Health is a measurement of overall physical well-being. Unlike Hunger (and in many situations Sanity), Health typically does not drain over time. Health is lost instantly when a character is hit by an enemy attack, eats harmful food such as Monster Meat, eats Rot, or harvests from thorny plants like the Spiky Bush. In Reign of Giants (RoG), Health is lost instantly when harvesting from Cacti. Health is lost continually while the character is burning, starving, or freezing. In RoG, characters also lose Health while overheating and in Shipwrecked (SW), while poisoned. Losing all Health results in death (although not necessarily the loss of the game). Health can be seen on the heart-shaped gauge in the upper-right corner of the screen, which shrivels and empties as the character's Health is depleted. Note that having a Meat Effigy lowers max Health.
|Reign of Giants|
|Don't Starve Together|
*Wolfgang has 200 Health by default (his Health limit rises to 300 with a full belly and drops to 150 when starving).
***Wilba's werepig form has 350 health.
****Wurt has 250 health when King of the Merms is alive.
Health can be restored in a few ways. The most basic way to regain health is by eating Food, most of which typically provides 1-3 health when consumed. Cooking the food often increases the Health 1 or 2 points. There are also a few items whose sole purpose is to heal.
Wormwood is unable to gain health from eating food and must rely on other methods to restore it.
Certain food and items provide a greater health boost and are thus very valuable:
- Crock Pot: Several Crock Pot recipes provide substantial healing. Mandrake Soup is a powerful and flexible healing recipe [+100 ]. Fishsticks [+40 ] are an easy recipe to make. Pierogi [+40 ] is also a good recipe. Dragonpie [+40 ] is excellent if the player manages to create a Dragon Fruit farm. In SW, Bisque [+60 ] is food that can be easily produced, and is one of the most potent healing items in the game. However, regarding Crock Pot recipes in general, the player must make sure that the individual components (raw or cooked) won't heal more if eaten on their own.
- Jerky/Small Jerky: Jerky and Small Jerky restore 20 and 8 , respectively, and last for a very long time. If primary concern is health, and the player's only food source is Meats, they should be made into jerky. Jerky can be used in a Crock Pot as normal meat, if needed.
- Spider Gland/Mosquito Sack: Spiders drop Spider Glands that can be used immediately for restoring 8 . In a similar way, Mosquitoes drop their sacks which heal the same amount of health as Spider Glands. Neither item spoils, however, this isn't practical to stockpile them due to the relatively small amount of health restored when using them.
- Healing Salve: Spider Glands can also be made into Healing Salves that restore 20 each. Healing Salves do not spoil.
- Yellow Mosquito Sack: Poison Mosquitos in SW occasionally drop Yellow Mosquito Sacks, which restore 20 when used. Like regular Mosquito Sacks, they do not spoil.
- Bee Boxes: Bee Boxes produce Honey which by itself restores 3 . If the player has access to Reeds, Honey can be used to create Honey Poultices, which restore 30 when used. Honey also is used in a number of Crock Pot dishes which restore varying amounts of health. Honey Poultices do not spoil, despite Honey spoiling in-game.
- Butterflies: Butterflies drop Butterfly Wings, which restore 8 . Also, Butterflies have a 2% chance to drop Butter, which restores 40 on its own. Additionally, the wings can be easily used to make a Butter Muffin, which restores 20 , while also filling some hunger. The Butter can be used to cook Waffles, which restores 60 and is one of the most potent healing items in the game. Butterfly farms can be created easily and synergize well with Bee Boxes.
- Blue Mushroom: Eating a raw Blue Cap restores 20 , although at the cost of -15 . Blue mushrooms can only be picked at night and can't be relocated, so large scale farming is usually impractical. Still, they provide a nice boost for players who build their base near them, or when the player is exploring away from their base.
- Life Giving Amulet: Wearing a Life Giving Amulet will automatically heal the player by +5 in exchange for 5 and 5% of its durability. If the player dies while wearing it, it will also automatically resurrect the player with 50 of , however when used this way, it will be immediately destroyed.
Temporal Health Table
|Sleeping in||+120||Drains 60 & 20/min respectively|
|Eating||+60||Heals for two minutes|
|Sleeping in||+60||Drains 60/min|
|Wearing||+10||Heals 5 and drains 5 and 5% durability every 30s|
|Being poisoned||-6 to -48||Damage increases and damage interval decreases over time|
|Freezing or Overheating||-75|
|Freezing as||-150||Also loses 60/min|
|Near a open fire||-240 to -480||4/s for small fires or or if player is on fire|
Note: table is incomplete.
Aside from the current health, the character's maximum health can also change under specific conditions. When the maximum health is decreased, it will be shown as a black bar on the health meter.
- Meat Effigy: If the player builds a Meat Effigy, then their maximum health is decreased by 30 for each effigy built. This health is impossible to regain unless the Meat Effigy is destroyed or used. In , the player does not lose maximum health.
- Florid Postern: Resurrecting via Florid Postern in DST will reduce the maximum health by 25% of the player's maximum health.
- Booster Shot: The Booster Shot is only available in DST, and when used, restores 25% of the lost maximum health.
Some characters have special abilities that change their maximum health. When the maximum health is changed due to these abilities, the black bars won't be shown.
- Special ability of Wolfgang: Wolfgang's max health value changes according to his hunger.
- Special ability of WX-78: They can consume Gears to raise the cap of 3 stats, including Health.
There may be more than one Touch Stone in the world, but the player will respawn at the one closest to their death point. Touch Stones may only be used once and drop Marble, Rocks, and Nightmare Fuel upon doing so.
- The player can have 0 points of Health and not die. However, letting their Health go below 0 will kill them.