Pickaxe Terraria Guide - The Digger's Handbook - Indie Game Culture (2024)

Table of Contents

    • Pickaxes Crafted at an Iron or Lead Anvil
  • Into the Dirt
  • What's that in the Ocean?
    • An Alternate Route
    • With Some Luck
  • Hardmode Pickaxe Hunt
    • Pickaxes Crafted at a Mythril or Orichalcum Anvil
  • Not as Easy as it Seems
  • Final Pickaxe Choices
  • Best Modifier
  • Every Pickaxe
  • Two Pickaxes Left Out
  • FAQ's
    • Question: What's the hardest Pickaxe to craft?
    • Question: What's the worst Pickaxe?
    • Question: Are Drills Better?
    • Question: Why can't I mine the Hardmode Ore?
  • Happy Mining

A Pickaxe in Terraria is a necessity you cannot do without. That being said, it can be one of the most monotonous grinds in the game.

As you dig slowly through the dirt and stone, you’ll realize the only way to handle the stronger enemies is to gather more powerful ore. You’ll find the need to upgrade your Pickaxe.

We’ll run through what we think the best pickaxes are to pick up as you progress through the game based on the speed you can get them and how helpful they will be.

Near the end of our Pickaxe Terraria Guide, we’ll be a complete list of all the pickaxes for further reference.

Pickaxe Terraria Guide - The Digger's Handbook - Indie Game Culture (1)

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Now, let’s start digging.

Quick Pickaxe Info

  • First Pickaxe: Copper Pickaxe
  • Best Overall: The Picksaw is the most versatile
  • Best for Combat: A Luminite Pickaxe will do the most damage
  • Fastest: Shroomite Digging Claw
  • Hot Take: Upgrade your Pickaxe before your weapon

Into the Dirt

Pickaxe Terraria Guide - The Digger's Handbook - Indie Game Culture (2)

You’ll start any game with a Copper Pickaxe no matter the ore that spawned on the map. If you are playing with a Medium Core character, you will respawn with a Copper Pickaxe.

As quickly as you can, build a house for yourself and your Guide with some chopped wood and make a bow and some arrows as they’ll let you easily traverse the topside in the early game.

Then dig up some stone and make a Furnace. Then dig up some iron or lead, make an anvil, and craft a better pickaxe.

Pickaxes Crafted at an Iron or Lead Anvil

Pickaxe Terraria Guide - The Digger's Handbook - Indie Game Culture (3)Copper:Copper Bar(x8) + Any Wood(x4)
Pickaxe Terraria Guide - The Digger's Handbook - Indie Game Culture (4)Tin: Tin Bar(x8) + Any Wood(x4)
Pickaxe Terraria Guide - The Digger's Handbook - Indie Game Culture (5)Iron: Iron Bar(x10) + Any Wood(x3)
Pickaxe Terraria Guide - The Digger's Handbook - Indie Game Culture (6)Lead: Lead Bar(x10) + Any Wood(x3)
Pickaxe Terraria Guide - The Digger's Handbook - Indie Game Culture (7)Silver: Silver Bar(x10) + Any Wood(x4)
Pickaxe Terraria Guide - The Digger's Handbook - Indie Game Culture (8)Tungsten: Tungsten Bar(x10) + Any Wood(x4)
Pickaxe Terraria Guide - The Digger's Handbook - Indie Game Culture (9)Gold: Gold Bar(x10) + Any Wood(x4)
Pickaxe Terraria Guide - The Digger's Handbook - Indie Game Culture (10)Fossil: Sturdy Fossil(x12) + Any Wood(x4)
Pickaxe Terraria Guide - The Digger's Handbook - Indie Game Culture (11)Platinum: Platinum Bar(x10) + Any Wood(x4)
Pickaxe Terraria Guide - The Digger's Handbook - Indie Game Culture (12)Nightmare: Demonite Bar(x12) + Shadow Scale(x6)
Pickaxe Terraria Guide - The Digger's Handbook - Indie Game Culture (13)Deathbringer: Crimtane Bar(x12) + Tissue Sample(x6)
Pickaxe Terraria Guide - The Digger's Handbook - Indie Game Culture (14)Molten: Hellstone Bar(x20)
Pickaxe Terraria Guide - The Digger's Handbook - Indie Game Culture (15)Cobalt: Cobalt Bar(x15)
Pickaxe Terraria Guide - The Digger's Handbook - Indie Game Culture (16)Palladium: Palladium Bar(x18)

