Note: This guide is based on my experience in the game and may be subjective. -- Neoma
This guide is aimed at helping you survive your first month in-game. This is not the only way to survive the first month, but one of them. Do not feel like this is the only way to survive. Also check out How to Survive by DUDETTE.
Where do I begin?
Try not to hurry to reach the end game. There's no easy way other than cheating, and where is the fun in that? The first few weeks are crucial to your survival, do not lose focus!
- 1 Where do I begin?
- 2 First Things First
- 3 Be Prepared
- 4 Be Thrifty
- 5 Building a Good Base
- 6 Location, Location, Location
- 7 Prototyping, When Should I Start?
- 8 Be Mindful
- 9 Let Me Count the Days...
First Things First
- Gather some flint, saplings, and grass first.
- If you can find 3 pieces of flint and 3 sticks, build a pickaxe and an axe. You can get more flint by mining rocks. If you only find 1 flint by midday, only build an axe. If you find 2 pieces of flint and some boulders, make a pickaxe and mine them.
- Gather the basic resources: flint, logs, rocks, saplings, and grass.
- If you find gold, carrots, and berries along the way, pick them up until you reach 5 carrots and berries. 5 altogether will put you up to full Hunger. The rest will just spoil. Never cook more food than needed either. For example, having both raw and cooked berries just means wasted inventory space.
- However, it can be useful to leave carrots. They can make a helpful snack when exploring in Winter.
- You should take some pine cones if you have enough space.
It's better to pick an optimal location than to settle on the first day!
Gather and carry resources when you can.
Prepare a campfire when you have enough materials. (Or, if you want to consume less resources, make a couple of torches; you can explore by night.) How can you prepare a campfire, you ask? By building the item and clicking your right mouse button, the item will not be placed and will just be stored in your game tab. The resources are consumed and you can continue to gather more without making more stacks. Do not place the campfire during the daytime. When you want to place your campfire, you simply need to go back to the Light tab, and click 'Place', and then build as normal.
Then, when Dusk arrives, you still have enough time to gather resources.
What to Do During the First Few Nights
Craft Torches (2 to guarantee you won't run out at night) to explore while it is night time. Check your map time to time to see if there are any resources outside of you field of view at night that you need to harvest. If you have things that need to be cooked, place down a campfire presumably near a few resources if possible.
Once you place a campfire near some resources, gather them as soon as you can.
Be sure to cook some food in the campfire and consume it; some cooked food will replenish more hunger than uncooked food, while others can increase the health given or get rid of some debuffs on food. Don't starve. (Do not let hunger get the best of you.)
Before the night ends, prepare another campfire. You will need it for your next journey.
Using resources carefully will go a long way. Do not create a fire pit on the first night. That's a waste of time and resources. Your current location may not be best for you to settle. However, the fire pit does indeed allow more visibility in the night, and also allows some of your raw food (such as carrots, berries, monster meat and morsels), to be cooked, which will upgrade their hunger, health and sanity replenishment stats.
A Campfire or a Fire Pit?
If this is your first night, you don't have to make a fire pit because you're likely not going to settle just yet. Set up a campfire right before night comes and surround it with some resources, so you can gather them during the night.
If the flame is almost gone, check if the time is nearly morning: do not waste your fuel if morning is about to come. Use one log to fuel the campfire just for the first night but be mindful about the burning time of the fuel you are using. Do not use them all at once! One log is enough for an hour (in-game time). One campfire, if the player starts in Autumn, can usually survive the night without being fueled, meaning players can save their logs.
Use logs as much as possible to fuel your fire, as they have a long burning time and are readily available.
Cooked or Raw?
Cliché as it may sound, cooked food is generally better. Whether something is cooked or raw is one of the most important things to keep in mind.
Cooked food is generally better than raw (note, however, that Seeds can be eaten raw without little benefit to Cooked Seeds, other than an added health point upon consumption. If you are running low on health, cook them first, if not, eat them whenever your Hunger bar is at 145 or greater, at the exception of having more potent foods). Mushrooms all have different effects, meaning it is the player's choice to decide what effects. (See mushrooms for more information.)
On the first few nights, you can cook 3 to 4 berries or carrots and eat them. This will be enough for you to survive the next day.
