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The item(s) described on this page exist as functional game items, but are only naturally generated and cannot be collected.
Demon Altar
  • Demon Altar item sprite
  • Hammer icon.png 80% (only in Hardmode)
Crimson Altar
  • Crimson Altar item sprite
  • Hammer icon.png 80% (only in Hardmode)
A world after smashing a large number of Crimson Altars leaving the Crimson and Hallow to spread.
This article is about the crafting station. For the altar located in the Jungle Temple, see Lihzahrd Altar.

Demon Altars and Crimson Altars are naturally-occurring crafting stations found mainly in and around Chasms in The Corruption or The Crimson, and less frequently underground. They are used to craft pre-Hardmode boss-summoning items and the Night's Edge. Altars emit some light, making them easy to spot. They cannot be freed, picked up, placed, or crafted.

After a world enters Hardmode, they can be destroyed with Hardmode-tier hammers, but attempting to hit them with a hammer before Hardmode or a hammer with less than 80% hammer power causes the player to lose half their health and will leave the altar unaffected.

Hardmode[edit | edit source]

After the Wall of Flesh has been defeated in a world, Altars can be destroyed with anything that has a hammer power greater than or equal to 80%. Each destroyed Altar will spawn a Wraith and causes one type of Hardmode ore to appear in the world, with the appropriate status message displaying in the chat: "Your world has been blessed with (name of ore)!"

  1. First Altar: Cobalt Ore or Palladium Ore, chosen randomly.
  2. Second Altar: Mythril Ore or Orichalcum Ore, chosen randomly.
  3. Third Altar: Adamantite Ore or Titanium Ore, chosen randomly.

Players will be able to find these new ores scattered across the Underground layer to near-Underworld levels, with them replacing most blocks created during world generation. They will spawn at random locations in varying quantity, in places explored and unexplored alike.

  • Destroying more Altars will never spawn Hardmode ore types beyond the three that were randomly assigned to the world during the initial round of destroyed Altars. A world with Palladium Ore deposits will never spawn Cobalt Ore deposits, or vice versa.
  • Which ores are generated is not determined until the first, second or third Altar is smashed. For example, it is not determined if the world has Cobalt or Palladium until the first Altar has been smashed. The same goes for Mythril/Orichalcum with the second Altar, and Adamantite/Titanium for the third.
  • Subsequent Altars destroyed will begin the cycle again, though the fourth to sixth Altars will drop half as much ore as the first ones, the seventh to ninth will drop only one third of the ore of the first ones, and so forth. This "multiplier" can be calculated with the formula 1/(ceiling(n/3)) where n is the number of Altars destroyed. So, destroying the 19th Altar would yield one-seventh of Cobalt/Palladium Ore compared to the first Altar. Destroying 12 altars will roughly double the ore provided by the first three; tripling that original allotment would require destroying 33 altars (if a world spawns that many).
  • Altars are needed for crafting certain items; destroying every Altar in a world is not recommended.
    • However, most of the items are pre-Hardmode boss-summoning items which are mostly unneeded at this point in the game. If the Night's Edge has already been crafted, then there is very little reason to keep an Altar.
  • No matter how many Altars are destroyed, ore rarity remains set with Cobalt/Palladium being the most common, followed by Mythril/Orichalcum, then Adamantite/Titanium as the rarest.
  • Each time an Altar is destroyed, one or two Wraiths spawn, regardless of the time of day. When destroying multiple Altars in rapid succession, the resulting Wraith swarm may become difficult to deal with. Therefore, it is not recommended to smash another if the Wraiths are not defeated.
  • Each time an Altar is destroyed, there is a 66% chance that a single random Stone Block in the Cavern layer will be converted to Ebonstone/Crimstone or Pearlstone, facilitating the spread of Underground Hallow or Corruption/Crimson. No block other than stone can be converted. As a failsafe, the game can repeat this process up to 1000 times if there is no Stone Block available, effectively ensuring that in most cases, the respective biome will spread.
  • Additionally, smashing an Altar will allow mechanical bosses to spawn naturally (If said boss has not been defeated before it will spawn with a 10% chance each night), and random Pirate Invasions (if all the criteria are met).

Ore Generation[edit | edit source]

The amount of ore veins generated is determined by the following formula:[1]

 (world size * 310 - (85 * ore tier)) * 0.85 / (amount of altars destroyed / 3 + 1)

world size is the width of the world divided by 4200 (1 for small worlds, 1.5 for medium, 2 for large), and ore tier is 0 for Cobalt/Palladium, 1 for Mythril/Orichalcum, and 2 for Adamantite/Titanium. The alternate ores added in 1.2 have their vein amount decreased by 10%.

The table below shows how many ore veins will be spawned for each altar destroyed. If 264 altars were to be destroyed in one world, all following altars would only spawn one ore vein.

Ore Type 1 Altar 2 Altars 3 Altars 4 Altars 5 Altars 6 Altars 7 Altars 8 Altars 9 Altars
Cobalt Ore 264 veins - - 132 veins - - 88 veins - -
Palladium Ore 238 veins - - 119 veins - - 80 veins - -
Mythril Ore - 192 veins - - 96 veins - - 64 veins -
Orichalcum Ore - 172 veins - - 86 veins - - 58 veins -
Adamantite Ore - - 119 veins - - 60 veins - - 40 veins
Titanium Ore - - 108 veins - - 54 veins - - 36 veins

  • These values are for a small world. Multiply by 1.5 and 2 for medium and large worlds, respectively.

All hardmode ores will avoid spawning in the outer 100 tiles of the world. Cobalt and Palladium spawn from the Underground layer to 150 tiles above the world border. Mythril and Orichalcum spawn from the Cavern layer to 150 tiles above the world border. Adamantite and Titanium start to spawn slightly lower than Mythril/Orichalcum. The heights they spawn at largely depend on the location of the underground boundaries in your world. See Hardmode Ore locations below for specifics.

