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Terraria Hardmode: 10 tips and tricks you need to know

Terraria‘s Hardmode is one of the toughest challenges in video games. Upon defeating the “final” boss, your world will immediately change, with far more difficult enemies spawning. In order to set you on the right path, we’ve put together a list of the top 10 tips for dealing with Terraria Hardmode.

We recommend going through this list before starting Hardmode, though. Although we’ll talk about the three mechanical bosses and Plantera, there are some steps you should take before starting Hardmode.

Further reading

Contain the Evil biomes


The Evil biomes, Corruption and Crimson, as well as the Hallow, will slowly spread through your world, infecting nearby tiles. Biome spread is present in Terraria long before you enter Hardmode, but once you defeat the Wall of Flesh, the spread quickens. This increased rate will continue until you defeat all three mechanical bosses and Plantera, so it’s best to plan for the spread before defeating the Wall of Flesh.

Immediately after starting Hardmode, two diagonal strips of Infected biomes will dart across the map (the exact location is random). The spread will continue from these areas, and although you can try to contain the expansion during Hardmode, you’ll be fighting an uphill battle. Before taking on the Wall of Flesh, build tunnel networks around areas of interest (e.g. biomes you want to visit right away, your base). That way, if you’re unfortunate enough to have Infected areas spawn near your base, you’ll already have the spread under control.

Set up a base in the Jungle

You’ll want to set up a base in the Jungle, even if it isn’t your center of operations. After you’ve defeated Queen Bee (pre-Hardmode), the Witch Doctor will spawn in an empty house. Normally, the Witch Doctor only sells a few items. However, if you speak to him in the Hardmode Jungle at night, he’ll sell you a pair of Leaf Wings. Leaf Wings are among the weakest in the game, but they’re nice to have when you’re first starting Hardmode.

Smashing altars

After you’ve defeated the Wall of Flesh and started Hardmode, you’ll want to start smashing altars. Pre-Hardmode, you can find Demon Altars and Crimson Altars around The Corruption and The Crimson, which you can use to craft certain items. Once in Hardmode, you can destroy these altars to unlock Hardmode ores. There are six Hardmode ores — Cobalt, Palladium, Mythril, Orcichalcum, Adamantite, and Titanium — but you can’t get them all in a single world. Cobalt or Palladium will drop from the first altar you smash, Mythril or Orichalcum from the second, and Adamantite or Titanium from the third. You can continue smashing altars after your third one, but the same cycle will repeat.

Don’t get start swinging on an altar, though. Using anything other than a Hardmode hammer will knock you back and take a significant chunk of your health. Thankfully, you get a Hardmode hammer from defeating the Wall of Flesh. The boss has a 100% chance to drop the Pwnhammer, which you can use to smash altars. Any other Hardmode hammer will work, as well.

Grind Hardmode ores


Destroying your first set of three altars will reward you with some Hardmode ores, but they’re not a sustainable farming resource. After your first set, you’ll earn half as much ore, and after your second, a third as much. This continues until you’re receiving almost nothing from smashing altars.

Thankfully, destroying an altar means that whatever ore you found will now be present in your world. The spawn locations for each type are random, so you’ll need to do some digging. However, like other ore, you can find them in the Underground layer. The rarity for each type of ore corresponds to when they’re dropped, so Cobalt or Palladium are the most common while Adamantite and Titanium are the most rare.

You’ll want to get to work on grinding Hardmode ores as soon as they spawn in your world. These ores unlock the best weapons and armor in the game, which you’ll need to take on the Hardmode bosses, mechanical bosses, and, eventually, Plantera.

Use wings to fly

Unless you’re playing on Journey mode, you’ll unlock wings after entering Hardmode. As mentioned above, you’ll want to head to the Jungle to buy some Leaf Wings from the Witch Doctor as soon as possible. Before taking on the mechanical bosses, though, we recommend crafting another pair. There are plenty to choose from, so the wings you craft will depend on how you want to build out your character, but a more powerful pair of wings will offer increased flight distance, time, and speed. Some have other perks, too. For example, the Beetle Wings are completely silent while the Empress Wings offer faster ascents.

