A House (or Home) is a structure built by the player that Town NPCs require in order to spawn, with one House required per NPC. A structure must meet several requirements in order to function as a House (see details below). You can check if a structure meets the requirements by using the Housing Menu's top button, labeled with a question mark ("?"). NPCs generally retreat to their Houses at night and remain in them until dawn. They will also retreat to their houses during a Solar Eclipse or Rain or during any Event.
Similarly, the Guide, Angler, Goblin Tinkerer, Tavernkeep, Mechanic, Stylist, Wizard, Tax Collector, and Golfer will each make their initial appearances regardless of available housing. Once initially found, each will require a suitable House before respawning.
Certain naturally-generated structures can serve as Houses and may inadvertently attract NPCs if players have placed light sources within them. These can include Floating Island structures, and before 1.4, Living Tree treasure rooms qualified. NPCs can be moved from these to the player's structures using the Housing Menu.
Housing Menu[edit | edit source]
The menu for managing the placement of NPCs, accessed through clicking the small house icon above the armor slots.
The Housing menu allows you to check whether the houses you have built are suitable for use or not, as well as to manually appoint a house for a specific NPC. To access this menu, click on the house icon in your inventory.
To check whether a house is suitable for use, click on the "?" housing query mark and then click anywhere inside the house; you will receive a message indicating whether the house is suitable or not. If it is not suitable, the game will let you know what the house is lacking. This alert prioritizes walls (both fore and background), then furniture (door, light source, table, and chair).
Once a house is determined to be suitable, you may assign an NPC to it by placing the corresponding NPC Flag in it. Note that only the flags of NPCs whose spawn conditions you have already met will appear. For example, when you first enter a new world, only the Guide's NPC Flag is shown. NPC Flags for other NPCs will only be shown when you meet each of their spawn conditions. On the Desktop version, Console version, and Mobile version, NPC Flags have two different appearances: solid red and red with a golden frame. NPCs that move in by their own will have a regular red flag. If they are assigned to a house, the banner will have a golden frame. This indicates that if the NPC currently inhabiting the home were to die, the replacement for that NPC would move into that specified home. Due to this, a golden NPC flag will not disappear unless the home it is in is destroyed or the NPC is reassigned.
In the Old-gen console version, the housing menu can be opened by pressing Inventory and navigating to the housing menu. To check whether a house is valid, press Quick Buff and the housing status of the house you are standing in will be printed in chat. Press Inventory to show/hide room flags.
When you first meet the spawn conditions for an NPC, a random house will be assigned to them from your available empty suitable houses.
Framework[edit | edit source]
A house must be fully enclosed with the following features:
- The side walls (vertical blocks) can be made of blocks, Doors, Platforms or Tall Gates.
- The floor and ceiling (horizontal blocks) are made of blocks, Trap Doors or Platforms. The whole floor cannot be made of platforms.
- Including the above frame (floor, side walls, and ceiling), a house must have at least 60 total tiles, but fewer than 750.
- The house must include a light source, a "flat surface" item, and a "comfort item". The smallest and simplest items which qualify are respectively a torch, a workbench, and a chair.
- The NPC needs at least one solid (non-platform) block to stand on at night, and (except ) a 1x3 area unobstructed by foreground blocks. These blocks may not be directly horizontally adjacent to either a single solid block or a 1x3 column of platforms. The number of blocks or platforms in the two adjacent 2x4 areas above and to the side of the solid block plus three times the number of solid, platform, or furniture tiles within the 1x4 area above the solid block must not exceed 9 more than the number of furniture tiles in the same 2x4 areas.  Torches do not count for or against this check.
- A house must have at least one "entrance", which can be a Door or Tall Gate in a side wall, a Trap Door in the ceiling or floor, or a Platform in the ceiling, floor, or side walls. This entrance does not need to be usable by the NPC (for example, NPCs can't use trap doors) nor does it have to lead "outdoors".
Note: The parts of the frame need to be adjacent horizontally or vertically; a single diagonal row of blocks does not count. A zigzag stair of blocks does, even if it's hammered to look like a smooth diagonal wall. A wall can include a column of platforms, but staircases are not acceptable (even if doubled).
