Guide:Skeletron Prime strategies

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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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  • Skeletron Prime Trophy.png"The air is getting colder around you..."Skeletron Prime Trophy.png

    Skeletron Prime is the Hardmode version of Skeletron. It is one of the three Mechanical bosses, alongside The Destroyer and The Twins. It can deal a lot of damage with its four limbs, and its high health and defense allow it to take a lot of punishment. The limbs have the added effect of blocking non-piercing shots aimed at its head.

    Skeletron PrimeHardmode exclusive
    Skeletron Prime head.gifOld-gen console version and Nintendo 3DS version
    Map Icon Skeletron Prime.png
    Map Icon
    Classic mode icon.png Classic
    Expert mode icon.png Expert
    Master mode icon.png Master
    AI TypeSkeletron Prime Head AI
    Damage47/79/119 (contact)
    94158238 (while spinning) [1]
    Max Life28000/42000/53550
    48 (while spinning) [1]
    KB Resist100%
    Immune toPoisonedConfusedPenetratedTentacle SpikeBlood Butchered
    Coins12 GC30 GC

    Spawning Conditions

    Skeletron Prime can be spawned by fulfilling any of these conditions:

    • After smashing a Demon AltarDemon/Crimson AltarCrimson Altar, it will have a 10% chance of appearing when night falls, until it is defeated for the first time. This condition is shared with the rest of the trio, so there's a chance that the Destroyer or Twins will spawn instead.
    • Use a Mechanical SkullMechanical Skull at night.

    Either way, it must then be defeated before all involved players die, or before daybreak, whichever comes first.

    The Fight

    Skeletron Prime is a flying boss that consists of five parts:

    • Prime Saw, a melee arm, with 9000 / 13500 / 17212 health.
    • Prime Vice, a melee arm, with 9000 / 13500 / 17212 health.
    • Prime Laser, a ranged arm that fires lasers, with 6000 / 9000 / 11475 health.
    • Prime Cannon, a ranged arm that fires grenades, with 7000 / 10500 / 13387 health.
    • Skeletron Prime, the head, with 28000 / 42000 / 53550 health.

    Killing the head will count as a victory, and any remaining limbs will be destroyed.

    Each limb has a unique attack pattern, listed below. Although killing the limbs is not necessary, they can block attacks to the head (especially Prime Saw and Prime Vice), and destroying them makes the fight much easier. It is safest to take out the most dangerous limbs at the beginning, as the fight gets significantly easier without their interference.

    Prime Saw

    Prime Saw is one of the two melee limbs. It lunges at the player, dealing a lot of damage if its attack connects. However, compared to the other limbs, the Saw is not as aggressive, and has a predictable pattern. Accordingly, it is a lesser threat despite the high damage, and a low priority.

    Prime Vice

    Prime Vice is one of the two melee limbs. Compared to the Saw, it does less damage, but it is more aggressive. It lunges at the player, attacking many times before retracting.

    Although its pattern can be somewhat predictable, its behavior when Prime is enraged makes it a very dangerous limb, capable of dealing significant damage if the player is not careful.

    Prime Laser

    Prime Laser is one of the ranged limbs. It will consistently remain above the player, firing lasers at a moderate rate. Its shots deal significant damage and it is Prime's most threatening limb in Expert mode. The laser starts shooting much faster when Prime enters its "enraged" state, making it an even bigger problem.

    Its damaging, fast, and accurate shots arguably make it Prime's most dangerous limb. Because of this and its relatively low health, it should ideally be destroyed before the others.

    Prime Cannon

    Prime Cannon is the other ranged limb. It shoots bombs that do not destroy tiles or deal contact damage.

    The inaccuracy and relatively low damage of the bombs makes the Cannon significantly less threatening than any of the other limbs. It can safely be ignored in favor of more dangerous targets.

    However, it is important to note that on the secret seed For the worthy(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions), the bombs that the Prime Cannon shoots will destroy tiles. Failure to destroy this limb early could result in any arena prepared to be wrecked, making the fight much more difficult.

    (Old-gen console and 3DS versions) The bombs also do not collide with platforms. This means that if the player fights in an arena, the Cannon will very rarely do any damage since the bombs only explode when they land on a solid block. The edges of a platform count as solid blocks for this purpose.

    Skeletron Prime

    Skeletron Prime "proper" is the head, which must be destroyed to win. Skeletron Prime will try to float above the player at all times. It will close in to do its spinning attack, which doubles its attack and defense and empowers its other limbs, making them attack more frequently. Once it finishes spinning, it will retreat again.

    Like Skeletron, if the head is not destroyed by morning, it will be locked in its spinning attack, gain a speed increase, and its attack and defense will increase to near-unbeatable levels. In this state, a single hit will kill the player, while the head will only take one damage per hit and two damage per critical hit.

    Killing the head is a lot easier once some of its limbs are down, especially the Vice and the Laser. Focusing only on the head still works should the player wish to end the fight as soon as possible, but usually it is safer to focus on the arms first.

    Moving diagonally will make dodging the spinning head easier, as players can move faster in diagonal directions than in others.

