There is currently a combined total of twenty-three playable Characters in Don't Starve, its DLCs and Don't Starve Together (DST). Each Character has at least one character-specific perk, in addition to various bonuses and penalties to their stats, and usually are different in play style. Each Character is "voiced" by a different instrument, and speaks differently when examining items and objects. The only exception to this is Wes, the speechless mime, who uses pantomimes instead of sounds or quotes.
The first accessible Characters are Wilson and Wagstaff, considered the protagonists and the focus of the game's story. Most of the other Characters can be unlocked when sufficient Experience has been accrued, gained at Death or when escaping to a new world. There are currently six Characters that are not unlocked via experience, but through game feats. If the player has not unlocked a Character, they will appear as their respective silhouette. Upon selecting a silhouette, the Poster on the left will be a coffin shut with chains and a lock, and the description will simply say "The Unknown".
Don't Starve Together includes all Characters from the base game and Reign of Giants DLC, but excluding Wagstaff, Walani, Wilbur, Woodlegs, Wilba, and Wheeler. The majority of Characters are unlocked from the start and several perks have been changed and balanced for the multiplayer aspect of the game. The first DST exclusive character was Winona who was added as a free update on September 13, 2017.
On January 22, 2019, free "character refreshes" for the DST roster as well as paid DLC characters were announced to be released throughout 2019. A total of four DLC characters were originally announced, however, as of the 2020 Roadmap Klei stated that they were not going to commit to a specific number of new characters. Character refreshes continued in 2020, starting in March as in the previous year. Each character update was also released with an animated short featuring the refreshed or newly added character.
The character refreshes consist of revamped abilities as well as a new purchasable skin set. This also included Warly who was a new addition to DST from the Don't Starve DLC Shipwrecked and was given a refresh to fit into a multiplayer environment.
Paid DLC characters can be unlocked through direct purchase of either a regular chest (including the character and one skin set) or a Deluxe chest (including the character and 3 skin sets) with the price depending on the character. They can also be woven with 2700 Spools.
Below is a list of all DST character updates released starting in 2019:
|Winona||March 7, 2019||Refresh|
|Wortox||March 28, 2019||Paid DLC|
|Willow||May 7, 2019||Refresh|
|Wormwood||June 6, 2019||Paid DLC/Refresh|
|Warly||July 25, 2019||New Character/Refresh|
|Woodie||September 12, 2019||Refresh|
|Wurt||October 24, 2019||Paid DLC|
|Wendy||March 19, 2020||Refresh|
|Walter||June 15, 2020||New Character|
|Wigfrid||September 24, 2020||Refresh|
|Wes||April 1, 2021||Refresh|
|Webber||June 24, 2021||Refresh|
|Wanda||September 9, 2021||Paid DLC|
List of Characters
Below are the abilities and requirements to unlock each Character.
