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 King Slime
- 10 Eye Of Cthulhu
- 11 Eater of Worlds and Brain of Cthulhu
- 12 Queen Bee
- 13 Skeletron
- 14 Final Preparations
- 15 The Wall of Flesh
- 16 Hardmode
- 17 Queen Slime
- 18 Skeletron (unless already beaten in Pre-Hardmode)
- 19 The Destroyer
- 20 The Twins
- 21 Skeletron Prime
- 22 Plantera
- 23 Dungeon
- 24 Duke Fishron
- 25 Golem
- 26 Martian Madness
- 27 Empress of Light
- 28 Lunatic Cultist
- 29 Celestial Pillars
- 30 Moon Lord
- 31 Post-Moon Lord
- 32 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 better gear primarily gold or platinum. 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 Dead Man's Chests. 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 decently long, 3 layer arena of platforms with plenty of space to move around should be constructed. A hook (preferably a Gem 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.
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. 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 or Yoyos. 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, be sure to block it off and kill it with a Yoyo. Be sure to grab all ores, and slush, fossils, or silt blocks for the Extractinator. Avoid high-health enemies (unless they are easy to kill). 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 takes priority, but if a full set has been crafted and there is extra gold or platinum, make the bow.
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 (once the Goblin Army has been defeated) the Goblin Tinkerer will allow you to reforge your items and combine some. Make sure to put them in the right Biome and with the right other NPCs (the Goblin Tinkerer especially). See NPC happiness. 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 wait for the bound goblin to spawn. Remember to put him underground and with the Mechanic.
Early Boss Preparation
In the early game, 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, in hardcore and Master Mode especially, you should always get the best weapons available to you. 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 leave. 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. The player may acquire a Demon Scythe by digging to hell and farming 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 Fire Imps 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.
- Jungle items: In Hardcore Master Mode, these usually-overpowered items are a little lackluster. However, the Chakram, Blade of Grass (for Night's Edge) and Amazon Yoyo are all items worth crafting.
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.
Prepare a long, flat, arena, with a single layer of platform. Summon King Slime and move in a single direction, and switch directions if near the end of the arena. The Hermes Boots and weapons obtained early on are usually feasible enough to fight against King Slime. However, any powerful item (such as the Minishark) can make this boss a breeze. The arena built can be used for other bosses as well, provided that extra layers and buff-inducing items are added.
Refer to Guide:Eye of Cthulhu strategies for more strategies.
The Shield Of Cthulhu's dash is essential throughout the game, so fighting it is a must. The Eye of Cthulhu can be fought in the same arena as King Slime as the need for mobility is the same. Any powerful weapons, accessories, and armor can be used. The Hermes Boots are essential for the fight since it increases movement speed.
The Eater of Worlds or Brain of Cthulhu will always spawn when 3 Shadow Orbs or Crimson Hearts have been destroyed. If the player is searching for a specific item and has not acquired 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/BoC creepers to obtain 6 shadow scales/tissue samples and craft a pickaxe capable of mining hellstone. Fighting these bosses with hellstone equipment will make them significantly easier.
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 enter its enraged mode (unless your spawn point is in the underground jungle), 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 in hardcore. 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 cursed skulls in your general direction that accelerate and curve towards the player once one hand has been defeated. Defeating both hands will double his rate of fire, so it is advised to finish of the hands at the same time. In order to dodge the hand attacks and Skeletron himself, a large arena with many platforms to move between is recommended. In order to dodge the skulls, circling Skeletron while staying somewhat close is one of the best strategies. 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, if you killed Skeletron, loot shadow chests — this requires a Shadow Key which you find from looting golden chests in the Dungeon. Tread carefully. Again, use blocks to evade enemies. Molten armor is highly advised; drink an Obsidian Skin Potions in order to harvest Hellstone safely and efficiently. Buying a Shotgun and extra ammo is advised for stronger enemies; this will provide a reasonable form of defense against the early, but formidable, enemies in hardmode. Make sure you have a Molten Pickaxe. (For pre-1.4 players, fishing for the Reaver Shark is a good idea.) Maximum life is mandatory.
