What Makes Terraria Great?

Out of all the games I’ve ever played, Terraria is my all-time favorite. Part of it is nostalgia, as I first started playing it in 2013, but the main reason I love it so much is that the game is absolutely amazing.

The odd thing is that 2D games just really aren’t my type of game. I’d much rather spend my time blowing up Psychos in Borderlands 3, or exploring a gorgeous world like in The Witcher 3, so how in the world did 2D pixel sandbox game capture my attention?

I love basically everything about the game, so I’ll discuss the major reasons why Terraria is such a great game. 

Exploration

From the second you create a new map, there’s an entirely new world to explore. The randomly generated world isn’t infinite like a Minecraft map, but it can still feel huge for a first-time player. 

There’s so much to do and see that new players might get overwhelmed. The only NPC insight is the Guide, so you’re forced to learn about the world with the very limited information he gives you.

You have two choices at this point: 

A. Explore the world for yourself 

or 

B. Look at the wiki

Whichever one you choose, you’ll still end up having a great experience. I personally wish that I didn’t look at the wiki, because blindly exploring the world would allow me to experience the fun of figuring things out on my own. 

Exploration is quite slow for the first few hours of the game but definitely speeds up once you start upgrading your tools. It’s exciting to wonder things such as what you’re gonna find underground, or what happens when you reach the bottom of the world. 

You’ll come across some crazy structures, like the Dungeon with its deadly skull guardians, or the locked Lihzahrd temple in the jungle. There’s a huge variety of biomes to explore as well. Each biome has its own enemies, music, and appearance, which makes it exciting to explore new areas.

No two areas are really the same, and you can tell the developers took a lot of time to create this refreshing amount of variety. Each area also requires specific gear to survive properly in it. For example, exploring the Underworld is much easier with lava protection gear and potions.

Combat

The premise of combat in Terraria is fairly simple: you create weapons to fight monsters, and the monsters drop items that give you stronger weapons so you can fight stronger monsters.

But what really shines is the huge variety of weapons to use and enemies to fight. A quick glance at the Wiki shows me that Terraria currently has 495 unique weapons, as well as 350 enemies. 

I’ve played Terraria on several consoles, mobile, and PC for hundreds of hours each, yet all the time it seems like I discover new things I’ve never seen before! I’m always blown away by how fun and satisfying the weapons are to use, especially against enemy hordes. 

Events will randomly occur where you’ll be invaded by large waves of enemies. You can basically defeat them however you want, whether it be engineering traps, setting up turrets on your house, or just using the weapons that you have. 

Bosses will sometimes randomly spawn and catch you off guard, ruining your in-game plans. Building a boss arena and drinking potions will allow you to survive for long. The weapons you use will make or break the fight, so be sure to always come prepared. 

There are bullets that follow enemies like homing missiles, bows that rain arrows from the sky, a gun that shoots piranhas, and so many more that it would take me hours to talk about all of them.

No matter what your preferred mode of combat is, this game has something for you. Early on you’re even able to play a thrower class, where you just throw items at enemies until they die.

The particle effects are smooth and satisfying and don’t cause the game to run poorly.

Building

If there is any aspect of Terraria that stands out above the rest, it’s definitely the building. Admittedly, I’m not very creative when it comes to building. Most of my structures consist of a bunch of NPC rooms with some storage areas thrown on.

But for the people who are creative, there are infinite possibilities on what you can create. There are so many different ways to build things that sometimes you won’t even know where to start.

New characters will have a more difficult time collecting resources and building, but they will become much more efficient as they progress. This is beneficial because players actually have to go out and work for their materials. Instead of spawning them in with a creative mode, they have to venture out to an unknown location, protect themselves from monsters, and use their gear to collect the resource.

Some of the materials themselves are dangerous to players, such as Hellstone that’ll both burn you and spawn lava blocks. There are also a variety of ways to get these resources, such as explosives or expensive digging machines. 

More materials will become available to you as you progress through the game. Because of this, your base will continually evolve as you need more space to house your items and NPCs. 

The structures you create around the world will increase your productivity in an area. Building a house in the jungle or underworld will allow you to immediately respawn there when you die. Creating minecart systems will let you quickly get around to other parts of the world, and teleporters will get you there even quicker. 

Even though anything you build takes time to make, none of that work is really boring. Mining areas will give you a large number of building materials, which you’ll definitely end up using in the future. 

No matter what you build in Terraria, it’ll make your experience better. The massive block variety gives you almost infinite possibilities and combinations of what you can create

Replayability

No two playthroughs are ever the same. The layout of the world is different, the terrain is completely randomized, and the ore types of the world are randomized. The different ores will allow you to craft different items, such as a Ruby Staff or Diamond Staff. 

There will be the essential world components, like the Dungeon and jungle, but even those alternate which side of the world they’re on. The world will randomly choose if it’s infected with Corruption or Crimson, which changes the bosses you face and the gear you can acquire. This creates even more changes in hardmode once underground versions of those biomes form.

I talked about the building aspect before, and that’s another reason many people keep playing Terraria. If you’re a creative person. You’ll enjoy creating new and exciting things that’ll make your game world a better place.

There are 3 character difficulties that you can choose at the start, softcore, medium core, and hardcore. In softcore you only drop coins on death, medium core players will drop their entire inventory. Hardcore characters are completely deleted on death and are really only for the most advanced players. Some people play those extra difficulties for the added challenge, but I personally don’t see the appeal. 

There are also 2 world difficulty settings, normal and expert. These completely are different from the character difficulty, and can’t be changed. Expert mode has everything normal mode does, but adds extra enemies, allows you to get more items, and doubles the enemy difficulty.

After playing through expert mode several times, normal mode seems almost too easy for me. Expert mode really feels like it’s how the game was meant to be played, so I only play that difficulty. I also am also really looking forward to master mode, coming soon in the Journey’s End update. These world difficulty settings give players even more options on how to play the game, but they reward the player for playing on the harder difficulty.

Another thing I love about the replayability is that it’s extremely easy to run. You can play this on consoles, mobile, Switch, and even on some low-end PC’s. Hardware has never really been a major issue with Terraria, so it’s playable on almost every modern device. 

Conclusion

Every single one of these reasons is things that contribute to Terraria being my favorite game. Each player will have their own experiences with this title, and that is part of the reason why it’s so special.

You might be one of those people who just don’t enjoy this type of game, and that’s perfectly fine. Terraria isn’t for everyone, but there are tons of people like me who consider Terraria one of the greatest games of all time!

Jay Simmons

I love writing about games and sharing helpful info with others. Whether it be exploring a vast open world or uncovering lore, I always enjoy learning about my favorite games.

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