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Some lava in a cave.
The icon displayed when immune to lava.

Lava is a glowing red/orange liquid found deep in the Cavern layer and in The Underworld, appearing instead of water at depths below approximately 950 feet (475 tiles) in a small world, 1,450 feet (725 tiles) in a medium world, or 1,950 feet (975 tiles) in a large world (on average).[1] Tiny pools can frequently be found on the outskirts of the Underground Desert(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) as well, even as high as 200 feet below the surface.

Contact with lava deals damage and inflicts the On Fire! debuff. Players take 80 damage and the debuff lasts for 7 / 14 / 17.5 seconds[2], whereas enemies, NPCs, and critters take 50 damage and the debuff lasts for 7 seconds.[3] Lava also slows movement the way water does. The Obsidian Skin Potion makes players immune to lava damage, and the Lava Charm and its derivatives will allow players to be safely submerged in lava for 7 seconds.

Lava flows downwards and horizontally, settling and taking the shape of any block formations below and beside it, the way water does; however, lava is more viscous than water, flowing more slowly. It also emits a medium amount of flickering light. Lava can be moved by the player via a bucket or pump. After flowing 50 tiles in a direction, lava will begin to evaporate, causing the source to be lost. Lava will destroy most furniture and most platforms.

Most dropped items of Rarity level: 0 rarity (which includes all coins) will be destroyed when submerged in lava past their vertical midpoint. Blocks cannot be placed directly within lava, but falling blocks like silt and sand can fall into it, resulting in placement at its bottom.

Hellstone produces half a block's volume of lava when mined in the Underworld (a full block's volume in Expert Mode(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions)). Lava Slimes create a small amount of lava when slain in Expert Mode.

Unlike with water, lava's color does not depend on the biome the player is in.


An example of lava (together with water and honey) placed to be used as a crafting station. Notice the Crystal Ball above them.

Like water and honey, lava can be used as a minor crafting station. It works just like those two; in order to use it the player only has to stand nearby. Creation of items from a body of lava does not lower the lava level at all.

Used to craft

Lava BombLava Bomb(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions)
  • Dry BombDry Bomb(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions)
Lava RocketLava Rocket(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions)
Crystal BallCrystal Ball and LavaLava
Lavafall BlockLavafall Block(Desktop, Console, Old-gen console and Mobile versions)
Magic Lava DropperMagic Lava Dropper(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions)

Lava can also be used to make the following items, though not as a crafting station:

Item When combined with
ObsidianObsidian WaterWater
Crispy Honey BlockCrispy Honey Block HoneyHoney
Aetherium BlockAetherium Block(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) ShimmerShimmer(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions)


Fishing in lava requires the use of the Hotline Fishing Hook, Lavaproof Fishing Hook(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) or its upgrade, or (Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) bait found in the Underworld. It is not possible to get other catches normally obtained in water.

Catches from Lava
Item Type Sell Rarity Notes
Flarefin Koi Flarefin KoiInternal Item ID: 2312 Fish 50 SC Rarity level: 2 Used for crafting Inferno Potions.
Obsidifish ObsidifishInternal Item ID: 2315 Fish 15 SC Rarity level: 2 Used for crafting Inferno Potions and Potions of Return(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions).
Obsidian Swordfish Obsidian SwordfishInternal Item ID: 2331 Spear 1 GC Rarity level: 7 Hardmode-only.
Bottomless Lava Bucket Bottomless Lava Bucket(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions)Internal Item ID: 4820 Tool 10 GC Rarity level: 7 Allows placing infinite amounts of lava.
Lava Absorbant Sponge Lava Absorbant Sponge(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions)Internal Item ID: 4872 Tool 10 GC Rarity level: 7 Allows removing infinite amounts of lava.
Demon Conch Demon Conch(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions)Internal Item ID: 4819 Tool 1 GC Rarity level: 4 Teleports the player to the center of the Underworld.
Obsidian Crate Obsidian Crate(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions)Internal Item ID: 4877 Crate 1 GC Rarity level: 2 Pre-Hardmode only.
Hellstone Crate Hellstone Crate(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions)Internal Item ID: 4878 Crate 1 GC Rarity level: 2 Hardmode only.


By default, players are dealt 80 damage and set on fire by lava.
  • Contact with Lava dislodges many placed furniture items and most kinds of Platforms, except Obsidian, Stone(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions), and Ash Wood(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) Platforms.
  • The exact depth at which lava will begin replacing all water in a world is different for every world and can vary by up to several hundred feet/tiles between worlds; the approximate depths given above are only averages.[1]
  • Flying enemies rarely enter lava, but walking enemies will walk into it.
  • Rain does not turn lava into Obsidian.
  • The presence of lava prevents grass from spreading to dirt within an approximate two-tile radius.
  • Occasional lava "drips" from the ceiling are a special effect, which cause no damage. The player can create them with a Magic Lava Dropper(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions).
  • Lava flowing from a "lavafall" (flowing over a half-block like a waterfall) is similarly harmless.
  • Only five Rarity level: 0 rarity items are not destroyed by lava:
  • Worms and bosses (except the King Slime) will not take any damage from contact with lava.
  • The Beach Ball bounces off of lava.


