Terraria: How To Summon And Defeat The Empress Of Light (2024)

Quick Links

  • How To Summon

  • Gearing Up: The Best Combat Builds

  • The Actual Fight

  • Rewards

Re-Logic's beautiful 2D sandbox game remains popular years after its release. It features over 17 bosses, some of which are vital for players to defeat to reach the end-game. Some bosses, however, fall outside the "main story," but are still valuable to defeat just for fun and to gain some prestigious items in the process.

RELATED: Things To Do Immediately When Starting Terraria

The Empress of Light is one of the flashiest and most aesthetically-pleasing Hardmode side bosses in Terraria. Gorgeous but incredibly deadly, she can prove to be a formidable foe to any unprepared player. Luckily, this guide will detail exactly how to spawn the Empress of Light, the best weapons and armor to deal with her, and a list of all the rewards she can potentially drop.

How To Summon

Terraria: How To Summon And Defeat The Empress Of Light (1)

The Empress of Light can be summoned by killing a Prismatic Lacewing butterfly. These rare critters only spawn at surface-level Hallow at night, between 7:30 pm and 12 am. Luckily, the Lifeform Analyzer item can detect them, so Prismatic Lacewings can be easily farmed.

Players should aim to start the battle and kill the Prismatic Lacewing at 7:30 pm to ensure they have the maximum time to defeat her. If she is summoned during the day, she will be "enraged," and her attacks will instakill any player.

If players want to avoid accidentally killing a Prismatic Lacewing and spawning the Empress of Light before they are adequately prepared, they should ensure they have the Guide To Critter Companionship tool, which prevents players from harming critters. This handy item can be purchased from the Zoologist NPC for five gold.

Gearing Up: The Best Combat Builds

Terraria: How To Summon And Defeat The Empress Of Light (2)

The optimal weapons when preparing to fight the Empress of Light will depend on the class the player has decided to delve into. This is a rough guide on the best weapons and armor for this fight, post-Plantera, and is by no means exhaustive. It is entirely down to player preference.​​​​​​​


It goes without saying that having Wings equipped are a necessity for this fight, so the player can safely kite around the Empress of Lights' fast attacks. Fishron Wings or Betsy's Wings are two of the best wings available at this stage. Steampunk Wings are also a decent alternative.

  • Magic - Blizzard Staff is a good choice, as it has consistently high DPS. The Razorpine is a good alternative with a similar mana cost/DPS ratio but a shorter range. The best magic armor in-game is the hallowed headgear,Valhalla Knight's breastplate, and Dark Artist's Leggings. Spectre armor is also a suitable choice.
  • Melee - Terra Blade is the best sword available, providing strong, reliable projectiles. Vampire Knives are a good secondary melee weapon to replenish missing health. Beetle armor is the best set for either maximum offense or defense, dependent on the chest piece the player equips.
  • Ranged - Xenopopper is the best gun, with significant damage and accuracy. It should be coupled with Crystal Bullets. Hallowed armor is the best choice, as its Holy Protection bonus allows players to negate damage every 30 seconds.
  • Summoner - Despite being the weakest class in Terraria, Summoners are powerful against the Empress of Light. Their minions can target her and deal consistent damage, so the player can freely dodge her bullet-hell-style attacks. There are many viable Summoner weapons, but the Sanguine Staff is possibly the best. The minions have perfect tracking, allowing them to do consistently high damage. Their DPS can also be boosted with whips, which is strong when paired with the Berserker's Glove accessory. Spooky armor is the best armor for a Summoner build.

The Actual Fight

Terraria: How To Summon And Defeat The Empress Of Light (3)

Though the Empress of Light has one of the most incredible boss designs in Terraria, she is also one of the most deadly. Once she is spawned, the words "Empress of Light has awoken" will appear, and she will hover in a stationary position before executing her attacks. She is untargetable during this phase.

She has five main attacks.

  • Prismatic Bolts - Summons a cloud of multicolored bolts that hone in on the player but can be easily dodged.
  • Dash Attack - Charges horizontally in the player's direction.
  • Sun Dance - Hovers slightly above to the left of the player, emitting six rays of light that rotate clockwise.
  • Everlasting Rainbow - Releases a ring of 13 stars that spiral inwards and outwards in a clockwise direction, leaving behind a damaging trail of light.
  • Ethereal Lance - Summons swords that will launch in the direction the player was walking in.

She attacks in the order listed below during her first phase. These attacks will repeat indefinitely until her second phase begins.

  1. Prismatic Bolts
  2. Dash Attack
  3. Sun Dance
  4. Dash Attack
  5. Everlasting Rainbow
  6. Prismatic Bolts
  7. Dash Attack
  8. Ethereal Lance
  9. Dash Attack
  10. Everlasting Rainbow

When she is below half of her maximum health, the Empress will disappear for a second and reappear next to the player, before beginning her second phase. Her attacks will have shorter intervals, meaning player reaction times will be tested.

  1. Ethereal Lance
  2. Prismatic Bolts
  3. Dash Attack
  4. Everlasting Rainbow
  5. Prismatic Bolts
  6. Sun Dance
  7. Ethereal Lance
  8. Dash Attack
  9. Prismatic Bolts

Her attacks are all quite broad, and most of them hone in on the player. It is advisable to build a long, wide sky arena made of asphalt platforms, so players can outrun her attacks. Teleporters are also helpful if players are feeling overwhelmed by her barrage. The ocean biome is also a good place to spawn her, as it is a wide, open space.


Terraria: How To Summon And Defeat The Empress Of Light (4)

The table below details all the possible and guaranteed drops, some of which are incredibly rare, from defeating the Empress of Light. This includes their drop chances and a brief description of the item.

The Terraprisma item is a guaranteed drop, but only if the Empress of Light was in an enraged state and all the damage dealt to her was during the daytime.

Item Name

Item Description

Drop Chance

Greater Healing Potion

Restores 150 health. Dropped in stacks of 5-15.



Spawns a copy of itself that rapidly attacks nearby enemies Deals 90 summon damage.


Prismatic Dye




Magic weapon - fires four rainbow crystals that follow nearby enemies and pierce them. Deals 50 magic damage.



Melee weapon - fires short-ranged light beams when holding down the attack button. Deals 80 damage.



Whip - deals 180 damage and causes minions to focus on the last struck enemy.



Ranged weapon - auto-fires five rainbow-colored Twilight Lance projectiles, one does double base damage. The lances can piece up to four enemies. Deals 50 damage.


Empress of Light Mask

Vanity Item.


Empress of Light Trophy

Furniture Item.


Empress Wings

Wings - glow in a cycling rainbow pattern. Ascends faster using the Up key. One of the best pre-Moon Lord wings.


Rainbow Cursor

Vanity Accessory - changes the player's cursor to constantly change colors.


Stellar Tune

Magic weapon - fires pairs of star-shaped projectiles in a wave-like pattern towards the cursor. They hone in on enemies, passing through blocks and exploding on impact. Deals 85 damage.


Terraria is available to play on PC, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, iOS, and Android devices.

MORE: Terraria: How To Summon And Defeat The Moon Lord

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