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Throwing Weapons, such as Shurikens and Throwing Knives, dealt ranged damage prior to 1.3. As of 1.3, however, they now deal throwing damage; it has been given its own class. There are armors and accessories that boost this small class. Such armors include Fossil Armor and the 1.3 version of the Ninja Outfit. New weapons have been added that deal throwing damage such as Javelins. Throwing weapons are very useful to new or early-game players; instead of crafting Arrows, you need only to walk in caves. The Eater of Worlds can be defeated quite easily with a proper arena and Shurikens.
Where to find them
Many throwing weapons can be found in common Chests. Shurikens can be found very easily, simply by breaking Pots just under the surface (or in caves) around the world. Some throwing weapons are dropped by monsters or can be crafted.