Hardmode, as its name suggests, is essentially a more difficult version of the initial world. A world permanently converts to Hardmode after the Wall of Flesh boss is defeated for the first time. Hardmode grants players new challenges and gives them much more content to explore.
Hardmode adds two new biomes to the world that will appear and function upon converting: The Hallow and the Underground Hallow. Along with The Corruption, The Crimson, and their Underground versions, they will spread continuously and at a steady pace in Hardmode. They may eventually overtake the entire world if not dealt with properly.
Each time an altar is destroyed, there is a 66% chance that a single random Stone Block in the Cavern layer will be converted to Ebonstone/Crimstone or Pearlstone, facilitating the spread of Underground Hallow or Corruption/Crimson. No block other than the selected one will be converted initially.
Hardmode also makes available new armor sets, weapons, accessories, and other various items that will aid the player and are essential to dealing with new challenges. Some of these become available for purchase from NPCs, drop from enemies, or are craftable using new Hardmode crafting materials and crafting stations.
Defeating the Wall of Flesh for the first time triggers "The ancient spirits of light and dark have been released." This refers to the creation of the Hardmode biomes that are released into the world. In a "burst" of Corruption/Crimson, two diagonal stripes of the new biomes generate, replacing large sections of the world in a "V" pattern that extends from the center of The Underworld to the surface. The biomes created are:
- The Hallow and Underground Hallow;
- The Underground Corruption in Corruption worlds;
- The Underground Crimson in Crimson worlds;
The direction of Hallow/Corruption/Crimson biomes is random, but its position is determined by World Seed.
- In worlds generated between 1.3.4 and 220.127.116.11, the direction of Hallow/Corruption/Crimson biomes is determined by the World Seed.
- In worlds generated before 1.3.4 (thus in all worlds on Old-gen console and ), however, it is completely random.
- In drunk worlds, the selection of Corruption/Crimson is determined by the dominant evil of that day.
Underground Corruption / Crimson
The Underground Corruption and Underground Crimson primarily replace Stone Blocks, Ice Blocks, Sand and Silt Blocks on their path with their respective evil versions immediately upon conversion. Underground Jungle biomes do not generally contain these specific blocks in significant amounts and are therefore not replaced.
The Underground Corruption and Underground Crimson have the same themes as the surface Corruption/Crimson, though these biomes contain several new themed enemies that can only be found underground, as well as a noticeable change of background music.
Hallow / Underground Hallow
The Hallow represents a brand-new theme, distinguished by its pastel-colored fairy tale imagery. Rainbows make up the surface's background image, its trees are puffy and multicolored, and enemies look similarly whimsical, such as the Unicorn and Pixie. However, this quickly proves to be misleading, as Hallow enemies are quick, resilient, and deadly, so players must proceed with caution. The Underground Hallow acts similarly to the surface Hallow in enemy function. There are, however, several unique enemies and a change in background music which sets it apart from the surface.
While Corruption and Crimson don't spread quickly in pre-Hardmode, they spread much faster and more aggressively in Hardmode. In addition to the evil biomes, the Hallow spreads actively as well.
Given enough time, these biomes might reach the player's home base, hence it is advisable to take steps to protect any areas a player wants to invest time in keeping around. See Guide:Maintaining world purity for further information.
Ores and bars
The Wall of Flesh always drops the Pwnhammer upon its defeat. This enables destroying Altars (as that requires a Pwnhammer or superior hammer) in order to begin progress into Hardmode. This content is transcluded from Altars.
- First altar: Cobalt Ore or Palladium Ore, chosen randomly.
- Second altar: Mythril Ore or Orichalcum Ore, chosen randomly.
- Third altar: Adamantite Ore or Titanium Ore, chosen randomly.
Players will be able to find these new ores scattered across the Underground layer to near-Underworld levels, with them replacing most blocks created during world generation. They will spawn at random locations in varying quantity, in places explored and unexplored alike.
