Like all shortswords, the Copper Shortsword has a very limited range and attacks with a stabbing motion at any direction on Desktop, Console, Mobile, and Switch, and horizontally in front of the player on Old-gen console, 3DS, and tModLoader, instead of an arc. This makes it almost useless against flying or jumping enemies, although its high attack rate makes it somewhat effective against weaker fighter type enemies.
Always keep at least one Copper Shortsword, as it is required to craft the Zenith. In a world that generates with Tin Ore, it is important to keep the starter shortsword, as it is possible to create more, but copper is somewhat harder to obtain.
The uselessness of the Copper Shortsword, even at the beginning of the game which it is supposedly suited for, has earned it "memetic" status within the Terraria community. On videos of people successfully completing challenges in Terraria such as unusual boss fights or speedruns, for example, comments saying "Now do it with a copper shortsword!" are not a rare sight, to make the seemingly impossible challenge even more ridiculous. However, there have been videos where bosses have been defeated with a Copper Shortsword.
The developers seem to have made fun of this idea by including the Copper Shortsword in the recipe of the Zenith, an endgame melee weapon.
A Tiny Copper Shortsword is the smallest possible sword in the game.
It is possible to spawn with a Broken Copper Shortsword. This reduces its damage to 3, which makes the early game even harder. Furthermore, a Broken Copper Shortsword is the weapon with the second-lowest damage in the game, as the weapon with the lowest damage is the BrokenWooden Hammer, which deals 1 damage. However, a player in this condition can simply make a new sword, which is generally accepted as the best course of action for a new character anyways.