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How To Beat Skeletron in Terraria (Ultimate Guide)

How To Beat Skeletron in Terraria (Ultimate Guide)

The Skeletron is a pre-hardmode boss in Terraria who needs to be defeated to gain unlimited access to the Dungeons. 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 Skeletron.

Skeletron’s boss fight in Terraria is divided into three targets; one head and two hands. He needs to be defeated during the night as during the day, he becomes near invincible (although you can still defeat him). He can be summoned by talking to the Old Man at the Dungeon’s entrance at night and choosing the Curse option.


Learn how to beat the Skeletron boss in Terraria using some of the best builds and most convenient strategies by reading this guide.

How to Spawn Skeletron?

Spawning Skeletron

In order to summon Skeletron in Terraria, one must approach the Dungeon’s entrance at night and talk to the Old Man. By selecting the “Curse” option, the Old Man undergoes a transformation, becoming Skeletron. If attempted during the day, the Old Man requests the player to return once it is night.

It is important to note that only one summoning of Skeletron can take place per night, as the Old Man remains absent until the break of dawn.

Although the Old Man considers individuals with less than 300 maximum health and/or less than 10 defense too feeble to endure the curse, he still provides them with the opportunity to summon Skeletron.

The process of summoning Skeletron can be repeated until the boss is defeated. Upon emerging triumphant, the curse upon the Old Man is lifted, causing him to vanish permanently.


As a replacement, the Clothier NPC arrives in the town, bearing a striking resemblance to the Old Man. The Clothier can take up residence in an unoccupied house.

To summon Skeletron once more, the player must acquire the Clothier Voodoo Doll. Equipping this mystical accessory enables the player to eliminate the Clothier, thereby summoning Skeletron during the nighttime. Engaging in battle with this formidable boss during daylight hours proves futile and yields no results.

How to Defeat Skeletron?

Defeating the Skeletron 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

Skeletron can be effectively challenged in Terraria using yo-yos like Amazon, which excel at dealing high damage from a distance. Dispatching the hands swiftly is crucial, as they tend to push yo-yos, leading to additional contact and increased damage.

The Starfury proves formidable with its star projectiles, delivering substantial damage to both the hands and through regular melee attacks. However, the Terragrim boasts immense damage potential, although its limited range poses a greater risk.

Boomerangs, such as the Thorn Chakram, work well in battle, particularly when thrown past the Skull. If the player has mined Hellstone, the Flamarang is also a viable option.

Flails can be effective due to their extended range, allowing simultaneous strikes on both the arms and head. At this stage, the Ball O’ Hurt and The Meatball are the only viable flails available.

It is crucial to acquire a full set of at least Shadow Armor or Crimson Armor. Ideally, the player should have defeated their respective evil boss, but armor tailored to the player’s weapon class is always a viable choice.

For melee classes, the Molten Armor stands as the superior pre-hardmode armor set, although obtaining it requires a visit to the Underworld and a Hellstone-mining capable pickaxe.

Ranged Class Strategy

Ranged Class Strategy

When facing Skeletron, several weapons prove highly effective. The Bee’s Knees is a remarkable choice, as the bees it releases deal substantial damage, particularly during Skeletron’s spinning attack.

For those preferring firearms, the Pew-matic Horn stands out as one of the strongest guns obtainable in Pre-Hardmode, delivering excellent results against Skeletron. The Minishark, Musket, and Boomstick are other highly effective gun choices against Skeletron.

Bows like the Demon Bow and Tendon Bow are easily accessible options. When paired with Frostburn Arrows and Jester’s Arrows, they can deal significant damage. Additionally, the Molten Fury with Hellfire Arrows proves a potent combination for players who have acquired Hellstone.


While the Blood Rain Bow’s damage output is relatively low, it can be effective in certain arena setups, allowing damage to be dealt with shielding against flying skulls in Expert Mode.

Bone Javelins offer a combination of high damage and rapid firing speed, making them a formidable option. Utilizing Molotov Cocktails can result in substantial damage inflicted upon Skeletron. Beenades provide an alternative method of dealing damage, as they don’t require precise aiming.

