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Don’t Starve Together – Beginner Guide & Tips

Don’t Starve is one of the BEST survival games out there. With its challenging yet satisfying gameplay loop, unique cast of characters with special abilities, and charming art style, there’s a lot to love about it. It should be no surprise that the game is just as fun with a friend in Don’t Starve Together! However, Don’t Starve Together is a rather brutal game to learn, especially if your group is new to it, so we’ve put together a beginner guide to help you survive the first few nights!

Whether you’re a returning veteran from Don’t Starve or you’re new to the series altogether, there’s a lot of important information that you should know so you can survive and thrive in The Constant. Our beginner guide and 10 tips will help you get the hang of things in Don’t Starve Together!

Beginner Guide to Don’t Starve Together

Gathering basic materials in DST
Image: Klei Entertainment via HGG / Koby Gibson Ross

Before we get into our list of tips, let’s give a brief rundown on the basics of Don’t Starve Together and what you need to do on your first day.

Stats and Meters

One of the first things you’ll probably notice are the three meters near the top-right of your screen. These represent your three main stats: health, hunger, and sanity. Every character has differing max values for these three stats, and some characters have additional meters to work with.

Health is exactly you would expect. It decreases when you take damage, and as long as you stay above zero, your character will be alive and functional. If you end up running out of health and die, there are a couple ways to come back to life.

Hunger steadily decreases every minute. Once you reach 0 hunger, your character will start periodically taking damage every second. In a majority of cases, you want to have your hunger bar topped off so you don’t have to worry about it while you’re out venturing and doing things.

Sanity is the most interesting of the three. Starving, getting too close to hostile monsters, and interacting with eldritch objects all take a toil on your sanity. Should it get too low, parts of the world might start changing and those shadowy hallucinations start becoming real. While there are some moments where going insane can be beneficial, that’s a topic for when you’re more experienced.

Crafting

To the left side of your screen, you’ll have your crafting bar. There’s an extensive list of crafting recipes in Don’t Starve Together, but you’ll only know a handful at the start. To open up new crafting options, you’ll have to build specific crafting stations and prototype new inventions while standing next to said stations.

Once you prototype and craft your first copy of an item, you’ll be able to craft the item anywhere and anytime – as long as you have the materials on hand. This will be crucial to setting up multiple base camps throughout the world as you steadily expand your options and learn more about the game.

What To Do First?

Assuming you don’t mess with any of the default world settings, you should spawn in a grassy field or a similar woodlands biome. You’ll want to immediately start gathering basic resources to get a functioning camp up and running.

Grass and twigs are what you will want first. Grass is tan in color and grows in tall stocks out of the ground. Twigs can be gathered from small little plants that look like miniature trees with no leaves.

Once you’ve gathered 6-12 grass and 4-6 twigs, you can start looking for flint next. This is a shiny little rock that can spawn naturally on the map. You only need 1 flint for now, but I recommend getting at least 3.

Once you have 1, craft an axe with it by interacting with the crafting menu on the left side of the screen and looking under the tools section. An axe requires 1 twig and 1 flint to craft. Once that is done, you can begin chopping down trees to gather some wood.

Gather at least 6 logs. With the grass from earlier and the wood, you can now make a campfire! But don’t do that just yet. First, you will need to gather some food. You can find berry bushes, carrots, and seeds all around the map. Pick those up, but don’t eat them right away.

Take a look at the clock in the top-right corner: if the night is near, then it’s time to set up camp. Find a spot near a grove of trees and craft a fire from the crafting menu. Then place it down, but not right next to the trees or they’ll burn.

If for some reason you can’t get enough materials for a fire, at least have enough on hand for a torch. Being left in the darkness for more than two seconds will cause you to take massive damage from whatever lurks in it. Always have some source of light when night approaches!

Now you can spend the night cooking the food you’ve gathered and chopping down the nearby trees for more wood. When the morning comes, you can make a pickaxe and start mining boulders and gold veins to gather rocks, more flint, and gold.

Once you have 16 rocks and at least 1 gold, you can start looking for a suitable location to make your first permanent camp. You’ll want to create a Fire Pit, which will serve as a more permanent source of fire. All you have to do is feed it some logs as fuel to get a fire going.

Even more importantly, you’ll want to craft a Science Machine. Once placed, you can stand next to it to gain access to more crafting recipes and really start diving into the game. At this point, you’ve accomplished all the basics and should be prepared to survive your first couple of days in Don’t Starve Together.

During your first run, you’ll mostly be figuring out what each invention does, how to whip up efficient meals to keep your hunger bar high, and what resources are absolutely essential for surviving in the long-term.

You will die and have to restart a lot, but that’s the fun of the game. Each adventure into the world should result in you learning a bit more and surviving just a bit longer. For now, let’s go over a couple more tips to help you survive your beginner days in Don’t Starve Together.

10 Beginner Tips & Tricks for Don’t Starve Together

We hope that you found the Don’t Starve Together beginner guide informative! Now it’s time for you to read our top 10 tips for beginners so you can really become an expert.

