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How To Beat Empress of Light in Terraria (Ultimate Guide)

How To Beat Empress of Light in Terraria (Ultimate Guide)

The Empress of Light is a hardmode post-Plantera boss in Terraria. She is generally fought at night since her daytime enragement will make quick work of the player. In this article, we will cover in much detail what facing this boss is like and what you should do to prepare for the fight. So get ready for the ultimate guide to beating the Empress of Light in Terraria.

Fighting the Empress of Light is already challenging, but it becomes exceedingly difficult when facing her during the daytime. In this state, she possesses the ability to instantly eliminate any daring player who engages her. To summon her, one must defeat a Prismatic Lacewing located in the Hallow biome between dusk and midnight.

All Terraria Bosses Ranked by Difficulty

Let’s take a peak at some of the most used strategies and builds players have utilized when fighting the Empress of Light boss in Terraria.

How to Spawn Empress of Light?

Spawning Empress of Light

To summon the Empress of Light, players must actively kill a Prismatic Lacewing, a rare critter that spawns in the Hallow on the surface between dusk (7:30 PM) and midnight (12:00 AM) once they have defeated Plantera in the current world.

Detecting the Prismatic Lacewing and its upgrades is possible using the Lifeform Analyzer. Players can catch the Prismatic Lacewing using a Bug Net, Lavaproof Bug Net, or Golden Bug Net. They can then release it in a different location and proceed to kill it themselves.


Releasing the Prismatic Lacewing outside of the Hallow will result in its immediate disappearance. To effectively kill it, players must utilize weapons with a quick use time or leave behind lingering projectiles.

It’s worth noting that while the Prismatic Lacewing only naturally spawns in worlds where Plantera has been defeated, players have the ability to bring one to a pre-Hardmode world and kill it to summon the boss there.

How to Defeat Empress of Light?

Defeating Empress of Light in Terraria boils down to the class you are using. Some classes will find it harder to beat this boss while for others it will be a breeze. We will go over which weapons best suit the class when fighting the boss.

Melee Class Strategy

The Seedler, Influx Waver, Terra Blade, and Flying Dragon represent the best swords available in terms of their strong and reliable projectiles. Additionally, the Flairon is a viable option due to its good damage and homing capabilities. While the Eye of Cthulhu can deal decent damage, its reach is somewhat lacking.

Just like with other bosses, the Vampire Knives serve as excellent tools for replenishing lost health during the fight, making them a highly useful secondary weapon, especially when facing the challenge of dodging the Empress of Light’s attacks. However, it’s important to note that they become useless if fighting the Empress of Light during the daytime, as she instantly kills the player.

For a solid offensive melee set that is reasonably obtainable, one can opt for the Hallowed Mask, Monk’s Shirt, and Squire’s Greaves. An alternative choice for the chest slot would be the Turtle Scale Mail. Although the offensive variant of Beetle armor offers better melee speed, it’s worth mentioning that the only viable weapon that benefits from increased melee speed is the Terra Blade.

Ranged Class Strategy

When utilizing Ichor Arrows or Venom Arrows, the Tsunami emerges as a highly potent choice with remarkable accuracy and power. As for alternatives, the Stake Launcher and Aerial Bane can be perceived as weaker options due to their lower damage output or more challenging aiming mechanics.

The Electrosphere Launcher proves to be a formidable weapon to employ against the Empress of Light during her Sun Dance attack. For maximum damage, the Snowman Cannon armed with Mini Nuke I stands as the most powerful launcher available.


Pre-cultist, the Xenopopper takes the lead as the strongest gun, boasting exceptional damage and impressive accuracy. Crystal Bullets are the most potent ammunition for use with this gun. While the Chain Gun paired with Crystal or Chlorophyte Bullets may be considered weaker, it offers easier handling.

Another worthwhile choice is the Piranha Gun, delivering consistent and formidable DPS along with homing capabilities. Although the Snowman Cannon serves as a more costly option for homing weapons, it compensates with higher DPS.

For the optimal ranged set, one should opt for the Shroomite Mask/Shroomite Headgear, Shroomite Breastplate, and Mythril Greaves. While the full Shroomite set provides better damage output when in stealth, it’s important to note that maintaining stealth is not feasible in single-player mode.

Mage Class Strategy

Mage Class Strategy

Both Betsy’s Wrath and Golden Shower serve as excellent secondary weapons for all classes, thanks to their defense-lowering debuffs.

When it comes to high DPS, the Blizzard Staff stands out as a very commendable choice, providing consistent damage output. As an alternative, the Razorpine offers a similar mana cost/DPS ratio, albeit with a shorter range.

