Guide:Enemy farming

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Enemy farming is an essential part of Terraria. Some items have a very low drop rate; the way to get around this problem is to build a system that will constantly kill enemies until the desired item is obtained. Many of the methods used for this process are similar to those for base defense; indeed, many events and invasions can be "farmed" by simply building up your base defenses to the point where approaching enemies are killed automatically.

Enemy farming basics[edit | edit source]

An essential part of enemy farming is knowing the basics of NPC spawning. NPCs, including both enemies and critters, will always spawn off screen, their spawn rates can be manipulated, and there is a limit to how many enemies can spawn in an area at one time.

  • First, spawn rates are different depending on the biome, depth, and the time of day. These factors also change what type of enemies spawn, so when farming for a specific type of enemy you will need to pick the right location.
  • Various special events, such as the Blood Moon, will cause many enemies to spawn, ignoring the usual spawn limits. Each event offers its own list of enemies, with more powerful enemies appearing as the game progresses. Most of these events can be manually summoned by the player with an appropriate summoning item.
  • Enemy spawning is suppressed near friendly NPCs, including not only the "town" NPCs, but the Traveling Merchant and even the Skeleton Merchant. Even one of these NPCs will sharply reduce the enemy spawn rate, and if there are three friendly NPCs on screen, no enemies will spawn. Friendly NPC presence does not affect spawning during events such as the Blood Moon or invasions.
  • Once the Mechanic has appeared, Statues can be used for small, contained farms. While these have limits described below, they are still useful for accumulating some common drops (gel, shark fins, glowsticks, bacon, granite blocks) for sale, or for getting certain rare drops such as the Diving Helmet, Medusa Head, or even the Slime Staff.
  • Use of a Water Candle and/or a Battle Potion will increase spawn rates. Contrarily, a Peace Candle and/or Calming Potion will reduce spawn rates (as will the presence of a Sunflower). Invasions are not affected by these items, but Blood Moons and Solar Eclipses are.

It also helps to know the limits on dropped items:

  • "Loose" items in the world do not expire over time, but there is a world-wide limit of 400 such items (a stack counts as one "item") that can exist at once. If more items than that are dropped into the world, the oldest loose items will despawn. This becomes particularly important when large numbers of enemies are being killed and dropping items; copper coins are a particular issue, because they are the least valuable things in the game, and if they accumulate they can crowd out the more valuable items (even silver coins) that you want to collect. This can be finessed by creative use of lava....

Kill Zones[edit | edit source]

A basic lava trap

The basic idea of farming enemies is to gather them in one place and kill them. The gathering part isn't too hard, since most enemies will chase after the player. They can, for example, be channeled into a tunnel for the player to attack. However, manually killing a stream of attacking enemies works a lot better when the player has advanced weapons and armor, which they don't early in the game. The more practical methods involve setting up a "kill zone" for the enemies, where they can be killed with little or no hazard to the player. At the beginning of the game, this means pits (or other traps), and lava. Later, mechanical traps will become available, and can be helpful. Along with mechanical traps, statue farming also appears as an option.)

Pits and Lava[edit | edit source]

The simplest way to keep most enemies contained is with a pit. This doesn't work too well on flying enemies, or those which phase through blocks, but it can deal effectively with most of the zombie types and other enemies with Fighter AI. A minimal pit can be 4 blocks deep consisting of a 1 block jut on both sides; the zombies (and most other Fighter AI enemies) will be blocked from jumping out by the overhang. A better zombie trap is made from a 7 block (or so) wide by 6 block deep pit. On each side of the pit dig out the fourth block up, leaving two blocks overhanging. The Fighter 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. Larger and deeper pits can be useful against some of the Hardmode enemies, but there are some of these that can jump clear over the pit; adding a vertical wall over the middle of the pit can foil these. Some of the Hardmode enemies can still jump out of these pits, but adding lava will ensure they're at least weakened somewhat.

