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This guide is for attempting a master mode playthrough on a hardcore character. For the two separate settings, see Master Mode and Hardcore.

Hardcore x Master Mode is a fairly popular challenge that combines Terraria's most extreme settings for maximum difficulty. This guide is to help The Player through completing this challenge themself.

Day 1[]

The first step is to collect plenty of Wood. A single, armorless hit from a slime can be fatal in Master Mode, and remember, hardcore characters are deleted upon death. After most available wood has been harvested, have a look around for chests, make wooden weapons and kill some slimes.

Make a small box out of wood for protection, and start digging a hellevator during the night. It is also important to collect a large amount of dirt. Blocks are a perfect method of protecting oneself from monsters.

Day 2[]

On the second day, it may be of The Player's interest to obtain Cactus gear. Beware of vultures, as they can quickly end a playthrough without effort. Proceed with extreme caution. Avoid Crimson, Corruption, and Jungle at all costs. During the night, the smartest thing to do is to simply expand the hellevator. Metal equipment will be a massive milestone, and simply digging further downward is the easiest method of getting there. Light up caves and loot Underground Cabins, Glowing Mushroom biomes, etc. with extreme caution. Beware of traps, and be sure to check every lone chest extremely carefully as it could be a Dead Man's Chest, which will easily destroy an unsuspecting player. Bringing plenty of blocks to evade enemies is also an ideal strategy.

Day 3[]

Starting to branch out on day 3 is not a bad idea. Crafting stations and storage should be set up, as well as housing. Obtaining reasonable weapons, tools, and armor will also be necessary for upcoming bosses. See Guide:Class setups for more in-depth equipment recommendations.

King Slime[]

After any further preparation, King Slime should be fought. A long, 3 layer arena of platforms with plenty of space to move around should be constructed. A hook, at least 180 life, silver equipment or better, and lots of potions should be used. If a bow is being used, bring plenty of Flaming Arrows or Jester's Arrows. Remember to keep a distance at all times.

Exploration[]

Following the defeat of king slime, one may choose to further explore the world. Crimson/Corruption should still be avoided, and caution is incredibly important. Bring plenty of platforms and blocks to evade/avoid enemies. Whenever an uncommon resource is encountered, make sure to confirm full safety before going to collect it. Think about if an item is needed. Could it be found near base? If not, grab it. (Ice Blocks are very important for Frostburn Arrows, Desert Fossils are limited and can spit out valuable items when extractinated, etc.) Remember, caution is key here. The player should never, under any circumstances, let their guard down.

Mining[]

Once some good gear has been acquired, venturing into the underground layers is feasible. Remember to use Spelunker Potions if available and use ranged attacks instead of melee to keep a safe distance. Look for gold/platinum, and make sure to look through Chests. If a Magic Mirror has been obtained, it can be used for emergency escapes. Make sure to mine as much gold/platinum as possible, it will be used for armor. Look for Life Crystals but do not use them until ready for the Eye of Cthulhu. Look for defense buffs. Make a hellevator for easy access to the underground. If a Nymph is encountered, do not engage for it is extremely dangerous and could kill a player in one hit. Be sure to grab all ores and slush, fossils, or silt blocks for the Extractinator. Avoid enemies with more health than the player and/or more than 40 damage. Use blocks to evade other combat. Once 100-200 pieces of gold/platinum ore and a magic mirror/stock of Recall Potions have been obtained, begin making metal bars. Armor is priority, if a full set has been crafted and there is extra gold or platinum, make the bow and sword.

NPC gathering[]

Once some gold or platinum armor and or weapons have been obtained, it is time to gather some NPCs. The top priority is to get the Demolitionist, Merchant, Arms Dealer, and Zoologist. The demolitionist provides Grenades, which will deal well with groups, arms dealer provides Guns, and zoologist for Whips if playing as a summoner. Once grenades are acquired, it is time to take on the Goblin Army. Use the grenades but when they run out, use a small "volcano" farm. This is a small pit filled with very shallow Lava, with a room underneath. Go under the lava and wait. Be sure to have a broadsword out to deal with Chaos Balls, and watch for the teleportation of the Goblin Sorcerers themselves. After defeating the goblins, go to the caverns (a Lifeform Analyzer will help, as well as Hunter Potions) and just wait for the bound goblin to spawn. Then use the underground base that should have been made earlier and assign the Goblin Tinkerer to a house there, optimally with someone who enjoys underground or someone he likes.

Boss Rush[]

Congratulations on surviving thus far! Not many bosses have been defeated yet, and it's time to change that. Eye of Cthulhu should be skipped, as Eater of Worlds and Brain of Cthulhu are vulnerable to the piercing of Jester's Arrows. Build a skybridge to gather Fallen Stars and craft a large supply of Jester's arrows. Purchase more grenades, they will be generally useful. After defeating BOC or EOW, Queen Bee should be challenged. Consider crafting some Jungle armor while looking for a hive, and be very careful not to break the Larva. Do not use weapons near a hive until properly equipped with gear and a large arena has been set up. Skeletron shouldn't be too hard, but set up a long arena for a running battle. Ironskin Potions and similar buffs enhance survivability, and Cloud in a Bottle variants as well as Swiftness Potions provide much-needed mobility.

