Death is one of the key elements in the game, and one of two ways the player can gain Experience and unlock new Characters, the other being traveling to the next world via Wooden Thing. Upon death, the player drops all their carried inventory, even if resurrected afterwards, but only permanent death will provide Experience. All deaths, permanent or otherwise, are recorded in the Morgue.
- Wolfgang is immune to all damage when changing forms with his special power. This can be used to the player's advantage to survive attacks that would've otherwise killed them (e.g. Bigfoot's stomp). This does not apply to damage resulting from eating certain Food though, and equipped pieces of Armor will still lose Durability.
- Activation of the in-game portals listed will make characters invincible during transition: Wooden Thing, Worm Hole, Sinkhole, Maxwell's Door or Seaworthy
- Characters who are still in the reviving animation.
- The Living Artifact provides you with invulnerability for 180 seconds when used, due to the 100% damage reduction and resistance to all negative effects
Causes of Death
- Starving to death.
- Being killed by a Mob directly, such as a Hound, Pig, Tentacle, etc.
- Being killed by Charlie in pitch black darkness. (Labeled as Darkness with any character except for Maxwell, which will label it as Charlie)
- Burning to death from Fire.
- Freezing to death.
- Resurrection sickness from building too many Meat Effigies, reducing maximum health to 0.
- Being killed by a returning Boomerang. (This will be displayed as your character as the cause of death)
- Picking a Spiky Bush with extremely low health.
- Eating damaging Food items such as Monster Meat, Raw Red Mushrooms, Raw Durian or Monster Lasagna with low health
- Standing too close to Gunpowder when it explodes.
- Being hit by falling Rocks and other debris from Earthquakes in Caves.
- Playing as WX-78 and staying in the Rain for too long.
- Playing as Woodie as a Werebeaver and letting the Log Meter reach 0.
- Playing as Wes and popping 23 Balloons close to the character.
- Playing as Maxwell and summoning 5 Shadow Puppets without healing in-between.
In Reign of Giants (RoG) and Shipwrecked (SW) DLCs, if the player dies and resurrects, there will be a Skeleton found at the spot where the death has occurred, except when the cause of death is drowning in SW. These DLCs introduce additional causes of death:
- Playing as WX-78 and being wet for too long.
- Being struck by Lightning at low health.
- Picking a Cactus with extremely low health.
- Not moving after using the Old Bell while unarmored or lightly armored.
- Drowning due to not having a Life Jacket equipped when a boat breaks while sailing on it.
- Getting hit by a falling Coconut when chopping down a Palm Tree.
- Getting hit by a Dragoon Egg.
- Not getting distance from a lit Coconade or Obsidian Coconade while at low health and/or using low durability armor.
There are currently three Items that allow the player resurrect themselves upon death – Life Giving Amulet, Meat Effigy, and Touch Stone. Woodie's Were-Beaver form will also automatically resurrect him upon the Log Meter reaching 0. When an item is used to revive, it is destroyed and cannot be used again. Resurrection incurs the following penalties:
- is set to 50
- is set to 2/3 of maximum
- is set to 1/2 of maximum
- Empty inventory (items can be found at the death point)
If not resurrected, the character and the generated world are permanently lost.
In Don't Starve Together, resurrection mechanics have changed. Players are no longer revived automatically if a reviving item is present in the world or in their inventory. Instead, they are turned into Ghost Characters (only in Survival or Endless Mode), which can revive themselves using the Florid Postern (only in Endless Mode), a Life Giving Amulet, a Meat Effigy, or a Touch Stone. Players can also be revived by another player using a Telltale Heart.
Resurrection incurs a maximum-health penalty, unless a Life Giving Amulet, a Meat Effigy, or a Touch Stone was used for the resurrection. Therefore, resurrecting via the spawn portal (only in Endless mode) or with a Telltale Heart will incur the penalty. To remove the maximum-health penalty, the player must use a Booster Shot for every death they received during the game. Don't Starve Together introduces a death by picking a Rose at extremely low health, similar to the Spiky Bush and Cactus of the original and Reign of Giants, and death by another player (when pvp is enabled).
- Death cries were changed in The End of The Beginning update. Now all characters have their own death cry, except Wes, who does not make any noise at all. Before the update, all Characters had the same death cry.
- Upon death in Adventure Mode, all items from before the transition from Sandbox to Adventure Mode will be kept, and no alteration will have been made to the world.
- Before the All's Well That Maxwell update, the game had a different death screen.
- If the player leaves the game (or the game crashes) while the death animation plays, the character will still be alive upon return to that save file. However, the death will still appear in the Morgue.