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A comprehensive tier list of every Hardmode Armor in the game.

J. Bame 666

Terrarian
Guide Category
Weapon/Gear Use
While Pre Hardmode's armor progression is nothing special, Hardmode opens up a lot of variety in armor sets, with some being more viable than others due to their special set bonuses, or the raw stats they provide. This guide will cover every armor available and rank them based on their viability.

The Different ranks are:

S Rank: Overshadows everything else available, this armor should be nerfed in its current state because it's simply overpowered.
A Rank: Very solid, but far from broken. This is the armor you should usually go for, as it will always perform very well.
B Rank: Not exactly bad, but there is something better available.
C Rank: Mediocre, there is definitely another armor you should be wearing instead.
F Rank: Completely useless. There is never a reason to even consider this.

Note that Hybrid Sets made from the combination of different armor segments exist and are usually better than the full armor sets. This guide won't cover these hybrid builds, but if an armor has a particularly good piece for mixing it will have a "#" next to its rank and a brief description of why the specific piece is used.

It should be obvious that each armor will be ranked relative to other sets in its current stage of progression. There is also no way you will agree with my full list, so you are perfectly free to criticize the hell out of it if you disagree with me.

Pre-Mechanical Boss

Pearlwood Armor
Stats:
+8 Defense.

Rank: F

Well, duh. Should I even rank this?

Cobalt Armor
Stats:
+27 Defense, +3% Crit chance, +27% Melee speed, +17% Movement Speed (Melee)
+19 Defense, +10% Ranged damage, +9% Ranged Crit Chance, +10% Movement Speed, %20 chance not to consume ammo (Ranged)
+17 Defense, +12% Magic Crit chance, +40 Max Mana, -14% Mana usage, +10% Movement Speed, (Magic)

Rank: F

Imagine being worse than Pre-Hardmode armors. At least Pearlwood has the excuse of never being meant to be good to begin with. This is basically the Hardmode equivalent of Copper/Tin armor, and you should never make it for the exact same reasons you should never craft Copper/Tin armor.


Palladium Armor
Stats:
+32 Defense, +13% Melee damage, +3% Melee Crit chance, +12% Melee speed (Melee)
+23 Defense, +14% Ranged damage, +12% Ranged Crit Chance (Ranged)
+21 Defense, +12% Magic Damage, +10% Magic Crit Chance, +60 Max Mana (Magic)
Set bonus: Gain Rapid Healing (+3 HP/sec) when in combat.

Rank: A

Slightly below average stats, but the Rapid Healing buff more than makes up for it. A very easily made armor set that remains solid all the way up to Plantera. This is an example of high regeneration being better than raw stats.

Mythril Armor
Stats:
+37 Defense, +15% Melee damage, +13% Melee Crit chance (Melee)
+27 Defense, +17% Ranged damage, +10% Ranged Crit Chance, 20% chance not to consume ammo (Ranged)
+24 Defense, +15% Magic Damage, +3% Magic Crit Chance, +60 Max Mana -17% Mana usage (Magic)

Rank: C

It doesn't have low stats, but they are not high either. It doesn't take too long to get, but it's not as easily obtained as Cobalt/Palladium either. It doesn't even have an interesting design, why is everything made with Mythril so flat?

Orichalcum Armor
Stats:
+42 Defense, +7% Melee damage, +6% Crit chance, +7% Melee Speed, +18% Movement Speed (Melee)
+30 Defense, +21% Ranged Crit Chance, +19% Movement Speed (Ranged)
+27 Defense, +24% Magic Crit Chance, +80 Max Mana +11% Movement Speed (Magic)
Set Bonus: After hitting an enemy, a piercing petal with 30 base damage and a 1 second cooldown appears from the edge of the screen.

Rank: A/B*

Very, very underrated. Acceptable stats, and an excellent set bonus for crowd control that is also a flat +30 DPS increase, which by Pre Mech weapon standards allows it to compete with Adamantite armor on single target DPS. With good matchups against Skeletron Prime, Plantera Phase 2 and especially Destroyer I'm surprised this doesn't get used more often.

* The stat bonuses for the Melee Helmet are so bad that it's only good for crowd control in that case.