Size[edit | edit source]
A house must have at least 60 but fewer than 750 total tiles including the frame around it. Therefore, the dimensions of a House's outer frame must meet one of the following minimum requirements:
|Excluding ceiling, floor and walls||Including ceiling, floor and walls|
|3 tiles wide × 10 tiles high ||5 tiles wide × 12 tiles high|
|4 tiles wide × 8 tiles high||6 tiles wide × 10 tiles high|
|5 tiles wide × 7 tiles high||7 tiles wide × 9 tiles high|
|6 tiles wide × 6 tiles high||8 tiles wide × 8 tiles high|
|7 tiles wide × 5 tiles high||9 tiles wide × 7 tiles high|
|8 tiles wide × 4 tiles high||10 tiles wide × 6 tiles high|
|10 tiles wide × 3 tiles high||12 tiles wide × 5 tiles high|
|13 tiles wide × 2 tiles high ||15 tiles wide × 4 tiles high|
- Only possible when using a Work Bench instead of a table.
- Only possible when using platforms as a ceiling. No longer possible on Desktop, Console, and Mobile.
Background Walls[edit | edit source]
A house must have a background wall in order to be suitable.
- Walls not placed by a player (such as naturally-occurring dirt walls) do not count, with the exception of Disc Walls in Floating Islands, the Planked Walls found in Underground Cabins, the Living Wood Walls in Living Tree rooms ( ), or the Sandstone Brick Walls found in Pyramid structures. Dirt walls placed by the player do work.
- Background walls are considered valid if and only if every solid block, platform, and non-natural background wall within the house is separated from another block of any of the same 3 block types by a gap of no more than 4 blocks in each direction that does not leave the bounds of the house. This is frequently used to create up to 4x4 holes in the background (with a total area of up to 16 blocks) to act as windows, however it is entirely possible to build a house with no background walls if the solid blocks or platforms alone fit the requirement. 
- Having background holes may sometimes allow enemies to spawn within the House. To create windows more safely, place sections of Glass Wall instead.
Furniture requirements[edit | edit source]
A House must have at least one valid Light source, Flat Surface item, and Comfort item placed within it. The items listed below will fulfill these requirements.
- Not every item that provides light will fulfill a House's light source requirement; in particular, no "foreground blocks", platforms, or walls qualify. You must use one of the furniture items listed below.
- Any type of each item listed below will fulfill the requirement. For example, any color Torch will work, as will any theme of Chairs.
Light sources[edit | edit source]
Flat surface items[edit | edit source]
Comfort items[edit | edit source]
Location[edit | edit source]
If a House is located near Corruption or Crimson blocks it may become uninhabitable. If these biomes spread near an occupied House the NPC living there may move out and wander the area until a new House becomes available.
A House is considered Corrupted based on its "Corruption rating," which is calculated using all tiles in a 45-block "radius" around the house. In order to be valid, a House's Corruption rating must be less than 65.
- Each tile of Corrupt/Crimson grass, Ebonstone/Crimstone, Purple Ice/Red Ice, Ebonsand/Crimsand, Corruption/Crimson Thorny Bushes and Corruption (but not Crimson) tall grass/Vile Mushrooms increases a House's Corruption rating by 1.
- Each tile of Hallowed grass, Hallowed tall grass/flowers/vines, Pearlstone or Pearlsand reduces the Corruption rating by 1.
- Each Sunflower reduces a House's corruption rating by 40.
If the rating is equal to or greater than 300, the message "This housing is corrupted." is displayed; if 65 or greater, but lower than 300, the less specific message "This is not valid housing." is displayed instead.
Factors that lower the Corruption rating also seem to count against the number of blocks needed for either Evil Biome. The Corruption and Crimson each require a minimum of 200 relevant blocks, or a Corruption rating of 200 or more, to exist. Because of this system a House can never be valid if inside an active Corruption or Crimson biome. This can make biome requirements, most notably for the Painter, a bit of work to fulfill.
A Simple, Valid house[edit | edit source]
- 25 Dirt Blocks for floor, wall and ceiling.
- 32 crafted Dirt Walls (8 Dirt Blocks) for background wall.
- Wooden Door (6 Wood). Can be replaced with one Wood Platform.
- Wooden Chair (4 Wood).
- Wooden Table (8 Wood) or Work Bench (10 Wood).
- Torch (1 Wood, 1 Gel, results 3 torches).
