Guide:Expert Mode

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This is a Guide page.
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    Expert mode icon.png
    Expert Mode-Only Content: This information applies only to Expert Mode and Expert Mode worlds.

    Expert Mode is a world setting in Terraria that greatly increases difficulty, but improves item drop rates and offers a handful of unique boss drops. Enemies deal much more damage and have more health, debuffs last twice as long, and several bosses behave differently. It's recommended that you play Normal mode first to get a feel of the game.

    Note that most of the page content also applies to Master Mode, which is essentially a heavily-buffed version of Expert Mode, with only minor gameplay changes.

    The Beginning

    Enemies have 10% (20% in Master Mode) extra knockback resistance, making it more difficult to use short-range weapons like the Copper Shortsword. A Wooden Bow, Spear, or other high-reach weapon is recommended as a replacement weapon as soon as possible.

    Zombies may now spawn wielding a Zombie Arm, which has much higher damage and reach than a normal Zombie's attack. These enemies should never be attacked at close range; players without jump boosts may need to use a platform or rope pillar to jump over them without getting hit.

    Obtaining money may be difficult in the early-game, as the player will drop 75% (100% in Master Mode) of their coins. To prevent losses, it may be helpful to stash Silver Coins in a chest until they add up to 50 for the Merchant to spawn.

    Defense is more effective in Expert and Master mode; reducing damage by 0.75 or 1 per point respectively. However, the increased damage of enemies balances out this buff. The Warding modifier is particularly valuable; if necessary, players can repeatedly craft White String using 30 Cobweb until they get Warding.

    Building Towns is critical to survival, as the presence of 2+ NPCs reduces spawn rates and allows for Pylon usage which will reduce dangerous travel time. Leaving 1x2 holes in the side of houses will allow NPCs to attack enemies outside, which will be more effective than many early-game player equipment.

    Food is key, as without it your health will recover at half rate. With Well Fed or better, you get regeneration equivalent to Normal mode. Fishing is a classic way to get food, and, as of 1.4, a variety of critters can also be cooked. Obtaining a Cooking Pot or Cauldron should be an early priority.

    Mining and Resource-Gathering

    Mining in Expert mode is similar to mining in Normal mode, but with an emphasis on avoiding enemies rather than killing them. If combat absolutely cannot be avoided, it is advised to use bows, thrown weapons, yoyos, the Snowball Cannon, or anything that attacks from a distance.

    Avoid stepping on Pressure Plates at all costs. Even a Dart Trap can deal more than 100 damage in one hit when combined with poison damage.

    It is also recommended to get a Grappling Hook as soon as you can. Not only are they good for navigating terrain and avoiding enemies, but they can also be used for mobility in boss fights. The easiest way to get one earlygame is to purchase the Squirrel Hook from the Zoologist. If you come across a spider biome, you may want to take a look around before leaving (although dangerous). Doing this gives you a high likelihood of finding a Web Covered Chest, which always have a Web Slinger in them. Another type of hook is the Gem hooks, which can be crafted from 15 of any Gem. Otherwise, a Hook can be slowly farmed by placing a Skeleton, Piranha, or Hoplite Statue over the wiring of a naturally-generated trap.

    If you find a large amount of money, return to base and stash it. If you die far from your base, you have a high chance of losing any money you may have obtained, as you drop more coins than usual and enemies are able to steal dropped coins.

    If you are having trouble finding ore or chests, a Spelunker Potion will be useful.


    Fishing provides several benefits to Expert mode players.


    Potions make all the difference in Expert mode. While it is possible to beat Normal mode fairly easily without potion use, Expert mode almost always requires potions. Some useful potions are:

    For ranged users, the following are useful:

    For mages, it is worthwhile to use:

    Summoners can use:

    In hardmode, some good flasks are available to melee players:

    As such, it's recommended to build farms for Daybloom, Blinkroot, and Deathweed. Rangers, mages, or summoners will also want a Moonglow farm

    Potions are easier to make with the Alchemy Table, which has a chance to not use ingredients in the potions you make.

