Hardcore x Master Mode is a fairly popular challenge that combines Terraria's most extreme settings for maximum difficulty. This guide is to help The Player through completing this challenge themself.
- 1 Day 1
- 2 Day 2
- 3 Day 3
- 4 King Slime
- 5 Exploration
- 6 Mining
- 7 NPC gathering
- 8 Early Boss Preparation
- 9 Eye Of Cthulhu
- 10 Eater of Worlds and Brain of Cthulhu
- 11 Queen Bee
- 12 Skeletron
- 13 Final Preparations
- 14 The Wall of Flesh
- 15 Hardmode
- 16 Queen Slime
- 17 Skeletron (unless already beaten in Pre-Hardmode)
- 18 The Destroyer
- 19 The Twins
- 20 Skeletron Prime
- 21 Plantera
- 22 Dungeon
- 23 Duke Fishron
- 24 Golem
- 25 Martian Madness
- 26 Lunatic Cultist
- 27 Celestial Pillars
- 28 Moon Lord
- 29 Post-Moon Lord
- 30 Tips
The first step is to collect plenty of Wood. A single unarmored hit from a slime can be fatal in Master Mode, and remember that hardcore characters are deleted upon death. After most available wood has been harvested, have a look around for chests, make wooden weapons and kill some slimes. Make a small box out of wood for protection, and start digging a hellevator during the night. It is also important to collect a large amount of dirt. Blocks are a useful method of protecting oneself from monsters.
On the second day, it may be of the player's interest to obtain Cactus gear. Beware of vultures. Avoid the Crimson, Corruption, and Jungle at all costs. During the night, the smartest thing to do is to simply expand the hellevator. Metal equipment will be a massive milestone, and simply digging further downward is the easiest method of getting there. Light up caves and loot Underground Cabins, Glowing Mushroom biomes, etc. Beware of traps and be sure to check every lone chest extremely carefully as it could be a Dead Man's Chest, which will easily destroy an unsuspecting player. Holding a mechanical object such as a pressure plate or dart trap will allow the player to see the wires of a Dead Man's Chest before attempting to loot it. Place blocks to prevent dangerous enemies such as purple slimes and spore bats from reaching you.
Starting to branch out on day 3 is not a bad idea. Crafting stations and storage should be set up, as well as housing. Obtaining reasonable weapons, tools, and armor will also be necessary for upcoming bosses. See Guide:Class setups for more in-depth equipment recommendations.
After any further preparation, King Slime should be fought. A long, 3 layer arena of platforms with plenty of space to move around should be constructed. A hook, at least 180 life, silver equipment or better, and lots of potions should be used. If a bow is being used, bring plenty of Flaming Arrows or Jester's Arrows. Remember to keep a distance at all times. If 15 of any gemstone has been obtained, a gem hook may be crafted for extra mobility.
Following the defeat of king slime, one may choose to further explore the world. Crimson/Corruption should still be avoided, and caution is incredibly important. Bring plenty of platforms and blocks to evade/avoid enemies. Whenever an uncommon resource is encountered, make sure to confirm full safety before going to collect it. Think about if an item is needed. Could it be found near base? If not, grab it. (Ice Blocks are very important for Frostburn Arrows, Desert Fossils are limited and can spit out valuable items when extractinated, etc.) Remember, caution is key here. The player should never, under any circumstances, let their guard down.
Once some good gear has been acquired, venturing into the underground layers is feasible. Remember to use Spelunker Potions if available and use ranged attacks instead of melee to keep a safe distance. Look for gold/platinum, and make sure to look through Chests. If a Magic Mirror has been obtained, it can be used for emergency escapes. Make sure to mine as much gold/platinum as possible, it will be used for armor. Look for Life Crystals but do not use them until ready for the Eye of Cthulhu. Look for defense buffs. Make a hellevator for easy access to the underground. If a Nymph is encountered, do not engage for it is extremely dangerous and could kill a player in one hit. Be sure to grab all ores and slush, fossils, or silt blocks for the Extractinator. Avoid enemies with more health than the player and/or more than 40 damage. Use blocks to evade other combat. Once 100-200 pieces of gold/platinum ore and a magic mirror/stock of Recall Potions have been obtained, begin making metal bars. Armor is priority, if a full set has been crafted and there is extra gold or platinum, make the bow and sword.
