In the Terraria 1.4.4 Labor of Love update, you may have heard of or even seen a new liquid called the Shimmer, with the only issue being that it’s pretty rare, only spawning in one particular location on the map and not giving you an endless supply of the stuff until after you’ve beaten the game. It can be tricky, but that’s only if you don’t have the know-how.
If you’re knowledgeable, you can find this liquid 100% of the time, know every way to use it to your advantage, and even get an infinite amount of it or transport it early on in the game. In this guide, I’ll give you the rundown on everything the Shimmer offers and how to use it to your advantage.
Bottom Line Up-Front
Shimmer will only spawn in a small, entirely stone biome called the Aether, and this pool will only spawn near the beach on the Jungle side of the world. You can throw items into it to un-craft them, lower them down a tier, or sometimes turn them into something more powerful.
Where to find The Aether
Unfortunately, we can’t just make a Glowstone rectangle with water in it to find The Aether. This biome containing Shimmer is always around the edge of the world and always on the Jungle side of the world, meaning you’ll have to trek through that dangerous area, reach the beach, back up a little bit, and start mining down for about a 75% success rate.
If you want to not spend too long looking for it and instead have a 100% guaranteed strategy of locating the Aether, I’d recommend watching this video for a more detailed explanation, but essentially, you can take your Guide’s name, cross reference it with a table you can find on the official Terraria Wiki, and it’ll give you the specific compass location of where your Aether biome is.
This does take a while and at least an ounce of brain power, though, so if you want, you can head around 50-100 blocks out from the edge of the world (since the Aether biome can only spawn starting 50 blocks away from the border) and dig straight down, using a good pickaxe and some mining buffs, until you find where it all changes to solid Stone with no holes, then you’ve got your Shimmer.
If you still can’t find it after all this, go for the scorched Earth approach, where you dig a tunnel down from the surface to Hell every 50 blocks or so, and you should eventually run into the biome. If that doesn’t work, your world was probably generated before 1.4.4, and you’ll have to generate a new world to access Shimmer; sorry!
How to Move Shimmer
Now that you’ve found your Aether biome, you’re probably thinking about how inconvenient this biome is to get to since you probably didn’t make your base on the Jungle-side beach. Unfortunately, you’re not going to be able to throw this dazzling glittery goo into an ordinary bucket, since it’s like, heavy, or something, I dunno. You’ll have to get creative.
While you could just give up and waste a pylon on this, there is a way to move it wherever you want, but be careful since you’ll fall into the closest air pocket if you fall into the Shimmer during any part of the process. The easiest way to move the Shimmer is just by using Terraria’s built-in liquid system and making a 1-block tall tunnel connecting the Shimmer to any point in the world lower than it.
Of course, the main issue with this is that your destination has to be lower, plus any liquids or holes in the way can completely ruin your plans. If you want to do this more precisely, craft pumps with wire and iron/lead, and wire an inlet pump in the Shimmer, an outlet pump in your destination, and a switch to turn it on, bringing the Shimmer wherever you want.
How to Use Shimmer
Now that you’ve got the liquid where you want it, it’s time to discuss how you use Shimmer. There are three categories of what Shimmer does to an item that you quite literally throw into it: downgrades, de-crafting, and transmutation. If it’s a character upgrade, it’ll get transmuted; if it’s something craftable, it’ll probably get de-crafted; and if it’s an ore or gem, it’ll be downgraded.
Firstly, upgrades are easily the coolest part of getting access to Shimmer. You can upgrade only a few items, namely the ones at the top of the list on the Wiki. There are a ton of transmutations, and it’ll usually change either to an equivalent item or, in the case of things like Life Crystals, to a brand new upgrade that increases your Life Regeneration. Here are all the character upgrades you can get:
- Life Crystals become Vital Crystals, increasing your health regeneration by 20%.
- Mana Crystals become Arcane Crystals, which increase your mana regeneration by 5%.
- Life Fruits become Aegis Fruits that permanently increase your defense by 4.
- Normal Fruits become Ambrosia, an item that increases your mining and placement speed by 5%
- Gold Worm turns into Gummy Worm, which increases your Fishing Power by 3.