Prepare for the mechanical bosses

Everything you do once you enter Hardmode is to prepare to fight the mechanical bosses and, eventually, Plantera. Of course, you’ll want wings equipped so you can easily dodge attacks, as well as items crated using Hardmode ore. For armor, Palladium and Titanium are good for a defensive strategy, while Adamantite and Orichalcum can increase your DPS.

For bosses that spawn at night, make sure to start the fight at 7:30 p.m. to allow yourself the maximum amount of time. Also, prepare your battle arena. You’ll want plenty of light, Heart Lanterns, and Stars in Bottles so you can keep your health and mana topped off. You can also bring NPCs to the area for passive buffs. The Nurse can heal you and remove debuffs right away, while the Dryad can cast Dryad’s Blessing to improve your defense.

In short, don’t go into a Hardmode boss battle unprepared. You may have excellent weapons and armor, but passive buffs and regeneration are still necessary.

Mechanical boss #1: The Destroyer

The Destroyer is a more difficult version of Eater of Worlds. In order to spawn The Destroyer, you’ll need to use a Mechanical Worm in any biome at night, or wait until dusk to see if it naturally spawns (there’s a 10% chance). No matter the spawn method,  you must kill The Destroyer before dawn. Once the sun rises, this mechanical boss will disappear.

You’ll need three items to craft the Mechanical Worm: six Rotten Chunks, five of any Iron Bar, and six Soul of Night. Alternatively, you can sub in six Vertebra for the six Rotten Chunks. With all your items, head to a Mythril Anvil or Orichalcum Anvil to craft the Mechanical Worm.

For the fight itself, focus on defense and raw power. The Destroyer is immune to all debuffs — outside of “stunned” in the 3DS version — so you’ll want to focus on damage numbers above all else. Like the Eater of Worlds, The Destroyer attacks from below with its head, which happens to be the segment that deals the most damage. Once emerged, it’ll continue firing Death Lasers from other body segments, which can also deal significant damage.

Aim for the head when possible — that segment has no armor — but play this boss fight safe. The Destroyer has a huge health pool and deals massive damage, so your best chance of winning is fighting the attrition battle. Also, be sure to destroy any Probes dropped by The Destroyer. Probes shoot lasers at you, but each Probe has a 33% chance of dropping a heart when killed. Once you defeat The Destroyer, you’ll receive 25-40 Souls of Might, 15-30 Hallowed Bars, and 5-15 Greater Healing Potions. There’s also around a 15% chance the boss will drop a Destroyer Mask, Destroyer Trophy, and/or a Horned God Robe.

Mechanical boss #2: The Twins

As you might expect from the name, The Twins are two bosses instead of one. It’s the Hardmode equivalent of the Eye of Cthulhu, and you’ll need to defeat both eyes to win the day. The same rules as The Destroyer apply to The Twins. They only spawn at night, you’ll need to defeat them before dawn, and there’s a 10% chance they’ll naturally spawn after you destroy a Demon or Crimson Altar. If you want to manually spawn The Twins, you’ll need a Mechanical Eye.

The recipe is similar to the Mechanical Worm. You’ll need three Lenses, five of any Iron Bar, and six Soul of Night at either a Mythril Anvil or Orichalcum Anvil. Use the Mechanical Worm at night, and The Twins will show. Each eye has two forms, the second of which is triggered once its health reaches 40%. We recommend taking out one eye completely before triggering the second phase of the other one. The phase two eyes deal much more damage and have greater defense, so you don’t want to take on both at the same time.

