Player versus Player is an optional mode in which players can damage and kill each other, either alone or as part of a team. This is done by enabling the PvP option in Multiplayer mode, by clicking on the swords in the upper right corner of the Inventory screen. Players can only damage each other if they both have PvP enabled.
There is also the option of joining a team: they are represented by the colored shields in the upper right corner of the inventory screen. After joining a team, your teammates' current health and distance away from you will be represented on-screen. The teams are, None, (aka, White), Red, Green, Blue, Yellow, and Pink.
PvP does not unlock any game content, and you receive no loot from your defeated foes. It is purely optional. Players engage in PvP for fun and to challenge themselves, either individually or working as a team. Below is a general guide as well as some tips to help you on your journey to become a skilled PvP player.
|PvP icons on Desktop, Console, and Mobile.|
In PvP, the window of invincibility after taking damage is greatly reduced if it came from another player. If damaged normally, you receive 0.66 seconds of invincibility, but from players you only receive 0.13 seconds (8 frames). The Cross Necklace has no effect on the invincibility duration. Additionally:
- Critical hits will not occur when you damage players.
- Some debuffs cannot be applied to other players.
- Homing weapons, including summoning weapons and Chlorophyte Bullet, will not home in on other players.
- Only players of your team will be visible on the Minimap, and buffs from Nebula Armor and the Paladin's Shield only affect your teammates. Conversely, no one other than your teammates will be able to see you on the Minimap.
There are various types of game-modes. The most common types are:
- Capture the Gem (CTG): Based on capture the flag. Players form two teams, and win by bringing the opposing team's gem (usually a Large Gem) to their own base. For more info see Guide:Capture the Gem.
- Team Deathmatch: Players form two teams, and the first team to reach a certain number of kills wins.
- Battle Royale: A free-for-all format in which players are eliminated on death. The last player alive is the victor.
- Hunger Games: A Battle Royale subformat in which players join with new characters, and are allowed to use whatever can be looted from the host world.
- Duels: A simple fight between two players with no interference from others.
Some modes impose additional restrictions:
- Class Wars: A subformat in which players choose from several pre-made equipment sets prepared in advance by a server's owner(s).
- Mediumcore: Adds an extra dimension to team-based gameplay. Opponents can loot your equipment when you die, making them even more difficult to defeat.
- Hardcore: For elimination-based game-modes, it is sometimes required that characters be in Hardcore mode.
- Controlled PvP: Standard PvP with certain items restricted from use. The purpose is to prevent PvP from devolving into a stale experience centralized around only three or four weapons.
Everyone has individual preferences when it comes to equipment, but not everything is equally effective in PvP. If you want to stand a chance against an endgame player who is holding nothing back, you will have to make some compromises to conform to "meta" standards.
As PvP is an optional feature that exists purely for fun, it is important for you and your opponents to come to an agreement on what is acceptable to use. You can certainly try doing PvP with your favorite, nonstandard weapons, but don't expect those weapons to do well unless you can convince your opponents to do the same.
Because endgame players usually wear high-defense armor like Solar Flare Armor or Beetle Armor, no weapon with less than 40-50 base damage should be considered for endgame PvP. Additionally, weapons that have very short range are generally useless in PvP. Viable PvP weapons generally have high base damage and deal damage from a distance.
Weapons which would have Godly as their best modifier when used against enemies should be reforged to Ruthless for PvP instead.
As the invincibility timer for players is 7 frames by default (which can be doubled via a Cross Necklace and its combined versions), it is rarely advisable to use weapons with use times of 6 frames or lower or weapons that hit multiple times per attack, as some hits might be blocked by invincibility frames. If needed, Reforging can be used to bring the use time up to 7 frames or more to avoid accidentally hitting people when they still have remaining invincibility frames, unless you're intending on damaging an entire crowd of enemy players.
(Commonly) Banned weapons
When playing on a regulated PvP server, you can expect a number of weapons to be banned. This is because they are overpowered and over-centralizing, easily mowing down opponents even when wielded by an unskilled player. Of course, they can be used on unregulated PvP servers, but if you choose to use them, don't be surprised if other people no longer want to engage in PvP with you. The following weapons will practically always be banned on servers that impose PvP regulations:
- Zenith- deals extremely high damage in a huge area, passes through blocks and ignores immunity frames.