- Pink Pearl turns into Galaxy Pearl, increasing your Luck by .03, much more than you think.
- Spell Tome turns into Advanced Combat Techniques: Volume Two and increases your NPCs defense by 6 and damage by 20%.
- Peddler’s Hat drops from killing the Travelling Merchant and turns into the Peddler’s Satchel, giving your Travelling Merchants one extra item every time they come around.
Now, there are a few more upgrades, but they’re better versions of items or other things in the world and not permanent upgrades to your character. Only a few things get these better versions, but they’re all pretty dang cool. Here’s everything you should toss into the Shimmer right away:
- NPCs that fall in the Shimmer all turn into cool, alternate forms. This doesn’t do anything, but it’s neat looking at all the resprites.
- Liquids that come into contact with Shimmer become Aetherium, a purely decorative block.
- Critters that fall into Shimmer turn into Faelings, which act very similarly to Faries.
- Enemies that fall into Shimmer either turn into Shimmer Slimes or turn invisible; fun!
- The Whoopie Cushion and Used Gas Trap can be turned into the Gas Trap, which isn’t very useful but is funny.
- Arrows turn into Shimmer Arrows, which fire on a weird trajectory but deal a lot of damage for pre-hard mode.
- Flares turn into Shimmer Flares, which are technically better, I think, but who cares? They’re flares.
- Torches and Campfires turn into Aether Torches and Aether Campfires, which are the same but different colors.
- Angel Statues turn into Aether Monoliths that give any biome they’re placed and activated in the starry space aesthetic of the Aether biome.
- Enchanted Sundials become Enchanted Moondials, which reset every seven nights and allow you to skip a night, which is essentially a Sundial on a separate timer.
- The Star Cloak becomes the Chromatic Cloak, which makes you immune to shimmering, so you won’t fall through the world if you step into Shimmer. Lame, but sure.
- Any Moss becomes Helium Moss, which functions the same but glows rainbow, neat!
- Luminite Bricks turn into several variations depending on the phase of the moon. It’s probably better to just consult the Wiki on this one.
- Most other Bricks turn into their ancient form, which was just their previous, old sprites. This applies to Copper, Silver, Gold, Blue, Green, Pink, Obsidian, Hellstone, Cobalt, and Mythril Bricks.
- Spider, Sandstone, Dungeon, and Lihzard Walls all turn into unsafe or infested versions when Shimmered, which will spawn the appropriate enemies in front of them, enabling more accessible mob farms.
- Spears can be turned into Tridents, which do more damage.
- Living Wood Wands turn into Finch Staffs, turning an aesthetic item into a useful summon.
- The Rod of Discord becomes the Rod of Harmony, letting it teleport quickly with no cooldown, but only after you’ve beaten the Moon Lord.
- The Clentaminator becomes the Terraformer, which makes its blast a lot bigger and longer, but only after Moon Lord.
- The Bottomless Water Bucket becomes the Bottomless Shimmer Bucket, which gives you an endless supply of Shimmer, but only after Moon Lord.
The second most popular category of Shimmering items is probably downgrading, which I’ll also include side grades since they’re similar. Essentially, if you throw things into the Shimmer, there’s a good chance they’ll either become a lesser tier than they currently are or become an item on the same level found in a similar location.
Let’s start with side grades. These are oddly specific, but they’ll give you an equivalent (or subjectively better/worse) item when you toss them into Shimmer, and they’ll loop, meaning you can throw the item the Shimmer gave you back in to get the item you put in in the first place eventually. For convenience’s sake, I won’t say it every time, but you can tack on an “and vice versa” to the end of all these:
- Alchemy Tables turn into Bewitching Tables, both nice but random tables found in the Dungeon occasionally.
- Herb Bags become Cans of Worms since they’re both found in Wooden Chests.
- The Pharoah’s Mask turns into a Sandstorm in a Bottle, which is good since the Pharoah’s set is a useless drop from Desert Temples.
- The Pharoah’s Clothes turn into a Flying Carpet and see above.
