Terraria, being heavily item-based, is more than expected to have at least a few weapons that absolutely shatter the game.
- Players have always found ways to cheese bosses and events with minimal effort. In the order that they were patched, these include standing on meteorite, spikes, lava, and inside weak enemies. This method worked by taking constant lesser, easily tanked damage and taking advantage of the Mercy Invincibility instead of more powerful boss attacks, as the game couldn't register them both at once.
- The easiest way to cheese most invasion events is to have your home be an Elaborate Underground Base with a simple Lava Trapnote ontop of it. Most invasions will always head towards your spawn point, but while they can break open doors, they can't break into trap doors leading down. As such, one can easily sit under their lava trap as the invasion goes on, with most mobs gleefully sacrificing themselves to the great Terraria Gods above while trying to get at you.
- If you're fighting bosses or doing events, Heart and Star Statues completely break the game for anyone even moderately competent at dodging. By wiring them up to timers and spacing them apart, each one produces up to three of its respective drop, for a maximum of ten. That's free, infinite healing and mana which you can collect in a fraction of the time it takes to gulp down potions. Even the Final Boss will have a hard time wearing an agile player down. If you don't have heart or star statues, you can subsitute this with mob statue traps, which will quickly kill the trapped mobs and cause them to drop hearts/mana in the process.
- The Party Girl's rockets can easily tear enemies a new one. While they require a lot of setup thanks to being a placeable block and not a weapon, they can completely trivialize a lot of things in the game, from beating the Dungeon Guardian in record time to oneshotting even the toughest of bosses.
- Similarly, provided you can use it without blowing yourself up in the process, Dynamite is surprisingly effective against a good portion of the bosses, and a few post-hardmode ones as well. As one user demostrates, it's possible to kill the Wall of Flesh before the first night ends in record time with them.
- Hoiking. A very, very versatile glitch. It's simple, but very effective. All you have to do is make a line of hammered slope blocks, and you have one of the fastest methods of moving items, mobs, and players around. You can use this to push certain items towards you, push mobs towards the previously mentioned Lava Trap, push players across the map faster than even minecarts, and enter the jungle temple much earlier than intended. Here's a video demonstrating several uses for item hoiks, and here's Yrimir killing Dungeon Guardian in record time because of it.
- Bringing any hardmode items into a pre-hardmode world. Most hardmode items are able to kill pretty much everything pre-hardmode in one hit, and the armor is also good enough to stop you taking any hits (aside from Scratch Damage). Good when you just want to explore or build without worrying about dying.
- The "Slimy Saddle Invincibility Machine" exploits the fact that stomping an enemy with the slime mount grants invincibility frames to the player and enemies. This machine simply consists of two training dummies placed under a ceiling with just enough space to enable the slime mount to continuously bounce on both dummies. This renders the player completely immune to all attacks (except those of the Moon Lord who uses unique invincibility frames for his attack).
- Want to become overpowered quickly early hard-mode? Look no further than Duke Fishron's drops. Since Truffle Worms start spawning as soon as hard-mode starts, one who is skilled enough, or knows how to abuse Duke Fishron's pattern can get some insanely powerful drops for that early on, allowing them to shred through everything in Hardmode up until the Moon Lord himself. Granted, be prepared for a very tough fight (especially if done early in Hardmode) if you want to earn these weapons.
- Fishing yields very good drops that can help break the game over your knee, both pre- and post-Wall of Flesh, as early as the first boss. Obtaining the "Fisher of Souls" or "Fleshcatcher" (or if you're lucky, the Sitting Duck) and combining some worms with Fallen Stars to make Enchanter Nightcrawlers for bait can result in you having enough Fishing Power to successfully fish up the Reaver Shark, Stonefish, and Sawtoosh Shark very early to help with resource gathering for good armor. Add in the fact that you can get special nautical versions of the Hermes Boots and Cloud-in-a-Bottle and the 30-damage Falcon Blade from an iron crate, and you'll be set up to defeat the Wall of Flesh in no-time. And then when you reach Hardmode, you can do it all again by fishing up the Toxicarp/Bladetongue and the Crystal Serpent, weapons that can last you well into Hardmode itself until you can get your bearings.