- Last Prism- has near-infinite reach, very high damage, and its hitbox appears almost instantly.
- Star Wrath- covers the entire screen vertically with extremely high-damage projectiles.
- Meowmere- covers several screens horizontally with extremely high-damage projectiles.
- Terrarian- deals extremely high damage with a large hitbox, and is nearly impossible to hide from.
- Coin Gun with Platinum Coin - extremely high damage and firing speed.
Trying to chase down your opponents with a sword is likely to get you nowhere, as unlike enemies, intelligent players will retreat while being attacked with any form of ranged attack whenever possible. However, several melee weapons have projectiles of their own that can get around this weakness.
- The Eye of Cthulhu - Controllable with high damage, decent range, and stun-locks those who are not using a shield.
- Daybreak - Very high base damage and velocity, with a large projectile. Sometimes banned.
- Terra Blade - A fast, long-range projectile sword with high base damage.
- Influx Waver - Lesser version of the Terra Blade in PvP, as the projectiles do not hit a player twice and the blade speed is a lot slower.
- Solar Eruption - Pierces walls, and has decent range.
- Flying Dragon - Combines the best features of the Terra Blade and Solar Eruption however, it is slightly slower. Sometimes banned.
- Scourge of the Corruptor - Low damage, but floods enclosed spaces, stripping away set bonuses from Solar Flare armor and Beetle armor. Sometimes banned.
- Paladin's Hammer - High damage, speed, and velocity, making it difficult to dodge. Throwing distance scales with melee speed bonuses.
- Possessed Hatchet - Weaker version of the Paladin's Hammer.
- North Pole - Low damage, but unrivalled area coverage in open spaces
Ranged weapons generally have high range and velocity, both of which are exactly what is needed in this mode. Guns and Rocket weapons should use High Velocity Bullets and Rocket III/Mini Nuke I respectively. Bows have more versatility, and can be used with Holy Arrows, Venom Arrows, Chlorophyte Arrows, or Luminite Arrows depending on the situation.
- Sniper Rifle - Extremely high damage and velocity; finishes most players in two or three shots when aimed well. Sometimes banned.
- Celebration Mk2 - Very high damage and large explosion hitbox, Can crowd large spaces if the player stands on high ground.
- Snowman Cannon - High damage and speed with a large explosion hitbox. Marginally better velocity than the Celebration.
- Rocket Launcher - Lesser version of the Snowman Cannon, but as it does not home in on enemies it may be more useful when there are large numbers of enemies nearby.
- Proximity Mine Launcher - Places high-damage, nearly-invisible traps on the ground. Sometimes banned.
- Electrosphere Launcher - Places larger, shorter-lived traps in mid-air. Velocity is too low to chase players with.
- Tsunami - Shoots a somewhat large cluster of arrows with decent damage and arrow effects. Velocity and damage can be increased using Venom Arrows, However Holy arrows can prove to be a major upgrade.
- Phantasm - Lesser version of Tsunami.
- Pulse Bow - Floods an area with high velocity, bouncing projectiles, dealing decent damage.
- Candy Corn Rifle - Similar to the Pulse Bow, but faster and affected by gravity.
- Jack 'O Lantern Launcher - Slower, more damaging version of the Candy Corn Rifle.
- Chain Gun - Low damage, but strips away Solar Flare Armor and Beetle Armor set bonuses faster than anything else.
- Vortex Beater - Higher-damage version of Chain Gun, but still inaccurate.
- Daedalus Stormbow with Holy Arrows - Similar in role to the Chain Gun, but safer and even less accurate.
- Nail Gun - Deals high damage instantly upon hitting a player. Creates delayed explosions if it hits terrain.
- Elf Melter - One of the few weapons that properly applies its debuff in PvP. Low damage.
- S.D.M.G. - Somewhat less damage than the Sniper Rifle, but second only to the Chain Gun in speed. Sometimes banned.
- Eventide - High damage bow. Using the Endless Quiver shoots fast moving arrow-swords. Can easily crowd large spaces with Chlorophyte Arrows or Luminite Arrows for slightly less damage.
