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Guide:Skeletron Prime strategies

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Skeletron Prime Trophy.png "You feel the air getting colder around you..." Skeletron Prime Trophy.png

Skeletron Prime is the Hardmode version of Skeletron. It is part of the trio of Mechanical bosses, alongside with The Destroyer and The Twins. Its high health, defense, damage, and multiple limbs will take a lot of punishment, and its limbs have the added effect of blocking non-piercing shots aimed at its head.

Skeletron Prime
Skeletron Prime.pngOld-gen Console, Mobile, 3DS versions
AI TypeSkeletron Prime Head AI
Damage47 / 79
94 / 158 (while spinning)
Max Life28000 / 42000
48 (while spinning)
KB Resist100%
Immune toPoisonedOn Fire!ConfusedCursed InfernoVenomShadowflamePenetratedCelledDaybroken
Coins 12 Gold Coin
Map Icon Skeletron Prime.png
Map Icon

Spawning Conditions[edit | edit source]

Skeletron Prime can be spawned by fulfilling any of these conditions:

  • After smashing a DemonDemon/Crimson AltarCrimson Altar, it will have a 10% chance of appearing when night falls, until it is defeated for the first time. This condition is shared with the rest of the trio, so there's a chance that the Destroyer or Twins will spawn instead.
  • Use a Mechanical SkullMechanical Skull.

It must then be defeated before all involved players die.

The Fight[edit | edit source]

Skeletron Prime is a flying boss that consists of five parts:

  • Prime Saw, a melee arm, with 9000 health.
  • Prime Vice, a melee arm, with 9000 health.
  • Prime Laser, a ranged arm that fires lasers, with 6000 health.
  • Prime Cannon, a ranged arm that fires grenades, with 7000 health.
  • Skeletron Prime, the head, with 28000 health.

If you take out its Head, you kill the boss.

Each limb has its own unique attack pattern, listed below. Although killing the limbs is not necessary, they can block the head (especially Prime Saw and Prime Vice), and destroying them can make the fight much easier. It is suggested that you take out the most dangerous limbs at the beginning, as the fight gets significantly easier without them.

Prime Saw[edit | edit source]

Prime Saw is one of the two melee limbs Skeletron Prime has. It lunges at the player, dealing a lot of damage if its attack connects. However, compared to the other limbs, the Saw is not as aggressive, making it a low priority.

Its predictable pattern, combined with its more passive behavior, makes it a small threat compared to the other limbs despite its high damage.

Prime Vice[edit | edit source]

Prime Vice is one of the two melee limbs Skeletron Prime has. Compared to the Saw, it does less damage, but it is more aggressive. It lunges at the player, attacking many times before retracting.

Although its pattern can be somewhat predictable, its behavior when Prime is enraged makes it a very dangerous limb capable of dealing a ton of damage if the player is not careful.

Prime Laser[edit | edit source]

Prime Laser is one of Skeletron Prime's ranged arms. It will consistently remain above the player, firing lasers at a moderate rate. Its shots do a lot of damage and is Prime's strongest limb in Expert mode. The laser starts shooting a lot faster when Prime enters its "enraged" state, making it an even bigger problem.

Its highly damaging, fast and accurate shots arguably make it Prime's most dangerous limb. Because of this, it should be targeted before any of the others.

Prime Cannon[edit | edit source]

Prime Cannon is the second of Prime's ranged limbs. It shoots bombs that do not destroy tiles, lack contact damage, and ignore platforms. This means that if the player fights in an arena, the Cannon will very rarely do any damage, since the bombs only explode should they land on a solid block.

This, combined with the fact that the bombs are by far Prime's weakest attack, makes the Cannon significantly less threatening than any of the other limbs. The player should focus their firepower on the other arms or Skeletron Prime itself.

Skeletron Prime[edit | edit source]

Skeletron Prime is the head, which must be destroyed to win. Skeletron Prime will try to float above the player at all times. It will close in to do its spinning attack, which doubles its attack and defense and empowers its other limbs, making them attack more frequently. Once it finishes spinning, it will retreat again.

Like Skeletron, if the head is not destroyed by morning, it will be locked in its spinning attack, gain a speed increase, and its attack and defense will increase to near-unbeatable levels. In this state, a single hit will kill the player, while the head will only take one damage per hit, and two damage per critical hit.

Killing the head is a lot easier once some of its limbs are down, mainly the Vice and the Laser. Focusing only on the head still works should the player wish to end the fight as soon as possible, but usually it is recommended to focus on some of the arms first.

General Strategies[edit | edit source]

General tips[edit | edit source]

This content is transcluded from Guide:Practical Tips#Combat.