Preparation for hardmode[]

This step is very important, as not only is the Wall of Flesh fight difficult, Hardmode will be very punishing, and preparation is necessary. Build a runway for WOF and loot shadow chests - this requires a Shadow Key from the Dungeon, tread carefully. Again, use blocks to evade enemies. Molten armor may be worth the risk, but it is not particularly advised. Right before the battle, a bed should be used to set the player's spawn point in the same house as the arms dealer. Right after the fight, grab the loot and return home, then buy a Shotgun and extra ammo. This will provide a reasonable form of defense against the early, but formidable, enemies in hardmode.

The Wall of Flesh[]

Beenades are key here. Bring at least 100 beenades, even if it requires farming. Running out of beenades is a certain death sentence. In this fight, bringing too many is impossible. After setting up a very long bridge as an arena, zoom out as much as possible and throw the doll, then start running and throw beenades (do not throw them at extreme rates, time them well). Sunfury can also be useful in a tight spot, and the Dark Lance can help as a sidearm for close range engagements (do not attempt to fight entirely melee.)

Welcome to hardmode![]

Upon the defeat of The Wall of Flesh, the difficulty of survival is greatly increased. Not only can new enemies one-shot players with even the most powerful pre-hardmode builds, but enemies that posed smaller threats earlier receive a massive buff. The first thing to do is buy a shotgun, as detailed above. Then, head back to the top of The Underworld and locate The Hallow. Blow out a large area to collect Crystal Shards and keep a distance from enemies. If a good lava pool is found, generate 20 Obsidian. Craft Crystal Bullets once enough shards are obtained, and then head to the The Crimson/The Corruption. Gather Souls and Ichor/Cursed Flames, and smash some Altars. This process can be very dangerous, so tread carefully. Next, head back to the underworld. Now that hardmode has begun, Hellstone isn't explosive-proof. Gather 60 hellstone and craft a Molten Pickaxe. Now gather the hardmode ores. Fishing is another alternative. Try to stay near the underworld to potentially obtain a Hel-Fire and a Fire Feather. Once a good supply of hardmode ores has been mined, create a safe fishing spot. Wyverns can be very difficult to fight, try piercing or explosive weapons and dodge well. Then, craft a Mythril/Orichalcum Anvil and a Adamantite/Titanium Forge, craft bars and equipment out of hardmode ore and finally make Flame Wings. You're all set!

The Mechs[]

Craft an Onyx Blaster and Ichor Bullets if desired. Now it's time for the mechanical bosses. The king slime arena can be expanded for use here. Mobility is key in these fights. Wear as many accessories that boost mobility as possible, and never sacrifice any of them. After crafting the summons or seeing the status message "you feel vibrations from deep below", "the air is getting colder around you", or "It's going to be a terrible night", head to the arena. Bring any and all available buffs, as well as the best health and mana potions accessible. If a bow is being used, bring a full stack of Ichor Arrows/Holy Arrows. Following the defeat of the mechs, craft Hallowed armor and a Drax/Pickaxe Axe, as well as any desired weapons. The Megashark is very much worth crafting directly following the defeat of The Destroyer.

Plantera[]

A big arena is a must, as Plantera does high contact damage.

Ranged weapons are optimal. It is recommended to use the Megashark with Chlorophyte Bullets. As for armor, use Turtle armor for maximum defense and its thorns effect. Keep a distance from the boss and do the following:

Golem[]

A large space is required. Actuate the blocks forming the walls of the room to move into a prepared arena.

For this boss fight, mobility is paramount. Do not stop moving. A Tabi or upgrades will be very helpful for its dash; this should be used to avoid the Eye Beams. Destroying the hands is priority due to their high attack rate. When the second phase is reached, be sure to pay attention to all incoming projectiles as well as the still-moving body.

Lunatic Cultist[]

For this boss fight, dodging is the only way to beat this boss, no facetank setup can survive his damage in Master Mode. Homing weapons are helpful, but note that they can only do 75% damage against the cultist. Proceed with extreme caution so as not to attack the duplicates.

Celestial Pillars[]

The Celestial Pillars are a difficult fight. It is recommended to use a cautious strategy. This entails staying near the edges of the pillars' spawn zone, allowing fewer enemies to spawn and killing them safely. This is a time-consuming but safer strategy than simply running toward the pillar attacking. When the shield of a pillar is down, move away and use a long range weapon to destroy it. Rocket Launcher is a good option if obtained.

Moon Lord[]

This battle is going to be very difficult. Nothing will shelter the player from the Moon Lord's attacks, and no facetank strategy can outperform his massive damage values. It is advised to obtain the Shrimpy Truffle mount and create a large amount of Bubble pockets for either water or honey. Both liquids have their advantages and disadvantages. Rod of Discord is invaluable for evading attacks. No matter the class, use the Vortex Beater with Chlorophyte Bullets for their homing capability, allowing more focus on dodging. Mobility should be taken care of by these preparations. Equip a full set of Combat Accessories instead of Movement Accessories. Once the eyes are destroyed, start flying to one side while moving up or down slightly to dodge the attacks.

Tips[]

  • See Guide:Hardcore for extra tips. These will generally need to be taken more seriously in the massively increased difficulty of Master Mode.
  • It is most important of all that one's guard is not let down. In-game monsters are dangerous, but ignorance or carelessness can be more dangerous than the Moon Lord.
  • Buff up! Buff potions and food are crucial during such a dangerous playthrough. An herb farm should be built, as well as fishing spots. One should always be able to chug before a battle.
  • Try the seed "for the worthy" for the outmost, impossible difficulty.

Guide:Hardcore Master Mode