    Preparing for the Bosses

    Bosses are harder in Expert mode because they have increased health, higher damage, and special attacks or extra stages. Fighting bosses unprepared will be much more difficult, so arenas and buffs become more important than before.

    If in Multiplayer, it is best to fight bosses with all players present. Boss health is increased for each player logged into the server.

    In early-game, avoid increasing your health past 180 unless you are prepared to have the Eye of Cthulhu spawn naturally (or don't care about dying to it). The following gear will prove helpful for this boss fight:

    Pre-Hardmode Bosses

    King Slime

    For more elaborate strategies on defeating Expert Mode, including weapon and arena recommendations, see Guide:King Slime strategies.

    King Slime gains the ability to spawn Spiked Slimes, which shoot close-range arcing projectiles identical to the Spiked Ice or Spiked Jungle Slimes. He will teleport more aggressively towards the player and move faster at lower health. Long-range weapons are highly recommended, as is an arena which allows the player to circle up and over the boss to avoid getting trapped in a corner. The most important part of the fight is to keep your path clear of the slimes he spawns and avoid being close enough to get hit.

    The Royal Gel, the Expert-exclusive drop, is useful if the player wishes not to be bothered by slimes during normal play; otherwise, there are usually better accessory choices. The Slimy Saddle and Slime Hook he drops are two very useful mobility items.

    Eye of Cthulhu

    For more elaborate strategies on defeating Expert Mode, including weapon and arena recommendations, see Guide:Eye of Cthulhu strategies.

    The Eye of Cthulhu fights normally until it reaches its second form, at which point it will begin to dash rapidly depending on how much health it has lost. Unprepared players are likely to survive the first stage but die near the end, when its dashes become almost constant.

    An ideal arena will provide lots of grappling points, which are your best option to avoid these dashes. Place lines of platforms both horizontally and vertically to provide multiple directions to grapple towards; treat them as a high-speed dodge option.

    In the first stage, the Eye's attacks are easy to dodge; avoid getting hit at all costs to conserve health. Once the Eye transforms into its second form, spend some time killing all of the Servants of Cthulhu so they do not knock you into the path of a dash (a Sword may be helpful).

    Once the Eye begins to dash constantly, it may be extremely difficult to hit it. Bows are not recommended if the player has trouble aiming; a Gun with high bullet velocity may be useful. Alternatively, throw Grenades in the predicted path of the Eye's dash.

    The Eye drops the Shield of Cthulhu, which gives the player a sideways dash that bounces off enemies. This will make the Eye fight much easier on subsequent attempts, and allow the player to dash into normal enemies to avoid their melee attacks.

    Eater of Worlds

    For more elaborate strategies on defeating Expert Mode, including weapon and arena recommendations, see Guide:Eater of Worlds strategies.

    The Eater of Worlds now shoots Vile Spit, a low-velocity, high-damage projectile normally fired by the Hardmode Corruptor enemy. If the Eater is fought above-ground, it will shoot Vile Spit almost constantly; it should be fought in the Chasms instead.

    Clearing an arena with good vertical space is critical; use Sticky Bombs or other explosives to clear out sharp corners inside the Chasms and raise the height of the ceiling. Cover up holes in the floor and hammer out slopes; the player should be able to run in both directions without getting stuck on blocks.

    Mobility is more important than usual, as the Eater of Worlds moves faster and is longer than its Normal Mode version. Avoid getting struck by the head, which does more damage than the body segments. If the Eater's body is obstructing the entire floor, the Slimy Saddle may be useful to bounce on the segments and avoid taking damage.

    Vile Spit will be destroyed when hit by a player attack. Effective ways to block it include dashing into it with the Shield of Cthulhu or spinning a Flail.

    Avoid using explosives during the fight, as they will deal 80% less damage in Expert. Use piercing weapons instead (see the strategy guide for further recommendations).

    The Eater's unique drop is the Worm Scarf, which reduces incoming damage by a flat 17%. This accessory is most useful in late Hardmode when enemies have higher base damage, but is viable at any time.

    Brain of Cthulhu

    The Brain of Cthulhu has a few differences, most notably the ability to inflict several debuffs. The Creepers in the first phase may also inflict debuffs upon contact. In the second phase, it spawns decoys to try and confuse the player, and the decoys become less transparent as the boss's health depletes.

