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Terraria is an action-adventure sandbox game developed by Re-Logic. The game was initially released for Microsoft Windows on May 16, 2011, and has since been released for other PC, consoles, handhelds, and mobile platforms. Terraria features exploration, crafting, building, and combat with a variety of creatures in a procedurally generated 2D world. Terraria received generally positive critical reception upon release, with direct comparisons to Minecraft and praise given to its sandbox elements. By May 2019, the game had sold over 27 million copies across all platforms.

Publisher(s)505 Games[b]
  • Andrew Spinks
  • Whitney Baird
  • Yorai Omer
  • Chris Bednarz
  • Jim Kjexrud
  • Victor Moura
  • Jamison Hayes
Composer(s)Scott Lloyd Shelly
Genre(s)Action-adventure, sandbox
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer



An in-game screenshot of Terraria, circa 2011

Terraria is a 2D sandbox game with gameplay that revolves around exploration, building, crafting, combat, and mining.[1][2] The game has a 3D sprite tile-based graphical style reminiscent of the 16-bit sprites found on the Super NES.[2] The game is noted for its classic exploration-adventure style of gameplay, similar to games such as the Metroid series and Minecraft.[2][3][4]

The game starts in a procedurally generated world. The player starts out with three basic tools: a pickaxe for digging, a sword for combat, and an axe for woodcutting.[1] Many resources, notably ores, can be found while exploring caves. The player begins with a limited amount of health and mana points, which can both be increased by finding certain items.[1] Some resources, and most items, may only be found in certain areas of the map, stored in common and rare containers, or dropped by certain enemies.[1] The player uses resources to craft new items and equipment at an appropriate crafting station for that recipe. For example, tables or other items can be crafted at a work bench, bars can be smelted from ore at a furnace, and armor can be crafted at an anvil. Several advanced items in Terraria require multiple crafting operations where the product of one recipe is used as an ingredient for another.

The player can encounter many different enemies in Terraria, such as simple slime blobs, zombies, skeletons, flying eyes, and various biome-specific enemies. The occurrence of certain enemies depends on several factors including time, location, random events, and player interactions.[1] The player can fight against enemies with swords, bows, guns, magic spells, and summoned attackers. The player may also battle bosses with a number of different combat mechanics that can drop rare items and large amounts of in-game currency. All bosses can be summoned by using certain items or randomly when certain criteria are met. Some of the bosses can spawn naturally in certain places and times. The defeat of these bosses is directly tied to in-game progression.

By completing specific goals, such as defeating a boss or obtaining a certain item, players can attract non-player characters (NPCs) to occupy structures or rooms they have built, such as a merchant, nurse, or wizard.[1] Some NPCs can be acquired by finding them throughout the world and will then reside in the player's house like the wizard or the mechanic. Players may then buy or sell items and certain services from NPCs with coins found in the world. The game includes a currency system in the form of coins that can be primarily used to complete transactions with NPCs.

The game recognizes many different biomes and areas, defined by the blocks that exist in the vicinity, each home to a unique set of enemies. Some biomes, such as the Corruption or Crimson biomes, will naturally expand by slowly overtaking and converting blocks in adjacent biomes. If the player journeys to the Underworld biome and summons and defeats a boss called the Wall of Flesh, the game enters "hardmode", which adds many new and much stronger enemies throughout the world, as well as new NPCs, bosses, ores, items, and a new biome called The Hallow.[5]

The game also features an "expert" difficulty,[6] which can be enabled when creating a world. Expert mode increases the difficulty of the game by increasing the attack and health of monsters and bosses, further increasing the strength of weaker enemies after hardmode, giving some bosses new attack patterns, decreasing the effectiveness of life regeneration, and other tweaks. To deal with the higher attack damages of expert mode the defense statistic is more effective than it is in the normal difficulty. In addition to the higher difficulty level, expert mode increases the chance for enemies to drop rare items, and adds new items that can only be obtained by defeating the bosses on expert mode.

The game also supports multiplayer. In addition to standard gameplay, Terraria has a modding community.[7][8]

Development and releaseEdit

Terraria was developed by Re-Logic beginning in January 2011,[9] and is built on the Microsoft XNA framework.[10] Re-Logic was composed of Andrew Spinks, who designed and programmed the game, Finn Brice, who along with Spinks did the graphic design for the game, and Jeremy Guerrette, who was a production assistant at Re-Logic, but left shortly after the game's release.[citation needed] The music was composed by Scott Lloyd Shelly.[11] The game was released for Microsoft Windows on May 16, 2011.[12]

Post-launch, the game has been updated on multiple occasions. In December 2011, Re-Logic updated Terraria to version 1.1, adding new monsters, bosses, NPCs, and items. The update also included improvements to the game's world generation technology and lighting system.[13] In February 2012, the developers announced that they would not be continuing active development, but would release a final bug-fix patch.[14] However, development resumed in 2013 with Spinks asking the community for ideas and features to include in a future content update.[15]

In September 2012, Spinks announced that Engine Software and 505 Games would be porting Terraria to Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.[16] The game was released for Xbox 360 via Xbox Live Arcade on March 27, 2013.[17] The PlayStation 3 version was released via the PlayStation Network in North America on March 26, 2013[17] and in Europe and Australia on May 15, 2013.[18] Shortly after the initial console release, 505 Games announced Terraria for PlayStation Vita;[19] it was released in Europe on December 11, 2013, and in North America on December 17, 2013.[20] Spike Chunsoft localized the PlayStation 3 and Vita versions for release in Japan, including exclusive items such as a costume based on Monokuma from Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc.[21][22] In May 2013, 505 Games announced a mobile version of Terraria ported by Dutch studio Codeglue for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone.[23] It was released for iOS on August 29, 2013,[24] and for Android on September 13, 2013.[25] The Windows Phone version was released on September 12, 2014.[26][unreliable source?]