- Magma Stones become Lava Charms, which is nice since Lava Charms only come from chests or fishing, but you can quickly get Magma Stones from bats.
- Sextant, Weather Radios, and Fisherman Pocket Guides all cycle into each other, which is nice since they’re pretty random Angler drops.
- Adhesive Bandage turns into Bezoar, and both turn into the P.D.A., but the Bezoar is way less rare.
- Armor Polish becomes Vitamins, and both are P.D.A. ingredients that are pretty uncommon, so if you have an extra one, this is nice.
- Blindfolds turn into Pocket Mirrors, which is nice because Pocket Mirrors are a pain to get for the P.D.A.
- The Fast Clock turns into the Trifold Map; both are uncommon P.D.A. ingredients, so again, it is nice if you have extra.
- The Megaphone turns into the Nazar, and Megaphones are a bit more common, so you can get the P.D.A. much easier.
- Class Emblems that drop from the Wall of Flesh all turn into each other, so if you get the wrong one, you can reroll it. If you’re curious, it goes Summoner > Warrior > Ranger > Sorcerer > Summoner.
- High Test Fishing Line, Angler Earring, and Tackle Box are all accessories the Angler randomly drops, and they turn into each other when shimmered, in that order.
- Lucky Coin, Gold Ring, and Discount Card are all decently rare drops from the Pirate Invasion, and they can be Shimmered into eachother in that order.
- Cactus turns into Pumpkin, which doesn’t make too much sense since these items are incredibly unrelated, but aight.
- Jungle Grass Seeds turn into Mushroom Grass Seeds, which is nice if you’re making an artificial biome of either and need more pieces.
- Honey, Water, and Lava buckets Shimmer into each other in that order, making it easier to get the more uncommon liquids.
- Flameburst, Ballista, Explosive, and Lightning Rods all Shimmer into each other in that order and into the appropriate item tier.
- Mining Shirts and Pants Shimmer into each other, so you can get the whole set more quickly if you have more of one.
- Jungle Armor shimmers into Ancient Cobalt Armor since they’re both from the Jungle.
- Armors with Ancient Variants aside from the Cobalt kind all Shimmer into each other, cutting out the grinding you usually need to do.
- Marble Blocks shimmer into Granite Blocks since they come from slightly uncommon, inconsequential underground biomes.
On the other hand, downgrades are significantly more common. Any item that has a similar thing that is worse probably can be downgraded into that thing, but unlike the previous ones, these won’t cycle back. Once you’ve shimmered one of these, you can’t Shimmer back:
- Ores downgrade to the ore just below them, which means if you shimmer Luminite, it’ll go Luminite > Chlorophyte > Titanium > Adamantite > Orichalcum > Mythril > Palladium > Cobalt > Platinum > Gold > Tungsten > Silver > Lead > Iron > Tin > Copper > Stone > Dirt.
- Gems are similar to ores, downgrading to the gem just below them, it goes Diamond > Ruby > Emerald > Sapphire > Topaz > Amethyst > Stone > Dirt.
- Stone can be turned into Dirt, as mentioned above, which is nice since the world is mainly made of Stone.
- Wood of any kind (such as Dynasty, Spooky, or Biome wood) can be Shimmered into regular Wood.
- Normal Wood can be Shimmered into Dirt, which is only helpful if you have a Wood farm.
- Biome Keys turn into their respective Biome Chests, despite being used to unlock those same chests, and with none of the benefits.
- Hardmode Crates turn into their pre-hardmode variants, almost always at no benefit to you.
- Music Boxes lose their song when Shimmered, meaning you can re-record something else.
- Balloon Pufferfish shimmer into Shiny Red Balloons, which are basically the same thing, so it’s weird it doesn’t go the other way.
- Sandstone and Hardened Sandstone (as well as their Crimson, Corruption, and Hallowed variants) Shimmer into Sand.
- Ice Block (but not its Crimson, Corruption, or Hallowed variants, for some reason) Shimmers into Snow.
- Honey Block and Crispy Honey Block both Shimmer into Hive.
- Gem Bunnies and Squirrels all Shimmer into their respective Gems, making for easy money.
