Terraria Wiki

Miss the old Hydra Skin? Try out our Hydralize gadget! Visit the preferences page while logged in and turn on the gadget.


Terraria Wiki
This is a Guide page.
This is a Guide page.
This means the page will walk you through a specific task, strategy, or enemy/boss fight.
Status: Under revision (This Guide is currently being revised or has been revised partially. It hasn't met all quality standards yet.)

The Empress of Light is a Hardmode post-Plantera boss fought in the Hallow.

Empress of LightFirst FormHardmode exclusive
Empress of Light.gif
Map Icon Empress of Light.png
Map Icon
Classic mode icon.png Classic
Expert mode icon.png Expert
Master mode icon.png Master
AI TypeEmpress of Light AI
Damage80110165 (melee)
120165248 (dash)
90120180 (Prismatic Bolt)
100140210 (Sun Dance)
90120180 (Everlasting Rainbow)
100120180 (Ethereal Lance)
Max Life70000/98000/124950
KB Resist100%
Immune toConfused
Empress of LightSecond FormHardmode exclusive
Map Icon Empress of Light.png
Map Icon
Classic mode icon.png Classic
Expert mode icon.png Expert
Master mode icon.png Master
AI TypeEmpress of Light AI
Damage80110165 (melee)
120165248 (dash)
100140210 (Prismatic Bolt)
120160240 (Sun Dance)
100140210 (Everlasting Rainbow)
120140210 (Ethereal Lance)
130120180 (Ethereal Lance V2)
Max Life70000/98000/124950
KB Resist100%
Immune toConfused

Spawn Conditions[]

The Empress of Light can be spawned by killing a Prismatic LacewingPrismatic Lacewing, which is a rare critter that spawns in the surface Hallow during the night once Plantera has been defeated in the world. As it is a rare creature, it can be detected by the Lifeform AnalyzerLifeform Analyzer. The Prismatic Lacewing will only spawn naturally between 7:30 PM and 12:00 AM, and only one can have spawned in the world at any given time.

Like most critters, the Prismatic Lacewing can be caught with any bug net, which can then be released, and killed, by the player manually. This can be used to spawn the boss at a more desired place and time. However, the critter will almost instantly despawn if released outside of the Hallow, so it must be killed quickly in order to summon the boss. If you want to catch multiple Lacewings in one night, it is recommended to farm for them during a Blood Moon.

The Fight[]

Time of Day[]

The Empress of Light, if summoned by a natural spawning Lacewing, will be fought at night. She will enrage if still alive or if summoned during the daytime, causing her attacks to do tens of thousands of damage, instantly killing players who are hit by her attacks. This enraged state is indicated by her attacks turning from rainbow to bright yellow.

She will always drop the TerraprismaTerraprisma if all damage dealt to her was during the day.


  • Prismatic Bolts – Summons a cloud of prismatic bolts that home in on the player after a short time. These bolts do not have perfect tracking, and will miss if the player makes a sharp turn as they approach. If enraged, extra bolts are created, and they will spread out more before homing onto the player.
  • Dash Attack – Positions herself to the left or right of the player before charging horizontally in the player’s direction.
  • Sun Dance – Hovers above and slightly to the left of the player and emits 6 rays of light (8 if enraged) that slowly rotate clockwise. 3 sets of rays are created per sun dance, each positioned slightly more clockwise from the last.
  • Everlasting Rainbow – Releases a ring of 13 stars that spiral out clockwise, then spiral back in the same direction. These stars leave behind a trail of light that will damage the player.
  • Ethereal Lance – Summons a swarm of swords that launch in the direction the player was headed when they were summoned, telegraphed by colored beams. These swords are summoned behind where the player was moving, or all around the player if they were stationary. The swords do no damage until launched. If enraged, extra swords are summoned, and they will launch faster.

Attack Pattern[]

The Empress has set attack patterns for both of her phases.

First phase[]

When spawned, the Empress will hover in place for a few seconds before executing the following attacks in order:

  1. Prismatic Bolts
  2. Dash Attack
  3. Sun Dance
  4. Dash Attack
  5. Everlasting Rainbow
  6. Prismatic Bolts
  7. Dash Attack
  8. Ethereal Lance
  9. Dash Attack
  10. Everlasting Rainbow

This sequence of attacks will repeat indefinitely until the second phase starts.