- Destroying more altars will never spawn Hardmode ore types beyond the three that were randomly assigned to the world during the initial round of destroyed altars. A world with Palladium Ore deposits will never spawn Cobalt Ore deposits, or vice versa (with the exception of drunk worlds).
- Which ores are generated is not determined until the first, second or third altar is smashed. For example, it is not determined if the world has Cobalt or Palladium until the first altar has been smashed. The same goes for Mythril/Orichalcum with the second altar, and Adamantite/Titanium for the third.
- Subsequent altars destroyed will begin the cycle again, though the fourth to sixth altars will spawn half as much ore as the first ones, the seventh to ninth will spawn only one third of the ore of the first ones, and so forth. So, the nth cycle will only generate one-nth as much ore as the first one. For example, destroying the 19th altar would yield one-seventh of Cobalt/Palladium Ore compared to the first altar. Destroying 12 altars will roughly double the ore provided by the first three; tripling that original allotment would require destroying 33 altars. Notice that although each subsequent destroyed altar will yield less ore, the total amount is unbounded (except by the number of altars in a world).
- No matter how many altars are destroyed, ore rarity remains set with Cobalt/Palladium being the most common, followed by Mythril/Orichalcum, then Adamantite/Titanium as the rarest.
All six Hardmode ores and their bars can also be obtained via opening crates. With an ample supply, this can render destroying altars obsolete entirely.
Hardmode ores and bars can also be obtained from Hardmode crates, which can be fished up during Hardmode. Note that Pre-Hardmode crates that are opened during Hardmode will not drop Hardmode materials.
Hallowed Bars are bars solely dropped by the three mechanical bosses. They are one of three types of bars not crafted by ore, alongside Spectre and Shroomite bars, and Hallowed Bars are the only bars without a crafting recipe.
Chlorophyte Ore starts spawning in the Underground Jungle upon entering Hardmode. It can be mined with either the Drax, Pickaxe Axe, or stronger. To craft the Drax or Pickaxe Axe, the player needs Hallowed Bars and at least one soul from each of the three mechanical bosses. On the Nintendo version, the Drax can be found in Shadow Chests.
Unlike other ores, Chlorophyte Ore is special in that it can convert adjacent Mud Blocks into Chlorophyte Ore, and chunks can become rather large. Chlorophyte Ore can be "replanted" and artificially seeded in Mud Blocks at any depth, allowing the player to farm Chlorophyte Ore.
After Plantera's defeat, Chlorophyte Bars can be crafted into Shroomite Bars with an Autohammer, which can be bought from the Truffle, or into Spectre Bars with an Adamantite/Titanium Forge, requiring Ectoplasm from the Dungeon.
Luminite is dropped by Moon Lord. The Luminite Bars made out of it (at the Ancient Manipulator) can be crafted into endgame items, most of them also requiring Lunar Fragments dropped by the Celestial Pillars.
Mining and crafting
- Mining Cobalt Ore or Palladium Ore requires at least the Molten Pickaxe or the Reaver Shark.
- Mining Mythril Ore or Orichalcum Ore requires at least the Cobalt Drill, Cobalt Pickaxe, Palladium Drill, or the Palladium Pickaxe. Crafting many higher-tier Hardmode items will require a Mythril Anvil or Orichalcum Anvil, which is crafted from 10 Mythril or 12 Orichalcum Bars.
- Mining Adamantite Ore or Titanium Ore requires at least the Mythril Drill, Mythril Pickaxe, Orichalcum Drill, or Orichalcum Pickaxe. On the Nintendo version, Palladium Pickaxes and Drills will suffice (Cobalt tools will not work). Crafting Adamantite Bars or Titanium Bars will require an Adamantite Forge or a Titanium Forge, which is crafted with a Hellforge and 30 Adamantite/Titanium Ore.
- Mining Chlorophyte requires at least the Drax or the Pickaxe Axe.
All pre-Hardmode bosses can be summoned in Hardmode.
- This boss is entirely optional, but acts as a gap between the mechanical bosses and the start of Hardmode.
