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How do I find good minerals in Terraria?

In Terraria I'm struggling to get outfitted because I've found very little ore, and what little I have found has been near the surface. Is there any pattern to how ore is distributed, or do I just have to mine the map out to make a set of iron armor?

So far I've only gathered enough copper to make a helmet, and enough iron to make a pickaxe (I got enough iron to make the anvil from a chest I found).

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marked as duplicate by FAE, Sterno, John the Green, BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft, Fluttershy Jul 16 '12 at 21:34

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Ores start appearing in greater quantities as you dig underground. In most games I've played, I've found copper ore in abundance after digging down past the dirt layer and into the rock layer below.

Unfortunately, there's a large amount of "worthless" stone per vein of ore you'll locate. Digging and exploring "natural" caverns below the surface can expose you to a large swath of area very quickly, so I tend to open these pockets whenever I get close to them and do some exploring.

Setting torches periodically will allow you to see a few blocks into the walls, which is also helpful. Later in the game you can find or create an Enchanted Boomerang which when thrown at a wall gives off sparks, and these sparks can help you locate ore veins deep in cavern walls.

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This may ruin your gaming experience. You may no longer be excited when you discover something.

You can try looking at the whole map using MoreTerra.

enter image description here

It reads the map binary file. Instructions for using MoreTerra are on the Terraria Forum.

Unfortunately, out of the natural resources, it only shows Amethyst, Diamond, Emerald, Ruby, Sapphire and Topaz.


If you're feeling really frustrated trying to find ore, try making a Small World. The ores, chests and terrain layers are scaled to be closer together. Build up your items in the small world and then start your adventure.

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I just noticed that in this map, the dungeon is cutting through the underworld... That's not something normal... –  Baked Potato Aug 9 '12 at 16:06
    
@SovietOnion I've actually played on several world where the bottom of the dungeon is in the underworld. The first time I discovered this, I was just trying to dig out of the dungeon; I was surprised when I fell in lava haha –  Atav32 Aug 9 '12 at 20:59
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