- Fishing also lets you fish up crates; boxes with various assortments of ores and other such items the player can open. A unique quirk in them is that once hardmode starts, hardmode ores can be obtained through them as well, regardless if the crate was obtained pre-hardmode. As such, a common tactic by players is to hoard any and all crates until hardmode starts, giving them a nice early boost in the starting stages of it.
- The Celestial Shell, the result of combining the Sun Stone, Moon Stone, Moon Charm, and Neptune's Shell into one item. The situational Sun/Moon Stones become a permanent stat boost, Neptune's Shell provides a fishman form that removes the threat of drowning and allows normal movement in water, and the Moon Charm gives you a werewolf form at night that provides additional stat boosts. The thing that makes it a game breaker is that it stacks with the Celestial Stone, which has the exact same buffs minus the transformations, doubling the items' effect.
- For yo-yo users, there's the Yoyo Bag. Made by combining the White String, Yoyo Glove and any Counterweight, the Yoyo Bag not only increases the range of the yoyo, but summons a second yoyo that circles around the first upon landing a successful strike. It also summons two counterweights that swing around the player, allowing it to cover the area around you or deal even further damage by getting up close to an enemy and striking them with both the yoyos and counterweights. It allows Yoyos to deal incredibly high, consistent damage from an utterly obscene distance, and it's obtainable as soon as you begin Hardmode if you're willing to hunt for the Skeleton Merchant. For added fun, try using Flasks of Ichor to perpetually soften up an opponent's defenses while attacking!
- The Cobalt Shield is a simple but nonetheless very effective accessory. It makes you immune to knockback, making many previously troublesome enemies almost trivial by taking away the one way for them to threaten you. It can also be combined with an Obsidian Skull to form the Obsidian Shield, granting you immunity to burning blocks (Hellstone and Meteorite) and making it much easier to take on Hell and the Wall of Flesh.
- The Cosmic Car Key dropped by Martian Saucers. It allows you to summon a flying saucer mount... that has infinite flight time and moves faster than a sprinting player. Only a select few mounts have greater speed, and they either cannot fly or have specific conditions attached. It removes the need for an arena for pretty much every boss. It's also handy for fighting the gib-happy Dungeon Guardian, as it has the same top speed and moves faster diagonally. Getting it can be a pain, but the Martian Saucer is completely neutralized by a simple square of blocks around the player, so you can farm them safely as long as you have a yo-yo or something which can shoot through blocks.
- An alternative to the Cosmic Car Key for Expert Mode players is the Shrimpy Truffle, obtained from Duke Fishron. It allows the user to summon a "Cute Fishron" with similar flying abilities to the flying saucer. While it is slightly slower, touching any liquid puts you into an enraged mode, making you move even faster and deal more damage. When combined with the bubble blocks that the Party Girl sells, allowing you to contain liquids in mid-air with pass-through blocks, you can easily out-pace the saucer by a long shot, and have a massive damage boost to add onto it. Like other Duke Fishron drops, you can get this as soon as Hard Mode starts, meaning you'll never even need the Cosmic Car Key.
- The Death Sickle, dropped by the Reapers during the Solar Eclipse, seems like just a moderately powerful melee weapon. But it also fires spinning sickle projectiles, which fly a short distance and hang around for several seconds, continuously hitting anything that walks into them... and they travel through blocks, something almost no player-usable weapons can do. This costs no mana, so you can spam glowing sickles as long as you like. With this thing, you can effortlessly slaughter most enemies while hiding behind a wall. It's especially nice for Plantera, because it spends a lot of time slowly moving through walls, allowing you to chop away at it in relative safety (unless you're in Expert Mode, where it has its own block-penetrating attack).
- The Terra Blade. It's a very high damage sword that shoots a just-as-high damage Sword Beam. This makes it easily one of the best weapons in the game for melee players. In addition, it can be acquired fairly easily with some patience and luck even before fighting Plantera, despite being one of the five most powerful swords in the game. In the console version, it can be acquired even earlier, potentially after beating just one mechanical boss. Combined with a good modifier, it can easily carry you through most of the game.
- If you endure the grueling Martian Madness event, there is a chance that you will get the Influx Waver, which serves as a powerful alternative to the aformenioned Terra Blade. It fires beams that do higher damage than the Terra Blade, but instead of piercing, the beams will disappear upon contact with an enemy and reappear several times to strike at different angles, usually hitting the target twice or thrice in a single shot. The beams can even target other nearby enemies if the original target dies. Versus single enemies, the multi-hit nature of the blade can rack up incredible damage and tear through nearly any single target very quickly.
