This is a survival guide written primarily for the Shipwrecked DLC, which introduces new gameplay mechanics and several other changes. Only techniques and strategies unique to Shipwrecked are discussed here. For players who have not played Don't Starve before, see this guide.
Day 1 Edit
One should play Don't Starve how they usually play for the first day or two - collect resources and food, build a Campfire for the night, etc. The player will start on an island. Scout the island to get an idea of what resources are readily available, and what resources require a trip to a neighboring isle. Before being able to build a Science Machine for a backpack, build a primitive version called the Thatch Pack for more carrying capacity. It might be a good idea to craft a pickaxe, and mine boulders, as flint can be scarce on the first island. When gathering trees for a Campfire, it is advised to chop down the tallest trees, as they give off the most wood and the seeds for planting new trees. If one chops down a Palm Tree, the Coconuts can be hacked open with a Machete for Halved Coconuts, an edible food item. Jungle Trees can be chopped to obtain Jungle Tree Seeds, which can be used for fuel for a fire, Eggs, and Bananas. However, be aware that Snakes may spawn.
Day 2-5 Edit
For second or third day, craft a Machete from the tools tab. Use the Machete to hack down four Bamboo Patches and three Viney Bushes to make a Raft from Nautical tab, the wood raft could also be used if the player doesn't have a machete. Be careful when hacking viney bushes for the raft as snakes have a very big chance to spawn and attacking a snake almost always causes more to spawn.
Deploy the boat onto water and right click to start sailing. One can find Seaweed in shallow oceans, which is a decent source of food in beginning days. Islands usually spawn in a ring, therefore the player should always sail on the edge between the shallow and the deep ocean. Most players only sail in one direction or in the direction of the waves, this is very dangerous in the first few days and it is strongly recommended to keep materials for a spare boat/boat repair kit. When one reaches medium and deep oceans, be sure to sail on the waves for a speed boost. This is accomplished by sailing into the wave from behind towards the direction wave is going. Be sure to avoid going into the waves the wrong direction, as this will add Wetness to the player and cause the boat to lose durability. If one is skilled at sailing, after much practice, one could 'compromise' with the waves. This is accomplished by going in one direction the wave is going, as waves do not go in just one direction, they go North-East, South-East, South-West, and North-West, however barely they could be. The Raft is superior to a Log Raft because of it's speed, although both the Raft and Log Raft have the same durability, 150.
- Explore the seas in circles near the discovered islands in case of need of landing. Searching far off, and finding no land for long time can lead to death.
- Pay attention to the color of the waters, as it indicates dept, meaning land, coral reef, tar, etc. can be nearby.
- Resources such as Twigs and Gold Nuggets are scarcer in Shipwrecked, so one may have to sail out to farther islands if one was unlucky. It is possible to spawn on an island without any particular resources, such as Flint.
- The character's spawning island will not have Gold Nuggets , although some players have reported sightings of gold containing boulders.
- Be wary when chopping down Palm Trees. Coconuts can fall onto the player's head, doing 20 HP damage each. It is possible for many coconuts to fall in a row.
- If hunting mobs such as Spiders or Monkeys for meat, be wary that Crabbits will eat any food items they see on the ground.
- Poison is a new game mechanic, where players will slowly lose health and sanity for 3 days if Anti Venom is not consumed. As poison progressively worsen over time, it is very deadly. Poison is inflicted by yellow monsters such as poisonous snakes, Stink Rays and Poison Fart Clouds from Poisonous Holes.
- Crocodogs are the oceanic equivalent of Hound attacks and will similarly occur every 3–13 days. Before an attack, the player character will comment on their approach (e.g., Wilson says "Did you hear that?"), growling can be heard, and the music will change. Unless the player is well equipped to fight at sea, it is better to kite them to an island shore and fight them on land. Better yet, luring them to a school of Bottlenose Ballphins or a herd of Water Beefalo can allow the player to avoid fighting them altogether. Caution is advised when fishing at shoals, dropping meat item into the oceans and farming fish such as Bottlenose Ballphins, as Crocodogs (or Sea Hounds) may appear without warning at those times.
- Be sure to create base farther away from the shore of islands, as incoming tides will increase character's wetness and put out Campfires.
- Make sure to craft an emergency Log Raft if one decides to go on a long expedition without a Boat Repair Kit, so that when the boat is at very low durability, new log raft can be launched to hop on it.
- The player may hammer the Debris for some extra Logs and a free Boat Repair Kit . The player may also hammer Crates found randomly, as those will drop random assorted goods, such as refined materials and, more rarely, a can of "Ballphin Free" Tuna, which cannot perish until opened.
- Three new sources of Gears in Shipwrecked are a new Chess biome set piece (has a tiny island with a Teleportato, shallow oceans, and coral) with Floaty Boaty Knights, which drop Gears. The others are Chests (from X Marks the Spot), Sandy Piles or from the Slot Machine.