What’s that in the Ocean?

As early as you can make an Iron Pickaxe, you can also make a decent Fishing Rod: The Reinforced Fishing Pole. Grab up some easy bait on your way to the ocean Biome using a Bug Net purchased from the Merchant.

Have an empty house and more than 50 silver coins in your inventory to get the Merchant. Once he spawns, pick up the bug net and catch every bug you can.

Head toward the Ocean Biome and build a safe fishing spot with a crafting station for potions. You need a bottle placed on a flat platform inside a house to craft potions, such as a table or a workbench.

Place a Furnace in your Fishing House to convert sand into glass and craft bottles if you need. Craft some Sonar Potions with items found in the Ocean Biome. You’ll need one Bottled Water, Waterleaf, and Coral.

Why did I suggest all of this? You can fish up a Reaver Shark. It is the best Pickaxe until you can get a Nightmare or Deathbringer.

The Sonar Potion will tell you what you’re catching, so don’t reel in until you grab up that Reaver Shark.

Pickaxe Terraria Guide - The Digger's Handbook - Indie Game Culture (17)Reaver Shark: Fished in the Ocean Biome

Pickaxe Terraria Guide - The Digger's Handbook - Indie Game Culture (18)

Then take that Reaver Shark, which might even be your best weapon, and use it to mine up the ore you need to make weapons and armor to defeat either the Eater of Worlds or The Brain of Cthulhu.

Once either is defeated, you can make a Nightmare or Deathbringer Pickaxe. Head straight to the Underworld.

As described in this Guide, pick up some Obsidian on your way, and make a Molten Pickaxe out of Hellstone.

You’ve run through Pre-Hardmode Pickaxe grinding with ease.

An Alternate Route

Having trouble fishing, check out this Fishing Guide. If you want to avoid fishing up the Reaver Shark, you can head into the Desert Biome for some Sturdy Fossil grabbing.

Make sure you’re well-armed because charging Antlions can cause you plenty of deaths. The bow strategy is not as useful in the underground Desert Biome either, meaning you’re better off with a high Knockback, auto-swinging weapon, or a Yoyo.

You need to mine Desert Fossil and put it into an Extractinator. An Extractinator can be found in the Underground Desert Biome, so stay down there until you get one. It may take longer than fishing and is more dangerous. Still, it’s an excellent alternative route due to all the equipment you’ll be able to craft with your Sturdy Fossils.

With Some Luck

You may pick up a Bone Pickaxe from an Undead Miner while you’re digging around. If you do, go ahead and use it to get yourself the Nightmare or Deathbringer Pickaxe and skip the fishing and Fossil hunting altogether.

Pickaxe Terraria Guide - The Digger's Handbook - Indie Game Culture (19)Bone Pickaxe: Dropped by an Undead Miner

Hardmode Pickaxe Hunt

Before entering Hardmode, bring some Mining Potions and some Spelunker Potions to grab some Cobalt or Palladium as soon as you defeat the Wall of Flesh and enter Hardmode.

You’ll need a Cobalt or Palladium Pickaxe to mine Mythril or Orichalcum. You cannot mine these ores without a Molten Pickaxe.

Craft a Mythril or Orichalcum anvil as quickly as you can in Hardmode. I wouldn’t recommend spending extra time on that ore for crafting weapons. I suggest crafting some Palladium or Cobalt Armor because enemies in Hardmode hit, well, hard.

