The Meat Effigy is an effigy of Wilson which resurrects the player on Death. It is one of the three ways to be resurrected in the base game (the other two are wearing a Life Giving Amulet, or activating a Touch Stone before death). A Meat Effigy requires 4 Boards, 4 Beard Hairs, 4 Meat, and 30 maximum health to craft and a Prestihatitator to prototype.
Every Meat Effigy constructed lowers maximum Health by 30 points, which can only be restored if the Meat Effigy is destroyed or used for revival. Building up to 5 Meat Effigies will lower most characters' (all except for a mighty Wolfgang, an upgraded WX-78, Webber and Wigfrid, who are still killed by making more) Health to 0 and kill them, after which they will be revived and restored to 30 health.
As long as there is a Meat Effigy standing somewhere in the world, the character will be revived at the nearest Meat Effigy. However, if a Touch Stone is closer than the Meat Effigy they will be resurrected at the Touch Stone instead. After death and resurrection, the Meat Effigy used will be destroyed. Alternatively, it can be destroyed using the Hammer or Deconstruction Staff which will return the lost 30 health.
An Ancient Pseudoscience Station can spawn Effigies when hammered. The health penalty of Effigies produced this way do not take effect until the character has died and been resurrected.
Multiple Meat Effigies can be crafted, but only one can be attuned to each player at any given time. Crafting or attuning a Meat Effigy will set it for the player's own use. Attuning a Meat Effigy costs 40 Health.
Meat Effigies will not resurrect Ghost Characters automatically. Ghost Characters can resurrect from a Meat Effigy by clicking the "Activate Meat Effigy" button in the top-right corner of the screen. Ghost Characters will not be resurrected from a Touch Stone while attuned to a Meat Effigy.
In worlds with Caves, attunement is specific to each server. If a player has a Meat Effigy in the Forest, then dies in the Caves, the Meat Effigy will not be usable until that player travels up to the surface, which can be done in ghost form.
- The ability to build Meat Effigies easily is Wilson's greatest advantage over the other characters because he is a walking renewable source of Beard Hair, which is the Meat Effigy's rarest ingredient. However, note that Wilson will have no beard after resurrection.
- Beard hair can also be obtained by catching rabbits and lowering sanity, turning them into beardlings.
- If the player is concerned about the Meat Effigy being destroyed (e.g. by the Deerclops), it is recommended to place it somewhere seldom visited.
- When building a Meat Effigy, it is a good idea to leave some supplies near it to make the retrieval of items easier or to prevent freezing to death in winter. For example, having a Walking Cane and Log Suit nearby can help for covering long distances quickly, and can also help with retrieving items from dangerous places.
- Additionally, a Lazy Forager can be placed next to a Meat Effigy, as the Lazy Forager can be incredibly useful for retrieving items near enemies, such as hounds.
- If the player plans to build several Meat Effigies, it is recommended to place them in different areas, not near each other. If several Effigies are placed near each other and there is a danger nearby when the player is revived, they may be killed several times over without being able to collect any equipment.
- If players are worried about losing some maximum health, they can create the Meat Effigy in their inventory without placing it because the health penalty will not affect the player until it is placed. Then the player can place it down when facing a dangerous situation and revive nearby to retrieve all lost items.
- Building too many Meat Effigies while wearing a Life Giving Amulet will have the player die of resurrection sickness immediately, resurrect through the amulet first, then immediately die again because of the still-in-effect 0 hit points.
- Meat Effigies can be spawned in by the Console with no effect to health, except once the player dies or reloads the game. The health penalty will then be applied, making a very vicious cycle of repeated death and resurrection if the player happened to spawn in lots of them.
- The Meat Effigy's appearance is the same for all the characters; always being modeled after Wilson rather than whoever created it. This is noted by WX-78, Webber, and Woodlegs, who are confused about why it does not resemble them. In Don't Starve Together WX-78, Webber, Winona, and Wurt recognize the effigy as resembling Wilson.
- An effigy is a representation of someone in sculpture or another three-dimensional art medium. Effigies are usually constructed for funerary, religious, or caricatural purposes.
- Sometimes, when an above ground Meat Effigy is activated while in a cave, the game may bug and respawn on the surface at the entrance to the caves. Then the character plays the death animation and is unable to move.
- If a Meat Effigy is destroyed while in the process of resurrection, the game will crash.
- Spawning a meat effigy may lower health without lowering maximum health.
- Dying in a different world (any of the three DLC realms, as well as caves, ruins, and the volcano) and respawning from a Meat Effigy that was placed inside any Hamlet DLC interior (Slanty Shanty etc.) will cause the player to be respawned out in the void of the world holding the respawn structure. It is recommended to use the command c_warp("prefab") to teleport the character back into the world, as walking back in can be problematic for world types such as Shipwrecked.