A Step-By-Step Guide For A Furst-Time Terrarian

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Apr 6, 2015

Congratulations! You are the brand new owner of Terraria! After downloading it and booting it up, you are faced with a daunting language selection screen. For most of you, the option you select will be English. Failure to select this option will yield dangerous consequences if you do not speak the language you picked. From there, you reach a screen that looks like this:
Loading Screen.png

Now, while this may seem rather daunting, it is in fact quite simple. Unless your computer runs extremely slowly or is a potato, You do not have to change the settings at all!

Furst thing's furst: press the "Single Player" button. Once you do that, you should come to this screen:

Single Player Screen.png

Unlike me, you will not have a character named Sensei in your file. Instead, it will be empty, and you will need to click the "New" button. Doing so will result in this:
Player Creation Screen.png

You will see a variety of character customization options available to you. I will not go through all of them, but I will show you what your character could look like when you're done. You could also hit the "Random" button for some interesting characters.
Player Created Screen.png
NOTE: You cannot give yourself a tail. Or pointy ears. Sorry!

Once your character is dressed to your liking, hit "Create" and name your character! Hit "Submit" and you will go to a loading screen that looks like this:
Select Player Screen.png

Select your new character and start playing! Wait, you didn't create a world? Well what are you waiting for! Let's do this! Once you've selected your character, you will come to a screen that looks exactly like your "Select Player" screen, only it will say "Select World". Hit new. See where I'm going with this?
Choose World Size.png

If I were you, I would choose either "Small" or "Medium" because both are plenty large enough to let you do whatever you could possibly want to do and more! Large is, well, simply too large to do anything unless you're playing with friends. I'm making a Small world for my player. From here, you will want to select difficulty.
Difficulty Screen.png

HIT NORMAL. Expert mode has enemies that have twice the health and do twice the damage, as well as bosses with wildly different attack patterns. If this is your first time playing, don't play on expert mode. For the sake of this tutorial, I will choose Normal Mode. If the next screen you get says "Pick World Evil", pick Corruption. I forgot to get a screenshot of this. If the next screen you get says "Enter World Name", then name your world.
World Creation Screen.png
Your world as it's being created.

Once your world is created, you're all set! Just double-click the world you created and off you go into the wild blue/green yonder of Terraria!
Likes: Zedrimar


Apr 6, 2015

Welp, now you've done it. You spawned into your brand new world! But wait, where is everything? Oh yeah, you're supposed to build it yourself.
Opening World Screen.png

The very first thing you want to do is chop down some trees. To do that, you need your Copper Axe. It is one of three tools you start with, the other two being your Copper Shortsword (utterly useless) and your Copper Pickaxe (best thing since fursuits). Your Copper shortsword is utterly useless because, if you try it out a few times, you will see that it can't hit squat. Your best bet is to defend against slimes (little green and blue hopping things) using your pickaxe or axe.


That is a slime. You didn't swing your pick fast enough and now it's going to hit you. Good going. If by some miracle you don't get slaughtered brutally, you'll get rewarded!
5 Copper Coins, eh? with that kind of money you can get... nothing. 100 Copper coins = 1 Silver Coin, and 100 Silver Coins = 1 Gold Coin. And if that weren't enough, 100 Gold Coins = 1 Platinum Coin. That means you'll have to kill about 200,000 more slimes before you get a platinum coin! sounds easy, right? WRONG. Luckily, there's more than just green slimes to try to kill you.

Another useful thing that slime dropped was gel. This gel, when combined with 1 wood in your crafting bar (on the left side, hit escape to show it + your full inventory) will give you 3 torches!

Your First Task: Collect about 100 wood (that will be a few trees), 20 stone, and whatever gel you collect from killing slime. Use 10 wood to create a crafting bench, and place it. Then craft a furnace from the stone, wood, and torches. Place it next to your crafting bench.
Crafting Base.png

I also crafted a fire while I was at it for 10 wood and 5 torches. This fire will not go out, and it provides health regeneration within a certain area.

