Guide:Base defense

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See also: Guide:Bases.
An accordion staircase to a floating base.

Among other things, a good base needs protection against enemies. This guide covers suggestions for keeping yours safe.

A good base should have some way to protect the inhabitants and materials inside, sometimes a Wooden Door does not get the job done and extra protection is necessary. Many players utilize every technique and trick from lava barriers to simple walls.

Possible Methods[edit | edit source]

A Zombie trap.
  • Pits dug in front of doors work a treat as the enemy will try to jump over them, hit the door and fall in. The depth of the pit should be 4 or 5 blocks deep. Deeper pits will also work, but take care not to fall in yourself. Besides fall damage there is the added danger of enemies awaiting you at the bottom. It is also effective to make the walls out of Dart Traps and hook up a Timer to them, for easy kills. Important: Make sure to place your dart traps in a staircase pattern (or not directly on top of each other). All enemies have a very brief period of invincibility, so if the dart traps are stacked vertically, only one dart trap will actually deal damage.
  • A Zombie trap is created by digging a 7 block wide by 6 block deep pit. On each side of the pit you should dig out the fourth block up, leaving two blocks overhanging. The zombie AI will make them jump in and repeatedly jump until they turn around, but since the other side is constructed in the same way, they cannot escape. Alternatively, pit can be 4 blocks deep consisting of a 1 block jut on both sides, zombies can't jump while hitting their heads but they keep trying to. If you have a Mechanic, consider using Actuators or Active Stone Blocks that can be activated to make a bridge over the pit during the day.
A trap built using the reinforced wall method
  • The reinforced wall method: construct a small structure with an open entrance facing away from the base/village and a solid wall or actuator door on the side closest to your base. Add platforms in an alternating manner with a one tile gap against the wall. Make sure the structure is higher than a zombie can jump and at least three tiles wide inside. Monsters will enter and jump to try and reach the player, only to be trapped in the platforms. Advanced versions can contain dart traps or other methods of auto-killing monsters.
  • Alternatively, you can make a moat on either side of your house with actuated blocks above it, which will be activated/deactivated by player-only pressure plates on either side of the moat. The moat can be filled with lava or dart traps for easy kills.
An example of a floating house.
Another example of a floating house, protected by switchable stone block entrances and reachable only by rocket boots.
  • If you have any item/accessory that will let you go higher in the air or Rope, you can build and have access to a house that resides well above the surface. Such a house can be built out of jumping range for walking enemies, which is about 3+ blocks. This can mean never having to worry about Blood Moons or Slimes, and making Goblin Invasions a more simple matter of dealing with Goblin Sorcerers alone. A house can be built in midair by stacking blocks up to the point you wish to build, then mining away the lower blocks. This will not prevent NPCs from living at your base, because they are able to teleport to a home they otherwise can't reach. Another solution is to put some Rope for your base access.
  • Alternatively, those without Rocket Boots, a hook, or other means of increasing their jump height can use an accordion-style staircase to keep their base safe. Placing a staircase that requires multiple changes of direction to ascend makes the enemy AI unable to traverse it.
  • An underground base with a diagonal staircase (or, if you have a means to prevent fall damage, a vertical drop) is similarly useful as a floating one. Any manner of traps can be deployed in the small gap between the door and the staircase. It also allows you to control the flow of monsters by using Actuators, providing you with a 'funnel' so to speak. However, Worms and various Hardmode enemies such as Pigrons, Enchanted Weapons, Chaos Elementals, Desert Spirits, etc. can completely bypass these traps if the house is deep enough underground