- Vile Powder and Viscious Powder both Shimmer into Purification Powder.
- Zombie Arms shimmer into Whoopie Cushions, but not the other way around, for some reason.
- Coins shimmer into seemingly nothing but give you temporary Luck.
- Sparkle Slime Balloons shimmer into a Town Slime, which can only be done once per world.
For the most part, uncrafting crafted items works as you’d expect, and I will save you from reading a list of every crafting recipe in the game. It’s easier to talk about the exceptions since some items don’t uncraft properly or don’t uncraft into precisely what you used to create them, and those exceptions are worth talking about.
Here’s every crafting recipe that’s a bit funky and what you should expect whenever you try to de-craft something that fits a specific category:
- Anything with Pre-Hardmode or early Hardmode ores will only use one type of ore unless it requires a specific ore; for example, de-crafting a Lead Pickaxe will always give you Lead, but you can craft an Ironskin potion with Lead, and it will still always give you Iron when shimmered. De-crafting always prefers giving Copper, Iron, Silver, Gold, Demonite, Cobalt, Mythril, and Adamantite for anything that applies.
- Sticky Dirt Bombs always give a Dirt Bomb and Gel, even if you used a Sticky Bomb and Dirt to craft it.
- Unholy Arrows always give you a Worm Tooth back, even if you used Vertebra to craft them.
- Shell Piles always give Seashells, even though you can use many more expensive shells to craft them.
- Cell Phones always give you a Magic Mirror back, even if you used a Frozen Mirror to craft them.
- Frog Gear always gives you a Frog Flipper and Tiger Climbing Gear back, even if you used Frog Webbing and a Flipper to craft them.
- The Bundle of Horseshoe Balloons will always give you a Cloud in a Balloon, Blizzard in a Balloon, Sandstorm in a Balloon, and Lucky Horseshoe when you uncraft it, despite the many ways you can craft this item.
- Spectre Boots will always give you Hermes Boots back, even though you can substitute them for Flurry Boots, Sailfish Boots, or Dunerider Boots.
- Molten Skull Rose always gives you a Magma Skull and Obsidian Rose back, despite the fact there are two other ways to craft it, one including an extra Obsidian Skull.
- Lava Waders will always give you Obsidian Water Walking Boots, Lava Charm, and an Obsidian Rose back, despite the multitude of other ways you can craft them.
- Avenger Emblem will always give you a Warrior Emblem back, no matter what Emblem you used to make it (though you can shimmer this back into your preferred Emblem.)
- Silver and Tungsten Bullets only give a single ore instead of the entire bar it takes to craft them, likely to prevent significant money gain from de-crafting them.
- Copper Pickaxe, Axe, and Shortsword all only give you one Copper ore and one Wood, likely because Mediumcore players could set up an endless death trap above Shimmer to regenerate their starting tools constantly, getting way more money if these gave their regular items.
Questions and Answers
Question: How do I find Shimmer in Terraria?
Answer: Shimmer always spawns on the Jungle side of the world, pretty far underground and pretty close to the edge of the world.
Question: What do I do with Shimmer in Terraria?
Answer: You can throw items into Shimmer, and it’ll upgrade them, change them into an equivalent item, or downgrade them.
Question: How do I exploit Shimmer in Terraria?
Answer: Shimmer makes you invincible when standing in it, so if you’re always shimmering, teleporting to stay in the Shimmer, you’ll stay constantly invincible and can use Summons to deal damage while in this state.
Shimmer is one of the best additions to Terraria, bar none. It’s wild there was no way to downgrade your ores, turn your bad class emblem into one that works for your build, or have fun shenanigans falling through the world (at least, intentionally) before this. It’s such a creative, excellent addition; if you didn’t know, you could even get a few aesthetic changes.
I remember discovering a few things that Shimmer did the first time I came across it in my Upside Down world when I was first playing this new update, and it was endlessly fun to mess around with. I even fished for five hours straight to get a few Galaxy Pearls since those permanent Shimmer upgrades are incredibly worth getting. This is such a cool liquid, man.