Terraria – Definitive Guide to All Things NPC

This will be a guide to help with moving in all of the game’s various NPCs, getting the most happiness out of them, finding their exclusive items, as well as clearing up how houses work, to exploit them or give better ideas for how/where to build them.

All Things NPC Guide

Spawn Conditions

First off, obtaining the NPCS themselves! This will be a simple rundown on each NPC with how/when they move in.

Pre-Hardmode

  • Guide: Spawns naturally on world creation.
  • Merchant: Spawns when you have 50 Silver or more, also naturally spawns on the secret seed “Not the Bees!”.
  • Nurse: Spawns when you have more than 100 health, and have a merchant.
  • Dye Trader: Spawns when you have any dye-related items in your inventory, including dyes, ingredients, or strange plants.
  • Demolitionist: Spawns when you have any explosives in your inventory, and naturally on the secret seed “For the Worthy”.
  • Arms Dealer: Spawns when you have any bullets, or guns in your inventory.
  • Zoologist: Spawns when you have completed 10% or more of the bestiary.
  • Painter: Spawns once 8 or more NPCS are present, including the Old Man, Traveling Merchant, and Town Pets.
  • Golfer: Can be found and rescued in the Underground Desert.
  • Angler: Can be found and woken up on the sand or water of either Beach, or sometimes in the Underworld.
  • Stylist: Can be found and rescued in a Spider Biome.
  • Goblin Tinkerer: Can be found and rescued in the Underground once the Goblin Army has been defeated.
  • Party Girl: Spawns once 14 NPCs are present, including the Old Man, Traveling Merchant, and Town Pets, naturally on the secret seeds “05162020” and “celebrationmk10”
  • Dryad: Spawns once the Eye of Cthulhu, Eater of Worlds, Brain of Cthulhu, or Skeletron has been defeated.
  • Tavernkeep: Can be found and woken up anywhere once the Eater of Worlds or Brain of Cthulhu have been defeated.
  • Witch Doctor: Spawns when the Queen Bee has been defeated.
  • Clothier: Spawns when Skeletron has been defeated.
  • Mechanic: Can be found and rescued in the Dungeon once Skeletron has been defeated.

Hardmode Exclusive

  • Truffle: Spawns only in a player made surface Glowing Mushroom Biome.
  • Tax Collector: Can be found and… saved in the Underworld by throwing Purification Powder on the enemy “Tortured Soul”.
  • Wizard: Can be found and rescued in the Underground.
  • Pirate: Spawns once the Pirate Invasion has been completed.
  • Steampunker: Spawns when one or more Mechanical Bosses have been defeated, also naturally on the secret seed “celebrationmk10”.
  • Cyborg: Spawns once Plantera has been defeated.
  • Princess: Spawns when ALL NPCs are present, not including Santa Claus or Town Pets, and naturally on the secret seed “celebrationmk10”.

Other NPCS

  • Town Cat: Spawns when the Cat License is bought from the Zoologist and used.
  • Town Dog: Spawns when the Dog License is bought from the Zoologist, after filling 25% of the bestiary, and used.
  • Town Bunny: Spawns when the Bunny License is bought from the Zoologist, after filling 45% of the bestiary, and used.
  • Santa Claus: Spawns when the Frost Legion has been defeated, and the date is between December 15th to the 31st, he dies afterwards.
  • Old Man: Spawns on world creation, can be cursed at night to fight Skeletron, respawns the next day if you fail to kill Skeletron, and will never spawn again if Skeletron has been defeated in that world.
  • Traveling Merchant: When 2 NPCs are present, not including the Old Man, he has a chance to spawn randomly between 4:30 AM and 12:00 PM, and if killed or the world is exited at any time before 12:00 PM, there’s a chance a new Traveling Merchant with a different loot table will spawn that day.
  • Skeleton Merchant: Randomly spawns underground, and his stock changes at 4:30 AM without needing to despawn.

Note: NPCs like the Goblin Tinkerer, that are randomly found throughout the world, can be found easier by using the Lifeform Analyzer accessory, as well as a Hunter Potion.

So if you’re having trouble locating them it might be a good idea to use both!

Happiness and Town Layouts

This is probably what most of you came here for, to get the best deals out of those greedy gremlins and ankle biters, and a setup to provide the easiest, yet most efficient path.

First we need to look a little in how happiness works, NPCs get happier by being near liked or loved NPCS, being in their preferred biome, and not being crowded (Which people tend to overestimate dealing with.).

First off is being crowded, if there are no more than 2 NPCs in a 25 block radius, or more than 3 npcs OUTSIDE of that 25 block radius but inside of a 120 block radius, they have a 5% bonus.

Just make sure houses are spread out enough, and NPCs will feel uncrowded with up to 5 (Or 6, if you build in a diagonal like a mad man.) NPCs in a row if done correctly.

Next is being near liked or loved NPCs, liked NPCs will give a 6% bonus, while loved NPCs give a whopping 12%. Being near a liked and loved NPC of course upping this to 18%.

While the Party Girl loves 2 NPCs, keep in mind this doesn’t change the numbers further than being near a liked and loved npc, as there is a cap. However, this still benefits you if the Party Girl is in a neutral/disliked biome, or feels crowded.

