Hardcore Mode is a character-specific difficulty setting that can be selected when creating a new character. Character names that are set in Hardcore Mode are tinted light pink. Created Hardcore characters cannot be changed back to any other difficulty. Once the player dies, everything in their inventory is dropped and the character is deleted. They are given the basic starting equipment (Copper Shortsword, Copper Pickaxe, Copper Axe), and both health and mana are set to their defaults (Health:100 Mana:20). From the time the players dies until the time he/she disconnects, he/she will be a ghost, which is not visible to other players, provides no light, passes through walls, and cannot interact with anything. A Tombstone is dropped and inscribed with whatever message appears at the bottom of the screen when the player dies.
Here is a list of tips for dealing with Hardcore Mode:
- It's useful to travel with your furnace, anvil, and piggy bank/safe, so you don't have to travel back to smelt/smith ore.
- Don't take risks. Even if players are good with a wooden sword or bow, the night may simply overwhelm them. Similarly, don't make an extended visit to the Underworld without some Obsidian Skin Potions.
- Get used to drinking extra potions and sacrificing more resources to get the job done. Players really need the extra edge if they want to live, especially against bosses.
- Try to avoid drops entirely until a cloud in a bottle, lucky horseshoe, or grappling hook is acquired.
- Heal up early, even if it's inefficient. If the character is likely to be killed by three more hits from the strongest local monsters or from lava, drink a Health Potion as soon as damage is taken as a second hit may kill, or the timer will not run out soon enough.
- Always have a Magic Mirror or Recall Potions in the hotbar for quick teleportation back home when close to death.
- A hardcore player's name and chat is displayed red.
- When looking in the player list, hardcore mode character will have a light pink color.
- Until they log out, the ghost of a hardcore character still counts as a player for the purposes of starting events. For example, if two players are connected to a server, one with 100 HP and the other a ghost who had a maximum HP of 200 before they died, Blood Moons and Goblin Invasions can still occur if all other requirements are met - even though these events require an active player with a maximum HP of 120 and 200, respectively.
- As a ghost, no matter where the player goes, enemies will never spawn unless there is a living player in the world close by. For example, going into the Space layer as a ghost will not let Harpies and Wyverns spawn.
- As a ghost, the game can't be exited at all from the settings menu. When one tries to open it, nothing happens. The only solution is to close Terraria entirely as of for terraria 1.2.4.
- Hardcore characters now drop items with prefixes on death.
- Character is deleted / becomes a ghost upon death.
- Added to the game.