In Terraria, monsters will spawn off camera and pursue the player based on their AI. The rate at which monsters are spawned, the maximum number of monsters, and the type of monster spawned are all dependent on the time of day, biome, the tile type of the ground, and other factors.
There is a 1 in "Spawn rate" chance a monster will spawn every game tick. There are 60 ticks per second, so a spawn rate of 600 means, approximately, a 10% chance of at least one enemy spawning per second, and a spawn rate of 100 means a 60% chance of at least one enemy spawning per second.
When the game is determining the maximum number of enemies in the area, the "Max Spawns" is used. Some enemies count towards this limit more than others. Most bats are considered half an enemy, and teleporting casters typically count as 3. Bosses count as 5. In general, large or special monsters count for more than one spawn.
Note: the "Max Spawns" focuses only on monsters that are in specific area whose center is the player, in other words, active monsters for the player. When a monster is outside the 504*283.5 blocks rectangle (1920*1080 pixels screen multiplied with 4.2*4.2) and it is not the boss, the monster will not be considered active, thus not counted in when checking the max-spawns limit and other calculations. (Fortunately for the monster-farmers: the monster will despawn if it is outside another specific rectangle which is much smaller. More details, go to NPC Despawning)
The minimum (fastest) spawn rate under normal conditions is 60, and the maximum spawns is 15. The modifiers from Water Candle and Battle Potion are set before these limits are checked. Invasions (including Goblin Invasion, Frost Legion, and Pirate Invasion) and moon Events(Pumpkin/Frost Moon) are a special case; they ignore any modifiers or limits to the spawning rates or number of spawns (including water candles/ battle potions).
Drinking the Calming Potion decreases enemy spawn rate.
|Biome||Spawn rate||Max Spawns||HM Spawn Rate||HM Max Spawns|
|Surface (Blood Moon)||108||11||97||14|
|Underground (dirt layer)||300||8||243||10|
|Cavern (stone layer)||240||9||216||11|
|Jungle (Blood Moon)||60||15||60||15|
|Jungle (dirt layer)||120||12||97||15|
|Jungle (stone layer)||96||14||86||15|
|Corruption (Blood Moon)||70||15||63||15|
|Corruption (dirt layer)||195||11||157||14|
|Corruption (stone layer)||156||12||86||15|
|Hallow (Blood Moon)||108||11||97||14|
|Hallow (dirt layer)||300||8||243||10|
|Hallow (stone layer)||165||12||140||14|
|Meteorite (Blood Moon)||60||12||60||15|
|Dungeon (dirt layer)||120||14||97||15|
|Dungeon (stone layer)||96||15||86||15|
|Invasions and Pumpkin/Frost Moon||20||10 + 1.5 per player||20||10 + 1.5 per player|
Additionally, the spawn rate will be modified by the number of active monsters in the area. The fewer active monsters there are, the faster they will spawn. If there are fewer than 20% of the monsters the maximum number of spawns allows, the spawn rate will be multiplied by 0.6. If fewer than 40% of the monsters exist, the spawn rate is multiplied by 0.7, 60% of the max spawns correspond to the multiplier 0.8 and 80% of the enemies means that the spawn rate is multiplied by 0.9. That means that if the player is in an area where the spawn rate is 600 and the max spawns are 10, but there are only 2 or less monsters, the new spawn rate is 360 until more monsters spawn.
The presence of friendly NPCs greatly reduces the rate at which enemies spawn, and also reduces the maximum enemies as well. When 3 or more NPCs are present, no enemies will spawn. Special events such as Goblin Invasion and Blood Moon bypass this reduction.
Some biomes will override each other when determining the spawn rate. Corruption, Dungeon, Meteor and Jungle are all mutually exclusive spawn rates. Dungeon has the highest priority, then jungle, corruption, and finally meteor. For example, if a meteor hits the jungle, it will use jungle spawn rates.
Each player in game will spawn their own monsters. If two players are in the same area, monsters will appear twice as fast as they would with only one player. (But Max Spawns rule are still used, which means that even if 2 players are in the same spot, you cannot gather 30 normal monsters near the spot. (Don't forget, the bats count as half a monster, and some special monsters count as 2 or more.))
Choosing a spot to spawn the monster
When the game decides to spawn a monster, it will first choose a random tile within a rectangle around the player. The maximum distance from the player it can choose from is 84 tiles to the left or right, and 47 tiles up or down. If the picked tile is solid block, it will try another one. If the picked tile has a wall that blocks monsters from spawning, it will also try another tile.
Once an empty tile is found, it moves down until it finds the ground. If there is enough space for a monster to be spawned at this location, this will be the tile it chooses. The exception to this is when the player is in an area where Harpies can be spawned. In this case the game does not attempt to find a ground tile.
The chosen tile is then checked to make sure it is not within the "safe" area around the player. Monsters cannot spawn less than 62 tiles away left or right and about 35 tiles above or below.
Choosing a type of monster to spawn
The type of monster spawned will depend on many factors including, but not limited to:
- Time of day
- Relative X location on the map
- Current Zone (Corruption, Meteor, Jungle, etc...)
- Ground tile type
- Wall behind player (e.g. Dungeon Brick Wall, Lihzahrd Brick Wall)
- Special events (Blood Moon, Goblin Invasion)
- When standing on the left or right edge of the world, the monsters can spawn on screen, as long they are at least 62 tiles from the player. The screen is around 85 blocks wide, so in this case the monsters can spawn in the farthest quarter of the screen.
- 1.2.4: Fixed bug where spawn rates would increase underground when a moon event is happening.
- 1.2.3: Fixed bug where spawn rates were higher than intended everywhere rather than when below the middle of dirt layer.
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