Guide:Inventory management

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The Guide Rewrite ProjectStatus: Revised
This Guide is revised as of 28 April 2019!

A full and cluttered inventory.

Keeping your inventory organized is very important when exploring in Terraria, as the goal is usually to fill your inventory with as many valuable items as possible. In general, the key to inventory management is the ability to tell valuable loot apart from junk.

While some loot objectives can be obvious (such as Golden Keys in the Dungeon, or Souls of Light in the Underground Hallow), keep your eye out for unexpected valuable items. For example, if you come across a valuable Heart Statue but your inventory is full, you must decide what to throw out in order to make room for it.

The following guidelines will help you decide what to bring and what to keep on your adventure. Consider favoriting items if you decide that they deserve a semi-permanent place in your inventory; this will allow you to use "quick stack" and "deposit all" more freely.

Mandatory items[edit | edit source]

These items must be in your inventory in some form or another if you plan to do any serious exploration. Without them, many important activities become extremely inefficient, if not impossible.

Weapons[edit | edit source]

Weapons are a player's primary means of self-defense, and in order to cover as many different combat situations as possible, it is recommended to carry a variety of them in your hotbar. Later in the game, it is better to specialize towards one of the four primary damage types (melee, ranged, magic, and summon). If possible, use weapons that can attack from a distance and/or that can damage multiple enemies, and be sure to bring enough ammo if using ranged weapons. Summoning weapons can contribute to any character's damage output, even without a dedicated armor set.

To reduce inventory clutter, it is important to know when to retire certain weapons. For example, the Snowball Cannon is a phenomenal weapon in the early stages of the game, but it will see little use after you obtain a Demon or Tendon Bow.

Pickaxe[edit | edit source]

Pickaxes are a player's primary means of interacting with the environment, and Terraria ensures that you have access to a pickaxe from the very beginning of the game. You only need one pickaxe in your inventory, and it will generally be the one with the highest power you have access to, though there are several viable exceptions that trade away pickaxe power for mining speed, such as the Bone Pickaxe and Shroomite Digging Claw.

Light source[edit | edit source]

Lighting usually comes in the form of Torches. Glowsticks, Light Pets, Shine Potions, and the Mining Helmet can be used as substitutes, but unlike Torches, they will not permanently illuminate an area. Stacks of Wood and Gel can be carried to craft Torches on demand.

Recommended items[edit | edit source]

It is highly recommended to carry these items if you have them.

Blocks and platforms[edit | edit source]

Aside from modifying the terrain, blocks are useful for blocking the paths of enemies, or even trapping them. All blocks are equally useful for this purpose, but dirt, stone, and mud are likely to be the most plentiful. In a pinch, Wood can also be used this way, but be sure to reserve some Wood for crafting Torches and Work Benches if you need them.

Platforms can be used to quickly build arenas, and are useful to climb to high places early in the game when mobility is still limited. A stack of Wood or Ice Blocks can be crafted into platforms by hand, and the extras can be crafted back into blocks, so it is not strictly necessary to dedicate an inventory space to them.

Explosives[edit | edit source]

Bombs and Dynamite, especially when crafted into Sticky Bombs or Sticky Dynamite, are a relatively plentiful and speedy way to excavate large areas. Early on, they can also be used to bypass certain requirements, meaning that they can be used to mine Crimstone/Ebonstone and Meteorite ore.

Grappling hook[edit | edit source]

On the Desktop version Desktop and Console version Console versions, Grappling Hooks have their own equipment slot, and as such, they do not interfere with inventory management. On other platforms, the mobility that hooks provide can be used to escape dangerous situations and navigate the terrain, making them well worth the single inventory space that they take up. There is no need to place them in the hotbar.

Informational accessories[edit | edit source]

Informational Accessories provide extra information that can be useful during exploration, but the most valuable ones are the Platinum/Gold Watch, Lifeform AnalyzerDesktop VersionConsole Version, Metal DetectorDesktop VersionConsole Version, and Mechanical LensDesktop VersionConsole Version.

  • Watches tell you the time, which allows you to plan for events such as boss fights. Lower-tier Watches also work, but only the Gold and Platinum Watch can be combined with other informational accessories.
  • Rare creatures often have valuable drops, and some of them are also very dangerous. The Lifeform Analyzer provides advance warning of their presence.
  • The Metal Detector alerts you to the presence of valuable loot, such as Chests, Life Crystals, and Life Fruits. However, it is less useful if you are also using Spelunker Potions.
  • The Mechanical Lens highlights wires on the map, which alerts you to the presence of naturally-generated traps. Like other informational accessories, it can be toggled on and off at will.
    • Any mechanism, such as a Dart Trap or Pressure Plate, can be selected in the hotbar to highlight wires, but doing so is labor-intensive.
    • The Grand DesignDesktop VersionConsole Version provides the same utility as the Mechanical Lens, and can also disarm traps with little effort.

Recall[edit | edit source]

The Magic Mirror, Ice MirrorDesktop VersionConsole Version, Cell PhoneDesktop VersionConsole Version, or a Recall Potion will instantly return you to your spawn point. Recall Potions work with no delay, making them more suited for Hardcore or Mediumcore characters who need to quickly escape a nasty situation. Those who are quick with their reflexes can simply activate the Magic Mirror from the inventory screen when needed, saving a hotbar slot for something else.

