Enemy Gamer's PvP Handbook: How to utilize audio

Disclaimer: All information is provided assuming that you know how Dark Gaming’s PvP differs from other servers. If you do not know about the differences, please check out these posts:

As well as checking out the PvP Manager and Armor Spreadsheet for weapon and armor differences.

Introduction

When it comes to competitive video games (and video games in general), the amount of advantage you get from proper utilization of audio can vary. So where does Terraria PvP fall under?

Well, I believe it falls in the middle. You don’t need audio to perform well, but it is a requirement to perform at your maximum potential due to the advantages it gives.

Now, this guide may not be necessary to some of you, since most of the stuff I mention is relatively obvious. But if you’re genuinely clueless on how you should be using your ears in PvP, I’ll be providing some tips for you.

How audio gives advantages

The advantages that audio gives center around two ideas: you use your ears when you can’t use your eyes, and you react faster to audio cues.

Whenever you don’t have any visual indicators, you should be listening to various audio cues to help you out. Thus, the majority of advantages you can get come from recognizing sounds from off-screen.

Whenever you hear a familiar sound, like a certain weapon or a player’s hurt sound, you can make a few assumptions about what is going to happen. If you hear a weapon, your opponent is likely using said weapon. If you hear a pain sound, your opponent likely took damage.

These are just a few examples of audio cues. I will be going into more detail on every notable audio cue, but before I do so, there is one miscellaneous topic I want to cover.

The reaction time to detect audio stimuli is ~150ms, while the reaction time to detect visual stimuli is ~200ms. Theoretically, you can get more out of reacting to audio cues, but since there’s only a 50ms difference (equivalent to 1/20th of a second, or 3 frames in a 60fps game), the amount of advantage you can theoretically get is subtle.

Stereo Audio

Stereo Audio is audio that comes from multiple audio channels. Most games utilize stereo to allow players to perceive space. In 2D games like Terraria, this is usually restricted to having audio separated between the left and right headphone ears, by having audio sources on the left side of the screen emit audio onto the left ear and vice versa.

Most headphones have Stereo as the default audio option, so you may already be properly utilizing stereo audio to detect where sounds are coming from without knowing it.

In simple terms, if you hear something in your left ear, it’s coming from the left side, and if you hear something on the right side, it’s coming from the right. Stereo is simple to understand, and it’s probably the most useful tool for detecting where someone is off screen.

Common Weapon Sounds

Now I will list out the sounds for the most commonly used weapons, and order them by how important it is to recognize them.

Death Sickle, Bubble Gun and Crystal Storm

These three weapons have their own distinct sounds, with Death Sickle’s being a metallic swiping sound, Bubble Gun’s being bubbles, and Crystal Storm’s being a spell cast sound similar to a whistle.

The reason these two are the most important to detect is because they both have lingering projectiles, meaning someone can plant them offscreen, anticipating someone to run into them.

Since you can’t react and dodge these projectiles easily if you move quickly with something like Dashing or the Slime mount, you should be careful when you hear the sounds of these weapons.

The upside is that all these weapons are loud, meaning it’s not hard to listen for them.

Toxikarp

Toxikarp is another weapon with a distinct sound, being a thick bubbling sound. This is another weapon that is often used offscreen, but unlike the other weapons i’ve mentioned so far, this is most often used to cover an area with slow moving bubbles.

Toxikarp isn’t the most threatening weapon immediately, as it takes time to get enough bubbles to cover an area entirely, but it’s still something to look out for whenever you’re moving too fast to react to projectiles.

Betsy’s Wrath

Betsy’s Wrath is very commonly used to spam down an open vertical area with very fast, high damage projectiles. Most players will spam it knowing that you are in range to get hit by it, meaning you might not even need an audio tell for it.

However, you can utilize both the sound of the weapon being fired and the projectile hitting a surface. The sound of the weapon being fired is subtle, but the sound of each projectile hitting the ground is distinct and loud.

Laser Rifle, Heat Ray, Aerial Bane, etc.

All four of these weapons and much more have a few things in common: They all have distinct and loud sounds, but recognizing them isn’t too important because you’ll see the projectile that the weapon has made soon after you hear them, likely before you can react to the weapon’s sound.

