Terraria: Difference between different blocks?

I’m new to Terraria. One of the main points of the game, of course, is building various structures. The main material used for this is blocks, which you get by mining out various native resources. But is there any practical difference between blocks? If I can build a house entirely out of dirt blocks (of which I have an overflowing supply, from tunneling for other resources), is there any reason not to? Or should I make sure it’s wood, or stone, or some other even more exotic material?

As far as I know–and I’ve put a stupid number of hours into this game–most blocks don’t matter as far as what you build with them, except aesthetics. If you build with blocks from the corruption or the good world (whatever it’s called, I forget), those blocks are infectious and will spread their biome very slowly to the blocks nearby, so you might want to be careful with them. But otherwise, build what you think is pretty and/or what you have at hand.

I haven’t played the game in ages so things might have changed but, back when I played, the only practical difference was that Dungeon Blocks (from Skeletron’s dungeon) were immune to explosion effects. Every now and then you’d get the goblin event including the exploding dudes who’d put holes in your house. If you used dungeon blocks, they couldn’t blow through. I had an underground house with four layers of dungeon stone on top so the goblins could try to invade and just impotently explode up above my bunker.

But, even then, wood/earth/stone/gold/etc was all academic since they were all equally subject to getting blown up – only dungeon blocks were immune.

The above is mostly true. However, let me clarify something: If you want to build a dirt house, such as to simulate an abode abode, make sure you place the "rear"wall. A naturally-occurring background doesn’t count for housing.

I’m not 100% sure, but I think it’s since been changed so that enemies only use non-block-destroying explosives.

Yeah, really the only difference is that some blocks (dirt, stone, sand, and mud, I think) can be infected by corruption, crimson, or hallow (in hardmode). So you might want to be careful about using those in your constructions. If you have farms or things like that you would want to make sure they’re properly insulated.

There was an advantage to building with wood in earlier versions. Since wood could only be harvested by an axe, it protects you from accidentally damaging your building with a careless swing of the pickaxe. That’s no longer the case now that all blocks (including glass) are harvested with a pickaxe.

Some NPCs, such as the Merchant and the Painter, sell biome-specific items.

To clarify: Raw ebonstone, pearlstone, and crimstone will infect nearby blocks, but bricks made from them will not.

On another note, how amazing is it that they’re still adding stuff to the game for free? Version 1.3.1 came out a few days ago, and they’ve added goodies like conveyor belts and logic gates. If you’re still playing, do yourself a favor and craft a The Grand Design; it is a ridiculous improvement over previous wrenches.

Wasn’t there one NPC that would only move into a house if it was in a mushroom biome? Which meant you had to put down dirt and mushroom seeds, then build a house on top of that. It wasn’t strictly necessary, but I then made mushroom blocks and mushroom furniture and used that to build his house.

But yeah other than crimson or corrupted blocks, it doesn’t matter what the NPC houses are made of as long as they are completely enclosed, and have a piece of furniture and a light. I made a huge tower out of cloud blocks, then had houses spreading out from the top of it. All the houses were made of different material. I had a wood house, pumpkin house, glass house, cactus house, etc. All with the appropriate furniture, though I felt bad for the NPC that had to sleep in the cactus bed :stuck_out_tongue:

Yeah, the truffle NPC will only move into a house in a mushroom biome. Other NPCs will vary what they sell in different biomes. The witch doctor sells more stuff in the jungle. The steampunker will sell blue solution if she lives in the hallow. The merchant will sell different things in the frozen biome. Probably a lot of other variations.

Yeah, we’ve already discovered that. It makes it annoying to build underground, since you have to completely clear out the natural background first, which appears to require excavating from the top. Natural livewood, however, does seem to be considered acceptable housing.

And I assume that one of those "abode"s was supposed to be “adobe”.

At the present point in the game, I still have no idea what you’re talking about, nor about the Wiki page you linked.

Ah, sorry, that was directed at experienced players. In due time you’ll be able to get wrenches to place wires and make nifty mechanisms.

OK, bumping this because I’ve found one (or more) types of blocks which are noticeably different, in that I can’t seem to dent them even with a gold pickaxe. One is the igneous rock that forms when molten lava comes into contact with water. Which is annoying, because I wanted my deep borehole to go straight down, and I had just figured out how to safely get past that giant lava pool in my way when I accidentally watered the entire top surface.

There are also two places I’ve found where similarly-durable rock exists naturally: One of them forms a serpentine tunnel from the surface to deep underground, starting in the nasty biome with face monsters and chimeras. The other has lumps near the boundary between a desert and a more habitable zone.

I’m not sure if they’re all three the same substance (I’d notice if they were right next to each other, but they’re not), and regardless, I’d like to figure out a way to get through them.

Obsidian requires a Nightmare/Deathbringer Pickaxe or better.

You have 3 choices:

  1. Use explosives.
  2. Go fishing and hope to catch a Reaver Shark.
  3. Go to the Corruption/Crimson (whichever your world has), and mine Demonite/Crimtane and kill some enemies for Shadow Scales/Tissue Samples, which you can then use to craft the pickaxe (you’ll need 36 of the ore (to turn into 12 bars of metal) and 6 of the body parts).

OK, I just did some Wiki-reading, and it looks like:

Getting Tissue Samples requires fighting the Brain of Cthulhu
Summoning the Brain of Cthulhu requires the Bloody Spine
Crafting the Bloody Spine requires Vicious Powder
Crafting Vicious Powder requires an alchemy station or a bottle
And I have no idea how to get an alchemy station or bottle.

So I guess I’m going to blast through.

Oh, wait, you’ve definitely got Crimson. That tunnel’s lined with Crimstone, which is harder than Crimtane, which is a bit different in colour. But…now you know where to go to get the stuff for the Deathbringer pickaxe.

Deep in the Crimson you’ll find these ugly round red things called “beating hearts” – destroy three of them (with bombs or a hammer) and the Brain will spawn. I strongly recommend you build an arena first.

  1. Get sand (from a desert, beach or underground)
  2. Smelt sand into glass at a furnace
  3. Craft bottles from glass
  4. Place one bottle on table or workbench
  5. ???
  6. Profit!