The Star Cannon reigns as the most powerful Pre-Hardmode weapon, although its ammunition is scarce.

Prior to reaching the dungeon, rangers can obtain Fossil Armor, which serves as the only available armor set tailored specifically for their playstyle. However, players on the Nintendo 3DS version may opt for Necro Armor, as skeletons drop bones in that edition.

Mage Class Strategy

Mages can liberate themselves from mana constraints and deal respectable damage by employing a Space Gun in conjunction with Meteor Armor. The Meteor Armor’s set bonus also benefits the more potent Gray Zapinator. However, the Gray Zapinator’s availability is limited, as it can only be obtained from the Traveling Merchant.

The Bee Gun, acquired by defeating the Queen Bee, consistently inflicts damage, especially when paired with the Hive Pack accessory. Its unique advantage lies in requiring no precise aiming, enabling players to focus on evading Skeletron’s attacks.

For mages seeking efficient mana usage, the Ruby and Diamond Staves are effective options, delivering decent damage while consuming minimal mana. The Thunder Zapper offers similar damage output but proves more challenging to acquire.

The Crimson Rod proves highly effective for damaging Skeletron, especially when combined with other weapons. When placed strategically, the rod’s cloud can deal up to 100 damage per second. However, it is exclusively available in Crimson Worlds.

The Weather Pain, dropped by Deerclops, is a formidable homing magic weapon that swiftly dispatches the hands during the first phase of the battle. As it generates lingering projectiles, it can be used in tandem with other weapons.

For maximum damage output, mages should equip the Wizard Set, combined with leg armor that boosts magic or defense. Alternatively, Jungle Armor or Meteor Armor can be utilized if prioritizing defense. The Meteor Armor’s set bonus effectively reduces the mana usage of the Space Gun and Gray Zapinator to zero, making them highly efficient against Skeletron.

Summoner Class Strategy

At this stage of the game, the Snapthorn stands out as the most powerful whip available to players.

For summoners, the Vampire Frog Staff obtained during Blood Moons, and the Imp Staff found in the Underworld are the strongest minion options.

Vampire Frogs deal substantial damage but may require additional platforms to reach Skeletron, while imps possess flying capabilities and precise aiming, although they may occasionally interfere with each other due to invincibility frames.


The Hornet Staff, dropped by the Queen Bee, can be effective when combined with whips and the Hive Pack accessory. However, they may struggle to overcome Skeletron’s defense when used on their own.

The Houndius Shootius serves as the most potent sentry available, providing formidable defense. Alternatively, the Ballista Rod or Flameburst Rod can serve as helpful alternatives.

For optimal summoner performance, acquiring the Obsidian Armor is recommended, as it stands as the best summoner armor set at this stage of the game. Bee Armor serves as an alternative option, especially if the player has defeated the Queen Bee and has not yet ventured into the Underworld.

Other Strategies

Other Strategies for defeating Skeletron

Minecart Strategy:

A viable alternative to relying solely on high-maneuverability armor or accessories, even in the challenging Expert mode against Skeletron, is to utilize a Minecart strategy. Crafting a Minecart provides additional speed, while constructing a large, diamond-shaped Minecart Track can enhance mobility during the battle.

An effective design for the Minecart Track involves creating a diamond shape with three Minecart Tracks on each side, featuring a Bumper at the outer end. The inner end connects using a switch track to two diagonal tracks, with one side going up and the other going down.

The total width of the track should be approximately 90-100 blocks. Once the Skeletron battle commences, mount the Minecart and accelerate to its maximum speed.

It is highly recommended to utilize ranged attacks while employing this Minecart strategy. However, it’s important to note that the Minecart might not move fast enough to rely solely on a boomerang for damage output. In such cases, the Molten Fury with Frostburn Arrows is a highly recommended weapon option if limited to pre-Hardmode weapons.