  • Starting the battle as soon as the sun sets (at 7:30 p.m.) will provide the maximum amount of time to defeat nocturnal bosses. This also means that the Moon CharmMoon Charm and/or Moon StoneMoon Stone can be used if the player has obtained it from Werewolves or Vampires, respectively, providing a combat advantage.
  • Prepare your Boss-fighting arena with adequate lighting, CampfiresCampfires and Heart LanternsHeart Lanterns for health regeneration, and Stars in BottlesStars in Bottles for mana regeneration if you use magic.
  • Desktop VersionConsole Version SunflowersSunflowers provide the Happy! buff to players within a 50-tile radius, which grants a +10% movement speed bonus and 17% reduction in enemy spawn rate.
  • Always carry at least one stack of the highest-tier healing potion available (LesserLesser, NormalNormal, GreaterGreater, or Super Healing PotionsSuper Healing PotionsDesktop VersionConsole Version). Relying only on natural Health Regeneration is not a good idea.
  • It is suggested to build houses for the DryadDryad and the NurseNurse NPCs in your arena. The former casts the Dryad's BlessingDryad's BlessingDesktop VersionConsole Version buff, which increases your defense and provides you with a thorns-like effect, while the latter can heal and remove debuffs instantly, at the cost of some coinscoins.
  • Bosses are displayed on the Minimap: Follow the boss's icon to track it when you're struggling to find it. You can identify the boss icons by checking their respective wiki pages.
  • Once you have freed the MechanicMechanic in the Dungeon, you can use WireWire to enhance your arena with TrapsTraps and helpful HeartHeart and Star StatuesStar Statues. The former help to damage the enemies, though be careful to set them up correctly in order not to hurt yourself during the battle. The latter will spawn heart and star pickups, respectively. Connect these devices to timerstimers.
  • It may be useful to summon and kill the Eye of Cthulhu or King Slime before summoning any harder boss in order to spawn an extra one-use pool of hearts.
  • Remember to use the Sharpening StationSharpening StationDesktop VersionConsole Version, Ammo BoxAmmo BoxDesktop VersionConsole VersionOld-gen console versionMobile Version, Crystal BallCrystal Ball, and Bewitching TableBewitching TableDesktop VersionConsole Version before you go to explore or battle bosses/invasions. These will give class-specific boosts that are useful to take. They give SharpenedSharpenedDesktop VersionConsole Version, Ammo BoxAmmo BoxDesktop VersionConsole VersionOld-gen console versionMobile Version, ClairvoyanceClairvoyance, and BewitchedBewitchedDesktop VersionConsole Version, respectively.

Terrain preparation[edit | edit source]

As with all bosses, an arena made out of Wooden Platform or Minecart Track is greatly increases your mobility, and it will also shut down the Prime Cannon. You will want 10-15 rows of Platforms, each around 50 or so blocks long. The platforms should be suspended off the ground to prevent the Prime Cannon's grenades from detonating too close to you. A solid ceiling should be avoided since Skeletron Prime will often retreat a fair distance when not using his spinning attack.

Gearing up[edit | edit source]

Armor[edit | edit source]

Weapons[edit | edit source]

For melee users
  • The Hel-FireHel-FireDesktop VersionConsole Version, AmarokAmarokDesktop VersionConsole Version, or YeletsYeletsDesktop VersionConsole Version with the Yoyo BagYoyo BagDesktop VersionConsole Version are all very strong choices.
  • The Shadowflame KnifeShadowflame KnifeDesktop VersionConsole Version is also a very good choice. Its bouncing properties allow it to hit multiple parts of its body at once.
  • The Ice SickleIce Sickle fires a spinning scythe projectile that will hit Skeletron Prime multiple times.
    • Old-gen console versionMobile Version3DS Version After a Mechanical Boss has been defeated, the Death SickleDeath Sickle can be used.
  • Once you have defeated The Destroyer, the Light DiscsLight Discs can be very helpful with their long range.
  • Also, if you manage to acquire them, BananarangsBananarangs are a very effective weapon, due to their high damage and speed.
For ranged users
For magic users
  • You can use the Crystal SerpentCrystal SerpentDesktop VersionConsole Version which functions similarly to Crystal Bullets and deals high damage.
  • The Sky FractureSky FractureDesktop Version is just as strong.
  • The Meteor StaffMeteor StaffDesktop VersionConsole Version is powerful and easy to craft, provided you have some leftover Meteorite Bars from Pre-Hardmode.
  • The Golden ShowerGolden Shower deals little damage but inflicts the IchorIchor debuff, allowing your other weapons to deal even more damage.
  • The Flower of FrostFlower of Frost is a decent weapon that inflicts Frostburn, which Skeletron Prime is not immune to.

For summoners Desktop VersionConsole VersionOld-gen console versionMobile Version

  • You can use the Optic StaffOptic Staff to summon miniature versions of The Twins.
  • The Spider StaffSpider Staff is very useful for defeating the laser and cannon, as they don't move much and allow the spiders to cling for longer.
  • The Queen Spider StaffQueen Spider Staff is a great choice if you tend to remain in one area the entire battle.

Accessories[edit | edit source]

  • Accessories that increase your mobility such as the Lightning BootsLightning Boots or Wings are a must.
  • An Emblem for your class can increase your damage output significantly.
  • The Expert-exclusive Shield of CthulhuShield of CthulhuDesktop VersionConsole Version can greatly increase your mobility as well as provide some extra defense.
  • The Frog LegFrog Leg makes all wings significantly faster, which helps when dodging its attacks.
  • The also Expert-exclusive Worm ScarfWorm ScarfDesktop VersionConsole Version will reduce damage taken, making it a powerful choice.
  • The Charm of MythsCharm of Myths increases your base health regeneration and reduces the cooldown on potions, making it a good choice if you have trouble dodging its attacks.
  • The Cobalt ShieldCobalt Shield or its upgrades make you immune to knockback, preventing Skeletron Prime from knocking you around.

Potions[edit | edit source]

Tips[edit | edit source]

  • Desktop VersionConsole Version When using Summon weapons, it is recommended to use the targeting function to focus one arm at a time and reduce the threat Skeletron Prime poses. Simply right-click near one of the weapons to target it and your minions will prioritize that arm.