Rot is produced when Food items (excluding Eggs) spoil. Rot can be used as Fertilizer for Farming (e.g. for Basic Farms, Improved Farms, Grass Tufts, and Berry Bushes) or it can be used as a source of Fuel. Rot is as effective as Manure in fertilizing transplanted Grass Tuft and Berry Bush; otherwise, Rot is inferior to Manure in all other cases as fertilizer or fuel.
Some Mobs, such as Pigs or Smallish Tallbirds, will eat Rot left on the ground, but they cannot be given Rot directly. Since Rot doesn't restore any Health or Hunger to Mobs, they are able to consume an infinite amount of Rot left on the ground.
Rot may appear along with other items (such as Rope and Bird Traps) in a Set Piece, near a Chest and/or Backpack. Opening either container will cause the player's perishable items to turn to Rot, though this can be avoided by dropping the items a distance away first.
Bees in the player's inventory can be fed with Rot.
In Don't Starve Together, Rot can be used to craft Booster Shots, Marsh Turf, Compost Bins, and Mushroom Planters. Additionally, Mushroom Planters will drop Rot when harvested in Winter. It can also be attached to a Sea Fishing Rod as a single-use lure.
- A quick way to obtain Rot is to leave Roasted Berries or Fish in a chest as they spoil very quickly. If there are no Mobs that can eat them nearby, they may be left on the ground, as food spoils faster on the ground.
- In Don't Starve Together, Juicy Berries can be used instead of Roasted Berries, as they spoil faster even when raw.
- WX-78 can eat spoiled food without penalties, but will still be damaged by eating Rot.
- A Tallbird Nest near a Rabbit Hole (or other areas where weak mobs spawn) is a good source of Rot.
- A way to obtain a large amount of Rot early on is to pick many Flowers and let them go stale.
- If the player has access to Caves, they can also pick Light Flowers for Light Bulbs. These will rot just as fast as Petals (in 6 days).
- Fertilizer properties: 4 Rot = 1 Manure; 5 Rot = 1 Guano.
- Rot originally looked like a blue ball. Though the texture is now a misshapen blob, multiple characters still refer to it as a "ball".
- Hunger level reduction caused by eating Rot may hint that the characters are throwing up after eating rotten food. However, there is no observable evidence of this in game.
- The food with the shortest perish time is Lichen, turning to Rot after just 2 days. The food with the longest perish time is the Powdercake, which turns to Rot after 18,750 days.