|Grows a magnificent beard.||Immune to Fire damage. Has a sweet Lighter. Lights fires when nervous.||Grows stronger with a full belly. Is afraid of monsters and the dark.|
|Is haunted by her twin sister. Feels comfortable in the dark. Doesn't hit very hard.||Not a picky eater. Is charged by lightning, but damaged by water. Can upgrade with gears.||Knows many things. Self-publishes books. Can't sleep, hates food spoilage.|
|Has a lovely axe. And a terrible secret. Is thankful for bountiful harvests.||Can't talk. Has trouble staying alive. Practices balloonomancy.||Is dapper, but frail. Can split his mind into pieces. On a first-name basis with the night.|
|A great inventor. Nearsighted. Delicate Stomach.||Excels in battle. Absorbs the power of fallen foes. Only eats meat.||Is a monster. Can befriend spiders. Grows a silky smooth beard.|
|Loves surfing. Dries off quickly. Is a pretty chill gal.||Has a refined palate. Cooks in custom kitchenware. Brings a stylish chef pouch.||Can't talk. Slow as biped, but fast as quadruped. Is a monkey.|
|Can sniff out treasure. Captain of the "Sea Legs". Pirate.||Is a pig. Carries her father's legacy. Is afraid of the dark.||Plants relate to him. Has a Green Thumb. Food fills his stomach, but not his heart.|
|Armed with an air horn. Has a knick knack for finding things. Travels lighter than most.||Is a skilled builder. Gets one free hit from the dark. Invents her own gadgets.||Is an imp. Can hop through time and space. Less nourished by physical food.|
|At home in the Swamp. Has big plans for Merm-kind. Is a vegetarian.||Not afraid of anything, except getting hurt. Good with a slingshot. Has a four-legged friend. Allergic to bees. Has no interest in fashion.||Has excellent time management skills. Only as old as she feels. In a constant race against the clock.|
|Willow||160 exp (8 days)
|Wolfgang||320 exp (16 days)
|Wendy||640 exp (32 days)
|WX-78||960 exp (48 days)
|Wickerbottom||1280 exp (64 days)
|Woodie||1600 exp (80 days)
|Wes||Find and rescue Locked Wes in Adventure Mode
|Maxwell||Finish Adventure Mode
|Wigfrid||1920 exp (96 days in a Reign of Giants save slot)
|Webber||Find Webber's skull and bury it inside an opened Grave when playing in a Reign of Giants save slot
|Walani||2240 exp (112 days in a Shipwrecked/Shipwrecked compatible save slot)||200||120||200|
|Warly||2560 exp (128 days in a Shipwrecked/Shipwrecked compatible save slot)
|Wilbur||Find the Tarnished Crown and return it to Wilbur when playing in a Shipwrecked save||150||125||175|
|Woodlegs||Find Woodlegs' Cage in the Volcano and then unlock it with the Iron, Bone and Gold Keys while playing in a Shipwrecked save||120||150||150|
|Wilba||Acquire the Royal Crown by defeating Queen Womant, give it to the Pig Queen in the Palace in a Hamlet save||100||150||200|
Weave for 2700 Spools OR buy Wormwood Chest for $6.99 OR the Wormwood Deluxe Chest for $10.99 OR buy the Hamlet DLC for Don't Starve
|Wheeler||3200 exp (160 days in a Hamlet/Hamlet compatible save slot)||200||100||150|
|Wortox||Weave for 2700 Spools OR buy Wortox Chest for $6.99 OR the Wortox Deluxe Chest for $10.99||150||200||175|
|Wurt||Weave for 2700 Spools OR buy Wurt Chest for $5.99 OR the Wurt Deluxe Chest for $9.99 OR the Starter Pack upgrade to the Megapack Bundle for $6.99||150-200||150-250||200-250|
|Wanda||Weave for 2700 Spools OR buy Wanda Chest for $5.99 OR the Wanda Deluxe Chest for $9.99 OR the Starter Pack 2021 for $7.99||200||N/A*||175|
*Health is replaced with an Age Meter, with a value of 60.
Main article: Maxwell (NPC)
Maxwell initially serves as the main antagonist of Don't Starve. He appears before the start of every game, saying, "Say pal, you don't look so good. You better find something to eat before night comes!" He disappears before the player assumes control of their character.
When the player chooses to play as Maxwell, non-playable Maxwell will not appear. Maxwell will instead awaken and exclaim "Freedom, at last!"
Main article: Abigail
Abigail is Wendy's twin sister, and as Wendy's perk, she can be summoned with Abigail's Flower.
Main article: Woby
Woby is a lost dog who accompanies Walter. As part of Walter's perks, she acts as a mobile chest and can become large and rideable.
Main article: Trade Inn
The Curio Collector is the purveyor in charge of the Trade Inn feature. During the Year of the Beefalo event he was featured as the judge of the Beefalo Pageant.
Main article: Battlemaster Pugna
Battlemaster Pugna is the leader of the warriors in the realm beyond the Molten Gateway. He is exclusive to The Forge event.