1. Play Wilson or Wendy

Play Wilson or Wendy - don't starve together guide
Most of the characters have some gimmick. | Image: Klei Entertainment via HGG / Koby Gibson Ross

If you are new to the game and can’t decide which character to play in your first world, I recommend you pick either Wilson or Wendy. Wilson is a good jack-of-all-trades character with no obvious downsides, making him a good choice to learn the game with.

Wendy is also a great pick. She doesn’t deal as much damage as other characters in combat, but she makes up for it with her special ability – using her flower to summon her dead twin sister, Abigail! Abigail will aid you in combat, and she is especially useful for clearing out groups of enemies. She is a godsend in a fight, as she will do most of the work for you while all you have to do is sit and watch.

2. Spawn in a World With Juicy Berry Bushes

Juicy Berry Bushes - don't starve together guide
Example of a standard regular berry bush. | Image: Klei Entertainment via HGG / Koby Gibson Ross

Upon generating your world, it has a chance of spawning with either regular berry bushes or juicy berry bushes. Regular berry bushes will only produce one berry when harvested. Juicy berry bushes, however, will give you three. Not only that, but a cooked juicy berry will fill more hunger than a cooked regular berry. The only downside with juicy berries is that they spoil faster.

So as you can imagine, it is better to spawn in a world with juicy berry bushes instead of regular ones. While you could just keep recreating worlds until you get one with juicy berry bushes (which are taller and more bountiful looking than regular ones), we suggest just tweaking the settings during world generation to boost the spawn rate of juicy berry bushes.

Once you get more used to the game, you can switch back to the default berry bush settings. Or just keep playing with more juicy berry bushes! No one is going to crucify you for changing this particular setting.

3. Prioritize Getting Gold on Day 2

Prioritize getting gold - don't starve together guide
Image: Klei Entertainment via HGG

As we mentioned above, you’ll need gold in order to craft a Science Machine and really open up your options in-game. You can find gold in one of two ways. You can either harvest some from a gold vein, or you can barter for some from the pig king.

The first method is the easiest. All you need to do is craft a pickaxe using two flints and a twig. Now go out into the world and find a large boulder with gold veins on it. Harvest in and you’ll get gold!

The second method requires you to find a pig village with the pig king in the center. Once you find the pig king, you can trade him meat-based food (and trinkets) for gold. However, finding the pig king can be rather difficult as there’s only one in the entire world. If you’re determined to seek him out, look for a cobblestone road. These often lead to a pig village, where you might find the pig king.

4. Build Your Camp Next to Natural Defenses

Utilize your surroundings to your defense
The pig men aren’t much, but they’re trying at least. | Image: Klei Entertainment via HGG

When it comes to combat in Don’t Starve Together, it’s generally better to avoid it altogether when you’re first starting out. What I mean by this is that instead of engaging in combat yourself, you should use NPCs and the environment to do your fighting for you.

For example, you can sometimes lead attacking NPCs to other nearby NPCs who will draw the aggro and fight your attackers for you. This is a necessary strategy to use during the early game if you’re new and aren’t used to combat yet.

Especially since every now and then, you will randomly get attacked by hounds. These are wild dogs that will attack you every once in a while in small groups. The only warning you’ll get is your character mentioning that something approaches.

It is recommended that you build your camp near a group of creatures that will fight the hounds for you when they do attack. Pig villages are the best place to do this, but you can also build your camp next to groups of bee hives for a similar effect. Just note that it may take a few tries to get the other NPCs to aggro on the hounds and help you out.

5. Craft & Use Rabbit Traps ASAP

Craft rabbit traps - don't starve together guide
Place traps on top of the rabbit hole. | Image: Klei Entertainment via HGG / Koby Gibson Ross

One of the best food sources in the game is rabbits. This is because rabbits can be harvested all year round, unlike berries and crops which don’t grow in winter. Because of this, I highly recommend you start making rabbit traps to begin farming them ASAP. Rabbits will spawn naturally in rabbit holes, which you can find commonly throughout the world (especially in plains biomes).

You can craft a rabbit trap using 6 grass and 2 twigs, which is pretty inexpensive. Craft about 4 – 6 of them and place them on top of the rabbit holes that you encounter (or place them nearby with seeds or carrots inside them). Then come back in a day or so and pick up the trap to grab the rabbit. You can then place the trap back down to catch another one.

You can then kill the rabbit in your inventory to get 1 piece of meat, or just keep them in a chest and let them slowly starve to death to maintain the meat’s freshness. Alternatively, keep the rabbits for some of the other recipes in the game. Keep in mind that traps have limited durability, so make sure to craft more when needed.

6. Use a Crock Pot to Make Meatballs

Use a crock pot to make meatballs - don't starve together guide
Waiting around the Crock Pot for a meal. | Image: Klei Entertainment via HGG

Crock Pots are one of the best things in the game. They allow you to combine multiple different ingredients together to create special food items that are more effective than their base ingredients. Every player should get at least one Crock Pot during their first week in Don’t Starve Together.

