The Deerclops is a boss monster that is only active during Winter, unless edited in World Customization. It has high health and damage and can destroy Structures and trees, making it very dangerous if it enters the player's camp. The Deerclops is aggressive towards anything it encounters and can kill most creatures easily. Its monstrous appearance drains Sanity quickly when the character gets too close.
Deerclops takes four blasts from the Ice Staff to be frozen, and four Sleep Darts to put to sleep. When killed, it will drop 8 pieces of Meat and a Deerclops Eyeball, which does not spoil, and restores a high amount of Health and Hunger but drains Sanity.
The Deerclops spawns during Winter near the player. Its approach is signaled by a deep moaning sound, which the character will eventually comment on, similar to the way that Hounds are signaled. Unlike Hounds, the Deerclops will not follow the player wherever they go, the player can move away and, with luck, leave the Deerclops behind to despawn when Winter ends.
The Deerclops has an attack in which it will either swipe or pound the floor at its current target. Both animations have the same effect, damaging all mobs and structures within a radius of about 2.5 berry bushes. It usually does not immediately target the player upon arrival, having an "aggro distance" toward any mob it gets close to. The Deerclops first tries to target the closest structure to the player at time of being spawned; if no structure is close enough to the player, then the player is targeted instead (although this tends to be rare). The Deerclops will not target walls unless the object or mob that the Deerclops is aiming to destroy is behind a wall. Often, walls and other structures or mobs nearby may suffer collateral damage despite what the Deerclops may target, so walls do not stand up well to a Deerclops.
The Deerclops aims to destroy all structures and then leave. Note that the only structures counted are the ones targeted by the Deerclops directly - collateral damage is not counted, meaning many more structures may be destroyed before the Deerclops is finished. Naturally, if the Deerclops is aggroed by the player or other mobs, it will hang around to take care of them first, before continuing to destroy structures or leave.
It is possible to stay out of the way as it passes by. However, Deerclops can easily ravage the structures in the player's camp, with Pig Houses and Rabbit Hutches being especially costly. If the Deerclops is defeated close enough to structures, it will damage or destroy them due to it collapsing on top of them.
Once killed, the Deerclops takes 3–6 days to respawn. It will despawn around about the time when summer comes (the exact time depends on how fast the snow melts, as the Deerclops has thresholds, unless it has been configured to "Lots" in the world menu). If it is onscreen when it is supposed to be gone, it will simply despawn.
If the player happens to be in the Caves during Winter and they come out, it is possible for the Deerclops to be waiting for them at the entrance.
The Deerclops can be kited, a process by which the player attacks, moves away to avoid an attack, then attacks again. It is possible to strike the Deerclops three times in between attacks, or four times if the player is walking over cobblestones or road, or can quickly equip a Walking Cane. It is highly recommended to stick to three or even two hits if one doesn't know the exact hitbox of the Deerclops. The player must time their attacks with the Deerclops's animations, as its long and wide ranged melee attack is hard to dodge even with a mighty Wolfgang's speed. Its high health means this will take time, however, and the character's Sanity will drop very quickly. Armor should be worn when attempting this as the Deerclops can kill most characters in two strikes. Two or three Log suits and Football helmets should be enough to absorb some damage, and around 10 pieces of Jerky should be enough to recover health and mitigate the sanity loss. A Walking Cane and timed clicking can increase the ability to dodge its attacks in between the player's blows, and gives a speed boost to run away if necessary. In Reign of Giants (RoG), a Deerclops's attacks will freeze the player after two hits, unless the player places a fire source next to them.
The Deerclops does not sleep during the night, but it can be put to sleep by a Pan Flute or Sleep Darts. Fire Darts or the Fire Staff are also effective. However, it will take a large amount of hits to kill it, and may result in the loot it drops turning to Ashes. In this case, 8 cooked meat will drop but no Deerclops Eyeball as it would have been burned. The Deerclops can also be frozen and then attacked from behind.