Lava is the most damaging thing available to early-game players, far more destructive than any pre-Hardmode weapon. Even in Hardmode, it's still an effective way to damage enemies without the player risking their own skin. Unfortunately, Hardmode also offers more flying and phasing enemies, both of which can usually avoid the lava (confined spaces notwithstanding). Also, enemies with the Caster AI will not walk into lava (but may teleport into it.) Lava also offers some hazards:

Firstly, lava can also damage the player. Early in the game, this can be handled with a tunnel directly under the lava pit, allowing the player to pick up drops from below. Once the player has acquired more health, better armor, and perhaps some accessories, they can survive a brief dip in lava, but once Obsidian Skin potions become available, those allow the player to simply drop into the pit to pick up loot.

Lava's second hazard is that it destroys items. Specifically, it will destroy any item of Gray or White Rarity, which is more than half-covered by the lava. Note that most commonplace items are of White rarity, including all coins. (Gray rarity is used only for some "junk" items, and badly-modified early-game equipment.) However, as alluded to above, this can be turned to advantage: Copper coins, the least valuable items in the game, are also the smallest, so it is possible to make a very shallow lava pool, which will destroy copper coins, but not silver or other useful items. In practice this amounts to 1 Bucket of lava for 6 to 8 (both included) blocks of pit length. So, a pit (or moat) 8 blocks wide should have one bucket thrown in while two buckets will cover 12 blocks of space. Of course, the player will need to design their lava trap to suit these dimensions. When filling a very large moat, it is best to spread the lava over the width of the moat, and not throw it on the same spot, due to unreliable liquid physics.

While deeper lava will burn and destroy most items, making a farm out of deep lava may have some advantages. Only items of white rarity will be burned and destroyed, leaving behind only rarer items. These traps are useless for getting money (even Gold Coins are white rarity), but can still collect scarcer and more valuable item drops.

Lava traps can be used to farm a variety of enemies, but usually become limited as the game progresses, due to more diverse enemy types. Because there are a few types of enemies that farm exceptionally well with this type of trap, it should not be overlooked just because of its simple design. Use of lava is also very helpful when statue farming (see below).

Mechanisms[edit | edit source]

Once the Mechanic has appeared, using mechanisms can be a good way to take out enemies that won't be killed by lava traps. Use Dart Traps, Super Dart Traps, Flame Traps, Spear Traps, Geysers, or Spiky Ball Traps. To trigger them, use one or more Timers or Crab Engines. However, traps also have some liabilities, notably that the piercing damage of dart and spear traps gives the victim a brief window of resistance to more piercing damage -- this requires more complex designs to tap their full potential.

The mechanic also allows for improvements to lava traps: The lava can be covered by a layer of actuated blocks or active stone, to protect the player and allow pits to double for collecting Critters when not in use for enemy farming. With a more complex setup, lava can even be automatically dumped into, or drained from a pit. Mechanisms also allow for wiring up statues, as described below.

Statue Farms[edit | edit source]

Once the Mechanic has appeared, Statues can be used to spawn particular enemies or critters on a mechanical trigger, usually a timer or Crab Engine. By putting the statue in an enclosed box with lava and/or traps, it is possible to automatically kill the enemies with little risk to the player. Even with the limits discussed below, a statue farm can be used to farm a few common materials and several (otherwise-)rare drops. It is technically possible to co-opt the wiring of a trap to use statues before the Mechanic, but this is not very useful for rare drops.

There are special limits to statue farming:

  • Many enemies spawned by statues will have reduced drops or none at all. An already-rare drop with reduced chances can require considerable patience to farm.
  • Some statue-spawned enemies will not drop items at all if they are killed by traps (lava doesn't count as a trap).
  • If a statue for a Hardmode enemy is used before Hardmode, it either will not spawn or will not drop loot.
  • Desktop Version Statue-spawned critters cannot be captured, and statue-spawned enemies will never drop coins. Critters converted to evil forms by a Blood Moon will not drop coins, but can drop other items.

These are the most useful statues for farming items, and the more important or valuable items they can produce. Statue names in italics cannot be farmed with traps, item names in bold are common drops (other items are rare drops).

