Guide:Armor progression

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Progression in Terraria is marked by the player gaining access to new weapons, accessories, and armors. While weapons are the main determinant of combat effectiveness, armor also plays an important role by mitigating damage taken and passively boosting damage output. Choosing the ideal armor sets to use at each stage of the game is sometimes straightforward, but not always. This guide will help you decide on which armor sets to use at various points in game progression.

The armor sets listed in this guide are optimized for overall damage and survivability, with consideration given to raw stats as well as set bonuses. As a result, the optimal sets will often be hybrid sets that do not confer a set bonus. That is not to say that unlisted sets like Turtle armor, Solar Flare armor, or Frost armor are unviable, but mathematically, they will fall short in DPS and/or survivability when compared to the listed sets.

Earlygame[edit | edit source]

At this point, armor serves little purpose other than to boost your defense. You may obtain up to 20 defense with metal armors such as Platinum armor, but the resources required are better spent elsewhere. Therefore, it's recommended to simply wear Cactus armor or other basic, easy-to-craft armors until you can get your hands on a real armor set; whatever you wear at the start of the game will be replaced very quickly.

Head Chest Legs Notes
All classes
Mining HelmetMining Helmet GiGiDesktop VersionConsole VersionOld-gen console versionMobile Version Obsidian PantsObsidian PantsDesktop VersionConsole VersionMobile Version Practical set for exploring. Use Bombs for Obsidian.
Pumpkin HelmetPumpkin Helmet Pumpkin BreastplatePumpkin Breastplate Pumpkin LeggingsPumpkin Leggings 10% damage boost, equating to about 1 damage. Only during Halloween.
Magic
Wizard HatWizard Hat Gypsy RobeGypsy RobeDesktop VersionConsole VersionOld-gen console versionMobile Version Obsidian PantsObsidian PantsDesktop VersionConsole VersionMobile Version Requires some luck from Traveling Merchant. Use a Diamond Robe otherwise.

Late pre-Hardmode[edit | edit source]

Sets that can be acquired after smashing at least one Shadow Orb/Crimson Heart, defeating a boss, and/or exploring environments more hostile than the Cavern layer.

Head Chest Legs Notes
Melee
Crimson HelmetCrimson Helmet Crimson ScalemailCrimson Scalemail Crimson GreavesCrimson Greaves Classless set used to regenerate health while exploring.
Molten HelmetMolten Helmet Molten BreastplateMolten Breastplate Molten GreavesMolten Greaves Highest defense and melee bonuses.
Ranged
Crimson HelmetCrimson Helmet Crimson ScalemailCrimson Scalemail Crimson GreavesCrimson Greaves Classless set used to regenerate health while exploring.
Necro HelmetNecro HelmetNecro Helmet Necro BreastplateNecro Breastplate Necro GreavesNecro Greaves The only ranged-specific armor set in pre-Hardmode.
Necro HelmetNecro HelmetNecro Helmet GiGiDesktop VersionConsole VersionOld-gen console versionMobile Version Necro GreavesNecro Greaves Slightly more damage output, and only gives up ammo conservation.
Throwing
Ninja HoodNinja Hood Ninja ShirtNinja Shirt Ninja PantsNinja Pants Easily destroys the Wall of Flesh and all other pre-Hardmode content with Beenades.
Fossil HelmetFossil HelmetDesktop VersionConsole VersionMobile Version Fossil PlateFossil PlateDesktop VersionConsole VersionMobile Version Fossil GreavesFossil GreavesDesktop VersionConsole VersionMobile Version Stronger than Ninja armor but requires considerably more effort to obtain.
Bee HeadgearBee HeadgearDesktop VersionConsole VersionOld-gen console versionMobile Version Fossil PlateFossil PlateDesktop VersionConsole VersionMobile Version Fossil GreavesFossil GreavesDesktop VersionConsole VersionMobile Version Those who don’t care about ammo conservation can improve DPS by adding an extra minion. Throwing set helmets only improve velocity, which is not needed.
Magic
Wizard HatWizard Hat Gypsy RobeGypsy RobeDesktop VersionConsole VersionOld-gen console versionMobile Version Meteor LeggingsMeteor Leggings Highest magic damage output.
Wizard HatWizard Hat Diamond RobeDiamond Robe Jungle PantsJungle PantsJungle Pants More focused on mana economy, but unnecessary after reaching 200 mana.
Meteor HelmetMeteor Helmet Meteor SuitMeteor Suit Meteor LeggingsMeteor Leggings Ideal for use with the Space Gun.
Crimson HelmetCrimson Helmet Crimson ScalemailCrimson Scalemail Crimson GreavesCrimson Greaves Classless set used to regenerate health while exploring.
Summon
Bee HeadgearBee HeadgearDesktop VersionConsole VersionOld-gen console versionMobile Version Bee BreastplateBee BreastplateDesktop VersionConsole VersionOld-gen console versionMobile Version Bee GreavesBee GreavesDesktop VersionConsole VersionOld-gen console versionMobile Version The only option for a summoner.

