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Difficulty

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Difficulty refers to how challenging the gameplay is. Terraria has different forms of difficulty.

  • The actual Difficulty mode is a character setting selected during character creation. On the Desktop version Desktop version, there are four options: Journey, Classic (SoftcoreConsole VersionOld-gen console versionMobile Version), Mediumcore and Hardcore, with Journey Mode being exclusive to the Desktop version Desktop version, while the other modes are all available on the Console version Console version, Old-gen console version Old-gen console version, and Mobile version Mobile version, all modes changing the penalty upon death. Journey characters start with extra equipment and can only be played on journey worlds. Classic characters drop coins. Mediumcore characters drop items on death, and Hardcore characters cannot respawn, and drop all items on death. Once a character has been created, its difficulty cannot be changed. On the 3DS version 3DS version, there are no options, and all characters are created as Classic characters.
  • A third form of difficulty is the transition from Pre-Hardmode to Hardmode, which also applies to the world. This is a gameplay advancement and is thus non-optional.

Journey[edit | edit source]

Desktop version Desktop-Only Content: This section's information applies only to the Desktop version of Terraria.

Journey Mode is unique, as the player may choose and change game difficulty whenever they wish. Journey Mode also includes additional tools such as godmode, item duplication, time and weather control, and the ability to control enemy spawns. The player must choose Journey on both the character and world creation menus to utilize it.

Classic[edit | edit source]

Classic (or SoftcoreConsole VersionOld-gen console versionMobile Version) is the default character mode (the only one on 3DS version3DS), and is generally considered the easiest. It is the standard Terraria experience.

Classic characters drop half (3/4) (all) of their coins when they die, which can be retrieved upon respawning, but may also be collected by other players in multiplayer or by enemies in Expert ModeDesktop, Console, and Mobile Versions. Classic characters respawn at their spawn point, 7 / 15 (15 / 30) seconds after death on singleplayer / multiplayer, respectively.

Mediumcore[edit | edit source]

Desktop versionConsole versionOld-gen console versionMobile version Desktop/Console/Old-gen console/Mobile-Only Content: This section's information applies only to the Desktop, Console, Old-gen console, and Mobile versions of Terraria.

Mediumcore characters drop all of their items upon death, including all coins and ammo. These can be retrieved upon respawning, but any items may also be collected by other players in multiplayer and coins by enemies in Expert and Master Mode. Mediumcore characters still respawn at their spawn point, 7 / 15 (15 / 30) seconds after death on singleplayer / multiplayer, respectively.

There is no reward for playing in Mediumcore, other than increased difficulty for its own sake.

The natural comparison here is to Minecraft, where this is the default behavior on death. There are, however, significant differences:

  • Terraria's equipment is much more varied and individual than Minecraft's; while keeping spares or "second best" in a go-chest can help, there are some items that are not easily duplicated, and a few that come "one to a world".
  • Item despawning behavior is very different; in Terraria there is no time limit, but items can despawn if too many other items accumulate in the world. This is not usually an issue unless the player has an automated farm running, or perhaps fights a major invasion before retrieving their dropped items.
  • Likewise, the classic Minecraft terror of losing one's items to lava is significantly weakened, partly because of portable storage such as the Piggy Bank, but also because only the most commonplace items (Gray and White Rarity) are vulnerable to destruction by lava. In practice, this generally means coins, building blocks, ammunition, and other sundry supplies are destroyed, but use of an Obsidian Skin Potion makes recovering everything else fairly straight forward. Keeping a spare Void Bag and perhaps a Treasure Magnet at the player's home base can make it almost trivial.

Hardcore[edit | edit source]

Desktop versionConsole versionOld-gen console versionMobile version Desktop/Console/Old-gen console/Mobile-Only Content: This section's information applies only to the Desktop, Console, Old-gen console, and Mobile versions of Terraria.
For more information and tips for surviving in Hardcore, see Guide:Hardcore.

Hardcore characters die permanently, and drop all of their items upon death, including coins and ammo, which other players can then collect in multiplayer.

Death causes a Hardcore character to become a Ghost that can continue to observe the world but not affect it. Ghosts can fly, pass through walls, and continue to chat with other multiplayer users, but cannot interact with the environment in any way and cannot open a world. Other players are not able to see Ghosts.

Once a dead Hardcore character quits the current world, that character is permanently deleted. Items the character placed in chests will not be deleted, but items the character had in portable storage will be deleted.

Desktop Version NPCs in worlds with hardcore characters in them will drop Tombstones, which can potentially result in a graveyard biome.

World modes[edit | edit source]

  • Desktop Version Journey Mode: This is an easier mode, that gives the player extra items on the start, allows duplicating items, and allows making the game easier. See Journey Mode for a more complete list.
  • Desktop Version Classic / Console VersionMobile Version Normal Mode: This is the regular world mode.
  • Desktop, Console, and Mobile Versions Expert Mode: Intended for experienced players, Expert mode worlds contain the same enemies, but with increased stats, and some have altered behavior patterns that make them more difficult to defeat. Loot drops are more frequent, however. As a special reward, bosses drop Treasure Bags which, in addition to the normal boss loot, also contain special items only available in Expert mode. Expert mode brings numerous other changes. See Expert Mode for a more complete list.
  • Desktop Version Master Mode: A harder version of Expert mode, with no new AI but increased health and damage. It also includes 2 new drops per boss, and an extra accessory slot. See Master Mode for a more complete list.

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • Desktop, Console, and Mobile Versions In an Expert Mode (Desktop Version or Master Mode) world, enemies can steal the player's coins and despawn. On the Console version Console version and Mobile version Mobile version, this can be a tremendous setback as the enemies that steal the player's coins will not respawn with the coins, even if the player returns to the location where they died.
  • The coins drop is rounded up.
  • Difficulty modes and world modes are unrelated to Hardmode, which is a change to the world that occurs after the Wall of Flesh has been defeated.
  • In the Console version Console version and Mobile version Mobile version, Classic World mode is called "Normal Mode".
  • In the Old-gen console version Old-gen console version, Classic Mode is called "Normal Mode" and Mediumcore is called "Difficult". Hardcore is still called "Hardcore".

Tips[edit | edit source]

  • Mediumcore characters may want to keep their second-best equipment in a chest in case of death.
  • Hardcore mode can be utilized to freely explore a world by dying and flying through the ground and sky as a Ghost. However, Ghosts do not generate light, so exploring non-lit areas may be difficult.

History[edit | edit source]

  • Desktop 1.4.0.1:
    • Renamed Softcore to Classic.
    • Renamed Normal mode to Classic

mode.

    • Journey mode option for world generation and character generation added
    • Master mode added
  • Desktop 1.2.4.1: The proper items will now drop on Mediumcore/Hardcore deaths.
  • Desktop 1.2.3.1: Fixed bug where Hardcore characters couldn't open the menu after death.
  • Desktop 1.0.6:
    • Mediumcore mode introduced.
    • Added Ghost sprite to replace dead Hardcore characters.
  • Mobile 1.3.0.7: Introduced Mediumcore and Hardcore difficulties, and players now can choose difficulty.
  • Mobile-Release: Introduced Softcore difficulty, Characters drop Tombstones on death.