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Defense is a statistic that determines the decrease in damage taken per hit. The player's defense can be increased by wearing armor and accessories, and temporarily boosted by various buffs, tile entities, and permanent upgrades. Damage taken by players is reduced by half / 75*3/4 (75%) / 100% of their defense, rounded down. Enemies also have a defense statistic.

No hit can be reduced below 1 damage, regardless of defense (with the exception of a player whose multiplayer ally is wearing a Paladin's Shield).

Some forms of damage are impossible to reduce through defense, e.g. damage from health-draining debuffs like Cursed Inferno or from drowning in water. Damage taken from lava, however, can be reduced through defense.


Defense gives a flat reduction in damage, i.e. damage is reduced by a fixed amount per hit (as opposed to a multiplicative damage reduction, which would reduce damage by a percentage). It is calculated after the general ±15% damage randomization.

The formula is:net dmg = ⌊attack dmg - def × factor⌋, where factor is 0.5 in Classic Mode, 0.75 in Expert Mode, and 1 in Master Mode.[1]


Atk. dmg Def. Net damage
Classic mode icon Classic Expert mode icon Expert Master mode icon Master
40 20 30
⌊40 - 20 * 0.5⌋ = 30
⌊40 - 20 * 0.75⌋ = 25
⌊40 - 20 * 1⌋ = 20
40 30 25
⌊40 - 30 * 0.5⌋ = 25
⌊40 - 30 * 0.75⌋ = 17
⌊40 - 30 * 1⌋ = 10
75 20 65
⌊75 - 20 * 0.5⌋ = 65
⌊75 - 20 * 0.75⌋ = 60
⌊75 - 20 * 1⌋ = 55
75 30 60
⌊75 - 30 * 0.5⌋ = 60
⌊75 - 30 * 0.75⌋ = 52
⌊75 - 30 * 1⌋ = 45


Enemies have a defense statistic just like players do, but they do not gain more protection from defense in Expert Mode or Master Mode. They will always reduce incoming damage by 50% of their defense: net dmg = ⌊attack dmg - def × 0.5⌋.

Critical hits against enemies will double the net damage value. In other words, the crit damage multiplier is taken into account after the attack's damage has already been reduced by defense.


Weapon Green SlimeGreen Slime
0 defense
Chaos ElementalChaos Elemental
30 defense
50 defense
100 defense
Gold BroadswordGold Broadsword
15 damage
15 1 (0) 1 (-10) 1 (-35)
200 damage
200 185 175 150


Armor and accessories[]

A player's defense score can be increased by equipping armor and accessories. Armor usually consists of three items, granting an additional bonus if all pieces match, the set bonus, which may increase the defense score further. Some accessories grant direct defense boosts (see the following table), but all accessories can also be reforged to a maximum of +4 defense per accessory.

See armor for detailed defense information about every piece of armor.

Item Acc. defense
Cobalt ShieldCobalt Shield1
Obsidian SkullObsidian Skull1
Obsidian ShieldObsidian Shield2
Shield of CthulhuShield of Cthulhu2
Ankh ShieldAnkh Shield4
Frozen ShieldFrozen Shield6
Paladin's ShieldPaladin's Shield6
Berserker's GloveBerserker's Glove8
Flesh KnucklesFlesh Knuckles8 / 7
Hero ShieldHero Shield10
Item Accessory defense
Moon CharmMoon Charm 3 (only during the night)
Moon ShellMoon Shell 3 (only during the night)
Moon StoneMoon Stone 4 (only during the night)
Sun StoneSun Stone 4 (only during the day)
Celestial ShellCelestial Shell 4 (during the day)
7 (during the night)
Frozen Turtle ShellFrozen Turtle Shell 0 (until below 50% health when it reduces total damage by 25%)
30 (when below 25% health)

Buffs and debuffs[]

Buffs and debuffs can temporarily alter a player's or an enemy's defense. Currently, there is no buff increasing enemies' defense. A player's defense cannot be reduced to fall below 0.

Buff/Debuff Buff/debuff defense
Well FedWell Fed 2
Plenty SatisfiedPlenty Satisfied 3
Exquisitely StuffedExquisitely Stuffed 4
The Bast DefenseThe Bast Defense 5
Dryad's BlessingDryad's Blessing 8
IronskinIronskin 8
TipsyTipsy −4
WeakWeak −4
Ichor (debuff)Ichor −15 / −20
Betsy's CurseBetsy's Curse −40
Broken ArmorBroken Armor −50%

Armor penetration []

Armor penetration is a hidden player statistic that determines the amount of the enemy's defense portion that is ignored when dealing damage to it. For instance, a Pixie normally has 20 defense. If the player has the Shark Tooth/Stinger Necklace equipped, then the Pixie will be taken to have 15 defense instead.

The following items grant armor penetration:

Item Armor penetration
Shark Tooth Necklace Shark Tooth Necklace 5
Stinger Necklace Stinger Necklace 5
Sharpening Station Sharpening Station 12 (for melee weapons only)

In addition, the projectiles of certain weapons and accessories have their own armor penetration stat, which is added to the player's armor penetration when inflicting damage upon an enemy with them:[2]

Item Armor penetration
Blade Staff Blade Staff 25
Dark Harvest Dark Harvest("dark energy") 50
Cool Whip Cool Whip(snowflake) 30
Bone Glove Bone Glove 25
Crystal Vile Shard Crystal Vile Shard 10
Nettle Burst Nettle Burst 10
Wasp Gun Wasp Gun 10
Star Cloak Star Cloakand its upgrades 25
Arkhalis Arkhalis 20
Weather Pain Weather Pain 10

Maximum defense[]

The highest possible defense can be attained using the setups described in the following sections.

On PC version PC version, Console version Console version, Mobile version Mobile version, and tModLoader version tModLoader version, the maximum possible defense is 186 / 196 / 204, while on Old-gen console version Old-gen console version, Windows Phone version Windows Phone version, Old Chinese version Old Chinese version, Nintendo 3DSNintendo 3DS version version, and tModLoader 1 tModLoader 1.3-Legacy version, it is 181 / 191 / 199. The setups are the same:

Accessories ( 59 / 69 / 77 / 54 / 64 / 72 defense)
Other (20 defense)

tModLoader 1 tModLoader 1.3-Legacy version[]

The maximum possible defense is 165 / 173:

Accessories (48 / 56 defense)
Other (20 defense)

Old-gen console version Old-gen console version, Windows Phone version Windows Phone version, and Nintendo 3DSNintendo 3DS version version[]

The maximum possible defense is 128:

Accessories (42 defense)
  • At night or day (depending on Moon/Sun Stone), at low health
  • Warding modifiers on all accessories
Buffs (10 defense)


  • Although not possible in-game, if a piece of armor were to gain a modifier, it would apply the effects just like an accessory would. For example, a set of Warding modified armor would add 12 defense total; each piece adding 4 defense to the total.
  • Damage dealt by enemies is doubled in Expert Mode and tripled in Master Mode compared to normal mode. This means that despite the higher factors of defense in those modes, defense is still generally less effective than in normal mode.
  • If the player somehow has negative defense, they will take more damage according to the damage taken added with half / three quarters / full amount the defense.

See also[]


  1. Information taken from the PC version PC source code, method CalculateDamagePlayersTake() in Terraria.Main.cs. There may be inaccuracies, as the current PC version PC version is
  2. Information taken from the PC version PC source code, method Damage() in Terraria.Projectile.cs. There may be inaccuracies, as the current PC version PC version is