    • Spiky Balls can consistently damage the boss and its minions, no matter where it teleports.
    • A linear piercing weapon like the Space Gun or a bow with Jester's Arrows can quickly clear out the bunched-up Creepers.
    • A multi-leveled arena made of platforms to move up and down helps a lot for dodging.

    Fighting the brain gives resources needed to make the Deathbringer Pickaxe, and the Brain of Confusion can be quite useful in a pinch.

    Since the decoys move based on the relative position of the player to the brain, it is possible to figure out which is the real Brain by moving immediately when it teleports. The decoys move very rapidly to keep the player in the center, and the real Brain will only move at its regular pace. Otherwise, you can abuse autopause to identify the real Brain from its map icon.

    Queen Bee

    Queen Bee only has differences when it comes to speed and buffed stats. Still, it's important you exploit her nature, in different ways.

    • The stingers still can't pass through blocks.
    • She can still only shoot downwards.
    • The lower the health, the faster she shoots the stingers.
    • The lower the health, the faster she dashes.
    • The lower the health, the more bees she'll spawn at a faster rate.
    • Use Spiky Balls and travel in a circle, posing yourself on the opposite side of her. This will make her try to move above you, and as the bee is below you she'll get caught in the spiky balls.
    • The Bezoar negates the poison damage of the stingers.
    • If you don't like moving around in circles, you can build an arena where there's platforms in tall rows, with half the arena covered in solid blocks. Because the stingers can't pass through blocks, this is a probable choice to use.
    • If you aren't quite confident in your ability to dodge her rapid dashes near the end phase, you can use the Shield of Cthulhu to dash into her when she charges you, simultaneously negating the damage of her charge and dealing a small amount of damage to her. Watch out for stingers while you do this, as they can still deal their damage if she charges right after firing them.


    Skeletron is one of the hardest bosses you'll fight in Expert Mode. The head's health is nearly doubled, the hands' health are nearly tripled, you have to defeat the hands before attacking the head, and once they're removed he shoots skulls that can be hard to avoid and have high damage. That said, here's a few tips:

    • Shield of Cthulhu, obtained after defeating Eye of Cthulhu, is a very useful accessory for mobility.
    • Try building an Arena that is both good for vertical and horizontal movements. It's easy to make the mistake of making a straight row of platforms, so make sure you have a tall arena as well.
    • Tracks and a Minecart can be very useful to avoid his hands and skulls, but be careful: if you build your tracks too long, Skeletron will despawn. Due to his high speed and acceleration, the best shape for track arena would be a circle or an ellipse.
    • If you want to challenge yourself and fight Skeletron before the Eye of Cthulhu, use a Hook with minecart tracks to hook to. With a nice hook, Sapphire Hook or better, the boots aren't even mandatory. However, it is highly suggested that you at least use the accessories as said above for Eye of Cthulhu.
    • The head when spinning must be avoided, as it can leave you trapped and it's game over. You can escape the trap by using a Slime Mount to jump out of it.
    • In the second phase, if you get used to the tempo of the skulls, you can cut through every few of them at the right time.
    • If fighting him for the first time, try moving around in a circle when he starts shooting the skulls. A featherfall potion and rocket boots are great for this, possibly even negating the need for a tall arena.
    • If you fight the Queen Bee before and obtain the Bee's Knees, it will make killing Skeletron nearly three times as fast. Drink an Archery Potion and he will be a piece of cake.
    • He only shoots his skulls if you are in line of sight. Hiding under a layer of dirt or other solid block and using a yoyo can whittle his health down, and then running away while he spins. If you can take care of the hands, this is a good way to fight him.

