Guide:Farming Biome Keys or Key Molds

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The Dungeon Key Molds can provide the player with some of the game's most powerful weapons. As such it can be very convenient to obtain them in a relatively quick manner. This article attempts to list methods of doing so.

Events

Events (aka invasions) are an excellent way to farm key molds. They provide large numbers of monsters as well as coins and interesting drops on their own. As some events occur by random and others by using items, players who doesn't feel like waiting should gather items for the latter type. Events may also be chosen out of their drops. Below is an overview of events:

 Event Overview 
Name Estimated
difficulty
Time when it
can be fought
Summoning Notable loot Potential coin
income
Goblin Warrior.png Goblin Army 1 Any Goblin Battle Standard Harpoon, goblin Banners Low
Snowman Gangsta.png Frost Legion 2 Any Snow Globe Very low
25px Blood Moon 3 Any Random event KO Cannon, Bananarang Low
Parrot.png Pirate Invasion 4 Any Pirate Map List Moderate
Solar Eclipse.png Solar Eclipse 5 Day only Random event List Moderate
Pumpkin Moon.png Pumpkin Moon 6 Night only Pumpkin Moon Medallion List Very high
Frost Moon.png Frost Moon 7 Night only Naughty Present List Moderate
Example of an arena which can be used to fight invasions and thus farm key molds. Notice the layer of Pearlstone Blocks below it.

Defeating events may additionally require various setups to make the fights easier, largely depending on the event you choose. Pirates and Goblins require next to nothing, while the Pumpkin and Frost Moon usually need elaborate arenas.

IMPORTANT: When you see a mold drop, be sure to pick it up right away! Only a certain number of dropped items can be present at the same time, meaning the mold will despawn if enough items are dropped after it.[1]

AFK farming

The time it may take for Key Molds to drop makes AFK farming an option some players may consider. There are three things that can kill monsters without player interaction: minions, lava, and traps. The two latter are often used to make arenas for defeating events, meaning an arena can be convenient for AFK farming. In fact, if the arena is good enough it's even possible to use events for AFK farming. Without player supervision the character should however be walled up as protection. The "waiting room" should be some height above the ground to avoid enemies that can pass through blocks (Wraiths, Devourers), and protected by traps to prevent flying enemies from piling up. The event should also not feature flying enemies that can pass/attack through walls, such as Elf Copters.

If the player doesn't have or care to make an arena, it's alternately possible to just use minions. This approach largely requires the player to use minion-empowering items (list). As minions are able to pass through walls when returning to the player, but unable to when attacking an enemy, no "waiting room" should be constructed.

Keep in mind that even while AFK-farming, the player is still required to check the progress once in a while. Otherwise any dropped key molds will disappear due to the aforementioned note.

Arena tips

A piece of land transformed into the Hallow for mold farming. The surrounding shaft prevents the Hallow from spreading to the adjacent land. Notice the platforms which allows monsters that spawn in or fall into the shaft to climb up.

If you want to artificially build a biome to farm Key Molds in, there are two ways to do so:

  • Gradually stacking one or more block types of the relevant biome until the amount of blocks calls it forth. The compactness of the stacked blocks allows a relatively small area to create a biome, which can be convenient if you're making an arena which doesn't allow for things like grass and natural cliffs - instead, one can just stack the blocks below the arena. For info on what it takes for a biome to form, see Guide:Artificial biomes.
  • Simply transforming a default biome into another. The Clentaminator is an excellent tool for changing biomes, also doing so stunningly fast. It's also possible to use Grass Seeds if the player doesn't mind waiting.
    • If you start with a Mud Block-based biome, be sure to farm the Jungle Key Mold first! When you transform it into the Corruption or Crimson (or Hallow, after either of those) the top block layer will be transformed into Dirt, on which Jungle cannot be re-applied.
  • Unless you don't mind the Corruption, Crimson, or Hallow spreading, you may want to "quarantine" the area by digging a three-block-wide shaft and tunnel to separate the Key Mold-biome from the adjacent land.
  • A Water Candle will increase the number of enemies. This can also be combined with the Battle Potion.
  • A Campfire, Heart Lantern, and standing in Honey will increase a character's survivability.
  • Additional info on creating biomes/arenas can be found on:

Mold-specific farming

Corruption Key Mold

The Eater of Worlds's body segments all count towards the drop rate of 1/2500. Since the Eater of Worlds consists of 50 segments there is a 1/50 (2%) drop rate for a key mold from the Eater of Worlds. With Hardmode equipment, spam summoning the EoW is quick and reliable.

Another, lesser, method is to kill worm type creature like the World Feeder with explosives. This will kill multiple segments at once, each dropping their own loot.

Crimson Key Mold

The Brain of Cthulhu uses a group of creatures called Creepers to attack the player. Each Creeper has a 1/2500 chance to drop the Crimson Key Mold. Spam summoning the Brain of Cthulhu is not as reliable and fast as the corruption equivalent, but still convenient.

Trivia

Prior to patch 1.2.3 it was popular to use Meteor Heads to farm key molds. Being summonable with enough Meteorite, easy to defeat, and posing hardly any danger to the player, Meteor Heads were as made for this purpose. In 1.2.3 they were however changed to not drop any loot once in Hardmode, removing them as a means of farming.

References