Second phase[]

When the Empress is below half of her max health, she will disappear for a second, then reappear above the next estimated location of the player before executing a new set of attacks, with slightly shorter attack intervals than before:

  1. Ethereal Lance Ver. 2: Summons four evenly spaced waves of swords that travel across the screen, telegraphed by colored beams. The first wave travels from the left side of the screen to the right, the second from right to left, the third wave from top-left to bottom-right, and the fourth wave from top-right to bottom-left.
    • If enraged, there will instead be six waves of swords that target specific points around the player instead of traveling from one side of the screen to the other. The first wave travels from the left side of the screen to the right of the player, the second wave from the right side to the left of the player, the third wave from top side to the bottom-right of the player, the fourth wave from top side to bottom-left of the player, the fifth wave from the bottom side to top-right of the player, and the sixth wave from the bottom side to top left of the player.
  2. Prismatic Bolts
  3. Dash Attack
    • If enraged, she will cast Ethereal Lance after the dash before resuming her normal pattern (targets where the player is rather than where they will be, or do nothing if the player is stationary)
  4. Everlasting Rainbow
  5. Prismatic Bolts
  6. Sun Dance
  7. Ethereal Lance
  8. Dash Attack
  9. Prismatic Bolts (Cast in a circle around the Empress instead of a cloud directly above her)

This sequence of attacks will repeat indefinitely until she is defeated.

General Strategies[]

General Tips[]

This content is transcluded from Guide:Practical tips § Combat.

  • For nocturnal bosses, starting the battle just after the sun sets (7:30 PM) will provide the maximum amount of time to defeat the boss. In Hardmode, the Moon CharmMoon Charm and/or Moon StoneMoon Stone and their upgrades are also useful at night.
  • Boss battles can be won or lost before the battle ever starts. Choose your equipment and have it ready; find and/or make potions and placed buffs; use the highest-tier food you have available; set up an arena appropriate to the boss; learn the strategies for the boss you're facing.
  • Prepare your Boss-fighting arena with adequate lighting, CampfireCampfires and Heart LanternHeart Lanterns for health regeneration, and Star in a BottleStars in Bottles for mana regeneration if you use magic. Bast StatueBast Statues will provide a significant defensive boost. Garden GnomeGarden Gnomes and (if underground) proper torch placement will reduce damage taken and increase damage dealt due to the luck. Note Torch God's Favor helps with this. HoneyHoney pools can also be used for extra health regeneration.
  • SunflowerSunflowers provide the Happy! buff to players within a 50-tile radius, which grants a +10% movement speed bonus and 17% reduction in enemy spawn rate.
  • Always carry around a stack of the highest-tier healing potion available, as relying only on natural Health Regeneration is not a good idea. Depending on the game stage, this can include items such as Mushrooms or Honeyfins. On the Desktop version Desktop, Console version Console, Mobile version Mobile, and Nintendo Switch version Switch versions, Restoration Potions are healing potions with a shorter cooldown.
  • It is suggested to build houses for the DryadDryad and the NurseNurse NPCs in your arena. The former casts the Dryad's BlessingDryad's Blessing buff, which increases your defense and provides you with a thorns-like effect, while the latter can heal and remove debuffs instantly, at the cost of some Silver Coincoins.
  • Bosses are displayed on the Minimap: Follow the boss's icon to track it when you're struggling to find it. You can identify the boss icons by checking their respective wiki pages.
  • Once you have freed the MechanicMechanic in the Dungeon, you can use WireWire to enhance your arena with Dart TrapTraps and helpful Heart StatueHeart and Star StatueStar Statues. The former helps to damage the enemies, though be careful to set them up correctly in order not to hurt yourself during the battle. The latter will spawn heart and star pickups, respectively. Connect these devices to 3 Second Timertimers.
  • It may be useful to summon and kill the Eye of Cthulhu or King Slime before summoning any harder boss in order to spawn an extra one-use pool of Hearts. Note that this will prevent any Heart Statues from spawning new Hearts.
  • Remember to use the Sharpening StationSharpening Station, Ammo BoxAmmo Box, Crystal BallCrystal Ball, Bewitching TableBewitching Table, and Slice of CakeSlice of Cake before you go to explore or battle bosses/invasions. These will give boosts that are useful to take, with the first four being class-specific. They give SharpenedSharpened, Ammo Box (buff)Ammo Box, ClairvoyanceClairvoyance, BewitchedBewitched, and Sugar RushSugar Rush, respectively.