The Deerclops can be easily killed by using the Snurtle Shell Armor: before it strikes, one should hide in the shell, then emerge and strike between its attacks.
With Wolfgang on a full stomach, the player can simply tank the Deerclops with a Tentacle Spike or Ham Bat without any sort of armor and will be able to kill it and survive with some Health left.
If the player happens to have a lot of Tooth Traps, they can lead the Deerclops to an open area covered in the traps. As with other aggressive creatures, it will walk towards the player without avoiding the traps. It will take 34 sprung traps to kill the Deerclops, but the player can kite it to speed up the process.
Alternatively, the Deerclops can be lured to fight other creatures, but the player should be warned because the Deerclops has an "Area of Effect" attack. For example, if the Deerclops were lured to a group of Beefalo, it will hit several at the same time and thus cause them to attack. It is advised to have an Ice Staff in this situation, as the Deerclops can make quick work of a small to medium Beefalo herd. Using the staff on it as it prepares to strike will stun it and cancel its attack, protecting the Beefalo in the process. Treeguards will also fight the Deerclops and are very effective. Walrus Camps can also be used, as MacTusk can dodge Deerclops's attacks and possibly kill it given enough time.
Another way to kill the Deerclops involves having a neutral Treeguard nearby one's base. The player should guide the Deerclops into trees to destroy them or let it attempt to hit the character while nearby a Treeguard, as its AoE attack will hit the Treeguard if close enough. The large Treeguard will kill the Deerclops with health to spare. If one attempts to use this strategy in RoG, one Treeguard will not be sufficient to kill the Deerclops, since its freeze effect will work on Treeguards and allow the Deerclops to land enough hits to kill a single opponent.
The quickest method of killing the Deerclops requires Gunpowder and a Torch. Gunpowder deals 200 damage, and thus, 10 units of them would instantly kill the Deerclops. Place the gunpowder, 9 in a stack, as close as possible to the Deerclops (it is recommended to freeze or put it to sleep to hold it still). Next, light the gunpowder with a torch and run. To deal with the Deerclops's remaining health, attack it with non-fire weapons. As stated, only 9 units of gunpowder should be used, since the player presumably wants its eyeball not to become ash if it dies while lit on fire.
Alternatively, the Deerclops can easily be lost by moving a good distance away, or by jumping into a Worm Hole. After losing interest in the character, it will find something else to smash or attack. A Bush Hat will keep the character hidden if necessary, but if it has already aggroed onto the player, this method will not work. Below is the number of hits it takes with each weapon to kill a Deerclops when playing with characters with a default damage modifier. The Weather Pain is not included due to the random nature of its projectile.
|10 - 14|
|20 - 40|
|59, 45 or 34|
|34 - 68|
|37 - 74 -|
|47 (28 )|
|59 (20 )|
Deerclops attack frequencies may be adjusted in World Customization as follows:
|Option||Number of Attacks per Season||Attacks During Summer?|
As one can see from the table, "default" and "less" is actually the same setting. The "More" setting adds up to 2 attacks per season, while the "Lots" setting ups that to 3 attacks per season, which includes both winter and summer. Note that even on the final setting, the Deerclops will still despawn once summer starts (but not when winter starts) - meaning any Deerclops spawned during summer will not actually despawn until the next summer begins on that setting.
Additionally, the spawning of Deerclops appears to be tied to the change of snow cover, which regulates when a new Deerclops may spawn. This has the effect that even if Deerclops is set to default, and then killed near the end of winter (when the snow cover may change, but still be above the threshold required for a winter Deerclops), it is entirely possible for another Deerclops to spawn very soon afterwards.
Due to the way snow cover change regulates the Deerclops spawning, the actual number of attacks one will experience may vary wildly from that in the "setting". That is, at best, all one can know for sure is that setting it higher will probably result in more attacks on average, with the possibility of a summer attack on the final setting.
When set to the "Default" or "Less" Deerclops setting, It is possible to survive through multiple winters without seeing or hearing the Deerclops. In theory, setting Deerclops to "More" should guarantee that Deerclops attacks will occur at least once per winter.
