Don't Starve Together is somewhat of a sequel to Don't Starve, and features the highly requested multiplayer mechanics. It was originally scheduled to come out in Summer 2014, though a specific date was not given. However, sign-ups for a limited-access, closed Beta were released. It came out on Mac and Linux after being finalized on Windows.
Starting December 15, 2014, Don't Starve Together Beta was in Steam Early Access, and on June 3, 2015, Don't Starve Together Early Access was released for free to owners of Don't Starve on Steam. It left early access and was fully released on April 21, 2016. Don't Starve and Don't Starve Together can be bought individually or as a bundle.
For detailed information on Don't Starve Together's update history, see Version History.
Don't Starve Together has multiple ways to play with others: LAN, network, and matchmaking play. Many items have been balanced or removed in order to keep the game fair. Game mode and PvP are optional by the server operator. There are also 4 categories for servers: Social, Cooperative, Competitive, and Madness. These categories don't affect gameplay but provide a general idea of what the server is about. Dedicated, player-hosted and LAN servers are available, and chat is global or local depending on the server admin's preference. A type of server called "Friends Only" allows a server to be created whereby the only people who can join have to be on the hosting player's Steam friends list. Many console commands have changed or been removed for DST.
There are three game modes: Survival, Wilderness, and Endless. Additional game modes are possible with the use of Mods.
Survival is the default mode. It is intended to be a cooperative, more difficult mode, in which dead players become Ghost Characters that drain the sanity of living players by 3.3/min for each ghost, up to a maximum of 10/min. Each player death will incur a maximum-health penalty, unless a Touch Stone, Life Giving Amulet, or Meat Effigy is used for resurrection. Maximum-health penalties can be cured by using Booster Shots. When all players are dead, a 120-second timer starts, and if no players are revived in that time, the world resets.
Wilderness mode spawns players in random locations across the map. Players who die are returned to the character select screen, allowing them to respawn in a new random location as a new character with their map progress wiped. This is the only mode where players can respawn as a different character. No resurrection items exist, including touchstones (although their set pieces with pig heads will still be generated). The world never resets.
Endless mode is intended to be a more relaxed mode that doesn't force players to cooperate. The world never resets, and players may resurrect themselves at the spawn portal when they die, as many times as they wish. However, it is not recommended to keep dying as each resurrection at the portal will cause a reduction to maximum-health, similar to the mechanic of death in Survival mode.
Main article: Ghost Characters
Ghost Players are a new feature that introduces the ability to live after death, although in a downgraded state. Whenever a player dies, a skeleton spawns at their death point. Their inventory is dropped, and they become a ghost. Upon death, WX-78 also loses its upgrades.
Ghosts can Haunt items and structures, possibly setting objects on fire, or affecting them in some other way. A ghost can be resurrected using a Touch Stone, Meat Effigy, Life Giving Amulet, Telltale Heart or Florid Postern Portal. Players may only resurrect through the Florid Postern Portal if the server is set to Endless Mode. When the ghost re-spawns, their inventory will be empty and their hunger and sanity are set to the same as resurrection in the base game. Re-spawning with the Telltale Heart or with the Florid Postern Portal will apply a 25% maximum health penalty, on the player, which caps at 75% maximum health points (leaving the player with 25%). The health lost to this penalty can be restored by 25% using a Booster Shot. In Survival Mode, other players will suffer a continuous 3.3/min sanity drain for each ghost (up to 10/min total).
Several new entities were added to rebalance characters, giants, and seasonal mechanics for the multiplayer aspect of the game:
A New Reign
Main article: A New Reign
A free DLC originally called Through the Ages was announced for Spring 2015, and contains new content specifically made for multiplayer, such as mounting Beefalo using saddles. However, due to complications with implementing Cave biomes, Klei pushed back the release date. After the Caves made their way into DST and the game went out of Early Access, the DLC was once again announced, now under the name "A New Reign", and is being distributed as a frequent, ongoing series of updates. Some of the features that are officially part of the DLC were incorporated into the game via update on December 23, 2015, much earlier than the Beta Launch of the DLC, August 11, 2016.
Don't Starve Together features Caves and Ruins, which must be toggled on via a tab in the Server Creation menu. The Caves and Ruins now share the same map level, since separate servers are required to run a map level. The current build includes content from Reign of Giants and A New Reign. Shipwrecked is not implemented in DST, but some mods make a portion of the content available.
Thermal Stones now have durability, intended to represent cracks formed as a result of heating and cooling. Armor has less durability (by 30%) and can no longer be multiplicatively stacked as before; the game now uses the better armor's absorption and then divides the damage absorbed between the two worn armors weighted by their absorption. The Pan Flute now has the ability to knock other players besides the user unconscious for a short time, if PVP is enabled.
Due to Gears being a less available resource, WX-78 now starts with 150 health, sanity, and hunger, but each set of gears provide less of an upgrade (still bringing it to 300/400/200 overall after 15 upgrades).
Willow has a large part of her advantages (and a few disadvantages) removed. These changes were mainly added due to the abuse of Willow burning things or attacking players in their first day. Willow's fire damage reduction is now only 50%, instead of 100%. Her lighter now lasts 1.25 days, but can be crafted. Willow no longer creates fires at low sanity and has a 10% boost on sanity gained from fire. However, this entire modification has created a generally negative response from the community. On June 3, 2015, Willow received more changes. She now gets colder when insane, is completely immune to fire for the first three seconds of exposure, can cook with her lighter (reducing its durability by 1%), can craft her lighter with fewer materials and starts the game with Bernie, the stuffed bear seen in her portrait.