- Queen Slime acts very similar to King Slime throughout her first phase, but shoots projectiles and summons different slimes accordingly.
- In her second phase, the boss gains wings and begins to fly above the player, shooting buoyant projectiles that bounce off of tiles.
The three mechanical bosses are essentially much stronger versions of their respective pre-Hardmode boss.
- The Twins are the Hardmode version of the Eye of Cthulhu, and can be manually summoned by using the Mechanical Eye at night. The boss itself consists of two eyes, each performing different attacks. Unlike the other mechanical bosses, The Twins have a second stage, where they become more mechanical and have new attack patterns.
- The Destroyer is the Hardmode version of the Eater of Worlds, and can be manually summoned by using the Mechanical Worm at night. Despite being a direct upgrade of the Eater of Worlds, a Corruption-themed boss, it can be summoned in any world, even those with Crimson (as there is no mechanical upgrade to the Brain of Cthulhu). Also, unlike the Eater of Worlds, the Destroyer will not split into multiple segments, and instead the whole body shares one health bar. It is also considered the easiest of the three mechanical bosses.
- Skeletron Prime is the Hardmode version of Skeletron, and can be manually summoned by using the Mechanical Skull at night. Being very similar to Skeletron, its defining features are its four limbs, each being topped with a different weapon: a saw, a vice, a laser, and a cannon.
Once a world enters Hardmode and at least one Altar is destroyed, there is a 10% chance every night that one of these mechanical bosses will spawn, as long as they have not been killed in that world before.
After all three mechanical bosses are defeated, a message will appear saying: "The jungle grows restless..." This indicates that Plantera is now available for summoning:
- Plantera is a giant plant-like boss that is summoned by destroying a Plantera's Bulb found within the Underground Jungle. It traverses the terrain using three claws that grab and hold to surfaces. Plantera's first phase consists of it simply traversing terrain and firing little seeds and thorn balls. After it reaches a certain point, it will enter phase two, unleashing many tentacle minions around its body and proceed to use a more intense attack pattern which is much quicker.
Plantera's defeat will be accompanied by the status message "Screams are echoing from the dungeon..." The world now undergoes a minor transformation, allowing access to various new events:
- Newer and more difficult enemies begin spawning within the Dungeon.
- The spread of the Hallow, Corruption, and Crimson is slowed to half (50%) of its previous speed.
- The Cyborg NPC becomes available.
- The Truffle NPC begins selling the Autohammer, which is necessary to craft Shroomite Bars.
- The Jungle Temple can now be opened using the Temple Key, and the Golem boss inside can be fought.
- The Pumpkin Moon and Frost Moon events can now be initiated via the Pumpkin Moon Medallion and Naughty Present, respectively. Crafting these requires Ectoplasm that the new Dungeon Spirits drop.
- Biome Chests within the Dungeon can now be opened using their respective Biome Keys.
Empress of Light
- As it is an optional fight, defeating the boss does not warrant any changes in the world or progress it any further. In order to summon her, you must journey to the Hallowed biome at night time, and proceed to kill a Prismatic Lacewing. While it is not required to fight the Empress of Light at night time, if she is fought during the day, all of her attacks will kill the player in one hit.
- The fight is considered one of the hardest and flashiest, as it is a “bullet hell” inspired boss. The fight is very similar to that of Duke Fishron's, in the sense that they are both challenging optional bosses who warrant worthy loot to their names.
- Golem is a boss that can initially be fought in the last chamber of the Jungle Temple, where the Lihzahrd Altar rests. Players must use Lihzahrd Power Cells at the altar to summon it. In its first form, Golem has three target areas: its head and its two fists. After its head is defeated, the head flies off and the body becomes the target while the invincible flying head attempts to defend the body.
While Duke Fishron can be fought as soon as Hardmode is initiated, he is incomparably more powerful and will generally require post-Golem gear.