If, for any reason, the battle with Skeletron continues until dawn while utilizing the Minecart strategy, the Dungeon Guardian AI will cause the Skeletron head to follow at an incredibly slow pace, never catching up.

However, in this scenario, direct contact with the head will result in fatal damage, and each landed attack will only deal 1 damage (or 2 for critical hits).

Thus, it becomes essential to rely on fast attacks at range. The Space Gun, in combination with the full set of Meteor armor, becomes a preferred choice. In this situation, having a set of accessories with critical chance modifiers becomes far more important than focusing on damage, defense, or mobility.

Circle Strategy (Expert/Master):

In these difficulty modes, mobility and damage take precedence as key factors for success.

To prepare near the dungeon, create two or three extended rows of platforms, each spanning about one screen in height and two screens in width. Equip yourself with a horseshoe balloon, along with either Spectre Boots or Lightning Boots.

This combination essentially functions as wings in the pre-hardmode stage. Additionally, consuming a Featherfall Potion can be advantageous. The Shield of Cthulhu is an essential accessory for its dash ability, while the Umbrella is optional if you can acquire it.


During the battle, utilize the platforms to maneuver in circular patterns around Skeletron. Fly over and around the boss while simultaneously running underneath it. The Shield of Cthulhu enables quick dashes, allowing for instant acceleration and swift evasive maneuvers.

For weaponry, the Bee’s Knees and Bee Gun, when paired with the Hive Pack, prove highly effective due to their forgiving nature regarding accuracy. Alternatively, the Space Gun serves as another viable choice.

Employing this method, continue circling around Skeletron while focusing on attacking its hands. Even when the skulls begin shooting projectiles, the circular motion will facilitate easy dodging and maintaining the upper hand in the battle.

What are the Difficulty Differences?

Difficulty Differences Skeletron

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 Skeletron has the following stats:

  • Skeletron Head:
    • Damage: 32 at Night. 1000 during the Day.
    • HP: 4400
    • Defense: 10 Default. 0 while Spinning. 9999 during the Day.
    • Knockback Resistance: 100%
    • Immune to Poisoned, Confused, Penetrated, Tentacle Spike, and Blood Butchered
  • Skeletron Hand:
    • Damage: 20
    • HP: 600
    • Defense: 14
    • Knockback Resistance: 100%
    • Immune to Poisoned and Confused

Skeletron is a boss in Terraria, consisting of a floating skull and two floating hands. All parts can pass through blocks and aim to harm the player. While each part can be defeated separately, defeating the head is enough to defeat Skeletron.

Skeletron has two alternating attack phases:

  1. In the first phase, the head remains above while the hands try to slash the player.
  2. The second phase involves the head spinning, which deals significant damage if touched. However, its defense drops during this attack.

Skeletron continuously cycles between these two phases throughout the entire battle. The first phase lasts approximately 13.33 seconds, while the second phase lasts about 6.67 seconds.

If the player takes too long and dawn breaks, Skeletron takes on the Dungeon Guardian AI. It performs a highly damaging head spin attack with high defense. This form remains until Skeletron is defeated or despawns, even if the player manages to survive until the next night. Defeating Skeletron in this form still counts as a victory.

Expert Mode

In Expert Mode the Skeletron has the following stats:

  • Skeletron Head:
    • Damage: 70 at Night. 1000 during the Day.
    • HP: 8800
    • Defense: 10+25 per hand alive Default. 0+25 per hand alive while Spinning. 9999 during the Day.
    • Knockback Resistance: 100%
    • Immune to Poisoned, Confused, Penetrated, Tentacle Spike, and Blood Butchered
    • 100% chance of inflicting Bleeding Debuff for 6-10 seconds.
  • Skeletron Hand:
    • Damage: 44
    • HP: 1560
    • Defense: 14
    • Knockback Resistance: 100%
    • Immune to Poisoned and Confused
    • 50% chance of inflicting Slow Debuff for 1-2 seconds.