    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.
    • (Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) When using Summon weapons, it is recommended to use the targeting function to focus one arm at a time and reduce the threat Skeletron Prime poses. Simply right-click near one of the weapons to target it and your minions will prioritize that arm.
    • All classes should note that Frostburn is one of the few available debuffs that this boss is not immune to, so any weapon providing it or the Frost armor will be especially handy. If available, Ichor is also useful to cut into the boss's high defense.
    • If the player gets too far from the head while it is not spinning, it will fly back to the player extremely quickly, which can be difficult to dodge. Keep within a reasonable distance.
    • Skeletron Prime is a reliable choice as a first mechanical boss to fight, as it has much lower damage output than the other two. If properly equipped, the biggest challenge will be ending the fight before dawn.

    Terrain preparation

    As with all bosses, an arena made out of Wood Platforms or Minecart Tracks greatly increases your mobility, and it will also moot the Prime Cannon. You will want several rows of Platforms, each around 50 or so blocks long. The platforms should be suspended off the ground to prevent the Prime Cannon's grenades from detonating too close to you. A solid ceiling should be avoided since Skeletron Prime will often retreat a fair distance when not using his spinning attack. It is also best to use frozen slime blocks as they keep the mobility of any speed enhancements.

    Gearing up


    • Adamantite armorAdamantite armorAdamantite armorAdamantite armor provides the overall greatest increase to all stats.
      • Frost BreastplateFrost Breastplate can be substituted onto melee and ranged variants of Adamantite armor for better offensive and defensive stats, as the set bonuses are less important. Mythril GreavesMythril Greaves/Spider GreavesSpider Greaves(Desktop, Console, Old-gen console and Mobile versions) can also be substituted for even more offensive stats.
    • Titanium armorTitanium armorTitanium armorTitanium armor is a great choice due to its high stats. It also provides the Titanium BarrierTitanium Barrier(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) / Shadow DodgeShadow Dodge(Old-gen console and 3DS versions) buff.
    • Crystal Assassin armorCrystal Assassin armor(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions)'s respectable defense, stat boosts and dash ability can make it a viable alternative to Hardmode ore sets.
    • Orichalcum armorOrichalcum armorOrichalcum armorOrichalcum armor provides very high critical strike chance and its set bonus can hit multiple parts.
    • Palladium armorPalladium armorPalladium armorPalladium armor provides lower stat bonuses, but the Rapid HealingRapid Healing greatly increases natural regeneration.
    • Hallowed armorHallowed armorHallowed armorHallowed armor becomes a great choice if you have already defeated a Mechanical Boss, since it provides the Holy ProtectionHoly Protection(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) buff.
    • Spider armorSpider armor(Desktop, Console, Old-gen console and Mobile versions) is the most practical choice for Summoners. However, for Blade Staff users, the Obsidian Armor remains extremely viable well into Hardmode due its set bonuses applying to whips.
    • Monk's Bushy Brow Bald Cap.pngSquire's Great Helm.pngHuntress's Wig.pngApprentice's Hat.png The armor sets available from the Tavernkeep combine summoning with one of the other classes. This is only available if you've already defeated one Mechanical Boss.
    • Frost armorFrost armor and Forbidden armorForbidden armor(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) provide weak stat bonuses, but allow you to mix different damage types.


