Timers are devices in Terraria that can be used to turn wired items on or off at certain intervals. A 5 second timer will turn wired items on and off every 5 seconds and so on for a 3 second timer and so on for a 1 second timer. This can be very important to know if you are setting up a boss arena with heart statues. The potential uses for the timers are limitless, and it is up to your creativity to determine what their uses are. This guide will outline how to craft 3 of the timers as well as how to utilize them.
There are three timers you can craft in Terraria. The 1, 3, and 5 second timer. Depending on the grade of watch you use, the faster the timer is able to flicker wired machines on and off. You will need a table and chair in order to unlock the crafting recipe. A gold/platinum watch is used to make the 1 second timer, and so on. The wire is part of the crafting recipe for every timer.
First you will need to decide which timer you will want to make. 9 out of 10 times you will want the fastest timer available. Out of the craftable timers, the 1 second timer is the fastest. Combine 10 gold/platinum bars and a chain to make a gold/platinum watch at a nearby table and chair.
Next you will need a piece of wire, chances are if you are thinking about crafting a timer you will need wire to connect the timer to your device so buy extra! You can get wire from the mechanic NPC, you can find wire elsewhere in the world, but doing so will require wire cutters from the mechanic anyways so you are best off starting at the mechanic.
After you have bought your wire and have your watch ready, you can craft your watch at a table and chair. If you want to make a 3 second timer, replace the gold/platinum watch with a silver/tungsten and likewise with a 5 second timer, except with tin/copper.
You can also buy any timer you want from the mechanic. This is honestly a better, faster, and more convenient option as she even sells ½ second timers and ¼ second timers.
In order to use a timer you will need a wrench from the mechanic to wire the timer to whatever device you wish to use. In my case I wired a timer across a boss arena, connected to star statues and heart statues. This will cause the statues to drop a star or heart every few seconds. While the statues are technically being activated every second, they are hard coded not to drop hearts too quickly to prevent cheesing bosses too easily. To turn on the statues, simply right click on the timer.
You can easily wire a timer to statues and gain whatever benefit you want. You can also gather infinite bombs this way with a bomb statue. Unfortunately, you cannot collect infinite Critters with Critter Statues as any critter spawned by a statue will emit a poof effect and disappear.
Try to be aware of where your wiring is and test your contraption before committing to a boss fight. If a timer is connected to another timer, they will turn each other off and prevent the loop from reoccurring.
Timers are mainly used in conjunction with statues to get the respective statue’s benefit. Heart statues will drop hearts that heal 20 health each, star statues drop stars that restore 100 mana, bomb statues will drop bombs for pickup, etc. There are many uses for timers and luckily the mechanic offers all of them so you never have to fiddle around with crafting recipes if you do not want to.
Congratulations, with your knowledge of timers you can get started on wiring contraptions in Terraria. There are many different utilizations of timers in Terraria beyond just statues and you can create a pattern of rotating lights, traps, daylight sensors and more. Try timers out for yourself to make your life a little easier. A lot of the difficulty in Terraria can be mitigated with enough preparation and wiring timers together can give you a big advantage during certain boss fights.
A timer and an engine effectively complete the same function, but an engine is slightly faster. This only matters for things that can keep up with the engine’s potential on/off tick rate, meaning it will not speed up the heart drops of statues, but if you need a faster on/off the rate for your device, engines win out over timers.
The combined sell price of the gold bars to craft timers is more than the price to buy them. This means you can make a profit by selling the components and then buying the timer right from the mechanic. Obviously, this is only available after saving the mechanic from the dungeon, which requires defeating Skeletron, but it is something to consider.