Day 5+ Edit
Once a suitable island is found (medium or bigger), with enough food to sustain hunger, with/without Ice Boxes , place down the following (likely in order):
- Fire Pit and/or Chiminea ( tab), fire pit isn't recommended if placing near the shore or during the monsoon season as puddles and floods will extinguish it.
- Science Machine ( tab)
- Alchemy Engine ( tab) (science machine may be hammered down after creating this)
- Crock Pots ( tab)
- Chests ( tab)
- An Ice Maker 3000 ( tab) can practically make hunger a non-issue when combined with Fish Farms, a tree farm, snake-spawning Viney Bushes or Spider Dens. It can be used to easily craft Meatballs, one of the better Crock Pot recipes in the game. Its building requirements are fairly low; one Thermal Stone , five Bamboo, and two Electrical Doodads.
- The player should try to gather materials for a Row Boat or Cargo Boat. A Boat Torch and Thatch Sail are also recommended at the minimum, or better, a Boat Lantern and Cloth Sail . Snakeskin Sails are also recommended, as they have the highest durability of all sails but have their speed between a Thatch and a Cloth Sail. Sails can be repaired with a Sewing Kit.
- Players may continue to mine, explore, or search for the Yaarctopus (found rarely in Coral Reef biomes, which generates in shallow oceans), and exchange raw fish and trinkets for Dubloons , which can be refined into Gold Nuggets at a Science Machine. The Yaarctopus may also be given specific Shipwrecked Crock Pot recipes for specific boat items, such as a Thatch Sail or a Spyglass .
- The player may come across the Slot Machine on a beach, and using it will cost one Dubloon and 5 Sanity . The player has a 71.4% chance to roll three carrots, or a 14.3% chance to roll three skulls or three gold nuggets. Three carrots will spawn various natural items, three skulls will spawn enemies (three Snakes, or Spiders, or Hounds, or five Poison Mosquitoes), while three gold nuggets will spawn rare items. Loot from the Slot Machine can vary, from common items such as Twigs and Cut Grass , or rare loot such as Thulecite Suit or Obsidian .
- Craft some equipment for self-protection, including a Machete or Spear . Seashells protect from physical poison attacks while Limestone allows tanking at the cost of speed. (Seashell Suit at the minimum, or a Limestone Suit , both from the tab).
- Having a Life Jacket in inventory can come in handy in case of emergency of death on the waters. If its equipped before the player's boat is destroyed, the player will be dropped on the closest island with enough materials to make a raft.
- Around day 16, players may create a Meat Effigy (-30 from max health for each one built), for Wilson (shaving his Beard) or for others, get their sanity to below 80 and kill Beardlings for Beard Hair . If available, always bring a Life Giving Amulet along. A Piratihatitator will be needed to build a Meat Effigy and a Life Giving Amulet.
- The common trend is that most players think they need a base asap for safety, this is not true because there are multiple islands and some have specific biomes with specific materials, the player should almost always be nomadic with a small base ( science machine or better, fire pit/chiminea and a few chests. Extras such as ice maker 3000 or farms can be considered) never expect to settle somewhere permanently like in reign of giants or the vanilla game.
Hurricane Season is the second season in Shipwrecked. By default, Hurricane Season begins on day 21 and ends on day 37. Seagulls will visit land, unlike in other seasons, where they can only be found at sea. Hurricane Season's hazards are Wetness (caused by constant rain), strong winds (slowing players that walk against the wind, pushing items left on the ground, and destroys walls), very frequent lightning (every 5–20 seconds), lack of food caused by Seagulls eating the limpets off the rock, lack of seeds due to the other birds not appearing in this season, and the Sealnado.
It is more dangerous to go out sailing or island exploring during the night or even late into Hurricane Season, as the strong winds make any non-wind resistant light source (such as Campfires and Torches) difficult to keep alight. As the season progresses, the ocean will become choppier with more and more Big Waves, which will cause boat damage and wetness regardless of the direction the player hits it. Hail also falls during Hurricane Season rainstorms. As of the Eye of the Tiger Shark update, hail is no longer a valid Crock Pot filler, but it can still be kept in an Ice Box indefinitely, extinguish fires, or be refined into Ice from four Hail.
- Lightning Rods should be built as soon as possible due to the frequency of lightning strikes.
- Any items left on the ground will be pushed in the direction of the wind and will likely end up in the ocean. Some items can be retrieved from the water's edge while others will sink and be irretrievably lost. Placing items in Chests prevents them from being pushed.
- A Chiminea is highly recommended, as they are not affected by strong winds or rain. Campfires and Fire Pits will extinguish much faster in rain and strong winds.
- A Snakeskin Hat and Snakeskin Jacket set ( tab) will fully protect the player from Wetness and lightning.
- Having a Palm Leaf Hut near a fire can almost completely negate Wetness during this season.
- Thunder can be heard before a storm hits, giving the player some time to prepare or return home if at sea.
Monsoon Season is the third season in Shipwrecked. By default, the season begins on day 37 and ends on day 58, with the rains starting on day 41. Monsoon Season's hazards are heavy, constant rain and Flooding, although lightning is far less frequent and strong winds never occur.
