Terraria Hardmode: 10 Tips & Tricks You Need to Know

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Hardmode is essentially Terraria’s version of “new game plus.” After you defeat the Wall of Flesh, the game automatically switches to Hardmode, adding new enemies, items, bosses, and more for a tougher challenge. The goal is to defeat the three mechanical bosses and then Plantera.

Hardmode is very… hard. So here are 10 tips and tricks to get you through the game.

1. Put Chests At the Beginning of Entrances

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(Screenshot by Jack Fennimore)

Whenever you’re diving into cavern, dungeon, temple, or something else, put a chest at the edge. Then you can store unnecessary items in it so that they don’t take up inventory space for more valuable items. You can also come up from an area occasionally to put treasure in it and then head back down for more treasure.

2. Smash Altars for Special Ore to Craft Into Great Armor and Weapons

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(Screenshot by Jack Fennimore)

In order to defeat the mechanical bosses and Plantera, you need to obtain the Hardmode ores. Not only will you be able to craft stronger armor and weapons from the ores themselves, but crafting stations to produce even stronger armor and weapons.

To spawn the Hardmode ores, you need to take the Pwnhammer you got from the Wall of Flesh and use it to destroy three Demon/Crimson Altars in the Corruption/Crimson biomes. This will spawn one of two ores of each of the three tiers of ore, with players unable to obtain the other ore unless they move to another world.

Tier 1: Cobalt and Palladium

Tier 2: Mythril and Orichalcum

Tier 3: Adamantite and Titanium

Smashing subsequent altars will spawn more of each tier of ore but at a diminished rate.

Here’s where each ore spawns, courtesy of the Terraria Official Wiki:

Small maps:
Cobalt Ore and Palladium Ore spawn below a depth of 760 feet (380 tiles)
Mythril Ore and Orichalcum Ore spawn below a depth of 1,000 feet (500 tiles)
Adamantite Ore and Titanium Ore spawn below a depth of 1,400 feet (700 tiles), 100 feet (50 tiles) above the depth at which Lava begins appearing.

Medium maps:
Cobalt Ore and Palladium Ore spawn below a depth of 1,100 feet (550 tiles)
Mythril Ore and Orichalcum Ore spawn below a depth of 1,400 feet (700 tiles)
Adamantite Ore and Titanium Ore spawn below a depth of 2,130 feet (1,065 tiles), 170 feet (85 tiles) above the depth at which Lava begins appearing.

Large maps:
Cobalt Ore and Palladium Ore spawn below a depth of 1,270 feet (635 tiles)
Mythril Ore and Orichalcum Ore spawn below a depth of 2,000 feet (1,000 tiles)
Adamantite Ore and Titanium Ore spawn below a depth of 2,930 feet (1,465 tiles), 420 feet (210 tiles) above the depth at which Lava begins appearing.

In addition to summoning ores, smashing altars will cause one of the three mechanical bosses to have a 10 percent chance to spawn each night. One or two Wraith enemies will also spawn.

Once you mine Cobalt/Palladium ores with the Molten Pickaxe made from the Underworld’s Hellstone, smelt it into Cobalt/Palladium bars and craft those into the Cobalt/Palladium Pickaxe or Drill. Then use that to mine Mythril/Orichalcum ores, smelt those into Mythril/Orichalcum bars and craft the Mythril/Orichalcum Anvil and Mythril/Orichalcum Pickaxe or Drill. The Anvil will allow you to craft among the strongest gear in the game. Then take the Mythril/Orichalcum Pickaxe or Drill and mine 30 Adamantite/Titanium, combine those with the Hellforge to make a Adamantite/Titanium Forge, get more Adamantite/Titanium ores, smelt those into Adamantite/Titanium Bars, and use those to craft the strongest armor and weapons that can be made from the three tiers of Hardmode ores.

If you’re using melee or ranged weapons, then it’s recommended to obtain Frost Cores and combine Adamantite/Titanium Bars with them to create the Frost Armor Set. Not only is it stronger then regular Adamantite/Titanium Armor, but you’ll also inflict the Frostburn debuff to opponents. Frost Cores are dropped from Ice Golems, which spawn in the Snow biome during a Blizzard.

For summon weapon users, you’ll want to get the Forbidden armor by combining Adamantite/Titanium Bars with Forbidden Fragments. You’ll get a boost to magic damage and mana but your minion damage and max number of minions summoned will increase as well. You’ll also be able to summon the Forbidden Sign which summons a sand tornado at your mouse cursor by double tapping up or down. Forbidden Fragments are dropped by Sand Elementals which spawn in a Desert biome during a sandstorm.

Purely magic weapon users are best off with the Adamantite/Titanium armor as the armor with the Adamantite/Titanium Headgear provides the biggest boost to magic damage, mana, and magic critical strike chance. The Adamantite Armor gives a bonus of 19 percent less mana useage if wearing the Headgear and the Titanium Armor grants invincibility for a short time after striking an enemy.

