A Meteorite falling is announced in the bottom-left of the screen with the message, "A meteorite has landed!" This event will always occur off-screen — the player can never witness the actual impact.
The Meteorite itself is normally made up of approximately 350 blocks of Meteorite Ore, but this largely depends on where it lands. In particular, if the Meteorite spawns on a Skybridge, it will only cover a width of ~20 blocks through the depth of the Skybridge.
The ore found in this biome requires a Gold Pickaxe or better (or Explosives) to mine, and inflicts 20 damage (modified by defense) to players who directly touch it. This damage can be nullified entirely by equipping an Obsidian Skull, Obsidian Shield, or Obsidian Horseshoe, or by drinking an Obsidian Skin Potion.
When approaching a Meteorite crash site, Meteor Heads will spawn (though not from the actual Meteorite) in an attempt to hinder your excavation of the Meteorite, and the game's music will change to the Underworld theme. When there is less than 50 Meteorite Ore, the Meteor Heads will stop spawning, indicated by the music returning to the normal Forest theme.
A Meteorite has a 50% chance to spawn the midnight after a Shadow Orb is destroyed in the world (or immediately if the orb is smashed after midnight but before dawn). In addition, every night after the first Shadow Orb is destroyed has a 2% chance of having a Meteorite spawn so long as the amount of Meteorite Ore in the world is below a certain threshold.
- Meteorites replace existing blocks in the area of impact, rather than delivering new blocks, and will impact on the first blocks it encounters at the highest possible altitude. Because of this, it may be worthwhile to destroy any Skybridges you have built before breaking any Shadow Orbs.
- Note that a Sky Bridge made of Inactive Stones is ignored. (Tested once. )
- Meteor Heads have a 2% chance of dropping Meteorite.
- Meteorites can fall anywhere on a map, which makes locating them more difficult depending on the World Size.
- Meteorites can fall on Floating Islands, Dungeons, in chasms and in the Ocean. If it is in the Ocean or on a Floating Island, Meteor Heads will still attack. It is even possible for Meteorites to fall right next to, or even on NPC settlements.
- If a Meteorite falls on a Chasm, the Chasm will not become plugged up because the meteor is actually just a translation of existing blocks rather than a new lump of blocks.
- To protect your house, NPC settlements, or any other area from being destroyed by a Meteorite, you can make an 'umbrella' over the area. If you wish to still harvest Meteorite from any meteor that lands, you'll have to make the 'umbrella' much thicker; around 10 blocks thick would work, but is very costly in terms of resources. A stack of stone would make an umbrella about 25 blocks long.
- The Vilethorn is useful against the Meteor Heads because, in a single use, it deals enough damage to quickly destroy it. You can also use it through blocks before they have the chance to get to you. Alternatively, if you don't have the Vilethorn or a large mana pool, you can use the Blade of Grass. It has a large sweep and high damage, capable of taking out several meteor heads with one or two swings.
- Dynamite is a very useful mining tool as it is quite powerful and can help excavate the meteor with a couple of simple explosions. Sticky Bombs can also be used to mine Meteorite, as they stick to blocks, letting you position explosions.
- A strategy for dealing with Meteor Heads early to mid game: If you have 10 of the same kind of gem, try to mine 80 pieces of Meteorite (enough for 20 bars), and craft a Phaseblade. With a Phaseblade, dealing with the Meteor Heads becomes much easier and should allow you to mine the entire area with few problems.
- With proper positioning, Meteor Heads can be repelled by your Pickaxe as you mine.
- If you wish to spawn Meteor Heads to gain their drops, place 50 blocks of Meteorite in close proximity, such as in a 7x7 box with one additional block extended (so you can quickly end the spawning when needed).
- The amount of meteorite needed to spawn Meteor Heads (50 blocks) sells for exactly one gold. However, you'd be better off with the bars because they seem to fetch more.
- There is a bug that rarely occurs which summons Eye of Cthulhu even at daytime just after the last blocks of meteorite are mined. This only seems to happen before Eye of Cthulhu has been defeated in a world.
- Sometimes, if a meteorite has not landed in a world yet, the first time it says "A Meteorite has landed" in that world a meteorite will not have actually landed, but the next time it says "A Meteorite has landed", it will have landed.