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SkeletronSkeletron Head
Skeletron Head.png
Map Icon Skeletron.png
Map Icon
Classic mode icon.png Classic
Expert mode icon.png Expert
Master mode icon.png Master
AI TypeHead AI
1000 (during the day)
Max Life4400/8800/11220
Defense1010+25 per hand alive
00+25 per hand alive (while spinning)
9999 (during the day)
KB Resist100%
Immune toConfusedPoisonedPenetrated
Inflicts debuff
Inflicts debuff
Debuff tooltipCannot regenerate life
Duration6–10 seconds
SkeletronSkeletron Hand
Skeletron Hand (NPC).png
Classic mode icon.png Classic
Expert mode icon.png Expert
Master mode icon.png Master
Boss Part
AI TypeSkeletron Hand AI
Max Life600/1560/1989
KB Resist100%
Immune toPoisonedConfused
Inflicts debuff
Inflicts debuff
Debuff tooltipMovement speed is reduced
Duration1–2 seconds
Skeletron Trophy.png"The cursed guardian of the dungeon..."Skeletron Trophy.png
Not to be confused with a Skeleton, an enemy found underground, or Skeletron Prime, the Hardmode version of Skeletron.

Skeletron is a pre-Hardmode boss. It must be defeated prior to entering the Dungeon, and defeating it grants unlimited access to all Dungeon areas for all players. It also causes the Clothier NPC to spawn, as long as a vacant house is available.

If attempting to enter the Dungeon before killing Skeletron, Dungeon Guardians spawn once a player reaches 0 depth.[1] These enemies generally kill any player with a single hit, dealing 1000 / 2000 / 3000 damage. Managing to defeat a Dungeon Guardian does not grant access to the Dungeon, thus defeating Skeletron is mandatory for (safely) entering the Dungeon.

While Skeletron is alive, the music Boss 1 will play. When Otherworldly music is enabled, the track Boss 1 (Otherworldly) will play instead.


Skeletron is summoned by speaking to the Old Man at the Dungeon's entrance at night, who will turn into Skeletron when selecting the "Curse" option. If the Old Man is spoken to during the day, he will ask the player to return at night. Skeletron can only be summoned once per night, as the Old Man will not respawn until dawn. While players with less than 300 maximum health and/or less than 10 defense are deemed too weak by the Old Man to lift his curse, he still offers the option to summon Skeletron.

Skeletron can be summoned repeatedly this way until it is defeated. Once it is defeated, the Old Man's curse will be lifted and he will no longer appear. The Clothier NPC will arrive, bearing a remarkable resemblance to the Old Man. He can move in a town, as long as there is an empty house for him to live in. Skeletron can be re-summoned thereafter once the player acquires the Clothier Voodoo Doll, which can be obtained by killing Angry Bones or Dark Casters found in the Dungeon. Equipping the accessory allows the player to kill the Clothier, which summons Skeletron. However, this will only work at night. On any other occasion, Skeletron does not spawn.


Skeletron is a large floating skull with two independent floating hands. All parts can travel through blocks, and will attempt to make contact with the player to inflict damage. Each part can be killed independently, but killing the head is all that is required to defeat Skeletron.

Skeletron alternates between two attack phases:

  1. The head remains above while the hands slash at the player.
  2. The head spins, dealing significant damage if touched, but dropping its defense by 10 (to 0 in classic mode) for the duration of the attack.

Skeletron switches between these two phases in a regular cycle during the entire fight, with the first phase lasting for roughly 13.33 seconds and the second phase lasting for roughly 6.67 seconds. It lets out a roar every time it enters the second phase.

If the player takes too long to kill it and dawn arrives, Skeletron will begin acting exactly as a Dungeon Guardian, performing a head spin attack with very high damage and very high defense, which will usually kill any players remaining in the vicinity quickly (it is still possible to kill it, but players are at an extreme disadvantage). Skeletron remains in this form until dying or despawning, even if players manage to avoid dying until the following dusk.

Expert Mode[]

Skeletron has additional properties in Expert Mode:

  • The defense of its head is increased by 25 for each of its hands, resulting in a total defense of 60, initially. Once one hand is defeated, it drops to 35 and finally to 10 when both hands are defeated.
    • During the spinning, its defense is therefore also only reduced to 50 / 25. Only with both hands defeated, it is reduced to 0 like in normal mode.
  • Once either of the hands are destroyed or the head's health is reduced to below 75% (6600), the head begins to shoot homing skulls at the player which resemble Cursed Skulls that despawn on contact with a solid block. It shoots one skull roughly every 1.33 seconds, and doubles the frequency to one skull roughly every 0.67 seconds once both hands are defeated. It pauses firing during its spin attack.
  • Skeletron moves faster and has better AI when targeting multiple players. With this, it is able to "stun-lock" the player while spinning, able to almost instantly kill them if they are not able to escape (e.g. by using a Grappling Hook).
  • Skeletron is able to inflict the debuffs Slow (from the hands) and Bleeding (from the head).


