(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) may be a viable alternative to wings and other mobility accessories if a player is willing to learn her attack patterns.
  • The Shrimpy TruffleShrimpy Truffle mount is extremely useful if it is raining, or if there are water/honey bubbles set up within the arena.
  • Equipping an Aether MonolithAether Monolith or Void MonolithVoid Monolith in a social slot can help the Empress’s attacks stand out during the day.


Minecart Strategy

Build a minecart rail around the whole world. After summoning the Empress of Light, ride the minecart around. The only dodging you'll do is when she starts using Ethereal Lance, as the other attacks can't reach you.

Skybridge Strategy

A skybridge can make this fight a lot easier. It is advised to build this out of asphalt, though a pre-built skybridge of platforms can work so long as you have sufficient mobility. During her first phase, there are only 2 threatening attacks - her dash and her sword flurry (Ethereal Lance). When the Empress of Light initiates a charge, it is advised that you go downwards, as often the charge crosses the player's position if the same height is kept. Her Ethereal Lance also requires movement, though moving in a wide circle down and to the right makes this attack a breeze. Be sure to constantly be moving in one direction and ideally go high if you need to cross your old path, as you might accidentally catch on a lingering star (Everlasting Rainbow).

During her second phase, the Empress of Light will momentarily vanish, and then will reappear and immediately initiate a 'focused' Ethereal Lance (in Normal Mode, the corner lances, and in Expert/Master, the position-focused lances). During her vanish/reappearance it's advised to find a clear space, as in either mode you'll be wanting to go upwards taking a wide right to avoid this - particularly in Expert and Master, not being in a suitable to position to swerve up-right is the most common form of hit taken. She will then cast her orbs (still from her hand), which since you'll probably be out of wing flight, you'd have to dodge by dropping down as soon as her lances end and making a sharp turn left or right. After this, she will dash, and then cast all of her phase one attacks directly one after another, and the most suitable path seems to be to take a circle around her lances to dodge around her and try to dash over the last few, dodging away from her - then, the best option is to keep running away and to be prepared to jump over her attacks - this will dodge most hits. After this, she will dash again, cast orbs in a circle around her (dodged by taking a wide circle with a sharp turn) and the repeat her pattern.

Projectile Limit Strategy

It is possible for the player to use Terraria's the projectile limit to their advantage. If the player summons 1000 longer-lasting projectiles - such as Flares or Beach Balls - in an enclosed area, no new projectiles can be spawned, and thus the Empress of Light is unable to attack the player due to most of her attacks being projectile-based, although she will, however, still be able to damage the player with her dash attack. This, however, will also render all weapons with projectiles, such as most ranged and magic weapons, projectile melee-weapons, whips, and ranged attack minions of the player unable to attack. Therefore it is recommended to rely on minions that deal contact damage, such as the Raven StaffRaven Staff or the Deadly Sphere StaffDeadly Sphere Staff (the player should summon their minions *before* their projectiles, due to the fact that minions count as projectiles, and so would not be able to be spawned if done afterwards). To despawn the projectiles after defeating the Empress of Light, the player can simply leave and rejoin the world. It should also be noted that using this strategy may cause lag on weaker devices due to the massive amount of projectiles being spawned.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Information taken from the Desktop version Desktop source code, AI_120_HallowBoss() in Terraria.NPC.cs, ScaleStats_ApplyMultiplayerStats() in Terraria.NPC.cs, and GetAttackDamage_ScaledByStrength() in Terraria.NPC.cs.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Information taken from the Desktop version Desktop source code, AI_120_HallowBoss() in Terraria.NPC.cs. The relevant part is the switch([0]){ case 9: } code block.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Information taken from the Desktop version Desktop source code, AI_120_HallowBoss() in Terraria.NPC.cs. Relevant code blocks for attacks: Prismatic Bolt 1: switch([0]){ case 2: }; Prismatic Bolt 2: switch([0]){ case 16: }
  4. 4.0 4.1 Information taken from the Desktop version Desktop source code, AI_120_HallowBoss() in Terraria.NPC.cs. Relevant part for attack is the switch([0]){ case 6: } code block.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Information taken from the Desktop version Desktop source code, AI_120_HallowBoss() in Terraria.NPC.cs. Relevant part for attack is the switch([0]){ case 5: } code block.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Information taken from the Desktop version Desktop source code, AI_120_HallowBoss() in Terraria.NPC.cs. Relevant code blocks for attacks: Ethereal Lance 1: switch([0]){ case 4: }; Ethereal Lance 2: switch([0]){ case 7: }; Ethereal Lance 3: switch([0]){ case 11: }
  7. Information taken from the Desktop version Desktop source code, RegisterBoss_HallowBoss() in Terraria.GameContent.ItemDropRules.ItemDropDatabase.cs.