    Wall of Flesh

    The Wall of Flesh is another boss that will shred you in Expert Mode if you don't run away soon enough. Not only does it have buffed stats, but The Hungry respawn, so a piercing weapon is essential. Also, the lower the health, the faster he gets, which is like normal mode, except he can get fast enough to outrun your Hermes Boots. Here's a few tips:

    • A Demon Scythe with Jungle armor and Magic Power Potions will allow you to slaughter it off-screen by simply aiming in the direction of an eye and staying ahead with Movement Accessories.
    • Keep him off-screen, this will make the lasers easier to dodge and stop you from getting hit by the wall.
    • Beenades with a Hive Pack will end the fight in a mere minute. No strategy needed, just roll them out.
    • Phoenix Blaster with Meteor Shot is still a nice weapon of choice, due to the rapid damage and piercing properties.
    • Build a bridge covering at least half of your world for safety measures, and demolish any structures that are in your way. The fight is nearly impossible otherwise.
    • You can use Water Walking Potions to circumvent the need for a bridge.
    • You can also build a long railroad track to keep pace with the boss's speed.
    • Grenades and Molotov Cocktails can be used as they explode on impact. Dynamite is much less environmentally friendly, but results in an even faster kill.

    Preparing for Hardmode

    The main thing about preparing for Hardmode is making sure you have good items. It also helps to be organized and make a chest room, sorting items by category. The items you want include:

    • Ivy Whip
    • Molten armor. Regardless of class, having the extra defense is really useful for early hardmode.
    • Magic Mirror
    • The Dungeon items (listed below)
    • Potion ingredients and seeds. (See also: Guide:Gardening)
    • Weapons with high base damage

    In addition to gathering items, it is important to do other things such as:

    • Obtain maximum health and mana
    • Reforge weapons and accessories (Warding is recommended for going into hardmode)
    • Optionally, create quarantines. Quarantining existing evil biomes, sectioning off certain areas (your base, the jungle, and the oceans), and digging a hellevator all help maintain the spread of the evils.
    • Create a surface mushroom biome (for the Truffle)
    • Make an arena with campfires and Heart Lanterns (consider honey, the Nurse, heart and star statues)
    • Make extra NPC housing
    • Set up Pylons around your world for fast travel

    The Dungeon

    After fighting Skeletron, it is time to raid the dungeon. You want to get in and out as fast as possible, because there is a high chance of dying. The important things to get are:

    Feel free to gather as much as you can carry, but do not underestimate the difficulty of this area.


    Once you have unlocked Hardmode, just like the start of the game, many enemies can once again kill you in a few hits. You'll need to find better armor and weapons.

    Early items to go for

    • Just like normal mode, break demon or crimson altars to spawn valuable ores for armors. Since defense reduces damage more in Expert mode than in normal mode, armor is more important than ever.
    • For early melee weapons, yoyos are especially powerful. You can craft Chik or farm Amarok or Hel-Fire. The Dao of Pow is difficult to use, but strong.
    • For early ranged weapons, the Onyx Blaster provides strong damage. The Daedalus Stormbow is also powerful, though not as much as it was, and can be difficult to get due to having to fight the Hallowed Mimic.
    • For early magic weapons, you can craft spell tomes. Golden Shower is the best, followed by Cursed Flames and Crystal Storm. Sky Fracture is strong enough to last even through the mechanical bosses.
    • For early summoning weapons, you can farm Black Recluse's for a Queen Spider Staff and Spider Staff. Recluses are incredibly deadly in Expert mode, but you can use yoyos, the Imp Staff, wall-piercing spells or sentries like the Ballista sentry summons to slowly defeat them.

    Preparing for the mechanical bosses

    Many of the best items are in the Biome Mimics, especially the Daedalus Stormbow and Dart Rifle or Dart Pistol. Biome mimics are deadly. You can farm them by using a Key of Light or Key of Night, but make sure to have as good of equipment as you can, and to fight it in a prepared arena.