Once some gold or platinum armor and or weapons have been obtained, it is time to gather some NPCs. The top priority is to get the Demolitionist, Merchant, Arms Dealer, and Zoologist. The demolitionist provides Grenades, which will deal well with groups, arms dealer provides Guns, and zoologist for Whips if playing as a summoner. Once grenades are acquired, it is time to take on the Goblin Army. The goblin army can be safely dealt with using a "volcano farm." This is a small pit filled with very shallow Lava, with a room underneath for the player to stand. Go under the lava and wait for the goblins to run towards you and into the lava. Be sure to have a broadsword out to deal with Chaos Balls, and watch for the teleportation of the Goblin Sorcerers themselves. After defeating the goblins, go to the caverns (a Lifeform Analyzer will help, as well as Hunter Potions) and just wait for the bound goblin to spawn. Since the player will likely spend a lot of money at the goblin tinkerer, making him happy is very beneficial. He prefers to be underground and likes the Dye Trader and Princess and loves the Mechanic.
Early Boss Preparation
In the earlygame the player needs to prepare for early bosses and events in order to defeat them safely. The player may proceed along normal progression and fight the King Slime, Eye of Cthulhu, and Goblin Army with Silver/Gold quality weapons. However the safest way, especially in Hardcore is to be overpowered and use weapons which break the normal sequence. Below are a couple of options for obtaining powerful equipment in the early game.
- Minishark: This requires the player to farm gold in the early game but is the safest and most reliable powerful weapon to obtain early. It will require the player to make one risky run into the Corruption or Crimson; however this may be less risky than facing bosses with underpowered weapons. Explore and smash pots to obtain a grenade or bomb in your inventory. With an empty house, the Demolitionist is now eligible to move in. Using either the Demolitionist or smashed pots, obtain a few bombs. Now run to the Corruption/Crimson and smash a Shadow Orb / Crimson Heart. It is guaranteed to drop a Musket or Undertaker. Grab it and immediately warp out using a recall potion, magic mirror, or logout of the game. With the new gun, the Arms Dealer is now eligible to move into an empty house. Buy the Minishark from him to make the rest of the early game a breeze. Note that the arms dealer can be obtained without breaking a Shadow Orb / Crimson Heart if the player obtains a Boomstick, Revolver, or Red Ryder instead.
- Boomstick and Demon Scythe: These two are together because the rationale is the same. In both cases, the risk is extremely high of dying while trying to get these weapons, but since the character is in the earlygame the player has not yet invested much time in the character so the consequences of dying are less. If you agree with this rationale, then the player may acquire a Demon Scythe by digging to hell and killing a few demons or a Boomstick by digging to the underground jungle and finding a few ivy chests. In both of these cases, the player should constantly build a shield of blocks around themselves and watch out for block, piercing enemies (Man Eaters in the jungle and Demon Scythes in the underworld).
- Traveling Merchant Items: Like the Minishark, these items require gold farming in the earlygame and the player must be prepared before the Traveling Merchant arrives. Also, the probability of individual strong weapons being sold by the Traveling Merchant are very low, so this method is not reliable in a time sensitive manner. However, if the player is fortunate and flush with gold, they may purchase an early Revolver, Katana, Gray Zapinator, or Code I.
Even with adequate preparation, a boss fight may not go your way. Having the Nurse nearby makes a helpful emergency backup if your health is low. Quitting to the main menu will despawn all enemies (including bosses) and is an important last resort to avoid dying. Using a recall potion or a magic mirror will despawn most bosses but some will follow you back to your spawn point and continue the fight.
Refer to Guide:Eye of Cthulhu strategies for more strategies.
Congrats on surviving this far! There is a need for the Shield Of Cthulhu as we are going to need it in order to dodge the speedy hits of Queen Bee. The Eye of Cthulhu can be fought in the same arena as King Slime as the need for mobility is the same. Use a Musket or Undertaker to deal ranged damage or a Ruby or Diamond Staff to deal magic damage. Avoid melee attacks due to the threat of contact damage. Obtaining a Flinx Staff (or a Vampire Frog Staff if you're brave) can give an appreciable increase in DPS.
