Don’t Starve Together is one of the most demanding games to start. Unless you use some sort of guide, it’ll take hours of trial and error to figure out how to survive properly. When I first started playing, I died many times before getting a good grip on how to play the game.
Start exploring the perimeter
One excellent strategy for finding a good place to settle down is to explore the entire edge of the map. It may take up to 10 days, but it’s worth it to create an outline of your map. The outside edge is indicated by water, so run along to reveal the area on your map.
Doing this will allow you to see where most biomes are and give you an idea of what your world looks like. The world isn’t infinite, so it’s best to see the map so you can better make decisions about where to go and what to do.
You don’t even have to stop for nighttime when you do this. Simply craft a torch and keep running along the edge. Don’t stop at all during this time, and be sure to avoid running into spiders’ nests. It’s especially important to know that you shouldn’t stop in swamps, or the tentacles will come out and kill you.
Most enemies cannot hit you if you keep moving, and they will eventually give up chasing you. If you see a large egg on the ground, don’t grab it! It’s the egg of a Tallbird, a large enemy that will kill you quickly if you aren’t good at combat. I’ll get into a quick combat guide later so you can learn how to defeat enemies quickly.
Things to look for
While you’re exploring the world, there are many items and resources that you should be trying to collect. Some of these are rare and will only appear in one place in the world. Other things are plentiful in specific biomes but nonexistent in others, so you should gather a lot of them when you see them.
In a game called “Don’t Starve,” you better believe that you’re gonna need plenty of food. Carrots and berries spawn worldwide, so collect everything you can find. You’re also able to eat seeds which give you a minor amount of health
Be warned, though, many of your food items can spoil. It is possible to have too much food, which isn’t the worst problem, but it can still get annoying. You can trap and eat small animals, but the meat spoils relatively quickly.
There shouldn’t be any food shortage if you keep exploring, at least for the first season. It’ll be harder to find food in the wintertime, but for now, you’ll have plenty of things to eat.
The Eye Bone is one of my favorite items in the game, as it spawns a living storage box named Chester. He follows you around like a pet, and you can store items inside him.
Not only does he give you a bunch of extra mobile storage space, but he also can distract enemies for you while you are in combat. Chester also makes you feel less lonely in the harsh world of Don’t Starve, so he’s a good companion.
Tools on the ground
You may come across an old skeleton with tools lying around somewhere. If so, it’s a good idea to pick those up. They save you a few crafting materials, and sometimes you can find even better items like spears which will help you stay alive longer.
Gold isn’t exactly rare, but you should collect all that you find. You can use gold for making items such as the Science Machine, which lets you craft better items. Some biomes have gold lying all over the ground, so collect as much as possible while you’re there.
If you find a random monster mouth sticking out of the ground, I’m sure your first thought isn’t to jump right into it, but that’s precisely what you should do! Jumping into a Wormhole will transport you to another Wormhole somewhere on the map.
These are quick ways to get around the map but at the cost of 15 sanities per travel. Make a mental note of where the Wormhole leads because it’s very easy to forget the locations each Wormhole brings you to.
Many cave entrances are plugged up with rocks around the map. You can destroy these rocks with a pickaxe, but know that bats may come out of the hole and attack you.
The bats are easy to deal with using an ax or a spear but just run away if you don’t know how to fight them yet. Once they are gone, you have the option to go into the cave and explore. I don’t recommend going down here yet, as there are much harder enemies in caves than on the surface. Plus, you need a good food supply first, so you need to gear up before you go spelunking.
Touchstones are one of the best things you can discover early on. They allow you to revive once you die if you’ve activated it, so always be on the lookout for them.
Just know that the touchstone will permanently break after dying once, depending on your game mode, so don’t think you can continually cheat death. Playing on endless will allow players to always respawn at the Florid Postern (the gate you spawned in).
Don’t stray too far
You may see paths around the map, which you can use to run much faster around the map. These are great, but it’s easy to get off track using them. Remember, the first thing you should be doing is exploring the perimeter, not wandering around the center of the map.
There are cool things to find in the map’s center, but you waste too much time towards the beginning of your playthrough. Don’t go into caves yet, either, or you may get lost and die. Once you uncover most of the map perimeter, you can check out the surrounding areas.
Collect resources lying around
When you first generate a new world, resources are EVERYWHERE. I’ve seen people complaining that food is scarce, but I’ve found the opposite true. Collect everything you can as you explore the world’s edges until you have a stack of a particular item.
Once you have a whole stack of a specific item, don’t bother collecting more until you’ve used some of them. Until you make a backpack or find Chester, you need every slot of inventory space that you can get.
If your inventory starts to fill up, decide what’s the least valuable item you have and throw it out. You don’t need to keep an ax on 8% durability or nearly spoiled food.
