I have wood armor and some bad gear. I have been mining and I just can't seem to find anything good without losing a life. I have 3 NPCs living with me, the Guide is dead and I just don't know what to do next. I have tried finding a sky fortress and I can't find anything. Any tips?
Downwards. You're looking for metals like lead/tin and copper/iron to start off with. (only one set will spawn in your world.) Sky fortresses are a bit hard to find, save it for later. Right now, your main goals are:
- Get metal
- Make decent gear
- Look for more exotic materials and trinkets in varied biomes
- Create boss summoners and destroy the resulting bosses
- Dig downwards and see what's going on down there
If you can get your hands on a Magic Mirror or Recall Potions, your life will become a lot easier!
Progression in Terraria is basically measured by boss kills, especially the game-changing Wall of Flesh, enabling the so called hard-mode.
The objective in the beginning of the game is to get strong enough to kill the first boss, the Eye of Cthulhu. The game itself has a "barrier" for confronting the Eye, requiring 200 life and 10 defense (for at least one player) and three NPCs living in your town. Note this will only spawn the Eye of Cthulhu one time, if it was not previously defeated in that world. There's another (repeatable) way to summon the Eye you can look for.
To be able to achieve this HP and Defense requirement, the best solution is to explore the Cavern layer, notably in the easier "Forest" area (not jungle, ice or crimsom/corruption areas, the normal dirt-and-stone ones). You know you're in the cavern layer when the background doesn't allow you to put torches on it. In the cavern layer you will find very useful artifacts and powerful armour/weapons, paired with Heart Crystal to increase your maximum life. You can also get some minerals for better tools and weapons if needed.
If you want to have an even easier fight against the Eye, use some Shurikens in the fight, its a great weapon against it. After the Eye is defeated you should start to look into the corruption or crimson area (whatever is generated in your world) for the second boss, keeping in mind the Eye drops Crimtane or Demonite ore, allowing for some much better gear/tools.
Note this pattern of "kill boss, enable new gear, get new gear, kill next boss" keeps going on until the game is over story-wise (there are still building, rare-artifact chasing, events like Helloween, etc).
Get some good armor from NPC or mining, you don't need much (unless you're in expert mode) then go kill Eye of Cthulhu which you can summon and kill pretty easily. Now you should have Crimtane or Demonite ore which can be used to craft weapons. You should keep getting better weapons (Amazon is amazing and pretty easy to craft) then head towards Eater of Worlds or Brain of Cthulhu. Just build a simple arena from platforms and you should be fine, a few iron skin or regeneration potions are really helpful and easy to make.
Once you have killed one of them you should have more Crimtane/Demonite ore and Shadow Scales/Tissue Samples, which you can make to craft Crimtane/Demonite armor and a pickaxe, which will be extremely important.
Then you should head towards Skeletron. He is a tougher boss, but he allows you to go to the dungeon which gives amazing early and late game loot.
After that just keep farming and farming until you think you are ready to take down the Wall of Flesh. First mine some Hellstone which spawns in the Underworld to get some good armor and weapons, and an imp staff which does not a lot of damage but still helps. Build a Hellevator (2 block wide vertical hole which takes you to the Underword) and build a horizontal platform with blocks or wooden platforms.
Now you need a Guide Voodoo doll to summon the Wall of Flesh which you can get from Guide Voodoo Demons which are a rare spawn in the Underworld (if you kill one make sure it doesn't touch the lava). To spawn the Wall of Flesh just throw the doll in the lava and the way you face will decide which side WoF will spawns from. Use any weapons that you find but guns are very useful against it.
In all the arenas you build you should have campfires (and torches) or heart lanterns later in the game, which provide you with extra health regeneration. Potions are very easy to make and extremely useful as well, you can find the list of potions here.
Anyways hardmode is a whole other topic but just have fun for now. :)