The World of Terraria consists of many different types of Environments, also known as Biomes contained within Layers. These environments are characterized by unique enemy spawns, block formation, loot tables, and oftentimes a background.
- For a list of all pages pertaining to environments, see Category:Biomes.
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The player will start a world right about the dirt layer with the sky showing the current biome's atmosphere in the background. Go high enough and the player will be in a starry background and find gravity to be lowered. Some where up high Sky Islands will spawn along with Harpies and, in Hardmode, Wyverns. It is common practice to construct a sky bridge for fast travel about the world in this layer.
This area, despite being underground, is still considered to be above sea level. Therefore, the music will remain the same as the biome that's above it, and any monsters found within the dirt layer are also found on the surface, including Green, Blue, and Purple Slimes and at night - Zombies and Demon Eyes. If it corrupted, hallowed, or crimsoned, the mobs that normally spawn at the surface will also spawn. You can also place blocks onto the background without needing to connect them to other blocks. Brown Chests are found most often here with very low powered loot.
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This layer is located just below sea level. You can tell when you've reached this layer when the background changes to a mix between dirt and stone, and when the music changes to the underground theme.
Gold and Brown Chests are found most often here.
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The stone layer comprises most of the Underground. After moving below a certain depth underground, lava starts to appear in place of water. In this area you can find the Glowing Mushroom Biome.
Gold Chests are found most often here.
- Main Article: The Underworld
The Underworld, also known as Hell, Hades Land, or the home of the lava is a hellish realm (about 3500 Feet below on Large maps and 1700 on Small ones) that can be reached by digging past the stone layer. It is very easily identified by its background of stone with veins of Lava. It is primarily made of Hellstone ore deposits surrounded by Ash Blocks, with extensive pools of Lava. Chests with unique loot can be found here. The chests in the underworld are mainly Shadow Chests and require a Shadow Key to open. Hellstone can be used to make molten tools and armor.
The Wall of Flesh is a boss that can be summoned by tossing a Guide Voodoo Doll (From a voodoo demon you killed) into one of the many pools of lava within the Underworld. Defeating it will activate Hard Mode for your world. After killing the WoF, it is possible to have the underworld become infected by the spreading biomes, the Corruption, Hallow or Crimson. The background color change indicates this. The Wall of Flesh must be beaten for any of these to occur, unless you bring biome-making tools from another world that has Hard Mode on.
The Purity is composed mainly of Dirt Blocks and Trees, and occupy most of the surface. Enemies that spawn in the Purity are relatively weak, making the biome a good starting point for most players. It is also the spawn point for most worlds, as this biome is closer to the center, while other environments take the spaces closer to the edge.
- Main Article: Desert
Deserts are large areas consisting of Sand Blocks that are always generated in a new world. Two types of plants exist in the Desert: Cactus and Waterleaf, both of which are used in alchemy. The Desert is useful if you want to craft a large amount of Glass or the Sandgun. Pyramids will spawn in any desert where there is sufficient sand to contain one. One world can have multiple Deserts and Pyramids.
There are generally no chests here, except in pyramids.
- Main Article: Ocean
Oceans are large bodies of Water that spawn on both ends of the map with large beaches of sand. They are the only place you can find Coral. Monsters in the ocean include Sharks, Crabs, Squid and Jellyfish and have a chance to drop the Pirate Map if Hard Mode is activated.
- Main Article: The Corruption
The Corruption forms during the creation of a map at a random position. In most cases there are 2 to 4 Corruptions per map. This biome has a chance to replace the Crimson entirely, making it impossible to have both of them without the Clentaminator. The Corruption spawns higher-level monsters regardless of time and thus should initially be avoided by low-level players. Shadow Orbs can be found here in deep caves called chasms. These chasms can reach all the way to the stone layer. If you happen to have Corrupt Seeds, you can create your own Corruption. Odd thorn-like bushes will grow here. Avoid these, as they will do damage.
While Corruption is initially restricted to spreading through grassy Dirt Blocks, once the Wall of Flesh is defeated, the Corruption will begin to spread through Stone, Sand, Snow, Ice, and Mud Blocks at an advanced rate. Corruption that spreads to Mud turns the blocks into Dirt.
- Main Article: Underground Corruption
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The Underground Corruption occurs when the Corruption spreads through the underground layer. Souls of Night are a resource unique to this biome when Hard Mode has been activated. While you can create this biome while not in Hardmode and Corruption can be naturally generated at underground level on world generation, the biome will not spawn any special mobs until the map becomes Hardmode.
- Main Article: Corrupted Desert
The Corruption transforms sand blocks into Ebonsand Blocks.
- Main Article: The Crimson
The Crimson is a biome which was added in the 1.2 update. The biome is an alternate version of The Corruption, and has a 50% chance to replace the Corruption in newly created worlds. (Only one of the two can exist and fully form at the start of a new world.) Thus, it is functionally the same, with The Crimson spreading further in Hard-mode, corrupting Snow and Desert biomes as well. It has several new enemies, Pulsating Hearts that has the same uses as Shadow Orbs, and Crimson Altars which has a Demon Altar's function.