Be mindful of your sanity
Take a quick glance at the top right corner of your screen, and you’ll notice an icon with a brain. This is your sanity, which is just as important to pay attention to as food is. If your sanity meter starts to get too low, you’ll hallucinate, leaving you vulnerable to being attacked by shadow creatures.
When my brother and I first started playing, we probably got killed 3 or 4 times by shadow creatures before we figured out what was happening. You need to actively raise sanity, or else you’ll be doomed to the same fate.
The most readily available method is to pick flowers to raise your sanity. Certain foods and sleeping will also give you more sanity, but usually at the cost of some other stat like health or hunger.
You can use the flowers you pick to craft a Garland, which slowly restores sanity over time. It’s a good idea to craft these almost immediately, as it will help keep your sanity higher as you explore.
Have a light source for nightfall
You’ve probably figured this out already, but being in darkness for more than a few seconds will be fatal. The night creatures will kill you immediately, so you need a light source to stay alive.
My favorite thing is a torch when you’re still exploring the world since you can keep running through the night. Always be sure you have enough resources to craft a torch or campfire because night will come quickly. Make sure your torch has enough durability to last the night, and be prepared to craft a second one in case the first one burns out.
Campfires are always a viable option, but I don’t like wasting time sitting around a fire for the whole night. Don’t forget to have fuel for the fire, such as logs, or you may be in for a surprise when the fire runs out. After you’ve created a base, it’s a good idea to make a more permanent campfire.
Also, watch out for the Night Hand, a shadow creature that will attempt to extinguish your fire. If you hear a creepy music box start playing, watch for the hands that will soon be extending from the darkness. They’ll slowly make their way towards your fire, so you have to chase them away before they put it out. Before I knew about this monster, it put out my fire, and I immediately died from the darkness.
Make item prototypes
Now that you have a good idea of how to navigate safely around the world, it’s time to start making some better items. The items you can craft by default are decent, but there are many more items you can learn to craft. The first thing you want to craft is a Science Machine, which allows the creation of prototypes. A prototype is basically the first version of any item, and creating one allows you to craft it again without the aid of the Science Machine.
Because of this, you can craft a bunch of items you need with the crafting station and then craft them anywhere you’d like. It’s important to prototype all the necessary items so you don’t have to lug around the materials for a new crafting station. If you’ve found the Eye Bone and summoned Chester with it, you can store these extra items inside him while exploring.
Craft a hammer to destroy things
One of the first things you should prototype besides a spear is a hammer, which will let you break down items. Smashing an item with a hammer will give you back many materials used to craft the item. This is handy for destroying things such as pig houses or moving items like the Science Machine. Get one of these as soon as possible, and then you’ll be able to get materials much faster.
Destroying pig houses is a great way to access higher-level resources like cut stone and wooden boards. You can also hammer your science machine to get back a few of the resources and other things you construct during your travels.
Don’t pick unnecessary fights
One of the horrible creatures of Don’t Starve has likely killed you, and if so, it was probably your own fault. Most beginning creatures will leave you alone if you keep your distance, and the others can be outrun.
I was dumb enough to snatch a Tallbird egg from its nest, which caused the Tallbird to chase me down until I dropped the egg. Killer bees are annoying but will give up the chase very quickly. Players using Webber will soon find out that pigs hate spiders, so just keep your distance if you play as Webber.
A good rule of thumb is that if you can outrun it, don’t try to kill it. It’s not worth dying or taking a lot of damage for something you can quickly get away from. Depending on your game mode, a single death can end the game for you, so don’t mess with enemies when you don’t have to.
Learn to kite enemies
Some enemies, such as the Hounds, will keep chasing you until they are killed, so you have to know how to fight them. There’s a combat technique known as kiting, which refers to dodging the enemy’s attack and then.
To perform a kite, you must run away from the enemy’s attack right as they perform it, then run towards them and hit them with your weapon. Every enemy has a different number of hits you can get on them before the next attack, so try to go for fewer hits until you get a hang of the combat.
Find a good spot for your base
Everyone has a different idea of a suitable base location, but there are specific biomes to which you need to be close. The best biomes to make a base close to are the desert and the swamp, as they hold many resources that will be useful to them. Of course, finding a Wormhole that leads to those biomes.
I like to make a base in a grassy area just because it’s a nicer-looking location. There is usually an abundance of trees and berries in the forests and some nice rabbit holes. You’re able to dig up plants like berry bushes and twigs so that you can replant them at your base. It’s a good idea to have as many things as possible close to you so that you don’t have to stray far when you need something.
Prepare for winter
On day 21, winter officially begins. During this season, food becomes scarce, the air becomes cold, and a host of annoying enemies. You’ll want to have a base set up, as well as warm clothes and food storage. Make as many prototypes as possible because things are about to get more complex.
That’s all for the beginner’s guide, but I’ll be making more in-depth guides to surviving in every part of the game. There’s a lot to learn, and this guide barely scratched the surface. Stay tuned for more guides coming soon, which I’ll link to when they’re done.