- Following the lead of both weapons above is the Flying Dragon sword. While only dropped by Betsy, who in turn only becomes available after defeating Golem, the above weapons are difficult (or at least very slow) to acquire before entering the Jungle Temple to gather Solar Tablets for grinding them, making all these weapons available at around the same timenote . Though slower and marginally weaker than the Terra Blade, each swing of the Flying Dragon releases a huge crescent Sword Beam capable of passing through walls and enemies alike. In addition to its wall-phasing properties giving it all the benefits of the Death Sickle with even better damage, the size of its projectiles makes it effortless to strike enemies at distance.
- Vampire Knives fire off about five knives, which is great against bosses, because five shots is obviously better than one. However, the true prowess comes from its second effect: the knives heal you. When a knife hits an enemy, you regain 1-2 health. With the multiple knives and the fast firing rate, this weapon proves to be a great survival weapon, and is incredibly effective for any boss fightnote
- The Flairon dropped by Duke Fishron, who can be fought as soon as Hardmode is available. It's a weapon that's more akin to the Golem Fist or KO Cannon than a flail, but what makes it so good is that the head leaves a trail of homing bubbles that each seek nearby enemies and deal the same amount of damage as the flail itself.
- The Enchanted Sword/Arkhalis. They are two of the strongest pre hardmode swords, but what makes them a game breaker is how early and easily you can acquire them. They're found in enchanted sword shrines (a small cave with a one block wide tunnel that may lead all the way to the surface) or rarely even randomly underground. For players aware of them, they are very easy to find, allowing you to potentially acquire a weapon to carry you through all of pre-hardmode on the first day! The only disadvantage is they aren't guaranteed to spawn in a world, but are still fairly probable, especially in medium and large worlds which have three and four shrines, respectively. Each of which has a 1/3 chance of containing the true sword instead of a useless decoy.
- After killing the Solar Pillar, you will be able to craft the Solar Eruption. It's a rapid flail that penetrates blocks and sweeps across practically the entire screen in a single stroke. Anything hit by it will take massive damage (usually multiple times) as well as get hit with a lethal debuff that drains 25 HP per second and spreads the flames to nearby enemies when that one is killed. Not to mention, the aforementioned reach and block-ignoring abilities mean that you can hit enemies from pretty much anywhere, even from behind cover. Needless to say, getting this weapon will usually make short work of the other Pillars and will make the fight against the Moon Lord a lot easier.
- For pre-Hardmode, the Minishark will tear apart just about anything. While it does cost a hefty 35 gold, which is hard to get early in the game, and you have to get something else gun-related, which requires a trip to the Corruption/Crimson as a bare minimum to even have access to it, the ends most certainly justify the means. It has a high fire rate, which absolutely shreds every pre-hard mode boss sans the Eater of Worlds and the Wall of Flesh. And it has a chance to not consume ammo, which is also very welcome considering the high fire rate.
- The Star Cannon, while having a very big drawback of having to farm stars, which is incredibly slow, is definitely a good weapon. It fires stars at a very fast pace, which cause a lot of damage. It's definitely the best weapon to use against the Wall of Flesh, and if you have a good handful of stars left over, you can get some distance into hard mode with ease.
- Upon beating the Wall of Flesh, you have a chance of getting the Clockwork Assault Rifle. This weapon is definitely what you'll need to survive the early days of Hard mode. It has the unique ability of firing three rounds a bullet, which saves you money. It also fires at the speed of the Minishark, which is also a welcome addition. In the right hands, this weapon can wreck half of the hard-mode bosses with ease. It's even better with Crystal Bullets, since it fires off three rounds of bullets that upon contact explode into several crystals that hurt enemies. You can use this to defeat even Plantera if you're good enough.
