Guide: 7 Checklists for the First Few Nights in Terraria Expert Mode Guide

When you start a new game on Terraria expert mode you will immediately discover just how much more difficult the game will be. If you’ve taken a break from the game and come back and you forgotten most of the things that you can do you’ll probably have a hard time getting situated with your surroundings and all of the items at your disposal. You might find yourself running away from all of the weakest monsters for the first night or two. You may even find yourself in a makeshift fort to stay away from danger.

terraria expert mode guide
No slimes allowed.

This guide goes over 7 different areas that you should cover, and provides a checklist for each of them.

On expert mode, this becomes even more true you might find yourself running away from slimes and zombies for more than a few nights. This guide is going to help you to find the best way to progress throughout the game when playing on expert mode. It will take you up to the point where you should be ready to fight your first boss.

Throughout the game there’s always going to be a few items that you will have access to. When playing on regular mode, getting most of these items are pretty much optional. When playing on expert mode, getting a lot of these items are in most cases absolutely necessary.

One of the best examples is the use of potions and flasks. In regular mode you can progress through many parts of the game without really needing to carry any kind of health potions with you. Having them with you early game requires a bit of knowledge because most of the time you’re going to have to craft them or just find them in chests and pots that you break throughout the world. When playing on expert, it’s completely necessary to always have a good stock of healing potions and potentially life regeneration and defense potions.


Since the game often relies on luck there are a lot of parts of that you may be able to skip past based on how lucky you are. One of the best examples of this luck is whether or not you can find the water bolt spell at the dungeon entrance before even having to defeat Skeletron.

Secure your spawn by building a base

In the very first few days of your new world I would highly recommend getting a few key items out of the way. The first thing you should do is create wooden armor. This will grant you a base level of defense which in reality will probably not do much for you anyway but it’s good to have. While you’re crafting items to equip, consider making yourself a yo-yo or a bow to get some ranged damage.

Expert mode base built to work efficiently compact housing
A compact base to get the essentials out of the way.

You should focus your efforts towards building a couple NPC houses. This should get you somewhere to hide when the monsters will come out at night. If you’ve never played expert mode before, you’ll learn very quickly that the simplest monsters can kill you in one or two hits.

You’re going to want to get a couple of NPC’s in your village because this is going to greatly reduce the spawn rate of monsters. Another item that will help you with fighting monsters is a sunflower. Sunflowers reduce enemy spawn rate while also improving your players movement speed. If you’re looking to catch critters for fishing, be mindful that sunflowers will also reduce critter spawn rate.


Learn to Love Potion Crafting

Once you have a few houses built, I would advise you to collect a bunch of mushrooms and gels which you can get from slimes and to craft an alchemy/potion station in one of your houses. You’re going to need to find some sand to create glass which you’re going to need a lot of because you’ll soon find out that expert mode requires a lot of different kinds of potions. If the potion system in the game scares you, don’t worry. It’s a lot simpler than it seems.

This guide will tell you the most essential potions that you need to create as well as where to get the ingredients. First in foremost, you want to create a good stock of health potions. The next step in this guide is to go exploring for surface world chests and pots. If you want to get anywhere, you’re going to need a good supply of health potions.

To create health potions, you’ll need to find mushrooms which can be found growing in the forest biome anywhere on the surface where there’s grass. The other ingredient you’ll need is gel which can be found from killing any slime.

Checklist(You will need a bottle and alchemy station):

Glowing mushrooms may be the toughest item to acquire for this set of potions. You will need to find a mushroom biome underground and survive long enough to find mushroom grass seeds. You can then plant them on top of mud blocks inside your base.

Raise your Maximum Health

One of your top priorities once you’re finally comfortable entering the underground layer should be to find as many heart crystals as possible. When you play expert mode, the amount of health that you have will play a huge role.

Before consuming all of your heart crystals, consider holding onto one or two of them to take back to your base and or arena. Life crystals are used to make heart lanterns, which provide a pretty good source of life regeneration.

Early on in the game, you’ll find yourself either dying very often or hiding and trying to recover health your house. Having a steady source of life regeneration could mean the difference between surviving your first boss battle or not.

Important Note: Consider staying below 200 maximum health. As soon as you reach 200 or more, you will start to encounter the Eye of Cthulhu boss during night time. It will continue to spawn until you defeat it.


Surface Exploration

The point of doing this is so that you can get some of the easiest to obtain accessories that will greatly improve your survivability especially this early on in the game. Some of the most notable items to get from surface world chests is the Boomerang, Hermes Boots, and the Magic Mirror.

finding pots and chests during surface exploration phase
Pots and chests can be found fairly easily.

If you have trouble with fighting monsters, consider crafting yourself a bow and arrows. This will allow you to kill monsters from a distance. Exploring the world at this point should not be done during night time. You should wait until day time, and then pick a direction to go and find as many pots and surface chests as you can.

