Hounds are Monsters that attack periodically in packs. They attack every 3–13 days and can also spawn from Hound Mounds. At least two Hounds will typically appear during an attack, which is signaled by growling noises heard for a short time. The player will also comment on the growling three times until it stops, and the Hounds attack. More Hounds will spawn at a time as the game progresses.
In the Reign of Giants (ROG) DLC, if a player tracks a Varg, the Varg can spot the player and howl, calling two Hounds to help attack the player. Depending on the season, these Hounds can be normal, Blue, and Red.
In Don't Starve Together (DST), a character that has died and became a Ghost can haunt a Hound, giving it a chance of becoming either a Red Hound or a Blue Hound (50/50 chance). After the Hound has converted, it will panic for a short while, before continuing with what it was doing, such as attacking other players. Hounds will also spawn from the Moon Stone and the Hound Suspicious Moonrock when the Star Caller's Staff is inserted into the Moon Stone during a Full Moon.
The Red Hound (also known as a Fire Hound, Flame Hound, or Hellhound) can spawn in the Summer and Autumn () during Hound attacks. Red Hounds have less health than regular Hounds, cannot be set on fire, and have a higher resistance to the effects of an Ice Staff. Upon death, they "explode" into 3 large fires that will burn for at least six seconds, then extinguish into Ashes. These fires can easily spread to nearby flammable objects. When killed, Red Hounds will always drop 1 Monster Meat and 1 Hound's Tooth, with a chance to drop 1 Red Gem.
Occasionally, players can encounter Red Hounds as part of a Fire Staff Trap. Four to five Red Hounds sleep around the Fire Staff, and if the Fire Staff is taken, they will wake up and attack. The player will lose a large amount of sanity, and it will start to rain. If encountered, it is better to kill off each Hound individually, as they will not awaken upon the assault of their brethren.
The Blue Hound (also known as an Ice Hound) is a Hound that can spawn in the Winter and Spring () during Hound attacks. Blue Hounds have less health than regular Hounds, but deal more damage and cannot be frozen with the Ice Staff. When killed, Blue Hounds always drop 1 Monster Meat and 2 Hound's Teeth, with a chance to drop 1 Blue Gem.
In ROG, Blue Hounds can freeze the player and nearby creatures when they are killed. Killing one Blue Hound will give the player a blue tint, and killing a second one will freeze the player for about 5 seconds. Any attack will release a frozen character, and killing one can freeze another nearby Hound.
Two Blue Hounds always accompany the MacTusk N' Son hunting party. They will be found sleeping outside the Walrus Camp when the party retires at dusk.
Occasionally, the player can encounter Blue Hounds as part of an Ice Staff Trap. Four to five Blue Hounds sleep around the Ice Staff, and if the Ice Staff is taken, they will wake up and attack. The player will lose a large amount of sanity, and it will start to rain. If encountered, it is better to kill off each Hound individually, as they will not awaken upon the assault of their brethren.
Periodic Hound Attacks
When a Hound attack is imminent, snorting and growling sounds will be heard. These sounds start off softly and grow louder as the Hounds approach. Characters will also call attention to these sounds with phrases such as, "Did you hear that?". Usually, these warnings appear at least twice before the Hounds come. When the Hounds appear, the growling sounds will be replaced with the very real running and panting sounds that Hounds make when they attack. Any spawning hounds appear within a 30 unit or 7½ pitchfork tile radius of the player.
Wes and Wilbur cannot speak and therefore do not have distinguishable warnings. Wilbur will make random monkey noises, as with any other quote. Attacks will escalate and peak at day 100. Periodic hound attacks are a threat in a Sandbox Mode. The default attacks escalate making them dangerous to fight alone.
Red Hounds will accompany normal Hounds during attacks in Summer and Autumn (), while Blue Hounds accompany normal Hounds during Winter and Spring (). Red and Blue Hounds will appear less often than normal Hounds.
After the second attack, Red Hounds can spawn with normal Hounds during Summer, while Blue Hounds can spawn with normal Hounds during Winter. The chances of Red Hounds or Blue Hounds spawning with a pack increases with each day survived.