This doesn’t mean there’s no point to recognizing these sounds, as you might hear them but not see them, meaning they’re likely being used in an incorrect scenario, which you can take advantage of.

Here is a quick list of most common weapons that fall under this category (which is most noisy weapons in general):

Stellar Tune, Every Whip, Magic Missile, Solar Eruption, Venom Staff, Blizzard Staff, Flying Dragon, Tome of Infinite Wisdom, Nebula Blaze, Sky Fracture, Pulse Bow, Every Close-Range weapon that makes a distinct sound.

Bows and Guns

Since bows and guns have very fast projectiles, you’re most likely going to see the projectile as soon as you hear it, but sometimes they are spammed offscreen to cover an area, mostly bows.

Because most bows and guns make similar sounds, it’s hard to determine what bow/gun is being used. However, the sounds are somewhat loud, especially guns, plus, most bows that are spammed at long range like Tsunami and Chlorophyte Shotbow make loud sounds when their projectiles hit a surface.

Quiet Weapons

Not every weapon is going to be loud. A lot of weapons make subtle sounds that are very hard to notice.

The reason I’m mentioning these is because you can’t instantly detect what weapon your opponent is using with audio alone, just like how you can’t detect what weapon someone is using unless they’re firing that weapon.

The most threatening quiet weapons are Ice Sickle and Sentries, due to their lingering projectiles with no distinct sounds, Bat Scepter and Demon Scythe due to being area coverage weapons used off screen very often, and Combat Wrench/Sergeant United Shield, due to the fact that they’re used off screen sometimes as long range pokes.

Pain Sounds

Pain sounds are the second most important sound to look out for, behind weapon sounds.

Understanding pain sounds is extremely simple. If you hear a pain sound, that means your opponent was likely hit by whatever weapon you were spamming offscreen/to cover an area.

You should be wary that your opponents aren’t the only ones making pain sounds. Sometimes, you can confuse your own pain sounds for your opponent’s. The easiest way to tell the difference is that your pain sounds are loud and never change volume, while your opponent’s pain sounds are often at varying degrees of low volume.

Miscellaneous Sounds

Wings

Although the sounds of wings are subtle, they can be useful for tracking as the sound is directly attached to the player at all times.

A large majority of wings make flapping sounds, while some others make wub sounds or hissing sounds. A select few are silent, which are Lazure’s Barrier Platform, Yoraiz0r’s Spell, Hoverboard, Vortex Booster, and Beetle Wings.

You’ll be fine using wings that make flapping sounds, however the hissing sound from the Jetpack and the wub sound from the Celestial Starboard are louder than most wings, so avoid using those as vanity wings.

Hooks and Mounts

Hook and Mount sounds are similar to Wing sounds in that they are subtle but are attached to the player.

Hooks make a sound when they are cast out and when they attach to a block. The sound is shared with a lot of weapon sounds, so be wary of that.

When it comes to the sound of the Slime Mount, you’re likely not going to hear it all that often, since Slime gives a lot of vertical movement in both directions, meaning you’re likely to see it before you’re able to react to hearing it.

Blocks

Separate from Weapon Sounds, Block Sounds are the sounds that weapons make when they hit the ground, some weapons make relatively loud sounds when their projectiles hit the ground, but the usefulness of detecting these sounds is dubious. The projectile is most likely not going to be a threat if it has already hit the ground.

You could trace the sound to where it could possibly come from, but considering the amount of delay between using a weapon and the projectile hitting the ground, using it to track a player can be unreliable.

Texture Packs

One last addendum I want to mention in this guide is the use of texture packs. Since you can use texture packs to alter the sounds in the game, you can use it to your advantage by having some sounds be louder and more distinct.

I can’t recommend any texture packs since I don’t use them personally, but I do know about the existence of hitsound and other similar texture packs.

Conclusion

Despite the average auditory reaction time being 50ms quicker than the visual reaction time, I don’t think audio utilization is as useful as recognizing visual cues. That doesn’t mean it’s useless, like I said, it’s required if you want to perform as best as possible, but like I also said, it can be skipped entirely.

(also please recommend audio texture packs so i can put them in this guide)

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TL:DR
don’t use mobile

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pro tip-go to your pvp oponents house and screach so loud so your “audio” distracts them so u kn go 4 z kil

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