Guide:Practical tips

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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.
Status: Revised (This Guide got revised and is up to date!)

There are many things in Terraria which are not evident from the get-go, and many other things that a player would definitely do differently on a rerun of the game. It is true that much of the joy lies in exploring, but sometimes some helpful advice is in order.


  • Stacks of items can be picked up, crafted, and bought quickly by holding the Open / Activate button.
  • The player can use a pickaxe to break any chestchests found while exploring, both to have a supply of chests for home storage and to minimize the confusion of empty chests when revisiting those areas later.
    • In Hardmode, this also reduces the chance of being caught off-guard by a Mimic.
  • There are a wide variety of items in Terraria. It is best to separate chests into categories. Chests containing crafting materials are best kept near the crafting station where they will be needed - one for ores and bars, next to an Anvil and Furnace; one for potion materials, next to a Placed Bottle or Alchemy Table; one for equippable items next to a Tinkerer's Workshop; one for potions; one for weapons; and one or two for miscellaneous crafting materials.
  • All Piggy BankPiggy Banks, SafeSafes, Defender's ForgeDefender's Forges(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) and Void VaultVoid Vaults(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) (collectively, "personal storage") retain their items when broken. The player can put them into their inventory and place them at any time for access. This effectively quintuples ((Desktop, Console and Mobile versions)) / triples ((Old-gen console and 3DS versions)) the amount of items a player can carry.
    • The Piggy Bank requires a flat furniture surface to set on, such as a Work Bench or two platforms. In most versions, the Money TroughMoney Trough(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) drops from Blood Zombies and Dripplers during a Blood Moon. This item summons a floating Piggy Bank that does not need to be placed. Alternatively, the Eye BoneEye Bone(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions), which drops from Deerclops, summons a pet that follows the player and has the same inventory as the Piggy Bank.
    • In current versions, the Void BagVoid Bag(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) similarly acts as a mobile Void Vault; it also automatically collects items into the Vault when the player's inventory is full. It has properties that render it an extension of the inventory, with items in it being capable of being favorited, quick stacked to nearby chests, used with hotkeys, etc. The Open / Activate button closes the Void Bag, preventing it from picking up excess items and disabling its effect as an inventory extension.
    • If the player dies with a Journey or Classic character, they will lose at least half the money they are carrying, and they will likely have trouble retrieving it. Regularly stash money in a Piggy Bank, Safe, etc.; when buying items a player can automatically draw on any money stashed in their personal storage.
  • If the player is running low on inventory space, they may use the Trash slot as a temporary extra slot. Note that exiting the world, dying, or placing another item there before taking the current one will delete the item.
  • If the player can't find a Magic MirrorMagic Mirror or Ice MirrorIce Mirror(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions), then they can find or craft Recall PotionRecall Potions. They have the same effect and have a quicker use time.
  • The player can make a Ruby HookGem Hook after getting 15 Gems of the same kind. This makes exploration of caves much easier, and it does not require a Hook, an uncommon drop from skeletons and piranhas.
  • ShimmerShimmer(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) is an exceptionally powerful resource that can be found in the Aether, which generates once per world. Shimmer can be used to de-craft items and endlessly reroll Reforges without any cost for crafted equipments, tools, or weapons. Shimmer can also be used to create new permanent upgrades with items such as Life CrystalLife Crystal, Mana CrystalMana Crystal, Life FruitLife Fruit, Any Fruits, Gold WormGold Worm(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions), Peddler's Hat, and more.
  • Even with full health, Life Crystals are still useful to craft Heart LanternHeart Lanterns, which provide health regeneration when placed.
    • Additionally, collecting Life Crystals wherever found allows for the Metal DetectorMetal Detector(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) to detect other, potentially more useful, items.
  • (Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) The player can place Banners around areas where their respective monsters spawn, for buffs against those monsters.
  • (Old-gen console and 3DS versions) Fishing up a Reaver SharkReaver Shark from the Ocean, while potentially taking some time, allows the player to skip all the mandatory pre-Hardmode pickaxes – it has the same pickaxe power as the Molten Pickaxe and is faster. (In later versions the Reaver Shark has been nerfed to the same tier as the Gold PickaxeGold Pickaxe and Platinum PickaxePlatinum Pickaxe -- still a good pickaxe, but not a sequence breaker.)
  • Try not to fight Voodoo DemonVoodoo Demons above lava, otherwise they will drop the Guide Voodoo DollGuide Voodoo Doll into it, and the Wall of Flesh will spawn.