Terrain Preparation[]

The Empress of Light's moves (mainly Everlasting Rainbow, Prismatic Bolts and Sun Dance) can easily trap you. Therefore, a wide arena is strongly suggested for the fight against her if you don't possess an infinite-flying mount. The arena should span as far as your hallowed biome can be (this doesn't matter on Expert or Master as she will always use her enraged set, so you can span your arena even to space), and you should make it longer if your hallowed biome isn't large enough. 3-5 rows of platforms separated 15-25 tiles from each other will do.

  • Teleporters can help avoid getting overwhelmed by her attacks, but be wary of her long dash and her prismatic bolts, which home aggressively and have a fairly large range.
  • Fighting her in the Ocean provides a large open space to move around which can help a lot.
  • A reliable strategy to defeat the Empress during the day is to lay down Minecart Tracks in a large loop. This has a distinct advantage over using Asphalt Blocks, because enemies cannot spawn on Minecart Tracks. Booster Tracks can also be used to quickly accelerate to full speed upon summoning the Empress. This is especially helpful on Expert or Master mode since the Mechanical Cart is available.
  • !!Error: Invalid EICONS input! Another option if you are playing on Master Mode when Minecart Tracks aren't available at the moment is to use The Black Spot Mount as it has the highest horizontal & diagonal acceleration out of all other Mounts in the game.

Gearing up[]


  • Hallowed Plate MailHallowed armor provides very solid stats and its Holy Protection set bonus makes it a solid choice for all classes. This armor is especially useful when fighting during the day, as Holy Protection can consistently allow the player to survive a hit from the Empress.
  • Beetle HelmetBeetle armor for a melee character will be better for maximum offense or defense, depending on the chest piece used. However, defense has no effect during a daytime fight, as The Empress of Light's attacks will instakill the player.
  • The Hallowed HeadgearHallowed Headgear, Valhalla Knight's BreastplateValhalla Knight's Breastplate and Dark Artist's LeggingsDark Artist's Leggings make for the best magic armor in the game due to Valhalla's regeneration and the solid DPS found in the other two armor pieces. The Spooky BreastplateSpooky Breastplate may be preferable instead to use two extra minions at the cost of regeneration. If raw DPS is instead desired, Spectre MaskSpectre armor is preferable.
  • Spooky HelmetSpooky armor is the best armor for Summoners.
  • For a daytime fight, Hallowed Plate MailHallowed armor is better than the other options since you gain the ability to negate a hit every 60 seconds.


For Melee users:[]

  • The SeedlerSeedler and Terra BladeTerra Blade are the best swords available, having strong reliable projectiles.
    • The Influx WaverInflux Waver is not a viable choice, due to the Empress moving too fast to be hit multiple times by its projectiles.
  • The Flying DragonFlying Dragon does much more damage than the Influx Waver and its faster and wider projectiles make hitting her much easier, with the addition of its armor penetration. [2]
  • The FlaironFlairon is also viable thanks to its good damage and homing capabilities.
  • The Eye of CthulhuThe Eye of Cthulhu can deal good damage, although its reach is lacking.
  • As with other bosses, Vampire KnivesVampire Knives are excellent for replenishing lost health during the fight, and are a very useful secondary weapon, especially if dodging the Empress' attacks is proving challenging.
    • These become useless if fighting the Empress in daytime, since it instantly kills the player.

