- This article is about the world mode. For the player character mode, see Hardcore.
Hardmode is a harder version of the initial world. A world permanently converts to Hardmode after the player defeats the Wall of Flesh in that world. One defense from the constant threat of Hardmode enemies is a Sky City.
Hardmode contains new Biomes called the Underground Corruption and The Hallow (along with the Underground Hallow). Corruption and Hallow both spread continuously in Hardmode, and can eventually overtake an entire Map.
Demon Altars become breakable with the Pwnhammer (which drops from the Wall of Flesh), and upon doing so, new Ores become available. Along with all regular enemies, Hardmode contains new enemies that are more difficult, some of which are "upgraded" versions of regular-mode enemies. In addition, coin drops and item prices both rise in Hardmode.
Hardmode also makes new Armors, Weapons, Accessories, and other items available that will help, and are sometimes essential, in dealing with new Hardmode challenges. Some of these become available for purchase from NPCs, as drops from enemies, or are craftable using new Hardmode materials and crafting stations.
Defeating the Wall of Flesh triggers the announcement, "The ancient spirits of light and dark have been released." Immediately, two diagonal stripes of the new biomes, The Hallow/Underground Hallow and Corruption/Underground Corruption, are generated, replacing large sections of the World in a "V" or "X" pattern that extends from the center of The Underworld all the way to the surface.
The Hallow represents a brand-new theme, distinguished by its pastel-colored fairytale imagery. Rainbows make up the surface's background image, its trees are puffy and multicolored, and enemies look similarly whimsical, such as the Unicorn and Pixie. Do not be fooled, though: Hallow enemies are quick, resilient, and deadly, and their spawn rates are high.
The Corruption spreads much more easily in Hardmode, with the Hallow spreading in a similar fashion.
- Corruption and Hallow will spread to stone, sand and dirt that are up to three tiles away.
- Almost all other blocks are immune to Corruption and Hallow, including Wood, Clay Blocks, Ash Blocks, Silt Blocks, Obsidian, Ores, Gems, and all bricks (except Pearlstone, which will spread Hallow).
- Mud will slow the spread of Corruption, but not stop it, since Corruption can convert mud blocks into dirt over time. Mud blocks containing mushroom grass are not affected.
- Sunflowers will no longer prevent the spread of corruption. Instead, they will pop out of the ground as corruption spreads past.
- The Corruptor spreads Corruption by firing projectiles that seed Corruption wherever they impact.
- Hallow and Corruption cannot convert each other.
These new properties mean that Hallow and Corruption will now continuously spread, and can reach your original spawn point within a few in-game days. It is advisable to take steps to protect your Town and any other areas you want to invest time in keeping around, which can be done by mining away a four-tile-wide frame surrounding the area, then sealing it in with Wood or Clay.
The Wall of Flesh always drops the Pwnhammer upon its defeat, which can be used to destroy Demon Altars (note that bringing the Pwnhammer to a regular-mode world will not allow you to destroy Demon Altars there). The first three Demon Altars destroyed will trigger the creation of three new Ores, in the following order:
- The first destroyed Demon Altar will trigger the creation of Cobalt Ore.
- The second destroyed Demon Altar will trigger the creation of Mythril Ore.
- The third destroyed Demon Altar will trigger the creation of Adamantite Ore.
The new ores are created by replacing existing World blocks.
Subsequent Demon Altars destroyed will begin the cycle again, though the fourth-sixth altars will drop half as many ore as the first ones, the seventh-ninth will drop only one third of the ore of the first ones, and so forth. The formula is 1/ROUND_DOWN([number of destroyed altars]/3).
Each time a demon altar is destroyed, there is also a chance that a single random tile of rock in the world will be converted into ebonstone or pearlstone, which will likely grow to become a new underground Hallow or Corruption if given enough time.
No matter how many Altars are destroyed, Ore rarity remains set with Cobalt being the most common, followed by Mythril, then Adamantite as the most rare.
 Mining and crafting
- Mining Cobalt Ore requires at least the Molten Pickaxe.
- Mining Mythril Ore requires at least the Cobalt Drill. Crafting many higher-tier Hardmode items will require a Mythril Anvil, which is crafted from 10 Mythril Bars.
