|1 Life Crystal used:
|15 Life Crystals used:
|1 Life Fruit used:
|20 Life Fruits used:
Health is the character's life count, represented by a meter of heart icons at the top-right of the screen. Each red heart shown represents 20 health, and each gold heart represents 25 health.
Taking damage causes health to drop, signified by the meter fading from right to left. Health regenerates when the character stops taking damage, and occurs at ever-increasing rates the longer the character avoids further damage, with a further rate boost if the character stands still. Regeneration can also be boosted using various equipable items, potions, and placed furniture items that cause area-effect buffs (Heart Lantern, Campfire).
New characters begin with 5 red hearts, or 100 health. Health capacity can be increased using Life Crystals, which add a single red heart each to the health meter permanently, increasing health capacity by 20 each. This can be done until the health meter reaches 20 red hearts (400 health).
Later in the game, the character can use Life Fruit to increase the capacity of their hearts by 5 health each, signified by permanently turning the color of each heart gold. With 15 Life Crystals and 20 Life Fruits used, a character can reach 20 gold hearts, which equals 500 health capacity. A further temporary boost to 600 health capacity can be achieved using a Lifeforce Potion.
On the Desktop version, Console version, Mobile version, Switch version, and tModLoader version, Hearts will decrease in size and fade away if they are "empty". On the Old-gen console version and version, hearts will lose pieces of themselves to reveal a darkened "empty" heart. Each red piece represents 5 health, and each gold piece represents 1 1/4 health. The gold hearts are also on a separate layer than the red hearts.
- On the version, hearts are also larger prior to getting over 10 hearts.
Damage occurs from attacks, environmental hazards, falling, drowning, or by debuffs. Taking damage causes a brief period of invulnerability while the character visually "flashes". When a character's life reaches 0 and all hearts are completely faded, death occurs.
- Enemies, such as Slimes, Zombies and Skeletons typically deal damage by touching the character. Other more powerful enemies like Fire Imps or Harpies can also damage the character via projectiles. Damage from enemies typically inflicts knockback on the character in addition, sending them flying through the air away from the source of the damage.
- Environment objects can cause damage, such as Spikes and thorns that grow in Corruption and Jungle areas, which hurt the character when touched. Hellstone and Meteorite blocks also deal damage via Burning debuff, and Lava causes a high rate of damage via the On Fire! debuff.
- Fall damage occurs from falling more than 25 tiles (50 feet) onto blocks, and causes more damage the further the fall. A single fall from an extreme height can kill a character.
- Drowning occurs when the character's Breath meter is depleted from remaining under water or other liquids for too long.
For a complete list of things that can reduce health, see causes of death.
By wearing armor and equipping certain accessories, characters can increase their defense which decreases damage taken. In addition to simply decreasing damage, some items can mitigate or eliminate certain forms of damage. All accessories can have modifiers that grant up to 4 defense in addition to their other bonuses and functions.
|Shackle||Accessory||Gives the character 1 extra defense.|
|Obsidian Skull||Accessory||Grants immunity to fire-based blocks and gives the character 1 extra defense. This includes Hellstone, Meteorite and Hellstone Brick, but not lava.|
|Cobalt Shield||Accessory||Prevents knockback from damage and gives the character 1 extra defense. By preventing knockback this allows the character to have full use of the brief post-damage invincibility time.|
|Obsidian Shield||Accessory||Combines the functions of the Obsidian Skull and Cobalt Shield. The Obsidian Shield gives the character 2 extra defense.|
|Lucky Horseshoe||Accessory||Negates all falling damage.|
|Obsidian Horseshoe||Accessory||Combines the functions of the Obsidian Skull and Lucky Horseshoe. It does not, however, give any defense.|
|Ice Skates||Accessory||Prevents the character from slipping and falling through ice in ice caves, making getting stuck underneath much less of a possibility.|
|Cloud in a Bottle / Sandstorm in a Bottle / Blizzard in a Bottle / Tsunami in a Bottle / Rocket Boots||Accessory||These and the accessories made from them allow the character to prevent fall damage by using them before hitting the ground.|
|Frog Leg||Accessory||Along with increasing jump height, allows character to fall from a greater height before taking damage.|
|Black Belt||Accessory||Allows the character to dodge |
|Cross Necklace||Accessory||Doubles the brief duration of invulnerability after a character takes damage.|
|Worm Scarf||Accessory||Reduces damage taken by 17%.|
|Brain of Confusion||Accessory||Allows the character to dodge |
|Grappling Hook||Item||Shoots out a hook that pulls the character to distant ledges. By grappling to a wall or the ground right before landing after a long fall, you can prevent all falling damage. (For more items that perform the same purpose, see Grappling hooks.)|
|Armor||Provides invincibility after striking an enemy.|
|Ironskin Potion||Potion||Increases defense by 8 for 5 minutes.|
|Food Items||Potion||Increases defense by 2-4 for various time periods.|
These items are specifically for the purpose of avoiding getting stuck and drowning in water/other liquids.