- The boss is a pig-fish-dragon hybrid that is summoned by fishing in the Ocean with a Truffle Worm in the player's inventory. He attacks mainly by lunging at the player in short bursts, occasionally firing Detonating Bubbles, and summoning Sharknadoes that fire Sharkrons. Once he enters his second stage, he attacks with Detonating Bubbles that spew from his body and Cthulunadoes that shoot Sharkrons.
- Defeating Duke Fishron does not unlock any new events or other aspects required for game progression, but will rather provide powerful loot.
Moon Lord is considered the final boss of the Desktop version, Console version, Mobile version, Nintendo Switch version, and tModLoader version of Terraria. He spawns after a short delay after completing the Lunar Events, i.e. destroying all four Celestial Pillars. He can also be manually summoned by using a Celestial Sigil.
Most of the new enemies are significantly more difficult to defeat, dealing more damage and having higher health and defense than pre-Hardmode enemies. Most pre-Hardmode weapons will prove ineffective, and until a player can obtain new Hardmode gear, they may be forced to avoid enemy swarms and/or play more strategically. Slow-hitting powerful weapons with high knockback are generally preferable over fast weapons with low base damage because many Hardmode enemies have high defense.
In Expert Mode, most pre-Hardmode enemies receive significant stat buffs when entering Hardmode (e.g. a Blue Slime's health will increase from 50 to 274). Some Hardmode enemies can kill a player in 5–6 hits. Similarly, in Master Mode enemies will also gain a drastic buff (Eg. Blue slimes will have 411 health).
However, not all biomes are immediately buffed with more powerful enemies. The Underworld does not receive any stronger enemies until after a mechanical boss is defeated, and the Dungeon does not receive additional enemies until after Plantera is defeated. Therefore, these are viable areas to look for the Wizard (and the Goblin Tinkerer and Tavernkeep if you have not unlocked them yet) because of their lack of new enemies to have to deal with early on.
Several new NPCs become available in Hardmode:
- The Wizard can be found in nearly any open area underground, initially bound, and speaking to him frees him (similar to the Mechanic and the Goblin Tinkerer). He will then respawn as long as a vacant house is available. The Wizard sells magic-related items.
- Santa Claus appears during Christmas, after the defeat of the Frost Legion, so long as a vacant house is available. He sells many Christmas-themed decorations and vanities.
- The Steampunker appears after defeating one mechanical boss, and if a vacant House is available. She sells Teleporters and other steampunk-themed items, including the Clentaminator.
- The Truffle appears once the player makes a house in a surface Glowing Mushroom biome. He sells useful mushroom-themed items and, after defeating Plantera, the Autohammer.
- The Cyborg appears once the player has defeated Plantera, so long as a vacant house is available. He sells rockets and other mechanical items.
- The Pirate appears once the player has defeated a Pirate Invasion, and sells a vanity set as well as other pirate-themed items.
- The Tax Collector becomes available by throwing Purification Powder on a Tortured Soul in The Underworld. He gathers money over time and grants it to the player if they request it
- The Princess appears after every single NPC is in a world therefore being a hardmode NPC. She sells princess related items and the prince vanity set.
There are several new events in Hardmode, each containing unique and powerful monsters that will spawn in vast numbers and drop a variety of exclusive items.
- The Frost Legion never invades on its own, but is triggered only by the Snow Globe, which can be acquired from Presents.
- The Pirate Invasion is triggered by the Pirate Map, or can appear randomly at the start of the day if at least one Demon Altar has been smashed.
- The Solar Eclipse behaves like the Blood Moon, only it happens during the day, and can only appear after any mechanical boss is defeated.
- The Pumpkin Moon can only be started at night by using a Pumpkin Moon Medallion. Unlike most other events, it takes place in 15 different waves, with each wave requiring a progressively higher score to progress to the next. More and harder enemies will spawn at higher waves, and there can be several boss-level enemies attacking at once. The event ends at the end of the night.
- The Frost Moon is similar to the Pumpkin Moon, though being a step up on the difficulty. It is started by using the Naughty Present at night and features 20 waves.
- Martian Madness can be triggered after defeating Golem by activating a Martian Probe, found only on the outer edges of the world.