For Ranged users:[]

For Magic users:[]

  • Betsy's WrathBetsy's Wrath is a great secondary weapon for all classes due to its powerful defense-lowering Debuff.
  • The Blizzard StaffBlizzard Staff is a very good choice due to its consistent and high DPS. The RazorpineRazorpine is an alternative with roughly the same mana cost/DPS ratio but shorter range. The Laser MachinegunLaser Machinegun is a weaker version of both but can still be viable.
  • The Razorblade TyphoonRazorblade Typhoon may be utilized due to its homing capabilities and long range, however its very lacking DPS makes it a weaker choice as a main weapon.

For Summoners:[]

Summoning Weapons are great against the Empress of Light due to the fact that they'll target the boss and deal consistent damage, allowing the player to freely dodge without worrying about attacking as well.

  • The Xeno StaffXeno Staff's High DPS and accuracy makes it the best option against the Empress of Light. The UFO minions can wander around aimlessly since the Empress tends to stay above the player, which can be mitigated by moving upwards towards the Empress of Light.
  • The Sanguine StaffSanguine Staff is another excellent option. The slightly weaker damage of the minions is made up by their perfect tracking, allowing you to hit the boss consistently provided you are within range. The DPS can be boosted with whips, and the Sanguine staff is arguably the superior option for a daytime fight due to the increased focus on dodging attacks. The perfect accuracy and tracking will allow one to focus on dodging alone rather than trying to get minions within targeting range.
  • The Blade StaffBlade Staff is also an excellent option for skilled players who can use multiple whips for their tag damage boost, if used correctly, the blade staff outperforms even the Sanguine staff due to its insanely fast speed and defence reducing abilities.
  • The Stardust Cell StaffStardust Cell Staff is also an exceptional choice due to the projectiles sticking onto the Empress long after she leaves the screen, and by itself does respectable damage.
  • The Raven StaffRaven Staff may be used as a 'weaker alternative', losing the perfect accuracy for some more raw damage. It's more consistent in the 1st phase, and suffers greatly due to its slow tracking in the 2nd phase.
  • For whips, Dark HarvestDark Harvest paired with KaleidoscopeKaleidoscope combined are the best whips available for available for summoners. The Kaleidoscope itself can also be used, and if Empress of Light has not been beaten yet, the Morning StarMorning Star is an alternative.
    • The FirecrackerFirecracker can be used for minions with high base damage, and the DurendalDurendal is an alternative for Dark Harvest if the Pumpkin Moon has not been beaten yet.


  • Wings are a necessity. The Fishron WingsFishron Wings or Betsy's WingsBetsy's Wings are the best wings available for the fight. However, Steampunk wings and their equivalents can also be effective.
  • The Berserker's GloveBerserker's Glove is the best accessory for whips, giving them autoswing, speed and boosting defense.
  • The Yoyo BagYoyo Bag is a must when using a yoyo for the fight.
  • The Master Ninja GearMaster Ninja Gear is an incredibly useful mobility item due to its dash alongside its dodge chance.
  • The Brain of ConfusionBrain of Confusion and the Worm ScarfWorm Scarf are great items for survivability.
    • During day time, the Brain of ConfusionBrain of Confusion and Master Ninja GearMaster Ninja Gear can allow a player to dodge an attack that would normally instantly kill them. However, these dodges are inconsistent, unlike Hallowed Armor's set bonus, so they are not fully reliable.
  • As a ranger, equipping both the Recon ScopeRecon Scope and the Sniper ScopeSniper Scope will maximize DPS. Due to their multiplicative increases, the Magic QuiverMagic Quiver and its upgrades should be used when using a bow as your main weapon.
  • The Celestial ShellCelestial Shell is a very good choice for all classes due to its large boosts to both offensive and defensive stats.
  • The Celestial EmblemCelestial Emblem is a strong magic damage accessory that can be used with Star Statues for mana regeneration.
  • The Papyrus ScarabPapyrus Scarab and the Necromantic ScrollNecromantic Scroll are good offensive summoner combat accessories, giving a total of 2 extra minion slots with better damage.
  • TheAmphibian BootsAmphibian Boots give a very noticeable ascent speed boost and some utility on the ground with its extra running speed.
  • The Charm of MythsCharm of Myths can be used for free by keeping it on a vanity slot and only swapping to it when a Healing Potion is used.
  • The Frozen ShieldFrozen Shield is the best knockback immunity shield due to its high defense and Ice BarrierIce Barrier effect.
  • The Cross NecklaceCross Necklace can be useful for avoiding rapid hits.
    • This can also be useful during the day, as its effect applies to the invincibility gained by dodging, raising the invincibility duration from 2/3 of a second to a full 2 seconds.
  • The Soaring InsigniaSoaring Insignia , an Expert Mode drop, can be used in the daytime fight for its increased mobility and infinite flight time.