|Breathing Reed||Item||Allows the character to breathe near the surface of water, and makes the breath meter decrease over a period of 44 seconds (Instead of 22, without equipment). By placing this item on your action bar and selecting it, you will be able to breathe if the top of the reed is above the surface of the water.|
|Diving Helmet||Armor||Greatly extends underwater breathing (1 minute and 34 seconds instead of 22 without equipment) and gives the player 2 defense.|
|Flipper||Accessory||Allows the character to "swim" by jumping while in the water as though standing on a surface. This makes it much easier to avoid drowning.|
|Diving Gear||Accessory||Combines the functions of the Diving Helmet and Flipper. It is equipped in an accessory slot rather than an armor slot, allowing the character to equip a more defensive helmet.|
|Jellyfish Necklace||Accessory||Provides light while in water, making the escape from dark areas in water possible without Glowsticks.|
|Jellyfish Diving Gear||Accessory||Combines the functions of the Diving Gear and the Jellyfish Necklace, making escaping from dark areas in water much easier without Glowsticks, especially deep areas.|
|Arctic Diving Gear||Accessory||Combines the functions of the Jellyfish Diving Gear and Ice Skates, making escaping from water in ice caves much less treacherous.|
|Water Walking Boots||Accessory||Allows the character to stand on the surface of water when equipped, removing the chance to fall in.|
|Neptune's Shell||Accessory||Transforms the player into a Merfolk when entering water, allowing them to breathe and swim underwater.|
|Gills Potion||Potion||Allows the character to breathe underwater.|
|Flipper Potion||Potion||Prevents movement alteration in liquid.|
|Water Walking Potion||Potion||Allows the character to stand on the surface of water, removing the chance to fall in.|
|Moon Shell||Accessory||Combines the functions of the Moon Charm and Neptune's Shell. Allows breathing underwater, removes speed movement penalty in water, and allows swimming. Turns the player into a werewolf at night.|
These accessories are specifically for the purpose of mitigating or negating the effects of falling into lava.
|Lava Charm||Accessory||Provides several seconds of lava immunity when equipped. Does not work if equipped while in lava unless the character is already immune.|
|Obsidian Rose||Accessory||Reduces the immediate damage of touching lava.|
|Lava Waders||Accessory||Allows the character to stand on the surface of lava and provides seven seconds of lava immunity when equipped.|
|Obsidian Skin Potion||Potion||Provides six minutes of complete lava immunity.|
Lost health can be regained in many ways. If the character has access to a Nurse then they can ask her to heal them to full by paying her a fee based on how much damage has been taken. There are also several items that can be used to heal the character. The character will automatically start regenerating health after a short period if no damage has been taken, and it will do it faster while standing still.