Adamantite Armor
Stats:
+50 Defense, +20% Melee damage, +11% Melee Crit chance, +18% Melee Speed, +23% Movement speed (Melee)
+36 Defense, +20% Ranged damage, +12% Ranged Crit Chance, 25% chance not to consume ammo, +5% Movement speed (Ranged)
+32 Defense, +17% Magic Damage, +15% Magic Crit Chance, +80 Max Mana, -19% Mana usage, +5% Movement speed (Magic)

Rank: B

A decent package of raw stats. There isn't much more to say about this; 1.1 sets really haven't aged too well.

Titanium Armor
Stats:
+49 Defense, +15% Melee Damage, +14% Crit Chance, +8% Melee Speed, +6% Movement Speed (Melee)
+34 Defense, +21% Ranged Damage, +13% Ranged Crit Chance, +6% Movement Speed (Ranged)
+30 Defense, +23% Magic Damage, +13% Magic Crit Chance, +100 Max Mana, +6% Movement Speed (Magic)
Set Bonus: While in combat, grants the Shadow Dodge buff every 30 seconds, which will guarantee you to not take damage from the next attack.

Rank: S

You probably noticed that the 1.2 ore sets were designed with somewhat below average stats with a very good set bonus to compensate. This not only breaks the rule by having very good stats, it also has an insane set bonus. The Shadow Dodge is so powerful that it can be used all the way up to Moon Lord, it's that good.

Frost Armor
Stats:
+43 Defense, +16% Melee and Ranged Damage, +11% Melee and Ranged Crit Chance, +7% Melee Speed, +8% Movement Speed
Set bonus: Melee and Ranged attacks inflict Frostburn (8 Damage over time)

Rank: C#

The flashy set bonus and the fact it is made with Adamantite/Titanium Bars work together to hide the fact that this is nothing more than a Mythril armor set trying to convince you it's doing a bit more. 8 DoT from Frostburn is unlikely to change anything starting from this point in the game, so it's basically QoL in caves with a minimum effect in combat. That Frost Chestplate (+11% Melee and Ranged Crit) is pretty nice for mixed sets, though.

Forbidden Armor
Stats:
+26 Defense, +15% Magic and Minion damage, +80 Max Mana, +2 Minion slots.
Set bonus: Double tapping down Summons an Ancient at the Cursor's location, with 20 base Minion and Magic damage (Meaning it benefits from buffs to both)

Rank: B#

Very low stats for both Magic and Summoner, but two bads make a good when you add minions to your magic attacks. The main selling point is its excellent set bonus, which is basically a Nimbus Rod Cloud, except that it's much wider and significantly easier to spam and take advantage of. Stats are still below average though, and the set bonus isn't too amazing when you realize how poorly it combines with Spiders and your Nimbus Rods.

The Forbidden Treads give +2 minion slots, which makes this insane for pure hybrid builds, especially once the Xeno Staff and Stardust Dragon are available.

Spider Armor
Stats:
+20 Defense, +4 Minion slots, +28% Minion damage
Rank: C

The only viable Summoner armor. The problem lies in the fact that summoners are very weak at this point in the game, so as fun as this can be it's not good enough to justify playing Summoner over any other class.

Pre-Plantera

Hallowed Armor
Stats:
+50 Defense, +17% Melee Damage, +17% Melee Crit chance, +29% Melee Speed, +27% Movement Speed (Melee)
+35 Defense, +22% Ranged Damage, +15% Ranged Crit Chance, 25% chance not to consume ammo, +8% Movement Speed (Ranged)
+31 Defense, +19% Magic Damage, +19% Magic Crit Chance, +100 Max Mana, -20% Mana usage, +8% Movement Speed (Magic)

Rank: A#

Sometimes you just can't beat a bunch of raw stats. May be worse than the Tavernkeep's armors in Pre Plantera, but scales better into the Post Golem tier in comparison. Special mention to the Magic variant, as it is arguably the best offensive set in the game for a Mage. About half of the stats come from the Hallowed Helmets, which makes them very solid when hybridizing.

Squire Armor
Stats:
+56 Defense, +15% Melee Damage, +30% Minion Damage, +20% Melee Crit chance, +2 Sentry Slots, +4 HP/sec.
Set Bonus: You get the Ballista Panic! buff when hit, doubling Ballistas' attack speed for 5 seconds.

Rank: S#

Totally busted. Great offensive stats, insane defensive ones with 4 HP/sec regeneration and 56 defense, and tons of Minion damage and Sentry slots for all your Mini Twins and Queen Spiders. Even if the Ballista Rod is worse than the Queen Spider, the Set Bonus will be very useful once you have to deal with OOA Tier 3. It also comes with not one but two great pieces for hybrid armors: Squire's Great Helm with its regen and Squire's Greaves with 20% Melee crit chance and 15% Minion damage.