Now that I have my crafting base, I should surround it in walls, you know, so the slimes don't kill me and my friend, Jack. He's the Guide. He's an NPC that spawns with you. As much as you may want to just leave him for dead, he's actually quite useful. He knows every single crafting recipe in the game. Sadly, he's also quite picky when it comes to the type of house he wants to live in. Dirt simply won't do. You have to have a house with light, a door, a chair, and a table for him to live in. This goes for every single NPC in the game. You also have to craft walls that go on the background, because apparently 2D games can't have purely 2D houses?? To make this quick, only build one house for now, that doubles as a crafting space.
First House.png
As you can see, my guide already decided to move in! Luckily for me, dirt walls in the back are okay as long as the player places them. Now that I have that house made, I'm fit to survive my first night! But wait, I have more time to collect materials, what should I do? Well, chop down all the trees you can and make three NPC houses on top of, beneath, or next to your current house. They will be for your Merchant, Demolitionist, and Nurse!
While you're exploring, you come across some pot-I mean, a pot! You should break it for valuable loot or money! Then go back to tree harvesting and building those NPC houses. Once you're done it should look something like this, only, you know, actually good.
First and a Half House.png
Ugh! Such an unsightly scene stands before us. Those fences look atrocious and evening is coming fast! Now you need to craft 2 very important items: the Wooden Broadsword and the Wooden Hammer. The sword will help you by actually killing monsters, and the hammer will allow you to destroy background walls and those pesky fences.
OP Wood Sword.png
You show those slime who's the boss of them with your overpowered wooden broadsword!

Night + Copper.png
What's that shiny orange stuff in the ground? Oh! It's copper! It's probably very useful, yes? No. It's not. don't even bother mining it. It's one of a dozen or so potential ores you'll be able to find, and one of the only ones that is purely decorative. What you need is Iron or Lead. Iron is grey and shiny, whereas Lead is a blue/grey and shiny.

Wait a second.. It's about night time! To the NPC-mobile! I mean.. To my house! Once you're safely in your house, feel free to hide for the entirety of the night.
Take That Zombies!.png
Seen Here: 2 Zombies (one is hiding) and 3 varieties of Demon Eye. No, there is not an eyeless demon wandering around, these eyes came on their own. Luckily I have a protective door between me and utter carnage.

After cowering in your house all night, you see the dawn and the monsters will all run away. Congratulations! You survived the first day! Now please, go read some Wikipedia articles on how to actually play this darned game!


Apr 6, 2015
Killing Fields.png
I have employed a dirt block to stop the zombies from getting in, while also letting me kill them easily. This is a very useful tactic for your first night. I was lucky enough to have it rain on my first night, which leads to the spawning of Raincoat Zombies. These zombies have a chance to drop their coat and hat, which provides much needed early defense.
Fallen Star.png
While you're busy slaughtering the zombies in a rather cheat-sy way, you see this.. this thing! fall out of the sky! It's a Fallen Star, and it's... well what does it do? This star is very useful in the middle stages of the early game, and you should collect them if it's safe for you to do so. If you collect 3 of them, you can make a blue star that increases your maximum mana (the blue stars in the top right of your screen) by 20, for a maximum of 200.

Dawn Day 2.png

With the appearance of slime you know dawn has come and it is safe-ish to go outside once more. What you should do now is run around until you find a cave opening in the side of the hill, or a large hole in the ground. Make sure it's in the forest, because if it's not, it is much too dangerous to mess around with for now.
Cave Opening.png
Ta-da! A cave entrance! Now there's nothing to do but run inside!

TIP: holding down shift will put whatever tool is needed in your hand. If your mouse is over a block, it will put your pick in your hand, but if it's over empty cave walls, it will put a torch there. That torch will glow in your hand, unlike in Minecraft. I recommend you place torches to mark where you've been, and to provide a path for you if you need to escape. Until then, Onward!

You've found a chest! Quick! Open it! (right click)
Chest Contents.png
From left to right, the contents of the chest are as follows:
Boomerang (throw it, it will come back!)
4 Copper Bars (fairly useless)
81 Rope (use it for upward mobility when jumping just won't do)
3 Lesser Healing Potions (restores 50 health)
3 Recall Potions (teleports you back to your spawn, VERY useful for when you're lost)
1 Mining potion (makes you mine faster, kinda useful)
14 glass bottles (not useful until you get into gardening and making your own potions)

