The pirate invasion is a special event that you can encounter in Terraria. It is the hardmode equivalent to the goblin invasion as they are functionally similar as waves of enemies will attack your home. The pirates have much higher damage output and stronger accessories and weapons to collect. Just like the goblin invasion, you do not have to worry about these pirates stealing anything from your home, so attempt this event as many times as you would like. This guide will outline the required conditions for the pirate invasion, how to summon the pirate invasion, and what you can expect to collect from the pirate invasion.
In order to summon the pirates, or have them invade you, you will need to be in a hardmode world. You must have destroyed a demon altar. Have at least 200 max health, and ensure that there are no other events occurring in your world. If you do not have all the conditions filled, even attempting to use a pirate map will not work, and the pirates will never appear in your world. If you do have all the conditions filled, there is approximately a 3.27% chance they invade for the first time, and each subsequent invasion has about a 2% chance every morning.
Like the goblin invasion, you do not have much power over summoning the pirates. Once you have reached hardmode, spawned hardmode ore by destroying a demon altar, and have over 200 health, every morning will have a small chance for the pirates to begin invading.
You can also obtain a pirate map from enemies within the ocean biome. Every enemy you defeat has a 1% chance to drop a pirate map. This map can be used to force the pirate invasion to spawn and you can attempt this as often as you would like.
Once the pirates are invading you will receive a similar message to the goblin army where the game will tell you “Pirates are invading from the east/west!” and eventually “The Pirates have arrived!” The first few pirates will attack from the direction that the game states, either from the left or the right. The pirate’s invading message will continue to play until the pirates reach the initial spawn of the world or any area of the world above the surface that has a nearby NPC. Look around if you have spread out towns.
There are many drops that you can obtain from the pirate invasion event. Some are accessories that can help you save money or generate money. Others are weapons that can be useful for the warrior, ranger, or summoner class. You can obtain the coin gun, the cutlass, the discount card, the gold ring, the lucky coin, and the pirate staff from any of the pirate enemies (excluding parrots and the pirate’s curse).
The pirate invasion also comes with its own miniboss fight. The flying dutchman is a large ship enemy that has four cannons of life bars to deplete. This ship will constantly spawn pirates and rain cannonballs at you from above. Defeating the flying dutchman has a chance to award you with the dutchman minecart, the flying dutchman trophy, the flying dutchman relic (master mode only), and the black spot mount (master mode only).
There is also a slew of vanity items and golden furniture pieces that you can collect from the pirates. These furniture pieces are non-craftable and have to be looted from the pirates. Given their shiny exterior, they can be desirable furniture items as they cannot be obtained through other means. You can get the eye patch, sailor hat, sailor shirt, sailor pants, buccaneer bandana, buccaneer tunic, and the buccaneer pantaloons as a vanity drop. For golden furniture items, you can obtain a bathtub, bed, bookcase, candelabra, candle, chair, chest, chandelier, door, dresser, clock, lamp, lantern, piano, platforms, sink, sofa, table, toilet, and workbench as a furniture drop from pirates.
The pirate invasion is a relatively difficult fight for the mid hardmode stage of the game. You can obtain many different vanity items, golden furniture, gold-related accessories, melee, ranged, and summoner weapons, or simply plenty of gold by fighting the pirates. They are moderately difficult and require a decent deal of preparation, but if you have prepared for the goblin invasion you can use that preparation and arena for the pirate invasion as well.
Congratulations, you now know the required conditions to spawn the pirate invasion, how to summon the invasion yourself, as well as the items you can collect from the pirates. This invasion is similar to the goblin army, just keep your NPCs safe and open your doors to prevent the pirates from destroying them. Since pirates have so many drops at such a small drop rate it is not uncommon to fight the pirates multiple times. Knowing the ins and outs of how they spawn is important if you are looking to collect all the pirate items.
The Dutchman is the miniboss of the pirate invasion, but you can technically ignore it the entire time if you want to have an easier experience. Destroying the dutchman does not end the pirate invasion, and they will only spawn during the last 50% of the pirate invasion. You can progress the invasion and complete it without destroying the flying dutchman, although it will progress the event faster.
Other than breaking down your doors, you do not have to worry about finding pirates looting through your chests. Your items are safe, but your doors are not. Keep them open to prevent having to replace them all as pirates will not just open your doors, they will break them into an item if you have them closed.
Farming pirates is a good way to obtain the biome keys. Since each of the biome keys has a staggeringly low drop of 1/2500 it makes sense to summon large numbers of enemies to obtain them. Luckily, the pirates you defeat in each respective biome does have a chance to drop the biome key.