The Gorge NPCs
These characters were exclusive to The Gorge event. Include the goat mother Mumsy and her son Billy, the Mermified traders Sammy and Pipton, as well as the Swamp Pig Elder and his people. The Gnaw is the creature that terrorized the people of the Gorge and turned most of them into Merms.
Main article: Crabby Hermit
The Crabby Hermit was introduced in the Return of Them update She Sells Sea Shells. She can be found on the Hermit Island. She rewards players for helping her and she trades items in exchange for Empty Bottles.
Main article: Unimplemented Characters
There are several additional characters for Don't Starve and and Don't Starve Together that have yet to be implemented. These other characters only exist in the form of portraits, sound, and other assets found in the game files.
The character Warbucks was the first character introduced in the Hamlet DLC, but was later removed from the game and replaced with Wormwood. However, the developers left his code in the game, allowing players to use him via console commands.
See also: Minor Characters
Main article: Mods
On the PC version of Don't Starve, Characters created by users can be published on the Steam Workshop or the Klei Forums using the Don't Starve Mod Tools. Once downloaded, the character can be set up in its directory. When the player starts up the game, they can click the Mods button to enable the character. They will now be available for use after restarting.
- All playable characters' names start with W apart from Maxwell's. Within the game's code, Maxwell's name is written "Waxwell," in line with the other characters and not to confuse playable Maxwell with NPC Maxwell. The trailer puzzles confirmed that Maxwell's real name is William Carter.
- Having all characters' names start with W was unintentional at first, but Klei decided to go with it. [Verification Needed]
- Wolfgang was previously unlocked after Wendy.
- All characters are ambidextrous thanks to their sprite work.
- For the characters' voices being played by instruments, the developers were inspired by both the teacher's voice in the Peanuts specials and the musical composition Peter and the Wolf.
- Before the Shipwrecked characters were released, they each had a locked character portrait, the title of "The Unfinished", the motto quote of "Don't look at me. I'm not ready yet.", and the perk of "Hasn't arrived on the island yet".
- Upon his release, Wortox's speech file contained examination quotes for a character labeled
"NEXTCHARACTER". These quotes were removed at some time between Warly's update and Woodie's refresh.
- Generic- "Hyuyu, what are you up to %s?"
- Attacker- "Don't get my goat, little %s!"
- Murderer- "Eep! Don't slaughter me!"
- Reviver- "Thank-you, thank-you, little goat!"
- Ghost- "Don't worry, I'm not hungry."
- Firestarter- "Little goat! You played pranks without me!"
- When idling, all characters perform the same random animations, such as scratching themselves and kicking the ground. Exclusively in Don't Starve Together, each character is given a unique idle animation starting with Wormwood's debut. The animations are as follows:
- Wormwood mimics butterfly wings with his hand leaves, as he does in Lunar Roots.
- Wortox dances happily. His animation was added in the June 10, 2019 update.
- Warly sniffs a waft of air. This was added in his debut update.
- Winona stretches her shoulder. This was also added in Warly's update.
- When holding Bernie, Willow hugs him. This is the third idle animation added in Warly's update.
- When holding Lucy, Woodie caresses her. This was added in Woodie's refresh update.
- Wurt scratches her horn.
- Wendy plucks petals from a flower. This was added in Wendy's refresh update.
- Walter salutes.
- Wigfrid takes a bow. This was added in Wigfrid's refresh update.
- Wes blows up a red Balloon which pops in his face. This was added in Wes' refresh update.
- Webber makes a small web with a heart shape hole in his hands.
- Wanda impatiently checks a watch.
- Winona announcement tweet Posted on September 6, 2017.
- Announcing Don't Starve: Hamlet, The Forge and other exciting news!. Posted on September 13, 2017.
- Don't Starve Together Roadmap 2019. Posted on January 22, 2019
- Don't Starve Together Roadmap 2020. Posted on February 7, 2020.
