There are many things in Terraria which are not evident from the get-go, and many other things that a player would definitely do differently on a rerun of the game. It is true that much of the joy lies in exploring, but sometimes some helpful advice is in order.
- If the player can't find a Magic Mirror or Ice Mirror, then they can find or craft Recall Potions. They have the same effect and have a quicker use time.
- The player can make a Gem Hook after getting 15 Gems of the same kind. This makes exploration of caves much easier, and it does not require a Hook, an uncommon drop from skeletons and piranhas.
- Stacks of items can be bought and crafted quickly by holding the ⚷ Open / Activate button.
- There are a wide variety of items in Terraria. It is best to separate chests into categories. Chests containing crafting materials are best kept near the crafting station where they will be needed - one for ores and bars, next to an Anvil and Furnace; one for potion materials, next to a Placed Bottle or Alchemy Table; one for potions, one for weapons, one for equippable items next to a Tinkerer's Workshop, and one or two for miscellaneous crafting materials.
- All Piggy Banks, Safes, Defender's Forges and Void Vaults (collectively, "personal storage") retain their items when broken. The player can put them into their inventory and place them at any time for access. This effectively triples () / quadruples () / quintuples () the amount of items a player can carry.
- The Piggy Bank requires a flat furniture surface to set on; a Work Bench or two platforms will do. In most versions, you can get the Money Trough during a Blood Moon. This item summons a floating Piggy Bank that does not need to be placed.
- In current versions, the Void Bag similarly acts as a mobile Void Vault; it also automatically collects items into the Vault when the player's inventory is full.
- If the player dies, they will lose at least half the money they are carrying, and will likely have trouble retrieving it. Regularly stash money in a Piggy Bank, Safe, etc.; when buying items a player can automatically draw on any money stashed in their personal storage.
- Even with full health, Heart Crystals are still useful to craft Heart Lanterns, which provide health regeneration when placed.
- Additionally, collecting Heart Crystals wherever found, allows for the Metal Detector to detect other, potentially more useful, items.
- The player can place Banners around areas where their respective monsters spawn, for buffs against those monsters.
- Fishing up a Reaver Shark from the Ocean, while possibly being time-consuming, allows the player to skip all the mandatory pre-Hardmode pickaxes – it has the same pickaxe power as the Molten Pickaxe and is faster. (In later versions the Reaver Shark has been nerfed -- still a good pickaxe, but not a sequence breaker.)
- Try not to fight Voodoo Demons above lava, otherwise they will drop the Guide Voodoo Doll into it, and the Wall of Flesh will spawn.
- With few exceptions, you should upgrade your pickaxe whenever possible: not only will better pickaxes mine blocks faster, but certain tiles (especially ores) can only be mined with stronger tools.
- The same goes for pickaxes/drills in Hardmode. They are mandatory for progressing to the next ore tier. The order is: Cobalt / Palladium, Mythril / Orichalcum, and finally Adamantite / Titanium. Adamantite and Titanium Ore should not be crafted into tools, as they do not unlock access to better ores.
- Do not jump down a large hole or cave without an extra jump, Umbrella, Featherfall Potion, Wings, or Lucky Horseshoe. If you do not have those, consider using Rope and platforms to safely descend.
- As a rule of thumb, you should not jump down terrain if you cannot see the glow of a torch or glowstick that you threw down without a way to stop falling.
- Use Spelunker Potions or throw Spelunker Glowsticks if you're unable to find anything of value: they highlight any valuable treasure and ores that are on your screen.
- Mining Potions and the Ancient Chisel increase mining speed directly.
- The Light modifier (and any other modifiers that increase the speed of the pickaxe/drill) will greatly increase the mining speed of tools.
- When the Minimap is expanded, hovering over an ore pocket will display its name next to the cursor.
- Pressing the Left Ctrl (pressing down the right joystick on Xbox) key changes your mining style to Smart Cursor, which is extremely useful for strip mining.
- You can descend relatively fast by auto-focusing the mining and digging a 2-block-wide shaft.
- Using Mining Armor is useful when mining. The helmet is especially useful as it mostly eliminates the need for torches.
- For quick trips to the various layers of the world, a hellevator can be a very useful structure. Dig a vertical shaft from underneath your base down to The Underworld and consider placing Ropes or platforms to conveniently ascend and descend (note that rope is faster).
- Do not look for Hardmode ores in the Underground Corruption, Crimson, or Hallow when you first start Hardmode unless you are very confident in your skill. Instead, if you have dug one, a hellevator is a good place to start looking.
- Hardmode ores cannot be found in all layers:
- 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 Charm and/or Moon 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, Campfires and Heart Lanterns for health regeneration, and Stars in Bottles for mana regeneration if you use magic. Bast Statues will provide a significant defensive boost. Garden 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. Honey pools can also be used for extra health regeneration.
- Sunflowers 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. As of 18.104.22.168, Restoration Potions are healing potions with a shorter cooldown.
- It is suggested to build houses for the Dryad and the Nurse NPCs in your arena. The former casts the Dryad'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 coins.
- 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 Mechanic in the Dungeon, you can use Wire to enhance your arena with Traps and helpful Heart and Star 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 timers.
- 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 Station, Ammo Box, Crystal Ball, Bewitching Table, and Slice 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 Sharpened, Ammo Box, Clairvoyance, Bewitched, and Sugar Rush, respectively.
- There are various items and accessories that can affect movement speed:
- The various Boots, allow the player to run faster, cutting travel time. Various upgrades provide a double-jump and other mobility features.
