How do classes work in Terraria – Class setups and build guide

Grab a sword, wand, or gun and start slaying slimes.

Image via Re-Logic.

It’s good to pick a class before you start chopping down trees and slaying slimes in Terraria. In Terraria, world-eating bosses and even lowly zombies are unconquerable without the right gear. So choosing a class early on will give you more time to collect the class-specific gear and accessories you need. There are four main classes in Terraria: Melee, Ranged, Mage, and Summoner. Each of these classes has a unique playstyle. This guide will help you decide which class to pick while also listing each class’s best gear.

Melee class

The Melee class is the most basic in Terraria. Melee classes are characterized by their use of swords, spears, yoyos, or boomerangs. With this class, you will want to equip yourself with mobility items such as grappling hooks to allow you to get into melee range of enemies. Melee classes won’t need to focus on Mana, making them an easy beginner class.

Early game

This is the gear recommended before you fight your first major boss.

  • Armor – Ancient Shadow
  • Weapon – Enchanted Sword
  • Accessories:
    • Shark Tooth Necklace
    • Feral Claws
    • Band of Regeneration
    • Cloud in a Bottle
    • Hermes Boots

The Ancient Shadow Armor Set boosts melee attack speed, and the Enchanted Sword is a fantastic early combo option with ranged and melee abilities.

Mid Game

This is before you fight the Plantera boss. Focus on farming the jungle biomes as they give you great loot.

  • Armor – Turtle Set
  • Weapon – True Knight’s Edge
  • Accessories:
    • Mechanical Glove
    • Avenger Emblem
    • Ankh Shield
    • Frostspark Boots
    • Frozen Wings

The Turtle Armor Set buffs all defense stats, and True Knight’s Edge is the perfect combo weapon with a bit of ranged ability thrown in.

End game

This will be your ideal setup. This gear is acquired from beating the hardest foes in the game. 

  • Armor – Solar Flare Set
  • Weapon – Meowmere
  • Accessories:
    • Fire Gauntlet
    • Ankh Shield
    • Solar Wings
    • Celestial Shell
    • Master Ninja Gear

This phenomenal armor reduces all incoming damage, and Meowmere is the highest damage output and strongest knockback melee weapon in the game.

Mage class

A mage relies heavily on Magicka and benefits from any gear that increases magic damage. Be on the lookout for fallen stars, as these can be used to upgrade your maximum Mana Pool.

Early game

  • Armor – Meteor Set
  • Weapon – Space Gun
  • Accessories:
    • Magnet Flower
    • Band of Regeneration
    • Band of Mana Regeneration
    • Cloud in a Bottle
    • Shiny Red Balloon

The Meteor Set buffs all magic, and the Space Gun is great for the early game with a high damage output and speedy autofire.

Mid game

  • Armor – Chlorophyte Set
  • Weapon – Rainbow Rod
  • Accessories:
    • Magnet Flower
    • Frozen Wings
    • Mana Flower
    • Frostspark Boots
    • Sorcerer Emblem

The Chlorophyte Armor Set buffs magic greatly and adds a few bonuses to boot, while the Rainbow rod is a fast casting weapon with controlled projectiles.

Late Game

  • Armor – Nebula Set
  • Weapon – Lunar Flare
  • Accessories:
    • Crystal Ball
    • Sorcerer Emblem
    • Ankh Shield
    • Master Ninja Gear
    • Stardust Wings

The biggest upgrade from the midgame setup is the Nebula armor. This armor increases your mana, magic damage, and magic critical strike.

Ranger class

Rangers like to keep their distance and do not pump out as much burst damage as melee or magic builds. However, what they do have is consistent damage that is useful in every boss fight. Be sure to collect bullets everywhere you can, as you don’t want to run out of ammo during a heated battle.

Early game

  • Armor – Fossil Set
  • Weapon – Tendon Bow
  • Accessories:
    • Shark Tooth Necklace
    • Flying Carpet
    • Band of Regeneration
    • Cloud in a Bottle
    • Hermes Boots

The Fossil Armor Set buffs all ammo damage, and the Tendon Bow is the highest damage output ranged weapon with cheap ammo for this early point.

Mid game

  • Armor – Huntress’ Jerkin
  • Weapon – Megashark
  • Accessories:
    • Magic Quiver
    • Avenger Emblem
    • Shield of Cthulhu
    • Frozen Wings
    • Frostspark boots

Huntress’ Jerkin gives all of your ammo even more of a boost, and Megashark has a super high fire rate with a 50% chance of not consuming any ammo.

Late game

  • Armor -Vortex Armor
  • Weapon – S.D.M.G.
  • Accessories:
    • Magic Quiver
    • Sniper Scope
    • Celestial Shell
    • Master Ninja Gear
    • Destroyer Emblem

Vortex Armor is great because it boosts ranged weapons and attacks when in stealth mode. S.D.M.G., on the other hand, fires with a 50% chance of no ammo being consumed.

Summoner Class

Summoner is technically a secondary class, so not that many people are aware of it or bother with it. However, summoning minions is a perfectly legitimate way of defeating bosses and enemies. Minions can do a lot for you, as these builds demonstrate.

Early game

  • Armor – Flinx Fur Coat
  • Weapon – Flinx Staff
  • Accessory – Hermes Boots

The Flinx Fur Coat buffs minion damage, while the Flinx Staff is the fastest of the early game minions you can get. The Hermes Boots speed up your movement and help you avoid damage.

Mid game

  • Armor -Obsidian Set
  • Weapon – Sanguine Staff
  • Accessory – Pygmy Necklace

The Obsidian Armor Set is, at this point, the best set for minion damage, and the Sanguine Staff is a strong minion with even stronger tracking. The Pygmy Necklace is incredible because it has a +1 minion effect, buffing everything about your minion.

Late game

  • Armor – Stardust Set
  • Weapon – Ballista Staff
  • Accessory – Celestial Shell

The Stardust Armor Set has a colossal minion buff on it, and the Ballista Staff is a high-damage sentry summon. The Celestial Shell Accessory buffs all stats plus minion knockback and speed.

Terraria offers over 4,000 different items, so any build can be tweaked to fit your specific needs. Try not to stray too far from this list, as the late game bosses can be insanely difficult on higher settings.