Small puddles form in the beginning of the season and become larger with each rainstorm, covering land and quickly inducing Wetness to a player standing in them. The tides will also encroach further onto land during this season, which, combined with growing puddles, could cause an entire island to become flooded. Puddles will also completely disable any crafting stations or machines (such as the Ice Maker 3000) if they spread to the tile that the structure is placed on. This makes floods a very serious threat as large puddles can render entire bases unusable until the season is over. All normal bees become Killer Bees (even ones in Bee Boxes), and Crabbit Dens close up for the season. Poison Mosquitoes will spawn from puddles and can be a constant nuisance, though they do have a 25% chance to drop Venom Glands, the rare ingredient in Anti Venom.
- Sandbags ( tab) can be used to prevent flooding from puddles. If placed in the middle of a new puddle, the puddle will no longer expand, though this can be difficult to do later in the season as puddles grow. Surrounding your base with sandbags will also prevent flooding.
- To prevent puddles from spawning in base, replace turfs with man-made flooring (such as Wooden Flooring).
- A Snakeskin Hat and Snakeskin Jacket set ( tab) will fully protect the player from Wetness when traversing flooded areas.
- A Brain of Thought ( tab) will allow the player to prototype items anywhere without a crafting station, and may be essential when Monsoon Season flooding renders crafting stations unusable. Its recipe is one Brainy Matter , one Jellyfish , and two Ropes at an Alchemy Engine.
- Poison Mosquitoes may be a constant nuisance during the season, especially if a puddle spawned near one's base. They are fast and inflict poison from physical attacks. However, they can be easily defeated by equipping a melee weapon and simply holding the attack key while they are near. They will target you once in range and move in to attack, but will not be able to sting you before your first hit stun-locks them. They will die in 3 hits from a Spear. However, one sting will poison the player, so it is still recommended to equip a Seashell Suit or Horned Helmet if spending large amounts of time near puddles or when engaging more than one mosquito.
- The Sharkitten Den will open up and Sharkittens will spawn. Going near them, or attacking them causes Tiger Shark to spawn and attack the player. Tiger Shark also can spawn while sailing during any season, but has a higher chance during Monsoon Season. The Tiger Shark spawned without going near its den will not attack the player without getting attacked first, but it will attack everything else in the water and the player can be caught in the cross fire. It should be noted that Tiger Sharks and Sharkittens drop Shark Gills, one of the ingredients required to craft the Dumbrella, one of the best headgear items in the game.
Dry Season is the fourth season in Shipwrecked and is equivalent to Summer. By default, it begins on day 58 and ends on day 74. Dry Season's hazards are Overheating and constant volcanic eruptions, which launch falling meteors into the air. Flooded areas from Monsoon Season will dry up within the first few days of the season.
The player will get three warning tremors half of a day before an eruption. When an eruption occurs, meteors will rain down from the sky, causing massive damage to anything they hit. If they hit land, they'll destroy nearly anything they hit and set anything flammable on fire. If they land in water, a ring of Big Waves will spawn from their point of impact. After the eruption is over, the air will be filled with ash that can make things difficult to see.
As the season goes on, the intensity and frequency of eruptions will increase. Meteors will fall every two seconds after one another, and two eruptions can occur in a row, especially during the very end of the season.
- Similar to the edges of the screen turning icy and crackling sounds playing before freezing takes effect in the base game, overheating is preceded by the edges of the screen turning yellow and a simmering sound playing. Immediately take precautions to prevent overheating if the warning sign appears.
- Trees can help with sudden overheating in the early days of the season. However, later in the season, trees alone will not provide enough cooling.
- An Endothermic Fire Pit and one or two Thermal Stones can help prevent overheating, so keeping a secondary chilled stone in a Backpack or is advised, although if the thermal stone heats up, this could consequently heat up the player faster. A Floral Shirt is also recommended as Shipwrecked makes it far easier to craft and is also available year round. One may also bring along a bunch of Ice if desired (from an Ice Maker 3000), to help with sudden overheating. Chilled Amulet is great if Piratihatitator has been made and a Blue Gem is at hand. Also, a Straw Hat can help slow overheating to give enough time to run to a tree.
- A Dumbrella can practically negate overheating concerns, but crafting it requires Shark Gills from a Tiger Shark or Sharkitten.
- Sailing during eruptions can be a relatively safe way of dealing with them. Sailing with a Row Boat or better is advised, with a Boat Lantern and Cloth Sail, as the increase in speed will allow the player to sufficiently dodge the meteors. The lantern will be needed if eruptions continue into the night.
- Since meteors are a major hazard, it is recommended to either inhabit a barren island or go sailing when eruptions occur. Sailing may be easier, since the player has adequate speed to dodge the meteors. Having a large expanse of shallow oceans is highly recommended; the lighter color of the water makes the metero shadows easier to see and there are no normal waves to contend with in addition to the Big Waves caused by the meteors.