The Eater of Worlds or Brain of Cthulhu will always spawn when the player has destroyed a multiple of three Shadow Orbs or Crimson Hearts. If the player is searching for a specific item and has not gotten it when the boss spawns, a magic mirror or recall potion can be used to escape the fight. Also note that the bosses do not need to be defeated in their entirety to collect the Shadow Scales or Tissue Samples necessary for progression. One may elect to simply defeat enough EoW segments or BoC creepers to obtain 6 shadow scales or tissue samples and craft a pickaxe capable of mining hellstone. Fighting these bosses with hellstone equipment will make them significantly easier.
In worlds with the Corruption the player may obtain Ancient Shadow Armor as a rare drop from the Eaters of Souls. Building a simple slope to guide the Eaters of Souls into lava will allow the player to slowly but easily farm for the armor pieces. The Vilethorn is a very powerful weapon to get from Shadow Orbs as it allows you to hit enemies through walls while exposing yourself to minimal danger and is also able to hit many segments of the Eater of Worlds at the same time. Making an arena in a confined space will mean that most of the Eater of Worlds' projectiles will harmlessly hit blocks but it will also make it more difficult to avoid contact damage. Doors may be used to allow player mobility while blocking projectiles. Filling the area with Spiky Balls will deal a large amount of damage when the Eater of Worlds emerges from the ground.
In worlds with the Crimson the player can use a flail to hit many of the Brain of Cthulhu's Creepers at once and to deal significant knockback during its second phase. The Brain of Cthulhu is best fought in an open space with many platforms (such as the main chamber of a Crimson chasm) in order to give adequate room to dodge. The Creepers and the Brain of Cthulhu can inflict devastating debuffs when inflicting contact damage so maintaining distance is absolutely necessary.
Refer to Guide:Queen Bee strategies for more strategies.
The player may judge for themselves whether it will be safer to fight Queen Bee in the underground jungle or on the surface jungle. She enters a mild enraged state on the surface that speeds up her attacks but the surface also allows for much more room to dodge these attacks. Bringing Queen Bee out of the jungle entirely will cause her to enter her most powerful enraged state and should be strictly avoided. Her summoned bees and projectile stingers may inflict poison, which removes your passive health regeneration and causes constant damage. Equipping a Bezoar is strongly recommended to negate this effect. Since the Queen Bee becomes very fast at low health, a large open arena with platforms is ideal to allow for the most dodging room. The Shield of Cthulhu should also be used to allow the player to quickly accelerate out of the way of an attack.
Note that the Queen Bee does NOT despawn when the player uses a magic mirror or recall potion. It will follow you all the way back to your spawn point and likely enter its enraged mode, quickly killing you. Instead quit back to the main menu to despawn it if you are unlikely to win the fight.
Also note that if the player does not intend on using any items that Queen Bee drops or any items that the Witch Doctor sells they may choose to skip the Queen Bee fight entirely or postpone it until hardmode.
Refer to Guide:Skeletron strategies for more strategies.
Skeletron is an extremely formidable threat in this mode to the point that some players prefer to wait until hardmode to fight it. Skeletron gains 25 defense for each hand that remains alive, meaning that you will almost certainly have to destroy the hands before killing Skeletron. However, Skeletron will begin firing highly accurate cursed skulls in a curved trajectory once one hand has been defeated and will double his rate of fire after the other hand is defeated. In order to dodge the cursed skulls, hand attacks, and Skeletron himself, a large arena with many platforms to move between is recommended. After destroying one hand it is important to destroy the other as soon as possible to prevent Skeletron from being able to use all three forms of attack. Bringing both hands to low health before destroying either of them is recommended. Using a Star Cannon to rapidly damage Skeletron is also viable.
This step is very important, as not only is the Wall of Flesh fight difficult, Hardmode will be very punishing, and preparation is necessary. Build a runway for WOF and loot shadow chests — this requires a Shadow Key from the Dungeon, tread carefully. Again, use blocks to evade enemies. Molten armor may be worth the risk, but it is not particularly advised. Right before the battle, a bed should be used to set the player's spawn point in the same house as the arms dealer. Right after the fight, grab the loot and return home, then buy a Shotgun and extra ammo. This will provide a reasonable form of defense against the early, but formidable, enemies in hardmode. You should have MAX life.