    Hardmode Bosses

    Mechanical bosses

    The Twins

    The Twins aren't much of a difference in expert mode, they just move faster and have buffed stats as most bosses have. Still however, here's a few tips to help out dodging:

    • Spazmatism's cursed ball flames cause a lot of damage so it's important to dodge these for a safety measure. Simply move up and down at the right tempo to cut through the flames, and once he starts charging move to the side and fly away. Repeat process until he hits second form.
    • Retinazer is a difficult opponent because the laser attack is unpredictable. When he starts dashing it's at longer strides at slower rates comparing to Spazmatism, so watch out for the dashes.
    • Spazmatism's second form is simply faster and deadlier than on normal mode, so make sure you don't move in a straight line, shift up and down at opposite sides, reflecting off of the x-axis. In other words, move up when he dashes down, and move down when he dashes up. It will exploit the nature and make the fight 10x easier.
    • Retinazer's second form tends to be the most difficult part for most people on average. But if you move in a circle, you'll most likely be fine.
    • In general, like normal mode, make sure you kill one before getting the other in second form. (Spazmatism and then Retinazer is suggested)
    • Another way to kill the Twins for single players is to get the meteor staff, spider staff, and spider armor and hang out in the nurses house. Spawn the spiders in the house. When you are low on health, heal with the nurse. When the nurse is low on health, she will heal herself so don't worry too much about her health. When one of The Twins charge at you, the spiders inside the house emit venom to that twin. When the twins are outside that house, use the meteor staff to attack. If you have damage boosting accessories, use them to your content. Make sure to have many mana potions (It doesn't matter what kind) and autopause ON.
    • Gravitation Potions can also be useful if you want to free up an accessory slot or don't have wings.

    The Destroyer

    120,000 Health on The Destroyer sounds like a long road to drive on. But if you follow these tips, you'll pass the test with no problem:

    • Daedalus Stormbow is a very popular bow for a particular reason: It's super cheap. Use it with Holy Arrows and the boss will go down in seconds.
    • If you prefer Magic weapons, Medusa Head can damage each of The Destroyer's components, dealing 100-300 damage each hit. Using it can down The Destroyer in a few seconds.
    • Avoid touching the head at all costs, as it does nearly 300 damage on contact. If a hit is unavoidable, try to hit a body segment, as they do considerably less damage.
    • Long Swords are preferable, as The Destroyer is a Worm-boss type.
    • Make a small 5x5 room, with the middle block on the bottom of it be a platform. Then just stand inside and throw dynamites.
      • If you have the 5x5 room low enough so the Destroyer can go through it, you can use a sword like the Night's Edge to damage multiple segments of the Destroyer.
    • If you're still having trouble, ride in a minecart!
      • (These tips can also be used in normal mode)

    Skeletron Prime

    Skeletron Prime has the least difference out of the three mechanical bosses in expert mode, but here's a few tips anyways:

    • Destroy the Prime Laser first, then go for the head.
    • Make an Arena with platforms and not solid blocks, else the bombs will explode as you touch the solid ground on impact. The bombs are deadly so this is essential without tank gear.
    • A great weapon of choice is the Megashark or even better, Shadowflame Knife. Shadowflame Knife is the weapon of choice against only this boss, although you can still use it for the Twins. Because the Knives bounce around on impact, you can target the head and as they bounce off, they can still hit the arms. Also apply the Shadowflame debuff, so with Frost armor and a Fire Gauntlet, the debuffs will make him melt to pieces. (It should, however, be noted that his head is immune to Shadowflame, both head and arms cannot be set on fire, and on the Desktop version Desktop version, Console version Console version, and Mobile version Mobile version the Fire Gauntlet cannot be obtained before defeating him anyway.)
    • Be wary of his spinning attack, as it gains a speed boost in expert mode.


    For many people, Plantera is the hardest boss to surpass without any cheesing. Here's a few tips:

    • Make a very tall arena with the platforms near the top, this will help the Spiky Balls she shoots out to be easier to dodge as they'll fall towards the bottom.
    • Make sure to not lead Plantera away from the Underground Jungle, as this will make it enter an enraged state where it's attacks and defense are boosted.
    • Teleporters can also be useful to move from one end of your arena to the other, especially during Plantera's second form, so that you don't get cornered by the tentacles.
    • You can also mine out a long tunnel and place minecart tracks through to avoid the fast movement in her second form. Using a combination of the Mechanical Cart and far ranged weapons, (Such as the True Night's Edge/Excalibur, Megashark, Magical Harp, or Sanguine Staff + Durendal) can help with the second form.
    • Many projectiles can't go through blocks, so you can exploit this. You could use the Chlorophyte Partisan to damage it through blocks.