In RoG, the chance for Red Hounds to spawn is multiplied by 1.5 during Summer.
|Day||Time between each hound spawns (seconds)|
|Day 1 to 20||3 to 8|
|Day 21 to 60||2 to 5|
|Day 61 to 100||0.5 to 3.5|
|Day 101 or more||0.5 to 1.5|
|Day||Special Hound Spawn Chance|
|Day 1 to 16||0%|
|Day 17 to 31||10%|
|Day 32 to 51||20%|
|Day 52 to 76||33.3%|
|Day 77 or more||50%|
|Default setting||Next attack||Hounds||Warning time before attack (seconds)|
|Day 1 to 10||6 to 13 days||2||120|
|Day 11 to 25||6 to 13 days||3 to 4||60|
|Day 26 to 50||4 to 11 days||4 to 6||45|
|Day 51 to 100||4 to 11 days||5 to 7||30|
|Day 101 or more||3 to 8 days||7 to 10||30|
Hound attack frequency can be configured in the World Customization.
|Custom setting||Next attack||Hounds||Warning time before attack (seconds)|
|Less||6 to 13 days||3 to 4||60|
|More||4 to 11 days||4 to 6||45|
|Lots||3 to 8 days||5 to 7||30|
According to the script, the default hound attacks eventually escalate to "crazy" (settings as per the last entry in the Default settings table above).
Currently the only way to eventually get to a "crazy" level of hounds is to leave the hound attack setting on default. All other settings are constant (as described above). In other words, currently it is only possible to make the hounds easier in the long term (but more difficult early on), or to leave them as default.
In DST, hound attacks frequency and amount have received change in 2022 March QoL update, attack period become longer as player survives more day. Also, after 25 day, there is a chance 5 hounds in attack wave will merge into a Varglet.
Also, hound attacks can start when the player is out on sea.
Hounds are naturally aggressive, but easily distracted as they will attack all creatures on sight. Hounds will immediately charge the player when they spawn during a Hound attack. After a while, they can become distracted by nearby Mobs or Meat.
If a Hound's target is completely surrounded by Walls, they will attack the Walls in an attempt to reach their target. If there is breach in the Walls, Hounds will run through it.
In ROG, regular Hounds can spawn from Hound Mounds. These Hounds will only stray a certain distance from their Mound, but if they spot the player, they will chase them to a considerable distance. Hounds will retreat to their Mounds if they are unable to catch their prey.
Hounds will bite as soon as they are close enough to the player and pause for a slight moment before and after they chomp. It is possible to dodge their bite and then strike twice during the pause, although this proves difficult when multiple Hounds are attacking. Wearing an item that slows the player, such as the Marble Suit, will greatly increase the chance of being bitten. Once a Hound executes an attack, successful or not, it may stop to bark. When they do this, they will now target the nearest Mob or Meat.
One simple strategy to defeat Hounds, especially later in the game, is by simply filling up a large area with a set of Tooth Traps. Players can simply equip armor, and then run around the trap field avoiding attacks until the Hounds are killed. The trap field should be built away from the base and other flammable structures, to avoid uncontrolled fires caused by Red Hounds. The broken traps can be replaced by using the teeth obtained from the Hounds, making this a self-sustaining method to deal with Hound attacks.
If they attack a Mob that fights in a group such as a Beefalo, they can quickly be dispatched. If one does not wish to cheese the Hounds using Beefalos, and does not wish to or cannot yet use Tooth Traps, tanking them with a Dark Sword and Night Armor is advised, although the player should be careful to not be stunlocked during large waves.
Below is the number of hits it takes with each weapon to kill Hounds when playing with characters with a default damage modifier. The Weather Pain is not included due to the random nature of its projectile.
|No. of hits for
||36||12||9||6||5||5||4||3-6||3 or 4||3||3||2||1|
|No. of hits for
||24||8||6||4||4||3||3||2-4||2 or 3||2||Immune||1||1|
|No. of hits for
||24||8||6||4||4||3||3||2-4||2 or 3||2||3||1||1|
- While Hounds are attacking, Chester can and will be targeted.
- 2 or 3 Hounds can usually be defeated, without issue, by using a Spear, Log Suit, and Football Helmet. A player can even tank the damage when kiting is not an option.
- Out of all the Hound variants, the Red Hound is the most volatile as it will burn anything around it upon its death by setting flames on the floor which could lead to serious loss of flammable Structures and Items. It is advised to fight them in an isolated area from the flammable Structures and Items. They can also be killed near an active Ice Flingomatic to avoid the fires.
- Hounds are easily distracted. As such, many strategies involve leading Hounds to other Mobs.