- Swiftness Potions are common and easily brewed, and sharply increase movement speed (for a limited time). With boots, they allow reaching sprint speed more quickly.
- The Aglet and Anklet of the Wind improve movement speed by 5% and 10%, respectively. Both stack with each other, and even with a Swiftness Potion. Once you get the Tinkerer's Workshop both accessories can be combined into Lightning Boots.
- Any accessory can provide a minor movement-speed modifier: In order of increasing speed, these modifiers include Brisk, Fleeting, Hasty, and Quick.
- Several items are used for mostly-vertical travel: Jumping, safe falling, and/or flying.
- If you can withstand screen flips, Gravitation Potions can be your best friend for vertical mobility. With precautions and practice, this can easily eliminate the need for an arena and can save you some resources to explore the Space biome.
- A Featherfall Potion or an Umbrella effectively extends flight time by causing players to fall slower; the effects are even more pronounced when holding the UP directional key. This will also eliminate all fall damage risk from using a Gravitation Potion. The Djinn's Curse acts as a permanent Featherfall Potion when worn in the armor slot.
- Several "Bottles" provide an extra jump of varying strengths: Cloud in a Bottle, Blizzard in a Bottle, Sandstorm in a Bottle,Tsunami in a Bottle, or Fart in a Jar. (Comparison)
- The ascent speed of Wings can be greatly increased by equipping a Frog Leg. Balloon accessories provide a similar, though less dramatic bonus.
- A Hook can be used to grapple across gaps, including upward and downward. On flat open areas they can be used to pull a player across the ground, by shooting it at the ground ahead and then releasing it while being pulled in. This allows the various Boots to get to full speed without having to build up beforehand.
- There are several options for teleportation, each with different limits and trade offs:
- Several items allow teleportation to the player’s spawn point: Magic Mirror/Ice Mirror, Cell Phone, Recall Potion, Potion of Return. This point defaults to the middle of the map at the surface, but the player can choose almost any other point using a bed. The Potion of Return also supplies a return portal.
- The Magic Conch allows teleporting to either seashore (the outermost standable block). The Demon Conch allows going to the middle of the Underworld, but the player may need to provide a surface there.
- The Pylons provide a point-to-point network. You can place one pylon per major biome, plus one more for underground. Each pylon requires 2 NPCs nearby in order to work.
- Teleporters become available in Hardmode, and can be used to setup point-to-point links or complex networks. The main catch is that you need to place wire between the teleporters.
Each player is limited to 22 active buffs and debuffs at a time (10 on 3DS), and exceeding that will cancel buffs (but not debuffs) from the left of the bar. This looks like a lot, but once you start setting up "buff stations" and summoning pets and minions, they can add up to the point where even your own potions can interfere with other buffs, let alone if an enemy hits you with a debuff. Here is a list of common buffs to consider, some of which are clearly dispensable:
- Summons: Pet, Light pet, Minion, Mount (Up to 4 buffs).
- Of these, the pet and perhaps the light pet are irrelevant in combat, so you might want to dismiss them for a major fight.
- The minion and mount are another story: Overflowing the buff/debuff bar can unexpectedly desummon them -- and then re-summoning them will eliminate some other buff that you might have been counting on! Note that mixing multiple minion types takes a slot for each type.
- Furniture: Ammo Box, Bewitching Table, Sharpening Station, Crystal Ball, Slice of Cake. Four class specific buffs, and one short-lived generic one; stick to the ones you'll actually be using.
- Area buffs: Campfire, Sunflower, Heart Lantern, Star in a Bottle, Bast Statue, Peace Candle (and/or Water Candle), Banners (any number of them count for one slot), Honey (from taking a dip or certain accessories), Dryad's Blessing. That's 5-7 general buffs that can turn on or off as you move around, another that may be unexpected, and one triggered by an NPC. Maybe don't get greedy at your arena....
- Equipment: Various accessories, and mid- to late-game armor or weapons (especially whips) can all trigger buffs at odd moments, often when you hit an enemy or take damage. Keep track of which equipment can trigger a buff.
- Food buffs count, and you'll usually have one. So does Tipsy if you use that. A Flask imbue counts too.
Loading up on the above can add up to 18-20 buffs even before you start actually fighting, and several more that can be triggered at odd moments. All this before you start drinking potions, or getting debuffed by enemies!
If you're using the "Quick buff" control, be careful what potions are in your main inventory; fishing, building, and most "mobility" potions can be stashed in the Piggy Bank or such, along with options meant for other classes. Potions such as Feather Falling, Gills, or Spelunker can be saved for situations where they're warranted, and their places on the buff bar reclaimed if needed. Many mobility and defensive potions can be replaced by accessories, other equipment, or changes in tactics. Remember that using Healing or Mana potions will also trigger a cooldown debuff, as will a Rod of Discord.
You do get one freebie: Most luck effects (ladybugs, torches, garden gnomes) do not appear on the buff/debuff list, though a Luck Potion will.
- Always use Background Walls in your buildings, as they stop Enemies to spawn in those areas.
- You will be getting a lot of NPCs – arrange a building that you can keep expanding; upwards is best, however Wyverns may cause problems on small worlds.
- To avoid possible Corruption/Crimson contamination of NPC houses in the future, it can be helpful to dig a 4-5 block trench around them; allow yourself some extra space for tree farms.
- You can right click with any Summon weapon on an enemy or boss to have your minions target it. You can tell an enemy is targeted when a purple circle appears over it and the enemy or boss starts trailing purple particles.
- If your mouse has side-buttons you can rebind them to restore Health, use Buff items or to restore Mana.