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Defense is a player statistic that determines how much damage can be taken per hit. The damage the player takes is reduced by half (three-quarters, rounded up) of their defense value, altogether. 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 or drowning in water are not reduced by defense. Damage taken from lava, however, can be reduced through defense.

Mechanics[edit | edit source]

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

Normal mode formula[edit | edit source]

The formula is:

net damage = attack damage - (defense * 0.5)

For example:

  • With 20 defense, a 40 damage attack is reduced by 10, resulting in 30 damage taken: 40 - (20 * 0.5) = 30
  • With 30 defense, a 40 damage attack is reduced by 15, resulting in 25 damage taken: 40 - (30 * 0.5) = 25

Expert mode formula Desktop VersionConsole VersionMobile Version[edit | edit source]

In expert mode, the formula is:

net damage = attack damage - (defense * 0.75)

For example:

  • With 20 defense, a 40 damage attack is reduced by 15, resulting in 25 damage taken: 40 - (20 * 0.75) = 25
  • With 30 defense, a 40 damage attack is reduced by 23, resulting in 17 damage taken: 40 - (30 * 0.75) = 17

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 a defense statistic just like players do, but they do not gain more protection from defense in Expert modeDesktop VersionConsole VersionMobile Version. Enemies will always reduce incoming damage by 50% of their defense regardless of difficulty.

net damage = attack damage - (defense * 0.5)


Green SlimeGreen Slime
0 defense
Chaos ElementalChaos Elemental
30 defense
50 defense
100 defense
Gold BroadswordGold Broadsword
13 damage
13 1 (-2) 1 (-12) 1 (-37)
200 damage
200 185 175 150

Altering defense[edit | edit source]

Armor and Accessories[edit | edit source]

A player's defense score can be increased by equipping armor and accessories. Armor usually consists of three items, granting an additional bonus, the Set Bonus, which may increase the defense score further, if all three pieces match. Some accessories grant direct defense boosts (see the following table), but all accessories can also be reforged to a maximum of +4 defense per accessory.

See armor for detailed defense information about every piece of armor.

The following accessories increase the player's defense:

Item Accessory Defense
ShackleShackle 1
Cobalt ShieldCobalt Shield 1
Obsidian SkullObsidian Skull 1
Shield of CthulhuShield of CthulhuDesktop VersionConsole VersionMobile Version 2
Obsidian ShieldObsidian Shield 2
Moon CharmMoon Charm 3 (only during the night)
Moon ShellMoon Shell 3 (only during the night)
Moon StoneMoon Stone 4 (only during the night)
Sun StoneSun Stone 4 (only during the day)
Celestial StoneCelestial Stone 4
Ankh ShieldAnkh Shield 4
Paladin's ShieldPaladin's Shield 6
Celestial ShellCelestial ShellDesktop VersionConsole VersionMobile Version 4 (during the day)
7 (during the night)
Flesh KnucklesFlesh KnucklesDesktop VersionConsole VersionMobile Version 7
Frozen Turtle ShellFrozen Turtle Shell Desktop VersionConsole VersionMobile Version 0 until below 50% health when it reduces total damage by 25%
Old-gen console version3DS Version 30 (when below 25% health)

Buffs and Debuffs[edit | edit source]

Buffs and debuffs can temporarily alter a player's or an enemy's defense. Currently, there is no buff increasing enemies' defense. A player's defense cannot be reduced to fall below 0.

Buff / Debuff Temporary Defense
Well FedWell Fed 2
Dryad's BlessingDryad's BlessingDesktop VersionConsole VersionMobile Version 8
IronskinIronskin 8
TipsyTipsy -4
WeakWeak -4
IchorIchor -20
Betsy's CurseBetsy's CurseDesktop VersionConsole Version -40
Broken ArmorBroken Armor -50%

Damage reduction boosts[edit | edit source]

All damage reduction boosts (except Paladin's Shield and Warmth Potion) affect damage taken after defense.

Buff Source Damage reduction bonus
Solar BlazeSolar BlazeDesktop VersionConsole VersionMobile Version Solar Flare armorSolar Flare armorDesktop VersionConsole VersionMobile Version 30%
Beetle EnduranceBeetle Endurance Beetle armorBeetle armor 15% / 30% / 45%
Paladin's ShieldPaladin's Shield Paladin's ShieldPaladin's Shield 25% (only active above 25% health)
EnduranceEndurance Endurance PotionEndurance Potion 10%
Ice BarrierIce Barrier Frozen Turtle ShellFrozen Turtle Shell Desktop VersionConsole VersionMobile Version 25% (when below 50% health)
Old-gen console version3DS Version 0
WarmthWarmthDesktop VersionConsole VersionOld-gen console versionMobile Version Warmth PotionWarmth PotionDesktop VersionConsole VersionOld-gen console versionMobile Version 30% (reduces damage only from cold-themed enemies)
Item Source Damage reduction bonus
Worm ScarfWorm ScarfDesktop VersionConsole VersionMobile Version Treasure Bag (Eater of Worlds)Treasure Bag (Eater of Worlds)Desktop VersionConsole VersionMobile Version 17%

Armor Penetration[edit | edit source]

Desktop versionConsole versionMobile version Desktop/Console/Mobile-Only Content: This section's information applies only to the Desktop, Console, and Mobile versions 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 NecklaceShark Tooth NecklaceDesktop VersionConsole VersionMobile Version 5
Sharpening StationSharpening StationDesktop VersionConsole VersionMobile Version 4 (for melee weapons only)

Notes[edit | edit source]

Defense[edit | edit source]

Click to see a list of pages with rewrite requests It has been suggested that this page/section be rewritten.
Reason: "Needs version separation: all info are Desktop version Desktop only."

The highest possible defense is 172 normally, and 180 in Expert modeDesktop VersionConsole VersionMobile Version, using the following setup:

79 + 48 + 18 + 20 + 7 = 172 (normal)
79 + 56 + 18 + 20 + 7 = 180 (expert)
79 + 68 + 18 + 20 + 7 = 192 (expert with Warding armor pieces)

Damage reduction[edit | edit source]

The highest damage reduction possible is 73% (or 91.1% against cold-themed enemies), using the following setup:

(1 - 0.45) * (1 - (0.25 + 0.17 + 0.1) ) = 0.264 = 26.4% damage taken = 73.6% damage reduction

(1 - 0.45) * (1 - (0.25 + 0.17 + 0.1 + 0.3) ) = 0.099 = 9.9% damage taken = 91.1% damage reduction against cold-themed enemies

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Although not possible in-game, if a piece of armor were to gain a modifier, it would apply the effects just like an accessory would. For example, a set of Warding modified armor would add 12 defense total; each piece adds 4 defense to the total.
  • Although damage reduction in expert mode is three quarters of the total defence, enemy damage in expert mode is doubled, making damage reduction in expert mode still less effective than normal mode.
  • If the player somehow has negative defense, they will constantly take 1 damage, and die with the death message "<playername> couldn't put out the fire".