Minecraft vs. Terraria: Which One’s for Me?



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Sean Neuwald, Writer

     If you’ve ever played Minecraft before, you may have heard some people comparing a smaller game named Terraria to it. The main thing that people say about it is that, “it’s just a 2D version of Minecraft”, but, in fact, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. While they do share a lot of similarities, there are also a ton of differences that make Terraria a completely separate game. All right. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s take a deep dive into these games, and along the way, you might just figure out which one is for you.

     Let’s start off with the more popular of the two, Minecraft. Now, I know all of you reading this right now know what Minecraft is, and how to play it, but I’m just going to list it off anyway. So, you start off in this blocky world, made up of trees, clouds, grass, dirt, stone, coal, cliffs, plains, animals, unique biomes, and anything else that you may encounter on your journey. Normally, you start off by gathering wood from the trees, and slowly making your way up through the material hierarchy, going from wood, to stone, to iron, then diamonds, and finally netherite. You obtain these materials by mining, and using the pickaxe made up of the material before it in the list. You can then create other tools with that new ore that you mined. However, mining isn’t all the game has in store. Building is widely considered the main attraction to this game, because of Minecraft’s stupidly large block selection, and because of the sandbox, 3D world, where you can make whatever you want. There’s also redstone, which is like the wiring, and more mechanical side of the game where you can make things as simple as making blocks move, to stuff as complicated as a completely functioning automatic grocery store with it’s own money system. Also, there is actually a way to beat the game, you beat it by creating a Nether portal, traveling into the Nether, obtaining blaze powder by killing mobs called Blazes, and using that to create an item that leads you to the portal to the end boss. Once you jump in, and slay this boss, (the Ender Dragon), you can go back to the overworld, and a credits scene plays. After that, you can still do whatever you want in the game, and even more things are available once you kill the Ender Dragon, including wings.

     Whew, that was a lot to go through. Okay, onto Terraria.

     Terraria, is the more lesser known game created by Re-Logic, and although you also spawn into a blocky sandbox world with a lot of the same things as Minecraft, it’s 2D, and there are more ores, and way more things to get. To start off, the first thing you want to do is use your starter axe to chop down some trees, and build a house. You will want to create the edges of the house, place in the background walls, a crafting bench, a chair, torches, and a door. All of this is generally needed in order to create your first house. The reason you need all of these things is because of one of the main differences between the two games, the NPC’s. Once you have a room that meets all of the requirements, an NPC will move into it, each new one you gain fulfilling a different purpose, and selling different items. That’s right, there’s a money system in this game, and in my opinion, it was created almost perfectly. 

     After you’ve created your starter house, it’s time to grind through the ore hierarchy. The mechanics of this are about the same as minecraft, but along the way, you will find very useful items in chests, and from killing mobs. The reason you need these ores and items is because you are not far away from slaying your first boss, the Eye of Cthulhu. Finally, my personal favorite part about the game is the overall difficulty, and the bosses. The first boss is pretty easy, but later on in the game there will be many more bosses that are extremely difficult if you are not prepared. There are over 30 bosses in Terraria, each one ranging widely in uniqueness, and difficulty. Some of the other reasons that this game holds its own against Minecraft is because of just how many items are in this game; over 4,000 of them! There are also different weapon classes, including melee, summoner, mage, ranger, and throwing, as well as different armor sets with abilities. You can also enter events, in which you can fight exclusive enemies/bosses, and can get exclusive items, some of which are insanely good. Once you defeat the first 4-5 bosses, you will enter “hardmode”, which means a drastic change to the way that this game is played. As you can tell, it makes it a lot harder, creates new items, gives you the ability to create new, more powerful ores, creates an entirely new, spreadable biome, makes new mobs appear, and creates a huge raise in difficulty for the bosses. There are also different difficulties that you can set your world to, including Journey, (easier), classic, (normal), expert, (much harder), and master, (insanely hard; only meant for very experienced players). These difficulties each feel like a completely new experience, and enhance the gameplay to suit your skill level.  

     Okay, now that we have gotten through both games, and talked about them thoroughly, it’s time to see which one is for you. If you like a more creative, and more casual gameplay experience, I would play Minecraft. This game is also in my opinion more co-op friendly, because it doesn’t make it overly easy, and because it almost seems like a game that is meant to play with friends just because of how casual it is. On the other side of the spectrum, is Terraria. If you like more challenging gameplay, more complex gameplay with more features, or both, I would recommend playing Terraria. This is because of the complexity of the basic gameplay, and because of the insane amount of items/features that make this game unique. Personally, I think that Terraria is the game that I prefer, because of the depth of gameplay and overall higher difficulty, but which one interests you more? If you can, I would still try out both games and pick your favorite, because both of these games are incredibly good, and in my opinion, are both worthy of being top 5 video games. If you would like to try either of these games, you have to know where to find them. You can find both Terraria and Minecraft on PC, Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo Switch, and Mobile. Feel free to comment and let me know which game you stand by, but don’t forget what this article was about… go and play some video games!