In October 2013, Re-Logic released version 1.2 for Terraria on Windows after nine months in development. The update added a host of new mechanics, gameplay changes, and graphics adjustments.[27] After the 1.2 update was released the game returned to receiving continuous updates, including Halloween and Christmas updates which expanded the endgame significantly.[28][29] The console and mobile versions received update 1.2 in 2014.[30][31] Terraria became DRM-free on October 2, 2014, when it was released on[32]

A downloadable version of Terraria was released for PlayStation 4 on November 11, 2014, and Xbox One on November 14, 2014,[33][34] with a retail release on December 2, 2014.[35] In September 2014, Re-Logic announced that Terraria would be coming to OS X and Linux.[36] They were both released on August 12, 2015.[37] The Nintendo 3DS version was first released on the Nintendo eShop on December 10, 2015.[38] A Wii U version was released on the eShop in June 2016.[39]

It was announced that version 1.3, the game's third major content update, would be the last on which Spinks would work personally and that the developers Yorai Omer and Skiphs would take over programming, and Whitney "Cenx" Baird, would take over as lead designer.[citation needed] Version 1.3 was released on June 30, 2015, adding even more items, events, enemies, bosses, and gameplay features. The update was released for consoles on December 12, 2017, and is set to release for mobile in the future.

In July 2016, 505 Games announced that Engine Software and Codeglue would no longer be working on the console and mobile versions respectively and that a new studio, Pipeworks, would take over the development of those versions.[40] A version for the Nintendo Switch, ported by 505 Games, was released on June 27, 2019.[41] In December 2018, 505 Games announced that development of the 1.3 update for mobile would be taken over by DR Studios to help Pipeworks focus on the Switch port of the game.[42]

In June 2019, the fourth and final major update for the game, called Journey's End was announced for release later in 2019. The update is to add new items, enemies, another difficulty mode, a bestiary, and many other gameplay adjustments.[43]


Aggregate score
MetacriticPC: 83/100[44]
PS3: 81/100[45]
X360: 81/100[46]
iOS: 82/100[47]
PSVita: 85/100[48]
PS4: 83/100[49]
XONE: 84/100[50]
3DS: 71/100[51]
Review scores
PC Gamer (US)79%[55]
TouchArcadeiOS:      [56]

Terraria received generally favorable reviews from critics, according to review aggregator Metacritic.[44][45][46][47][48][49][50] A review for Destructoid included praise for Terraria as "full of depth".[57] Another reviewer praised Terraria's integration of some of Minecraft's concepts into two dimensions.[58]

GameSpot praised Terraria's exploration and feeling of accomplishment but criticized its lack of tutorial or explicit directions.[1] IGN praised the game, claiming that Terraria: "expands on the familiar sandbox gameplay with a greater emphasis on combat and adventure."[54] Terraria received the #1 of 2011 Indie of the Year Player Choice on IndieDB.[59]

Terraria was described as a Minecraft clone by various video gaming media outlets.[54][60][61][62][63][64]


Terraria reached 200,000 copies sold in the first nine days following its initial release, where it remained on Steam's top sellers during the first week of sales.[65] Within a month, Terraria had sold over 432,000 copies.[66] By the time of the 1.3 update in June 2015, over 12 million copies of Terraria were sold across all platforms,[67] with that number increasing to over 25 million by October 2018.[68] By early 2019, that figure had increased to over 27 million, including 12 million on PC.[69]


In October 2013, Spinks announced that he was planning Terraria 2, stating that the game was planned to have an unlimited number of worlds, and would be significantly different from the original game.[70][71]

Terraria: Otherworld was another planned game set in the Terraria universe, and was announced in February 2015 to be released later that year.[72] Otherworld tasked the player with trying to purify the world of the Corruption, which was to be achieved mainly by finding and activating "purifying towers" that push back the spread of the Corruption. Otherworld would have included more strategy and role-playing elements, such as a tower defense gameplay element, skill trees, and a plot. In April 2017, Re-Logic announced that the previous partner on the project, Engine Software, would be dropped in favor of a new studio, Pipeworks.[73] The reasoning given was due to the game being well behind schedule.[73][74] In April 2018, Re-Logic announced that the game had been cancelled due to them not being satisfied with its development thus far, and unwilling to rush the release of a non-quality product as a result.[75]


  1. ^ Ported to mobile platforms by Codeglue and to various consoles by Engine Software and Pipeworks Studios.
  2. ^ The PC versions are self-published by Re-Logic, while a retail Windows version was published by Headup Games in Europe


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External linksEdit