- Main Article: The Hallow
The Hallow is a magic-themed biome, and can be considered the antithesis of the Corruption. Hallowed ground will generate after the Wall of Flesh has been defeated and Hard Mode is unlocked. It will spawn on the opposite of the Corruption, and may even replace corrupted blocks. Like the Corruption, the Hallow can spread across dirt, stone, and sand, though unlike the Corruption, it cannot spread through mud.
- Main Article: Hallowed Desert
This biome is formed naturally when the Hallow transforms sand blocks into Pearlsand Blocks.
- Main Article: Hallowed Snow Biome
This biome is formed naturally when the Hallow transforms ice blocks into Pink Ice Blocks.
- Main Article: Underground Hallow
The Jungle is a biome that exists both above ground and underground. It is usually located far away from the spawn point, at the opposite end from the Dungeon.
- Main Article: Surface Jungle
The Surface Jungle is a tree-filled biome containing decorative vines. The trees here grow without the need to plant Acorns, as long as there is Jungle Grass present. The Surface Jungle typically directly connects to the Underground Jungle. This Biome was added in the 1.0.4 update. Like most other biomes, the Surface Jungle has its own music. The Jungle is certainly less dangerous than the Underground Jungle, and yields Chest(s). However, it can still prove to newer players difficult because of the mobs.
- Main Article: Underground Jungle
The Underground Jungle is a very remote area of the World. It is often found beneath the jungle. Like Dungeons, these areas have few dead ends; however unlike Dungeons they are covered in plants. Special items that are unique to the Underground Jungle are found in Jungle Shrines which are small buildings made of Gold Bricks that are spawned at random locations. You can often find a higher concentration of Ores like Gold, Silver, Iron, and Copper in the Underground Jungle, as well as the Jungle Temple, a small version of the dungeon where there are many different enemies, all very difficult.
- Main Article: Snow Biome
The Snow Biome can be Corrupted/Crimsoned and Hallowed during hardmode.
- Main Article: Dungeon
There is only one Dungeon in each World, although a player may create new Worlds and plunder the Dungeons to gain additional items. Rarely, the Dungeon can get cut off by the ocean and only have the Old Man. Digging down through the sand can most often reveal the buried Dungeon.
The Dungeon's upper level is home to an Old Man, which will turn into Skeletron should the player talk to him at night, or summon a Dungeon Guardian if the player attempts to enter the dungeon without killing him first.
Dart Traps seem to be more common here, with the usually being one or more per biome. Breaking the glowing mushrooms or the giant glowing mushrooms may yield some mushroom grass seeds.
In the new 1.2 update, this biome can also be found and possibly generated overworld. The planted mushroom grass does grow above sea level but at much slower pace. This Surface Glowing Mushroom Biome has slightly different trees and is required for the NPC, Truffle.
- Main Article: Meteorite
Meteorites have a 50% chance to spawn when you break a Shadow Orb during the night, and can also spawn randomly during the night. Meteorites are composed of Meteorite Ore, which deals damage to the player unless an Obsidian Skull, Obsidian Shield, or Obsidian Horseshoe is equipped. Meteorite Ore can be used to make Meteorite Bars, which can be used to make: Meteor Armor, Meteor Hamaxe, Meteor Shots, Phaseblades, Space Guns and Star Cannons. Meteor Heads also spawn around here.
- Main Article: Floating Islands
Floating Islands are masses of land that appear in the sky. They consist of dirt blocks and clouds. Rain clouds will also spawn around the island. Each Floating Island also has a building made of Disc which contains a Skyware Chest. In the chest there will be a Shiny Red Balloon, Lucky Horseshoe, or a Starfury along with other various items. Harpies, as well as the Wyvern are unique to Floating Islands. Floating Islands are more difficult to find on a large map without the use of a Sky Bridge or Gravitation Potion, but it is considerably easier on a Small map. If you have Guns, you can use Meteor Shot, (crafted from Meteorite Bar(s), which bounce off of blocks), to find a floating island as well. The Water Bolt spell could also be useful, if you are patient enough for it to bounce back. Meteors have been known to occasionally hit these.
Floating Islands are also known as Sky Islands or Skylands. Floating Islands near the edges of the world can have a Goblin Scout spawn on them.
- Main Article: Hive_Biome
The Bee Hive is found in the Underground Jungle and is composed of Hive blocks and Hive Walls. The only liquid found in this biome is Honey. Inside the Hive, one can find Larva Sacs, each containing a Larva, which will eventually summon the Queen Bee boss once destroyed.
- Main Article: Gemstone Cave
A Gemstone Cave can be found underground within the stone layer.
They are characterized by having a Gem themed backwall (probably the same colors of the gem which is found inside the cave), which can be removed with a hammer, but cannot be collected. The caves also consist of a high concentration of gems scattered along the walls of the cave. Any type of gems can be found in these caves and sometimes even different types of gems.
They can usually be found around 1000 feet below on large maps, 700-900 on medium maps, and around 600 on small maps.
- Main Article: Spider Nest
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The Spider Nest is an area in the stone layer that has a rare chance to appear. Within it, one can find Wall Creepers and Web Covered Chests. In Hard Mode, Black Recluse spiders will spawn. Spider Web spawns at a very rapid rate after being removed, making these a good place to farm Silk.
It is also the only place you can get the Web Slinger.