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Guide:Skeletron strategies

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Skeletron Trophy.png "The cursed guardian of the dungeon..." Skeletron Trophy.png

Skeletron is a Pre-Hardmode Boss protecting the Dungeon. It's big, tough, hard to dodge, and can seriously ruin your evening many times over. Like any other daunting task in Terraria, defeating it is largely about smart preparation. Following are some hints, tips, and strategies to help you do so.

SkeletronSkeletron Head
Skeletron Head.png
Statistics
Type
Environment
AI TypeHead AI
Damage32 / 70
1000 (during the day)
Max Life4400 / 8800 / 11220
Defense10 / 10+25 per hand alive
0 / 0+25 per hand alive (spinning)
9999 (during the day)
KB Resist100%
Immune toShadowflamePenetratedVenomCursed InfernoConfusedPoisonedDaybrokenCelledOn Fire!
Inflicts debuff
DebuffBleedingBleeding
Debuff tooltipCannot regenerate life
Chance100%
Duration6–10 seconds
Map Icon Skeletron.png
Map Icon
}
SkeletronSkeletron Hand
Skeletron Hand (NPC).png
Statistics
Type
Boss Part
Environment
AI TypeSkeletron Hand AI
Damage20 / 44
Max Life600 / 1560 / 1989
Defense14
KB Resist100%
Immune toPoisonedConfusedCursed InfernoShadowflameOn Fire!Venom
Inflicts debuff
DebuffSlowSlow
Debuff tooltipMovement speed is reduced
Chance50%
Duration1–2 seconds

Spawn Condition[edit | edit source]

Skeletron can be spawned by fulfilling one of these conditions:

It must then be defeated before all the involved players die.

The Fight[edit | edit source]

Skeletron is a large skeleton, composed by a Skull and 2 Arms. In order to defeat it, you must kill the Skull.

It attacks the player mostly by swiping its hands. This attack is quite easy to predict, as it prepares them by lunging them backward, so you can prepare to dodge them. However, the main issue is their erratic trajectory. You can dodge them by either jumping or running around. It can use both hands to have different timings and trajectories, so you might get caught off-guard by trying to dodge its other hand.

Timing is key in order to defend from the hands: after dodging them, use your piercing weapons to deal damage to both arms (and Skeletron's skull, if it happens to align with them). The arms don't have much health, so they can be detached fairly easily.

After some time, Skeletron will use its signature spinning attack. It's slow, but it always homes at you. During this attack, which lasts for quite a bit, it is the most vulnerable; it increases the power of the attack but loses all its defense. As such, use the fastest weapon at your disposal to deal a lot of damage. However, make sure to constantly move; if you get hit by it, you take a lot of damage and you get BleedingBleeding debuff, which stops Health Regeneration.

During the spin attack, the hands will stay fixed in a uphanded position while Skeletron moves. You can also use this time to deal damage to them, but keep in mind that their defense isn't reduced.

Failing to defeat it before daybreak will make Skeletron permanently spin at you, just like Dungeon Guardian; it will gain extreme amounts of damage and defense, one-shotting players while only taking 1 or 2 damage from any attack.

Expert Mode[edit | edit source]

Target Priorities[edit | edit source]

Skeletron's head has 60 defense until one of its hands go down. This means that almost every weapon at that point will not do more than 1 damage without a critical hit. As such, you're forced to detach the arms from it in order to progress. Moreover, the hands can Slow you, and its spin attack is much faster than in Normal Mode. After one of the arms goes down, Skeletron gains the ability to shoot skulls with a small homing effect when it's not spinning. The frequency of this attack increases as its health goes down and when the other arm falls.

At the beginning of the fight, the arms must be prioritized first, as the Head will barely take any damage with its massive defense. Their attacks have a 50% chance to briefly apply the Slow debuff, which can greatly slow down a player, even if just for a second.

It is recommended to kill both hands at the same time, to minimize the amount of time Skeletron spends attacking with homing skulls alongside its remaining hand.