Your goal is survival until you can get Mythril or Orichalcum ore, anvil, and Pickaxe. Then start grabbing up some Hardmode weapons.

You can get a Hardmode level yoyo in the Underworld without crafting to help your mining, as described here.

Pickaxes Crafted at a Mythril or Orichalcum Anvil

Pickaxe Terraria Guide - The Digger's Handbook - Indie Game Culture (20)Mythril: Mythril Bar(x15)
Pickaxe Terraria Guide - The Digger's Handbook - Indie Game Culture (21)Orichalcum: Orichalcum Bar(x18)

To craft the following, you will need to make a Titanium or Adamantite Forge. To do this, you require 30 Adamantite or Titanium Ore and a Hellforge. Stand next to a Mythril/Orichalcum Anvil and craft it. Replace your Furnace with the new Forge.

Pickaxe Terraria Guide - The Digger's Handbook - Indie Game Culture (22)Adamantite: Adamantite Bar(x18)
Pickaxe Terraria Guide - The Digger's Handbook - Indie Game Culture (23)Titanium: Titanium Bar(x20)
Pickaxe Terraria Guide - The Digger's Handbook - Indie Game Culture (24)Pickaxe Axe: Hallowed Bar(x18) + Soul of Fright + Soul of Might + Soul of Sight
Pickaxe Terraria Guide - The Digger's Handbook - Indie Game Culture (25)Chlorophyte: Chlorophyte Bar(x18)
Pickaxe Terraria Guide - The Digger's Handbook - Indie Game Culture (26)Spectre: Spectre Bar(x18)
Pickaxe Terraria Guide - The Digger's Handbook - Indie Game Culture (27)Shroomite Digging Claw: Shroomite Bar(x18)

Not as Easy as it Seems

Sadly, once you have the Titanium Pickaxe, your journey for the best digging tools comes to a dangerous halt.

You’ll have to commit to killing the Mechanical Bosses to progress at all. Hopefully, you’ve got some good weapons to match your Titanium Armor choice. A sky bridge, a Unicorn Mount, some Heart Statues linked up to timers, and a fearless run back and forth while battling strategy should get you through these bosses.

Make sure to save at least 18 of the Hallow Bars the Bosses drop, and only make a weapon if you have enough leftover.

The Mimics in the Underground Crimson or Corruption and the Mimics in the Underground Hallow drop good weapons. Farm them a bit for battle if you are in dire need.

Use the Tinkerer’s workshop to put Light and Dark shards together with Souls of Light and craft some wings before fighting those Mechanical Bosses, but beat all three of them.

Then craft the Pickaxe Axe.

With that beautiful Pickaxe, you can now mine Chlorophyte Ore. Be careful as you might trigger Plantera, but start getting as much Chlorophyte Ore as possible.

It is possible to build the Chlorophyte Pickaxe now, but it is unneeded. The Pickaxe Axe will do you plenty good until you defeat Golem.

Final Pickaxe Choices

Pickaxe Terraria Guide - The Digger's Handbook - Indie Game Culture (28)

A Shroomite Digging Glove is an excellent Pickaxe to stand by for your digging purposes. It’s so fast. As I mention earlier, I believe the best Pickaxe is the Picksaw for its versatility. Like the Pickaxe Axe, it is both an Axe and a Pickaxe. Unlike the Pickaxe Axe, it can mine every block in the game.

Pickaxe Terraria Guide - The Digger's Handbook - Indie Game Culture (29)Picksaw: Dropped by Golem Boss in the Jungle Temple

There are four more Pickaxes that can be forged at an Ancient Manipulator.