Beenades are key here. Bring at least 300 beenades, even if it requires farming. Running out of beenades is a certain death sentence In this fight, bringing too many is impossible. After setting up a very long bridge as an arena, zoom out as much as possible and throw the doll, then start running and throwing the beenades (do not throw them at extreme rates, time them well). Sunfury can also be useful in tight spots, and the Dark Lance can help as a sidearm for close range engagements (do not attempt to fight entirely melee.)
Welcome to hardmode! With the defeat of The Wall of Flesh, the difficulty of survival is greatly increased. Not only can new enemies one-shot players with even the most powerful pre-hardmode builds, but enemies that posed smaller threats earlier receive a massive buff. The first thing to do is buy a shotgun, as detailed above. Then, head back to the top of The Underworld and locate The Hallow. Blow out a large area to collect Crystal Shards and keep a distance from enemies. If a good lava pool is found, generate 20 Obsidian. Craft Crystal Bullets once enough shards are obtained, and then head to the The Crimson/The Corruption. Gather Souls and Ichor/Cursed Flames, and smash some Altars. This process can be very dangerous, so tread carefully. Next, head back to the underworld. Now that hardmode has begun, Hellstone isn't explosive-proof. Gather 60 hellstone and craft a Molten Pickaxe. Now gather the hardmode ores. Fishing is another alternative. Try to stay near the underworld to potentially obtain Hel-Fire a powerful hardmode yoyo. Once a good supply of hardmode ores has been mined, create a safe fishing spot. Wyverns can be very difficult to fight, try piercing or explosive weapons and dodge well. Then, craft a Mythril/Orichalcum Anvil and an Adamantite/Titanium Forge, craft bars and equipment out of hardmode ores. It is also recommended to get some wings. Leaf Wings are relatively easy to get, being purchased from the Witch Doctor at night when in jungle, however, they aren't the best when it comes to stats. Fairy Wings, Fin Wings, Frozen Wings and Harpy Wings are the best wings you can get before the Mechanical bosses. Go for any of these four that you want, Fairy Wings and Harpy Wings are likely the easiest to get, Frozen Wings are also fairly easy, but require you to defeat an Ice Golem, a powerful hardmode enemy. After that, you're all set!
This fight will be medium hard, but be aware, minions that come from bosses also receive the massive buff so be extra cautious about the minions that spawn from the boss. You will want to kill this a couple of times until you get full Crystal Assassin Armor. As you are farming for them in the hallow, attempt to get the Rod of Discord.
Skeletron (unless already beaten in Pre-Hardmode)
Not much to say about this. Buff up as much as possible, and a small platform arena can help as well. With your hardmode gear, this should be no problem.
The Destroyer is a mechanical upgrade to the Eater of Worlds, now armed with dangerous probes and lasers. Use the arena you used for king slime but expand it. Note that this boss doesn't despawn if you teleport away, which can be used to your advantage sometimes. Beware of the head as it does massive damage and don't get overwhelmed with probes, if there are any, focus on them instead of the Destroyer. After you defeat it, craft the Megashark.
The Twins are a mechanical version of the Eye of Cthulhu, one having deadly lasers while the other having cursed, flaming breath. Try to kill one at a time while keeping the other one above 50% health. A long asphalt platform, or any platform with the Unicorn mount will almost let you outrun Spazmatism's cursed flame projectiles, alternatively, good vertical mobility (preferably gravitation potion) also helps with this fight. The Megashark should be your weapon of choice.
A four-armed, metal version of Skeletron. You can choose to either prioritize the head itself, which needs to be killed for Skeletron Prime to die, or focus on the arms first, as after that, Skeletron Prime will become almost defenseless. Beware of its head-spinning attack as it does high damage and can trap you in a knockback loop. Also be extremely cautious about the time, as when it turns daytime (4:30 am), Skeletron Prime doesn't despawn like the other two mechanical bosses, but will instead enter a Dungeon Guardian phase, being extremely fast and able to one-shot you.
Ranged weapons are optimal. It is recommended to use the Megashark with Chlorophyte Bullets. As for armor, use Turtle armor for maximum defense and its thorns effect. Keep a distance from the boss and do the following:
- Use a pool of honey
- Set up some Heart Lanterns and Campfires
- Use all regenerative buffs and accessories (top-tier foods, Regeneration Potions and the Charm of Myths)
- Try to include space for the Nurse, note that she may be killed.