The amount of demon altars smashed does not affect the size of ore veins, only the amount. As the generation of each vein is heavily randomized, it is difficult to give exact high and low values from "optimal" veins. Instead, a table of "good luck" vein amounts and "bad luck" vein amounts is shown below. Average yield is likely between 30-40% due to occasional lost ore.

Ore Type Good Luck Bad Luck
Cobalt Ore 103 Cobalt Ore (34 Cobalt Bar + 1 Cobalt Ore) 11 Cobalt Ore (3 Cobalt Bar + 2 Cobalt Ore)
Palladium Ore 103 Palladium Ore (34 Palladium Bar + 1 Palladium Ore) 11 Palladium Ore (3 Palladium Bar + 2 Palladium Ore)
Mythril Ore 89 Mythril Ore (22 Mythril Bar + 1 Mythril Ore) 11 Mythril Ore (2 Mythril Bar + 3 Mythril Ore)
Orichalcum Ore 89 Orichalcum Ore (22 Orichalcum Bar + 1 Orichalcum Ore) 11 Orichalcum Ore (2 Orichalcum Bar + 3 Orichalcum Ore)
Adamantite Ore 58 Adamantite Ore (11 Adamantite Bar + 3 Adamantite Ore) 11 Adamantite Ore (2 Adamantite Bar + 1 Adamantite Ore)
Titanium Ore 58 Titanium Ore (11 Titanium Bar + 3 Titanium Ore) 11 Titanium Ore (2 Titanium Bar + 1 Titanium Ore)

Note however, that the above table assumes that all the ore actually replaces blocks. Ore will not spawn if it attempts to spawn over any block not listed below.

In addition to this, Hardmode ores will not generate over Granite Blocks, Marble Blocks, or any hardened sands, and as such cannot be found in the Granite Cave, Marble Cave, and Underground Desert biomes.

Crafting[edit | edit source]

Used to craft[edit | edit source]

Hardmode Ore locations[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • Altars cannot be collected as items.
  • Cobalt/Palladium is roughly twice as common as Adamantite/Titanium, with Mythril/Orichalcum halfway between.
  • Altars can be destroyed through other phenomena, such as being spawned on top of Sand, or being struck by a meteorite landing. Altars being destroyed this way prior to Hardmode will have no effect.
  • Altars encountered outside of the Corruption/Crimson on a given map will always be found at a depth of around 8 feet above. This can be seen at the Ocean floor, where altars can sometimes be found.
  • Altars emit a faint glow, making them somewhat easier to find in unlit areas.
  • These altars are very essential for the game, as all of the necessary items listed, can summon bosses, eg: Brain of Cthulhu and Eater of Worlds.

Achievement[edit | edit source]

Achievement Begone, Evil!.png
Begone, Evil! • "Smash a demon or crimson altar with a powerful, holy hammer."
Smash a demon or crimson altar, using the Pwnhammer.Desktop VersionConsole VersionMobile Version

Tips[edit | edit source]

  • It is not uncommon to find an Altar relatively close to the world spawn point. Wherever the player has set up their base, it is recommended to begin searching near 0 depth, and upon finding an Altar, build a room around it so the player can craft in relative peace.
  • Players about to enter Hardmode may benefit by mining paths to several known Altars beforehand, as navigating Hardmode Corruption/Crimson is dangerous at first.
  • Stacked Altars will bless the world with two ores when destroyed.
  • It is not strictly necessary to smash an altar; all ores obtained by doing so can also be obtained by fishing up crates, allowing access to all ores and their counterparts in one world.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The difficulty that new players often face in identifying and determining the nature of Demon Altars, often resulting in forum posts asking about "purple spiky things", has become a notable social phenomenon in the Terraria community. A title message references this with the text Terraria: What's that purple spiked thing?
  • In some rare cases an altar can spawn atop another altar. Hammering it in Pre Hardmode will deal damage and cause both altars to break.
  • Altars can spawn on sand. Breaking the sand beneath it will break it, but ores will spawn only in Hardmode.
  • In some rare cases an altar can spawn on top of a Crystal Heart. Both lower quarters of the heart can be collected as two separate items, but the top half stays unbroken under the altar. The remaining half still exhibits its normal animation after the bottom half is broken.
  • A wraith is defined as a spirit seen shortly before or after one's death; their appearances when an altar is broken may imply that altars are indeed living creatures.

History[edit | edit source]

  • Desktop Fixed the problem with altars/pots/chests spawning in bugged conditions.
  • Desktop 1.2.3:
    • Fixed Demon Altar mining death having no message.
    • Crimson Altar hover text now appears on the map.
  • Desktop 1.2: Worlds which have the Crimson instead of the Corruption will have Demon Altars replaced with Crimson Altars.
  • Desktop 1.1:
    • When smashed with a Pwnhammer during Hardmode, a vein of Hardmode Ore will generate in the world.
    • Now has a chance to summon a few Wraiths and create an additional Underground Corruption or Hallow spreading point somewhere in the world when smashed.
  • Console 1.02: Worlds which have the Crimson instead of the Corruption will have Demon Altars replaced with Crimson Altars.
  • Mobile 1.2.6508: Worlds which have the Crimson instead of the Corruption will have Demon Altars replaced with Crimson Altars.
  • Mobile 1.1.5536:
    • When smashed with a Pwnhammer during Hardmode, a vein of Hardmode Ore will be generated in the world.
    • Now has a chance to summon a few Wraiths and create an additional Underground Corruption or Hallow spreading point somewhere in the world when smashed.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Information taken from the Desktop version Desktop source code, functions SmashAltar() and OreRunner() in Terraria.WorldGen.cs.