    For melee users
    • The Hel-FireHel-Fire(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions), AmarokAmarok(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions), or YeletsYelets(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) with the Yoyo BagYoyo Bag(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) are all very strong choices.
    • The Shadowflame KnifeShadowflame Knife(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) is also a very good choice. Its bouncing properties allow it to hit multiple parts of its body at once.
    • The Ice SickleIce Sickle fires a spinning scythe projectile that will hit Skeletron Prime multiple times.
    • The Dao of PowDao of Pow does heavy damage to Skeletron Prime or its arms if aimed well. It is much less on the Old-gen console version Old-gen console version and Nintendo 3DSNintendo 3DS version version, however.
    • (Old-gen console and 3DS versions) After a Mechanical Boss has been defeated, the Death SickleDeath Sickle can be used.
    • Once you have defeated The Destroyer, Light DiscLight Discs can be very helpful with their long range.
    • If you manage to acquire them, BananarangBananarangs are a very effective weapon, due to their high damage and speed.
    • The Chain GuillotinesChain Guillotines(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) can be useful, if you have already beaten a Corrupt Mimic.
    • Using Flasks is also an incredibly useful option as they are easy to craft, providing you have beaten the Queen Bee and have the Witch Doctor NPC. When a flask is consumed, any melee attacks inflict the flask's respected debuff: Ichor, Midas, Cursed Inferno, On Fire!, or Poison for (Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) 20 / (Old-gen console and 3DS versions) 15 minutes, depending on which flask is consumed. Flask effects are not stackable.
    For ranged users
    • The Adamantite RepeaterAdamantite Repeater, Titanium RepeaterTitanium Repeater, or if another mechanical boss has already been defeated, the Hallowed RepeaterHallowed Repeater can be easily obtained. Combine them with Holy ArrowHoly or Ichor ArrowIchor Arrows for high damage.
    • The Onyx BlasterOnyx Blaster(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) and Clockwork Assault RifleClockwork Assault Rifle are very powerful guns made even stronger with Crystal BulletCrystal Bullets.
    • If you have defeated The Destroyer, the MegasharkMegashark is a very powerful option due to its insane speed and respectable damage. The UziUzi has similar power and can be obtained earlier, but only rarely.
    • The Daedalus StormbowDaedalus Stormbow(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) is extremely powerful - especially when combined with Holy ArrowHoly Arrows. If one mechanical boss is defeated, then the Phantom PhoenixPhantom Phoenix(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) with Holy Arrows provides slightly less damage but with better aiming.
    • The Dart RifleDart Rifle(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) and Dart PistolDart Pistol(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) are both very strong with Crystal DartCrystal(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) or Ichor DartIchor Darts(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions).
    • The Super Star ShooterSuper Star Shooter(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) is very effective, but expensive to use (Fallen StarFallen Stars are needed), if another mechanical boss has been defeated.
    • It is recommended to use a secondary weapon with Ichor (debuff)Ichor ammo, as the debuff will make Skeletron Prime significantly more vulnerable to damage.
    For magic users
    • You can use the Crystal SerpentCrystal Serpent(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) which functions similarly to Crystal Bullets and deals high damage.
    • The Sky FractureSky Fracture(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) is just as strong.
    • The Meteor StaffMeteor Staff(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) is powerful and easy to craft, provided you have some leftover Meteorite Bars from Pre-Hardmode.
    • The Golden ShowerGolden Shower deals little damage but inflicts the Ichor (debuff)Ichor debuff, allowing your other weapons to deal even more damage.
    • The Flower of FrostFlower of Frost is a decent weapon that inflicts Frostburn, which Skeletron Prime is not immune to.
    • If another Mechanical Boss has been defeated, the Unholy TridentUnholy Trident and the left-click attack of the Tome of Infinite WisdomTome of Infinite Wisdom(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) are some of the strongest weapons available.
    • The Rainbow RodRainbow Rod is available if you have defeated The Twins previously. (Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) The projectile is homing and piercing, meaning it is all but guaranteed to hit three sections of the boss with each cast while at the same time allowing you to focus on dodging.
    • Beating a Hardmode goblin army can provide access to the Shadowflame Hex DollShadowflame Hex Doll(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions), dropped by the Goblin Warlock. The scattering attack can hit multiple limbs and the head rapidly, dealing substantial damage in little time.
    For summoners (Desktop, Console, Old-gen console and Mobile versions)
    • The Sanguine StaffSanguine Staff(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) is an extremely good summon weapon, due to its perfect tracking and high damage.
    • The Blade StaffBlade Staff(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) is also an extremely viable option due to its fast tracking and insanely fast attack speed. As Skeletron Prime is vulnerable to Ichor, Ichor Flasks can greatly increase the effectiveness of the Blades, as together they ignore 40 defense (45 on Mobile). Whips can boost its damage further.
    • If you have already defeated The Twins, you can use the Optic StaffOptic Staff to summon miniature versions of them.
    • The Spider StaffSpider Staff is very useful for defeating the laser and cannon, as they don't move much and allow the spiders to cling for longer. If planning to use them as a main source of damage against Skeletron Prime, order the spiders to target its head and do not use whips.
    • The Queen Spider StaffQueen Spider Staff is a great choice if you tend to remain in one area the entire battle.
    • Whips, especially the Cool WhipCool Whip(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) with its armor-ignoring snowflake projectile, are effective at dealing damage to several body parts at once or empowering your minions.
    • The DurendalDurendal(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) is preferred if at least one mechanical boss has been defeated prior, as it provides Summon Tag damage.


    • Accessories that increase your mobility such as the Lightning BootsLightning Boots or Wings are a must.
    • An Emblem for your class can increase your damage output significantly.
    • The Frog LegFrog Leg ((Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) and its upgrades) makes all wings significantly faster, which helps when dodging its attacks.
    • The Charm of MythsCharm of Myths increases your base health regeneration and reduces the cooldown on potions, making it a good choice if you have trouble dodging its attacks.
    • The Cobalt ShieldCobalt Shield or its upgrades make you immune to knockback, preventing Skeletron Prime from knocking you around.
    • The Shield of CthulhuShield of Cthulhu(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) can greatly increase your mobility as well as provide some extra defense.
    • The Worm ScarfWorm Scarf(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) will reduce damage taken, making it a powerful choice.
    • The Brain of ConfusionBrain of Confusion(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) has a chance to dodge an attack, providing the player with a useful Cerebral MindtrickCerebral Mindtrick(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) buff.


    Mixed strategies

    • An effective way to avoid his spinning head attack is to use a Gelatinous PillionGelatinous Pillion(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) and jump on top of his head with the mount. You can even use this to your advantage to get extra hits as it keeps bouncing you up.
    1. 1.0 1.1 Information taken from the Desktop version Desktop source code, method AI() in Terraria.NPC.cs. The relevant part is the aiStyle == 32 block. There may be inaccuracies, as the current Desktop version Desktop version is