I found about 28 Enchanted Sword Shrines looking for my Arkhalis, having made 7 different Large worlds for it, before getting the sword. I noticed, during my search, that there is surprisingly little data on the subject. So, for anyone who’s interested, I will detail my method, as well as all the data I collected in the process of searching.
I used only Large worlds, with the exception of one shrine I found on my homeworld, which was a small. Of the Large worlds I made, I found four shrines in all except one, where I only found 3 (Gave up on that world too early, I suspect, but I can’t remember which one it is to go back and check again). My method, requiring the Drill Containment Unit, a compass, and a depth meter, was as follows.
- Fly to one of the oceans.
- Drill down to a depth of about +150, or 100 tiles below surface level if you have a world that starts at a depth of 300 or more.
- Using the Drill Containment Unit, tunnel your way towards the spawn.
- When you reach 3000′ horizontal position, stop and head back to spawn (Mirror back). Repeat on other side of the world.
- Use the Cursed Sapling pet. It will circle around you, creating a trail of light that can allow you to spot the shaft of an enchanted sword shrine.
- Use a Night Owl Potion. It extends your field of vision a little. (The night vision helmet will also help, maybe? I didn’t use it.)
- The shape of a shrine is always the same–a straight, unbroken vertical shaft one-block wide, all the way down, with a few wider (2-block) spots, and then a small grassy hill with flower wall and two pools of water beside it. Familiarize yourself with it. Sometimes you’ll only get a momentary glimpse of it from your Splintering, and you’ll have a better chance of recognizing it if you know the shape well. After a few times, you won’t miss them, but that shaft that runs upwards can be really, really tiny. Imgur’s being a little bitch right now, so I can’t upload the picture, but I found a shrine in which the shaft ran only four blocks up from the top. EDIT: This was the smallest shrine I found throughout my search, with a shaft running only about 8′ up.
- Worlds are relatively consistent in the depth of their shrines. If you find one shrine around the 250 mark, the rest are probably within +/-50′ of it, vertically speaking.
- Don’t give up on a world. Remember, if you do an entire sweep of a world, but don’t find any shrines, then it doesn’t mean that world is “unlucky”. Every large world has 4 shrines. If you’ve already done one sweep and not found them all, then it just means you have a better chance of finding them on your next sweep. Go +/- 100′ and make another tunnel.
- Just because you’ve already found a shrine doesn’t mean there aren’t others nearby. I’ve had two nearly touching, such that as I drilled out one side of the first, I immediately hit the second.
- Shrines always spawn under forests. However, while they don’t spawn under corruption/crimson that was there on worldgen, if an area was forest on worldgen and has since become corrupt/crimson, it may have a shrine under it. Keep this in mind when searching on Hardmode worlds.
- On the note of biomes, Shrines always spawn under vanilla forests. However, I have had one that was in the jungle, in the sense that Jungle music played inside, but it was in the area where there is a gradient of dirt->mud. I would not suggest surfacing to skip over biomes that don’t spawn shrines, for this reason. Just dig right through them. The one exception to this is deserts. If you don’t surface for them, you will have to mine an absurd amount of sand to get through. Make sure you go right back down as soon as you get back to dirt though, to avoid missing a shrine.
- Keep an empty inventory! This can be a good way to pick up some extra resources. Bring a piggy bank, and load up. By the time I got my Arkhalis, I had two full stacks of iron and a stack of lead, as well as a good deal of copper, silver, platinum, gold, and tungsten. If you’re dedicated, Spelunker Potions can be brought, but it will slow you down greatly.
- Use MEDIUM worlds, as they only spawn 1 less shrine than Large and are a lot faster to make and search. At the time of writing this, I thought Mediums only spawned 2 shrines, not 3. My mistake.
I have compiled data on my exploits into a single pastebin below. Each entry will look as follows:
The first number represents the horizontal position. The letter represents either East or West. The next number is the depth of the top of the shaft. + represents surface, – represents underground. The last number is the depth of the actual boulder the sword was in. After that is either FAKE, ES, or ARKHALIS. This represents either a fake shrine with no sword, an enchanted sword, or an Arkhalis, respectively. Relevant features of each shrine are in brackets next to it, if there was something else noteworthy about it. Finally, the clusters of four represent one world. Link
PS: If you read that, you’ll notice one of the clusters of four has (WORLD 17) written above it. That is because, if you look, that world has very strangely distributed shrines. They’re almost all very high up with short shafts. It took me four sweeps to find them, which I considered a detail worth highlighting.
If this has a fair bit of interest, I might do another hunt for an Arkhalis for the sake of gathering more data, but for now, this should suffice to give anyone looking for the sword a bit of a starting point. Good luck, collectors!
Original Link – Continuation of discussion