Homing properties do not work in PvP, leaving magic users with relatively few high-damage options to work with.
- Blizzard Staff - Covers a wide vertical area. Low damage, but quickly strips away Solar Flare Armor and Beetle Armor set bonuses.
- Lunar Flare - Higher damage version of Blizzard Staff. Impossible to hide from, especially within structures but less crowdable. Sometimes banned.
- Nebula Blaze - Very high damage, but inaccurate at a distance. Occasionally fires a Nebula Blaze EX that deals triple damage. Sometimes banned.
- Rainbow Gun - Places a low-damage but extremely wide trap.
- Razorblade Typhoon - Average damage, but has a large hit box and fast speed that floods spaces quickly.
- Bat Scepter - Very low damage, but high crowding range.
- Nebula Arcanum - Low damage but can crowd easily, Sometimes banned.
Minions and sentries do not attack normally in PvP, but players will take damage upon touching them, and the summon will disappear. This means that it is possible to summon minions and sentries on top of your opponents to damage them instantly, making summoning a viable if somewhat one-dimensional playstyle.
- Rainbow Crystal Staff - Extremely high damage and can be placed in mid-air. Impossible to hide from, and often banned.
- Staff of the Frost Hydra - Similar to Rainbow Crystal Staff, but can only be placed on the ground.
- Ballista Staff - Similar to Rainbow Crystal Staff, but can only be placed on the ground.
- Morning Star - Extremely high damage whip. Can nearly one shot players with the correct setup.
- Kaleidoscope - Equal to the Morning Star in damage, but with a faster attack speed. Sometimes banned.
While some set bonuses can significantly increase your combat effectiveness, hybrid sets are also not only viable, but often recommended in order to maximize damage bonuses while sacrificing useless bonuses to Critical hit rate. Beetle and Solar Flare Armor are only favored for their survivability, and can be used effectively by any class.
- Beetle armor - Reduces damage taken by 45%, 30%, or 15% depending on the number of active beetles. Beetles regenerate periodically and disappear upon taking damage. Greatly enhances survivability in skirmishes.
- Solar Flare armor - Similar to the Beetle Shell, but always grants 30% damage reduction as long as a shield is active.
- Vortex armor - Stealth greatly increases damage, while making you nearly invisible if your health bar is full. Should be toggled off when you are trying to escape, though Soaring Insignia removes most of the movement penalty. Often banned.
- Shroomite armor - Makes you nearly invisible and greatly increases damage, but only while standing still. Lesser version of Vortex armor.
- Valhalla Knight's Breastplate and Squire's Great Helm can be kept in the inventory for quick out-of-battle healing.
- The largest increases to melee damage belong to the Shinobi Infiltrator's Helmet, Solar Flare Breastplate, and Hallowed Greaves.
- If Vortex Armor is banned and you do not wish to use Shroomite Armor's stealth, the largest increases to ranged damage belong to Shroomite Headpieces, Red Riding Dress, and Vortex Leggings.
- The Frost Helmet is a decent compromise for those who want to use both melee and ranged weapons, boosting the damage of both by 16%.
- The largest increases to magic damage belong to the Chlorophyte Headgear, Dark Artist's Robes, and Forbidden Treads.
- Nebula Leggings offer the same damage bonus, but the 40 extra mana from the Treads makes them preferable in most cases.
- For whip/sentry users, the largest increases to summon damage belong to the Stardust Helmet, Valhalla Knight's Breastplate, and Red Riding Leggings.
- Whip users can also use Obsidian Armor for significantly higher whip range and attack speed, since endgame whips are strong enough to kill players in a few hits regardless. However, it comes at the cost of having almost no defense.
- If you leave your vanity slots empty, your opponents will be able to identify your armor set simply by looking at you. Whether you choose to conceal yourself with a different armor set or simply a vanity set that you think looks good, it is best to equip something in those slots, if only to deny this advantage to your opponents.
- Dyes are also a useful consideration, especially when worn with vanity sets that fully cover the player's skin, to blend in with Background Walls/darkness, assuming the dyes used for each slot are of a similar color to the wall tiles behind the player's sprite.