Other issues with these statues:

  • The Pigron and Wraith spawns can move through blocks, making statue farms potentially hazardous.
  • The Unicorn and Pigron are larger than most enemies; if they do not have enough headroom, they can be forced through the floor, likely into your collection tunnel. Similarly, the Shark statue requires a spawning area at least 6 wide and 3 high.
  • The (Cave) Bat, Drippler, Harpy and Pigron can all fly. This will pose some difficulties using lava, but they are likely to often fly into the lava anyway, especially if you are waiting below them.
  • Note that the Shark and Jellyfish statues do not require water to work; if the spawned enemies are not in water, they will be unable to move but can still attack if touched.

Statue Farm Designs[edit | edit source]

Building a simple trap is really easy.

Diagram for a Shark/Jellyfish Farm (make this in an Ocean Biome)

X = Any Building Block (I recommend Grey Brick)

L = Lava

S = Shark/Jellyfish Statue

W = Wire

(T) = Timer (Preferably 1 second, but a Crab Engine or other Timer will suffice)

X WWWWWWW(T)
X W X
X W X
XWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWX (Feel free to use any wiring method. 3-point-contact is best. This Wire is run through the statues.)
XLSSLSSLSSLSSLSSLX (Statues should be placed in the lava)
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Here's a map for building a lava farm.
X = Wall
M = Lava
K = Statue (Any Spawning One)
L = Wire
5 = Timer
Note: For a smaller trap, cut it in half.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
X KK KK KK KK KK X
X KK KK KK KK KKLXLLL5
X KKLKKLKKLKKLKKLX (Wires go through the statues and wall)
XMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMX (This layer merges with the above one)
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Here's a map for a dart trap. D = Dart Trap (Or any other projectile-spewing block) I = Wire 2 = Timer J = Statue K = Block Note: Don't forget the collection tunnel!!!

KKKKKKKKKKKKKKK
IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII2
D JJ JJ JJ JJ K
D JJ JJ JJ JJ K
KKKKKKKKKKKKKKK

Here's a map for a goldfish farm: Note: This does nothing, unless its a Blood Moon... Or it rains.

G = Goldfish Statue I = Block W = Wire J = Timer D = Door Note: This can be underwater or on land. B = Corrupt Goldfish (If underwater)

IIIIIIIIIIIIWII
I WWWWWWWWWWW D
I GG GG GG GB D
I GG GG GG GG D
IIIIIIIIIIIIIII

AFK Farms[edit | edit source]

So you're busy multi-tasking with whatever, or you don't have the effort to concentrate on Terraria 100%. Whatever it is, having automated farming helps production and allows you to relax every now and then. Here are just some easy tips for you.

Pre-hardmode AFK Farming: Traps[edit | edit source]

Not that it wasn't difficult, but it posed challenges. To farm enemies in dungeon for hopes of that Clothier Voodoo Doll? How about those rare mimics? Easier said than done. However, it is possible. Here are the necessary steps.

1) Scout/ build out your desired AFK location. A desirable location should have:

* A one-way path to your location
* No other platforms above your spot
* IMPORTANT: A space for enemies to jump above you, or go under you.
* Cleared of all extra 'floating tiles' where mages may spawn (if applicable)

2) Preparation

* Ideally, a water candle, and a campfire/heart lamp if needed.
* Dart traps (3 or more)
* Wire
* Wire Cutter
* Wrench of any kind
* A statue that is able to Summon
* A few yellow pressure plates (so only enemies may activate it)
* Blocks to wall off and create ideal farm
* Lava buckets

The Actual Farm Itself[edit | edit source]

There are two methods: Ground and Floating

Ground[edit | edit source]

Now let's get to know how the farm works. Ideally, you want the dart traps to kill the enemies that will jump on top of your AFK location. Be creative with it. A simple 4 x 5 dirt block around you will suffice. Next, create a 6 x 5 rectangle. Place your statue in there, as well as a pressure plate. If you feel like you need more space, extend it as you wish. Wire everything together.

