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The best Terraria builds for each class

Best Terraria build
(Image credit: Re-Logic)

Welcome to our guide to the best Terraria builds. Among the game's many systems, there are few as poorly explained as the Terraria classes system. In fact, it's hardly mentioned at all, its existence may even be news to you. If you're in that camp, or you're just looking for a refresher, below is our breakdown, along with the equipment you should be keeping an eye out for.

What Terraria classes are there?

There are four main classes in Terraria. Rather than being based on stats or anything that a traditional RPG would use, your class is defined by your equipment. While it's possible to mix and match these classes, it's rarely wise to. 

There's is a fifth class—one that uses throwing weapons—it gets outclassed so quickly you're better off sticking to one of the others. These are your four main classes:

Melee

In most cases, melee characters are close-range fighters who hit things, but that's not always the case in Terraria. While some of the weapons this class uses are designed for close-quarters combat, we also get boomerangs, and projectile-firing swords. Melee armour boasts the highest defensive values in the game, so this is a great class for beginners.

Ranged

Ranged characters use a combination of bows and guns to deal huge damage quickly. What's more, you have special weapons that turn your arrows into bees, or fire piranhas. That might sound cool, but you'll need to grind to keep on time of crafting your special ammo stocks.

Magic

Terraria mage builds offer some frankly obnoxious spells. This includes ray guns, short range spikes, and controllable fireballs—and that's just the early game. Later on you'll wield massive beams of light, meteor showers, and a rainbow gun. While mages can unleash high damage, their relative lack of armour means you needplenty of healing potions in your inventory.

Summons

If you prefer to delegate tasks rather than do the dirty work yourself, this is the class for you. Summoners call on spiders, imps, and dragons to do their fighting for them. That said, you'll need a backup weapon if enemies get dangerously close. Summoner is the closest you'll get to a mixed class, and it's handy for farming specific ores.

Getting started

(Image credit: Re-Logic)

You'll need to wait a while before you can properly choose your class: it's unlikely you'll get class-specific armour until you've taken out the first few bosses. Your best bet is to create some gold or platinum weapons and armour and stick to that until you've defeated the first major targets. 

A good way to get a good weapon early is to dig underground and raid chests you come across; just use whatever feels good or drops with decent stats. It's also worth grabbing any stars that fall to increase your mana and hunting down life crystals to boost your maximum health. Both actions will make you more powerful, and mana is essential to Mages and Summoners.

You should get some good drops from any of the bosses you fight up to the Wall of Flesh. Try to farming Queen Bee for some of the best possible gear at this early stage: she drops some of the best weapons pre-Hard Mode.

Getting to grips with the Wall of Flesh

Hell is approaching fast, so now you can start thinking about your desired class. Class-specific armour should be cropping up for you to unlock, and weapons will be buffed when you find them. This is the kind of gear you want when you're preparing to take down the Wall of Flesh, and some of it will see you through the early stages of Hard Mode too. A fair warning for budding summoners, it's a tough pick at this point. 

Melee

Weapons: Cascade (dropped by enemies in The Underworld after beating Skeletron), Starfury (found on floating islands).
Armour:
Molten Armour (crafted using Hellstone Bars).
Accessories:
Feral Claw (Jungle chests) for all, String (crafted with Cobweb) and Counterweight (bought from Travelling Merchant or Skeleton Merchant) for yoyos.

Ranged

Weapons: Minishark with Meteor Shot (purchase the gun from the Arms Dealer and craft the ammo from Meteorite Bars and Musket Balls), Molten Fury (crafted with Hellstone Bars).
Armour:
Necro Armour (crafted with Bone and Cobweb).
Accessories:
Whatever is available. 

Magic

Weapons: Space Gun (crafted with Meteorite Bars).
Armour: Meteor Armour (crafted with Meteorite Bars).
Accessories:
Celestial Cuffs (crafted by following this guide)

Summons

Weapons: Imp Staff (crafted with Hellstone Bars).
Armour: Bee Armour (crafted with Bee Wax).
Accessories: Whatever you want. 