Thankfully, you can apply debuffs to The Twins. Outside of “confused,” The Twins are susceptible to all debuffs, so stack them up as early as you can. As for which eye to defeat first, it depends on your character build. Retinazer has a ranged attack that can get annoying as the first continues on, but the barrage of lasers can be tough to deal with early, while Spazmatism is more manageable up close, but has higher max health.

When you defeat the boss, you’ll be awarded with 20-40 Soul of Sight, 5-15 Greater Health Potions, and 15-30 Hallowed Bars. There’s also a 10% chance you’ll earn a Retinazer and/or Spaxmatism Trophy, and a 14.29% chance you’ll earn Horned God Boots and/or the Twin Mask.

Mechanical boss #3: Skeletron Prime

Skeletron Prime is the Hardmode version of Skeletron. Like the pre-Hardmode boss, there’s a head with four limbs attached. Although you can defeat the limbs to make the battle easier, you only need to destroy the head to win the battle. As with the other two mechanical bosses, you can only spawn Skeletron Prime at night, you must defeat it before dawn, and there’s a 10% chance it’ll spawn at night after you destroy a Demon or Crimson Altar.

If you want to manually summon it, you’ll need a Mechanical Skull, but it’s a little more involved than the other two summon items. You’ll need 30 Bones, five of any Iron Bar, three Soul of Night, and three Soul of Light at any Mythril or Orichalcum Anvil. Again, use the item at night in any biome, and after a short while, Skeletron Prime will show up.

Skeletron Prime is immune to most debuffs, though its appendages aren’t. They’re only immune to “on fire,” “confused,” “poisoned,” and “venom.” The one debuff Skeletron Prime is not immune to is “ichor,” which will decrease its defenses. Use this debuff throughout the fight, switching back to a higher damage weapon as you go.

You can go straight for the head — that will end the battle the quickest — but it’s best to take out some of the limbs before going for the kill. The laser and cannon have the lowest health and least defense, but they also don’t deal nearly as much damage as the saw and vice. If you can take out all four, you should. However, taking out one or two usually does the trick.

Upon killing Skeletron Prime, you’ll earn 20-40 Souls of Fright, 5-15 Greater Healing Potions, and 15-30 Hallowed Bars. There’s also a 10% chance it’ll drop a Skeletron Prime Trophy, and a 14.29% chance it’ll drop a Horned God Mask and/or Skeletron Prime Mask.

Defeating Plantera

Once you’ve defeated all three mechanical bosses, it’s time to fight Plantera. You’ll know the boss is ready to go when you start seeing Plantera’s Bulbs in the Underground Jungle and see the status message, “The jungle grows restless…” Destroying one of these bulbs will spawn Plantera, but you’ll want to prepare your battle arena before doing that.

You want an open area where you can easily dodge Plantera, but also some room above and below you. The area below can catch Plantera’s Thorn Balls, while the area above can accommodate a Hellevator. You can use the Hellavator to draw Plantera up, then drop down with your wings and use a ranged attack to hit it as it comes back down.

In the first stage of the battle, Plantera is focused solely on ranged attacks. Although you can still take damage by coming in contact with her, she won’t aggressively pursue you. Once she reaches half health, that changes. Plantera’s pink petals will fall off, revealing a thorny mouth. In this second form, Plantera is much more aggressive, but you have the chance to be aggressive, too. Once she changes, her defense drops from 36 to 10.

Make sure to stay in the Underground Jungle for the duration of the fight. If you leave, Plantera will follow you and become enraged. When enraged, Plantera has double defense and deals double damage. She’s also much more aggressive and unpredictable when enraged.

When she’s down, you can pick up the Temple Key, which will unlock a door in the Jungle Temple. You’ll also receive one of seven items: A Grenade Launcher, Venus Magnum, Nettle Burst, Leaf Blower, Flower Pow, Wasp Gun, or Seedler.

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Jacob Roach
Lead Reporter, PC Hardware
Jacob Roach is the lead reporter for PC hardware at Digital Trends. In addition to covering the latest PC components, from…
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