Lastly, jump into your 4 x 5 dirt block, and place a switch. Wire that with everything else.

Basically, the switch activates the farm. A enemy is summoned in your 6 x 5, and the first wave of darts are fired at the enemies that jump above you. As your enemy walks to the pressure plate, it will trigger the dart trap every now and then, effectively making an engine. Enemies will die above you, and you'll get that pesky voodoo doll in no time!

Floating[edit | edit source]

It's the same idea, except that your 4x5 floats in mid-air, with at least 3 space under you (for enemies to run under). Have the traps a little behind you instead, and watch as they die under you. You'll have to manually collect them after, but it's okay. Loot expires in a few hours. You could set a hoik path to move the items to you.

IMPORTANT: Make sure the enemies actually go the path you want before flipping that switch.

Easier AFK Farming[edit | edit source]

Pre-hardmode

Get a Hornet Staff. Slow it may be (lack of damage, but it gets the job done). It's really simple. You probably could figure it out. Set your 4x5. Summon those bees. AFK. Just remember to collect the loot after!

Hardmode

Congratulations! You've just killed the Wall of Flesh. However, your gear and materials are still weak for AFK farming. It's made even easier with the Spider Staff, and the Spider Armor Set. You have a choice to use the Optic Staff as well as the Tempest Staff further on.

Post-Plantera

Congratulations again! You have killed Plantera! Now you have access the Pygmy Staff and the Raven Staff with either the Tiki or the Spooky Armor Set along with the Pygmy Necklace, Necromantic Scroll, Papyrus Scarab, etc. You have access to very useful AFK objects, too: Spear Traps, Spiky Ball Traps, and so forth.

Rinse. Repeat. Profit!

IMPORTANT: Make sure any Mages won't be able to kill you where you want to farm. If the area is too tough, try to force it so that they can only spawn where your minions can reach, or just add an alternative damage source (like Slime Statues or standing on a spike) which will override all other damage.

AFK Pre-Hardmode/Hardmode "Ocean"[edit | edit source]

The ocean farm is a pre-hardmode farm that works for swimming enemies and swimming enemies only and you can get fish you want by adding certain biome blocks - Lihzahrd Bricks can get Arapima to spawn which can get you quick gold. Loot chests can be placed in case you inventory gets full.

AFK Pre-Hardmode/Hardmode "Volcano"[edit | edit source]

The "Volcano" or "Pyramid" trap is a pre-hardmode classic that works with almost any enemy and can be greatly modified to suit your needs - Water Candles can increase spawns, loot chests can be placed with campfires/heart lanterns, traps such as Spears, Spiky Balls and Dart Traps etc can speed up killing and Teleporters or an actuated tunnel can be used as an entrance.

Here as a very common yet effective design:

  • X = Any Building Block (Bricks are good)
  • H = Hammered version of X (this should slant upwards (allows flying enemies to sort of slide up)
  • L = Lava (only one bucket needed - this is so no items are burnt. Add more if you don't want White Rarity items)
  • / or \ = Slanted Block Note: Blocks needed off-screen for enemy spawning.
    _ _
HX XH   / \
HX XH   / \
HXX XXH   /  \
HXXXLLLLLLXXXH  /____Lava____\
HXXXXXXXXXXXXXXH  / Stand here \
HXXXXX XXXXXH  /________________\

This trap still works well into Hardmode - any enemies with the Fighter AI (most of Goblin Invasion, Pirate Invasion, and Frost Legion) , because of their AI, they will try to get close to you and hit you with their bodies. The only way they can get as close as possible to you is by running up the sides of the volcano and into the lava - and boom, money and loot.

You may notice that spawns begin to decrease or that your farm isn't as effective as you thought. This is usually due to spawns in nearby areas where enemies can't get to your farm. A way to fix this is by filling up other spawn locations with dirt/other blocks.

Note: These farms are more effective for loot gathering and there are more elaborate designs.