How to Use Terraria's Camera Mode | Photo Guide


Ever wonder how Terraria players manage to share screenshots of their entire, epic handiwork? Struggling to get your massive tree fortress all in one frame? Terraria’s Camera Mode, added back in Patch 1.3, can help! Camera Mode offers a variety of in-game tools to improve your in-game photography.

Worry no more about trying to stitch together multiple screenshots to reconstruct your masterpiece. Camera Mode’s tools are easy to use once you understand what they do. We’ll be explaining each tool’s functionalities. You’ll be ready to share your favorite Terraria builds in no time!

How to open Camera Mode in Terraria

Camera Mode (or Screen Capture mode) can be activated by pressing F1. Unfortunately, this hotkey cannot be rebound. You can also open Camera Mode by hitting Escape and clicking the camera icon, located above the dye slots in the equipment menu at the right side of the screen.

Activating Camera Mode will open a new menu featuring nine different icons, which are explained below. Screenshots and snapshots can be taken from the active window or from the map screen, the latter of which offers the ability to capture areas larger than available in the current window.

Understanding the Camera Mode menu

Once you’re in Camera Mode, your hotbar will disappear and be replaced with a new set of icons, each offering a specific function for your screen capturing pleasure. The default mouse cursor will be replaced with a strange, glowing rocket-ship cursor featuring your new anchor tools. Clicking the left mouse button in Camera Mode will set an anchor for the top left of your capture area. Clicking the right mouse button sets an anchor for the bottom right of your capture area. You can click again in a different area to replace that button’s anchor.

Camera Mode tools explained

Take Screenshot

This tool captures a full-sized screenshot of your active game window. The image’s resolution will depend on the size of your Terraria window. Unlike screenshots taken with the default Steam hotkey, the UI will be hidden in screenshots taken using this tool.

Take Snapshot

The Snapshot tool works alongside the other Camera Mode tools, letting you take snapshots of specified portions of the screen. This includes selecting more area than display in a single screen. Once you’ve framed the selection you wish to capture, simply click the “Take Snapshot” button and it’ll save an image featuring only the content of the highlighted area. To set the frame boundaries for your shot, use these Camera Mode tools:

Pin Frame

Pin Frame allows you to set corner boundaries for your capture frame using the left and right mouse buttons. As mentioned before, the left mouse button will set an anchor for the top left of your capture area, and the right mouse button sets an anchor for the bottom right of your capture area. You can drag and frame any area of the current screen, or an entire section of the map, using these boundaries.

Set Frame

Set Frame locks your currently framed selection and offers the ability to adjust the frame borders from the sides, top, and bottom. You will not be able to adjust the frame diagonally.

Reset Frame

Reset Frame releases the current frame boundaries, resetting the active frame. A clean slate for your boundary creating pleasure!

Open Map

In order to capture larger areas, including massive builds that would span multiple screens at the game’s default resolution, you can use all of the Camera Mode tools from the Map screen. You can click this icon to open the map, or simply the map hotkey (M by default), which will still work while in camera mode.

Other Camera Mode tools

Open Settings

This tool offers additional settings that can affect the output of your camera mode. These settings include:

Image Packing

Image Packing allows you to specify whether you want to snapshot the selected area into a single image, which is zoomed out and may suffer some quality loss, or create separate captures of your selection at a 1:1 capture ratio.

If Image Packing is toggled ON, taking a snapshot will create a single image, zoomed out, capturing the entire contents of the highlighted area. If Image Packing is toggled OFF, a folder will be created including multiple 1:1 ratio screenshots of the selected area, and you will still have to piece together the individual screenshots using an external program.

Capture Entities

If Capture Entities is toggled ON, snapshots and screenshots will include any players, NPCs, or other entities in the frame, including minions, monsters, bosses, etc. If it is toggled OFF, no entities within the frame will be captured.

Capture Background

If Capture Background is toggled ON, the biome’s background will be included in your screenshots and snapshots. If toggled OFF, the output image will instead feature a transparent background.

Change Biome Water and Background

This tool features multiple different options, each corresponding to a different Terraria biome. Choosing one of the water icons will change the background and any water included in the capture to that of the selected biome. This will not change any trees, plants, or other elements displayed on screen.

Open Folder

This tool opens the default folder in which your screenshots and snapshots taken in Camera Mode tool are stored. This will be a different location than any screenshots captured using Steam’s default screenshot function. Screenshots taken with Image Packing OFF will be included in their own separate folders within this directory.


This simply exits Camera Mode. You can also close out of Camera Mode by pressing Escape or F1.

How to find and share your Terraria screenshots and snapshots on your computer

It’s important to note that screenshots taken with Camera Mode are stored separately on your hard drive than those taken as Steam screenshots. Additionally, they will not be available for automatic upload to your Steam Community page. Instead, you’ll have to upload them as artwork. To upload artwork, simply visit the Terraria Community Hub, click the Artwork tab then click the "Upload Your Artwork" button at the top right.

Where to find your Terraria Camera Mode screenshots and snapshots

The easiest way to locate your Terraria Camera Mode screenshots is by initiating Camera Mode in-game and clicking the “Open Folder” button. Camera Mode screenshots and snapshots are stored in the following folder on Windows:

C:\Users\(username)\Documents\My Games\Terraria\Captures

Where to find your Steam screenshots

If you take screenshots using Steam’s default screenshot feature, by hitting F12, your screenshots are a bit more annoying to locate on your hard drive. The easiest way to find them is to right-click on Terraria in your Steam Library, and select “View Screenshots.” You can then view and upload any screenshots taken in Steam, and select “Show on Disk” to locate the folder on your computer. This is a much better method than going on a scavenger hunt within your Steam userdata directory to find the right ambiguously named folder that happens to have your Terraria screenshots.

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