If you have a hard time exploring because you’re dying so much, then fishing and doing quests for the angler will very quickly become your best friend.

If you can’t make it to the ocean biome in your first couple of exploration trips, don’t worry. Expert mode is very unforgiving. Making it to the very end of the map in the first try or even the first few tries would be considered an achievement. The reason you would want to get to the ocean biome is to unlock the angler npc.

It is very important to keep an eye out for all of the special gems and jewels that can be found throughout the world. If you can collect 15 of any one of these gems, you can craft your very first grappling hook. This will be a key component to exploring the underground caves.

At this point, your goal should be to find at least one or two accessories, and a handful of potions and some money. If you’re lucky, you’ll find a few gems/jewels such as amethyst or emerald scattered among the surface caves.

To make your trip safer I would highly recommend crafting many wooden platforms before you leave. This will help you to cross gaps and lakes that can get you stuck which can be bad news. During this exploration phase. A good goal would be to reach the very end of the map effectively reaching the ocean biome.


  • Break every pot you see
  • Open every chest you find
  • Keep an eye out for gems/jewels
  • Get at least 2 accessories to equip
  • Bonus: Reach the ocean biome and rescue the Angler NPC.

Get a Strong Weapon from the Crimson/Corruption

From exploring the surface you should’ve found at least one explosive item. This means a grenade, a bomb, or a stick of dynamite in one of the chests or pots.

Acquiring one of these items triggers the Demolitionist NPC being able to spawn in your world. This is very important because you will now be able to buy bombs on demand. These are a very crucial item to have at this stage.

The main reason you would want to buy bombs so early on in the game is so that you can get items/weapons from breaking Crimson orbs/hearts because these will always give some of the strongest weapons at this stage in your progression.

terraria shadow orb item within the corruption biome
Breaking orbs in the corruption/crimson yields powerful weapons.

Additionally, breaking the orbs will also trigger the meteorite event to it occur on your world. At this point in the game, fighting meteor heads can be a very lethal activity. You will also find the bombs can break meteor ores which can be collected and smelted into crafting a meteorite set as well as the Ray gun weapon will give you a very good head start in being able to kill monsters more consistently.


  • Buy a healthy supply of bombs from Demolitionist NPC
  • Venture into crimson/corruption and use bombs to break orbs
  • Bonus: Find any meteors that may have spawned and use bombs to mine meteor ore.

Incredibly Useful Accessories from Flying Islands

Reaching flying islands is especially challenging early on in the game. The best way to reach flying islands would be to use a gravitation potion. Each one of these potions will grant you two minutes of having the ability to flip gravity which can be used to get up into the sky which makes finding flying islands much easier.

Looting a chest on a flying island
Chests found on flying islands give extremely useful items.

If you have one or two gravitation potions, I would highly recommend trying to find as many flying islands as you can as soon as possible. Getting the star fury sword will help you find many secret caverns and special ores found within caves.

Additionally, it will also help you find NPCs that are in the cavern layer which need to be discovered before you can use them. Finding them is usually pretty frustrating because there’s always a good chance that they will spawn in these little hidden caves which tend to be pitch black and out of range of any light that you can place in your cave.


  • Find gravitation potions from chests or pots
  • Use gravitation potions to find flying islands
  • Potentially obtain the starfury sword and horseshoe accessory

Angler NPC and Fishing for Crates

Earlier in this guide I mentioned fishing and using the angler. Even if you don’t like doing fishing or fishing quests, you should take some time to craft a fishing rod, by a bug net from the merchant, and catch a small supply of bass or any other fish. You can craft a cooking pot which will allow you to create cooked fish. Cooked fish works like any other potion, when consumed it will produce a buff called “Well Fed” and this will give you a very good boost to your health, damage, and defense.

sleeping terraria angler quests found in ocean biome
The Angler NPC can be found floating in the ocean biome.

If you’re lucky, you will have found a few crates in the water. When opened, crates will give you random ore. This will help you to progress further and faster. Additionally, crates share the same loot table as surface chest. If you’re having a hard time finding surface chests, crates might be the solution to your problem.

There are different types of crates depending on the biome that you’re fishing in. Biome specific crates are space are especially rare but that’s only because they share the same loot tables with their biome specific chests. For example, if you get a sky crate from fishing at a lake in the sky, you can potentially get a horse shoe or starfury sword. These are two items that you will eventually need to get to help you progress further in the game.


  • Craft or buy a fishing rod
  • Buy a bug net from Merchant NPC and catch bugs for bait
  • Catch lots of fish
  • Create a cooking pot and cook your fish for the Well Fed buff
  • Collect as many crates as you can
  • Complete Angler NPC fishing quests

Like having a head start in your new game? There are more guides like this one! You can see what things to do early in the game of Skyrim to get the best head start towards your new character..

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