  • With few exceptions, you should prioritize upgrading your pickaxe with the resources you have; not only will better pickaxes mine blocks faster, but certain tiles (especially ores) can only be mined with stronger tools.
    • The same goes for pickaxes/drills in Hardmode, which are mandatory for progressing to the next ore tier. The order is: Cobalt OreCobalt / Palladium OrePalladium, Mythril OreMythril / Orichalcum OreOrichalcum, and finally Adamantite OreAdamantite / Titanium OreTitanium. Adamantite and Titanium should not be crafted into tools, as they do not unlock access to better ores.
  • Do not jump down a large hole or cave without an extra jump, Hook, UmbrellaUmbrella, Featherfall PotionFeatherfall Potion, Angel WingsWings, or Lucky HorseshoeLucky Horseshoe. If you do not have those, consider using RopeRope and platforms to safely descend.
    • As a rule of thumb, you should not jump down terrain without a way to stop falling if you cannot see the glow of a torch or GlowstickGlowstick that you threw down.
    • One can cancel fall damage using a hook by hooking onto any block just before hitting the ground; including the ground you are about to fall onto.
  • Use Spelunker PotionSpelunker Potions or throw Spelunker GlowstickSpelunker Glowsticks(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) if you're unable to find anything of value; they highlight any valuable treasure and ores that are on your screen.
  • Mining PotionMining Potions(Desktop, Console, Old-gen console and Mobile versions) and the Ancient ChiselAncient Chisel(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) increase mining speed directly.
  • Modifiers that affect speed will affect the mining speed of tools; The Light modifier provides the greatest increase.
  • Desktop versionConsole versionOld-gen console versionMobile version When the Minimap is expanded, hovering over an ore pocket will display its name next to the cursor.
    • Using items that light through walls such as the StarfuryStarfury and FirecrackerFirecracker(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) will light up the map, allowing you to locate and distinguish ores.
  • (Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) Pressing the Left Ctrl (pressing down the right joystick on Xbox One Xbox) key toggles your mining style to Smart Cursor, which is extremely useful for strip mining.
    • You can descend relatively fast by turning on Smart Cursor and aiming down. This will quickly dig a 2-block-wide shaft.
  • Using Mining HelmetMining Armor is useful when mining. The helmet is especially useful as it mostly eliminates the need for torches. The MagiluminescenceMagiluminescence(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) is an upgrade, providing more light alongside its movement capabilities.
  • For quick trips to the various layers of the world, a hellevator can be a very useful structure. Dig a vertical shaft from underneath your base down to The Underworld and consider placing RopeRopes or platforms to conveniently ascend and descend (note that rope is faster and more convenient to place).
  • Hardmode ores are restricted to certain layers:


  • 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.


  • There are various items and accessories that can affect movement speed:
    • The various Boots, allow the player to run faster, cutting travel time. Various upgrades provide a double-jump and other mobility features.
    • Swiftness PotionSwiftness Potions are common and easily brewed, and sharply increase movement speed (for a limited time). With boots, they allow reaching sprint speed more quickly.
    • The AgletAglet and Anklet of the WindAnklet of the Wind improve movement speed by 5% and 10%, respectively. Both stack with each other, and even with a Swiftness Potion. Once you get the Tinkerer's Workshop both accessories can be combined into Lightning BootsLightning Boots.
    • The MagiluminescenceMagiluminescence(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) improves movement speed by 15% and stacks with the Aglet, Anklet of the Wind, Swiftness Potions, and the various Boots.
    • Any accessory can provide a minor movement-speed modifier: In order of increasing speed, these modifiers include Brisk, Fleeting, Hasty, and Quick.
    • SunflowerSunflowers increase movement speed whilst in their vicinity, and the Slice of CakeSlice of Cake(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) increases movement speed for two minutes.
    • Asphalt BlockAsphalt Blocks become available in hardmode, and dramatically increase the players speed when running across them.
  • Several items are used for mostly-vertical travel: Jumping, safe falling, and/or flying.
  • A Grappling HookHook can be used to grapple across gaps, including upward and downward. On flat open areas they can be used to pull a player across the ground, by shooting it at the ground ahead and then releasing it while being pulled in. This allows the various Boots to get to full speed without having to build up beforehand.
  • There are several options for teleportation, each with different limits and trade offs:
    • Several items allow teleportation to the player’s spawn point: Magic MirrorMagic Mirror/Ice MirrorIce Mirror(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions), Cell PhoneCell Phone(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions), ShellphoneShellphone(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions), Recall PotionRecall Potion, Potion of ReturnPotion of Return(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions). This point defaults to the middle of the map at the surface, but the player can choose almost any other point using a bed. The Potion of Return also supplies a return portal.
    • The Magic ConchMagic Conch(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) allows teleporting to either seashore (the outermost standable block). The Demon ConchDemon Conch(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) allows going to the middle of the Underworld, but the player may need to provide a surface there.
    • The ShellphoneShellphone(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) is the combination of the Cell PhoneCell Phone(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions), Magic ConchMagic Conch(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions), and the Demon ConchDemon Conch(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions), with an added ability to travel to the Spawn pointWorld's Spawn Point.
    • The Universal PylonPylons(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) provide a point-to-point network. You can place one pylon per major biome, plus one more for underground. Each pylon requires 2 NPCs nearby in order to work.
    • TeleporterTeleporters can be used to setup point-to-point links or complex networks. The main catch is that you need to place wire between the teleporters. On Desktop version Desktop, Console version Console, and Mobile version Mobile, Teleporters become available post-Skeletron, while on Old-gen console version Old-gen console and 3DSNintendo 3DS version, they are Hardmode-exclusive.
  • Various mounts can be used to travel faster, whether that's on land, in liquid, or in the air.
  • MinecartMinecarts can also be used to travel faster, although they are restricted to minecart tracks.