Early Hardmode[edit | edit source]

To save resources, it is recommended that you choose one early Hardmode armor set and use it until you defeat your first Mechanical boss. Forbidden Treads make for an excellent filler item in the leg slot, especially for sets like Adamantite armor that lack a useful set bonus. Their +2 bonus to minion capacity will usually outshine the paltry offensive bonuses of other leg slot items.

Head Chest Legs Notes
Melee
Palladium MaskPalladium Mask Palladium BreastplatePalladium Breastplate Palladium LeggingsPalladium Leggings Provides constant regeneration in combat.
Orichalcum MaskOrichalcum Mask Orichalcum BreastplateOrichalcum Breastplate Orichalcum LeggingsOrichalcum Leggings Provides innate crowd control, even when using weak weapons.
Titanium MaskTitanium Mask Titanium BreastplateTitanium Breastplate Titanium LeggingsTitanium Leggings Periodically dodges incoming attacks.
Adamantite HelmetAdamantite Helmet Frost BreastplateFrost Breastplate Forbidden TreadsForbidden TreadsDesktop VersionConsole Version Trades away melee speed for 2 minions and higher direct offensive bonuses.
Ranged
Palladium HelmetPalladium Helmet Palladium BreastplatePalladium Breastplate Palladium LeggingsPalladium Leggings Provides constant regeneration in combat.
Orichalcum HelmetOrichalcum Helmet Orichalcum BreastplateOrichalcum Breastplate Orichalcum LeggingsOrichalcum Leggings Provides innate crowd control, even when using weak weapons.
Titanium HelmetTitanium Helmet Titanium BreastplateTitanium Breastplate Titanium LeggingsTitanium Leggings Periodically dodges incoming attacks.
Adamantite MaskAdamantite Mask Frost BreastplateFrost Breastplate Forbidden TreadsForbidden TreadsDesktop VersionConsole Version Ammo conservation does not directly improve DPS, so there is little reason not to break the set bonus and hybridize.
Magic
Palladium HeadgearPalladium Headgear Palladium BreastplatePalladium Breastplate Palladium LeggingsPalladium Leggings Provides constant regeneration in combat.
Orichalcum HeadgearOrichalcum Headgear Orichalcum BreastplateOrichalcum Breastplate Orichalcum LeggingsOrichalcum Leggings Provides innate crowd control, even when using weak weapons.
Titanium HeadgearTitanium Headgear Titanium BreastplateTitanium Breastplate Titanium LeggingsTitanium Leggings Periodically dodges incoming attacks.
Wizard HatWizard Hat Gypsy RobeGypsy RobeDesktop VersionConsole VersionOld-gen console versionMobile Version Forbidden TreadsForbidden TreadsDesktop VersionConsole Version Dangerously frail, but provides maximum damage output along with summons. If this set's low defense is unappealing, use Adamantite armor if the above three sets are unavailable.
Summon
Spider MaskSpider MaskDesktop VersionConsole VersionOld-gen console versionMobile Version Spider BreastplateSpider BreastplateDesktop VersionConsole VersionOld-gen console versionMobile Version Forbidden TreadsForbidden TreadsDesktop VersionConsole Version The best choice available to minion specialists. Summon all your minions with Spider armor, then switch to the Treads for one more.
Forbidden MaskForbidden MaskDesktop VersionConsole Version Forbidden RobesForbidden RobesDesktop VersionConsole Version Forbidden TreadsForbidden TreadsDesktop VersionConsole Version Poor stats, but an excellent set bonus for crowd control and killing The Destroyer.

Pre-Plantera[edit | edit source]

Aside from Hallowed and Chlorophyte Bars, you now have access to the second tier of the Old One's Army, the rewards of which provide welcome upgrades to every class. However, most players won't be aiming to purchase a full set, because with the exception of Squire armor, the set bonuses of the Tavernkeep's armor sets are lackluster.