You’ll need a science machine to craft one if you’ve never made one before in your current world. It requires 3 cut stones (which can be refined from rocks at the Science Machine), 6 charcoal (gotten from burning down a forest), and 6 twigs.

Out of all the things you can make with a Crock Pot, meatballs are by far one of the BEST food items. This is because meatballs are incredibly easy to make and will fill up a huge chunk of your hunger bar, as well as a small amount of sanity and health.

Just place three berries and one meat into the Crock Pot and you’ll get one dish of meatballs. Combine this tip with the rabbit trap tip mentioned previously and you’ll be set on food! If you’re running low on berries, you can substitute them with plenty of other filler options (virtually any vegetable or fruit will work). You can even use monster meat instead of normal meat!

7. Learn How to Fight

Learn how to fight
Learn to kite your foes. | Image: Klei Entertainment via HGG

Don’t Starve Together is a survival game, and as with most survival games, there is a combat system. But it is a bit different than what you’ll find in most other games.

The combat for most encounters looks like this: an enemy sees you, and runs towards you to attack. You get close enough to it to trigger its attack animation and immediately back away to dodge. While the enemy is recovering from its attack animation, you come in and start hitting it to deal damage. Rinse and repeat.

Most enemies will be staggered for a moment when you hit them. While there are exceptions, those types of enemies tend to be larger elites. Spiders for example are very to kill one-on-one, as you can easily keep them indefinitely staggered by non-stop hitting them.

Unfortunately, the situation changes when there are multiple enemies. Until you discover some late-game recipes, you won’t really have much in terms of AoE attacks. Combat with multiple mobs is an even more deadly game of baiting them towards you and trying to isolate one enemy. While I did previously mention that it’s often better to let the environment do the fighting for you, you will need to eventually take matters into your own hands.

8. Locate Spider Dens ASAP

Find Spider Den's ASAP - don't starve together guide
A level 1 spider den is manageable…for now. | Image: Klei Entertainment via HGG

Spiders–despite their terrifying appearance–are one of the most useful mobs in all of Don’t Starve Together. When killed, they drop tons of useful materials – spider silk, spider glands, and monster meat. Spider silk is used in a large variety of inventions, such as tents and butterfly nets. Spider glands can be combined with ash and rocks to make one of your staple healing items, and monster meat can be put into the crock pot to make meatballs (see tip #6).

Because of all these useful items, it is important that you make sure to explore your world early on to find spider dens. They typically spawn in evergreen forests, and it’s common to come across several of them all located near one another. Once you find some, be sure to visit them every few days to kill any and all spiders to harvest their stuff.

Just be careful with how many spider nests you leave up. Once enough time passes, they’ll evolve into the next level and can start spawning stronger spiders. If you leave too many up in one area, it can quickly devolve into a death trap. Just make sure to leave at least one spider nest alive in the area, otherwise no more spiders will spawn there.

9. Craft a Tent Early on

Craft a tent - don't starve together guide
A good night’s rest does wonders. | Image: Klei Entertainment via HGG

Keeping your sanity high is one of the most important things to do in Don’t Starve Together. Having low sanity will effectively make the game more difficult, causing troublesome enemies to spawn, among other headaches. One of the best ways to make sure you stay sane is with the use of a tent. This is an item that you can craft from an Alchemy Engine using 6 silk, 4 twigs, and 3 rope.

Once you craft it and place it down, you can sleep in it during the nighttime (for a total of 6 uses). This will advance time while refilling your health and sanity meter, though at the cost of rapidly draining your hunger meter. Just make sure you go to sleep with a full belly to avoid wasting a charge on your tent.

I highly recommend that you get one of these for your camp as soon as you have a steady supply of food to negate the cost of sleeping (see tips #5 and #6). Just don’t forget to keep a fire going! The darkness is still a threat.

10. Shave Beefaloo to Make Winter Clothing

Shave Beefaloo for their wool - don't starve together guide
Image: Klei Entertainment via HGG

Okay, so you’ve got a camp set up and well-developed. You’ve got a steady and reliable source of food, and your sanity meter is covered. What next? Now you need to prepare for the upcoming winter.

The first major hurdle that most players will face is how well they can manage their resources and survive the freezing cold of winter. Wandering too far away from a heat source will cause you to begin freezing and taking constant damage.

Certain items can help mitigate heat loss, and allow you to wander the cold wilderness. Some methods include crafting a thermal stone (and heating it up by a fire) or by making some rabbit ear muffs using the rabbits you’ve caught earlier. One of the best ways to stay warm, however, is with a Winter Hat.

A Winter Hat is made with 4 silk and 4 beefalo fur at an Alchemy Engine. You should already have some silk if you’ve been following this list of tips, but what about beefalo fur? Beefaloos are big, wholly creatures that spawn in herds inside grassland biomes.

Once you find them, you can craft a razor using 2 twigs and 2 flints. Then you need to approach the beefalo herd during the evening. Set up a campfire next to them and wait for the night to come. At night they will be asleep. Now you can use the razor on them to safely harvest their fur!

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