Getting to grips with Hard Mode

(Image credit: Re-Logic)

So things will be getting bad right about now. It turns out that sacrificing someone to summon a Wall of Flesh really hurts your karma. Welcome to Hard Mode. Your first task is to try and take out the Mechanical Bosses, which are upgraded versions of fights you'll have completed already. You can get great equipment by just running around and farming the new ores, but keep an eye out for the following drops, too. 

Melee

Weapons: Shadowflame Knife (drops from Goblin Summoner in Hard Mode Goblin Invasion), Amarok (drops from Snow Biome enemies in Hard Mode).
Armour: Adamantite or Titanium Amour with the Helmet (crafted from the corresponding bars).
Accessories:
Warrior Emblem (drops from Wall of Flesh), Yoyo Bag (crafted with this recipe)

Ranged

Weapons: Onyx Blaster (crafted with Shotgun, Dark shard, Soul of Night) and an Endless Musket Pouch (requires four stacks of 999 Musket Balls).
Armour:
Adamantite or Titanium Amour with the Headgear (crafted from the corresponding bars).
Accessories:
Ranger Emblem (drops from Wall of Flesh) 

Magic

Weapons: Sky Fracture (crafted with a Magic Missile, Lights Shard, Soul of Light)
Armour: Adamantite or Titanium Amour with the Mask (crafted from the corresponding bars).
Accessories:
Celestial Cuffs, Sorcerer Emblem (drops from Wall of Flesh) 

Summons

Weapons: Spider Staff and Queen Spider Staff (crafted with Spider Fang).
Armour:
Spider Armour (crafted with Spider Fang).
Accessories:
Summoner Emblem (drops from Wall of Flesh) 

Preparing for Plantera

So you've beaten the upgraded bosses, what's next? Well, now you've got access to all the Mechanical Boss items and drops, so now it's time to upgrade further for the fight against the mighty Plantera. The good news is there's new ore to mine with your fancy Pickaxe. The bad news is Summoners can fall behind here again. It may be worth jumping to a different class until you've bested Plantera. 

Melee

Weapons: Yelets (dropped by Jungle enemies), Terra Blade (follow this recipe).
Armour:
Chlorophyte Armour with Mask (crafted using Chlorophyte Bars).
Accessories:
Warrior Emblem, Yoyo Bag, Mechanical Glove (this recipe).

Ranged

Weapons: Megashark (this recipe), Daedalus Stormbow (dropped by Hallowed Mimics).
Armour:
Chlorophyte Armour with Helmet (crafted using Chlorophyte Bars).
Accessories:
Ranger Emblem, Avenger Emblem (this recipe), Magic Quiver if using a bow (drops from Skeleton Archers).

Magic

Weapons: Sky Fracture, Crystal Serpent (fishing in the Hallow) .
Armour:
Chlorophyte Armour with Headgear (crafted using Chlorophyte Bars).
Accessories:
Celestial Cuffs, Celestial Emblem (this recipe here), Sorcerer Emblem.

Summons

Weapons: Optic Staff (crafted with Black Lens, Lens, Hallowed Bars, Soul of Sights), Queen Spider Staff.
Armour: Spider Armour.
Accessories:
Summoner Emblem. 

Taking down the Golem

(Image credit: Re-Logic)

With Planetera down you now have access to the jungle temple, which leads to the tough Golem fight. If you've been grinding hard then you could ease through this stage, but it depends on your gear, and luck. Here, summoners are viable again: in fact, they're just as useful as the other classes. 

Melee

Weapons: Terra Blade, The Eye of Cthulu (drops from Mothron during a Solar Eclipse)
Armour: Chlorophyte Armour with Mask.
Accessories: Warrior Emblem, Mechanical Glove, Yoyo Bag with a Yoyo. 

Ranged

Weapons: Megashark, Pulse Bow (purchased from the Travelling Merchant)
Armour: Shroomite Armour with the headpiece that boosts your chosen weapon (crafted using Shroomite Bars).
Accessories:
Ranger Emblem, Avenger Emblem, Magic Quiver.

Magic

Weapons: Magnet Sphere (drops from enemies in the Dungeon after Plantera), Rainbow Gun (found in the Dungeon's Hallowed Chest, which can be unlocked with a Hallowed Key, which drops from enemies in the Hallowed Biome).
Armour: Spectre Armour with the Hood for healing and Mask for DPS (crafted using Spectre Bars)
Accessories:
Celestial Cuffs, Celestial Emblem, Sorcerer Emblem. 