Obtained through the Martian Madness events, both the Laser Machinegun and Charged Blaster Cannon prove to be good options. However, it’s worth noting that the beam of the Charged Blaster Cannon is incompatible with the set bonuses of Spectre Armor, making it more suitable for hybrid armor sets.

While the Razorblade Typhoon possesses homing capabilities and a long-range, its significantly lacking DPS renders it a weaker choice as a primary weapon.

Although the Spectre Staff doesn’t deal as much damage as other alternatives, it can be obtained without having to engage in Boss battles or Events, making it an appealing option for immediate use against the Empress of Light after defeating Plantera. Its homing projectiles also allow players to focus on dodging the Empress’s attacks.

For mages, the Spectre armor offers an outstanding combination of offense and defense. It is recommended to utilize the Mask for the majority of the fight and switch to the Hood when healing becomes necessary.

Summoner Class Strategy

Summoning Weapons prove to be highly effective against the Empress of Light as they specifically target the boss, dealing consistent damage and allowing players to focus on dodging without the need to worry about attacking simultaneously.

The Xeno Staff emerges as the top choice due to its impressive DPS and accuracy when facing the Empress of Light. While the UFO minions may occasionally lose their target as the boss frequently teleports above the player, this can be mitigated by moving upwards towards the Empress of Light.

Prior to defeating Golem, the Desert Tiger Staff stands as the best option and should be paired with the Dark Harvest and Firecracker.


Another viable option is the Sanguine Staff, where the minions may have slightly weaker damage but compensate with perfect tracking. This allows for consistent hits on the boss as long as you remain within range. The perfect accuracy and tracking enable players to focus solely on dodging, without the need to position minions within targeting range.

For skilled players who can effectively utilize multiple whips for their tag damage boost, the Blade Staff proves to be an excellent choice. When used correctly, it surpasses the Sanguine Staff in performance due to its rapid attack speed and armor penetration.

As a high-damage but low-accuracy option, the Raven Staff can be utilized. Its DPS remains consistent in the first phase and experiences a slight decline in the second phase due to its slow tracking.

When it comes to whips, the combination of Dark Harvest and Morning Star stands as the best available choice for summoners. The Firecracker can be employed for minions with high base damage such as the Desert Tiger. The Durendal serves as an alternative to Dark Harvest if the Pumpkin Moon event has not been defeated yet.

For offensive armor, summoners are advised to opt for the Spooky armor, while the defensive counterpart would be the Hallowed armor. If whips are being utilized, the Tiki armor is preferred due to its additional range, allowing for a safer distance to be maintained.

Other Strategies

Other Strategies for defeating Empress of Light

Here are some strategies you can apply when fighting the Empress of Light:

Minecart Strategy:

Construct a minecart rail encircling the entire world, ensuring a complete loop. Once the Empress of Light has been summoned, embark on the minecart and ride along its tracks. The need for evasion arises solely when she initiates the employment of Ethereal Lance, as her other attacks lack the reach to harm you.

Skybridge Strategy:

To make the fight considerably easier, it is highly recommended to construct a skybridge. Opt for an asphalt skybridge, although a pre-built platform skybridge can suffice if you possess adequate mobility.

Throughout the first phase of the battle, there are only two attacks that pose a threat: her dash and Ethereal Lance. Whenever the Empress of Light dashes towards you, it is advised to descend downwards, as her charge often traverses the player’s position when maintaining the same height. For her Ethereal Lance attack, movement is necessary. However, effortlessly navigate this attack by moving in a wide circle downwards and to the right.

Ensure continuous movement in one direction and, if the need arises to cross your previous path, consider ascending to a higher altitude. This precaution is crucial to avoid unintentionally getting hit by lingering stars from her Everlasting Rainbow attack.


In her second phase, the Empress of Light momentarily vanishes before reappearing and immediately initiating a ‘focused’ Ethereal Lance attack. During this vanish/reappearance sequence, it is advised to locate a clear space. Regardless of her mode, you should aim to ascend while taking a wide right turn to avoid the attack. It’s particularly crucial in Expert and Master difficulty as failing to position yourself correctly to swerve up-right is the most common cause of being hit.

Following the Ethereal Lance, she will unleash her orbs. Since you’ll likely be unable to sustain wing flight at this point, the most effective strategy is to descend as soon as her lances end and swiftly make a sharp left or right turn to evade the orbs.

Following another dash, she will cast orbs in a circular formation around herself and repeat her pattern.

