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Defense is a player statistic that determines how much damage can be absorbed per hit. On non-Expert Mode worlds, damage the player takes is reduced by half of their defense value, rounded up. In Expert Mode, damage the player takes is reduced by three-quarters of their defense value, rounded up. Defense can be increased by equipping armor and accessories, or temporarily boosted by various buffs. No attack can be reduced below 1 damage (with the exception of a player with an ally wearing the Paladin's Shield).

Some forms of damage are impossible to reduce through defense. Damage from health-draining Debuffs like Cursed Inferno, drowning in water, or colliding with a boulder are not reduced by defense.

Damage taken from lava can be reduced through defense.

Mechanics[edit | edit source]

Defense gives an arithmetic reduction in damage: i.e. damage is reduced by a fixed amount per hit (as opposed to a geometric damage reduction, which would reduce damage by a percentage).

Non-Expert Mode Formula[edit | edit source]

The formula is:

net damage = attack - (defense * 0.5)

For example:

  • With 10 Defense, a 20 Damage attack is reduced by 5, resulting in 15 damage taken.
  • With 21 Defense, a 20 Damage attack is reduced by 11, resulting in 9 damage taken.

Expert Mode Formula[edit | edit source]

In expert mode, the formula is:

net damage = attack - (defense * 0.75)

For example:

  • With 20 Defense, a 40 Damage attack is reduced by 15, resulting in 25 damage taken.
  • With 30 Defense, a 40 Damage attack is reduced by 23, resulting in 17 damage taken.

Note that in expert mode only the player's defense follows the formula. Enemies will still take the same amount of damage as in normal mode.

Enemies[edit | edit source]

Enemies have the same Defense mechanics as players. Monsters with high defense will take virtually no damage from low damage weapons (e.g. Fire Imps take 5 damage from the Minishark with Musket Balls). Accordingly, when fighting high defense monsters, high damage weapons are preferable.

Defense boosts[edit | edit source]

Here is a list of accessories, and their respective defense bonuses. A list of armor including defenses can be found on the armor page.

Item Accessory Defense
Shackle.png Shackle 1
Cobalt Shield.png Cobalt Shield 1
Obsidian Skull.png Obsidian Skull 1
Shield of Cthulhu.png Shield of Cthulhu Pc only.png Pc only.png 2
Obsidian Shield.png Obsidian Shield 2
Moon Charm.png Moon Charm 3 (only during the night)
Moon Shell.png Moon Shell 3 (only during the night)
Moon Stone.png Moon Stone 4 (only during the night)
Sun Stone.png Sun Stone 4 (only during the day)
Celestial Stone.png Celestial Stone 4
Ankh Shield.png Ankh Shield 4
Paladin's Shield.png Paladin's Shield 6 (Absorbs 25% of damage done to players on your team

Only active above 25% life)

Celestial Shell.png Celestial Shell Pc only.pngPc only.png 4 (during the day)

7 (during the night)

Flesh Knuckles.png Flesh Knuckles Pc only.pngPc only.png 7
Frozen Turtle Shell.png Frozen Turtle Shell 0 Pc only.png

30 (When below 25% health)Mobile only.pngConsole only.png

Goblin Tinkerer.png Goblin Tinkerer 's / random Modifiers 4 (Max per accessory)
Buff / Debuff Temporary Defense
Well Fed.png Well Fed 2
Dryad's Blessing.png Dryad's Blessing (Buff) 8
Ironskin.png Ironskin 8
Tipsy.png Tipsy Defense reduced by 4
Weak.png Weak Defense reduced by 4
Ichor (debuff).png Ichor (debuff) Defense reduced by 20
Broken Armor.png Broken Armor Defense reduced by half

Damage reduction boosts[edit | edit source]

Buff Source Damage reduction bonus
Solar Blaze.png Solar Blaze Solar armor 30%
Beetle Endurance 45.png Beetle Endurance Beetle armor 15%/30%/45%
Paladin's Shield (buff).png Paladin's Shield Paladin's Shield 25% (Only active above 25% life)
Endurance.png Endurance Endurance Potion 10%
Ice Barrier.png Ice Barrier Frozen Turtle Shell 0 Console only.pngMobile only.png/ 25% (When below 50% health) Pc only.png
Warmth.png Warmth Warmth Potion 30% (Reduces damage only from cold-themed enemies)
Item Source Damage reduction bonus
Worm Scarf.png Pc only.png Worm Scarf Treasure Bag (Eater of Worlds) 17%

Armor Penetration[edit | edit source]

Pc only.png Desktop-Only Content: This information (or parts of it) applies only to the desktop version of Terraria.

Armor penetration is a statistic that reduces the defense of the player's targets. For instance, a Pixie normally has 20 defense. If the player has 5 Armor Penetration, then the Pixie will be taken to have 15 defense instead.

Source Armor penetration bonus
Shark Tooth Necklace.png Shark Tooth Necklace 5
Sharpening Station.png Sharpening Station 4 for Melee Weapons only

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • The highest possible defense is 165 normally, and 173 in expert mode.
    • Chlorophyte Mask,Solar Flare Breastplate and Solar Flare Leggings or Vortex Leggings - 79 defense
    • Flesh Knuckles - 7 defense
    • Celestial Shell - 7 defense if worn at night
    • Paladin's Shield - 6 defense
    • Guarding with the Brand of the Inferno - 20 defense
    • Any other two accessories that give 4 defense at night - 8 defense
    • Warding modifiers on all accessories - 20(normal)/24(expert) defense
    • Ironskin buff - 8 defense
    • Well fed buff - 2 defense
    • The Dryad's Blessing grants an additional 8 defense.
    • Riding a Mechanical Cart at full speed gives an additional 7 defense (expert mode only, but can be imported to a normal world). - However, you cannot guard with the Brand of the Inferno while riding a Mechanical Cart.
    • Any sixth accessory that gives 4 defense at night, with a Warding prefix (expert mode only).

  • The highest damage reduction is 87%.
    • Armor-based reductions are multiplicative.
    • Accessory- and potion-based reductions are additive.
      • Frozen Turtle Shell - 25% reduction
      • Worm Scarf - 17% reduction
      • Endurance Potion - 10% reduction
      • Paladin's Shield buff - 25% reduction
 (100%-45%) * (100%-(25%+17%+10%+25%)) = 12.7% damage taken = 87.3% damage reduction

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