Don’t Starve: Everything You Need to Know to Start Playing


Don’t Starve is a simple game that can be challenging, especially for inexperienced players. At the same time, it’s an enjoyable adventure full of strange creatures, dangers, and surprises. Here’s everything you need to know to survive and master the game! 

The setting:

Don’t Starve is an action-adventure survival game with a randomly generated open world. You play Wilson, an intrepid Gentleman Scientist who has been trapped by a demon and transported to a mysterious wilderness world. Wilson must learn to exploit his environment and its inhabitants if he ever hopes to escape and find his way back home. The goal is to survive as long as possible, and the count of days is visible on screen.

How to get around on Don’t Starve:

Combat is handled by pointing and clicking with the mouse on the PC. At the same time, other activities are controlled by the keyboard or using the inbuilt gamepad support to play using a controller, giving it a console-like gameplay feel.


The Minimap shows the player their location and most crucial POI (spider dens, boulders, pig king, fire pit, etc.). The map fills in when it is explored in the world. It can be activated by pressing the Tab key on PC, the View button on Xbox One, or the touchpad on PS4.

Game Tabs:

Tabs are used to Craft different objects (if the player has the right resources). It also shows what items need to be unlocked and which resources are needed to unlock them.


Used to stop the game and choose options, save, quit or continue. The shortcut to do this is pressing the Esc key on the PC. 

What you need to monitor:


When it reaches 0, it causes death or resurrection. More health means you can take more damage.


When empty, you’ll experience constant health loss (similar to freezing or overheating). This will continue until the character consumes a food item.


If you keep food items for too long without eating them, they will begin to rot. The spoilable item in the inventory will start as fresh (green), it will turn stale (yellow) and then spoil (red). You can preserve items longer if you place them in an icebox. When the food becomes an inedible pile of rot, you can still use it as fertilizer for farms and plants.


When Sanity drops, the screen will begin to distort and shake. If it drops below 60, eyes will appear at night. When it drops below 50, you’ll be able to see shadow creatures. If the sanity level drops below 15%, the character will start to hold their head in pain, and the shadow creatures will attack. 

Sanity is reduced by travelling through wormholes, staying in complete darkness, eating raw meat and monster meat, or fighting certain monsters. Sanity can be restored by eating crockpot food or cooked food, picking flowers, sleeping through the night and wearing certain items.


A circular object will show the player exactly how much time they will have left before dusk, night, or day. This cycle will repeat infinitely, but the length of each stage will change depending on the current season – in summer, days are longer, and they become shorter in the winter.

Winter changes:

Winter is a very hostile season, so you must prepare before it begins. In the winter, your character can freeze to death. Some monsters will entirely change, or just their coat colour and scary deerclops boss will respawn. You can prepare for the cold by hunting koalefant and turning his remains into a breezy or puffy vest. 

Moon Cycle:

On a full moon, normal pigs will become dangerous werepigs, so it’s wise to avoid pig villages or befriending pigs during that period. If you’re already in trouble, the light produced during the entire moon segment can be used to escape from the werepigs. On a full moon, mushrooms will grow into mushtrees, and flowers will turn evil, etc.

Equipped Items:

You can wear armour, dress items, apparel, or different backpacks on your body and additional armour or hats on the head. Hands are used for wielding tools, weapons, or magical items.


This is used to unlock craftable items after you gather enough resources. A type of science machine must be used for prototyping. Also, prototyping will increase your Sanity!

What to do first?

You’ll start on Don’t Starve without anything in your inventory, aside from some character-specific items. That’s why you have to focus on hunger, night and Sanity first. You want to collect carrots or berries to cook over the campfire, which can be started with cut grass and logs. Also, don’t forget to pick up twigs and flint for producing your first axe. Continue with collecting through the day and most of the dusk. Before the night starts, find a place to camp. Be aware of enemies that are looming from the dark! Make sure to keep your fire burning throughout the night by adding logs to it. If you don’t want to remain sedentary, make sure you have some torches which will allow you to continue exploring throughout the night.

What to build and collect?

Start building a base near beefalo or pigs, as they will serve as your manure sources. Collect lots of pine cones. They can replace logs that are harder to find. Pick flowers and build a garland to keep your Sanity up! Your Sanity will start dropping after day 4. 

Who to attack early in the game?

Try attacking the birds first. Even if they don’t die, they will leave seeds you can plant on the farms. Don’t attack monsters such as spiders, bees, tallbird and beefalo until you’re well-equipped to fight them. Avoid tentacles that can be seen hiding in the marsh, which is the most dangerous area in the early game! 

Good luck, and don’t forget to share your advancement with the rest of the Don’t Starve community!

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