Old Man at the dungeon

  • The Old Man who stands in front of the Dungeon can be killed if his health is depleted. However, this does not count as a Skeletron kill, and he will respawn.
  • The Old Man will respawn the following day if players fail to defeat Skeletron.
  • Killing Skeletron after the night ends will still count as defeating it, and will allow entering the Dungeon safely.
  • Skeletron's defense and damage will revert to their normal figures if the player dies during the day.


Achievement Boned.png
Boned • Defeat Skeletron, the cursed guardian of the dungeon.
Defeat Skeletron for the first time.


For more elaborate strategies on defeating Skeletron, including weapon and arena recommendations, see Guide:Skeletron strategies.
  • Defeating Skeletron is not necessary for game progression until Golem has been defeated. The Cultists, required for initiating the Lunar Events, will only spawn once both Golem and Skeletron have been defeated. However, skipping Skeletron in pre-Hardmode results in a lack of valuable Dungeon loot, in addition to access to the Mechanic as well as the Safe and Void Vault.
  • Do not jump onto Skeletron's head too many times with the Slime Mount, as going too high will cause it to despawn (also, in Space the low gravity will make it almost impossible to get back down past it). However, inside of the Dungeon entrance the Slime Mount can be a valuable tool.
    • Though, it can be used to escape Skeletron's head spin attack, if one ever gets caught in it.
  • Going fast enough on a Minecart can cause the hands to despawn, leaving only the head to fight.
  • A full set of Fossil armor combined with Grenades can take out both hands easily. In the Desktop version Desktop version, Console version Console version, and Mobile version Mobile version, this may be less effective without Beenades.
  • Any ricocheting weapon ( such as the Water Bolt found in the Dungeon) is very useful.
  • Spiky Balls can be a good idea to throw into the arena before spawning Skeletron.
  • With multiple players, it is a good idea to set the spawn point near the Dungeon, so that players can simply rejoin the fight if they die.
  • The Bee Gun, Beenade, or The Bee's Knees can quickly build a swarm of bees for constant damage.
  • While Skeletron is immune to many debuffs on the Console version Console version, Old-gen console version Old-gen console version, Mobile version Mobile version, 3DS3DS version version, Switch version Switch version, and tModLoader version tModLoader version, it is not immune to Frostburn on any version.
  • Attacking the hands first is advised as destroying them both will make it very easy to dodge Skeletron for the rest of the battle.
    • This is close to mandatory in Expert Mode, as Skeletron gains 25 defense for each hand it has alive.
  • In Expert Mode, if the player keeps moving in different directions, most homing skulls will miss; also note that they do not travel through tiles.
  • In Expert Mode, it is a good idea to use a yoyo or a flail and an overhead barrier.


The Skeletron-shaped cloud.

  • On the Desktop version Desktop version, Console version Console version, and Mobile version Mobile version, a cloud in the shape of Skeletron can occasionally be seen in the background.
  • In the first release of Terraria, prior to the introduction of the Wall of Flesh, Skeletron was the final boss of the game.
  • It is one of the two bosses that needs a town NPC to be alive in order to be summoned. The other is the Wall of Flesh.
  • The sprite file for Skeletron's arms is named Arm_Bone.
  • The BestiaryBestiary entry for Skeletron: "The disembodied bones of a former tyrant pulsed with a hatred so strong, it left behind a mighty curse which guards the Dungeon."


  • Desktop Skeletron now spawns on the Clothier when using a Clothier Voodoo Doll.
  • Desktop 1.0.6:
    • Head health decreased from 5000 to 4400, but damage increased from 30 to 32.
    • Hands health decreased from 800 to 600, defense decreased from 18 to 14, and damage decreased from 25 to 20.
  • Desktop 1.0.5:
    • Head health decreased from 6000 to 5000, defense decreased from 12 to 10, and damage decreased from 35 to 30.
    • Hands health decreased from 1200 to 800, and damage decreased from 30 to 25.


  1. Note that the player's head needs to be below 0 depth. Since the Depth Meter measures depth at the level of the player's feet, and a player is 3 tiles tall, Dungeon Guardians will only start spawning once the Depth Meter displays "3′ Underground" or more.