Also as a side note, if you feel like NPCs should or should not detect another NPC and wonder why, look further down at the housing guide and how NPCs detect each other.

Lastly is being in a preferred biome, which gives a bonus of 6%, like being near a liked NPC.

Now while you could change the landscape to make every individual house be in the preferred biome, most players shouldn’t do this with how tedius and finicky it can be, but a tip I can give is that only the player has to be in the biome, not the NPC. So if the background and music changes, the NPC will more than likely have the happiness bonus.

So with all of this together, the maximum bonus we’re looking for is 29%, although the cap is is 25%, and some NPCs can at most get up to 23% (If they have no loved NPCs, but are near 2 liked ones.).

Town Layouts

So this is what I believe is the best town layout for NPCs, and all the bonuses you get out of them. Just keep in mind each town has to be 120 blocks apart, and each npc house in order, being 25 blocks apart (Aside from the Snow Pylon.).

  • Desert: Merchant (11%)/Nurse (17%)/Arms Dealer (23%)
  • Glowing Mushroom Bordering a Jungle: Truffle (23%)/Guide (5%)/Witch Doctor (17%)/Dryad (17%)/Painter (23%)
  • Cavern: Dye Trader (5%)/Goblin Tinkerer (25%)/Mechanic (13%)/Demolitionist (25%)/Tavernkeep (17%)
  • Beach: Pirate (23%)/Angler (17%)/Tax Collector (5%)/Clothier (11%)
  • Forest Bordering a Hallow Biome: Zoologist (17%)/Golfer (17%)/Wizard (23%)/Party Girl (25%), Stylist (5%)
  • Snow (All Close Together): Cyborg (23%)/Princess (24%)/Steampunker (23%)

After countless checking and rearranging, I legitimately can’t think of anything better, if you can, please leave a comment!

Note: Some NPCs have little to no bonus from being happy, such as the Guide with literally no bonus, the Dye Trader with really only one item being wanted from him, the Tavernkeep with JUST one item affected by happiness, the Tax Collector only getting a small boost in money, and Stylist which is either never used or used just once, and some NPCs can get further boosts from manipulating the biomes a little, especially the mechanic who is the only one in a disliked biome.

Special Drops n’ Shops

These are items sold or dropped from NPCS that you may not know about, and are a good addition to the guide to either bring attention to, or to help you remember.

Guide:

  • Green Cap, Vanity, dropped on death if named Andrew. This is a 100% chance in the secret seeds “Terraria” and “celebrationmk10”.

Merchant:

  • Marshmallow, Food, when spoken to in a Tundra.
  • Furnace, Crafting Station, when spoken to in a Jungle.
  • Pin Wheel, Decoration, when it is a Windy Day.
  • Throwing Knife, Weapon, during a Blood Moon.
  • Flares, Blue Flares, and Nails, when spoken to with the respective weapon in your inventory.
  • Tax Collector Set, Vanity, sold during Halloween.

Dye Trader:

  • Exotic Scimitar, Melee Weapon, dropped on Death.
  • Dye Trader Set, Vanity, sold during Halloween.
  • Shadow and Negative Dye, sold during a Full Moon.
  • Bloodbath Dye, sold during a Blood Moon.
  • Fogbound Dye, sold when spoken to in a Graveyard.

Demolitionist:

  • Dry, Wet, Lava, and Honey Bombs: Sold when holding each respective bomb from Obsidian/Hellstone Crates.

Arms Dealer:

  • Stynger Bullets, Stakes, Nails, Candy Corn, Explosive Jack o’ Lanterns, when spoken to with the respective weapon in your inventory.
  • Nurse Set, Vanity, sold during Halloween.
  • Quad-Barrel Shotgun, Ranged Weapon, when spoken to in a Graveyard after defeating Skeletron.

Zoologist:

  • Full Moon Squeaky Toy, Pet, sold during a Blood Moon in Hardmode.
  • Universal Pylon, when the bestiary is 100% complete.

Painter:

  • Paintball Gun, Ranged Weapon, dropped on death.
  • Illuminant Paint, when spoken to in a Graveyard Biome.
  • Various Paintings in the Crimson, Corruption, Hallow, Jungle, Tundra, Desert, many in the Graveyard, in Space only in Hardmode, and during a Blood Moon.
  • Various Wallpaper only available during Christmas.

Stylist:

  • Stylish Scissors, Melee Weapon, dropped on death.
  • Multiple exclusive hairstyles not found in character creation.

Party Girl:

  • Happy Grenade, Explosive, 30-60 dropped on death, or sold if the player has Happy Grenades in the inventory.
  • Release Doves, Fun, when spoken to in a Graveyard.
  • Lantern, during a Lantern Night.
  • Can change the game’s music in any world if you have visited the seed “05162020” before.

Dryad:

  • Vile/Vicious Powder, Corrupt/Crimson Grass Walls, and Corrupt/Crimson Seeds, during a Blood Moon. The Seeds can also be sold when spoken to in a Graveyard biome, being the opposite to the world evil.
  • Mushroom Grass Seeds, when spoken to in a Glowing Mushroom Biome.
  • Dryad Set, Vanity, sold during Halloween.

