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Minecraft Vs Terraria

by Henry Chong on 06/15/13 07:49:00 am

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.


minecraft vs terraria

The Difference between Minecraft and Terraria

Many people have compared Minecraft and Terraria, saying which game has the ‘edge’ over the other, without actually going into detail. There’s not much that you can compare between them, since they’re focused upon two different genres.

‘How are they different?’ you may ask. Well here’s my answer. Minecraft is a 3D voxel game, while Terraria is a 2D side-scroller; that much is obvious, but there is another aspect that people seem to overlook time after time. That is the content of the games.

Minecraft is a sandbox, building game that has RPG elements implemented into it, such as: survival, exploration and battling. While Terraria is an RPG that has sandbox building elements in it; Terraria has an extensive amount of weapons, gear and accessories compared to Minecraft: from swords, guns and explosives to demonic armors and enchanted necklaces, giving a huge amount of options for character customization. Whereas Minecraft does not have that character customization (This is excluding the fact that you can get character skins for yourself).

Minecraft’s item content is more centralized on building and crafting, whilst Terraria’s item content is focused more upon exploration and battling.

If you were to compare the two games, the only thing you could really say is that Minecraft is better for sandbox building, and Terraria is better for adventure. But, now you would argue ‘but you can explore in Minecraft!’ Sure you can, but it’s not as exciting as Terraria. Truthfully, finding huge caverns and interesting random mountain generations is pretty cool and gives a stunning atmosphere, but it doesn’t compare to the enjoyment you get from finding hidden golden chests in forgotten caves and so on, when you play Terraria.

Exploration, although it is an aspect of Minecraft, does not give you very much satisfaction unless you find good resources. I think I’d be far more satisfied with my time in Minecraft if I made a really cool house, a nice big farm and a big lake next to it.

Okay, let’s look at another aspect of both games. The combat elements. As I’ve said before, the gear content in Terraria far outdoes Minecraft, allowing for more battling situations. Whereas Minecraft only has a sword and a bow as weapons that are available (Okay, there are splash potions of damage, but they don’t really count). As far as enchantment goes, Terraria’s is more ‘potent’ than Minecraft’s, but that’s because Terraria is an RPG, not a sandbox. The combat elements in Minecraft were implemented more for a “Get off my lawn” sort of feeling, but Terraria’s combat elements are, like an RPG, about killing things for delicious money and loot items that may come in handy.

It might seem like I’m being really negative when I talk about Minecraft, but that’s because I’m talking about elements that Terraria has the advantage in.

Unlike Minecraft, Terraria doesn’t have a very detailed crafting mechanic. In Minecraft, you have to put each piece in the right spot, like a puzzle, whereas Terraria is just ‘Gather the stuff and you can make it’. Obtaining resources (other than coal, stone and wood) is actually more difficult compared to Terraria, due to its FPS perspective, you don’t know what happens if you knock a hole right under your feet. When it comes to survival and resource gathering, Minecraft is more difficult than Terraria. Why? It’s because you have almost nothing to protect yourself with when you gather resources in Minecraft. What’s a pickaxe going to do to a creeper that’s up in your face?

Now before you even start your argument with someone about which one is better, keep this in mind:

  • Minecraft = Sandbox builder with RPG elements.
  • Terraria = RPG with building elements.

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