Pickaxe Terraria Guide - The Digger's Handbook - Indie Game Culture (30)Nebula: Nebula Fragment(x12) + Luminite Bar(x10)
Pickaxe Terraria Guide - The Digger's Handbook - Indie Game Culture (31)Solar Flare: Solar Fragment(x12) + Luminite Bar(x10)
Pickaxe Terraria Guide - The Digger's Handbook - Indie Game Culture (32)Stardust: Stardust Fragment(x12) + Luminite Bar(x10)
Pickaxe Terraria Guide - The Digger's Handbook - Indie Game Culture (33)Vortex: Vortex Fragment(x12) + Luminite Bar(x10)

These Pickaxes can only be crafted after defeating the Moon Lord. They have the highest damage of any Pickaxe and the Highest Pickaxe Power. The only difference between them is the way they look.

If you don’t feel like switching between weapons while you dig your world up to rid it of Corruption or whatever your plans are, these are the optimum pickaxes for you.

Best Modifier

Light is almost always the best modifier for any of your pickaxes as it increases their mining speed. Legendary will be equally effective in some cases while also providing damage boosts.

Pickaxes that benefit from Legendary more than Light are:

Cactus Pickaxe, Candy Cane Pickaxe, Mythril Pickaxe, Orichalcum Pickaxe, Adamantite Pickaxe, Titanium Pickaxe, Chlorophyte Pickaxe, Spectre Pickaxe, Pickaxe Axe, Picksaw, and Luminite Pickaxes.

Every Pickaxe

Here’s a list of all the Pickaxes available as of ‘Version 1.4.0.1’ on the Desktop. Note that some of these may have slightly different stats or requirements on non-PC versions of Terraria.

A quick table guide.

  • D stands for damage. KB stands for knockback.
  • For Knockback and Damage, the higher the number, the better.
  • The lower the number, the faster it mines blocks for Mining Speed.
  • The higher Mining Power is relative to how quickly it can mine ore.
PickaxeAcquire By/ Can MinePickaxe Power CombatMining SpeedBonus