Mobility[edit | edit source]

Because of the player's lack of knockback immunity, getting hit by the spin attack can result on a death even at full health due to its massive damage and speed, so the player needs high mobility to avoid it at all costs.

A horseshoe balloon together with Lightning Boots can provide that mobility, together with the Shield of Cthulhu, or a Featherfall Potion.

It's easier to dodge the skulls of the second stage while Skeletron remains above the player, since they can be dodged like Queen Bee's stingers with a little curve. However, this could make the spin attack connect more easily if the player isn't careful, as the head will stand closer to them. The most effective way to dodge the skull attacks while remaining under the head of Skeletron is to run/dash left and right in quick and alternating succession.

While Skeletron is spinning, running in a straight line with your Boots isn't recommended: it starts firing the skulls as soon as the attack is completed, so the player will most likely get hit by one of them. Because of this, moving in circles using the hover effect and/or double jumps is much safer. Featherfall potions will allow you to stay in the air for much longer, making the circling much easier. If you do have a straight line prepared and you can take a few hits, it is very easy to inflict a lot of damage with a medium-ranged weapon like a yoyo with a string boost or a bow, as you can land many shots in succession without needing to aim.

General Strategies[edit | edit source]

General Tips[edit | edit source]

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

  • Starting the battle just after the sun sets (7:30 PM) will provide the maximum amount of time to defeat nocturnal bosses. (Do pause a moment to make sure the night won't be a Blood Moon, or feature another boss spawning.) In Hardmode, the Moon CharmMoon Charm and/or Moon StoneMoon Stone are also useful at night.
  • Prepare your Boss-fighting arena with adequate lighting, CampfireCampfires and Heart LanternHeart Lanterns for health regeneration, and Star in a BottleStars in Bottles for mana regeneration if you use magic. Bast StatueBast StatuesDesktop Version will provide a significant defensive boost. HoneyHoney pools can also be used for extra health regeneration.
  • Desktop, Console, and Mobile Versions SunflowerSunflowers 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 (Lesser Healing PotionLesser, Healing PotionNormal,Greater Healing PotionGreater, or Super Healing PotionSuper Healing PotionsDesktop, Console, and Mobile Versions). 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, Console, and Mobile Versions 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 Silver Coincoins.
  • 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.

Terrain Preparation[edit | edit source]

The entrance to the Dungeon can be easily adapted into an arena.

Warning: Don't make significant edits to the dungeon floor. Doing so can stop the Endgame Cultists from spawning, potentially blocking progression. Plan your arena above the Dungeon roof instead.

The entrance area to most dungeons can often be modified into a more desirable arena if needed. Most important is that you have room to dodge the hands, as well as enough vertical space to avoid getting trapped when Skeletron's head begins to spin.

Gearing up[edit | edit source]

It's recommended not to try to fight Skeletron without at least 300 Health,(15 hearts) however on Expert mode 400 health is almost mandatory.

Armor[edit | edit source]

The best armor available before the fight is Shadow or Crimson armors, because of their high defense, great speed with the former or better regeneration with the latter. Molten Armor is available if the player chose to mine Hellstone before entering the Dungeon.


Magic users however, should use the Wizard set due to its massive offensive stats, surpassing both Jungle and Meteor armors. A summoner's only choice is the Bee armor.

Weapons[edit | edit source]

For Melee users:

  • Code 2Yo-yosDesktop, Console, and Mobile Versions such as AmazonAmazonDesktop, Console, and Mobile Versionsare excellent against Skeletron, as they can be directed easily to the target and held there for rapid repeated damage. Eliminating the hands first can be done very rapidly with a yoyo as the hands tend to push them around, making additional contact with the weapon.
  • The ArkhalisArkhalisDesktop, Console, and Mobile Versions does very high damage against him provided the player has obtained it, however it isn't recommended on Expert mode.
  • Enchanted BoomerangBoomerangs like the Thorn ChakramThorn Chakram work well but they are more effective when throwing past the Skull.
    • The FlamarangFlamarang is also available if the player has mined Hellstone already.
  • Flails can work due to their long range and ability to hit both the arms and the head with a single attack. The only ones available at this point are the Ball O' HurtBall O' Hurt, The MeatballThe Meatball, MaceMaceDesktop Version, or Flaming MaceFlaming MaceDesktop Version.