Each player is limited to 44(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) / 22(Old-gen console version) / 10(3DS version) active buffs and debuffs at a time, and exceeding that will cancel buffs (but not debuffs) from the left of the bar. This looks like a lot, but once you start setting up "buff stations" and summoning pets and minions, they can add up to the point where even your own potions can interfere with other buffs, let alone if an enemy hits you with a debuff. Here is a list of common buffs to consider, some of which are clearly dispensable:

  • Summons: Pet, Light pet, Minion, Mount (Up to 4 buffs).
    • Of these, the pet and perhaps the light pet are irrelevant in combat, so you might want to dismiss them for a major fight.
    • The minion and mount are another story: Overflowing the buff/debuff bar can unexpectedly desummon them -- and then re-summoning them will eliminate some other buff that you might have been counting on! Note that mixing multiple minion types takes a slot for each type.
  • Furniture: Ammo Box, Bewitching Table, Sharpening Station, Crystal Ball, War Table, Slice of Cake. Five class specific buffs, and one short-lived generic one; stick to the ones you'll actually be using.
  • Area buffs: Campfire, Sunflower, Heart Lantern, Star in a Bottle, Bast Statue, Peace Candle (and/or Water Candle), Banners (any number of them count for one slot), Honey (from taking a dip or certain accessories), Dryad's Blessing. That's 5-7 general buffs that can turn on or off as you move around, another that may be unexpected, and one triggered by an NPC. Maybe don't get greedy at your arena...
  • Equipment: Various accessories, and mid- to late-game armor or weapons (especially whips) can all trigger buffs at odd moments, often when you hit an enemy or take damage. Keep track of which equipment can trigger a buff.
  • Food buffs count, and you'll usually have one. Tipsy does as well, if you use that. A Flask imbue counts too.

Loading up on the above can add up to 18-20 buffs even before you start actually fighting, and several more that can be triggered at odd moments. All this before you start drinking potions, or getting debuffed by enemies!

If you're using the "Quick buff" control, be careful what potions are in your main inventory; fishing, building, and most "mobility" potions can be stashed in the Piggy Bank or such, along with options meant for other classes. Potions such as Feather Falling, Gills, or Spelunker can be saved for situations where they're warranted, and their places on the buff bar reclaimed if needed. Many mobility and defensive potions can be replaced by accessories, other equipment, or changes in tactics. Remember that using Healing or Mana potions will also trigger a cooldown debuff, as will a Rod of Discord.

You do get one freebie: Most luck effects (Ladybugs, Torches, Garden Gnomes) do not appear on the buff/debuff list, though a Luck Potion will.


  • Always use Background Walls in your buildings, as they stop Enemies from spawning in those areas.
  • (Old-gen console and 3DS versions) You will be getting a lot of NPCs – arrange a building that you can keep expanding; upwards is best, though Wyverns can cause problems on small worlds.
  • To avoid possible Corruption/Crimson contamination of NPC houses in the future, it can be helpful to dig a 4-5 block trench around them; allow yourself some extra space for tree farms.
  • (Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) You can right click with any Summon weapon on an enemy or boss to have your minions target it. You can tell an enemy is targeted when a purple circle appears over it and the enemy or boss starts trailing purple particles.
  • Desktop version If your mouse has side-buttons, you can rebind them to restore Health, use Buff items, or restore Mana.