  • A medium-sized corridor (10-25 blocks in length) and only three blocks high in front of your door will funnel the enemies towards you in a straight line, allowing you to hit them as you please. Jester or Unholy Arrows are useful as they pierce, shortswords are generally preferred against low knockback broadswords or arrows. High knockback swords ( Breaker blade, Excalibur, Reforged...) or continually swung (Muramasa, Phasesaber ...) are EXTREMELY useful however.
  • Placing the door of your house two blocks or more above outside ground level will prevent enemies from breaking it down. Instead of attacking the door, they will continuously jump as they would when encountering a barrier. Characters can just open the door and jump in. Building an overhang above the door with a trapped pit made from wooden platform allows you to easily dispatch enemies stacked at the door with a ranged attack. Just be sure to place your overhang beyond jump height or restrict the platform opening to one block. Also new archer goblins can attack through the wooden platform.
  • Another way to prevent enemies breaking down your door is to place a non-solid object, such as a chest, wooden platform or other Furniture item, on the inside of the door. This will prevent enemies from opening it but will require the player to face away from the house to open the door.
  • A very simple way to block enemies is to simply dig 3 spaces below the door, blocking the enemies from the door, or you could put a block behind the door and mine that block when you need to go in and out, don't forget to place the block afterwards.
  • In hardmode, some enemies have the ability to phase through walls, such a Wraith or a Reaper (Reapers only appear during a Solar Eclipse). However, due to their AI, they can only move upwards if they are inside blocks, and so for ground-level houses they can usually only phase into the first floor. Keep this in mind, and if you do not build a defense against them try to keep any NPCs off the 1st floor while in Hardmode.
  • The 1.1 update introduced the Dart Trap, a block that shoots a poison dart every time an output, such as a Switch or Timer is activated, but has a 3.33 second cooldown - this time was increased 0.33s in 1.3, (see Wiring). You can set up a wiring system by forming a flat platform on one or both sides of the house, and on one or both sides, a three or higher stack of Dart Traps. When activated, three arrows will fly from each side, damaging any walking enemy. This can be placed below a floating house, and used together with lava traps/pits. The 1.2 update introduced super dart traps, spear traps, spiky ball traps, and flame traps. The 1.3.1 also introduced geyser traps. These are all alternative methods to kill mobs. If you want to make a pit, traps can be hammered so that they point upwards instead of downwards.
  • Another 1.1 update is Active Stone Block. This allows you to wire a Stone Block that can be turned "off," it will become like a Wall or Furniture item. and allow you to walk in front of it. It makes an excellent drawbridge: make a large lava trap/pit on each side of your lawn, cover it with Active Stone Block so you can walk across, and during a Blood Moon, flip the switch and watch all the enemies plummet/burn up. Also makes a portcullis/door protection: place a bit around the doors, deactivated to let the NPCs use the doors and for you to get in, and during the Blood Moon activate the stone, so no enemy can get inside.
  • To defend against Meteorites either build a Sky Bridge all across the world or place a Chest every 50 block in the base (meteorites do not fall within 25 blocks of a chest).
  • There is a bug where you place 3 platforms next to a wall on both sides(1 tile wide and at least 3 tiles high) and make them to stairs, going up then and then down let's you glitch through the wall. This is better known as a HOIK mechanism, and it allows players, enemies and projectiles to pass through walls as if they weren't there, but only if they approach from a side rigged with platforms. As mentioned before, enemies can pass through these walls, but their AI doesn't recognize HOIK machines as viable entry points, and will likely ignore them or try to find an alternate path.