- Mining Adamantite Ore requires at least the Mythril Drill. Crafting Adamantite Bars will require an Adamantite Forge, which is crafted from a Hellforge and 30 raw Adamantite Ores.
Angler Fish • Armored Skeleton • Chaos Elemental • Clinger • Clown • Corruptor • Cursed Hammer • Digger • Enchanted Sword • Frost Legion • Gastropod • Giant Bat • Green Jellyfish • Illuminant Bat • Illuminant Slime • Mimic • Mummy • Pixie • Possessed Armor • Skeleton Archer • Slimer • Toxic Sludge • Unicorn • Wandering Eye • Werewolf • World Feeder • Wraith • Wyvern
New Hardmode bosses are "upgraded" versions of the regular-mode bosses, are much more difficult, and are summoned via new craftable items:
- The Destroyer is the Hardmode version of Eater of Worlds, and is summoned by the Mechanical Worm. This is generally considered the easiest Hardmode boss, even though the Eater of Worlds is the mid-difficulty boss in regular mode.
- The Twins are the Hardmode version of the Eye of Cthulhu, and are summoned by the Mechanical Eye.
- Skeletron Prime is the Hardmode version of Skeletron, and is summoned by the Mechanical Skull.
All regular-mode bosses can still be summoned in Hardmode.
Two new NPCs become available in Hardmode:
- The Wizard can be found in nearly any open area underground, initially bound, and speaking to him frees him (similar to the Mechanic). He will then respawn as long as a vacant House is available. The Wizard sells magic-related items.
- Santa Claus appears between December 15th and 31st (based on your computer's time setting), after the defeat of the Frost Legion, so long as a vacant House is available. He sells the Santa costume and the Red/Green/Blue lights.
There is currently only one new event in Hardmode: The Frost Legion, which is triggered by the Snow Globe. It can be considered the Hardmode version of the Goblin Army, though it requires summoning by the player and never invades on its own.
- In Hardmode worlds, Goblin Armies do still invade, and Meteorites still land, each at their regular rates.
- The Snow Globe can be used to summon the Frost Legion in non-Hardmode worlds, but the Snow Globe itself can only be acquired in a Hardmode world.
- Blood Moons also occur just as frequently as in regular mode, and they now include Clowns (though infrequently), which throw Bombs that can damage your structures. The new nighttime Hardmode enemies will also swarm your Town, including Possessed Armor, Wraiths, and Wandering Eyes. If the Blood Moon coincides with a Full Moon, Werewolves will also attack.
Several new Tools, Weapons, Accessories, Armors, and crafting materials become available in Hardmode, as enemy drops, sold from NPCs, or via crafting. Drills, Chainsaws, and Repeaters are the Hardmode versions of Pickaxes, Axes, and Bows, respectively.
 Armor/Tool/Weapon sets
Each of the three new Ores has its own complete item set, including Armor, Drill, Chainsaw, Sword, Spear, and Repeater. In addition, the highest-tier Hallowed Armor and associated Hallowed tools and weapons become available: the Hamdrax, Excalibur, Gungnir, and Hallowed Repeater. Crafting Hallow-tier items requires first creating all of the other new item sets and defeating all three new Hardmode Bosses (see above).
Each new Armor set has three different options for the Helmet slot, which each boost a different weapon type (though these rules are slightly different for the Hallowed Armor, see its article for details):
- The Headgear provides a boost to Magic Weapons.
- The Helmet provides a boost to Melee Weapons.
- The Mask provides a boost to Ranged Weapons.
 Magic weapons
New Magic Weapons that are obtainable or craftable after merely traversing the new Underground biomes for a reasonable amount of time include:
After killing The Twins, the following become craftable:
 Other weapons
Before beating Bosses:
- Dao of Pow deals some very high damage at reasonable range.
- Phasesaber is an upgraded Phaseblade, adding rapid-fire attack and double the melee damage.
After defeating The Destroyer:
- Light Discs help you traverse the new biomes.
- Megashark helps you beat the harder remaining bosses.
- Excalibur is the best sword.
After defeating Skeletron Prime:
 Crafting materials
Six different types of Souls are a common requirement for crafting many Hardmode items, and are dropped from various sources.