  • There are many ways to reduce or eliminate the damage from lava:
    • If you happen to dodge lava, the lava will not hurt you until the invincibility frames end. However, this will still inflict the "On Fire!" Debuff.
    • Under effect of Obsidian Skin Potion you can stay in Lava as long as you have the buff. Unlike Water or Honey, players cannot drown in lava.
    • Defense from armor and other sources reduces lava damage like any other sort.
    • The Obsidian Rose reduces Lava's base damage from 80 to (Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) 35 / (Old-gen console and 3DS versions) 50. Combined with Hardmode heavy armor and other defense items, this can reduce lava to a minor annoyance, or even a potential source of invincibility frames to avoid damage from enemies and bosses.
    • Various accessories can provide temporary immunity to lava for up to 7 seconds without getting hurt. The immunity acts like breathing but with its own separate bar, but unlike breathing it takes much longer to refill the bar after exiting lava. If multiple different types of these accessories are equipped simultaneously, their effects stack to increase lava immunity by 7 seconds each to a maximum total of 56 (Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) / 14 (Old-gen console and 3DS versions) seconds:
      • Lava Charm
      • Molten Charm(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) - Also provides immunity to fire blocks.
      • Magma Skull(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) - Identical to the Molten Charm.
      • Molten Skull Rose(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) - Identical to the Magma Skull, but also halves damage taken from lava.
      • Demonic Hellcart(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions)
      • Lava Waders - Also provide immunity to fire blocks, allow players to walk on top of liquids, and reduce the base damage of lava. Note: When walking on lava, the surface must be completely settled. Changing the level of the lava (e.g., by digging below it) will cause the player to fall in, and the lava will take some time to settle again.
      • Hellfire Treads(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) - Same as Lava Waders, above.
      • Terraspark Boots(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) - Same as Lava Waders, above, except also provides the multiple benefits of Frostspark Boots, including increased movement speed, flight, faster running, and extra mobility on ice.
    • The Lava Shark Mount provides unlimited immunity to lava (while riding it) and allows for fast movement in all liquids.
    • Flipper Potion can be used to swim and negate movement penalties in all liquids, including lava.
    • Some Accessories intended for Water use will also aid Lava operations, which normally comes into play when an Obsidian Skin Potion is used (as no Accessory prevents Lava damage on its own permanently).
  • Silt and Sand Blocks can be stacked until reaching the lava's surface to form a safe bridge over it. They will revert back to lava if mined away, unless exiting the world and re-entering it.
  • A shallow lava pit underneath a structure will kill all walking enemies as they attempt to jump towards the player in the structure, and if shallow enough, will gather their drops in one location for easy collection later. One can also use this technique to upgrade regular pits. Standing underneath the pit will lure most enemies toward the player, with even some flying enemies diving into the lava.

Lava Depth

Lava will destroy any item of White rarity (other than the aforementioned exceptions) including Coins, if it is deep enough for the item to sink past its midpoint. As a result, items with larger hitboxes can survive deeper lava. This allows making pits with lava just deep enough to burn Copper Coins, but (almost) nothing else:

  • If too many items (over 400) accumulate in the world, the oldest ones will despawn.
  • Copper Coins are among the least valuable objects in the game, but each stack of them still counts as an item. An event or enemy farm can produce huge numbers of Copper Coins, so it is worth discarding them, against the risk of despawning more valuable items. Fortunately they are also among the smallest items in the game (with its hitbox being 10 pixels high).
    • A notable exception: The far more valuable Lihzahrd Power Cell also has a height of 10 pixels, and will be destroyed with the Copper Coins.
    • Other notable heights: Silver Coins and Gel share a 12-pixel height, while block items are 12 pixels tall.
  • To check if a lava moat has the exact depth required, a player can throw in one Copper Coin, then one Silver Coin. The Copper Coin should burn, but the slightly taller Silver Coin should not.
  • In practice, this lava depth can be achieved with 1 Bucket of lava for each 6 to 8 tiles of pit length.
    • Thus a moat that is 6-8 blocks wide, should have one bucket thrown in, while a moat of 12–16 should have 2.
    • This implies avoiding lengths where this range cannot be achieved: 1–5, 9–11, 17. A moat 18 or more tiles long can always be filled to proper depth.
    • When filling a very large moat, it is best to drop individual lava buckets over the width of the moat, and not throw it on the same spot, due to unreliable liquid physics.


  • In the real world, lava is molten rock, but the term is usually applied only when it is expelled above ground as the result of a volcanic eruption. Lava, as found underground in Terraria, would typically be termed magma instead.


  • Desktop 1.3.4: Lava is dynamic and has a setting to be more or less dynamic.
  • Desktop 1.2.3:
    • Lava makes a bubbling noise when nearby.
    • Now functions as a crafting station.
    • Touching lava while in water will now properly put the fire buff out when you leave lava.
  • Desktop 1.1: Now exists as a secondary "layer" behind the placed blocks. Therefore can no longer be removed by dropping sand-like block in it. "Blocked" liquids now disappear only after restart of world.
  • Desktop 1.0.6:
    • The lava's emitted light was reduced.
    • Now spawned when mining Hellstone.
    • Shallow lava can again hurt players and monsters.
    • Blocks can no longer be placed in lava.
    • Now causes the On Fire! debuff.
  • Desktop 1.0.5:
    • Lava will remove grass (including Jungle grass, Mushroom grass, and Corruption) from Dirt and Mud blocks.
    • No longer destroys items with a blue rarity or higher.
    • Very shallow lava will not hurt players or monsters anymore.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Information taken from the Desktop version Desktop source code, method ApplyPass() in Terraria.GameContent.Biomes.TerrainPass.cs. Approximate values were obtained by considering the expected values of the various random ranges for layer depths, in particular assuming that the underground and cavern layers begin at 26% and 35% of the world heights (in tiles), respectively; the final values were rounded to the nearest multiple of 25 tiles. There may be inaccuracies, as the current Desktop version Desktop version is
  2. Information taken from the Desktop version Desktop source code, method Update() in Terraria.Player.cs.
  3. Information taken from the Desktop version Desktop source code, method Collision_LavaCollision() in Terraria.NPC.cs.