- The Old One's Army is a unique tower-defense style event. It is triggered by placing an Eternia Crystal in an Eternia Crystal Stand, both of which can be purchased from the Tavernkeep. The event takes place in waves that are different depending on where one is at in the game. Defeating Golem allows one to fight the final boss of the event, Betsy.
In Hardmode worlds, Goblin Armies do still invade, and Meteorites still land, each at their regular rates. Blood Moons, Rain, and Slime Rain also occur just as frequently as they did pre-Hardmode, though occasionally feature Hardmode-exclusive content.
Several new tools, weapons, accessories, armor, and crafting materials become available in Hardmode, as enemy drops, sold from NPCs, or via crafting. Drills, chainsaws, and repeaters are variations of pickaxes, axes, and bows, respectively, which can be obtained once in Hardmode.
Many of the Hardmode armor sets have three different options for the helmet slot, each of which benefits players that use either magic weapons, melee weapons, or ranged weapons. The Chlorophyte-derived armors are exceptions: Shroomite armor benefits ranged weapons in all cases (and requires further specification on either arrows, bullets, or rockets), Turtle and Beetle armor benefit melee weapons, and Spectre armor benefits magic.
- Hardmode should not be confused with the Hardcore mode, which is for the character, not the world.
- Demonite Ore and Crimtane Ore do not spread the Corruption and Crimson during Hardmode.
- Hardmode enemies will begin spawning as soon as the Wall of Flesh is defeated. The stripes of Corruption/Crimson and Hallow, however, need to be generated by the game, and the message "The ancient spirits of light and dark have been released." will appear when they are fully generated.
- The generation time depends on world size. If the player exits the world before the message appears, the loading description "Setting hard mode" [sic] will appear and the player has to wait for the game to generate the Hardmode biomes before returning to the main menu.
- It is not possible to revert a Hardmode world into pre-Hardmode unless a third-party map viewer (map editor) is used. Beyond toggling the Hardmode state this approach would still involve tedious work if the player wishes to completely restore, either by gameplay or map viewer tools, the world as it was before Hardmode. For re-experiencing pre-Hardmode it is advised to either backup the world before entering Hardmode or simply make a new world.
- During Hardmode, Hellstone can be destroyed with Dynamite and Bombs.
- If too much of the world is dug out, the game will get stuck 80% of the way through setting hardmode, thus making that world impossible to complete as it never enters hardmode. Verify
- When beginning Hardmode, a player can easily become overwhelmed by the difficult new enemies, which have health and damage many times greater than pre-Hardmode enemies. It is advisable to start by identifying the player's most damaging weapons and investing money in reforging them to acquire high damage bonuses, as well as reforging their accessories to add high defense bonuses. Low-tier Hardmode weapons begin at around 35 damage, so pre-Hardmode weapons of use will be the Sunfury and Night's Edge as melee options, the Molten Fury and Flamarang to deal damage at range, and the Flower of Fire and Demon Scythe as magical. Reforging these and making use of other damage boosts from accessories or armor bonuses can easily push these weapons into damage ranges that will make Hardmode fights relatively balanced.
- Because Hardmode relies more upon drops than treasure chests (which have mostly been looted by then), players will need to kill large numbers of the tougher enemies for essential crafting materials. Consider building dedicated farming areas.
- Mechanical bosses and invasions can take the player off guard. It is advisable to leave and rejoin if the player is ill-prepared.
- The start of hardmode offers several viable and even top-tier weapons, such as the Shadowflame Knife and Spider Staff.
- Do not throw away Iron Ore/Bars, Lead Ore/Bars, Bones, Lenses, Vertebrae, and Rotten Chunks, as these are used for crafting boss-summoning items in Hardmode. If the player needs to collect more, it may be easier to create a new pre-Hardmode world and collect them there, along with any other pre-Hardmode materials the player finds themselves needing.