In addition, the following common materials are used for consumables:
- Pixie Dust (from Pixies) is used in Greater Healing Potion and Holy Arrows
- Unicorn Horn (from Unicorns) is used in Holy Arrows
- Cursed Flame (from Clingers and World Feeders) is used in Cursed Bullets/Arrows
- Crystal Shards (grows in the Underground Hallow) are used in Crystal Bullets.
- You can use a map editor to convert a world back to normal difficulty after defeating the Wall of Flesh.
- Hardmode should not be confused with hardcore mode, which is for the character, not the world.
- Clowns have a chance to appear during Blood Moons.
 Corruption and Hallow spread
- If you've built a Corruption farm near your Town to farm Vile Mushrooms, or a corrupted Arena to farm the Eater of Worlds, you will want to either demolish them completely or seal them completely with Wood before defeating the Wall of Flesh. Corruption spreads very quickly and easily in Hardmode, including turning Stone into Ebonstone, but cannot spread past Wood (nor several other block types, but Wood is arguably the easiest to acquire).
- If you enter Hardmode while a Corruption farm/arena is still standing unsealed near your town, quickly purchase several full stacks of Purification Powder from the Dryad and drench the Corruption with it. Alternatively, you can choose to simply limit the spread of Corruption by digging a four-tile-wide gap around the affected area and sealing it in with Wood. You will need to move quickly, though. Try to keep as much of the Corruption on-screen as possible to prevent Corruptors from spawning, which will spread more Corruption via fired projectiles.
- The Hallow and/or The Corruption can eventually overtake all the Sand in a map. Sand is essential in crafting Glass and then Bottles for Potions, so collect a large amount of it early on. Pearlsand/Ebonsand cannot be used to craft Glass. However, even when the Hallow/Corruption has completely taken over your world, Purification Powder/Vile Powder can be used to retake usable amounts of Sand.
- When encountering a Corruptor at the Surface, players may instinctively flee back to their Town rather than fight, as this is normally a viable alternative to dealing tediously with Eater of Souls in regular mode. It is instead advisable to remain far from one's Town and kill any Corruptors that have already spawned, because Corruptors will fire projectiles that seed additional corruption as they chase you. Like the Eater of Souls, Corruptors will give a commendable chase, and getting them to despawn by fleeing can take a while, if it ever happens. They can do a lot of damage in that time -- especially if they make it back to your Town. Using the Magic Mirror does not cause enemies to despawn immediately either. Additionally: Corruptors' projectiles can be swiped out of the air with a single hit from any Weapon or Tool, so when fighting a Corruptor in an uncorrupted area, it may be smarter to stand still and deflect them, instead of dodging them and allowing corruption to seed.
- When beginning Hardmode, a player can easily become overwhelmed by the difficult new enemies, which have Health and Damage many times greater than regular-mode enemies. It is advisable to start by identifying your most damaging weapons and investing money in Reforging them to acquire high damage bonuses, as well as reforging your Accessories to add high defense bonuses. Low-tier Hardmode weapons begin at around 35 damage, so viable regular-mode weapons of use will be the Molten Fury and Night's Edge as melee options, the Sunfury and Flamarang as semi-ranged, and the Flower of Fire and Demon Scythe as magical. Reforging these and making use of other damage boosts from Accessories or Armor bonuses can easily push these weapons into damage ranges that will make Hardmode fights relatively balanced.
- Don't throw away your Copper Ore/Bars, Iron Ore/Bars, Bones, Lenses, and Rotten Chunks, as these are used for crafting Boss-summoning items in Hardmode. If you need to collect more, it may be easier to create a new non-Hardmode world and collect them there, along with any other pre-Hardmode materials you find yourself needing.
- The Eater of Worlds and Eye of Cthulhu are commonly used by players as a good source of money, and this is still useful during the beginning stages of Hardmode. However, summoning them in Hardmode can be more difficult: eg. you've probably destroyed any close Demon Altars (needed to craft the Worm Food and Suspicious Looking Eye), you may have demolished your nearby Corruption farm or Arena, and trips to the naturally-occurring Corruption are now more hazardous (Eater of Worlds must be summoned and fought within Corruption). It is much easier to simply create a new non-Hardmode world to farm these bosses, then use the funds collected from them in your Hardmode world.
- The best way to make money in Hardmode once you become reasonably able to traverse the Underground Hallow (aside from using a glitch) is to collect Crystal Shards, which are common and sell for 40 per full stack.
- 1.1: Introduced.