- The Onyx Blaster. This can be obtained as soon as you get into Hardmode, as all it requires is a Shotgun and some common Corruption/Crimson drops. The shotgun is a relatively expensive buyin at 25 gold, but to say it's worth it is putting it lightly. It behaves similarly to a Shotgun, but also fires a large black crystal with perfect accuracy that explodes after medium range or hitting an enemy, that does double the weapon's tooltip damage. Before modifiers, this means that on a default-stat Blaster, a meatshot will do 168 (28x6) damage. Combine this with Crystal bullets - Which is heavily incentivised due to the close-quarters nature of the gun - and it becomes a borderline admin tool. It scales exceptionally well with equipment too, making it pretty still viable all the way up to the point you get the Vortex Beater. Even when you have the Beater, it's still worth keeping around after that as it pretty much deletes any standard enemy with the pinpoint accuracy dark crystal shot, which helps a ton with ammo conservation when paired with the constant-dps-but-ammo-hungry Beater.
- If you can manage to kill a Hallowed Mimic early on in Hardmode, you can get the Daedalus Stormbow, a bow which causes numerous arrows to rain from the sky from just one arrow. With an Endless Quiver, you can create an endless rain of death upon normal mooks. Against the Destroyer, equip Holy Arrows and watch the combined force of arrows and stars generated by the arrows shred him in under a minute. As long as you're good at dodging, you can have a full set of Hallowed armor in one night.
- If you kill Destroyer before the other two mech bosses, you can guarantee you will have an easy time against his brothers. Because with his Souls of Might, you can turn the Minishark into a Megashark. The Megashark is a Minishark on steroids, having an even higher fire rate, even more damage, and does not consume ammo half of the time. With this weapon, you can destroy the Twins and Skeletron Prime with ease.
- On the other hand, if you kill Skeletron Prime first, you can use his Souls of Fright to make a flamethrower. Said flamethrower has an excellent range, can pierce multiple targets, does quite a bit of damage and uses the very common Gel as its' ammo supply at a fairly low rate, meaning ammo is unlikely to be in short supply.
- If you're lucky, the Travelling Merchant can sell you a Gatligator the moment you begin hardmode. While it costs a hefty 35 gold, it's basically a more easily accessible Megashark, boasting similar damage and an identical fire rate in exchange for being far less accurate. If you get it early on, you can rip through most of early hardmode easily and kill the Mech Bosses without too much effort, and once you get Chlorophyte Bullets you can even keep using it further into hardmode until you get something like the Chain Gun or Vortex Beater.
- The Tsunami bow dropped by Duke Fishron, who can be fought as soon as Hardmode is available. It deals a great amount of damage and is an excellent ranged weapon overall that shreds most hardmode bosses until you obtain the Phantasm. One arrow not good enough? How about five for the price of one? This also means it can trigger the effects of Holy Arrows five times.
- While Chlorophyte Bullets don't deal as much damage as Crystal or Luminite bullets, it makes up for it in spades with its ability to home in on enemies. Now aiming is no longer an issue at all, especially on less accurate weapons, such as the Gatligator, Chain Gun and S.D.M.G. Bosses that are usually very hard to hit with guns, like Duke Fishron and Lunatic Cultist, are now hilariously easy since you can just hold down your mouse button and still hit them easily.
- The Snowman Cannon, while dropped by the Ice Queen, is undoubtedly powerful. To put it simply, it's a rapid fire homing rocket launcher that deals immense area damage over a very short time, shredding nearly anything within a matter of seconds. Unlike most launchers, it doesn't even do self damage, meaning you can spam it to your heart's content. The only downside is that guzzles Rockets at an extremely fast rate.
- Both of the Vortex Pillar's weapons are devastatingly effective.
- The Vortex Beater is a machine gun that sprays bullets in a small cone. However, it also fires a free homing rocket every few seconds that inflicts huge damage. Together, the rockets and bullets can blast apart entire hordes of enemies very quickly, and make short work of most bosses when paired with Chlorophyte Bullets. The icing on the cake is that it has a 2/3 chance not to consume ammo.
- The Phantasm, on the other hand, fires 4 arrows at a time, with the rate of fire increasing as you hold down the button. The kicker? For every hit you land, a small barrage of homing arrows will fire at the target. Considering how fast the thing fires, you can easily whip up a literal hailstorm of arrows that will shred nearly any boss within seconds if you focus them down with high-tier arrows.