When you are traveling, eat berries, carrots, and seeds raw. You do not want to waste time or materials making a campfire/fire pit just to cook 2 or 3 berries. It is not advised to eat raw meat unless you are desperate because most raw meats will also deduct 10 sanity (unless you are Webber, with monster meat, it will not hurt you and you gain no additional hunger from cooked monster meat). However, 10 sanity is a small price to pay if you are starving to death, so you can absolutely eat raw meat in an emergency.
Building a Good Base
Building a strong base is key when it comes to surviving for long days.
Location, Location, Location
Dedicate day 2 and/or day 3 to look for a good location. At dusk, gather a few logs and some grass for your campfire and don't forget the pine cones.
Points for a good location:
- Near a road, but not just any road. Check where the roads leads to, connect to, and where they stop. A good place is usually an intersection. Use your good judgement.
- Close enough to either pigs or beefalo (meaning: not visible from your base camp). This is approximately, one screen away. Why?
- If your camp is visible to the pigs and full moon comes, they turn into savage Werepigs which attack you.
- Beefalo get aggressive during mating season. If you can kite them, they can be an excellent source of meat.
- Cannon Fodder - Pigs and beefalo make excellent fodder for attacking hounds and when they do fight back, they usually win and the chances are, you get loot!
- Manure - Pigs drop manure when fed vegetables, and beefalo drop manure... because they can.
- Rabbit Holes - Two to three Rabbit holes within your base serve as a constant source of food. This is especially important during the winter.
- Ponds - Ponds serve as a source of Frogs, which are aggressive, but can be caught with Traps, just like Rabbits and Spiders. You can also fish in them using a Fishing Rod. Remember that they freeze during Winter, though.
- Do not settle near a Walrus Camp; they will attempt to kill you when they move in for the winter.
- Do not settle too close to a sinkhole; if you destroy the rock plug, bats will fly out and attack you every dusk and night. However, you may want quick access to the caves. If that is the case, build your base a small distance away from a sinkhole so not to get attacked by the bats.
- Desert - Great source of grass, twigs, and the occasional useful item (gears, trinkets, gems, etc.). Cacti are also found in the desert, and when picked, deal a small amount of damage to you and yield a cactus flesh (and a cactus flower in summer in Reign of Giants), which can be useful (see the page for cactus flesh). Desert also contains hound mounds that spawn hounds, which can be farmed for monster meat, hound teeth, and gems.
Prototyping, When Should I Start?
- Make a backpack to increase your inventory slots.
- Prepare a Log Suit and a Spear. Always bring a log suit with you, as it offers great protection without slowing you down. Do not use a Grass Suit. It is not worth having unless you have no wood and you want to quickly make something to protect against hounds and such.
- Create a Hammer, as it will come in handy. If you encounter any Touch Stones, be sure to use your hammer on the four Pig Heads that surround it. This means FREE Pig Skin. The Touch Stone will resurrect you if you die. (one use)
- It's recommended to prototype a shovel to dig up saplings, graves, and other important things.
Dealing with emergency scenarios like:
- Hounds showing up and attacking you.
- Encountering a Deerclops (or any other boss monsters)
- Aggressive beefalo
- Treeguards showing up.
- Frogs, lots of them.
- Killer bees.
- Lost Tallbirds (or very protective mothers)
- Wandering Spiders and their royal yet annoying queen! (unless you are Webber!)
These encounters will make you lose your focus on your current objective and could quite possibly kill you. Thankfully, this is just the first week. So... onwards to our adventure!
Let Me Count the Days...
All Your Base are Belong to Us
Assuming that you have found a good location, you will need to expand your Base Camp.
The image on the left is an example of a base camp. It may be a little cramped, but it's tightly semi-organized. This way, you won't have to use too much fuel to light up your surroundings.
If you find rabbit holes near your base, set traps just above them and leave them there. No need to put any bait. With some of the rabbits you collect, you can make a Prestihatitator allowing for some Magic recipes, which will be helpful later on.
–Bruce Less, ---Deerclops is gonna get you if you do that.---
You may also want to read up on: Self-sustaining Settlement Guide.
The Lightning Thief
Put a Lightning Rod near your chest and the farm. You don't want any of them burning when there's a thunderstorm. When it comes to being thrifty, placing a few lightning rods in your base will go a long way.
Keep Calm and... Don't Starve
When gathering, focus on gathering only one type of resource for that day and keeping your sanity up while you're at it. Building Drying Racks and hanging Morsels and other small meats will give you small jerky, or normal jerky if you hang regular Meat. Small Jerky will give you 10 sanity, regular Jerky will give you 15 sanity. That is a good amount of Sanity you can get back if you have lots of Jerky! Leafy Meat cannot be dried.
