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PC versionConsole versionMobile versiontModLoader versiontModLoader 1
PC/Console/Mobile/tModLoader/tModLoader 1.3-Legacy-Only Content: This information applies only to the PC, Console, Mobile, tModLoader, and tModLoader Legacy versions of Terraria.
This article is about the event. For the items, see Sandstorm in a Balloon and Sandstorm in a Bottle.
Sandstorm (demo)

The flying sand effect of a sandstorm

A Sandstorm is an event which occurs randomly in the Desert when wind speed is above 30 mph. During this event, a few enemies often found in the Underground Desert appear on the surface, as well as Angry Tumblers and, in Hardmode, Sand Elementals and Sand Sharks. If the player is standing in the Desert while this event is active, the Mighty Wind debuff will be inflicted on the player if they are not in front of a background wall.

On the PC version PC version, Console version Console version, Mobile version Mobile version, and tModLoader version tModLoader version, a Sandstorm has a 1/43200[1], (1/64800 in pre-Hardmode), chance of occurring per game tick[2] once the conditions are fulfilled.

On the tModLoader 1 tModLoader 1.3-Legacy version, a Sandstorm has a 1/51840 chance of occurring per game tick.

Prior to defeating the Eye of Cthulhu, they are less common.

For the best chance for a Sandstorm to occur, it needs to be raining (18.2% chance per day - 24 minute duration), at night time (7:30 PM - 4:30 AM in game - 9 minute duration) and have wind speeds above 30 mph.

During a Sandstorm, the background will turn a dusty yellow and a vignette will be applied to the player's screen. Particles of sand can also be seen flying across the screen. While the effects are amplified with Color and White lighting, which may be resource-intensive on some computers, using Retro or Trippy will remove much of the background dust.



  • A Sandstorm has a 1/43200 chance of occurring per tick (1/64800 in pre-Hardmode). Since 1 tick = 1/60th of a second = 60 ticks per second = 3600 ticks per minute, and 43200/3600 = 12 minutes, so in theory, once the 30 mph conditions are met, there is a good chance of a sandstorm occurring within 1 in-game day - providing that the conditions stay constant during that time. This means that the wind speed in game must be at 30 mph for a 12 minute period, (18 in pre-Hardmode), on average in order for a Sandstorm to spawn.
  • On the tModLoader 1 tModLoader 1.3-Legacy version, the Sandstorm is a nearly constant event with very few short gaps in its occurrence. There is no known way to prevent this.
  • Sandstorms are universal events; this means that if one Desert has a sandstorm, all Deserts will have a Sandstorm.
  • Sandstorms only occur in Deserts. The background will appear as normal everywhere else.
    • They can also occur in player-made deserts.
  • The particle color changes depending on whether the Desert is a regular, Corrupt/Crimson, or Hallowed Desert.
  • Sandstorms come and go without any notification, so to experience one start to finish, the desert will have to be checked frequently.
  • A Sandstorm's length (in ticks) is determined by the following formula, with x being a random decimal between 0.0 and 1.0 (inclusive):
length = 3600 * (8 + 16x)
This means that a Sandstorm lasts from 28800 to 86400 ticks, or 8 to 24 minutes real-time.
  • Sandstorms are one of the few events that do not restrict other enemy spawns.


  • Since the Sandstorm only occurs in the surface layer of the desert, the player can fly over it.
  • The Basilisk mount or similar high speed mount is resistant to the Mighty Wind debuff when the player is in motion. This can ease the player’s task of crossing the desert during this event. However, the Mighty Wind will still push the player around when not in motion.
    • The same is applicable to the Slimy Saddle, which can be useful during pre-Hardmode when trying to cross the Desert, although not to the extent of the Basilisk mount.
  • One way to dodge attacks from enemies like the Angry Tumbler is to have movement accessories like the Dunerider Boots or Lightning Boots.
  • Placing walls in the middle tile of where the player will walk will stop the Mighty Wind debuff, making movement normal.
  • Placing blocks over the entrances to the Underground Desert will help the player avoid falling and getting stuck, because the Mighty Wind pushes the player back.
  • The Mighty Wind Debuff pushes the player less, so players will not have to be worried about getting stuck in small holes.


  • The Weather Radio indicates the direction the sand is blowing, and thus the direction the Mighty Wind debuff will push the player.
  • When the Weather Radio indicates that the wind is moving at 0 miles per hour, the sandstorm pushes the player west.
  • , the player will squint their eyes while they are in the Sandstorm.
  • The Sandstorm is similar to the Blizzard event in that it reduces visibility and spawns new enemies, though unlike the Blizzard (and some real life sandstorms), it does not require rain. It is also similar in that it can happen simultaneously with another event - in this case, the Windy Day.


  • Desktop 1.4.1: Increased Sandstorm chances by 2× in Hardmode, and by 1.33× pre-Hardmode.
  • Desktop
    • Sandstorms only occur when wind speed is above 30 mph.
    • Sandstorms are now significantly less common in pre-Hardmode.


  1. Information taken from the PC version PC source code, method UpdateTime() in Terraria.GameContent.Events.Sandstorm.cs. There may be inaccuracies, as the current PC version PC version is
  2. A tick is a time unit countable by the software. Most of Terraria's updating logic happens every tick. A tick has the length of 1/60th of a second, hence there are 60 ticks in a second and 3600 ticks in a minute.