- For those on the Mobile and 3DS versions, the Heart Arrows, they're sold by the Merchant or found in Heart Shrines during the St. Valentine's Day event (which of course you can change time/date settings to get them any time in the year). They stun and completely immobilize almost every enemy for one and a half seconds except for Duke Fishron but this list includes the Wall of Flesh where it actually immobilizes the whole wall, giving you additional time to kill it in the tiny worlds that those versions provide (discounting the expanded worlds on New 3DS systems). It even immobilizes bosses like The Destroyer, and it can even immobilize the Dungeon Guardian. Because of the nature that all weapons and items auto-fire in those versions, you can easily keep most enemies immobilized even with just a Wooden Bow.
- The Space Dolphin Machine Gun. While the Moon Lord has to be beaten for a chance to drop this weapon, no non-boss enemy in the game will last long against it. With a base damage of 77 before any modifiers, it is practically a Megashark on acid. Its only downside is that it will also tear through the player's ammo supply like wet tissue paper, even with its inherent 50% chance to not consume ammo.
- The Water Bolt. It's a very versatile weapon that fires ricocheting bolts that can also pierce multiple targets, all while doing good damage. Used correctly, it can even be used against the Wall of Flesh effectively. What's more, there is a chance that you can find one in the Dungeon entrance, allowing you to get one before you kill Skeletron. Needless to say, this will break the game in two and likely allow you to steamroll every enemy and boss before the dungeon.
- The Demon Scythe is a relatively rare drop from Demons in the Underworld, but is worth every bit of the effort to get. This weapon conjures scythes that spin in place and then shoot out at high speed, with a fairly wide range and good damage along with piercing capabilities. It's the initial spin that makes the Demon Scythe so good: because the scythes deal damage while spinning, it becomes downright lethal at melee range, easily chewing up enemies that try to get up close and personal, while its wide range makes it decent at long range as well (especially against bats and the like). Its close-range damage output even outstrips many magic weapons in early Hardmode, making it worth keeping for quite a while.
- If you're lucky enough to have Platinum in your world, you can grind a bit to make a Diamond Staff, which is a powerful weapon that costs very little mana and fires highly damaging, piercing bolts. With good mage armor, this weapon can carry you through most of Easymode and sometimes even into early Hardmode.
- As soon as you enter Hardmode, Truffle Worms will begin spawning in Underground Mushroom Biomes. Should you have the mettle to challenge and defeat Duke Fishron before, for instance, the three Mechanical Bosses, you can effortlessly rip through whatever stands in your way with his Razorblade Typhoon. Each cast of the spell summons two rebounding discs with high speed, extremely good homing abilities, and unlimited piercing to fly about the battlefield slicing up anything unfortunate enough to get in the way - oh, and thanks to its size and wonky hitbox, the typhoons can clip through thin walls if you hug them as you fire. Because its homing and moderate turning radius allows it to hit one enemy and those around it repeatedly for its full duration, you can fire them about without fear of missing while still keeping your focus on evading attacks or using other weapons to pile on the damage. Slap on a mana-restoring accessory such as the Mana Flower or Magic Cuffs, and this tome can potentially carry you all the way through the Lunar Events and even the Final Boss.
- And once you beat the Nebula Pillar? Say hello to the Nebula Blaze. While it lacks the bouncing, piercing abilities of the Razorblade, it fires much faster and inflicts much more splash damage, in addition to being able to sometimes shoot a blue attack that deals nearly 3 times the damage. In a similar vein to the Solar Eruption, many players consider using it even if they aren't a mage, just because of the raw damage this thing can put out even without magic gear.
- While summoner builds have low defense armor, they easily make up for it by having their own mini-swat team of monsters at their command, making crowd control a really easy task, and very useful for dealing with the Goddamned Bats in the game. The best part is, the minions are completely invincible and can be summoned directly at the mouse cursor. Because of this, they are absolutely amazing mob farmers; any enemies whose attacks don't go through walls can't do anything to you while your minions rip through them, making them amazing for most raid events. When combined with the invincibility machines mentioned above, it's safe to complete AFK bosses outside of the Moon Lord as a summoner.
- A quirk of how summons work allows Summoners to be vastly more powerful than they at first appear. Summons use the current stats of their summon staff to determine their damage output but only at the moment they are summoned. This means a summoner can equip armor and accessories aimed at cranking their damage output to the max, summon their minions, and then swap out to more defensive gear. The only thing they have to keep the same is the max minion's stat. This allows them to maximize their offense while still retaining relatively solid defenses with the only cost being the setup time upon starting or after dying.