Terraria Walkthrough: Getting Started (2024)

New Player Tips and Gameplay Help

Terraria Walkthrough: Getting Started (1)A typical start in Terraria - the one which I based this walkthrough on

Terraria is a very open game. You can build, explore, and shape the world as you see fit. However, there are barriers that must be broken that prevent a player from advancing from a gear and materials standpoint. Even if you are simply building, you may require materials that are acquired deep down or in dangerous territory, need the gear to do so and that may only be accomplished by advancing in the game. Players who are not amazing at platformer/adventure games do not need to woe, because you can certainly be over-geared in Terraria when it comes to all but the toughest challenges. The default softcore mode is there for you, for a death means next to nothing unless you're carrying 10 platinum coins and can't retrieve them.

That said, the goal of this walkthrough is to get you started. Your world will be unique, but there are some factors that we can predict based upon knowledge of the game and its mechanics. I'm recommending a safe method of getting through your first night and making your first armor set to prepare you for the underground. You can change things up as you will, but you should find some handy advice below if you're new to Terraria.

If you're past the very early game, consider reading the next page - Exploring and Mining in the Underground. The Guide to Mining in general may be useful as well. I've also got a Progression Checklist and Hard Mode Strategy Guide to describe it and help you advance.

Early Game

Getting Materials

Terraria Walkthrough: Getting Started (2)Chopping wood is one of the first things you can do, and you probably should.

The First Day
You've just started in what is known as the Forest Biome with nothing but a pickaxe, woodcutting axe, and a really awful sword. A weird guy ("The Guide") is there for some reason. He gives you tips and provides info on what crafting materials can make, when combined with other components. He needs a house to live in so that more useful NPCs can move in later.

The first thing most players should do is cut some wood. Lots of it - 2-300 will do for a time. Chop at the base of the tree and it's much faster. While you chop wood, whip out your awful copper sword when a slime comes nearby and slay him. They drop gel which is used to make torches, and you need to build up a supply so you can see in the dark. Terraria is a dark game, particularly on PC.

Save the acorns you harvest from chopping wood, because they can be used to re-grow trees. You may even want to get that process started right away, depending how many trees were nearby and how tall they were. Plant them only on 2-block wide flat surfaces at least 2 blocks apart or they won't grow. Terraria seems to let you plant trees in places they can never grow, and I wish I'd known this sooner.

Try to gather some stone by using your pickaxe, because stone is needed to make arrows - I suppose it's for the tips. If you see some from the surface, you can dig it out. Otherwise, you can make arrows a little later. Explore a bit, you've got plenty of time - about 10 minutes until night, and you can get walls up well before then.

Watch the sun as it goes across the sky. The further to the right, the closer night is. At night, monsters stronger than slimes will start spawning and a couple types can be very challenging early game. We can use the night to make some things while safe inside a home and maybe kill a couple of zombies with the new sword we can make.

Build a House

Wood is our main resource right now, but thankfully we can do a lot with that. In fact, you can fully gear your character with wood armor, build a house for the Guide, and make a better sword, bow and flaming arrows! Here's a step-by-step for that process. In my pictures, I had started sooner because I gathered the required materials quite fast. You should make good use of your first day.

Terraria Walkthrough: Getting Started (3)Building a house in Terraria. Houses should be equivalent to at least 10x6

1. - Find a nice flat place of land at least 15-20 blocks wide and has no dirt walls behind it (or else you need a hammer to break them and build your own walls. This is where you should build your first house. If you can get the walls up and have enough wood (about 200) you can accomplish all I recommend, while also being protected. I'm using stone in the first house in my screenshots, but it makes no difference.

2. - Use your wood from the hotbar (move it if necessary) and build a structure 5 blocks tall and 10 wide. I say tall first because you cannot just place blocks in midair. Build up from the ground, left or right, then back down. A house can take many shapes but really needs to have about 60 blocks total area, and that will accomplish it when you count the floor (10 wide by 6 tall).

Terraria Walkthrough: Getting Started (4)The Work Bench is the most basic of crafting stations in Terraria.

3. - Use your crafting menu and make a work bench and place it in the center of this structure. If autopause is on, you'll need to put it in your hotbar then place it. Do the same for a chair, only set it next to the table. The chair will face the direction your character is facing, so if you want it to look right, turn around if necessary. This is how left-right facing things work in Terraria.