    Golem barely has any difference in expert mode, just higher damage and health. Here's a few tips:

    • Destroy the hands first.
    • When the head starts shooting lasers, move back and forth above him in a "rainbow" formation.
    • Build a simple platform near the ground, around 15 blocks above. It'll make the fight just a bit easier.
    • Dart Pistol if you have a crimson world is superior to this boss, using Crystal Darts for the hands and head, then use Ichor Darts for the body.
    • Also, if you were lucky enough have a crimson world and obtain a Crimson Key, use Vampire Knives if you want to steamroll him.
    • If you have corruption, Scourge of the Corrupter is an absolute choice as well.
    • Above all, Megashark is still considerable, with Chlorophyte Bullets.
    • Suggested armor: Turtle Armor or above.

    Duke Fishron

    Duke Fishron is a fun boss to fight, especially in expert mode, with a new third stage at the end that will make your adrenaline go nuts. Here's a few tips:

    • Possessed Hatchet is the #1 weapon of choice, especially for melee class characters.
    • For a ranger, use the Tactical Shotgun with Chlorophyte Bullets.
    • For a mage, use the Spectre Staff or the Leaf Blower.
    • For a summoner, the Xeno Staff is a great weapon of choice as they will never miss, whereas other weapons would lag behind and fire inaccurate shots.
    • Tips for Sharknados, make sure that they spawn on each edge of the ocean, switching left and right. This is very easy in the first stage, but in the second stage, be careful!
    • For Duke Fishron, you can exploit his third form by jumping at a steady tempo, it may take a few tries but if you have a bottle equipped and you just jump up and down, falling/jumping RIGHT as he teleports each time, you'll be off the hook.

    Moon Lord

    A surefire way to defeat Moon Lord in Expert mode is via the Summoner kiting strategy, although it requires a bit of preparation.

    It is essential that you dodge his phantasmal deathray, as it will kill you in seconds (the Rod of Discord is highly recommended for this, though grinding for it can be torturous). Also, you should make sure that all his eyes die at a close time, so that the true eyes of Cthulhu don't overwhelm you.

    Make sure you have Super Healing Potions.

    General Tips

    Expert mode doesn't just make you prepare more, it makes you more cautious with getting hit. You can actually get so good at dodging that a Worm Scarf or Band of Regeneration won't be needed at all. Here's a few tips:

    • Blizzard in a Bottle (or, even better, a Sandstorm in a Bottle) instead of Cloud in a Bottle make a tremendous difference in the long run.
    • Sandstorm in a Bottle will give you the opportunity for the Bundle of Balloons without even traveling in another world, an extremely useful accessory. Just get the other two bottles, and then fish up in the sky for the Sky Crates and get two Shiny Red Balloons, the third can be gotten from a floating island originally in your world.
    • The tips above include bottles because these accessories are essential for dodging, vertically. If you were fighting Duke Fishron, and he dashes towards you, if you were just wearing Wings, you'd most likely get hit. But if you had the Bundle of Balloons equipped, he would be a piece of cake.
    • If you don't know what accessories to replace with these bottles, replace the Cobalt Shield/Obsidian Shield or any other type of accessory that neglects knockback. This is a possibility because dodging is much more important, and if you never get hit, you'd never need the shield. Besides, the shield makes getting hit less annoying, while the bottles and balloons help you get hit less often. Easy to say which method is more useful.
    • Yoyos are a great addition to the game, and the name is shouted in Expert Mode. Amazon and Yelets are some of the cheapest ones to get. Amazon can be crafted for little materials right in the beginning of the game in the Jungle. Amarok can be gotten from any enemy by chance in the Ice biome in Hardmode. Yelets can be obtained from any enemy by chance in the Jungle biome after at least one mechanical boss is defeated in Hardmode.
    • Banners are much more important in Expert mode: with their effect doubled, they essentially revert the affected enemies to their Normal mode stats -- except your Defense is still buffed compared to Normal mode. Take care to hold on to all the banners you can obtain and hang them in the areas you frequent most often, and your life will be much easier.