The Metal Detector is an informational Accessory that displays a message to the player when valuable objects, such as ores, Chests, Pots, Life Crystals, and Life Fruits are in the player's vicinity. When displayed, it will include the specific type of whatever is detected (eg. "Chlorophyte Ore detected nearby!"). When multiple valuables are detected, only the one with the highest value is noted. The Metal Detector has a 50% (100% ) chance to be dropped by the Nymph, a rare Cavern enemy.
Like most informational items, the Metal Detector does not reveal the location or direction of the detected object. It does not detect Gems or Strange Plants.
This is how valuable the game considers some tiles. All other tiles have a value of 0. The name of the most valuable tile present will be shown by the Metal Detector.
- Its horizontal range is estimated to be ~95 feet, and its vertical range ~80 feet.
- Even though it is the most powerful ore in Pre-Hardmode, Hellstone will not be detected.
- The Spelunker Potion or Magic Lantern pair well with the Metal Detector, as this will also reveal the item location. It also reveals items the Metal Detector cannot detect, such as Gems, as well as displaying lower-tier ores when a higher tier is masking their detection by the Metal Detector.
- Crystal Hearts and Life Fruits are prioritized over ores, so it's a good idea for players searching for rare ores to break them even when the Life Crystal or Fruit they drop is not needed. In the case of Fruits, block-piercing attacks can be used to more easily break them from afar.
- For unknown reasons, it does not always detect Water Chests, even when standing right on top of one.
- Its sprite looks similar to an electrical connector.