- Lead Hounds to a Marsh where the resident Tentacles, Merms, and Spiders can aggro on the Hounds. This can also be a good way to get Tentacle Spikes, Tentacle Spots, Monster Meat, and other loot.
- Lead Hounds to Frog Ponds where Frogs will swarm their target when just 1 is attacked. Red Hound explosions cannot destroy Ponds, so no resources are at risk. Frogs do not eat Meats, so all loot can be recovered, including any Frog Legs the Hounds did not eat.
- Lead Hounds to Treeguards where large and medium Treeguards will kill Hounds in one hit. Beware of Red Hounds; they can set Treeguards on fire, who in turn can wander around and set other things on fire.
- Lead Hounds to a Killer Bee Hive (or attack a Beehive to spawn Killer Bees). The Bees may take a while to change targets if aggroed by the player, but will prioritize Hounds that have attacked them.
- Lead Hounds to a herd of Beefalo and run through (or around) the herd until a Beefalo gets bit. The herd will easily kill a Hound.
- Some more places or creatures one can lead Hounds to are Spider Dens, Spider Queens, Pigs, Lureplant and Rock Lobsters. The latter isn't recommended as the Lobsters will eat the valuable Fire and Ice Gems. Keep in mind that Red Hounds may burn down any nearby structures or resources.
- Leaving any type of Meat on the ground can distract Hounds that are chasing the player. The Hound will do its attacking animation when it eats, but the player won't take any damage if they are nearby.
- One can create a walled-off area with an entrance filled with Tooth Traps. Incoming Hounds can be funneled through the entrance, killing off most, if not all. A Fire Pit and other supplies can be kept inside for night attacks.
- In DST, Hound attacks on sea will make them "wet", meaning electric damage can be used very effectively during hound attacks.
- In DST, it isn't recommended to fight hound waves at sea during Summer or Autumn as the death of Fire Hounds can easily cover the boat in fire.
- Hounds and Red Hounds were added in The Birds and the Bees & Dogs That Want to Kill You update.
- Blue Hounds were added in A Winter's Tale update.
- According to Wickerbottom, a Hound's Tooth contains brimstone, also known as sulfur. In folklore, sulfur is often associated with demons, implying that the in-game Hounds are Hellhounds, a supernatural dog common in some mythologies or beliefs.
- The Red Hound is available for use on Steam as a chat emoticon.
- Red Hounds are the only mobs that take 16 hits from an Ice Staff to be frozen - the maximum for most Mobs is 4.
- Even though Red Hounds cannot be set on fire, they still take fire damage if they come into contact with it.
- When Red Hounds are inspected by Maxwell, he reveals that he "put gems in there as a joke". This implies that the notable traits of the Red Hound, such as its red color and spontaneous combustion upon death, are due to the presence of the Red Gem inside its body.
- Maxwell comments that he had a lot of surplus Gems when examining Blue Hounds. This reveals that the freezing resistance Blue Hounds have is caused by the Blue Gems in their body. This may also have caused their "blue" fur, although the grayish teal coloration they sport is a common pigmentation in many real-life mammals, especially those living in colder climates.
- The Blue Hounds have a dark blue nose when awake. Should they fall asleep, however, then their nose will change to the color of an ordinary hound's nose.
- There's a small, but non zero, chance for a special hound to spawn in the first season.
- Saving the game when the Hound attack warning begins and then loading that save will cause the attack to become bugged. The Hounds will arrive extremely late, up to 7 days, and the warning will persist indefinitely, making the player unable to use Tents and other items that require a "safe" condition.
- Occasionally, dying in a Cave and getting resurrected on the surface (perhaps when Hound attacks are supposed to begin) will cause the growling and snorting sounds to play in half-day intervals while the character remarks that the Hounds are coming, but they will not appear until a Hound attack in 3–10 days, where the warnings properly play close together.
- Sometimes, Hound attacks will 'reset'; the growling warning will last longer and only two normal Hounds will spawn, just as the first Hound attack.
- Saving and exiting the game during a Hound attack, and then loading the save will cause all of the Hounds to become temporarily distracted.
- Occasionally, when a SW and ROG world are merged, a hound attack may occur every time the player reloads the game.
- In DST, when a Hound attack is about to occur, going into the Caves and then back to the Surface will cause no Hounds to spawn. Restarting the server between entering and leaving the Caves will fix the bug.
- Game Source Code: scripts/components/hounded.lua