Take everything, including the chest, and continue on your journey! From now on, whenever you see a chest, make sure you take everything inside of it as well as the chest. You will need a LOT of chests, and it's easier than making the bloody things yourself. Onward!
Wood Platform + Iron.png
This screenshot has quite a few good things in it. First, my mouse is pointed over Wood Platforms, which are EXTREMELY useful in getting places. Second, that grey stuff on the top of the screen is iron, and is also EXTREMELY useful. The copper I'm standing on, isn't all that useful. Mine the iron and continue on your journey!
You've found this silver-y looking stuff.. I wonder what it is.. Oh, it's silver. How original. Lucky for you, Silver is a tier higher than iron is, so you've hit the jackpot! Here's a list of the Terraria Ore Tiers, from worst to First (in Easy Mode)

Copper/Tin - Tier 1
Iron/Lead - Tier 2
Silver/Tungsten - Tier 3
Gold/Platinum - Tier 4
Meteorite/Necro/Jungle - Tier 5
Demonite/Crimtane - Tier 6
Hellstone - Tier 7

With the exceptions of Tier 5 and Tier 7, there will only be 1 ore type for each Tier found in your world. Meteorite and Hellstone appear in every world, and Necro/Jungle armors are made using non-ores, so they aren't world specific.

With this discovery of silver, I will use a recall potion and return home to smelt them in the furnace. The furnace crafting works just like the crafting bench, with an increasingly long list of items you can craft on the left hand side of your screen.

Silly me forgot to get a screenshot of the ores I crafted into bars, and basically everything after this, so I'll tell you what to do:

Once you've smelted your ores into bars, hopefully you'll have about 5 iron/lead bars. If you do, stand next to the furnace and scroll through the endless lists of stuff you can craft until you come across an anvil. Craft it! It is essential for creating tools out of the other bars you smelt later on. Since I had some silver bars, I used them to craft a Silver Broadsword. It is a massive improvement on my old sword, and will prove my might on even more varieties of slime! (there's like 20 different slimes, it's crazy!)

Next time I will be skipping ahead and focusing on NPCs and their requirements, as well as some other deep-mining activities such as fighting and staying alive.


Apr 6, 2015
You're mining along, and suddenly you see some purple thing in the rocks. Well, why not go mine it and see what it is? It's Amethyst, one of 6 Gems in the game, and while it's technically the worst of them, they're all about equal in terms of usefulness. What can these gems be used for? Well, either for coloured torches that look rather nice, or for grappling hooks!
grappling hook.png
Here's me with a topaz hook! Hooks cost 15 of any gem type, and while technically the higher tiered gems have longer hooks, any hook is a good hook. Speaking of tiers, here is a list of the gem tiers:

Tier 1: Amethyst
Tier 2: Topaz
Tier 3: Sapphire
Tier 4: Emerald
Tier 5: Ruby
Tier 6: Diamond

While I was mining, I picked up some very neat loot that will tie into the NPC portion of this part.

But first, my Merchant arrived! The Merchant NPC will arrive when you have at least 50 silver coins on you, or if you're playing multiplayer, at least 50 silver coins between all the players currently online at the time.

Heart + Granite.png
This is a granite biome. Don't go here unless you have at least an iron bow or equivalent ranged weapons such as the Chain Knife I have in my hotbar (it's a random drop). On the bottom you see a Crystal Heart. These are very useful as they add 20 maximum health to your character (for a pre-hardmode limit of 400 health). Acquiring extra health and having a house available lets your Nurse NPC spawn into the world.
Nurse + Ores.png
The Nurse has arrived! Also shown is a randomly generated cabin that appears deep underground, usually containing a gold chest with something in it. I stole the chest because I needed the storage in my house.. >_>

Oh, there is also Iron, Silver, and Platinum in this picture. All are very useful for you. When mining, try to collect as much silver/tungsten or gold/platinum as you possibly can. You will need a lot of it!

Once you're done mining, return to the surface and smelt all of your ores. You notice it's evening, so you figure you'll be able to craft some new weapons and test them out on some unsuspecting demon eyes.
Blood Moon.png
HOLY CRAP WHAT DOES THAT MEAN WHY IS EVERYTHING RED I'M GOING TO DIE-calm down. It's a Blood Moon. Luckily you have so much silver/tungsten or gold/platinum that you managed to create the whole armour set for that ore. You also managed to craft a silver/tungsten sword and a gold/platinum bow, so you're pretty set. That being said, on the Blood Moon, zombies can break down doors and wreak havoc in your poor home. This can be circumvented by placing a dirt block on one side of the door. Since you still want to test out your weapons, you can block one side and leave the other side wide open for the zombies and demon eyes to get brutally mauled by your newfound weaponry.