Head Chest Legs Notes
Melee
Titanium MaskTitanium Mask Titanium BreastplateTitanium Breastplate Titanium LeggingsTitanium Leggings
Hallowed MaskHallowed Mask Hallowed Plate MailHallowed Plate Mail Hallowed GreavesHallowed Greaves An easily crafted set that gives significant melee speed bonuses. Can be useful with the Terra Blade and Fetid Baghnakhs.
Chlorophyte MaskChlorophyte Mask Monk's ShirtMonk's ShirtDesktop Version Squire's GreavesSquire's GreavesDesktop Version Provides the highest melee bonuses available, and does not rely on set effects. Outclasses many melee sets that are unlocked later in the game.
Ranged
Titanium HelmetTitanium Helmet Titanium BreastplateTitanium Breastplate Titanium LeggingsTitanium Leggings
Hallowed HelmetHallowed Helmet Huntress's JerkinHuntress's JerkinDesktop Version Forbidden TreadsForbidden TreadsDesktop VersionConsole Version Provides more minions and better raw stats than Hallowed and Chlorophyte sets.
Magic
Titanium HeadgearTitanium Headgear Titanium BreastplateTitanium Breastplate Titanium LeggingsTitanium Leggings
Hallowed HeadgearHallowed Headgear Chlorophyte Plate MailChlorophyte Plate Mail Apprentice's TrousersApprentice's TrousersDesktop Version Maximizes damage output.
Hallowed HeadgearHallowed Headgear Apprentice's RobeApprentice's RobeDesktop Version Forbidden TreadsForbidden TreadsDesktop VersionConsole Version Allocates more damage to the Twins, improving your ability to fight when mana is low.
Summon
Squire's Great HelmSquire's Great HelmDesktop Version Squire's PlatingSquire's PlatingDesktop Version Squire's GreavesSquire's GreavesDesktop Version Decimates crowds of enemies when used with Ballistas.
Squire's Great HelmSquire's Great HelmDesktop Version Spider BreastplateSpider BreastplateDesktop VersionConsole VersionOld-gen console versionMobile Version Forbidden TreadsForbidden TreadsDesktop VersionConsole Version An attempt at a tanky minion-based set, with higher regeneration than Palladium armor. Use Spider armor for summoning sessions.

Pre-Betsy[edit | edit source]

While Plantera and Golem provide separate advancements to game progression when defeated, they are treated as one milestone by this guide due to their similar difficulty level. At this point you would be expected to have defeated Duke Fishron, Martian Madness, and the Pumpkin Moon. The Xeno Staff in particular provides a noticeable power boost to those who were using Forbidden Treads.

Head Chest Legs Notes
Melee
Chlorophyte MaskChlorophyte Mask Monk's ShirtMonk's ShirtDesktop Version Squire's GreavesSquire's GreavesDesktop Version Highest raw melee bonuses available, surpassing Beetle Scale Mail at its maximum level.
Beetle HelmetBeetle Helmet Beetle Scale MailBeetle Scale Mail Beetle LeggingsBeetle Leggings Optimal only when used with the Terra Blade, one of the few melee weapons whose firing frequency improves with melee speed.
Beetle HelmetBeetle Helmet Beetle ShellBeetle Shell Beetle LeggingsBeetle Leggings The tankiest armor set for any class, but does not take repeated hits well.
Ranged
Shroomite headpieceShroomite headpieceShroomite headpieceShroomite headpiece Shroomite BreastplateShroomite Breastplate Forbidden TreadsForbidden TreadsDesktop VersionConsole Version Highest DPS available when using the Xeno Staff, and doesn't lose effectiveness while moving.
Magic
Titanium HeadgearTitanium Headgear Titanium BreastplateTitanium Breastplate Titanium LeggingsTitanium Leggings Listed for lack of any better defensive effects for mages.
Spectre HoodSpectre Hood Spectre RobeSpectre Robe Spectre PantsSpectre Pants This set reduces your magic damage, but grants near-immortality as long as you can properly manage your mana.
Hallowed HeadgearHallowed Headgear Spectre RobeSpectre Robe Apprentice's TrousersApprentice's TrousersDesktop Version Even without a set bonus, this set's raw magic damage and critical strike bonuses make it offensively superior to the Spectre Mask set.
Hallowed HeadgearHallowed Headgear Apprentice's RobeApprentice's RobeDesktop Version Forbidden TreadsForbidden TreadsDesktop VersionConsole Version One uninvested UFO is approximately as strong as the Spectre Mask set bonus, making this set viable for those who prefer to use minions and won't be relying on the Spectre Hood.
Summon
Spooky HelmetSpooky Helmet Spooky BreastplateSpooky Breastplate Spooky LeggingsSpooky Leggings Use for summoning sessions.
Tiki MaskTiki Mask Tiki ShirtTiki Shirt Tiki PantsTiki Pants Switch from Spooky armor for one extra minion.
Squire's Great HelmSquire's Great HelmDesktop Version Tiki ShirtTiki Shirt Forbidden TreadsForbidden TreadsDesktop VersionConsole Version Switch from Spooky armor for more survivability.
Squire's Great HelmSquire's Great HelmDesktop Version Squire's PlatingSquire's PlatingDesktop Version Squire's GreavesSquire's GreavesDesktop Version Use for clearing the Old One's Army itself with Ballistas.