Use of lava[edit | edit source]

  • A shallow Lava pit underneath a structure will kill all walking enemies as they attempt to jump towards you while you're in your house, and if shallow enough, will gather their drops in one location for easy collection later. You can also use this technique to upgrade regular pits.
  • Ideally you want the lava moat to be high enough to burn copper Coins, but nothing else. Indeed it is the smallest object in the game, and the less valuable one. you do not want it to stay as it clogs your world, possibly making other drops despawn, because of the world limit for items on the ground. To check if your lava moat has the exact depth required, it is advised to take one copper coin, then one silver coin from your inventory, and drop them ( on PC this is done with the right mouse button both times). you want the copper coin to burn, but not the silver one (which is a bit taller).
  • In practice this amount to the equivalent of 1 Bucket of lava for 6 to 8 (both included) Blocks, use of a Ruler of sort is advisable. it means a moat of 8 block wide should have one bucket thrown in. a moat of 12 should have 2. it is advised to dimension the moat in consequence. When filling a very large moat, it is advised to spread the lava over the width of the moat, and not throw it on the same spot, due to unreliable liquid physics.

1.3 Multiplayer Base Security[edit | edit source]

The 1.3 update added some goodies to help defend your base in multiplayer with, such as sensors.

If you are a player, not a host, try this:

Use the strongest block or ore possible, Lihzahrd Brick is recommended to keep out most players, even if they can mine it, it usually takes a while longer.

Use Wooden Spikes from the Lihzahrd Temple or spawn them however using the server's free items systems, if there is one. Covering your base results in an untouchable barrier. Adding another layer of every other block being a spike helps, just the same layout as in the temples. They should not be underestimated.

Then use Lihzahrd traps such as super darts, spiky balls or flamethrowers to secure your base further- place them on a 1 second timer. Spiky balls in a hallway are extremely deadly to any players.

You can also use actuators to actuate blocks in a hallway with spiky balls down a thin line to manually eliminate invaders.

Use actuator doors, or, if you have them, Rods of Discord- the hardest base to enter is one with a secret entrance.

Now, 1.3 added announcement Boxes, which, when triggered, say something in the chat, and Logic Gates- Use a Player Sensing logic gate, they detect players within a radius above them. Hook them up with wires to an Announcement Box and set the box to say "Warning, Warning, your base is being attacked!!" or something like that to alert you of their presence. Try using a Bed to set your spawn point, some more announcement boxes to tell EXACTLY where in the base they are, so you can activate manual traps.

You can also use the sensors in another way. Use a 3 block tall hallway, the minimum possible, and put actuator blocks as the floor, with lava below. Then put the sensors as far down as possible, so they sense the players, trigger the actuators, and cause a sudden fall into the lava. If you want it to auto-close, use 2 3 second timers, both triggered at the same time, and they turn each other off and turn the actuators solid for a complex but deadly pit traps. Actuated doors to stop escape or the floor auto closing prevents escape.

If you're a host of a server, or staff, then try this.

Use any of the methods above plus Rods of Discord, as they will be undoubtedly in your hands, to teleport in and out. Try using a floating island. Place your small server maintenance room- I have such a room to detect things like day and night with logic gates, or you can use complex wiring to tell you whenever a teleporter is used or an area is entered. Player detecting gates are best for this, as they can be hidden under the ground. Use the teleporter wiring to your advantage and use announcement boxes to announce "Teleporter (A) has been used to go to teleporter (B)!" or something of the kind. Try using a zone system, with unbreakable boxes for builds and such with single sensors in tunnels, which are connecting them, connected to announcement boxes to announce it has been passed through.

For regular announcements, wire a day or night sensor to an Announcement box to say "It's daytime!" or "It's nighttime!" or use large amounts of 5 second timers to have a looping, delayed announcement. "Hey, just a friendly reminder."

Try them out on a singleplayer world first, and install them into your MP server world with TEdit during server downtime. Make sure to be skilled in the area of announcement boxes and sensors before going off and doing something insane.

Newer Strategies[edit | edit source]

