Balloons spawn in a variety of colors and shapes, and they can be pushed around. Balloons have a small chance of distracting mobs (who will attack the balloons instead of the player). They will pop if attacked, or if a nearby balloon pops, setting off a chain reaction. Popping a balloon causes 5 damage. Like all Character-Specific Items, this item shows on the map when dropped.
Reign of Giants
In the Reign of Giants DLC, Wes can give his Pile o' Balloons to a Catcoon in order to befriend it. If the Catcoon dies, he will be able to get it back.
Don't Starve Together
Pile o' Balloons (DST)
In Don't Starve Together (DST), Wes can craft Pile o' Balloons using 4 Water Balloons from his Balloonomancy Tab. The item can be used to make Balloons and other items from the Balloonomancy Tab; it will not be consumed when crafting, and can be used to craft as many items as long as Wes has at least 5 . If the Pile o' Balloons is left on the ground for 3 days it will become 2 Mosquito Sacks.
In DST, Balloons can be crafted from the Balloonomancy Tab with 5 and a Pile o' Balloons. There are additional balloon designs exclusive to DST. Together with the four classic designs, there are nine balloon designs in total. Besides the classic oblong balloon, the eight other models are designed after the mobs of the constant: Spiders, Beefalos, Pigmen, Bunnymen, Mermfolk, Hounds, Tentacles and Butterflies. They can be held by equipping them to the hand slot, and can be picked up and put in the player's inventory. Each model has their unique icon for inventory slots but they will all appear orange inside the inventory. Including Orange, the six possible balloon colors are Red, Yellow, Green, Blue and Purple.
“The hole in the center makes it more aerodynamic, that's just physics!”
The Speedy Balloon is crafted from the Balloonomancy Tab with 5 and a Pile o' Balloons. When equipped, it increases the player's movement speed for a limited amount of time, as indicated by the balloon slowly shrinking into itself until the hole in the middle is closed completely. If the player lets go of the balloon while it isn't at 0% durability, it will float away after 1.5 second of being on the ground. The floating balloon has the benefit of being seen on other players' maps, so that players can indicate their position similar to the use of a Flare.
The Balloon Hat is crafted from the Balloonomancy Tab with 5 and a Pile o' Balloons. When equipped to the head slot, it will prevent lightning strikes and provide wetness resistance. It will instantly pop when the player takes any physical damage (things like eating cactus and greencaps won't affect it).
Balloons only pop when triggered and won't go away otherwise. This makes them a useful bait to place in the center of a Tooth Trap field for Hounds or other hostiles.
Because of the 5 drained with each balloon, using this item is a reliable way to go insane if the player wishes to farm Nightmare Fuel. Crafting balloons is especially an easy way to mitigate Enlightenment.
Speedy Balloons are useful in early game when playing with other people, as they can be given to other players.
Party balloons have the identical crafting recipe to regular balloons. Unless regular balloons are desired for their aesthetics, crafting party balloons is almost always a better option as they can later used by Wes or other characters as a source of sanity.
Wes can take advantage of sanity giving actions such as Prototyping, Sleeping and Reviving Players to craft more balloons beforehand. This is especially useful for party balloons as they can be stored together for a sanity boost in the future.