3. Hunt Black Recluses in Spider Nests

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(Screenshot by Jack Fennimore)

Black Recluses are a type of spider that spawn in place of Wall Crawlers in Spider Nests in Hardmode. Spider Nests are located in the underground and you’ll know you hit one because there will be a bunch of cobwebs and gross spiders.

Hunting Black Recluses is much advised because they drop Spider Fangs, which can be used to craft the Spider Staff (16 Spider Fangs), Queen Spider Staff (24), and the Spider Armor Set (36). The Spider Staff summons a powerful minion that can climb on walls and inflicts the venom debuff on enemies. The Queen Spider Staff summons a sentry minion that stays rooted in place for two minutes and shoots projectiles that hatch baby spiders and inflicts the venom debuff. And the Spider Armor Set which boosts the damage of minions by 30 percent and increases the total number of minions you can summon to 4 with an additional one if you use the Spider Staff. Hunting Black Recluses also gives you a 2.5 percent chance to get the Poison Staff, a magic weapon that fires a spread of poison fangs which can be further upgraded into the Venom Staff with Chlorophyte Bar. All of these items will give you the edge in Hardmode.

To hunt Black Recluses safely, dig to the top of the Spider Nest, dig a small opening and shoot downwards with a ranged weapon. Then dig to the bottom and make a small opening blocked by platforms to collect the items that drop.

4. Explore the Hallow First

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(Screenshot by Jack Fennimore)

Once Hardmode begins, new biomes will form in a V-pattern from the center of the world map: the Hallow, Hallow Underground, and Corruption/Crimson Underground. These new biomes add new enemies and materials to collect.

Head over to the Hallow and Hallow Underground first as they contain the materials that are the most useful early on. Pixies drop Pixie Dust which is used in making the Greater Healing Potion which heal more health than the regular Healing Potion, Holy Arrows which summon stars to fall on the spot they hit, Fairy Bell which summons a pet that emits light, Rainbow Rod which fires a magic projectile controllable by the player, and Meteor Staff which summons a meteor from above. They also drop both the Megaphone and Fast Clock which are ingredients for the Ankh Shield (more on that later). Unicorns drop the Unicorn Horns which are used in the Super Mana Potion which add more mana points than regular mana potions, Holy Arrow, and Rainbow Rod.

But the most important items are found underground beneath the Hallow. All enemies in the Underground Hallow drop Souls of Light which are used in crafting boss summoning weapons for The Twins and Skeletron Prime. They’re also used in crafting the Crystal Storm which shoots magic crystal projectiles rapidly, the Chik which is a powerful Yoyo, the Sky Fracture which summons magic swords to attack opponents, the Key of Light which transforms an empty chest into a Hallow Mimic which drops powerful items, the Meteor Staff, the Rainbow Rod, and the Fairy Bell. You’ll also find Crystal Shards growing in the underground, which are used in the Greater Healing Potion, Super Mana Potion, Crystal Storm, Crystal Darts which are shot from Blowgun or Dart weapons can ricochet six times and bounce between enemies with light homing, and Crystal Bullets which shatter on impact damaging additional enemies when fired from any gun. If you line up a bunch of Pearlstone Blocks found in the underground, you can grow your own Crystal Shards and harvest them instead of exploring the underground.

Fishing in The Hallow also gives you a chance to get the Crystal Serpent, a strong magic weapon that fires exploding bolts of magic. Prismite can also be fished which is used in making the Lifeforce potion which grants you 20 percent more max health for a limited time.

Hallow-related enemies also have a 0.5 percent chance to drop the Blessed Apple, allowing you to summon the awesome Unicorn Mount which runs really fast and has a charging attack.

Don’t forget to explore the Underground Corruption/Crimson. You can find Ichor in the Underground Crimson and Cursed Flame in the Underground Corruption. Ichor is more useful as the weapons and ammo made from them drop enemy defense by 20 while the weapons and ammo made from the Cursed Flames just inflict a stronger version of the On Fire debuff but is outclassed by the Frostburn debuff. You can also get the Soul of Night which is used to make the summoning items for The Destroyer and Skeletron Prime as well as the Cursed Flames which inflict the Cursed Inferno debuff, Golden Shower which inflicts the Ichor debuff, Onyx Blaster which is an upgraded version of the Shotgun, Spirit Flame which summon flames that chase enemies, Magical Harp which fires homing magic projectiles, and the Key of Night which turns an empty chest into a Corrupt/Crimson Mimic that drops rare items. Ankh Shield ingredients Nazar and Vitamins are also dropped by enemies in the Corruption or Crimson.