The Hellwing Bow is a godsend in this fight. Wooden Arrows are fine but Jester's Arrows are advised. Keep a reasonable distance from the Wall in order to dodge the lasers. If you really want to use a yoyo, make sure to use the Slimy Saddle to reduce the chance of getting hit by the lasers. It is strongly advised to use a ranged weapon here however. The Sunfury can also be useful in tight spots, and the Dark Lance (if Skeletron is already beaten) 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 two- or one-shot players with even the most powerful pre-hardmode builds, but enemies that posed small threats earlier receive a massive buff. It is strongly advised to use the Melee armour (preferably with melee weapons, but you can use ranged weapons), or, if you have a good few hundred hours already, Ranged. Yoyos, if combined with the Yoyo Bag, are a good option. 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 and the Chik once enough shards are obtained and then head to the The Crimson/The Corruption. Gather Souls and Ichor/Cursed Flames and smash some Altars. Beware of wraiths, which spawn after destroying an altar. Gather the hardmode ores. Fishing is another alternative. 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, but lack speed and duration. 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. Challenge a Hallowed Mimic using the arena for King Slime for a chance to get powerful weapons such as the Daedelus Stormbow.
This fight will be difficult, but not too difficult. Use the arena you built for the king slime, and dump a layer of lava (Use one bucket of lava every 6 tiles) at the bottom to kill the slimes that come out of Queen Slime. . Keep moving to avoid her teleporting on top of you. Watch out for the second phase, where she flies. Killing her until you have full Crystal Assassin Armor is a good idea, but Titanium Armor works just as well. After you have defeated her, spend a few hours building an underground farm to get the Rod of Discord.
Skeletron (unless already beaten in Pre-Hardmode)
Skeletron can be easily beaten at this point.
The Destroyer is the mechanical and hardmode counterpart to the Eater of Worlds. Any weapons that have a large area of effect or piercing must be used. Make sure to deal with the Probes first with a fast-firing weapon, because if left unattended, it can quickly decimate the player and end the run. Note that the Destroyer does not despawn, but will follow the player until it dies. Defeat it and use its Souls of Might to craft the Megashark, and craft items from Hallowed Bars if needed.
The Twins are a mechanical version of the Eye of Cthulhu; one shoots deadly lasers at you while the other shoots cursed flames. Focus on Spazmatism first. A long asphalt platform, or any platform with the Unicorn mount, will almost outrun Spazmatism's cursed flame projectiles; alternatively, good vertical mobility (preferably gravitation potion) also help with this fight.
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 Crystal Bullets and Chlorophyte Armor if you are ranged, or Turtle armor and Yelets 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.
Empress of Light can now be fought at this point of the game, but due to the extreme difficulty she poses, it is better to avoid her at this stage. Make sure to bring a Guide To Critter Companionship when venturing the Hallow as to not accidentally kill a Prismatic Lacewing, which summons Empress of Light.
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 high-damage, slow-use weapons, as it is only vulnerable during charges. 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 if you wish.
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 fists 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 an overall risky due to the Martian Saucer's Deathray, and said Deathray can go through walls. In order to dodge it, simply fly over the saucer, or Use the Rod of Discord/Hook of Dissonance, otherwise, keep dashing. Also, crowd control is paramount, so make use of weapons that pierce or cover a large area, such as the Razorblade Typhoon. A keen eye is needed as well, as Martian Engineers and Martian Drones, if left unchecked, can quickly overwhelm the player. Grind for the Cosmic Star Key, unless possessing the Witch's Broom, Influx Waver for melee players , and/or Xeno Staff.
For the arena, make a long line of asphalt blocks that extends throughout the hallow, and around 2-4 layers of platforms. Make sure to prepare for the fight, due to the high difficulty she poses. Use the asphalt road to dodge her attacks, and make use of the Rod of Discord. Defeat her and obtain the Soaring Insignia. Fighting her in daytime for Terraprisma is not recommended, since a single hit from her could end the run.
Note that fighting her is completely optional, but the loot she drops are useful throughout the rest of the game.
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 some of them 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, so make use of safe and cautious strategies. 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 on. If there is a Crawltipede, it can kill you probably in 2 shots, 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. ALWAYS fly otherwise. By making a platform mid-air using the Ice Rod to create a base for solid blocks, it acts as a cover for other enemies while staying safe from the Crawltipede.
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. Use the Vortex Beater with Chlorophyte Bullets for their homing capability to allowing more focus on dodging if you are Ranged. If you are Melee, the Solar Eruption is far better for this fight than the Daybreak. Mobility should be taken care of by these preparations. Damage output is preferred in this fight so equip your accessories accordingly. Once the eyes are destroyed, start flying to one side and move vertically to dodge the attacks.
If you actually made it here, Congratulations! You survived! You can try hardcore master for the worthy if you are a masochist or want to suffer even more! 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
- Purist (One-Class) Hardcore Master
- No Life Crystals Master Mode
- 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.