Most items which heal the player also grant the Potion Sickness debuff for 60 seconds(45 with the Philosopher's Stone or Charm of Myths). While under the effects of this debuff, the player cannot consume other items which grant the debuff.
|Heart||20||❌||Hearts restore 20 health instantly when collected, but cannot be placed in the Inventory.|
|Mushroom||15||✔️||Potion Sickness only lasts for 30 seconds.|
|Lesser Healing Potion||50||✔️|
|Horn o' plenty||120||✔️||Can be re-used limitlessly and is never consumed. Keep in mind that it still applies Potion Sickness.|
|Greater Healing Potion||150||✔️|
|Super Healing Potion||200||✔️||Requires Lunar Fragments.|
|Lesser Restoration Potion||80||✔️||Also restores 80 mana.|
|Restoration Potion||90 / 80||✔️||Also restores 80 mana. Potion Sickness only lasts for 45 / 50 seconds.|
|Strange Brew||80||✔️||Also restores 400 mana, but inflicts the Mana Sickness debuff.|
|Life Crystal||20||❌||Also permanently increases health capacity by 20. Cannot be used if the player's health capacity is 400 or greater.|
|Life Fruit||5||❌||Also permanently increases health capacity by 5. Cannot be used if the player's health capacity is less than 400 or if it is 500 or greater.|
|Lifeforce Potion||20% of Max Health||❌||Increases health capacity by 20%. Only lasts for 5 minutes.|
The following items and buffs increase the player's natural life regeneration. Most increase it by a static amount per second, therefore allowing the player to regenerate health even while being attacked or moving.
|Item||Regeneration (Per second)||Trigger||Notes|
|Band of Regeneration||1 / 0.5||Equip|
|Charm of Myths||1 / 0.5||Equip||Also reduces the cooldown of healing items from 1 minute to 45 seconds.|
|Werewolf (buff)||0.5||Equip during night|
|Sun Stone||1||Equip during day||Also gives minor stat increases.|
|Moon Stone||1||Equip during night||Also gives minor stat increases.|
|Celestial Stone||1||Equip||Also gives minor stat increases.|
|Celestial Shell||1||Equip||Also gives minor stat increases.|
|Shiny Stone||1||Equip||Slowly increases regeneration rate over time, canceling out when the player moves or uses most items. Expert mode only.|
|Regeneration Potion||2||Drink regeneration potion||Buff lasts for 8 minutes.|
|Honey (buff)||1||Stand in honey||Buff lasts 30 seconds after leaving honey.|
|Dryad's Blessing||3||Near the Dryad||Also increases defense by 8.|
|Campfire||0.5, 1.1×base healing rate||Stand near Campfire|
|Heart Lantern||1||Stand near Heart Lantern|
|Crimson armor||1.5×base healing rate||Equip full set||Heals 1 health per "tick". Like natural regeneration, "tick"s occur more frequently when standing still or when not damaged recently.|
|2 / 3||Hit enemy while wearing full set||Buff lasts for 5 seconds.|
|Life Drain||1.5||Damage enemies with weapon||Provides regeneration buff while weapon is damaging enemies|
|Life Nebula||3 / 5 per level||Collect a Life Booster||Lasts for 8 seconds and can be stacked up to three times. One stack is removed at a time, upon which the timer resets itself.|
|Valhalla Knight's Breastplate||4 / 8||Equip|
|Squire's Great Helm||2 / 4||Equip|
|Chair||2||Sitting in a Chair|
Also see the Health Regeneration page for the mechanism of the natural healing rate.
The following items heal the player by an amount based on the damage dealt to enemies.
|Spectre armor(with Hood)||20%||All Magic weapons will allow the player to regain health; however, the player's Magic damage dealt is reduced.|
- The maximum amount of health a player can have at once is 600.
- 600 health can be achieved by using 15 Life Crystals, 20 Life Fruits, and a Lifeforce Potion.
- Some events require a player to have a certain amount of health before they can happen:
- More than 100 for the Nurse to spawn
- More than 120 for Blood Moons to occur
- More than 140 for Slime Rains to occur
- 200 or more for the Eye of Cthulhu to spawn and for the Goblin Army to invade on their own
- 300 or more for the Old Man to stop deeming the player unworthy of fighting Skeletron (though Skeletron can still be fought before that)
- 400 or more for Life Fruit to become usable.
- Note that some of these events may require additional conditions. See the respective pages for details.
- The more health the player has, the faster the health will regenerate. 
- Desktop 188.8.131.52: Added two new Health Bar style options.
- Desktop 1.2.2: Items which regenerate health per hit now have a cap of 2 hearts per second.
- Desktop 1.2: