The Noob’s Guide To Terraria


So maybe you purchased indie hit Terraria from a recent Steam sale and you want to jump in but you don’t know where to start.  Or maybe you haven’t fired it up in a while because the first time you did, you were instant toast at night, but now with the 1.1 update, you’re curious and you want another go.  No matter what your motivation, I can give you a few tips to lower the barrier for entry in Terraria and get you mining and crafting in no time.

Editor’s Note : I had not realized that my initial writing had glossed over character creation. Simple mistakes can be made here! You have the choice of Softcore, Mediumcore and Hardcore. Don’t make the same mistake I did!  Softcore means that you will lose half of your carried coins on death.  Mediumcore means that EVERYTHING in your inventory, equipped or not, drops right where you die and must be recollected!  Harcore is for the clinically insane, because it means that permadeath is enabled.  Much like the soap opera, you only have one life to live on hardcore.


Map Size

First things first, you might gloss over this simple choice, but I’d urge you to rethink it a bit.  Ignore your first instinct to go with a larger map, and start off on a small map.  I know it sounds crazy, but don’t forget that your character, and all the cool gear you can find and pack in his inventory can be migrated with you to as many new worlds as you want to create.  That being said, starting off on a small world gives you the luxury of finding more cool items, materials and sections of the world quicker than you would in the larger worlds.  In addition, that same benefit means you can avoid the boredom of having to travel too far between layers and lose interest in the game.  A small map is a good test run to see if you really dig the genre, if so, there’s always larger maps waiting.  If not, you haven’t spent the majority of your game time traveling across the map.


Baby Steps

If you had played and gotten frustrated before, the biggest problem was probably hitting that first night, facing the Zombies and Demon Eyes and just not being prepared.  You start with a sword, a pick axe and an axe—I’d say don’t worry too heavily about the sword for now.  The pick axe and the axe will serve you well if you get stuck outside—the wide downswing will protect better than the sword’s straight thrusts.  Your first day is a bum rush to scrape up some resources, patch up some shelter and survive the night.  There are ways to shortcut, if you’re in a pinch, but ideally, here’s what you need to cram into that all important first day :

  •  Cut wood, lots of wood, you’ll need it.  Seriously,a few hundred.  Clear a good size piece of flat land.
  • While cutting wood, take out a couple slimes, the gel will come in handy.
  • With all the wood you’ve gathered, pick a spot on a flat piece and build yourself a workbench.
  • You should be able to find some stone, mine around 30-40, just for now.
  • Use the stone blocks to erect walls on either side of the workbench.
  • Stand near the workbench and create around 50 Wood Walls-these are the back walls of your house and will keep monsters from -spawning inside your new home.
  • Leave one wall open, 3 tiles high, and craft a door at the workbench to place in that space.
  • Use stone blocks to wall off a roof, and now fill in the background of the structure with wood walls, almost done!
  • Remember the gels you got from killing slimes? Stand by the workbench and make some torches to mount. Let there be light!

Viola!  You have your very own makeshift house to last you through your first few nights.  Don’t venture far enough away that you can’t make it back ‘home’ before nightfall and you’ll be fine.  Keep in mind, recreating these basic structures will make homes for the first few NPC’s to inhabit, provided you give them a chair, a table, a light source, and make sure not to leave any areas within their home uncovered by wood walls(or other wall types).  In a pinch, if you see the sun going down and you can’t get the stone blocks, you can use dirt to get you by for the first night, although I’d recommend going more sturdy on Day 2.  Small caveat, don’t build to close too where you first spawned (you’ll thank me MUCH later on).

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