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Desktop/Console/Mobile/Legacy tModLoader-Only Content: This information applies only to the Desktop, Console, Mobile, and Legacy tModLoader versions of Terraria.
This article is about the event. For the items, see Sandstorm in a Balloon and Sandstorm in a Bottle.
The flying sand effect of a sandstorm

A Sandstorm is an event specific to the Desert, they will not occur anywhere else. A Sandstorm occurs in all Deserts at the same time. While this event is active, the Mighty Wind debuff will be continuously inflicted upon the player. This can be counteracted by standing in front of a background wall.

During a Sandstorm, many particles of sand can be seen flying across the screen, the colour of these particles will depend on whether the Desert is regular, Corrupt, Crimson, or Hallow. Vision is also limited.

The player squints their eyes while they are in a Sandstorm.

  • While the effects are amplified with Color and White lighting, which may be resource-intensive on some computers, using the Retro or Trippy setting will remove much of the effects.

Certain enemies often found in the Underground Desert will spawn on the surface, including several new and dangerous enemies.


It can not be initiated manually, so in order for a Sandstorm to occur, the following criteria must be met:

  • Wind speeds must be above 30 mph.
  • On it has a 1/84600 chance of occurring per tick[1].
    • 1 tick is 1/60th of a second, so there are 60 ticks per second, which is 3600 ticks per minute. 84600/3600 = 23.5 minutes, so in theory, once the 30 mph conditions are met, there is a good chance for a sandstorm to occur within 1 in-game day, providing these conditions stay constant. This means that the wind speed in game must be at 30 mph for a 23.5 minute period on average in order for a Sandstorm to spawn.
  • On Legacy tModLoader version Legacy tModLoader version, it has a 1/51840 chance of occurring per game tick.

The best chance for a Sandstorm to occur is when it's raining (18.2% chance per day - 24 minute duration), during nighttime (7:30 PM - 4:30 AM in game, 9 minute duration) and when wind speeds are above 30 mph.



  • On the Legacy tModLoader version Legacy tModLoader version, the Sandstorm is a nearly constant event with very few short gaps in its occurrences. There is no known way to prevent this.
  • Sandstorms come and go without any notification, so to experience one from start to finish, the Desert will have to be checked frequently.
  • A Sandstorm's length in ticks is determined by the following formula, with x being a random decimal between 0.0 and 1.0 (inclusive).
    • length = 3600 * (8 + 16x)
      • This means that a Sandstorm can last from 28800 to 86400 ticks, or 8 to 24 minutes real-time.
  • Sandstorms are one of the few events that do not restrict other enemy spawns.


  • Since the Sandstorm only occurs on the surface layer of the desert, one can simply fly over it.
  • The Basilisk mount or similar high speed mounts are resistant to the Mighty Wind debuff when the player is in motion. This can ease the player’s task of crossing the desert during this event. However, the Mighty Wind will still push the player around when standing still.
  • One way to dodge attacks from enemies like the Angry Tumbler is to have movement accessories, for example Dunerider Boots or Lightning Boots.
  • Placing walls in the middle tile of where the player walks will stop the Mighty Wind debuff, making movement normal.
  • Placing blocks over the entrances to the Underground Desert will help the player avoid falling and getting stuck, because the Mighty Wind pushes the player back.
  • The Mighty Wind Debuff pushes the player less, so players will not have to be worried about getting stuck in small holes.


  • The Sandstorm is similar to the Blizzard event in that it reduces visibility and spawns new enemies, however unlike the Blizzard (and some real life sandstorms), it is not tied to rain in any way. It is also similar in that it happens simultaneously with another event - in this case, the Windy Day.
  • The Weather Radio indicates the direction the sand is blowing, and thus the direction of the Mighty Wind debuff.
    • When the Weather Radio indicates that the wind is moving at 0 mph, the sandstorm pushes the player west.


  • Desktop 1.4.1: Increased Sandstorm chances by 2× in Hardmode, and by 1.33× pre-Hardmode.
  • Desktop
    • Sandstorms only occur when wind speed is above 30 mph.
    • Sandstorms are now significantly less common in pre-Hardmode.


  1. A tick is a time unit countable by the software. Most of Terraria's updating logic happens every tick. A tick has the length of 1/60th of a second, hence there are 60 ticks in a second and 3600 ticks in a minute.