Monk Armor
Stats:
+46 Defense, +20% Melee Damage, +30% Minion Damage, +10% Melee Crit chance, +2 Sentry Slots, +20% Melee Speed and Movement Speed.
Set Bonus: Lightning Auras attack faster and gain a set 25% Crit Chance..

Rank: A#

I'm not too sure what was exactly the point of giving Melee two Tavernkeep sets, especially when one of them is worse than the other in every way. I suppose that this is the alternative to Squire armor if you don't want to use the busted sets. The Set Bonus is probably the most significant out of all the OOA sets, but Lightning Auras are still worse than the Queen Spider.

The Monk's Shirt is also the strongest Melee Chest piece in the game, with a massive 20% damage increase for all your hybridizing needs.

Apprentice armor
Stats:
+32 defense, +10% Magic Damage, +30% Minion Damage, +2 Sentry slots, +20% Magic Crit chance, -10% Mana usage.
Set Bonus: Flameburst Sentries gain greatly increased range.

Rank: B#

The 3 sentry slots and 30% Minion damage are still amazing, but the rest of this armor is not. Those stats are simply too low to be good. I don't know and I don't care about how much the Set Bonus improves Flameburst sentries because they are still worse than the Queen Spider and range is nothing significant when you use them again in Tier 3. The Apprentice Leggings give an unlisted 20% Magic Crit Chance, making it much better than it may look on your hybrid builds.

Huntress armor
Stats:
+36 defense, +20% Ranged Damage, +30% Minion Damage, +10% Ranged Crit chance, +2 extra sentry slots, +20% Movement Speed.
Set Bonus: Explosive Traps inflict the Oiled debuff, making enemies take 2 extra DoT from fire Debuffs.

Rank: A#

Literally Monk Armor for Ranged, everything I said about it applies to this as well. The Huntress' Jerkin is identical to Monk's Shirt and also very solid for hybrid sets.

Special mention to the fact that this armor has the undisputed worst Set Bonus in the entire game that only affects the undisputed worst Sentry in the entire game by making it inflict the undisputed worst Debuff in the entire game.

Chlorophyte Armor
Stats:
+56 Defense, +21% Melee Damage, +21% Melee Crit chance, +5% Movement Dpeed (Melee)
+44 Defense, +21% Ranged Damage, +15% Ranged Crit Chance, +5% Movement Dpeed (Ranged)
+38 Defense, +21% Magic Damage, +15% Magic Crit Chance, +80 Max Mana, -17% Mana usage, +5% Movement Speed (Magic)
Set Bonus: Summons a Leaf Crystal, which shoots a single projectile with 100 base damage every 0,85 seconds.

Rank: B#

A clone of Hallowed armor, sacrificing some secondary stats such as Melee Speed and Mana for a Passive attack. While the Crystal can be useful, it's also dumb and inaccurate, and at the end of the day crafting this set is a massive waste of time and Chlorophyte since you'll replace it with a Post Plantera armor immediately after.

The Chlorophyte Mask is the best Melee Helmet in the game, losing only Melee speed compared to the Hallowed Helmet.

Turtle Armor
Stats:
+65 Defense, +14% Melee Damage, +12% Melee Crit chance, Enemies are more likely to target you.
Set bonus: When you take contact damage, your attacker gets hit just as hard.

Rank: C#

That's a nice defense stat, but that's not enough to make up for the fact that this is below Mythril armor offensively, with a Set Bonus that is one of those things in Terraria that you can multiply by 10 and still wouldn't be any good. That Turtle Scale Mail is very good for melee hybrid sets however, even if it's outclassed by Monk's Shirt.

Post Plantera

Tiki Armor
Stats:
+30 Defense, +30% Minion Damage, +4 Minion Slots
Rank: C/A

Just like Spider Armor, this is the only viable summoner armor at this point, and since Summoners are still a weak class this isn't very strong. Until you get a Xeno Staff, that is. Then everything changes and suddenly Summoner becomes an insane class, and things only get better once you gain access to the Stardust Dragon Staff.

Spooky Armor
Stats:
+27 Defense, +56% Minion Damage, +3 Minion Slots.

Rank: A

Despite losing a Minion Slot, this is still better than Tiki armor. Except that you are never going to actually wear this outside of summoning sessions, after which you'll switch back to Tiki for the extra minion.

