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 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.
Instant Sanity Table
|• Resurrecting a Ghost Player ()||+80|
|• Sleeping in a ||+50|
|• Sleeping on a ||+33|
|• Repairing a ||+20|
|• Killing a ||+15|
|• Eating ||+10|
|• Eating most Crock Pot Dishes except for those shown elsewhere in this table and ||+5|
|• Riding a wave on a as||+1|
|• Using a||-1|
|• Eating |
|• Eating Spoiled Food||-10|
• Going through a
|• Eating |
• Being attacked by Charlie
|• Reading ||-33|
|• Eating ||-50|
|• Using a||-55 Max Sanity|
|• Resurrection via||Set to 1/2|
Temporal Sanity Table
|• Sanity aura of||≤+40||Must be very close to benefit from aura.|
|• Sanity aura of a||≤+25|
|• 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 |
• Wearing while on a Boat
|• Carrying 10+ Oincs as||<+6.25||Amount depends on how many Oincs you have.|
|• Sanity aura of||+6.25||Must be very close to benefit from aura.|
|• Wearing or holding||+2|
|• Sanity aura of a||?|
|• 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 -0.98 instead of -1.67|
|• Wearing soaked items.|| -6|
|• Being on land as||-4.8|
|• Dusk, Night and Caves||-5|
|• Total darkness||-50|
|• Being Poisoned||-6|
|• Insanity aura of||-6.25|
|• Wearing or holding||-12.5|
|• Insanity aura of||≤-10|
|• Insanity aura of||≤-15|
|• Insanity aura of||≤-16.7|
|• Insanity aura of||≤-25|
|• Insanity aura of||≤-25||Increases by approximately -5/min per 20 coins collected|
|• Wearing and having or
(-25 per follower)
|• Insanity aura of||≤-40|
|• Insanity aura of||≤-40||Shadow Creatures spawned from Nightmare Lights are not present during the "warning" phase of the Nightmare Cycle.|
|• Insanity aura of||≤-100|
|• Insanity aura of||≤-400|
|• Insanity aura of during a Full Moon |
• Insanity aura of during a Full Moon
- 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 , Winona
- 150 Max Sanity - Wes, Wilbur
- 120 Max Sanity - Willow, Wigfrid , Woodlegs
- 100 Max Sanity - Webber , Wilba
Characters with the potential to stay sane longer:
- Maxwell - Sanity is restored at a rate of 12.5 points per minute.
- Maxwell - Sanity is restored at a rate of 6.25 points per minute.
- 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'.
- Wigfrid - Gains Sanity after killing Mobs.
- Walani - Due to her drying off quicker, the combined Sanity loss from wetness would be reduced over time.
- Warly - Gains more Sanity from Crock Pot meals.
- Wilba - 1.5x Sanity is lost while in darkness. In her Werepig form, she do not lose any Sanity in darkness.
- Mr. Skits will appear.
- Eyes appear in the darkness.
- The screen starts getting distorted.
- Lighting is desaturated in the Surface World and Caves. Lighting brightens in the Ruins.
- Whispering can be heard.
- The screen is surrounded by red tendrils.
- Crawling Horrors and Terrorbeaks will attack.
- Player holds head with hands and rocks back and forth.
- The "day to night" transition jingle becomes warped.
- Lighting becomes dim.
- 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.