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There are currently 3 types of liquids in Terraria, each with varying properties: water, lava, and honey. All of these have common "liquid mechanics", but each also has distinctive features.

All liquids can be fished in. For each liquid, the pool must contain a minimum number of tiles for fishing to work (see the Fishing page for full details). Lava requires a special fishing pole to fish in it, the Hotline Fishing Hook. In the Desktop version Desktop version, the Lavaproof Fishing Hook accessory or Underworld bait can be used to fish in lava with any fishing rod. Lava and honey have a very limited selection of fish that can be caught in them.

All liquids[edit | edit source]

Flow and duplication[edit | edit source]

An example of "splitting liquids" fluid generator.

Liquids can flow between tiles, and can fill part or all of a tile. Liquid in motion is considered "flowing", and can visually occupy more of a tile than it will when it comes to rest. Liquids that are not moving are considered "settled". At each game startup, all flowing liquids are explicitly settled, moving them to their natural destination. Water flows most quickly, lava is slower, and honey flows the slowest. If a liquid block is placed with open space beneath it, it will flow downwards. If it has a block below it, but open space to either side, it will flow to either or both open sides, resulting in partial tiles of liquid. However, there is a minimum depth for liquid tiles; if the liquid spreads too thinly, it will disappear altogether.

As liquids flow, their volume tends to increase. This can be exploited to duplicate liquids indefinitely (see below).

Note that it is much harder to get rid of liquids; there is a Hardmode tool to remove water within reach and a special trick to drain pools from beneath (see Water below), but otherwise the only ways to destroy liquids are by pouring a block or so over a large flat space, or by letting them combine into blocks. However, if small amounts of one liquid are poured over a pool of another, even a single bucket's worth can solidify much larger amounts (generally at least twice or three times) of the target liquid.

Moving liquids[edit | edit source]

Buckets and pumps can be used to collect, move and place liquid around.

When using a bucket on liquid, the game checks a 3x3 square around that tile for more liquid of the same type. If it finds at least half a tile of liquid in that area, the bucket collects what is there, up to a full tile at a time. Regardless of if it collected less than a full tile, the bucket is always filled completely and is able to pour out a full tile. Full buckets can be stacked up to 99, and placed in inventories, chests, etc. like any other item.

Pumps are mechanisms, used with wires and various triggers. When an Inlet and an Outlet Pump are connected with wire and triggered together, they will transfer up to four tiles of liquid from inlet to outlet. Contrary to previous reports, they cannot directly duplicate liquids, but they can certainly be used to keep a liquid continuously flowing, which will increase its amount over time. Liquids can also be purposely poured over blocks to split their flows, which maximizes the volume increase from flow.

For moving large quantities of liquids, pumps can be set up once and left to finish the job. (This also applies to filling large areas.) However, the setup can be finicky, it requires a timer, and using a stack of 99 buckets may in fact be more efficient.

Interactions with blocks[edit | edit source]

In-game graphic of a waterfall. Notice the half block.

Liquids cannot be placed in a tile containing a block, even if the block has been hammered into a partial block. If a liquid tile is adjacent to the empty part of a partial block, it can appear to fill the space, but is not considered "in" the block's tile, and cannot be picked up from there. Blocks can be placed in liquid (except lava). Any liquid in the tile will be trapped, and cannot flow out (or otherwise be interacted with) until the block is removed. However, such trapped liquid can "fall" out of the block during the next game startup, as part of the "settling liquids" phase.

If a full tile of liquid is next to a half block with open space on the other side, it will visually flow over the block and continue as a river or waterfall (including lava or honey). This waterfall is purely a visual effect, and cannot be interacted with (a "lavafall" of this sort will not burn the player, nor a "honeyfall" heal them). If the liquid is water and the half-block is a Gemspark Block or Rainbow Brick, the waterfall will glow with the color(s) of the half-block.

At various points in the world, liquids can be found dripping from ceilings. This dripping effect is purely visual, and has no functional use. This effect can be created by the player using Magic Droppers. Natural or player-made "droplets" can be broken (but not harvested) with a pickaxe or drill, aiming just below the block they drip from.

Liquids can be stored temporarily within Bubbles, which are otherwise furniture-like, but displace liquids as if they were blocks. Upon restarting the world, the liquid will be freed, allowing it to fall (it is wise to remove lava from bubbles before exiting the world). Bubbles can also be used to support liquids in midair (again, as if they were blocks), and these will not fall when the world is restarted.