Beetle Armor
Stats:
+61 Defense, +44% Melee Damage, +8% Melee Crit Chance, +42% Melee Speed, +12% Movement Speed. (Scale Mail)
+73 Defense, Up to +45% Damage reduction, +11% Melee Damage, +5% Melee Crit Chance, +6% Melee Speed, +6 Movement Speed. (Shell)

Rank: A

Because a mass of raw stats just can't be beaten. Whether you want to be offensive or defensive, this armor comes with the best for each playstyle.

Spectre Armor
+42 Defense, +20% Magic Damage, +12% Magic Crit Chance, +60 Max Mana, -13% Mana usage, +8% Movement Speed (Mask)
+30 Defense, -25% Magic Damage, +8% Magic Crit Chance, +60 Max Mana, +8% Movement Speed (Hood)
Set Bonus: Enemy hits spawn homing magic orbs that deal 50% of the hit's damage, not counting crits (Mask)/Enemy hits spawn healing orbs that heal by 20% of the hit's damage.

Rank: C/S

Little known fact, the orbs spawned with the Mask each have a cooldown, this means that with something that hits very rapidly you will initially get a massive burst of balls, and then very disappointing DPS. "something that hits very rapidly" is how you describe every good Post Plantera weapon, so this a worse choice than Hallowed armor.

Spectre Hood sits at S rank tho, because immortality with lifesteal is as good as it is cheap.

Shroomite Armor
+51 Defense, +15% Damage for Arrows, Bullets or Rockets, +13% Ranged damage, +25% Ranged Crit Chance, +20% chance not to consume ammo, +12% movement speed.
Set Bonus: Standing completely still makes you go into stealth mode, giving up to +60% Damage, +10% Crit chance, and +50% Knockback.

Rank: A#

Once again, Raw stats are the way to go. The damage increase from the helmets is applied after all other damage buffs, meaning that unless you have no setup at all it will be much more than +15%. This has the best Ranged Helmet and second best Ranged Chest slot for hybridizing, and you should probably do that since the Shroomite Leggings and the set bonus are nothing special.

Dark Artist Armor
Stats:
+42 defense, +25% Magic Damage and Crit Chance, +60% Minion Damage, +3 extra sentry slots.
Set Bonus: Greatly increases Flameburst Sentry range.

Rank: A#

Hallowed may be a better set for a pure mage, but the massive +60% minion damage increase makes this a much better armor to use with your Xeno Staff and then the Stardust Dragon. Even if Flameburst sentries are a bit weak, they still help a decent amount against Pillars.

It also comes with the best Magic leg slot in the game, with a massive +25% crit chance.

Shinobi Infiltrator Armor
Stats:
+54 defense, +20% Melee damage, Crit Chance, Melee and Movement Speed, +60% Minion Damage, +3 extra sentry slots.
Set bonus: Lightning Auras hit 20% faster and gain a set 25% crit chance

Rank: B

The combination of solid stats for pure Melee, a 60% damage increase for your Dragon, and a very efficient set bonus that enhances what is arguably the best sentry in the game would make this the best offensive armor in the game against the Pillars and Moon Lord. The keyword there is "would", because the Auras and the Dragon both make a ton of Iframes and there is currently no endgame melee weapon that doesn't pierce (Yes, Daybreak counts as a piercing projectile, ask the game on that one), so you will never get to use this armor to its max potential. It's still very decent with a Xeno/Stardust Cell Staff though, so it's not the end of the world.

Red Riding Armor
Stats:
+48 defense, +25% Ranged Damage +10% Crit Chance, +60% Minion Damage, +3 extra sentry slots, +20% Movement Speed
Set Bonus: Explosive Traps inflict Oiled!, making enemies take 2 more DoT from fire debuffs.

Rank: B#

Again, a +60% Dragon is insane. The thing is, the Vortex Beater and the Phantasm are both so strong for the Pillars and Moon Lord respectively than going full Shroomite to max out their damage instead is better. And yes, Explosive Traps are still bad and the Set Bonus still rivals the Obsidian Rose for utility.

When hybridizing, the Red Riding Dress may be a tiny bit weaker than the Shroomite Chest, but that doesn't matter since it comes with a massive 25% Minion damage increase as well.

