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In terraria, biomes are defined by the blocks that are around. Specifically for desert, you can see on Wiki:

A desert is considered a desert as long as there are at least 1000 sand blocks

However it does not specify the range in which the blocks are being counted. If I were to create a desert by laying the sand on the ground, I need to know how thick the layer must be so that it makes 1000 blocks in the checking range.

If the game checked rectangular area of 1000x1000 blocks the layer would need to be 1 block high.

  • 1
    1000x1000 is 1,000,000 blocks – Brian Jun 4 '14 at 20:34
  • Well you obviously can do some math. But how's that relevant to the question? – Tomáš Zato - Reinstate Monica Jun 4 '14 at 20:36
  • It means you wouldn't need a 1000x1000 area to have 1000 blocks. A 100x10, 50x20, 40x25, or even 1000x1 area would be be enough blocks. – Brian Jun 4 '14 at 20:55
  • Yes, you really can do that math. However reading doesn't seem to go as well. I have said that if the area was 1000x1000 you would need 1 layer (1x1000) blocks. If, however, the area was 500x500 you'd need 2x500 (yes, that's 1000) blocks - two rows. – Tomáš Zato - Reinstate Monica Jun 4 '14 at 21:00
  • It seems that the point of confusion is that you're assuming that the game counts blocks within a rectangular area to determine the biome, which is highly unlikely. – Brian Jun 4 '14 at 21:26
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Luckily someone has answered this, at the Wiki page about Artificial biomes:

A flat strip of sand, one block in height, is sufficient to be considered an artificial desert biome suitable for harvesting various Desert materials.

  • That is rather because "Desert plants and enemies can spawn on even a single block of sand." (again taken form the wiki), isn't it? Also, it's not true for Antlion who is believed to need 2 blocks of sand. – Tomáš Zato - Reinstate Monica Jun 4 '14 at 20:53
  • I didn't find a lot about the specifics regarding the biome creation process. However, I had laying around an old map with an artificial desert biome here (image link). The 3 block thick layer has 492 blocks, so the blocks needed for the biome don't need to be contiguous, just being near of one another. – Doktoro Reichard Jun 4 '14 at 21:04
  • @TomášZato You can make a sand biome through one block in height, so technically, this is the correct answer. However, you seem to be asking how to spawn antlions based on that comment, which yes, requires you to have two block height desert. So logically, if your question is, 'what is the thinest layer of sand that will still produce desert biome and spawn antlions', then the answer is two. – Waterseas Jun 5 '14 at 8:27
  • @Waterseas No, I'm asking how to change the screen background, music and water color which are specific in dessert biome (as well as lack of slimes). I need to have time to verify whether one line of sand really does that - that's why the answer is not accepted yet. – Tomáš Zato - Reinstate Monica Jun 5 '14 at 12:25
  • I have tested this experimentally with negative result. The answer is wrong. Also, I have noticed that antlions do not need as many blocks to spawn as I thought. – Tomáš Zato - Reinstate Monica Jun 7 '14 at 14:37

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