In Expert Mode, Skeletron possesses additional traits:

  1. The head’s defense is boosted by 25 for each hand, resulting in an initial defense of 60. Once one hand is defeated, the defense decreases to 35, and it further reduces to 10 when both hands are defeated. During the spinning attack, the defense is only reduced to 50/25, but it drops to 0 when both hands are down, similar to Classic Mode.
  2. The hands in Expert Mode slash more frequently, with a 50% increase in attack frequency and a 16% speed boost. After their attack, the hands return to the head faster.
  3. The head’s speed is heightened when not spinning, and its acceleration increases. During the spin attack, its speed surges by 233%. Moreover, there are additional speed increments under specific conditions: a 5% increase when one hand is defeated and a 10% increase when both hands are down. If the player is 9.375 tiles away or more, the spinning speed escalates even further based on the distance.
  4. Once either hand is destroyed or the head’s health falls below 75% (6600), the head starts firing homing skulls at the player. These skulls vanish upon contact with a solid block. It shoots one skull approximately every 1.33 seconds, and this frequency doubles to one skull roughly every 0.67 seconds once both hands are defeated.
  5. Skeletron exhibits swifter movement and improved AI when targeting multiple players. This enables it to “stun-lock” the player during the spinning phase, posing a significant threat that can lead to instant death if the player is unable to escape (e.g., by using a Grappling Hook).
  6. Skeletron inflicts debuffs: the hands have the ability to inflict Slow, while the head can inflict Bleeding on the player.

Master Mode

In Master Mode the Skeletron has the following stats:

  • Skeletron Head:
    • Damage: 105 at Night. 1000 during the Day.
    • HP: 11220
    • Defense: 10+25 per hand alive Default. 0+25 per hand alive while Spinning. 9999 during the Day.
    • Knockback Resistance: 100%
    • Immune to Poisoned, Confused, Penetrated, Tentacle Spike, and Blood Butchered
    • 100% chance of inflicting Bleeding Debuff for 6-10 seconds.
  • Skeletron Hand:
    • Damage: 66
    • HP: 1989
    • Defense: 14
    • Knockback Resistance: 100%
    • Immune to Poisoned and Confused
    • 50% chance of inflicting Slow Debuff for 1-2 seconds.

Skeletron’s behavior will stay the same as in Expert Mode although his overall health and damage are drastically increased.

Is Skeletron Harder Solo or With Friends?

The Skeletron fight in Terraria can be more challenging when fought with friends compared to solo encounters.

When facing Skeletron alone, you have complete control over your character’s movements and actions. You can focus solely on dodging Skeletron’s attacks and optimizing your own damage output. This level of control allows you to develop a specific strategy and adapt to the boss’s patterns more effectively.

Fighting Skeletron in Terraria with friends introduces additional factors that can increase the difficulty. Coordinating movements and attacks with multiple players can be more challenging, especially if everyone is not well-coordinated or experienced with the boss fight.


Skeletron’s AI is also enhanced when targeting multiple players, making it more aggressive and potentially more difficult to avoid its attacks. Additionally, the increased number of players can lead to a higher chance of being hit by Skeletron’s attacks, as it may be more challenging to anticipate and dodge them effectively.

What are the Rewards for Defeating Skeletron?

Rewards for Defeating Skeletron

The rewards for defeating the Skeletron 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 Coins5100%
Healing Potion5-15100%
Lesser Healing Potion5-15100%
Skeletron Mask114.29%
Skeletron Hand112.24%
Book of Skulls110.5%
Skeletron Trophy110%
Chippy’s Couch114.29%

Expert Mode Rewards

RewardQuantityDrop Rate %
Gold Coins12100%
Silver Coins50100%
Treasure Bag1100%
Bone Glove1100%
Extra Gold Coin5100%
One of the following three items is a guaranteed drop
Skeletron Mask133%
Skeletron Hand133%
Book of Skulls133%
The rest of the rewards will remain the same as Classic Mode

Master Mode Rewards

RewardQuantityDrop Rate %
Possessed Skull125%
Skeletron 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 Skeletron 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.