Projectile Limit Strategy:

The player can cleverly utilize Terraria’s projectile limit to their advantage. By summoning 1000 longer-lasting projectiles, such as Flares or Beach Balls, within a confined area, no new projectiles can be generated. As a result, the Empress of Light becomes incapable of launching attacks since most of her attacks rely on projectiles. However, it’s important to note that she can still inflict damage through her dash attack.

Nevertheless, this approach also hinders the player’s ability to use weapons with projectiles, including most ranged and magic weapons, projectile melee weapons, whips, and ranged attack minions. Hence, it is advisable to rely on contact-damage-dealing minions like the Raven Staff or the Deadly Sphere Staff. To ensure their minions can be summoned, players should summon them prior to summoning the projectiles, as minions count as projectiles and won’t be able to spawn if done afterward.

To remove the spawned projectiles after defeating the Empress of Light, players can simply exit and reenter the world. It’s worth noting that employing this strategy may cause lag on less powerful devices due to the substantial quantity of projectiles being generated.

What are the Difficulty Differences?

Difficulty Differences Empress of Light

The boss has different stats depending on the difficulty and the phase it is in. These differences are as follows:

Classic Mode

In Classic Mode the Empress of Light in Terraria has the following stats:

  • First Phase:
    • Damage: 80-120
    • HP: 70000
    • Defense: 50
    • Knockback Resistance: 100%
    • Immune to Confused
  • Second Phase:
    • Damage: 80-130
    • HP: 70000
    • Defense: 60
    • Knockback Resistance: 100%
    • Immune to Confused

Empress of Light Attacks

The Empress of Light employs a diverse array of attacks that she utilizes in a specific pattern, depending on the phase she is currently in:

  1. Prismatic Bolts: She summons a cloud of prismatic bolts that home in on the player after a brief delay. These bolts lack perfect tracking and can be evaded if the player executes a sharp turn as they approach.
  2. Prismatic Bolts 2: She unleashes prismatic bolts in a clockwise spiral pattern, similar to the first variant of the attack. This version proves more challenging to dodge.
  3. Dash: Before charging horizontally toward the player, she positions herself to the left or right. This attack is preceded by a distinctive sound effect and multiple images of the Empress of Light spinning around. During the dash, she briefly becomes invincible, negating any Daybreak spears or whip marks attached to her.
  4. Sun Dance: She hovers above and slightly to the left of the player, emitting six persistent rays of light that rotate clockwise around her. Each Sun Dance produces three sets of rays, with each subsequent set positioned slightly further clockwise.
  5. Everlasting Rainbow: She releases a ring of 13 stars that spiral outward in a clockwise direction from her original position and then spiral back inward. The stars leave behind a damaging trail of light.
  6. Ethereal Lance: She summons a swarm of swords that launch in the direction the player was heading when they were summoned. This attack is signaled by colored beams. If the player was in motion, the swords are summoned behind their previous position, while stationary players are surrounded by the swords. The swords remain harmless until launched.
  7. Ethereal Lance 2: She summons four waves of swords evenly spaced across the screen. Each wave follows a specific path: the first travels from left to right, the second from right to left, the third from top-left to bottom-right, and the fourth from top-right to bottom-left. These waves are telegraphed by colored beams.

First Phase

Upon being spawned, the Empress of Light remains stationary for a brief duration before initiating a sequence of attacks in the following order:

Prismatic Bolts > Dash > Sun Dance > Dash > Everlasting Rainbow > Prismatic Bolts > Dash > Ethereal Lance > Dash > Everlasting Rainbow

This sequence of attacks continues in an infinite loop until the second phase commences.

Second Phase

When the Empress of Light’s health drops below half of her maximum, she briefly vanishes and promptly reappears above the projected position of the player. She assumes a different appearance and proceeds to unleash a fresh series of attacks, with slightly shorter intervals between each attack:

Ethereal Lance 2 > Prismatic Bolts > Dash > Everlasting Rainbow > Prismatic Bolts > Sun Dance > Ethereal Lance > Dash > Prismatic Bolts 2


This sequence of attacks continues without end until the Empress of Light is ultimately defeated. Each individual attack inflicts greater damage compared to the attacks witnessed in the first phase.

Enraged State

Enraged State Empress of Light

The Empress of Light can engage in combat at any given time, but she enters an “enraged” state during the daytime, identifiable by her attacks glowing with a bright yellow color. While enraged, her attack pattern undergoes slight alterations, and the damage inflicted by all her attacks becomes exceedingly high, resulting in instant death for the player.