Woodie's Wood meter is now present at all times, which serves to warn players of the Werebeaver; once the Wood meter reaches 25, the transformation occurs. Woodie can eat Grass, Twigs, and Logs to replenish the Wood meter. The Werebeaver loses many of its benefits, discouraging its usability for griefing and PvP. The Werebeaver now shares Woodie's Health and Sanity meters, and the Wood meter replaces the Hunger meter. Letting the Wood meter reach zero induces the same health drain as letting the Hunger meter reach zero. Death in the Werebeaver form is true death; Woodie becomes a beaver-looking ghost but still cannot use the map, making it harder to revive oneself. His sanity drains incredibly quickly, about 3/second, making it far less beneficial to stay transformed. To turn back into Woodie the player must get the Wood meter back to 100. However, the Werebeaver can no longer eat Pine Cones, Grass Tufts, Saplings and the like. To make up for the changes, Woodie gains Sanity from planting trees, and Lucy the Axe cannot be used or even picked up by other players. During a Full Moon, Woodie instantly transforms into the Werebeaver as he would normally in Don't Starve. However, during the Full Moon, the Wood meter decreases rapidly, even after the player has managed to fill the meter and exit Werebeaver state, making it rather difficult, but possible, to obtain Glommer's Flower. The rate at which the wood meter depletes is unknown.
Maxwell now comes only with his Codex Umbra and 6 Nightmare Fuel. His Sanity boost has been reduced from 20/min to 6.67/min. The Shadow Tab was added, in which one can craft the Codex and different types of puppets. Puppets cost 2 Nightmare Fuel, a tool matching their action, and 20% (worker) or 35% (duelist) of Maxwell's maximum sanity.
Many mobs have had their health increased:
|DST Health Rebalances|
|Enemy||DS health||DST health|
Sleeping has been significantly changed. Normally, when going to sleep, the day would fast-forward to sunrise and replenish health and sanity at the cost of hunger upon waking up. However, when on a server, sleeping will not fast forward to sunrise but will instead leave the player unable to move and unaffected by the night monster. This will replenish health and sanity while draining hunger faster than normal over time; the rate at which will be dependent on what type of structure or item was used to sleep. When using a normal sleeping item, the player can wake themselves up by trying to move. If the player was put to sleep (pan flute, cooking a mandrake, etc.), they will reawaken after a small amount of time. The player will always wake up if hunger reaches 0.
The Map has been modified to include a fog of war, preventing players to see changes to remote locations in the map. Each player's explored areas are tracked separately, however players can share their exploration with others using Map Scrolls.
Players communicate and express themselves through two chat modes: global chat (accessed via "Y" key by default) and local "whisper" chat (accessed via "U" key by default). Global chat is seen by all players, whether they are up on the Surface world or down inside Caves. Whispered messages, on the other hand, can only be seen by players who are in the vicinity of the speaker. Whispered chat looks the same as global chat, but the word "Whisper" is displayed before it.
Main article: Emotes
Emotes are used by entering their respective commands in chat, such as /happy, /angry, /no, /bonesaw, /dance, /facepalm, /joy, /kiss, /pose, /rude, /cry, /wave, /sit, and /squat. Each emote will trigger an animation by the player's character.
There are also unlockable emotes that are Event exclusive or can only be unlocked by completing Skin ensembles.
Attacking players, giving players items, and reviving ghosts is tracked by the game and can impact what other characters say about said player when inspecting them. For example, if Willow were to inspect a harmless Wilson she would say, "Hi (playername)!". But had he been attacking someone, she would say, "Why, (playername)... that fire in your eyes!" Or if a player has been reviving other players, she will say "(playername) won't leave anyone behind.".
Main article: Skins
A new feature of Don't Starve Together is the option to change the appearance of players' characters with different Skins. For example, players are able to customize pants, shirts, shoes, gloves, and facial appearance for their character. Players can choose what Skins their character will wear in-game in the Character Select screen, and they can change their Skins in-game using a Wardrobe. Skins are for aesthetics-use only and do not have a function in-game, apart from enabling Skin emotes. All Skins are non-gender-specific. The Trade Inn interface can be used to exchange unwanted Skins.
Skins are obtainable through random drops while playing the game, up to 4 per week. The weekly reset occurs around 1pm PST every Thursday, right before Klei Entertainment's weekly Rhymes with Play Twitch broadcast.
Skins exist of various types and of various rarities, providing a strong sense of individuality to players. Some Skins are character-specific and drop very rarely. Others exist for items and structures, such as for Backpacks and Chests. Some Skins are only obtainable through special means.
Main article: Mods
Don't Starve Together supports mods, yet many of them that rewrite core Don't Starve code had to be updated to the new formats. In DST, there are three kinds of mods:
- client-only, which are enabled by each player individually and used on any server. These usually make changes to the interface.
- server-only, which must be enabled on the server, but no joining players need to download. These usually make small changes to game mechanics, such as changing the timing of things, or scaling creature stats.
- all-clients, which all players on a server need to have. The Steam Workshop automatically handles downloading and enabling these for players when they join a server with an all-clients mod enabled. These mods can change almost anything about the game.
Main article: Cyclum Puzzles
With the official release of the game, a new comic was released in which one must complete a series of puzzles to keep following along. The story takes place right after the ending of the adventure mode, when Wilson frees Maxwell from the throne. It is revealed that Charlie saved Wilson from the throne and sent him back to the Wilderness, taking the throne for herself and thus becoming the main antagonist of Don't Starve Together.
- The way Wilson creates the multiplayer portal (shown below) is similar to how he created Maxwell's Door, both of which bring people into The Constant. Silhouettes of Wendy, Wes, and Wolfgang can be seen in the portal.
- Winona is the first playable character exclusive to Don't Starve Together.
- The current main menu is an animated version of one of the Don't Starve Beta concept art with Willow in it.