Summons

Weapons: Deadly Sphere Staff (drops from Deadly Spheres during a Solar Eclipse), Staff of the Frost Hydra (Found in the Frozen Chest in the Dungeon, open it with the Frozen Key which can drop form any enemy in the Snow Biome)
Armour:
Tiki Armour (purchased from the Witch Doctor when you have the Pygmy Staff in your inventory)
Accessories: Summoner Emblem, Papyrus Scarab (by combining the Hercules Beetle and Necromantic Scroll), Pygmy Necklace (purchased from the Witch Doctor when you have the Pygmy Staff in your inventory and it is nighttime), Hercules Beetle (bought from the Witch Doctor with the Pygmy Staff is in your inventory and the Witch Doctor is in the Jungle), Necromantic Scroll (dropped by Mourning Wood in the Pumpkin Moon event). 

Grinding special events

(Image credit: Re-Logic)

Once you've conquered the Golem you're getting pretty close to the end. Now is the best time to grind the game's special events, like Frost Moon and Martian Madness. Both can take numerous attempts , but each piece of upgraded equipment will help your chances. 

One of the things that helps all Terraria classes is the UFO mount, which you can get from the Martian Madness event. Above all, it lets you fly, which is reason enough in our book. 

Melee

Weapons: The Eye of Cthulu, Influx Waver (drops from Martian Saucer in the Martian Madness event).
Armour: Beetle Armour (which is obtained like this).
Accessories:
Warrior Emblem, Mechanical Glove, Avenger Emblem, Yoyo Bag. 

Ranged

Weapons: Chain Gun with Chlorophyte Bullets (gun is dropped by Santa-NK1 during the Frost Moon), Xenopopper (dropped by Martian Saucers during the Martian Madness event).
Armour: Shroomite Armour.
Accessories: Ranger Emblem, Destroyer Emblem (crafted by combining Avenger Emblem and Eye of the Golem).

Magic

Weapons: Magnet Sphere, Razorpine (dropped by Everscream during Frost Moon events).
Armour:
Spectre Armour.
Accessories: Celestial Cuffs, Celestial Emblem, Sorcerer Emblem. 

Summons

Weapons: Xeno Staff (drops from Martian Saucer in the Martian Madness event), Staff of the Frost Hydra.
Armour: Tiki Armour.
Accessories: Summoner Emblem, Papyrus Scarab, Pygmy Necklace, Hercules Beetle, Necromantic Scroll.

Beating Moon Lord

This is where to get the best armour in the game, but not quite the best weapons. Grab the building blocks for the armour by destroying Pillars that help summon the Moon Lord. Beware: it's tough at this point in the game, especially in Expert Mode. 

Melee

Weapons: Solar Eruption (crafted with Solar Fragments).
Armour: Beetle Armour (which is obtained like this).
Accessories: Warrior Emblem, Destroyer Emblem, Mechanical Glove.

Ranged

Weapons: Phantasm (crafted with Vortex Fragments).
Armour: Shroomite Armour.
Accessories:
Ranger Emblem, Destroyer Emblem, Magic Quiver. 

Magic

Weapons: Nebula Blaze (crafted with Nebula Fragments).
Armour:
Nebula Armour (crafted with Nebula Fragments).
Accessories:
Celestial Cuffs, Celestial Emblem, Sorcerer Emblem. 

Summons

Weapons: Stardust Dragon Staff (crafted with Stardust Fragments).
Armour: Tiki Armour with Valhalla Knight's Breastplate.
Accessories:
Summoner Emblem, Papyrus Scarab, Pygmy Necklace, Hercules Beetle, Necromantic Scroll.

Messing around in endgame

Congratulations, you've made it to endgame. Now your focus should be to prepare your character for Expert Mode, and beyond. All the best weapons drop from the Moon Lord fight, so just farm it for those. 

Basically, just go and mess stuff up or play around with the best Terraria mods. That's when things get even more extreme, transforming Terraria into a different game, entirely.