Effects

Copper PickaxeSpawn, Craft. Gold35D-4 KB-2

Fast

15-1 Range
Cactus PickaxeCraft. Gold.35D-4 KB-2

Fast

16
Tin PickaxeCraft. Gold.35D-5 KB-2

Fast

14
Iron PickaxeCraft. Gold.40D-5 KB-2

Very Fast

13
Lead PickaxeCraft. Gold.43D-6 KB-2

Very Fast

12
Silver PickaxeCraft. Gold.45D-6 KB-2

Very Fast

11
Tungsten PickaxeCraft. Meteorite.50D-6 KB-2

Fast

19
Gold PickaxeCraft. Crimtane.55D-6 KB-2

Very Fast

17
Candy Cane PickaxePresents. Crimtane.55D-7 KB-2.5

Very Fast

16
Platinum PickaxeCraft. Crimtane.59D-7 KB-2

Very Fast

15
Fossil PickaxeCraft. Crimtane.55D-8 KB-4

Very Fast

14
Bone PickaxeUndead Miner. Crimtane.55D-8 KB-3

Very Fast

11
Reaver SharkFishing in the Ocean. Crimtane.59D-16 KB-3

Fast

13
Nightmare PickaxeCraft- Corruption. Hellstone.65D-9 KB-3

Very Fast

15
Deathbringer PickaxeCraft- Crimson. Hellstone.70D-12 KB-3.5

Fast

14
Molten PickaxeCraft. Cobalt.100D-12 KB-2

Fast

18Causes On Fire! To enemies
Cobalt PickaxeCraft. Mythril.110D-10 KB-5

Fast

13
Palladium PickaxeCraft. Mythril.130D-12 KB-5

Fast

12
Mythril PickaxeCraft. Titanium.150D-15 KB-5

Fast

10
Orichalcum PickaxeCraft. Titanium.165D-17 KB-5

Fast

9
Adamantite PickaxeCraft. Titanium.180D-20 KB-5

Fast

8
Titanium PickaxeCraft. Titanium.190D-27 KB-5

Fast

7
Spectre PickaxeCraft. Chlorophyte.200D-32 KB-5.3

Fast

10+3 Range
Chlorophyte PickaxeCraft. Chlorophyte.200D-40 KB-5

Fast

7+1 Range
Pickaxe AxeCraft. Chlorophyte.200D-35 KB-4.8

Fast

7Axe Power 110
Shroomite Digging ClawCraft. Chlorophyte.200D-45 KB-6

Very Fast

4-1 Range. Axe Power 125.
PicksawGolem Boss. ALL.210D-34 KB-5.5

Very Fast

6+1 Range. Axe Power 125.
Vortex PickaxeCraft. ALL.225D-80 KB-5.5

Very Fast

6+4 Range.
Nebula PickaxeCraft. ALL.225D-80 KB-5.5

Very Fast

6+4 Range.
Solar Flare PickaxeCraft. ALL.225D-80 KB-5.5

Very Fast

6+4 Range.
Stardust PickaxeCraft. ALL.225D-80 KB-5.5

Very Fast

6+4 Range.

Two Pickaxes Left Out

Pickaxe Terraria Guide - The Digger's Handbook - Indie Game Culture (34)The Candy Cane Pickaxe can only be acquired during the Christmas Event in December each year and is randomly obtained from opening Presents dropped by enemies.

The Cactus Pickaxe is funny but barely more effective than a Copper Pickaxe, so it isn’t needed.

Pickaxe Terraria Guide - The Digger's Handbook - Indie Game Culture (35)Cactus: Cactus(x15) by a workbench

Any Tips?

  • Upgrading your Pickaxe before your weapons will speed up your progress in-game significantly.
  • Drills are an alternative with higher mining speed and pretty good DPS.
  • A Gravediggers Shovel is the best option for mining on the surface, such as building lakes and such. The “Ultimate Digging
  • Tool” is the Mount: Drill Containment Unit.

FAQ’s

Question: What’s the hardest Pickaxe to craft?

Answer: Seeing as you must kill the Moon Lord, I will say the Luminite Pickaxes.

Question: What’s the worst Pickaxe?

Answer: The Copper is, but since you don’t have to do anything to get it, I will say the Tungsten because it is such a huge waste of ore to even craft one.

Question: Are Drills Better?

Answer: I don’t think so, but the stats back up their effectiveness. You will have to chalk it up to your play style. The Laser Drill does have a good argument for being worth keeping on your quick bar. Its range is incredible.

Question: Why can’t I mine the Hardmode Ore?

Answer: The biggest mistake many new players make is not getting a Molten pickaxe before Hardmode. It’s the only pre-Hardmode Pickaxe that can mine Cobalt or Palladium. So, you’ll need to consult this Guide and upgrade your pickaxes.

Happy Mining

I hope we have managed to help you with any questions related to Pickaxes in Terraria. As you can see, they are the very core of the game. Of all the weapons and tools, a pickaxe is the most necessary.

A player without a pickaxe will eventually hit an impassible wall.

Pickaxe Terraria Guide - The Digger's Handbook - Indie Game Culture (36)

Craft Your Adventure in Terraria’s Pixelated Realm | GOG

Embark on a boundless adventure in the pixelated sandbox world of Terraria, where you can dig, build, and explore to your heart's content. With endless possibilities for creativity and discovery, join millions of players in crafting your own epic journey.

Check PriceBuy at Amazon

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

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Bryan Hughes

Bryan is a writer and a gamer that loves to seek out the most emotional tales throughout the video game world. Discovering hidden gems, unique gameplay concepts and new takes on traditional genres are his reasons for constantly trying out indie titles. He’s had a membership to Newgrounds since 2004 where he has seen titles like Monster Sanctuary go from online passion projects into full-fledged indie games. He has worked as a screenwriter for films in China and the US for the last 15 years, including two currently in pre-production television series, Blood Lungs and The Girl From the Gate. His passion for storytelling is only rivaled by his passion for gaming.

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