Core Keeper: Where to find tin ore to upgrade your arsenal

Core Keeper tin ore guide
(Image credit: Pugstorm)

Core Keeper tin ore is an important step toward crafting weapons and tools stronger than copper, including your first ranged weapon, the slingshot, and more durable bronze armor. If you've started exploring the starting biome in Core Keeper, you've discovered plenty of copper deposits, and using a smelter, workbench, and anvil, you've been able to craft some decent weapons, armor, and tools. But if you're looking to upgrade your Core Keeper arsenal with tin, you're going to have to do some major tunneling into an entirely new biome to find it. 

Tin weapons and tools might not sound like a major upgrade, but I recommend at least having a tin sword before you take on Core Keeper's first boss, Glurch the Abominous Mass. Spike traps also become available once you've started tin crafting, which can be useful against the game's second boss, Ghorm the Devourer. 

While you may have found a small amount of tin ore somewhere in the starting biome, probably in a wooden crate or two, you'll need a lot more before you can really start crafting tin weapons and gear. Here's where you'll find it:

Where to find tin

Core Keeper tin ore: Where to find it

Tin ore appears in a new biome, The Clay Caves. Since Core Keeper's maps are procedurally generated, there aren't any precise directions I can give you, so just pick a direction from your starting point (the Dirt Biome) and start tunneling outward. If you reach a wall that your copper pickaxe can't break, turn around and head back to the Core, then pick another direction.

Make sure you have the following with you on your search for the Clay Caves:

  • At least 2 copper pickaxes
  • 30-40 bridge pieces
  • 8-10 empty inventory slots

You'll know you've found The Clay Caves when an announcement message appears on your screen, and you'll also hear a change in the soundtrack. On your minimap the biome is shown in a peach color, indicating that you're tunneling through clay instead of dirt. Here's a picture of my map shortly after I found The Clay Caves, to give you an idea of how far out I had to go. 

(Image credit: Pugstorm)

You can see the Core, the tunneling I did to the east, and a chasm I had to cross using bridge pieces. Again, you may not find it in the same direction I did but the distance to reach it (I very roughly estimate it is about 150 blocks) will hopefully be about the same.

Once you've found The Clay Caves, tin ore deposits work a lot like copper deposits do in the Dirt Biome: you'll be able to see the metallic glint in the darkness when you're close enough. When you spot a glint, tunnel toward it. Tin ore will look like shiny silver and gray nuggets in the clay.

(Image credit: Pugstorm)

You'll be picking up a lot of clay and other new materials while you tunnel, which is why it's good to have some empty inventory slots. Clay is tougher to dig through than dirt, so having extra copper pickaxes on hand is useful so you don't need to backtrack to the Core for repairs when one wears out. 

How to use tin ore

Tin workbenches

Put tin ore in your smelter to make tin bars. One lump of ore makes one bar. Here's what you can use tin bars for:

Crafting benches:

  • Tin workbench: tin bar x15, copper bar x6, wood x1
  • Tin anvil: tin bar x8
  • Alchemy table: tin bar x5, slime x8, wood x8
  • Painter's table: tin bar x5, slime x8, wood x8
  • Railway Forge: tin bar x8, wood x8
  • Carpenter table: tin bar x8, wood x8

Tin weapons/traps


  • Tin sword: tin bar x7
  • Tin dagger: tin bar x7
  • Slingshot: tin bar x3, wood x10
  • Spike trap: tin bar x1
  • Wooden shield: tin bar x5, wood x10

Tin tools


  • Explorer backpack: tin bar x5, fiber x10
  • Tin pickaxe: tin bar x3, wood x4
  • Tin shovel: tin bar x3, wood x4
  • Tin hoe: tin bar x3, wood x4
  • Tin fishing rod: tin bar x4, wood x5

Bronze armor

For bronze armor, combine tin bars with copper bars and fiber:

  • Bronze helm: tin bar x4, copper bar x4, fiber x3
  • Bronze breastplate: tin bar x6, copper bar x6, fiber x4
  • Bronze pants: tin bar x5, copper bar x5, fiber x5 
Christopher Livingston
Senior Editor

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.