Tavernkeep:

  • Ale Tosser, Ranged Weapon, dropped on death.

Witch Doctor:

  • Stynger Bolts and Steaks, when spoken to with the respective weapon in your inventory.
  • Cauldron, Crafting Station, sold during Halloween.
  • Tiki Totem and Leaf Wings, when spoken to in a Hardmode Jungle, having to be night for the Wings.
  • Tiki Set, Armor, when spoken to with the Pygmy Staff in your inventory.
  • Hercules Beetle, Accessory, after Plantera has been defeated when spoken to in a Jungle.

Clothier:

  • Red Hat, Vanity, dropped on Death.
  • Mime and Fallen Tuxedo Set, Vanity, during a Blood Moon.
  • Graveyard, Victorian, and Funeral Sets, Vanity, when spoken to in a Graveyard. As well as the Tragic Umbrella, which functions as a normal Umbrella.
  • Beanie, Vanity, if spoken to in a Tundra.
  • Guy Fawkes Mask and Clothier Set, Vanity, sold during Halloween.

Mechanic:

  • Combat Wrench, Melee Weapon, dropped on death.

Tax Collector:

  • Classy Cane, Melee Weapon, dropped on death.

Pirate:

  • Parrot Cracker, Pet, when spoken to in an ocean.

Steampunker:

  • Ivy, Fun, dropped on death if named Whitney. This is a 100% chance on the secret seed “celebrationmk10”.
  • Various crafting stations in an Ice, Jungle, Graveyard, or Space Biome, or if the player has a Living Wood Wand in their inventory.
  • Purple/Red Solution during a Blood Moon or Solar Eclipse, and Blue Solution when in a Hallow Biome.
  • Steampunk Goggles, Vanity, sold during Halloween.

Cyborg:

  • Rocket II, during a Blood Moon, and Rocket IV during a Solar Eclipse.
  • Cyborg Set, vanity, sold during Halloween.
  • Portal Gun Station, when spoken to with a Portal Gun or Portal Gun Station in the inventory.
  • Echo Blocks and Spectre Goggles, when spoken to in a Graveyard.

Princess:

  • Resonance Scepter, Magic Weapon, dropped on death.
  • Slime Staff, Heart Lanterns, and Flasks of Party, on the secret seed “celebrationmk10”, and a Sandstorm in a bottle when in the desert, and a Terragrim if during a blood moon. As well as the Pirate Staff, Discount Card, Lucky Coin, and Coin Gun if the Pirate Invasion has been defeated.

Traveling Merchant:

  • Peddler’s Hat, Vanity, dropped on Death.

Skeleton Merchant:

  • Slap Hand, Melee Weapon, sold during a Blood Moon.

NPC Housing

So you think houses are just boxes with walls, a table, a chair, a door, and a light source? Hahaha wrong.

So let’s get the easiest, and most useful part to explain out of the way, detection range.

This is what allows NPCs to detect other nearby NPCs, it’s a small circle that’s centered on the block underneath the banner, as demonstrated by this screenshot (That was very painful to get, I can’t read code so I had to test this by manually removing and replacing a house around in a circle.).

If you ever feel like an NPC should be detected by another, but is not, make sure the floor underneath their banner in this range. And if you want to force the banner into a certain spot, remember it’s where the NPC spawns, so the banner is usually placed behind the NPC’s chair.

And now I can already tell what you’re thinking, “That can’t be a valid house can it? It’s practically a 3×3 with no doors!” and you’ll be shocked to find out that… NPC houses are absolutely 100% broken.

In the best way I can explain, imagine a house that is just a rectangle, remove a block in one of the corners and the house opens up to the world.

This can be used to make diagonals, or zig zags in this case, which still count as space towards the house. You may notice a corner is opened up on the left, but there’s a hammered platform right above it, technically closing the house, while also counting as the house’s door.

Here is a second example of compact, valid housing.

And a third example.

Now your next thought may be… isn’t that still too small? And yes it is! However, the game doesn’t count how many blocks are “open”, from what I can tell, it counts the sides along the walls. So I believe the housing space required is 60, and instead of each of those open blocks just counting for 1 space, they count for 4 each, since there’s 4 sides. Somebody smarter than me, please check the code to explain this better for a future revision.

Also have this design, it’s nice, and probably the smallest NPC tower ever.

Now that we got all of the simple, and complicated stuff out of the way, what’s a good layout to have 5 npcs in a town with NO crowded downside? Well I’d show you, but, no joke, when getting screenshots for this my Terraria crashed and will not load at all anymore. Okay then, I literally can’t show one right now.

Just imagine the Desert town, but with 5 houses, and they’re all spread out to the absolute edge of the detection circle, I’m sorry I can’t show a screenshot.

Also, for npcs like the Golfer and Zoologist, or Truffle and Guide that I mentioned bordering a biome, just make sure their houses are close enough to the border of a Hallow/Jungle Biome to where YOU aren’t considered in those biomes when talking to those NPCs, but the NPCs are still close enough to the other NPCs in their respective biome to detect them, if that makes sense.

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