Pre-Lunar Events[edit | edit source]

With the Old One's Army vanquished and a good supply of Defender Medals in your pocket, you can now purchase the best armor available before challenging the Lunar Events. The most notable of these armor pieces is the Valhalla Knight's Breastplate, which drastically increases the survivability of all classes.

Head Chest Legs Notes
Melee
Chlorophyte MaskChlorophyte Mask Valhalla Knight's BreastplateValhalla Knight's BreastplateDesktop Version Valhalla Knight's GreavesValhalla Knight's GreavesDesktop Version The best melee set in the game for overall offense and survivability.
Shinobi Infiltrator's HelmetShinobi Infiltrator's HelmetDesktop Version Valhalla Knight's BreastplateValhalla Knight's BreastplateDesktop Version Valhalla Knight's GreavesValhalla Knight's GreavesDesktop Version Increases sentry capacity while providing comparable melee bonuses to the Chlorophyte Mask.
Chlorophyte MaskChlorophyte Mask Monk's ShirtMonk's ShirtDesktop Version Valhalla Knight's GreavesValhalla Knight's GreavesDesktop Version Forgoes regeneration to maximize melee DPS.
Shinobi Infiltrator's HelmetShinobi Infiltrator's HelmetDesktop Version Monk's ShirtMonk's ShirtDesktop Version Forbidden TreadsForbidden TreadsDesktop VersionConsole Version Similar to the above set, but focused more on minion and sentry based offense.
Beetle HelmetBeetle Helmet Beetle Scale MailBeetle Scale Mail Beetle LeggingsBeetle Leggings Optimal only when using the Terra Blade.
Beetle HelmetBeetle Helmet Beetle ShellBeetle Shell Beetle LeggingsBeetle Leggings Somewhat outclassed by the Valhalla Knight's Breastplate, but usable for tanks.
Ranged
Shroomite headpieceShroomite headpieceShroomite headpieceShroomite headpiece Shroomite BreastplateShroomite Breastplate Forbidden TreadsForbidden TreadsDesktop VersionConsole Version Highest DPS available when using the Xeno Staff.
Shroomite headpieceShroomite headpieceShroomite headpieceShroomite headpiece Valhalla Knight's BreastplateValhalla Knight's BreastplateDesktop Version Forbidden TreadsForbidden TreadsDesktop VersionConsole Version Barely qualifies as a ranged set, but has survivability.
Magic
Hallowed HeadgearHallowed Headgear Valhalla Knight's BreastplateValhalla Knight's BreastplateDesktop Version Dark Artist's LeggingsDark Artist's LeggingsDesktop Version Offensively superior to the Spectre Mask, and has constant regeneration.
Spectre HoodSpectre Hood Spectre RobeSpectre Robe Spectre PantsSpectre Pants A fallback option for rapidly healing yourself and your teammates.
Summon
Spooky HelmetSpooky Helmet Valhalla Knight's BreastplateValhalla Knight's BreastplateDesktop Version Forbidden TreadsForbidden TreadsDesktop VersionConsole Version A regenerating, minion-based set. Summon minions while wearing Spooky armor.
Shinobi Infiltrator's HelmetShinobi Infiltrator's HelmetDesktop Version Valhalla Knight's BreastplateValhalla Knight's BreastplateDesktop Version Forbidden TreadsForbidden TreadsDesktop VersionConsole Version More sentry-based than the above set. Use with Frost Hydra and Queen Spider.
Squire's Great HelmSquire's Great HelmDesktop Version Valhalla Knight's BreastplateValhalla Knight's BreastplateDesktop Version Forbidden TreadsForbidden TreadsDesktop VersionConsole Version A passive set specialized entirely towards regeneration, healing 12 health per second instead of 8.