For Ranged users:

  • Bone JavelinBone JavelinsDesktop, Console, and Mobile Versions are some of the best weapons available, due to their high damage and firing speed.
  • Molotov CocktailMolotov CocktailsDesktop, Console, Old-gen console, and Mobile Versions can be used for a devastating effect on Skeletron.
  • BeenadeBeenades are useful for the fight, thanks to the homing bees that it releases. This makes dealing damage almost automatic without much need to aim.
  • GrenadeGrenades can also be effective.

For Magic users:

  • Using a Space GunSpace Gun with Meteor Armor frees you from the constraints of Mana and deals reasonable damage.
  • If the player is lucky to get one in Console/Mobile/3DS/Old-Gen, the Water BoltWater Bolt is an excellent choice.
  • The Ruby StaffRuby and Diamond StaffDiamond Staves can be effective, requiring very little mana while dealing decent damage.
  • The Crimson RodCrimson Rod is also a very effective method of damaging Skeletron, even allowing it to be used in combination with other weapons. If carefully placed, the cloud created by the rod can cause 100 damage per second. However it will only be available in a Crimson world.

For Summoners:

Accessories[edit | edit source]

Potions[edit | edit source]

Others[edit | edit source]

  • The Slimy Saddle helps with dodging and it can also be used to escape the spin attack. The Honeyed GogglesHoneyed GogglesDesktop, Console, Old-gen console, and Mobile Versions can be used for a similar purpose with its flight.
  • A good grappling hook is also useful for enabling sudden bursts of movement.

Specific Strategies[edit | edit source]

Minecart Strategy[edit | edit source]

Diamond Minecart Track

An alternative to high-maneuverability armor or accessories which can even work against Expert mode Skeletron is to craft a Minecart for the extra speed and build a large, diamond-shaped Minecart Track, such as one having in the middle on each side three Minecart Tracks with a Bumper on the outer end, and the inner end connects using a switch track to two diagonal tracks, with both connected and the preferred direction up on one side and down on the other, and with a total width of roughly 100-120 blocks. After the Skeletron battle begins, mount the Minecart and accelerate to maximum Minecart speed. While collisions can occasionally occur, they should be uncommon enough that healing will not be a problem. Using attacks at range is highly preferred, though unlike a Hoik system, a Minecart might not move fast enough to allow a boomerang to do all of the work as in some Dungeon Guardian strategies. If using pre-Hardmode weapons, the Molten Fury with Frostburn Arrows is highly recommended.

If using the Minecart strategy and for whatever reason the battle lasts until dawn, the Dungeon Guardian A.I. will actually cause the Skeletron head to follow you at such a slow and steady pace that it should never catch up. In such a case, however, you will take fatal damage from contact and deal 1 damage with every landed attack, or 2 from critical hits, causing fast attacks at range to become essential (such as the Space Gun with the full set of Meteor armor); thus, having a set of accessories with critical chance modifiers becomes far more important than damage, defense, or mobility, should it come to this.

Circle Strategy (Expert/Master)[edit | edit source]

Mobility and damage matter the most in these modes.

Near the dungeon, make two or three long rows of platforms, about one screen high and two screens wide. Use a horseshoe balloon and Spectre Boots or Lightning Boots, a combination that is essentially like wings in pre-hardmode. Featherfall Potion is also a plus. The Shield of Cthulhu is the last essential accessory.

During the fight, use your platforms to move in circles around Skeletron, flying over and around him and running underneath. The Shield of Cthulhu will allow you to dash away from the skull and accelerate instantly.

The Bee's Knees and Bee Gun with the Hive Pack are especially effective weapons, as accuracy is not as important with these weapons. The Space Gun is another effective alternative.

Using this method, just keep circling and attacking the hands; once the skulls start shooting, you will still be circling and dodging will be easy.