Do you like science?


Wilson Percival Higgsbury is the first available playable character in Don't Starve (requiring no Experience to play) and one of the playable characters in Don't Starve Together (DST). He was released in the Don't Starve Vanilla Beta release in Late 2012 and was the first character with a confirmed backstory, thus making him the main protagonist of the game. He's a witty scientist wannabe that has a sense of humor. He also has a peculiar haircut resembling the letter "W".

Wilson's only perk is that he can grow a magnificent Beard that gives him a few small advantages in harsh weather and life preservation. Being the default character his Health, Hunger, and Sanity all have default values and he has no drawbacks. Overall, Wilson is meant for better Winter survival and efficiency, as well as easier access to Meat Effigies. His stats make him a good all-around character, and many players (from beginners to experts) find that Wilson, as well as his Beard, provides welcome advantages to surviving in the wilderness.

Minimap Maxwell's Door Origin

Don't Starve Forbidden Knowledge

Don't Starve Forbidden Knowledge

With the Forbidden Knowledge video published to Klei Entertainment's YouTube channel and hidden in their website, Wilson's origin was revealed.

Wilson used to live in a rickety wooden house in the mountains, where he performed experiments all day. After a mixture of some sort exploded in a puff in his face, he sat down, agitated that things weren't working out for him. He didn't have too much time to do so, however, as he heard a mysterious voice coming from his radio (revealed to be Maxwell's later on in the video). Maxwell offered Wilson secret and forbidden knowledge, and Wilson, willing and hungry for said knowledge, hastily agreed. This caused massive amounts of information to be inserted into his head. What Wilson didn't know was that almost all this information wasn't about anything scientific.

With this newfound knowledge, he began building a mysterious machine. When the machine was finished, he gazed upon it in wonder. Maxwell told him to throw the switch - Wilson, however, was hesitant. Only with a bit of egging on - Maxwell shouting "DO IT!" - does he pull the lever. Wilson then realized that this machine was some sort of portal, only meant to lead him to his demise. As Maxwell laughed maniacally, shadowy hands appeared from the floor and pulled Wilson into the mysterious wilderness world where Don't Starve takes place.

Beard Special Power

Wilson Beard Growth

Wilson's different stages of beard growth.

Wilson's special power is that he can grow a hairy Beard. It has two basic characteristics:

  • Depending on length, the Beard provides up to 135 insulation against Freezing.
  • The Beard can be shaved for Beard Hair, allowing the player to easily make a Meat Effigy and restoring 10 Sanity.

Below is the days it takes Wilson to grow his Beard to the next stage, along with the number of Beard Hair gained and Insulation provided with each stage.

Days until growth Length Beard Hair Yield Insulation Time
4 Days Short Beard 1 (0.25 per day) 15 seconds
7 Days Long Beard 3 (0.43 per day) 45 seconds
15 Days Magnificent Beard 9 (0.6 per day) 135 seconds

If Wilson dies and resurrects, the Beard growth resets but otherwise carries its length between worlds or Caves and Ruins.

Gift Icon Downloadable Content

In the Reign of Giants (RoG) and Shipwrecked (SW) DLCs as well as DST, having a Beard during Summer or Dry Season respectively will make Wilson Overheat faster. Some of his examination quotes are different to reflect the changes in the DLCs.

Prototype Tips

  • The Beard will take exactly 15 days to grow to its full length (full length at the beginning of day 16), and since Winter starts on day 21 on default settings, this proves advantageous for Winter survival. The player can easily survive Winter with just a full Beard and a Thermal Stone.
  • A good tip is to shave the Beard after four days (because then the player can obtain one Beard Hair and will still have the full Beard by Winter). The Beard (unlike clothing) will not wear out, providing insulation as long as the player doesn't shave.
    • In RoG, DST and SW, it is advised to shave at the beginning of Summer/Dry Season due to the Beard accelerating the rate at which Wilson overheats and providing no benefits when fully grown.
    • In addition it is also a plausible idea to shave at the long beard length before Winter. This may start the player off in winter with a not fully grown beard but, allows greater hair production. In addition this short time without the full beard is diminished by the fact that the first days of winter are more mild.
  • Wilson's extra insulation from his Beard allows him to go a long time without a source of heat when wearing additional warm clothing, reducing the amount of resources needed to keep warm in cold weather. This is especially useful when tracking a Winter Koalefant, which usually requires extended time away from fire to follow its trail.
  • The player should also consider that due to the extra insulation they can spend time preparing for Winter in other ways. For example, instead of tracking down a Koalefant in order to make a Breezy Vest, the player could focus on ensuring enough Rabbit Traps have been placed or plenty of Logs have been gathered in preparation for Winter. If the player is entering Winter with little more than Rabbit Earmuffs, it would be wise to keep the Beard for the added insulation.
  • If plenty of insulated Clothes have been gathered prior to Winter, shaving may be a good option. A Meat Effigy will require 4 Beard Hair, and 9 Beard Hairs can be obtained by shaving on day 16. Shaving leaves the player with less insulation for the Winter, but a nice insurance policy from the Meat Effigy. Shaving the Beard at any stage before full length will not provide enough Beard Hair in a single shaving, but it can always be stored for later as it does not degrade.
    • The earliest one can build a Meat Effigy is on day 11. Shave as soon as possible for 1 hair, and shave the Long Beard for the other 3. This is not the most efficient way, but it is the quickest (outside of lowering Sanity to hunt Beardlings).
  • As the Beard doesn't grow longer after 16 days and the player loses it on resurrection or by changing characters, it is most efficient to shave after every sixteenth day, unless Winter is coming.
  • In terms of gaining Sanity, shaving every 5 days will yield the best results.
  • Wilson keeps his Beard when he uses a Wooden Thing to move to a new world. This proves useful in Adventure Mode when "King of Winter" or "The Game is Afoot" are still to be encountered.

