I know that a lot of iridium can be found in the lower levels of the Skull Cavern. The lower you go, the more will spawn on the floor. But how do I descend the caves fast? Since the bus doesn't operate until 10am everyday, and the longest you can go before becoming unconscious is until 2am, there are effectively ~15.5 hours of time to explore the cave, once you factor in having to walk to it. Realistically, I would say there is about 14.5 hours to explore, if you would like to make it out without going unconscious and potentially losing items.

I know there are holes one can fall down to advance a certain amount of floors, but this isn't that effective since finding the holes is pretty much random and it damages you. Like the other mines, you can find ladders that take you down a level, but this is also slow since you need to keep mining to find them, or kill enemies. Is there a fast and effective way to descend?

2 Answers 2


It seems like you're looking for the fastest way to get through the Skull Cave, so you better start saving up because this is going to be expensive.

I assume your Mining level is at least 2 and you have unlocked the crafting recipe for the Staircase. A Staircase is crafted from 99 stones, and will, when placed in the mines or the Skull Cave, turn into a set of stairs just like the ones found under rocks or spawned when enemies die. Stones can be bought from Robin at 20 gold each, resulting in a price of 1980 gold per Staircase. You can, with enough money or patience, completely fill your inventory with stacks of 999 Stones, enter the Skull Cave, and immediately craft and set down a new Staircase every time you go down a level.

With this method, you can reach level 400+ of the skull cave without mining a single rock or defeating a single enemy. That should get you plenty of Iridium Ore.

  • I assume the staircases aren't permanent?
    – Timmy Jim
    Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 21:29
  • @TimmyJim The Skull Cave is randomly generated as you go, so each floor is instanced. That means the staircase will disappear the next time you enter the cave.
    – Mage Xy
    Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 21:30
  • The item behaves just like naturally found staircases, and those aren't permanent either. Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 21:33
  • 1
    Since version 1.4 (2019), you don't necessarily need a lot of stone anymore. You can use jade and crystalariums, then trade the duplicated jade on Sundays with the desert trader for stairs. This bypasses needing massive amounts of stone for each descent, though you'd likely still want to craft some staircases from stones initially because there are only 2 free crystalariums in the game and crafting the rest requires iridium bars. Commented Nov 8, 2022 at 12:48

Another fast method for descending, that is also useful for when you reach the floors with Iridium, is to use Mega Bombs to clear rock.

Mega Bombs can either be crafted with 4 Gold Ore, 1 Solar Essence and 1 Dark Essence, or purchased for 1000 gold each from the Dwarf in the Mines. Purchasing them for 1000 Gold is far cheaper.

When blowing up rock, bombs function exactly the same as a pickaxe. They have the same chances to spawn Ores, Geode, Stone, and Stair Cases. Simply place a Mega Bomb in a group of rocks and you should get a stair case. Then, when you get to the floors with tonnes of Iridium ore, simply blow them up with a Mega Bomb to collect them quickly.

The other advantage to this method is that you can occasionally find a hole rather than a stair case. Holes allow you to travel several levels at the same time. The two I have used went 11 floors and 6 floors respectively.

  • Note that mega bombs have a variable and quite wide blast radius, so it is common to take damage from them while running away after setting them down... so bring plenty of food if you plan to use mega bombs. Normal bombs are a safer, albeit slower method of doing the same kind of clearing.
    – TylerH
    Commented Aug 29, 2021 at 22:21
  • This is the better solution. With bombs you will spend like 30s on each floor instead of 5 but you will find sink holes, that will skip you floors. Only use stairs when an area is overtaken by monsters and forces you to kill them all before advancing.
    – Fredy31
    Commented Nov 7, 2022 at 18:44

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