It is important to note that this overwhelming damage cannot be evaded, even with the use of Holy Protection. If the Empress of Light remains undamaged throughout the night (while outside her enraged state), she will vanish at dusk (7:30 PM). However, if she sustains damage during the nighttime, she will revert to her non-enraged state when nightfall arrives.

In her enraged state, her attacks exhibit the following modifications:

  • Prismatic Bolts 2: Summons a greater number of bolts.
  • Sun Dance: Summons eight rays instead of six.
  • Ethereal Lance: Summons additional swords and launches them at a swifter pace.
  • Ethereal Lance 2: Summons six waves of swords instead of four. These waves no longer travel across the screen but instead, target specific points around the player. The first wave moves from the left side of the screen to the right of the player, the second wave from the right side to the left of the player, the third wave from the top side to the bottom right of the player, the fourth wave from the top side to the bottom-left of the player, the fifth wave from the bottom side to the top-right of the player, and the sixth wave from the bottom side to the top-left of the player.
  • In the second phase, an additional Ethereal Lance is cast between her first dash (#3) and Everlasting Rainbow (#4). This version specifically targets the player’s current location instead of their predicted position.

If all damage inflicted upon the Empress of Light is dealt during the daytime, she will drop the Terraprisma upon her defeat.

Expert Mode

In Expert Mode the Empress of Light in Terraria has the following stats:

  • First Phase:
    • Damage: 110-165
    • HP: 98000
    • Defense: 50
    • Knockback Resistance: 100%
    • Immune to Confused
  • Second Phase:
    • Damage: 110-165
    • HP: 98000
    • Defense: 60
    • Knockback Resistance: 100%
    • Immune to Confused

In Expert Mode, the Empress of Light will always use her enraged attack behavior. However, unlike Classic Mode, she does not deal lethal damage during the night. Only during the day can she insta-kill you like other difficulties.

Master Mode

In Master Mode the Empress of Light in Terraria has the following stats:

  • First Phase:
    • Damage: 165-248
    • HP: 124950
    • Defense: 50
    • Knockback Resistance: 100%
    • Immune to Confused
  • Second Phase:
    • Damage: 165-248
    • HP: 124950
    • Defense: 60
    • Knockback Resistance: 100%
    • Immune to Confused

The Empress of Light’s behavior stays the same as Expert Mode with added damage and HP.

Is Empress of Light Harder Solo or With Friends?

The difficulty of facing the Empress of Light can vary depending on whether you fight her solo or with friends.

When facing the Empress of Light solo, you have full control over your character’s actions and can focus entirely on your own survival and strategies. You can tailor your approach to match your playstyle and make decisions quickly without coordination with others.

However, you also bear the sole responsibility for dodging attacks and dealing damage, which can be challenging, especially during her more intense phases.


On the other hand, fighting the Empress of Light with friends can offer several advantages. Cooperation and coordination among team members can lead to more effective strategies, shared responsibilities for dodging attacks, and enhanced damage output.

With multiple players, you can distribute roles, such as one player focusing on offense while another focuses on support or healing. Additionally, having teammates can provide backup and assistance when dealing with her formidable attacks.

What are the Rewards for Defeating the Empress of Light?


The rewards for defeating the Empress of Light in Terraria differ according to the difficulty. The majority of rewards are the same for all difficulties except a few and sometimes the drop rates increase at higher difficulties. We will highlight all these rewards and changes below:

Classic Mode Rewards

RewardQuantityDrop Rate %
Gold Coins25100%
Greater Healing Potion5-15100%
Empress Wings16.67%
Prismatic Dye125%
Stellar Tune12%
Rainbow Cursor15%
Empress of Light Mask114.29%
Empress of Light Trophy110%
(if 100% of the damage
is dealt with in the daytime)
One of the following 4 items is guaranteed drop

Expert Mode Rewards

RewardQuantityDrop Rate %
Gold Coins62100%
Silver Coins50100%
Treasure Bag1100%
Soaring Insignia1100%
Empress Wings110%
Stellar Tune 15%
Extra Gold Coins25100%
The rest of the rewards will remain the same as Classic Mode

Master Mode Rewards

RewardQuantityDrop Rate %
Jewel of Light125%
Empress of Light Relic1100%
The rest of the rewards will remain the same as Classic Mode and Expert Mode

There you go, this was the ultimate guide to beating Empress of Light in Terraria. The difficulty you chose and the class you play will greatly impact your experience and hopefully our guide will have pointed you in the right direction.