Healing potions[edit | edit source]

Healing Potions are one of the main methods of restoring health in dangerous situations and should be used frequently, as they are obtained in plentiful supply from bosses and naturally-generated Chests. If you have lost more health than your best healing potion would heal for, use one. They can be activated from the inventory with a hotkey.

Piggy Bank[edit | edit source]

A Piggy Bank, or ideally a Money TroughDesktop VersionConsole Version, acts as a personalized, portable storage box. Piggy Banks can only be placed on flat surfaces like a Work Bench or Platforms, but the Money Trough can be summoned anywhere. It is recommended to use the Piggy Bank to store money and items that you use regularly but infrequently, such as Fishing Rods. A Safe can provide extra storage should you need it, and can itself be stored in the Piggy Bank, freeing an additional space. If not using the Money Trough, be sure to pick up your storage items after you are done.

Buff potions[edit | edit source]

Spelunker Potions are incredibly useful during exploration, highlighting valuable items on the screen. Hunter Potions highlight threats and help you to avoid being taken by surprise, especially by Worms. Obsidian Skin Potions are useful when approaching the lower levels of the Caverns and the Underworld, as they allow you to ignore lava damage. Standard buff potions for combat can also be considered, but usually those are best saved for boss battles and invasion events.

Extra armor[edit | edit source]

Apart from the armor equipped in your armor slots, there is some merit to carrying around extra armor sets in the inventory. Several sets, notably Crimson and Palladium armor as well as the individual pieces Squire's Great HelmDesktop Version and Valhalla Knight's BreastplateDesktop Version, provide a sizable regeneration bonus and are useful for healing outside of combat. Spectre armor is another useful armor switch as it provides rapid burst healing.

Others[edit | edit source]

Whether you wish to bring the following items with you is largely up to personal preference. They can be stored in a Piggy Bank to save inventory space.

  • The Bug Net is useful for catching Critters, including those usable as Bait. Bait is particularly plentiful in the Jungle, and aside from that, you will need a Bug Net to catch Truffle Worms. When at your base, it is still useful to have the Bug Net so you can catch critters to sell for pocket change, which adds up over time.
  • A Fishing Rod can be brought along to gather potion ingredients, Crates, and even equipment items, depending on the biome. A Cooking Pot may also be taken with you so you can craft Cooked Fish on demand.
  • The Staff of Regrowth is very useful if you find a fully-grown, non-blooming herb underground and wish to extract seeds from it.
  • Hamaxes combine the functions of Hammers and Axes, and while neither is really mandatory for exploration and caving, hammering can be used to create one-way barriers and perform several other tricks with sloped blocks (see Hoik). Axes can be used to replenish wood supplies in the Underground Jungle, the only biome in which trees will grow underground. The Meteor Hamaxe is the first Hamaxe that players will gain access to, and is fast enough for most purposes while being cheap to craft. Obtaining higher-tier Hamaxes is a relatively low priority.
  • Ropes are handy for lining your hellevator(s) and for climbing to high places early-game, but their usefulness is diminished after you gain access to Hooks.
  • Water Candles can be placed nearby to increase enemy spawn rates when farming for their drops.

Things to get rid of[edit | edit source]

  • Banners are worth relatively little (2 Silver Coin) and clutter the inventory. It is a good habit to place them down nearby as soon as you obtain them.
  • Common blocks can be trashed if they are not in a large enough stack to be useful for building.
  • Herbs can usually be trashed on the spot, as it is far more efficient to farm them at your base. Their respective seeds only need to be obtained once if you are planning to set up a garden.
  • Dye ingredients are worth a decent amount of money (20 Silver Coin), but can easily be trashed to make room for something else.
  • Gems, especially lower-tier gems, are not especially useful. Rubies can be used to craft Slime Crowns, and the Diamond Robe, Ruby Staff, and Diamond Staff are decent in Pre-Hardmode, but aside from those, most gems can be tossed away with no regrets, especially if you have no need for a Gem Hook.
  • Any item that doesn't seem immediately useful and does not have "material" listed in its tooltip can be safely thrown away. Silt and Slush are exceptions, as they can provide valuable items when fed to an Extractinator.

Other tips[edit | edit source]

  • After looting an underground Chest, you can take the chest with you for extra storage at your base.
    • This has the added benefit of allowing the Metal Detector to display something other than "Chest detected nearby!"
  • If you don't have the heart to throw away some items, you can deposit them into naturally-generated Chests and come back for them later.
  • If you encounter a Skeleton MerchantDesktop VersionConsole Version, you can sell your accumulated junk items to him rather than throwing them away.
  • Renaming your chests to match the types of items they store, for example "Ores and Bars", "Potions", "Weapons", etc. will make finding your items much easier.
  • Many common items are also used as ammo, and can be stored in your Ammo slots. These include Gel, Fallen Stars, Sand, and in Desktop version Desktop and Console version Console, Bones, Wire and Bait.
  • Extra accessories that you pick up can be stored in your Social Slots, though they may affect your appearance.