Here I'm seen with iron armor and a silver sword and silver bow. I'm telling you to overprepare for this because YOU WILL NEED IT YOUR FIRST TIME THROUGH. Lucky for you, after a long night of frantically clicking, the sun soon rises and the Blood Moon is over.

Here's where strategy gets tricky. I'll show you what I did next, then I'll show you what I RECOMMEND you do next. Either path is viable, it just depends on your skill level and how comfortable you are with the game.

Part 4.5 (Version 1): MY STRATEGY

The first thing my iron-armour clad self did the next morning is head off into the wild purple yonder of the corruption, home of all things inherently evil, like flying 1-eyed monsters with teeth.. Cheery..
Travelling Merchant + Corruption and Snow.png
While I'm traveling to the corruption, I notice the Traveling Merchant has arrived. I promptly ignore him, forget about him, and miss whatever he's selling. Most of the time, he is selling at least 1 valuable thing that you'll want at some point and a lot of other stuff that has no use other than to look good. I continue on my way. The corruption has lots of giant holes for you to fall into, and there IS fall damage. You've been warned. Only a few of the chasms will lead you to the Underground Corruption. It is a purple glowing tunnel filled with death and despair.
Corruption + Shadow Orbs.png
Told you. The glowing purple orbs are called Shadow Orbs, if you break three, then upon breaking the third one the 2nd major boss will spawn and kill you. However, the first one is guaranteed to drop a Musket. This gun is VERY useful. It allows the Arms Dealer NPC to spawn in. He sells you bullets for your guns. Guns like bullets. I got my musket and high-tailed it out of there as fast as I could.

From here I will tell you the RECOMMENDED course of action, which you should follow regardless of if you got a musket or not.


Craft a lot of torches (or buy them from the Merchant) and craft Fire Arrows at the crafting station. That plus your gold/platinum bow will win you your first boss fight easily.

Once you have your weapon of choice, you need to build an arena for it!
Map of Arena.png
This is how the map sees the arena I built. It is 3 very long rows of wood platforms, far enough apart that I can easily jump up and down them, with torches interspersed at even intervals. I later added campfires in there, because of the regeneration bonus it gives when you're near it.

Now that your arena is built, you need to look through the bunches of potions that you collected while underground and pick the ones that will benefit you the most. The potions you will almost 100% HAVE TO HAVE for your first boss fight are:
Archery Potion: Increases arrow damage (don't use with musket)
Ironskin Potion: Increases your defense by 8
Swiftness Potion: Makes you faster (duh!)
Dangersense Potion: makes your enemies glow. Kinda useful.
Lesser Healing/Healing Potions: Restores 50 or 100 health, 60 second cooldown

There is a very good chance that you already have these potions in a chest somewhere because you collected them on your travels. The bare minimum you will want is 10 lesser healing potions, a swiftness potion, and an ironskin potion. And that's if you're feeling kind of cocky. You will also need a summoning item so you can actually, you know, summon the boss. The Eye of Cthulu uses a Suspicious Looking Eye, which you should have also found in a chest underground. If not, kill a lot of demon eyes and craft a Suspicious Looking Eye using 6 lenses at a Demon Altar. Wait until nightfall, get in your arena. and spawn it in!
Suspicious Eye.png
Click to use it like every other thing in the game, and a giant eyeball will come roaring from one side of the map to meet you. His attack pattern is very simple to learn, I recommend you have 200 Max Health before you fight him, and most importantly, USE THE PLATFORMS!!! Jumping around is really easy and it makes it easier to dodge his attacks.

Caution! The Eye of Cthulu has 2 forms. The second form is a bit faster and more aggressive, and he will change into his 2nd form after he is at less than 1/2 health. I killed him pretty easily with my musket, and I don't have any screenshots of the fight because I'm not THAT talented, sorry.



Apr 6, 2015
EoC Guts.png

Congratulations! As the giant eyeball guts fall around you, you realize that you are now a pro at this game! Well, you don't suck at least.. Collect your Demonite Ore from the corpse and smelt it into bars. Use those bars to make a bow, then store the rest. From here on out, you know how to play the game and will spend hundreds of hours running around and learning all sorts of fun things about the game.

Enjoy, and Happy Playing!
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