After Plantera is defeated, the dungeon is completely revamped. If you haven't explored the dungeon yet, now's the time. Dungeon enemies are very powerful, so keep your distance as much as possible. Make a spawn chamber or a volcano farm. Once you get the weapons and accessories you want, farm Ectoplasm. With this, you can get the Pumpkin Moon Medallion and Naughty Present. After that, head back home.
See the post-Plantera section of Dungeon for more info. Also, attempt to obtain as many life fruits as possible.
Duke Fishron should be fought here or after Golem for the good loot.
The Shrimpy Truffle is almost required for the Moon Lord fight. The weapons are very useful too. Make a large, multi-platform arena over the ocean. Getting the Truffle Worm won't be too hard. Make sure to bring lots of mobility accessories. The Duke is fast, so it will be hard to outspeed him. Dodge him as well as possible. When he goes into his final form, use a long-ranged weapon such as the Megashark. Keep grinding until you get the weapons you want.
A large space is required. Actuate the blocks forming the walls of the room to move into a prepared arena.
For this boss fight, mobility is paramount. Do not stop moving. A Tabi or upgrades will be very helpful for its dash; this should be used to avoid the Eye Beams. Destroying the hands is priority due to their high attack rate. When the second phase is reached, be sure to pay attention to all incoming projectiles as well as the still-moving body.
Martian Madness is very risky, due to the berserk mode on Expert Mode and Master Mode with the Martian Saucer and also due to the fact that lasers go through walls. The Rod of Discord can help dodge when the berserk isn’t on but you can’t do it every time when it’s on berserk or you may end up killing yourself. Attempt to do this event until you get the anti-gravity hook. It will be later needed. Try to also get the cosmic car key.
For this boss fight, dodging is the only way to beat this boss, no facetank setup can survive his damage in Master Mode. Homing weapons are helpful, but note that they can only do 75% damage against the cultist. Proceed with extreme caution so as not to attack the duplicates.
You're almost there! The Celestial Pillars are a difficult fight. It is recommended to use a cautious strategy. This entails staying near the edges of the pillars' spawn zone, allowing fewer enemies to spawn and killing them safely. This is a time-consuming but safer strategy than simply running toward the pillar attacking. When the shield of a pillar is down, move away and use a long range weapon to destroy it. Rocket Launcher is a good option if obtained. Also, in the solar pillar, Do NOT fly. If there is a Crawltipede, it can kill you probably in 2 shots as it does around 125-150 damage in classic mode, meaning your run you worked on and all this time would all be for nothing. But if you stay on the ground, the Crawltipede will not come down.
This battle is going to be very difficult. Nothing will shelter the player from the Moon Lord's attacks, and no facetank strategy can outperform his massive damage values. It is advised to obtain the Shrimpy Truffle mount and create a large amount of Bubble pockets for either water or honey. Both liquids have their advantages and disadvantages. Rod of Discord is invaluable for evading attacks. No matter the class, use the Vortex Beater with Chlorophyte Bullets for their homing capability, allowing more focus on dodging. Mobility should be taken care of by these preparations. Equip a full set of Combat Accessories instead of Movement Accessories. Once the eyes are destroyed, start flying to one side while moving up or down slightly to dodge the attacks. There is one strategy!
If you actually made it here, Congrats! You survived! You did the impossible! You can try something more difficult: hardcore master for the worthy! Combining Hardcore with Master mode, that is insane. If you beat this, here is some stuff you might want to choose to do next if you like doing these challenges.
Hardcore Master For The Worthy
One Class Hardcore Master
One Class Hardcore Master For The Worthy
- See Guide:Hardcore for extra tips. These will generally need to be taken more seriously in the massively increased difficulty of Master Mode.
- It is most important of all that one's guard is not let down. In-game monsters are dangerous, but ignorance or carelessness can be more dangerous than the Moon Lord.
- Buff up! Buff potions and food are crucial during such a dangerous playthrough. An herb farm should be built, as well as fishing spots. One should always be able to chug before a battle.
- Try the seed "for the worthy" for the outmost, impossible difficulty.