Terraria Walkthrough: Getting Started (5)Housing requires the NPC have at least one door.

4. - All houses require a door. Knock down 3 of the wall segments to the right or left at ground level and build a door with your workbench. You're now safe inside a structure and have control over entry and exit.

Terraria Walkthrough: Getting Started (6)Housing also requires walls - just not naturally occuring dirt, and it'll do for the most part.

5. - A house needs walls - you've basically built the frame. Use the workbench to make about 60 wood wall segments and a dozen torches. You can then fill in the walls of the house using the wood walls. Don't worry if some of them stick out. For now it's function over form. A house's total requirements are 60+ blocks area, walls, a door, a flat surface like a table, a chair, and a source of light in order for an NPC to live there. Fill in the area with walls and hang a torch on the wall.

Terraria Walkthrough: Getting Started (7)The housing is valid and now has light. I finished it before the first day was up, and have enough wood to make all below - so you should have minimal trouble with this start.

The house is now livable and you can use the workbench to craft. The house wasn't 100% necessary, but some players would die outside at night without gear. You can use the housing menu to see that it's valid - you should see a banner of the guide on the wall indicating he lives there. Different platforms have different ways of showing this. On PC it's to the right when you hit escape - a little housing button. On consoles, there is a housing interface so that they too can move NPCs around at will. You can learn a lot more about houses in Terraria in my guide to housing requirements.

Crafting Wood Armor and Weapons

Terraria Walkthrough: Getting Started (8)The starting crafting menu, without many materials, pales in comparison to what can be made in this massive game.

Terraria's biggest pull for me is the ability to take what I gathered and craft things out of them. The wood you have can be used to make a set of armor, a bow, and some arrows. A sword would be a nice addition for its knockback, but isn't necessary.

The Wood Bow takes 10 wood, the sword 7 - yes a Wooden Sword is better than a Copper Shortsword. The bow is more important first, because of its higher damage when combined with arrows. One wood will get you 10 Wooden Arrows, you'll want at least 80-100 (so 8+ wood). Combine these again with torches in your inventory and you can turn them into Flaming Arrows, which do significantly more damage and sometimes add burning damage to your attacks.

Terraria Walkthrough: Getting Started (9)Wood armor beats nothing, and you can make extra arrows, torches, and wood platforms if you have plenty of materials.

A full set of Wood Armor will cost you 75 wood and can be made with just a workbench. Working with metals takes more crafting stations. Make Greaves, a Breastplate, and Helmet. This will give you 3 defense, which is way better than your 0. In non-Expert Terraria that will reduce any damage taken by 2 - it is your defense divided by 2 (in this case, 1.5), a flat reduction, though other items will have various effects to mitigate damage. Note that 2 of this defense comes from the gear, while 1 comes as a set bonus when you're wearing all 3 pieces - the greaves give 0 defense themselves. It's important to use armor in sets.

Get yourself some more gel to make torches (at least 30-40 torches) and have some wood on hand in case you need wooden platforms. This is why I recommended you try to have 300 wood initially. Torches, Wooden Platforms, and a few other important items can be made anywhere you are and without a crafting station. You can always make a workbench in a pinch.

Terraria Walkthrough: Getting Started (10)My character fully geared for her first night, and with the sword can slay slimes, using the bow and flaming arrows for zombies. Flee the floating eyes if you can't hit them reliably!

You can step outside in the morning if you're squeamish, but you should probably hang near the entrance to the house, place a torch so you can see and take shots at creatures that come nearby. You may get a few more gel out of it, and you need them. Death is not a big deal when softcore - you drop half your coins, and you don't really have any yet! You can retrieve them, anyway. It's just annoying to die with no house nearby to flee to and heal.

If there is much night left (watch the Moon as just like the Sun it marches across the sky to give you a rough idea what time it is), venture outside instead of standing around. You could even wander a little and chop trees, but do so only with light so you can see what's coming and be prepared to run back to the house if you want to avoid dying this early. By the next night you should be underground where it's much safer than on the surface at this stage of the game - particularly with your new bow and arrows. Try not to waste too many arrows on normal Slimes once you've had some target practice.

Next, I'll walk you through Mining and Exploration of the Underground.

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Terraria Walkthrough: Getting Started (2024)


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