The tiers of ores in Terraria are Powder, Copper, Tin, Silver, Gold, Platinum.
The higher tier a select ore is to collect and smelt for use in equipment building the more valuable it is.*Working Hard Mode refines the tier of some items by changing all tiers within that material’s chart (Tin up to Platinum).*Powder never changes anything and can be used freely without restriction therefor as long as you have Ores.
*For example using a Standard hammer on any Iron Ore will give you 3 Iron Bars per refining but using a Mythril Hammer wont yield any upgrades or add benefits to your hammers or work while wasting time crafting an expensive hammer.*This is just one example such as refining Tin Ore with a Mythril Hammer will upgrade it to Copper giving you 3 more bars.
Mythril is the strongest material that can be mined below Adamantite Ore being able to produce 5 Bars per ore that it receives as Powder.
Finally, yes there are alternate sources of obtaining ores rather than mining them but their availability varies.
Copper, Tin, Iron, Lead. Gold is not considered an ore in Terraria.
Many video games with ores and mining follow a predictable pattern where “copper” ores are found the least followed by “tin” ores which in turn are less commonly found than “iron” ores which are finally less common than “lead.” The pattern’s logic states that the closer certain types of ore occur to each other, the lower their levels of rarity will be. While this trend has been generally true with video games in general for many years now, it can also make sense from a more scientific standpoint as well: deeper rocks and matter tend to have higher concentrations of metals because they’ve had thousands or millions of years to be built up by volcanic activity and natural decay.
Copper ore can be found as low as the first level of the game all the way to the height of almost any player’s world. Tin ore can be found in most worlds at a similar depth as copper, but it becomes less frequent deeper down (like with most video games). Iron is usually only found below depths of 25-50ft and lead can be found within 100ft or so – although certain ores of lead can be found at much greater depths, some being so high they may even be more common than iron ore. Gold usually occurs in the game as one of the final mining stages before reaching Demon Altars and only rarely will it not be present within these last few layers of rock.
There are 3 different tiers of ore in Terraria, copper, silver, and gold.
Interesting tidbit on the tiers of ore: Copper is often the first tier of valuable ore found. It has a low amount of health damage associated with it in comparison to silver or gold ores which can hurt for up to 4 hp per strike. The trick is that there’s way more copper than any other kind- not because it’s rarer but because there are more places copper will spawn from then any other metal that comes after copper (silver, platinum etc). Silver can be mined out at area 64 or you might get lucky and find some underground! Gold is both slightly hidden away and also happens to be incredibly happy at producing a better amount of money when you begin your mining. Gold is rare, much more rare than silver but not quite as bad as diamond or platinum when it comes to how difficult it is to find!
Stones – Coal, Metal Ore (Iron, Cobalt and Mythril), Flint
Metals – Copper, Silver, Tungsten, Gold
Semi-Precious Stones – Topaz, Amethyst and Sapphire
Precious Stones – Emeralds
Arcane and Meteorite are the two tier-determining ores in Terraria.
Unrefined Bloodstone is found Underground, near lava pools, when mining with a Nightmare Pickaxe or better at any time of day. The chance is 0% during daytime unless it rains (the 15 minute duration doesn’t matter). It can also be rarely obtained from a chest inside the Lihzard Temple and crafted using charges from an Atmosphere Station. Otherwise it can randomly spawn when harvesting Ebonsand blocks on Floating Islands at Night with at least one Thumper installed nearby as soon as you have killed all available monsters within 3 screens radius (9×3 tiles) or cleared them out to increase spawning rate.
You need to have at least one Nightmare Pickaxe or better equipped in your hand or another hotbar slot. If it rains, first make sure to have the Pickaxe in your hotbar. Equip it if necessary, but do not switch slots otherwise, then click at least one Bloodstone ore block while being within 6 blocks of it. The message ‘ You feel an evil presence watching you ‘ will appear once every Bloodstone ore you mine. Keep mining more Bloodstones until the occurrence rate of ‘ You feel a strange chill ‘ appears. Then stop mining the Bloodstones and fish for Ice Mimics in water while being within 6 blocks of at least one Ice Block . It spawns 1-3 Mimics, giving you 1-3 Nightmare Pickaxes.
Quartz (pink, flowery)
Cobalt (light blue)
Platinum (white, platinum metal)
Adamantite ore (dark green/forest green with hazy sparkles like jades; also comes in cleartop clusters and stalactites).
Iron is in the first tier. It’s not very exciting. It’s a base resource required to craft other items or, if you’re in desperate need of one-time protection against a late game evil boss, it can be hammered down into masses of iron bars to generate 50 ingots and 10 blocks.
Iron ore along with copper ore and tin ore block will give 3 times as many materials when smelted until they are depleted for silicon ores. The second tier is tin then zinc then lead for the 3rd tier. Lead alone has little use but combined with any of the metals from 1st tier will create bullets that do more damage when used on bosses via guns crafted using metal from tiers 1&2 each.
Tungsten is the 4th tier resource. It, alone, has no use other than being a component of alloy metal bars that have twice as much durability as iron bars. Crafting those alloy bars requires a few shapes and sizes of coal ore blocks, silver bars and tungsten or titanium ores. The 5th tier metal is titanium. This metal is required to craft the jetpack which, in turn, is needed for exploring and collecting some of the rarer gems and ores like gold and titanium.
-Gold Ore is tier 1, the easiest ore to find and mine. Also used as currency.
-Silver can be found in some versions of Terraria, and allows the player to buy items from the armory salesman and tool dealer that are more expensive than what you could buy with gold. In other versions of Terraria, silver ore will always drop a coin when mined or smashed open. Silver can also be obtained by pickpocketing villagers but only rarely albeit at a higher rate than gold ore mining them.
-Iron Ore is tier 2, used when smelting iron bars for melee weapons and armor pieces if you don’t have the required materials on hand like leather for example.
Tier 1 Ores (requires iron pickaxe):
- Copper, Tin, Silver, Gold, Platinum
Tier 2 Ores (requires diamond pickaxe):
- Iron Ore (2x Iron)
- Gold Ore (2x Gold)
- Lapis Lazuli Ore (3x Lapis Lazuli)
- Diamond Ore (4x Diamond)
- Sapphire Gemstone Ore (7x Sapphire Gemstones)