Summary raw materials:
This works, but if you don't want your house to be occupied by vines, replace dirt with wood, stone, or mud. While this is a simple option, it's susceptible to Corruption, Crimson or Hallow in Hardmode.
Achievements[edit | edit source]
Notes[edit | edit source]
- Houses may be attached together and share common walls, floors, ceilings, and doors. What looks to the player like a multi-room house or apartment complex looks to the NPCs like a collection of independent houses.
- Nearly any NPC house will qualify for a player to place and use a bed as their spawn point, so long as the tiles immediately above the bed are clear (see the Beds page for full details). The bed also counts as a comfort item.
- If a House with an assigned NPC is destroyed or any of its requirements are invalidated, the NPC will wander the area until a valid House becomes available again. If killed, the NPC will respawn once a valid house is restored.
- An NPC will not spawn within its House if that House is on the visible screen at the time, and may walk around the area outside instead. Quitting and restarting in single-player mode will place the NPC in its house. At night, NPCs will be automatically placed inside their Houses if the player travels several screens away, or if the player uses any Magic Mirror or the Teleporter.
- The side, top, and bottom of the world will not count as walls.
- If a stone wall has been converted into Pearlstone Wall, the House will become invalid.
- On Console, Old-gen console, and versions, if a house is built at the world's original spawn point, it is best to not place any foreground objects or blocks where characters appear; when the player teleports back or respawns, any blocks or furniture where they appear will be broken, which can invalidate the house.
Tips[edit | edit source]
- Actuators can be used with Blue, Brown, Gray, and Lihzahrd Pressure Plates to allow players entry but prevent enemies from entering or NPCs from leaving. Trap Doors can also be used, as neither enemies nor NPCs can open them. However, if an actuated wall is left open, it can make the house invalid until it is made solid again.
- On the Desktop version, Console version, and Mobile version, it is very useful and convenient to use a Player Sensor instead of pressure plates. Not only does this save some usable floor space, but avoids having the opening accidentally left open by an accidental misstep. Warning: The Player Sensor itself is not a valid block for the house frame; if it is used as part of the floor, ceiling, or side walls (including corners), the house will not be valid.
- If absolutely necessary (e.g. on , where there's no housing menu), players can force an NPC into a particular house by destroying all the others.
- Hardmode natural walls, such as Pearlstone and Ebonstone walls, do not count as valid walls.
- The "Infinite House" exploit will always work on the Old-gen console version, due to the fact that these consoles will not receive further updates to Terraria.
- As long as the house meets the size criteria, it can be any shape, not just rectangles and squares (e.g. a dome shaped house would still be viable).
- Houses are good places for players to indulge their creativity. It is entertaining to provide NPCs with decorated and themed homes, even if they would be satisfied with empty cells. The NPC happiness system implemented in 1.4 builds on this source of entertainment, by giving NPCs preferences for their house's location and proximity to houses of other NPCs. That said, NPC happiness is not affected by a house's appearance or decoration, leaving the player with a free hand.
- It is a wise decision to build "spare" houses beyond the current number of NPCs:
- Any new NPCs can move in as soon as they are spawned or found (perhaps unexpectedly).
- Especially when entering Hardmode, some houses may be invalidated by Corruption or Crimson, having spares will help avoid NPCs being left homeless.
- Having extras at each base will help with shuffling NPCs around to manage happiness, and/or make sure Pylons remain usable.
- When building homes underground, Sticky Bombs or Scarab Bombs are a good choice, as they are accurate and break Background Walls for easier wall placement.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- A house that has blocks within 5 tiles from the true edge of the world is considered invalid with the message "We need a better text for this!"
References[edit | edit source]
History[edit | edit source]
- Desktop 188.8.131.52: Fixed an error when trying to use the room query on an unfit room in certain languages.
- Desktop 1.3.5: NPCs who are manually assigned to a room will have their successor attempt to move in when the original is killed.
- Desktop 1.3.1: Removed the "Infinite House" glitch.
- Desktop 184.108.40.206: Opening doors will once again cause a room to be unsuitable, but only if two doors are opened into the same room. (Depends on size of room)
- Desktop 1.2: Fixed a bug that would cause a suitable house to be unsuitable.
- Desktop 1.1: There is now a Housing Menu (a built-in interface) for checking if a house is valid for being moved into, and for assigning NPCs to specific houses.