As players generally focus on dealing rapid burst damage, accessories providing a Regeneration bonus over time, such as the Band of Regeneration, will not save you from death. It is viable to specialize in either damage output or percentage-based damage reduction, but some form of mobility is practically a requirement; neither the Shrimpy Truffle nor the Cosmic Car Key is agile enough to evade a competent human player.
As your aim as a PvP player is to win the DPS war against your opponent, all your accessories should be reforged to Menacing. Increasing your damage dealt by 4% will give you a more significant edge than reducing damage taken by 2.
- Charm of Myths - Allows you to consume a healing potion 15 seconds earlier, which could save your life.
- Shiny Stone - Regenerates health very quickly when out of combat.
- Cross Necklace - Increases the duration of invincibility frames, though not to the same extent that it does against monsters.
- Master Ninja Gear - Has a 10% chance to negate damage and provide a duration of invincibility, up to 2 seconds with the Cross Necklace. Usually banned for this reason.
- The Tabi however is generally not banned, and provides an invaluable way to move quickly and unpredictably.
- Ankh Shield - Protects you from being stun-locked by Yoyos and other fast weapons. Debuff protection is not very valuable in PvP, as most weapons fail to inflict debuffs in PvP regardless (with the Bee Keeper as a rare exception).
- Paladin's Shield - Provides 2 more defense than the Ankh Shield and the same protection against knockback. Reduces damage taken by allies when the wearer is above 25% HP by taking the damage yourself, while also activating effects from accessories such as the Star Veil and Black Belt. An excellent choice in team-based PvP.
- Worm Scarf - Provides 17% damage reduction.
- Frozen Turtle Shell - Provides 25% damage reduction when below 50% health.
- Sniper Scope - Allows you to see enemies from further away, making it easier to conduct a pre-emptive strike.
- Damage-increasing accessories such as a class-specific Emblem/Celestial Emblem, Avenger Emblem/Mechanical Glove, and/or Celestial Stone/Celestial Shell/Destroyer Emblem/Sniper Scope, listed in decreasing order of raw damage boost.
Potions and Buffs
- Super Healing Potions can save you from the brink of death.
- Ironskin Potion, Endurance Potion, Lifeforce Potion, and Regeneration Potion improve your survivability just as much as they do outside of PvP.
- Swiftness Potion increases speed by 25%, preventing you from falling behind others buffed with Swiftness.
- Obsidian Skin Potion negates lava hazards and prevents Elf Melters from setting you on fire.
- Invisibility Potion grants complete invisibility, but you become visible during the brief moments when you attack. While it may be disorienting to not know your own location, it is far more aggravating for your opponents, unless they have managed to scratch you to reveal your health bar. Sometimes banned.
- Gravitation Potion is disorienting, but provides extra maneuverability.
- Featherfall Potion allows you to move unpredictably.
- Mana Regeneration Potion provides the most impactful buff for mages, drastically speeding up mana regeneration without the need for Super Mana Potions.
- Magic Power Potion, Clairvoyance, Archery Potion, and Sake improve damage output for their respective classes.
- Wrath Potion improves damage output for all classes.
- Dangersense Potion alerts you to the presence of traps.
- Night Owl Potion increases visibility, but unlike the Shine Potion, it will not give away your position.
- Well Fed increases several stats, and improves health regeneration on Expert Mode worlds.
- If you have a Light Pet, it is best to turn it off to avoid premature detection. You want to see your opponents before they see you.
- The Lunar Hook retracts faster than any other hook, and is the best for making rapid maneuvers.
- The Slimy Saddle allows you to rapidly launch off the ground with no acceleration required, and also allows you to fall quickly out of the air.
- Neither the Cosmic Car Key nor the Shrimpy Truffle provide you with a lot of agility, but they are at least more agile than a pair of Wings whose flight time has run out. This issue can be negated with the Soaring Insignia.
- If not banned, the Rod of Discord is an extremely useful movement option that allows you to teleport to any location on your screen.
- Smoke Bombs produce clouds of smoke roughly 2 blocks wide and 9 blocks tall. A few of them can easily conceal a player or two, which can be useful for stealth, in case any form of invisibility is unavailable.