Interaction with players[edit | edit source]

Players normally cannot walk over liquids, and will instead fall in. Falling into liquid negates all fall damage regardless of distance and depth of the liquid pool. Players entering/exiting liquids will make a splashing sound and appropriate animation. Certain items can allow walking on liquids (see below); the player still will not take fall damage when landing on the liquid. While in liquids, players will find their movement slowed. The slowing effect matches the liquid's flow speed: Water is least restrictive, lava is in-between, and honey is most restrictive.

Players have no natural ability to swim in liquids, but can still jump or fly according to their current equipment. Certain items can cancel the movement penalty (only for water) and/or allow free swimming, see below for details. The Flipper (or its upgrades) will allow the player to swim freely in any direction. However, it does not allow them to float, and as soon as they stop moving they will sink down through the liquid. The Neptune's Shell and its upgrades will allow the player to swim freely in water or honey, but not lava. Note that neither landing in nor jumping out of liquid (including swimming up past the surface), will reset flight time for wings or Rocket Boots variants.

Drowning[edit | edit source]

Diving equipment
any of the following:
Diving Helmet Diving Helmet
Diving Gear Diving Gear
Jellyfish Diving Gear Jellyfish Diving Gear
Arctic Diving Gear Arctic Diving Gear

A player who stays submerged too long in water or honey, will begin to drown. When the player first goes above neck level in the liquid, the breath meter will appear, and slowly empty. When the meter empties completely, the player will begin to take damage (about 17 health per second without any equipment). When the head of the player emerges from the water, the breath meter will rapidly refill and then vanish. Various equipment can prevent drowning: Diving equipment will slow the emptying of the breath meter. The Breathing Reed will do likewise (and stack with the diving equipment); it also reaches above the player's head, and if the end of the reed is in air, the player can refill their breath meter. A Neptune's Shell (or its upgrades), or the effect of the Gills Potion will remove the breath meter and prevent drowning in water altogether.

Crafting with liquids[edit | edit source]

When different liquids touch each other, they create one of the three contact-created blocks: Obsidian (water+lava), Honey Block (water+honey) and Crispy Honey Block (honey+lava). When this happens, up to a tile's worth of each liquid will be consumed, but either or both of the touching tiles can be partial and/or flowing tiles – that is, creating the block does not require a "full" tile of either liquid.

Furthermore, liquid tiles are minor crafting stations, which enable a few recipes whenever the player is nearby. Their recipes do not use up the liquid, even when filling Bottles with water or honey.

Water[edit | edit source]

Water is by far the most common liquid in the game, appearing in lakes from the edge of space to the depths of the caverns. (Lower in the caverns, lava takes over as the primary liquid, but some water still appears.) However, if water enters or is placed in the Underworld, it will rapidly evaporate.

  • Water does not usually provide any buffs or debuffs, but entering water will remove the On Fire! debuff. In Expert modeDesktop VersionConsole VersionMobile Version, entering water in a Snow biome will apply the Chilled debuff.
  • Pools of water can spawn critters (usually Goldfish) or enemies depending on depth and biome.
  • The color of water varies depending on the biome the player is standing in. It can be altered manually with Water Fountains.
  • Water Walking Boots, or any of their upgrades, will allow walking on the surface of (non-flowing) water.
  • A Neptune's Shell (or any upgrade thereof), or Fishron Wings will almost completely remove the slowing effect of water (only).
  • If large amounts of water are poured into the Underworld, (e.g., diverting a lake or ocean), eventually all the water will evaporate, but this can take some time, and it will convert the lava surface to Obsidian.
  • There is no way to "melt" ice or snow into water, nor the reverse. Therefore, the amount of Ice Blocks in a world is limited. In a Snow biome, hazardous Thin Ice will spawn on top of the water, but it cannot be taken in any way.
  • Water can be produced endlessly with the Bottomless Water BucketDesktop VersionConsole VersionMobile Version (or see below). The Super Absorbant SpongeDesktop VersionConsole VersionMobile Version can likewise be used to remove water freely.
  • A special trick can be used to destroy a large water pool from below: Dig a 2×2 hole a block underneath the bottom (that is, the hole should still be dry). Place a chest into the hole, and put 3 or 4 buckets of lava or honey over the chest. Now dig out the blocks above the chest so that the water can flow in. Since the Obsidian or honey block has no place to form (and cannot break the chest), the flowing water will simply be destroyed.