5. Get Wings

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(Screenshot by Jack Fennimore)

Wings grant you the ability to fly in the air. They also negate fall damage. This is invaluable in the fights against the mechanical bosses.

You can easily get a pair of wings if you have the Dryad NPC. She sells the wings for 40 gold coins if you’re in hardmode and a blood moon is up.

One of the more powerful varieties of wings are the Leaf Wings, and they’re actually pretty easy to acquire. First, you need to unlock the Witch Doctor NPC by defeating the Queen Bee in a beehive in a jungle. Then you build a house in the jungle and have the Witch Doctor move into it by using the housing menu hear your gear slots. Be careful as the jungle is very dangerous in hardmode. Then wait until night and buy the wings off of the Witch Doctor for one platinum coin (100 gold coins).

In order to craft different varieties of wings, as well as ones more powerful than the Leaf Wings, you need the Soul of Flight acquired by Wyverns.

Wyverns are enemies that spawn at higher altitudes, so it’s best to fight them on a Floating Island. They are segmented enemies similar to worms, so it’s best to take them on with a piercing ranged weapon or any weapon that shoots multiple projectiles or explosives. They drop five to 10 Souls of Flight upon death.

In order to craft the basic wings, you need 20 Souls of Flight as well as 10 Feathers and 25 of either the Soul of Light or Soul of Night. Feathers are acquired by Harpies, which are fought on Floating Islands. Then take on enemies in either the Underground Hallow for Souls of Light or enemies in the Underground Corruption or Crimson for Souls of Night. You’ll get the Angel Wings if you use Souls of Light and the Demon Wings if you use Souls of Night.

6. Here’s How to Defeat the Mechanical Bosses

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(Screenshot by Jack Fennimore)

Before fighting any of the mechanical twins, create a skybridge. This will ensure that you have a long, clean area to fight each boss in. You’ll also be able to run away from them and attack at the same time, especially with ranged weapons. Make a house for the Nures at one end of the sky bridge and set a spawn point at a placed bed by clicking on it. That way you can teleport to her with the Magic Mirror or Recall Potions and have her heal you. A recommended weapon is the Daedalus Bow from a Hallowed Mimic, which rains three arrows from the sky for the price of one. Use the Holy Arrows to rain down arrows and stars for multiple, high damage hits.

The worm-like Destroyer is widely considered the easiest of the three Mechanical Bosses. It is essentially an enhanced version of the Eater of Worlds, only instead of separating into multiple segments as they are damaged, it retains its length throughout the entire fight. It also shoots lasers from its body. If a segment is damaged enough, a probe will be launched and fly around the arena shooting you. The boss likes to trap you inbetween its body as it moves through and above the ground, so be sure to have teleportation items ready. When you fight the Destroyer, use piercing or explosive weapons to damage multiple sections and Probes. That way, you’ll disable the boss earlier and deal more damage to it. Don’t bother with weapons with debuffs as the Destroyer is immune to all of them.

The Twins have you fighting against two versions of the Eye of Cthulhu, with both having their own health bar. One fires lasers from above and the other fires balls of cursed flame. Both can charge at the player. During the second phase of each eye, one shoots lasers more rapidly while the other constantly tries to ram into the player and shoots streams of cursed flames. Concentrate fire on the one shooting cursed flames as it does more damage and has more HP. Don’t get both of them in the second phase. They are vulnerable to Frostburn, Ichor, and Cursed Inferno debuffs, so bring weapons with those debuffs.

Skeletron behaves much likes its pre-hardmode counterpart, only it has four weapons instead of two hands; a grenade launcher, laser gun, and two melee weapons. It can also go into a “rage mode” where its head spins rapidly doing increased damage on contact and doubling defense as well as having all its weapons attack more aggressively. Use and arena with platforms instead of blocks as the grenades will pass through them. Also be sure to use weapons with Frostburn and Ichor debuffs to get past its high defense.

7. Get the Money Trough

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(Screenshot by Jack Fennimore)

The Money Trough summons a pet-like pig that grants access to the contents of a Piggy Bank anywhere it’s summoned. This essentially doubles your inventory. You’ll also be able to store your money and items in a safe space so it’s not lost upon death.

The Money Trough can be obtained before Hardmode begins. It has a one percent chance to drop from a Drippler or Blood Zombie during a Blood Moon. That may appear low, but since hundreds of enemies spawn during a Blood Moon and can spawn even more with placed Water Candles and the Battle Potion, you’ll get it in no time.

8. Craft the Ankh Shield

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(Terraria Official Wiki)

The Ankh Shield, while not necessary for completion, is one of the most useful accessories in the game as it gives you immunity to 11 of the most common debuffs, knockback immunity, and four defense on top of the extra benefits from reforging. It’s also one of the harder accessories to obtain.