Collecting Meat for said Drying Racks is a bit of a chore if you want to sustain yourself with a good supply of Jerky. Try building a small meat farm consisting of pigs and their homes surrounding an enclosed pen with Rot inside. The pigs will be attracted to the food constantly and will not go into their homes at dusk or night. Once there are several pigs surrounding the food, befriend one pig and attack one of the other pigs around the enclosure. Quickly escaping the aggroed pigs, hurry back to the farm to see a chain reaction of pigs fighting each other, bringing an incredibly helpful supply of meat and Pig Skin.
One of the best (if not THE best) ways to boost your sanity is get two to three pigs to follow you and chop trees. Keep on chopping trees like a boss (or at least until you have around 40 logs). You will notice a big up arrow on your sanity meter. Pick up the logs later during dusk or on your way back to base. Make sure that it's not a full moon. If this is the case, your befriended Pigs will all turn into aggressive Werepigs, which can be as dangerous as Hounds if the player does not expect it!
Every time you go back to your base camp, organize your chest and see what type of resource you need to stock up. That'll be your objective the next day.
Make sure to start collecting some resources that can be replanted like Grass Tufts, Saplings, and Berry Bushes so that you can harvest basic resources like these right from your base without having to go too far. When you replant these, they need to be fertilized, so have some Rot or Manure ready! Later on with more manure you could build Advanced Farms to grow crops allowing for better food from the Crock Pot.
Collecting Meat for Drying Racks is a bit of a chore if you want to sustain yourself with a good supply of Jerky. Try building a small meat farm consisting of pigs and their homes surrounding an enclosed pen with Rot inside. The pigs will be attracted to the food constantly and will not go into their homes at dusk or night. Once there are several pigs surrounding the food, befriend one pig and attack one of the other pigs around the enclosure. Quickly escaping the aggroed pigs, hurry back to the farm to see a chain reaction of pigs fighting each other, bringing an incredibly helpful supply of meat and Pig Skin.
See Farming for a more in depth guide.
Hounds are nasty creatures. They will attack you day or night but at least they give off sounds and alert your character. One can use the pigs or beefalo to help survive against them.
There is a guide on how to protect yourself that's worth a read: Hound Wave Survival Guide.
Winter is Coming!
By the second week, you should be able to have a self-sustaining base camp.
Dedicate this week for extra supplies and set aside two pieces of Winter gear, such as the Winter Hat or the Rabbit Earmuffs. Depending on your game preferences, Winter starts on day 21 and ends on day 36 (default).
- You should already have a Thermal Stone ready.
- During the day, just keep gathering resources.
- Always bring a hot Thermal Stone with you when you go out of your base.
- When heat runs out from that stone, move back to base or at least set up a fire for it to recharge.
- Do not stay away too far from camp.
- Find (or go back to) the MacTusk Camp to kill the MacTusk and get the Tam O' Shanter and Walrus Tusk. Both will be beneficial to the upcoming seasons!
Read up on the Winter Guide Tactics.
Now that Don't Starve Together is open to the public, players can now play with their friends!
The first thing you should do is split up. Have all of your friends go alone to find resources. This way, you can find a good place to set up. After about 3–5 days, meet up with your friends at the Florid Postern and decide where to build your base. (You should make your base near Pigs unless you have a player with the character Webber). If you do, then put your base near Beefalo, who make for great sources of Manure for farms. Try to camp near spiders, as you will need glands for Telltale Hearts to revive your friends upon death. You will want to want to explore the world for three places:
- A savanna for Rabbits, which can be put in the Crock Pot to make Meatballs and also for manure from beefalo. If you have about Three players, try using a Beefalo Horn to lure one beefalo off at a time and kill them for their Meat and fur. Make sure to leave 2-3 beefalo alive for their manure, (which can be used to make helpful farm and fertilize plant.)
- Rockyland Biome for Gold Nugget and Tallbird Egg, Who you can hatch for allies or eat for stats.
- Graveyard. This is a good place to get Trinkets for the Pig King , gems, and gold (but beware of ghosts that can spawn at a full moon or digging graves.)
If you can't decide from the many servers in Don't Starve together, visit This Wikia! and look for dedicated servers that you can to play on.