In the Reign of Giants DLC, Deerclops is now the giant of Winter, gaining the ability to freeze its victims. It will take two hits from the Deerclops to freeze either the player or a mob, the first hit will turn the target blue and the next one will freeze it. This makes certain tactics involving the use of neutral mobs such as Pigs or Bunnymen ineffective.
In Don't Starve Together (DST), the Deerclops can attack up to four times in a season by default (with 0, 2, 8, and 10 attacks for other world configuration options, respectively). No giant can attack in the first 27 days, but the day after that, the Deerclops will attack in (season length - 1)/(number of attacks + 1) days (2.8 days by default, for an attack near the end of day 30). When it attacks, it picks a player to attack, prioritizing players with four or more nearby structures. It then targets the structures. When it despawns after destroying all nearby structures, another attack is scheduled with the same delay. If it is killed, the next attack is scheduled for 6 times the normal delay, which on normal settings prevents attacks for the rest of the season.
Players who kill the Deerclops will get a Sketch that allows them to craft a Deerclops Chess Piece using the Potter's Wheel. It can be made of Marble (white) or Cut Stone (black). It has no purpose other than decoration.
During Winter's Feast, the Deerclops has a different appearance: it has dark fur and a glowing red eye. It can shoot a laser from its eye to attack players from medium range, without following a particular pattern. Additionally, Winter's Feast Deerclops emits a fair amount of red light that can ward off Charlie if the player stands nearby.
Deerclops usually spawns near the beginning of night, typically day 30 if the starting season was Autumn. They spawn near the player(s). Below is the number of hits it takes with each weapon to kill a Deerclops when playing with characters with a default damage modifier. The Weather Pain is not included due to the random nature of its projectile.
|45 (27 )|
|68 - 135|
|93 (56 )|
- In Don't Starve Together, players can place a Houndius Shootius on a Boat and anchor it offshore to fight the Deerclops without taking damage.
- The Deerclops was added in A Winter's Tale update. At the end of the update's trailer, the screen goes black for a brief amount of time. During this time, the growl of the Deerclops is heard.
- The name "Deerclops" is a portmanteau of "Deer" and "Cyclops".
- Pictures of the Deerclops appeared in the teaser video for the Long Live the Queen update, at around 30 and 45 seconds into the video (see pictures). It's clear that the image shown was an older/simplified design.
- Although it's usually not possible to see two Deerclops spawn at the same time, if this happens (due to a bug or by spawning it via the console) they will be hostile to each other, unlike other boss monsters.
- According to Maxwell, Deerclops are myopic.
- Sometimes the moaning noises can be heard, but the Deerclops does not seem to spawn. This happens when the snow melts below a certain threshold (e.g. when summer begins) after the Deerclops is about to appear.
- Artwork of the Deerclops can be used as a rare Steam profile wallpaper.
- Despite being a monster, the Deerclops drops normal meat rather than monster meat.
- Its Winter's Feast appearance may be a reference to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, although it has a glowing-red eye instead of a nose.
- Even though other characters refer to the Deerclops as male, Wurt calls it a female.
- Wurt's observation is supported in the Glass Eyebrella skin description, which refers to the Deerclops as a female.
- Webber's quote may be a reference to his title, The Indigestible.
- If allowed to destroy 5-6 structures, Deerclops will attempt to smile, and then proceed to go off screen to despawn unless aggroed again. This cycle will repeat.
- Note that in the base game if the Deerclops is killed prior to the start of summer, another one may be spawned to replace it within a few days. Deerclops that are respawned in this way are counted as being part of the same attack, so the total number of Deerclops spawned during a season may actually be higher than the "number of attacks per season" listed in the Options. This is suspected to be a bug since the attack is supposed to cease immediately after the Deerclops is spawned.
- In Reign of Giants, the sound effect for the freezing attack is extremely loud, and will stay loud even if the in-game volume sliders are all on 0.