Lava[edit | edit source]

Lava is the second most common liquid in the game. It appears often in the lower cavern layer, and is plentiful in The Underworld. It can be created in two ways:

  • If Hellstone is mined in the Underworld, each block drops a half/full bucket/tile of lava. Lava can be farmed by repeatedly placing and mining Hellstone, but only in the Underworld.
  • If in Expert modeDesktop VersionConsole VersionMobile Version, Lava Slimes will drop lava upon death.

Lava will deal direct damage to the player on contact, and inflict the On Fire! debuff. However, the player cannot drown in lava. The Obsidian Skin Potion or Lava Charm/Lava Waders will prevent contact damage for their duration, and an Obsidian Rose will sharply reduce the damage. Lava's contact damage is reduced by a player's defense, so advanced armor can be helpful. Lava will also burn most enemies, and so can be used in traps.

  • Lava is opaque, and will hide both objects and creatures, including the player.
  • Blocks cannot be placed in lava, but blocks that are subject to gravity (Sand, Silt, and Slush) can fall into it and thereby be placed at the bottom. This can be used to build a pillar for bridging the lava.
  • Lava can only destroy items with a rarity of Rarity level: 0. These items will be destroyed if submerged in lava past the midpoint of their sprite. There are a few Rarity level: 0 rarity items which are immune to lava: Obsidian, Fireblossom and its seeds, and Living Fire Blocks of any type.
  • Flowing lava will dislodge most platforms and furniture, which may then be destroyed as items. Pumps, statues, Obsidian Platforms and Obsidian furniture are unaffected.
  • Lava Waders will allow walking on lava indefinitely (if the surface is settled), and even allow swimming in it for 7 seconds.
  • Flippers or their upgrades allow swimming in lava, but will not help with the movement speed or contact damage. The Neptune's Shell and its upgrades do not work in lava.

Honey[edit | edit source]

Honey is the rarest liquid in the game, and is naturally found only in and around Bee Hive mini-biomes inside the Underground Jungle. It can be created by mining Hive Blocks, but if honey is produced, the Hive Block will not drop. Honey will slow the player's movement a great deal (as will the Honey Blocks often found nearby).

  • Honey is nearly opaque, hiding submerged items and creatures.
  • Honey pools will provide the player with a special life regeneration buff. This effect lasts as long as the player is standing/swimming in honey, then another 30 seconds after they leave the honey. The player does not need to be submerged, but the honey pool must be at least two tile's worth, and not too shallow. There are also a couple of healing items to be produced at honey pools, namely Bottled Honey and Honeyfins.
  • Like water, the player will drown in honey if submerged for too long. The same items that slow or prevent drowning in water, will do likewise in honey.
  • The same items which allow walking on water (Water Walking Boots or any of their upgrades), or swimming in water (Neptune's Shell or Flippers, or their respective upgrades) will work the same in honey. However, they will not prevent the slowing effect of honey (Fishron Wings will however).

Infinite liquids[edit | edit source]

Using pumps, a player can construct infinite liquid sources, by pumping liquid in a continuous cycle.

Compact liquid farm, block view
Compact Liquid Farm with mixing chamber, block view.
Compact Liquid Farm wiring
Compact Liquid Farm, wiring view.
Infinite liquid generator with block production

To the right are two examples of compact infinite liquid factories, with arrangements to produce the contact blocks as well. Note the enclosed storage to prevent overflowing and the 1 Second Timers to automate the process. The first uses a common mixing chamber that can draw fluid from the generation chambers, four tiles per switch-press. The second takes an alternative approach to have blocks continuously available.

The second option's double Outlet Pumps do not (as formerly thought) duplicate the liquid from the input. However, they may still help speed, by carrying overflow liquid when the first Outlet Pump is blocked (that is, the liquid it brought in last cycle has not had time to flow away).

Players who had liquid generators in existing worlds prior to 1.4 may find that lava and honey generators do not duplicate as well as they previously did. An alternate method for infinite liquids is for players to fish for Wet Bombs by fishing in lava for Obsidian Crates or Hellstone Crates. Once obtained players can convert Wet Bombs into Dry Bombs then use the Dry Bombs to create Lava Bombs or Honey Bombs when standing close enough to Lava or Honey respectively. The Demolitionist will sell Wet Bombs, Dry Bombs, Lava Bombs, and Honey Bombs as long as they player has them in their inventory allowing for as much liquid as the player can purchase.