Sanity is the character's "mental health" in Don't Starve. The Sanity icon, represented as a picture of a brain, is located near the character's Health and Hunger. Characters can gain and lose sanity in various ways. A small animated arrow appears over the icon, indicating an increase or decrease in Sanity. The size of the arrow signifies the rate of gain or loss.
As sanity decreases, the player's vision becomes shaky, over-saturated, and bright, whispers are heard, and Shadow Creatures start to appear. These creatures become "physical" and aggressive and will attack the player when their sanity is below 15%. The sign that sanity is low enough for Shadow Creatures to attack is when the player's character covers their ears and closes their eyes while rocking back and forth, as if experiencing a bad headache.
Being alone in the wilderness will take its toll. Generally speaking, being in close proximity to Monsters, Darkness, Rain, eating bad or raw Food, or using various magic items decreases sanity; while wearing certain clothing, eating Jerky and Crock Pot food, being near friendly Pigs, and sleeping increases sanity. See the Sanity Tables below for a complete list.
- Mr. Skitts will appear.
- Night Hands appear at night.
- The screen starts shaking.
- Color desaturation begins.
- Eyes appear in the darkness.
- The screen starts getting distorted.
- Lighting is desaturated in the Surface World and Caves. Lighting brightens in the Ruins.
- Willow begins lighting fires.
- Crawling Horrors are visible.
- Shadow Watchers appears.
- Insanity ambiance becomes audible.
- When inactive survivors begin shaking with their head in their hands.
- Whispering can be heard.
- The screen is surrounded by red tendrils.
- Present Crawling Horrors and Terrorbeaks will attack.
- Up to one Crawling Horror spawns at a time.
- The "day to night" transition jingle becomes warped.
- Terrorbeaks spawn.
- Up to two Crawling Horrors or Terrorbeaks spawn at a time.
- The screen becomes even more distorted.
Instant Sanity Table
|• Eating ()||+150|
|• Resurrecting a Ghost Player ()||+80|
|• Sleeping in a
|• Sleeping on a
|• Repairing a
|• Killing a
• Eating ()
|• Eating most Crock Pot Dishes except for those shown elsewhere in this table and
|• Riding a wave on a||+1|
|• Using a||-1|
|• Eating Spoiled Food
• Going through a
• Eating ()
|• Blowing from||- between 25-50|
|• Using a||-55 Max Sanity|
|• Resurrection via||Set to 1/2|
|• Absorbing damage via||Damage absorbed ÷ 3.4|
|• Eating||Set to Current health + 5|
Temporal Sanity Table
|• Sanity aura of||≤+100||Change with Moon Phase|
|• Sleeping in
||60||Drains 60 & 20/min respectively|
|• Sanity aura of||≤+40||Must be very close to benefit from aura.|
|• Sanity aura of a||+36||Decreases hunger (roughly 0.5 per second) in exchange for sanity.|
|• Sanity aura of a||≤+25|
|• Sanity aura of a ()||+25||Sisturn must contain petals in all four slots.|
|• Sanity aura of a friendly , nearby or held , and
||≤+25||Must be very close to benefit from aura.|
|• Playing as||+20,
|• Being near a fire as ()||≤+11
|Amount depends on strength of fire.|
|• Being near a fire as||≤+10||Amount depends on strength of fire.|
|• Wearing and using /dance emote||+6.67||Can increase up to +20/min if there are other players nearby (wearing a costume piece and dancing).|
• Wearing while on Boats
|• Sanity aura of||+6.25||Must be very close to benefit from aura.|
|• Being inside||+6.25|
|• Wearing or holding||+2|
|• Day on Lunar Island||+0.625|
|• Wearing||-2||For One-Man Band this is the default insanity aura without followers.|
|• Insanity aura of||-3||Only when active, except for|
|• Rain||≤-3.3||Sanity loss depends on "precipitation rate".|
|• Wetness||≤-3.3||Sanity loss is not linear, e.g. at 50 Wetness the sanity loss is -1.67 instead of -3.33|
|• Being on land as||-4.8|
|• Dusk, Night and Caves||-5|
|• Wearing soaked items.||-6
|• Being Poisoned||-6|
|• Insanity aura of||-6.25|
|• Wearing to forestall a Werepig transformation||-6.6|
|• Insanity aura of||≤-10|
• Total darkness on Lunar Island
|• Being attached by||-12.5|
|• Wearing or holding||-20|
|• Insanity aura of
|• Insanity aura of||≤-25||Increases by approximately -5/min per 20 coins collected|
|• Wearing and having or
(-25 per follower)
|• Insanity aura of||≤-40|
|• Total darkness||-50|
|• Freezing as||-100|
|• Insanity aura of
|• Insanity aura of||≤-400|
|• Insanity aura of||≤-900||Shadow Creatures spawned from Nightmare Lights are not present during the "warning" phase of the Nightmare Cycle.|
- 150-300 Max Sanity - WX-78 (depending on upgrades)
- 100-300 Max Sanity - WX-78 (depending on upgrades)
- 250 Max Sanity - Wickerbottom
- 200 Max Sanity - Wilson, Wendy, Wolfgang, Woodie, Maxwell, Walani , Warly , Wormwood , Wheeler , Winona, Walter
- 150-200 Max Sanity - Wurt (depending on King of the Merms)
- 150 Max Sanity - Wes, Wagstaff, Wilbur , Wortox
- 120 Max Sanity - Willow, Wigfrid , Woodlegs
- 100 Max Sanity - Webber , Wilba
Characters with the potential to stay sane longer:
- Wendy - 0.75x Sanity is lost while in darkness or near monsters.
- Willow - Gains Sanity while near a fire.
- Wolfgang - 1.1x Sanity is lost while in darkness or near monsters, but this is compensated by fights being shorter if fighting while 'Mighty'.
- Maxwell - Sanity is restored at a rate of 20 (6.75 in ) in points per minute.
- Wigfrid - Gains Sanity after killing Mobs.
- Walani - Due to her drying off quicker, the combined Sanity loss from wetness would be reduced over time. She also does not have a sanity drain from Wetness itself, although she does have a sanity drain from Wet Items.
- Warly - Gains more Sanity from Crock Pot meals.
- Wilba - 1.5x Sanity is lost while in darkness, but no loss of sanity in darkness in Werepig form.
- Wormwood - Gains Sanity when planting most Plants.
- Sanity was added in the Insanity! update.
- Distortion can be turned off in the Options menu, removing the blurry effect on the edges of the screen that occurs from Sanity loss. This can also boost performance on slow systems.
- When being on Lunar Island in Don't Starve Together, Sanity becomes Enlightenment.
- In the Hamlet DLC, when being in any interior, there is no loss of sanity in Darkness.