You’ll need 11 items to craft the Ankh Shield. You need an Obsidian Skull by crafting 20 Obsidian pieces formed by pouring water over lava. You need a Cobalt Shield found in a locked chest in the dungeon or a golden lock box from Dungeon crates found by fishing in the Dungeon. Then you need the Trifold Map dropped from Clowns, Light Mummies, and Giant Bats; the Fast Clock from Mummies, Dark Mummies, Wraiths, and Pixies; Vitamins from Floaty Gross or Corruptors; Armor Polish from Armored Skeletons and Blue Armored Bones, Blindfolds from Dark Mummies, Slimelings, and Corrupt Slimes; Nazars from Enchanted Swords, Cursed Hammers, Crimson Axes, or Cursed Skulls; Megaphones from Green Jellyfish, Dark Mummies, or Pixies; Bezoars from Toxic Sludge, Moss Hornets or Hornets; and Adhesive Bandages from Rusty Armored Bones, Angler Fish, and Werewolves.

Each enemy has a one percent chance to drop these items upon death, so place a water candle in the biome they reside in and keep killing them. If you get a banner from killing enemies in multiples of 50, you can place it and deal extra damage to foes of that banner as long as you’re near it.

For this next part, you’ll need the Tinkerer’s Workshop. You can buy one from the Goblin Tinkerer after freeing him in the underground after beating a Goblin Invasion.

Once you get all the items, take them to the workshop and combine the Adhesive Bandage and Bezoar into the Medicated Bandage; the Megaphone and Nazar into the Countercurse Mantra; the Vitamins and Armor Polish into the Armor Bracing; the Trifold Map and Fast Clock into The Plan; and the Obsidian Skull and Cobalt Shield into the Obsidian Shield. Then you combine the Blindfold, Armor Braching, The Plan, Countercurse Mantra, and Medicated Bandage into the Ankh Charm. And then you combine that with the Obsidian Shield to create the Ankh Shield.

9. Craft the Cell Phone

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(Terraria Official Wiki)

If you thought the Ankh Shield was complex to make, wait till you see the Cell Phone.

The Cell Phone is once again not necessary for completion but it’s a huge help. It displays fishing power, weather, moon phase, elevation, distance east/west, time, nearest valuable environment item, player speed, current DPS, total kills of the last enemy attacked, rare creatures nearby, and total number of nearby enemies. And you get those abilities without equipping it in your accessories slot. In fact, if you use it in your inventory, you can teleport back home just like with the Magic Mirror or Recall Potions.

You’ll need the Radar, which is found in wooden chests close to the world’s surface or wooden crates found by fishing. You’ll also need to find the Tally Counter which drops from Angry Bones, Cursed Skulls, and Dark Casters in the Dungeon. Get the Gold/Platinum Watch by combining one Chain and 10 Gold/Platinum Bars at a Table with a Chair next to it. Get the Depth Meter from Cave Bats, Giant Bats, and Jungle Bats. Get the Compass from Salamanders, Giant Shellys, Crawdads, Mother Slimes, Piranhas, Snow Flinxes, Undead Vikings, and Armored Vikings. Get the Metal Detector from the Nymph, a rare Cavern enemy that initially appears as the Lost Girl NPC. Get the Fisherman’s Pocket Guide, Weather Radio, and Sextant as random rewards for completing fishing quests. Buy the DPS Meter, Stopwatch, and Lifeform Analyzer from the Travelling Merchant. Finally, get the Magic Mirror from chests in the Underground and Cavern layers or Ice Mirrors in Ice Chests in Underground Snow biomes.

Once you have all those items, combine them at the Tinkerer’s Workshop into the GPS, Fish Finder, Goblin Tech, and R.E.K. 3000. Then combine the four items into the PDA and combine that with the Magic Mirror or Ice Mirror to form the Cell Phone.

10. Here’s How to Defeat Plantera

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(Terraria Official Wiki)

After defeating all three Mechanical Bosses, Plantera’s Bulbs will spawn in the Underground Jungle biome. Destroying these will spawn Plantera. Before you do, make a wide arena around the bulb so you can evade the boss easier once it spawns.

During its first phase, it will try to chase after the player by grappling onto nearby blocks with its hooks. It will also shoot pink and eventually poisonous green seeds as well as thorn balls. At half health, it will turn into its second form which will rapidly move after you. It will also spawn additional mouths to reach out and bit you as well as floating pink spore projectiles that do huge damage.

Use weapons that can bounce around the arena and hit Plantera multiple times, like Chlorophyte Arrows formed from the Chlorophyte found in the Underground Jungle. Also use items that inflict the Ichor or Frostburn debuffs. Stay mobile with grappling hooks and a flying mount like the Bee summoned from the Honeyed Goggles dropped by the Queen Bee or Pigron summoned from the Scaly Truffle found by fishing in Snow biomes overlapping a Hallow, Corruption, or Crimson biome.

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