Underground Desert

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Desktop/Console/Mobile-Only Content: This information applies only to the Desktop, Console, and Mobile versions of Terraria.
A map view of an oval Underground Desert generated in with a Pyramid and an Oasis.

The Underground Desert is a biome located directly underneath the main Desert of the world. The Desert above may generate different features which inform that the Underground Desert is underneath (see Surface Desert below for details). The Desert/Underground Desert pair will always generate on the same side of the world the Jungle is on.

The structure of the Underground Desert resembles that of a real-world ant hive, featuring numerous small caves mainly composed of Sandstone Blocks and Hardened Sand Blocks, which are connected in varying degrees. It is always either circular or oval in shape and is very large, rivaling even the Dungeon in size. Many types of Antlion enemies inhabit the Underground Desert, and it is also riddled with traps, namely Antlion Eggs, Rolling Cacti, and sand traps, making it a challenge to navigate.

The Underground Desert becomes significantly more challenging in Hardmode. Along with harder enemies, it is extremely vulnerable to conversion by Corruption, Crimson, or Hallow due to Sand, Hardened Sand, and Sandstone all being susceptible to conversion. Conversion further strengthens the Underground Desert's enemies, and in Corruption and Crimson Underground Deserts causes the spawn of Desert Spirits.

Removing the background walls will remove the biome in a similar fashion to Spider Nests.


During Hardmode:
  • BasiliskBasilisk(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions)
  • Sand PoacherSand Poacher(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions)
  • LamiaLamiaLamia(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions)
  • Dune SplicerDune Splicer(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions)
  • GhoulGhoul(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions)
  • Vile GhoulVile Ghoul(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions)(Corrupt)
  • Tainted GhoulTainted Ghoul(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions)(Crimson)
  • Dreamer GhoulDreamer Ghoul(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions)(Hallowed)
  • Desert SpiritDesert Spirit(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions)(Corrupt, Crimson)
Unique Drops
From all Ghouls:
From Basilisks:
From Lamias:
  • Moon MaskMoon Mask(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions)
  • Sun MaskSun Mask(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions)
  • Lamia setLamia set(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions)
  • Fried EggFried Egg(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions)
From any enemy in Hardmode:
  • Desert KeyDesert Key(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions)(1/2500 chance)
From the terrain:
A Corrupted Underground Desert
A partially Hallowed Underground Desert

Surface Desert

A world view of an Underground Desert generated in with a Pyramid. Note the large Pit-type entrance.

The Desert above the Underground Desert may generate with various surface features, including one or more Oasis mini-biomes, or one of several types of the entrance. There is a 1/3 (33.33%) chance that a world's main Desert will contain one of the various types of the entrance. These can assist in locating and accessing the Underground Desert from the surface. The presence of an Oasis does not indicate where the Underground Desert is, as the Oasis mini biomes can generate atop any of the world's Deserts, regardless of which of them contains the Underground Desert biome.

It is possible for one or more Pyramids to generate in the main Desert. When this happens, the Pyramid will often extend somewhat into the Underground Desert, and thus its tunnel can provide another easy means of entry. As with the Oasis mini-biome, Pyramids can generate in any of the world's Deserts, regardless of where the Underground Desert is located, and so their presence does not guarantee that the Underground Desert is below.

See Desert for more information about the surface entrances to the Underground Desert.


  • It is possible to create an artificial Underground Desert by placing a sufficient amount of Sandstone and Hardened Sand Blocks, and Sandstone and Hardened Sand Walls. Regular Sandstone Walls and Hardened Sand Walls cannot be used, as they are considered safe when placed and will prevent enemy spawns.
    • The "Treacherous" variants of these walls are considered unsafe when placed and will allow enemy spawns. They are obtained through Shimmer transmutation.
    • Alternatively, the Clentaminator and Terraformer facilitate converting a variety of safe walls into unsafe Sandstone/Hardened Sand Walls. For instance, spraying Blue Solution onto safe Sandstone Walls will convert them into unsafe Pearlsandstone Walls. There are numerous other possibilities, like using Yellow Solution on safe Stone Walls or Green Solution on safe Hardened Ebonsand Walls. See Solutions § Conversions for the complete list.
  • The border between the Underground Desert and the Cavern layer often feature pools of lava much closer to the surface than where lava would normally generate.

Spawning mechanics

None of the Underground Desert enemies require an actual Desert biome to spawn. The three "tainted" Ghouls each only spawn in their respective Corrupt/Crimson/Hallowed biomes. When in an evil biome, dark-haired Lamia will replace their counterpart and Desert Spirits will replace Sand Poachers. Antlion Larvae only spawn when Antlion Eggs are broken.

To successfully spawn an enemy on a selected tile, the following checks are done:

  • The spawn tile must be more than 10 tiles in from any edge of the world, including unreachable tiles.
  • The spawn tile must be below the halfway point between the Surface and the top of the world, including the unreachable tiles.
  • The spawn tile can be any active (not actuated) solid block, which includes platforms or any other valid spawning surface.
  • The wall behind the spawn point must be either Sandstone Wall (or its "tainted" variants) or Hardened Sand Wall (or its "tainted" variants), and it must be unsafe.


  • The enemies are very dangerous early on, so it is advised to have ample Grenades on hand as well as some form of movement-based Accessory to make it less difficult to deal with them. Gold/Platinum armor is recommended due to the high damage dealt by the Antlion Swarmers and Chargers.
  • Minions give several advantages in the underground desert that most other weapons do not. The underground desert's main dangers are fast-moving, knockback resistant enemies and rolling cacti. Minions counteract these by being summonable on the other side of walls, reacting to quick-moving enemies without requiring player interactions, contributing knockback independently of the player's actions, and triggering rolling cacti remotely (which may require summoning them directly on the cacti multiple times or waiting to summon them until an enemy passes by).


  • In the real world, larval antlions creates funnel-like pits in the ground and fling sand at prey that pass by. The funnel and burrow entrance types to the Underground Desert are presumably inspired by this.
  • Prior to, the Desert above the Underground Desert would always contain a large Pit-style entrance. This made it easier to find and access the Underground Desert.


  • Desktop 1.4.4:
    • Increased the minimum size of Underground Deserts from 50% of the maximum size to 75% of the maximum. The maximum size has not increased.
    • Changed the Underground Desert mob spawn conditions from a column of 50 natural wall to just the 1 behind the spawn block.
  • Desktop
    • Added Sandstone Chests in world generation.
    • Generation changed to make the biome go to varying depths, making it much deeper than in previous versions.
    • Introduced a brand-new music track for the Underground Desert.
    • Lava now spawns at lower levels towards the edge of the biome.
    • The Desert above the Underground Desert may now generate other features than the funnel entrance, and the funnel design has also changed.