Valhalla Knight Armor
Stats:
+64 defense, +8 HP/sec, +20% Crit Chance, +60% Minion Damage, +3 extra sentry slots, +20% Movement Speed.
Set Bonus: Getting hit doubles all Ballistas' attack speed for 5 seconds.
Rank: C#

Completely carried by the broken Chestplate. That's the one good thing about this armor, since 60% minion damage doesn't matter when you don't get anything else and the sentry this supports suffers from being slow, dumb and inaccurate, and the set bonus only temporarily fixes the "Slow" aspect.

But even if the Valhalla Knight Armor isn't good, the Valhalla Chestplate is so ridiculously broken that every single Hybrid armor set that wants to stand a chance against Moon Lord wants it. Also, the 20% Crit chance from the leg slot is universal, which makes me think this armor was never really meant to be used as a full set.


Post Moon Lord
TLDR: They are all S rank except for Nebula Armor, which is on a tier of its own since it's so grossly broken even among the overpowered.

I mean, these sets were literally designed to be broken. Is there any reason to actually rank them considering the only thing you do with them is flex on previous challenges?
 
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Lord Garak

Retinazer
I wasn't expecting to agree with most of this list. I'm glad you understand (unlike many people) how overpowered life regeneration is. However, I would still 1) boost Palladium another tier by its sheer longevity, 2) Lower Hallow for being generally inferior to Palladium and Titanium, 3) Lower Solar for being so inferior to Nebula armor.

I am praying that the OOA, especially Squire and Valhalla, recieve heavy rebalances in 1.4, because otherwise they will remain definitively busted beyond repair. I don't like making individual armor pieces more broken than set bonuses, and that's what the Squire/Valhalla combo does currently.
 

J. Bame 666

Terrarian
Palladium is staying where it is because as good as regen is you can only get away with low stats for so long. Against a fast paced boss like Plantera phase 2 or OOA, you are better off with plain offensive stats than regen. Which isn't to say that Palladium isn't viable for Plantera, but rather that it's not S rank because it's not so overpowered at the end of the day.

Hallowed may probably be worse than Palladium in some cases, but that doesn't mean it's a bad armor set by itself. Raw stats are just too good.

Meanwhile Nebula armor is a better Melee and Ranged set than Solar and Vortex respectively which is why it's in a tier of its own instead of S tier right now.
 
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ppowersteef

Paladin
That's one interesting find about the Shroomite Helmets, I've never noticed that myself.
I don't think it's a significiant increase though, (seen so far 2-3 damage difference with it) but it is an increase nonetheless.
It gives me the reason again to prefer it over the Hallowed or Chlorophyte Helmet.
(Also, Solar Flare Chestpiece has 2% more melee damage than the Monk piece does, making the monk chestpiece technically the second best melee chestpiece. Still a huge lot for it's early access though.)
 
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J. Bame 666

Terrarian
The same is also true for everything that increases a specific type of damage, aka Magic Quiver and Archery potions. And it is quite significant, you are probably looking at something with fairly low base damage, because with something like a Phantasm (50 base damage only) the difference can be up to 5 points, which is the equivalent of 10% extra damage.

Monk might be the second best melee chest but who really cares about hybrid sets at Post ML.
 

Blood Crawler

Brain of Cthulhu
Frost armor is good if you're using both ranged and melee weapons since some players like me don't like binding themselves to a class.
Don't forget that if you got admanite in your world, frozen armor will be a better choice to craft because it both porvides good defence and damage buffs with some DoT damage.
 

Lord Garak

Retinazer
Frost armor is good if you're using both ranged and melee weapons since some players like me don't like binding themselves to a class.
Don't forget that if you got admanite in your world, frozen armor will be a better choice to craft because it both porvides good defence and damage buffs with some DoT damage.
Jack of all trades, master of none.
 

J. Bame 666

Terrarian
Frost armor is good if you're using both ranged and melee weapons since some players like me don't like binding themselves to a class.
Don't forget that if you got admanite in your world, frozen armor will be a better choice to craft because it both porvides good defence and damage buffs with some DoT damage.
Except that playing like that is strictly worse than just playing with only Melee or Ranged weapons, with an armor that will fully benefit either weapon type. And I'm not too sure where the "Frost > Adamantite" misconception comes from, since you can tell by the stats I listed that Adamantite has better stats*. And 8 DoT from Frostburn is never going to do anything relevant since even the average good weapon in Pre-Mech has 600 DPS or more.

* Frost gives more defense to Rangers, not that it matters a lot since you are the strongest class in the game that doesn't really care about defense over DPS.
 
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