When you play Don’t Starve Together, you are thrown in a randomly generated world with almost no direction. Whether you are playing with friends or trying to learn on your own, it can be difficult without knowing what to focus on or if you’re doing something wrong.
Here are some tips to survive in the first few days, build your foundation and prepare yourself for more advanced adventures.
Get Materials to Make a Fire Quickly
When you first start, you should be picking up almost anything you can get your hands on. You should be picking up Flint and Twigs from the ground to build an Axe. Use the Axe to cut down trees to get Logs.
Find Grass Tufts to get Dry Grass, which you can combine with Logs to create a Campfire. A Campfire is essential to surviving at night, or you will get ambushed by creatures in the darkness.
You can also gather Twigs and Dry Grass to create Torches as an alternative, but you want to get in the habit of making a Campfire. A Campfire can be used to cook food and can be refueled to last throughout the night.
Grab Berries & Carrots for food
You might be tempted to go hunting since you encounter Rabbits, but your best methods of avoiding hunger will be Berry Bushes and Carrots sticking out of the ground. These are the two sources of early-game food that you want to constantly look out for.
Berry Bushes and Carrots are often found on land areas with a green color. They are both plentiful, and you can easily gather a lot of them. While food is scarce and you don’t have access to cooking, you will need these food items to avoid starving to death.
You can also cook these foods with a Campfire to get more beneficial effects, like reducing your hunger in greater amounts.
Food items can go stale (indicated by the green backdrop behind all perishable items), but this will take a few days. You can always gather more Berries and Carrots as necessary.
Explore the Map & Don’t Make a Base Yet
Every game of Don’t Starve Together takes place on a randomly generated map. The locations of resources, enemies and items change with every map.
While it can be tempting to try and establish a base to get a sense of familiarity, avoid doing that shortly after you arrive. Spend the first few days walking in unexplored areas of the map (use the M key to bring it up). Pay attention to locations of rocks, trees and animals.
You may encounter some creatures that are hostile, but also some that aren’t. You might find new items that could benefit you or can be used in crafting later. You might even come across unique areas that you can explore when you are more comfortable.
Settling down should only be done after you have walked around the map and found a good location with convenient access to resources. A good spot early on will have lots of trees, Rabbit Holes, Grass Tufts and large Boulders.
You might hear of base locations that are near areas with Beehives, Beefalos and/or Tailbird Nests. Those are good base locations, but they should not be pursued while you are just starting out. You will have enough resources to build more than one base.
It is more important that you get your early-game bearings first, then move on to more advanced gameplay when you are ready to take some risks.
Learn About Hunger, Health & Sanity
Don’t Starve Together has three main stats in the upper right corner. Hunger is indicated by the yellow stomach icon, Health is the red heart icon, and Sanity is the orange brain icon. They are all important to your survival, and will have severe consequences if you neglect them.
When you first start playing the game, you probably won’t survive long enough to know the consequences of having low Hunger or Sanity. But as you get more experienced, those are the two stats that you need to pay attention to.
Hunger – How Much Food You Have Eaten
Hunger represents the stat that indicates how much nourishment a character has been able to gain. You don’t have to worry about nutrients in this game; you just need to keep your Hunger level comfortably above the halfway mark.
As long as your Hunger is above 0, nothing bad will happen. When your Hunger reaches 0, you will start losing Health rapidly until you get something to eat. Raw food is good in a pinch, but cooked food will have a greater impact on your Hunger.
Health – How Many Hits You Can Take
Health is the stat that indicates how many hits you can take. At your character’s highest Health, you won’t have much of a problem. Take a few hits, and your Health may go down rapidly. When Health reaches 0, your character dies.
You can restore Health by eating food, resting or using items to heal.
Sanity – How You Perceive The World
Sanity represents how your character views the world. At high Sanity, everything will be relatively normal. When your Sanity begins to slip, you will start to see creatures appear on your screen or experience distortion effects. At higher levels, existing creatures can change form while new creatures will appear to attack you.
Sanity, like Hunger, will always go down over time. You can regain Sanity by picking up Flowers, eating food items like Green Mushrooms or by resting at night with a Straw Roll. A good way to keep Sanity high in the early game is to gather 12 Flowers and craft a Garland, which helps your Sanity.
Start Crafting New Tools
As you become familiar with your environment, you will need to start creating new tools to take advantage of your surroundings. You want to create tools like a Pickaxe to begin harvesting Rocks, Flint, and possibly Gold Nuggets from Boulders lying around.
You may also want to start hunting down Rabbits, crafting Traps out of Dry Grass and baiting them with Carrots to get new sources of food.
Building a Science Machine will be important for creating even better items, such as a Spear for combat, a Straw Roll for resting or a Shovel for digging. When you have found a good spot for a base, make your first Science Machine there.
These tools and items will be essential as you continue to play, especially if you plan on fighting monsters or surviving in different types of weather.
Don’t Fight Unless You Are Prepared
There is no level system in Don’t Starve Together and getting defeated means starting all over again. You don’t want to spend too much time looking to “train” against monsters if you won’t get any XP.
However, monsters will drop precious items such as Monster Meat or Pig Skin that you will need for future recipes. A confrontation will be inevitable, but you want to make sure that you are properly equipped before you consider fighting.
If you are just starting out, it is better to avoid fighting. If the numbers aren’t in your favor or a large opponent is nearby, live to fight another day.
You can try to “kite” enemies by attacking them, running out of their attack range and then attacking again. While this isn’t a bad strategy, it can be risky to pull off while you are unprepared. Monsters have a variety of surprises which can make combat unwise.
Never be afraid to run, and only start looking for fights when you need items from monsters. Otherwise, it is better to leave them alone and focus on your own tasks.
Slowly Begin to Try New Things
A big part of learning how to play Don’t Starve Together will involve taking risks. You might come across a structure you haven’t seen before, or get a rare chance to take an egg from a monster.
While you shouldn’t be taking these risks from Day 1, you should feel more confident once you have your base set up. If you can craft the proper equipment, feel free to explore unfamiliar areas or start investigating structures that catch your attention.
It could be something good or it could work against you. As long as you have a base that you can retreat to, you can chalk up any bad events as learning mistakes.
You will struggle to survive if you only stick to what you know. You will have to start fighting larger monsters or exploring new areas to get more items. But take risks that are comfortable for you, and you will start learning how the game works.
Don’t Starve Together is a survival game that throws you straight into the deep end. It can be disorienting and scary when you don’t know what the right actions are. With these tips, you should be able to build a solid foundation for yourself and avoid dying too often.
When you feel more confident and are ready to take more advanced steps, you can really start putting your skills to the test. Until then, start by building a strong foundation to ensure that each survival adventure begins with the best preparations you can make.