This mini-tutorial will help you get started in Terraria 1.1 if you have no idea what to do first. Please note that this tutorial is not for those who have played Terraria before, as it will cover the basics of what is needed to get started in the world of Terraria. (Building your first house, etc.)
Below you will also find 4 tutorial videos which go further into detail on how to get started in Terraria. Building your first house, surviving your first night, biome basics, and more.
Note: If you want to skip straight to the tutorial videos made by LordSevein, click here.
Character Creation: Let's start with the character creation. After designing your character to your liking, right below the gender options is the choice between Softcore, Mediumcore and Hardcore. If you are new to Terraria it is highly recommended sticking with Softcore, as the other modes can be quite unforgiving. For example, if you are in Mediumcore, and say you're digging very far away from your spawn point and you happen to die, the chance getting all of your hard earned items back is slim to none, and if you were playing hardcore, well then your whole character is lost.
Mediumcore and Hardcore is for seasoned players who have beat the game at least once and know exactly what they are doing.
Choosing a world size:
After you're done customizing your character, you will be asked to either choose a world or create one.
If you're wondering which world size you should pick, I highly recommend medium. Small world sizes are too small to have any fun exploring (which is what you will spend most of your time doing in Terraria), and large worlds are just too big. In a large world, getting to the bottom (or hell), finding a dungeon, etc is a tedious task.
This is why the medium size world is recommended, it's not too small or too big. And from my experience, you will have the most fun exploring and playing on a medium size world.
Note for beginners: Even though the medium size worlds are more fun, please note that it takes longer to get around and may become frustrating to a new player who is still learning the game. If you are an absolute beginner in Terraria, starting with a small world size may be better for now.
Entering the world of Terraria: Once you spawn, take note of your position. You will have to mark it somehow because that is where you will appear if you die. (Until you create a bed and change your spawn point, but that's later on.) What I like to do is collect some wood and build a very small wooden shack right at the spawn so that you can remember where it is, and in case you die, you will have protection from the enemies should you respawn at night.
Let's build: The very first thing you should do in Terraria is collect a bunch of wood. First select your axe by clicking hitting the key which is assigned to it on your keyboard. Now click the bottom of any tree you see, and after a few seconds, you will chop it down.
Do this with a few trees until you have about 200 or more wooden planks. As you cut down trees, keep acorns you get on your hotbar and plant new trees in the place of the trees you cut, that way later on when you need more wood, new trees will grow in place of the old ones!Your first work bench: Now go back to your spawn and start expanding your house. Build a small house with the planks (make sure you leave some planks to build other things), and then once you're done (And you're inside in the middle of your house) hit your inventory key (ESC default) and create a workbench by scrolling to it and then clicking it. Drag the workbench to the top of your inventory and place it on the floor right next to you.
A wall for your house: If you want to make a proper house in Terraria, it needs to have a wall. Stand next to your workbench, open your inventory and browse to the walls. Find "Wood Wall" and create a bunch of them (about 150 or so should be enough for your first small house.) Now fill the inside of your house with the Wood Wall. You can use a hammer (noted below) to carve out little windows if you want.
A hammer: Hammers can destroy walls in case you need to destroy dirt walls or redo the walls in your house. You can craft them using the workbench as well. (Later hammers are also used to destroy heart containers you find deep underground.) Note that you need to destroy a wall from the top, destroying walls from the middle does not work. What this means is, you must start by destroying a wall where the line between the sky and the wall begins.
A door for your house: The next thing you should craft is a door for your house so you can enter and leave as you please. Stand right on top of or next to your workbench, and hit your inventory key again. Browse to the door icon, which should be near the top, and click it once to create it. Drag the door to the top of your inventory. Now create a 3 block high gap in the wall of your house with your axe, and place the door there.
Getting some torches: The first thing you want to do after building your small house is kill some slime for their gel. This gel is used to create torches which are invaluable at night. Speaking of night, once the sun you see in the background sets, monsters come out and will kill you if you're not inside your house. At the start it is very tough to defend yourself at night without a decent weapon and armor, so it's best to hide out in your house.
Note: On EXPERT mode, killing slimes at the start is actually easier with the Axe than the sword. It has an overhead attack which will prevent the slime from attacking you. As soon as you can, craft a Copper Broadsword as it will be great against early enemies like slimes and zombies.Once you kill a bunch of slimes for their gel and gather more wood, open your inventory, scroll up and create some torches. Place some of these torches inside and outside of your house so that you can see at night.
Now you're ready to go exploring!
(Please leave a comment below and let us know if we missed anything or if you found any incorrect information.)
Terraria Video Tutorials: Below is a video tutorial series by LordSevein which will guide you the rest of the way in the world of Terraria, it starts with the basiscs and expands a lot on what I wrote at the top, and then takes you beyond by teaching you about many aspects of the Terraria.
Terraria Tutorial Video Series by LordSevein
Episode 1 Terraria Tutorial Video Series: The Very Basics (Part 1)
Episode 2 Terraria Tutorial Video Series: The Very Basics (Part 2)
Episode 3 Terraria Tutorial Video Series: Surviving your first day and night
Episode 4 Terraria Tutorial Video Series: Basic Biome Tutorial