- Winona's Character Update is Coming Next Week!. Posted on March 1, 2019.
- Winona Character Update & Drop System Changes. Posted on March 7, 2019.
- Wortox Arrives March 28th!. Posted on March 22, 2019.
- Wortox Has Arrived!. Posted on March 28, 2019.
- Willow Refresh Info and Roadmap Schedule Update. Posted on April 25, 2019
- Willow Character Update and More!. Posted on May 7, 2019
- Upcoming Content Beta and Roadmap Update Posted on May 16, 2019.
- Wormwood Arrives June 6th!. Posted on May 31, 2019.
- Wormwood is Now Live!. Posted on June 6, 2019.
- Warly Refresh date change announcement
- Warly is Now Available in DST! Posted on July 25, 2019
- Woodie Character Update Next Week + News!. Posted on September 6, 2019
- Woodie Character Update Now Available + RoT:Salty Dog Beta. Posted on September 11, 2019.
- Hallowed Nights and Wurt available October 24th! (And more!) Posted on October 18, 2019.
- Hallowed Nights Has Returned and Wurt has Arrived + much more! Posted on October 24, 2019.
- Wendy's Character Refresh is Coming Next Week!. Posted on March 12, 2020.
- Wendy's Character Refresh is Now Available!. Posted on March 19, 2020.
- Don't Starve Together - May QOL Update Posted on May 28, 2020.
- Walter & Woby Arrive June 15th! Posted on June 10, 2020.
- Walter & Woby Now Available!. Posted on June 15, 2020.
- DST Return of Them: Troubled Waters Now Available! Posted on July 16, 2020.
- Wigfrid's Character Refresh is Coming Next Week! Posted on September 17, 2020
- Wigfrid's Character Refresh is Now Available! Posted on September 24, 2020.
- Wes's Entirely Real Character Refresh Now Available! Posted on April 1, 2021.
- Don't Starve Together - Return of Them: Eye of The Storm Now Available! Posted on May 5, 2021.
- Webber's Character Refresh Coming Next Week! Posted on June 17, 2021.
- Webber's Character Refresh is Now Available! Posted on June 24, 2021.
- Don't Starve Together Roadmap 2021 Posted on February 4, 2021.
-  Posted on August 12, 2021.
-  Posted on September 2, 2021.
- Matt Marteinsson: The Sounds of Don't Starve, around timestamp 6:29. Uploaded on August 17, 2015.
- Wortox quotes
- Don't Starve: Hamlet Roadmap. Posted on February 14, 2019.
|Don't Starve||Wilson (quotes ⋅ clothes ⋅ gallery) • Willow (quotes ⋅ clothes) • Wolfgang (quotes ⋅ clothes) • Wendy (quotes ⋅ clothes) • WX-78 (quotes ⋅ clothes) • Wickerbottom (quotes ⋅ clothes) • Woodie (quotes ⋅ clothes) • Wes (quotes ⋅ clothes) • Maxwell (quotes ⋅ clothes) • Wagstaff (quotes ⋅ clothes)|
|Reign of Giants||Wigfrid (quotes ⋅ clothes) • Webber (quotes ⋅ clothes)|
|Shipwrecked||Walani (quotes ⋅ clothes) • Warly (quotes ⋅ clothes) • Wilbur (quotes ⋅ clothes) • Woodlegs (quotes ⋅ clothes)|
|Hamlet||Wilba (quotes ⋅ clothes) • Wormwood (quotes ⋅ clothes) • Wheeler (quotes ⋅ clothes)|
|Don't Starve Together||Winona (quotes ⋅ clothes) • Wortox (quotes ⋅ clothes) Wurt (quotes ⋅ clothes) Walter (quotes ⋅ clothes) Wanda (quotes ⋅ clothes)|
|Removed||Warbucks (quotes ⋅ clothes)|
|Unimplemented||Wilton • Winnie • Wallace • Waverly • Pyro • Watricia|