Endgame[edit | edit source]

All Luminite-tier armors except for Solar Flare armor are the best offensive armors for their respective classes. However, the Valhalla Knight's Breastplate can still be worn by ranged users and summoners, who do not receive any defensive benefits from their respective endgame armors.

Head Chest Legs Notes
Melee
Chlorophyte MaskChlorophyte Mask Valhalla Knight's BreastplateValhalla Knight's BreastplateDesktop Version Valhalla Knight's GreavesValhalla Knight's GreavesDesktop Version Remains defensively superior to Solar Flare armor against any attack with less than 172 / 192 base damage.
Shinobi Infiltrator's HelmetShinobi Infiltrator's HelmetDesktop Version Valhalla Knight's BreastplateValhalla Knight's BreastplateDesktop Version Valhalla Knight's GreavesValhalla Knight's GreavesDesktop Version Improves your newly obtained Lunar Portals, and still has higher melee DPS than Solar Flare armor.
Chlorophyte MaskChlorophyte Mask Solar Flare BreastplateSolar Flare BreastplateDesktop VersionConsole VersionMobile Version Valhalla Knight's GreavesValhalla Knight's GreavesDesktop Version Specialized entirely towards dealing melee damage.
Nebula HelmetNebula HelmetDesktop VersionConsole VersionMobile Version Nebula BreastplateNebula BreastplateDesktop VersionConsole Version Nebula LeggingsNebula LeggingsDesktop VersionConsole VersionMobile Version Nebula armor's incredible damage and regeneration bonuses make it arguably a better melee set than Solar Flare armor.
Ranged
Vortex HelmetVortex HelmetDesktop VersionConsole VersionMobile Version Vortex BreastplateVortex BreastplateDesktop VersionConsole Version Vortex LeggingsVortex LeggingsDesktop VersionConsole VersionMobile Version Immense DPS when stealthed, but only reaches full potential in multiplayer with other players acting as decoys.
Shroomite headpieceShroomite headpieceShroomite headpieceShroomite headpiece Valhalla Knight's BreastplateValhalla Knight's BreastplateDesktop Version Vortex LeggingsVortex LeggingsDesktop VersionConsole VersionMobile Version Singleplayer set that emphasizes survivability.
Nebula HelmetNebula HelmetDesktop VersionConsole VersionMobile Version Nebula BreastplateNebula BreastplateDesktop VersionConsole Version Nebula LeggingsNebula LeggingsDesktop VersionConsole VersionMobile Version While it can’t compete in damage with Vortex stealth, Nebula armor compensates with health regeneration, and synergizes with rapid-fire ranged weapons.
Magic
Nebula HelmetNebula HelmetDesktop VersionConsole VersionMobile Version Nebula BreastplateNebula BreastplateDesktop VersionConsole Version Nebula LeggingsNebula LeggingsDesktop VersionConsole VersionMobile Version Arguably the best armor set in the game, providing immense damage and regeneration bonuses to yourself and your teammates.
Hallowed HeadgearHallowed Headgear Valhalla Knight's BreastplateValhalla Knight's BreastplateDesktop Version Dark Artist's LeggingsDark Artist's LeggingsDesktop Version For use in multiplayer if you already have a teammate using Nebula armor.
Hallowed HeadgearHallowed Headgear Stardust PlateStardust PlateDesktop VersionConsole VersionMobile Version Dark Artist's LeggingsDark Artist's LeggingsDesktop Version Similar to the above, but specialized entirely towards dealing damage.
Spectre HoodSpectre Hood Spectre RobeSpectre Robe Spectre PantsSpectre Pants Mildly useful for pinch healing, but mostly outclassed. Technically, it still carries the highest healing potential (36/30 health per second).
Summon
Stardust HelmetStardust HelmetDesktop VersionConsole VersionMobile Version Valhalla Knight's BreastplateValhalla Knight's BreastplateDesktop Version Stardust LeggingsStardust LeggingsDesktop VersionConsole VersionMobile Version In contrast to the full Stardust set, this set provides survivability (though at the cost of 2 minion slots).
Shinobi Infiltrator's HelmetShinobi Infiltrator's HelmetDesktop Version Valhalla Knight's BreastplateValhalla Knight's BreastplateDesktop Version Stardust LeggingsStardust LeggingsDesktop VersionConsole VersionMobile Version Trades one minion for two extra sentries.
Shinobi Infiltrator's HelmetShinobi Infiltrator's HelmetDesktop Version Stardust PlateStardust PlateDesktop VersionConsole VersionMobile Version Stardust LeggingsStardust LeggingsDesktop VersionConsole VersionMobile Version Specialized entirely towards dealing damage.