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A relic of an ancient civilization long dead from the ravages of time.


A Ruins Sinkhole.

The Ruins are the last remnants of a forgotten civilization located on a level below Caves. They are generated as a new world upon entering them, just like Caves. Ruins have their own theme, terrain, and biomes. Various unique creatures, plants, and other objects reside within.

The entrance to the Ruins are in the Caves. Each Cave connects to a different Ruins world. Similar to Sinkhole Rocks, they resemble a pile of Thulecite, which is found in the Ruins itself. It is tinted orange, with similar characteristics of the Sinkhole when being mined.


A fully explored Ruins map.

The ruins have six different Biomes: Abyss, Labyrinth, Military, Sacred, Village and Wilds. The Ruins can only be entered through a plugged Sinkhole found in the Caves. Upon mining the Thulecite plug, a rope will lead down to the Ruins through the Sinkhole, and Batilisks will be able to spawn from it into the Caves.

The initial starting area of the Ruins is surrounded by four massive pillars and four Broken Clockworks, with a rope leading up to the Caves. The Ruins are completely dark, causing a steady drain on Sanity. Unlike the caves, the ruins are considered to be in a state of perpetual night, creatures and plants will act accordingly. As the Ruins are explored, the map will show new icons and terrain specific to the Ruins. 

Earthquakes will occur in the Ruins, dropping the same minerals as in the Caves. Although time continues to pass on the surface world, there is no indication of this while underground.

Nightmare Cycle[]

Glommer.png Main article: Nightmare Cycle

The Ruins exist in a state of flux called the Nightmare Cycle, which can be measured by the Thulecite Medallion.  As the magical state becomes more intense, the likelihood of earthquakes increases. Its current state will affect the state of objects within it.  Nightmare Lights will begin to open up, the Runic Turf will glow red, and Ancient Statues will have a horrified look while Nightmare Fuel drops from their mouths and eyes. Shadow Creatures can attack the player regardless of their sanity level during the most intense stage. This is a great way to collect Nightmare Fuel, but is a bit overwhelming at an early stage in the game. The runes on the ground do not provide a light source despite glowing brightly.


A Slurper.

The following creatures can be found in the Ruins:

Friendly damaged Clockwork Monsters can be made "Followers" by repairing Damaged Clockworks with Gears.


A Ruins pillar

Some of the ground and pillars in the Ruins are made out of a special material that starts to glow when light is shined upon it during the Nightmare Phase. The Military and Sacred biomes are mostly covered in this material. Also somewhere in the ruins there's a labyrinth, filled with Dangling Depth Dwellers, Ornate Chests and dead ends. At the center of this labyrinth resides the Ancient Guardian, who most players will challenge to get its rare Horn.

Unlike Caves, surface plants like Evergreens, SaplingsBerry BushesSpiky Bushes, and Flowers are not found in Ruins, although the player can still plant these items. Plants will regenerate after a few days of being harvested (except for trees). The only plants that can be found naturally in the ruins are Light Flowers, Cave Banana Trees, and Ferns. Lichen is also exclusive to the ruins. Blue Mushrooms can be found here as well, usually in copious amounts.

An Ancient Statue during the Nightmare Phase

Objects found in the Ruins include RelicsAncient Statues, Nightmare Lights and the Ancient Pseudoscience Station. Relics can be attacked and destroyed for various loot while Ancient Statues can be mined to yield Thulecite and various Gems. Nightmare Lights can emit light and spawn Shadow Creatures depending on the Nightmare Cycle, while the Ancient Station will be used to craft some of the best items in the game, found in the Ancient Tab. Also in the wilds, there are Splumonkey Pods and special Ponds. The ponds can be fished in to get Eels.

Within the entrance of the Ruins, corpses of the Chess Monsters can be found. When destroyed, they yield 1 Frazzled Wires, as well as potentially Gears and other trinkets.

Reign of Giants icon.png Reign of Giants[]

In Don't Starve: Reign of Giants, the temperature of the Ruins depends on the temperature of the overworld.

Don't Starve Together icon.png Don't Starve Together[]

In Don't Starve Together the ruins were moved to the same level as the Caves. This was done to avoid the necessity of a third dedicated server to hold it on. The Wilds biome can be found connecting to various cave biomes as well as the ruins. An area full of Cave Lichen as well as Slurpers serves as an indicator of being close to the ruins. There are also several new ways for entities to spawn.

In A New Reign the Atrium Biome was introduced. The Atrium Biome is completely separated from the main land so it is only accessible by killing a Big Tentacle found randomly within the caves, and jumping into the Tentacle Pillar Hole. Once the player makes it to the Atrium Biome they must pass the Obelisks which will be in a closed state unless the player has more than 15% Sanity. Players must be careful to never drop below 15% Sanity otherwise they will be trapped on the island.

Ancient Gateway.png Regeneration[]

If the Ancient Fuelweaver is killed the Ancient Gateway will start to destabilize. After 4 minutes, the gate will respawn Damaged Clockworks, Splumonkey Pods, Slurpers, Depths Worms, Ancient Statues, Broken Clockworks and Ancient Pseudoscience Stations in their respective places in the Ruins, add new items to Ornate Chests and Cave Holes and replace the Large Ornate Chest with an Ancient Guardian.

Objects regenerated by the Ancient Gateway explosion.
Damaged Rook.png Damaged Knight.png Damaged Bishop.png Monkey Totem.png Slurper.png Depths Worm.png Ancient.png Ancient Face.png Broken clockworks.png Ancient Pseudoscience Station.png Ornate Chest.png Cave Hole.png Ancient Guardian.png

Twenty days later, the Gateway will accept the Ancient Key to be placed again.

Placeholder.png Trivia[]

  • The Ruins were introduced in The Stuff of Nightmares update.
  • Since the release of the Ruins had to be pushed back, the Slurper was made able to spawn in regular caves until The Stuff of Nightmares update, which made the Slurper a ruins-only creature, as intended.
  • According to Maxwell, the over-use of fuel from Nightmare Lights led to the downfall of the civilization that once lived in the Ruins.
  • Without mineral eating mobs like Rock Lobsters and Slurtles, any minerals generated by earthquakes will amass over time. This can cause lag, if they aren't removed.

Mosquito.png Bugs[]

  • When dying in the Caves or Ruins, exiting the game right at the moment of death will cause the Cave or Ruins world to reset. Upon reloading, the player will spawn in a new Cave or Ruins world and lose all items.
    • This bug can be exploited to make rare non-renewable items such as Green Gems and Thulecite renewable without using the Wooden Thing. This bug works only if the player doesn't have any resurrecting structures active.
    • It should also be noted that, when using a Teleportato in a Hamlet or Shipwrecked world, the Caves and Ruins will be erased and ready to regenerate.

Blueprint.png Gallery[]