- Wait to open crates until Hardmode to be able to immediately get some Hardmode ores and bars without even smashing any altars or mining. The Enchanted Sundial can also be salvaged from crates, an item that can prove useful in certain situations. Souls of Night and Cursed Flames/Ichor can be looted from crates without even visiting the Corruption/Crimson. With a sufficient stockpile of crates, the player may not need to break any altars, allowing them to face the mechanical bosses on their schedule with proper Hardmode equipment. Selling spare accessories and weapons from the crates will also provide considerable money. As of 1.4, crates obtained prior to Hardmode still drop pre-Hardmode ores and gear, but a player can obtain new Hardmode-exclusive crates that drop their respective ores, bars, and gear by fishing in an area of relative safety.
- The Eater of Worlds and Wall of Flesh are a reliable source of money (dropping about 9–11 and 8, respectively) during the beginning stages of Hardmode. However, summoning them in Hardmode can be more difficult due to the new enemy spawns. It might be easier to fight them in pre-Hardmode worlds.
- Once the player becomes reasonably able to traverse the Underground Hallow, it is possible to collect Crystal Shards, which are common and sell for 16 each, netting 15984 for a full stack of 999. Since they grow naturally on any Pearlstone surface facing air, the player can mine away stripes of pearlstone in areas they visit often to farm crystals more readily.
- Farming The Destroyer once the player can beat it is another way to make a considerable amount of money since they can farm it without too much additional effort. Because it is relatively easy to kill quickly and can easily be defeated using melee weapons (avoiding spending any money on ammunition), the Hallowed Bars it drops can be crafted into Light Discs, together with the Souls of Might it also drops, and with Souls of Light which can be obtained in the Underground Hallow. Each Light Disc sells for 6. As it drops 15–30 Hallowed Bars and 20–40 Souls of Might per kill, that is typically 3–7 Light Discs per run (if the player has enough Souls of Light, that is). The Souls of Might it drops may also be sold for additional money, 80 each, which is another 16–32 per run if they do not spend the souls on Light Discs, in addition to the 12 the boss drops. In total, they net 42–82 per fight, and due to the ease of crafting the Mechanical Worm and the relative quickness with which they can dispatch the boss, they can fight it multiple times in a single in-game night.
- An AFK farm is another option that allows players to easily obtain coins and rare items from enemies without much effort. It is most useful in the Cavern layer with an artificial biome container to get a variety of monsters and loot.
- In not the bees, the Hive Blocks are considered as Stone Blocks and Crispy Honey Blocks are considered as Hardened Sand for the initial Hardmode conversion.
- This behavior is in fact not exclusive to this secret world seed and affects any world having more than 200,000 Hive Blocks.
- If the Hallow removes enough Hive Blocks to go under 200,000 , the world evil won't be able to convert these blocks.
- Desktop 1.3.2: You can now choose between the Corruption and Crimson when creating a new world after entering Hardmode at least once.
- Desktop 18.104.22.168:
- Desktop 1.2.1:
- Desktop 1.2:
- Jungle, Dungeon, Crimson and Snow biomes are all affected by Hardmode now.
- Cobalt/Palladium Drill cannot mine Adamantite and Titanium.
- There are 2 new Hardmode events: Solar Eclipse and Pirate Invasion.
- A massive amount of Hardmode items/monsters added, including the Cyborg, Pirate, Steampunker, and Truffle NPCs, and the bosses Plantera and Golem.
- Early Hardmode enemies now do less damage and have less health/defense.
- Hardmode bosses have a chance to spawn on their own to help players progress through the game.
- Current Hardmode bosses now do slightly less damage and have had their health decreased.
- Desktop 1.1: Introduced with the Wall of Flesh, and the Hardmode Mechanical bosses: The Twins, The Destroyer, and Skeletron Prime; also the Wizard NPC.
- Switch 1.0.711.6: Introduced with Desktop 22.214.171.124 changes.
- Console-Release: Introduced.
- Mobile 1.1.5536: Now available.
- Mobile 1.1.8: Introduced, but not available.
- 3DS-Release: Introduced.