  • Summoning PotionSummoning Potion increases minion capacity, which increases DPS.
  • AleAle increases melee capabilities in exchange for defense.
  • Any item that provides Exquisitely StuffedExquisitely Stuffed is useful against the Empress of Light.


  • The ability to teleport using Hook of DissonanceHook of Dissonance and the Rod of DiscordRod of Discord can be useful for dodging hits.
  • !!Error: Invalid EICONS input! The Black Spot mount can be very useful for dodging her attacks.
  • In master mode worlds, the Hexxed Branch mount is useful to move quickly, as it very quickly reaches its max speed even while in the air. Because it cannot fly or double jump, using it without wings is not a good idea.
  • The Slimy SaddleSlimy Saddle and Gelatinous PillionGelatinous Pillion mounts allow the player to quickly descend during the fight, making them the best mounts to use alongside Wings.
  • The Shrimpy TruffleShrimpy Truffle mount is extremely useful if it is raining, or if there are water/honey bubbles set up within the arena.


Minecart Strategy[]

Build a minecart rail around the whole world. After summoning the Empress of Light, ride the minecart around. The only dodging you'll do is when she starts using Prismatic Bolts, as the other attacks can't reach you.

Skybridge Strategy[]

A skybridge can make this fight a lot easier. It is advised to build this out of asphalt, though a pre-built skybridge of platforms can work so long as you have sufficient mobility. During her first phase, there are only 2 threatening attacks - her dash and her sword flurry (Ethereal Lance). When the Empress initiates a charge, it is advised that you go downwards, as often the charge crosses the player's position if the same height is kept. Her Ethereal Lance also requires movement, though moving in a wide circle down and to the right makes this attack a breeze. Be sure to constantly be moving in one direction and ideally go high if you need to cross your old path, as you might accidentally catch on a lingering star (Everlasting Rainbow).

During her second phase, the empress will momentarily vanish, and then will reappear and immediately initiate a 'focused' Ethereal Lance (in Normal Mode, the corner lances, and in Expert/Master, the position-focused lances). During her vanish/reappearance it's advised to find a clear space, as in either mode you'll be wanting to go upwards taking a wide right to avoid this - particularly in Expert and Master, not being in a suitable to position to swerve up-right is the most common form of hit taken. She will then cast her orbs (still from her hand), which since you'll probably be out of wing flight, you'd have to dodge by dropping down as soon as her lances end and making a sharp turn left or right. After this, she will dash, and then cast all of her phase one attacks directly one after another, and the most suitable path seems to be to take a circle around her lances to dodge around her and try to dash over the last few, dodging away from her - then, the best option is to keep running away and to be prepared to jump over her attacks - this will dodge most hits. After this, she will dash again, cast orbs in a circle around her (dodged by taking a wide circle with a sharp turn) and then repeat her pattern.

Mount Strategy

This is a strategy which is only viable on Expert and Master Mode as it requires the Shrimpy Truffle. By waiting until rain or damaging themself until they are on low health (i.e. using lava or fall damage), the player can benefit from the massive speed of the mount to easily dodge attacks. This enables them to swap out all mobility items for huge damage. However, if fighting the boss during night, it is better to wait for rain, as being on low health when starting a boss fight is not a good idea (in daytime, this does not matter as any attack will kill the player in one hit).

  1. Information taken from the Desktop version Desktop source code, method RegisterBoss_HallowBoss() in Terraria.GameContent.ItemDropRules.ItemDropDatabase.cs. There may be inaccuracies, as the current Desktop version Desktop version is
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJp1SxAuX00