Your strategies will change depending on the type of PvP gameplay (see above). The strategies described below are more applicable to team modes such as Capture the Gem or dedicated all-out PvP servers, rather than for unrestricted PvP with endgame equipment.
Your enemies may have set up traps and other defenses to counter anyone who gets too close. If the area isn't protected by plugins such as TShock, disabling traps with a Wire Cutter or The Grand Design is very simple. Otherwise, the utility of scouting is very limited, so it is better to attack at once as a group.
By using Wormhole Potions, your teammates can teleport to your position and ambush your opponents. If you are scouting for this purpose, be sure to drink an Invisibility Potion to avoid giving away the surprise. However, even if you are invisible or Stealthed, your enemies will still be able to see your health bar if it isn't full.
Using armor with stealth capabilities and using a Sniper Rifle, the zoom will allow you to take out high power enemies out without being noticed, allowing for your teammates to take out the rest of the team.
In PvP, it is essential to be able to move quickly and unpredictably to avoid getting hit. Relying on the Cosmic Car Key as your only form of flight may work when fighting monsters, but the same approach in PvP will get you picked off very quickly. The Tabi, Wings, and a fast Grappling Hook such as the Bat Hook should always be considered for high mobility.
- The Solar Flare Armor's dashing ability is not a substitute for the Tabi, as you temporarily lose this ability once you run out of shield charges.
- The Swiftness Potion boosts your movement speed by 25%.
- The Slimy Saddle can be used to greatly increase falling speed or to instantly jump high off the ground with no delay; both of these sudden, unpredictable movements are valuable for dodging attacks.
- As players are taller than they are wide, attacking other players from either side is generally more effective than attacking from above or below. For this reason, vertical movement is typically considered more valuable for dodging, so it is recommended to equip Wings with a high vertical speed boost such as Solar Wings, or a Frog Leg.
By quickly placing a wall of blocks such as Dirt, or by using the Sandgun or Ice Rod, you can defend yourself from most projectiles, forcing opponents to approach. This can be taken further by placing three platforms on your own side of the blockade and hammering them, creating a one-way blockade behind which you can still fire upon your opponents. This is most effective in formats that involve new characters using early-game equipment.
Summoning multiple bosses at an enemy's base is an effective way to cause chaos if they aren't properly geared to take the bosses on.
Dungeon Bricks are the most plentiful explosion-proof blocks that will prevent your base from being destroyed by someone using explosives. If explosives are not banned on the server, consider using those.
If building is allowed on a server, naturally-occurring hazards can be repurposed to damage or distract your PvP opponents. They are unlikely to harm players with access to flight or hooks, but can potentially be effective in modes that require fresh characters. The following information may also be of interest to those who wish to design an arena for other players to fight each other on.
- Spikes and Wooden Spikes harm players on contact.
- Meteorite, Hellstone, and Hellstone Bricks rapidly deplete the health of players that are touching them. However, this can be negated with variants of the Obsidian Skull or Obsidian Skin Potions.
- Lava is one of the most damaging natural hazards, and can be used to line the bottom of deep pits.
- Sand can be dropped on players, dealing minor damage. If a large amount of Sand is dropped all at once, such as through a wiring mechanism, players will be trapped and rapidly Suffocate.
- Actuators can be used to surprise players by creating a deep pit, killing them with fall damage, or by blocking off entrances/exits, or opening holes in walls to shoot through.
- Certain Statues such as Chest Statues and Medusa Statues can be wired to a Pressure Plate or Timer, creating a deadly threat to players still using Pre-Hardmode gear.
- Boulders and Rolling Cacti can be sent rolling towards opponents, whether through wiring or by placing them manually and hitting them with a Pickaxe. They will typically roll to the left, only rolling to the right if there is no space to the left.
- Cobwebs are easily removed through attacks, but become a significant hazard if placed in an area that is protected by TShock plugins.
- Traps obtained from the Jungle Temple can be wired to fire automatically or upon activation with a Pressure Plate.
- Explosives can be wired to a Pressure Plate to create a trap that is destructive both to players and to the surrounding terrain.