  • The 1.2 update introduced many new Traps, which can be found inside the Lihzahrd Temple. In the temple, there are many and you can disarm the traps, harvest them, and use them in your own defenses. These traps are very dangerous, and should be handled with extreme caution when setting them up. The 4 new traps are Super Dart Trap, which shoot much more powerful darts than Dart Trap, Spear Trap, Flame Trap (shoots out a blast of fire, like a Flamethrower), and Spiky Ball Trap (They drop balls similar to ones dropped in Goblin invasions that deal much more damage and stay around for a long time). These new traps allow incredible variety, and they can allow you to pull off some amazing combinations. You can also combine the Zombie Trap concept with these traps, making a much more effective and damaging trap pit.
  • The 1.2 update introduced Actuators, sold from the Mechanic for 1 silver each. They are like Active Stone Blocks, but they can disguise as any kind of block- just place a block down, then put an actuator on it. This allows for much more pretty and flush traps than before, especially aboveground as Stone does not fit in well. If you play PvP a lot on servers, this is also a great way to create traps that are almost impossible to detect and more resistant to Explosion, if using explosion-resistant blocks.
  • The 1.2 update also introduced the Teleporter sold from the Steampunker which can be used to teleport to your sky/underground house.
  • The 1.3.1 update introduced the Geyser, which is a flame trap that bypasses all blocks. This is much more useful, as it is obtainable at any point in the game. It can also be buried incredibly deeply without penalty.
  • By using actuators and Grey, Brown, Blue or Lihzahrd pressure plates, you can create a player only door that doesn't even require you to use your mouse. Setup the door as you would an active stone/actuator door and because Grey, Brown, Blue or Lihzahrd pressure plates can only be activated by the player no mobs are able to enter (nor escape). Also using Hellstone for the door creates a great defense as it will provide (slow) damage for you.
    • However, such a door may need to be built out of Lihzahrd pressure plates for total security, as several enemies may be able to go in and attack. Using a non-pressure plate switch, such as a lever will suffice.
    • 1.3.1 added the Sensor. The Sensor variation (Player Above) can be used to build a door that will close without having to step on a pressure plate. However, they are Hardmode only and so are not viable for early-game players.

Do's and Don'ts[edit | edit source]

  • For those with an above ground or partially above ground base, consider a wall. You could make an all out castle gate or a lowly stack of blocks, with enough NPCs to keep enemies spawning outside the wall. This will allow you to create a little village or just to farm in peace. It would be recommended to even add spots to shoot at enemies trying to get in.
  • A strung-out collection of houses is quite a chore to defend or to create protection for, unless you use the dual-door system. The first door can't be forced open, because it opens inward from the outside and the second door stops it from opening. Players can turn around and open the door outwards, unlike Zombies or Goblin Thieves. Be aware that Goblins break down doors, so this is not effective for Goblin Invasions.

Reminder[edit | edit source]

There are several cases that require additional attention beyond building conventional defenses.

  • NPC Housing: NPC houses don't require doors. Platforms placed in floor or ceiling work just as well. Less doors put up means less doors that can be broken down if a particular nuisance does make it into the base.
  • Flying enemies: Enemies like the Demon Eye can fly over walls and pitfalls. These foes can be dealt with by making roofing structures that can damage the enemies (e.g. lava on the roof).
  • Enemies that can move through walls: All bosses (Excluding Lepus, King Slime, and Turkor the Ungrateful's Body) like the Eye of Cthulhu can simply phase through structures, using special arenas for bosses is commonplace because of this. It is also important to remember that these enemies do take damage from traps, but NOT lava. It is recommended to have an arena for bosses as otherwise it will kill all of your NPCs. In Hardmode, there are many more enemies that can phase through walls, so this is especially important to keep in mind.

Enemy Tactics[edit | edit source]

Knowing about common enemies is extremely important. Here are a few and efficient tactics that can be used against them.

  • Zombies: Zombies are the easiest enemy to deal with, being relatively slow moving and with neither an excess of health, movement speed or attack. A simple trapped pit, pit or even a thin lava lake will be enough to kill them quickly.
  • Demon Eyes: Demon Eyes are flying enemies and as such will be able to get at a flying base, but they cannot reach underground bases or open doors. They require maintenance to dispatch but can be killed with a switch wired to Dart Traps.
  • Possessed Armor: Possessed Armor suits behave exactly like Zombies, only faster, tougher and can break down doors outside of a Blood Moon. They jump just as high and follow the same AI, so any trap that deals with a Zombie will likely deal with Possessed Armor.
  • Werewolves: Same strategies apply for Possessed Armor.
  • Unicorns: Unicorns jump frighteningly high and fast, so a 22-10 pit should work for containing Unicorns. Be sure to make an overhang on each edge, so that Pixies and Gastropods can't get out either. In fact, a well built example of these traps keeps anything that spawns in the Hallow besides Wraiths, Eyes and Angry Nimbuses contained.
  • Clowns: Clowns can easily be avoided as it has a very simple AI and when it falls into a deep pit, it will just jump over and over again. Therefore, it is very easy to trap them. A simple deep pit will do.