Placeholder Trivia


  • Wilson's voice is played by a "Harmon muted trumpet (mixed with some cup muted trumpet as well)".
  • Wilson is the first character to be given a backstory through a cinematic.
  • With a Puffy Vest, a Beefalo Hat, a Thermal Stone and the Beard at full length, Wilson can have the highest insulation factor in the game at 735.
    • Wilson is one of the only three characters that get an insulation bonus from their Beard. The other two are Webber from RoG, and Woodie when played in DST.
  • Wilson is the only character capable of producing Beard Hair from shaving. His Beard is also the only one to allegedly be made of human hair.
  • With the introduction of the Insanity! update, Wilson is no longer the only character that could build the Meat Effigy.
    • With the implementation of Woodie, he is no longer the only character with a full beard. And with Webber, he is no longer the only one that could grow a Beard over time.
  • Wilson is the only character unaffected by the Strange New Powers update, aside from Maxwell, who was not finished in time and got his new powers later on in the All's Well That Maxwell update.
  • Wilson is one of two characters with no drawbacks, the others being Wheeler.
    • Even in RoG, his Beard needs to be grown to accelerate overheating in Summer, which is not required of Wilson during that season.
  • Wilson has a skull in the game files.
  • Before the November 14, 2013 patch, Wilson used to share a lot of examination quotes with the other characters.
    • His quotes are also used as the default for every other playable character when new objects are implemented in a beta stage.
  • Wilson can be used as a Steam chat emoticon.
  • Team Fortress 2 promoted Don't Starve with a hat modeled after Wilson's hair, as well as a weapon based on the Ham Bat.
  • When struck by Lightning in DLCs, Wilson, like most other characters, is shown to have bones in his hair.


  • Wilson's age is in the early 30s.[1]
  • While his birthplace was never set in stone, Wilson was roughly designed as a European immigrant and perhaps one in the United States.[2]
  • An image of Wilson's face is visible in two Klei QR codes. One of them is part of a puzzle and links to an image of Maxwell, and the other is included on the tags of Don't Starve merchandise from the Klei Store and links to their main Don't Starve page.
  • When Wilson is holding the radio up in the Forbidden Knowledge cinematic (~00:40), there is a hidden link (in fact is shown in the video) that leads to a page with the machine that Wilson built. Clicking on the machine's lever will turn the machine on and go to a page with concept art on the Don't Starve website, along with a message from Maxwell.
  • Wilson is one of the three characters whose full name is known, the others being Maxwell and Wheeler.
  • According to Wilson's Guest of Honor skin description and quote in Don't Starve Together, he hates formal parties.
  • Wilson may have medical knowledge, as in The Forge, he is capable of reviving allies twice as fast and with more health. In his examination quote for a Peg Leg, he also claims to be capable of performing amputations. His Victorian skin depicting him as a period physician could also be a hint towards this.
  • From June to July 2012, a series of blog posts featured field notes written in Wilson's point of view, in which he recorded his initial experiences building tools, encountering Beefalo, and creating Meat Effigies in The Constant.
  • Various quotes from Wilson show that he is obsessed with his hair. He says of a Straw Hat "Hats always ruin my hair." According to his Umbrella examination quote from DST, he doesn't like his hair getting "wet and poofy".
  • In The Gorge, a Streetlight of the Elder Bog "reminds [him] of home".
  • Judging by his examination quote for Mumsy, Wilson had a nanny.
  • Wilson's full name originates from promotional business cards Klei had made for a conference. Kevin Forbes originally wrote the name with Percival in mind for the middle initial "P".[3]

Cultural References

  • In the Forbidden Knowledge cinematic, the various images that fly around Wilson while he is being given "forbidden knowledge" by Maxwell include a Tie Fighter from Star Wars, an illustration of Gamera, various words such as "KLEI", and a Vitruvian Man featuring Wilson.
  • Wilson is probably named after the iconic volleyball companion of Tom Hanks' character in the film Cast Away.
    • This inspiration is shared with Rawling, a talking basketball item that is exclusive to the Shipwrecked DLC.
  • A gentleman scientist was a term that arose in post-Renaissance Europe for a financially independent male scientist who pursued the study of science as a hobby.[4] The modern term is independent scientist.
  • Wilson's Magmatic skin is based on Prince Zuko from Avatar: The Last Airbender.

Blueprint Gallery

Glommer Main article: Wilson gallery

Gramophone Sounds

Wilson's voice.
Wilson voice
Wilson getting hurt.
Wilson Hurt Voice
Wilson dying.
Wilson Death Voice
Wilson drowning (Shipwrecked icon).
Wilson Drowning Voice
Wilson's ghost voice (Don't Starve Together icon).
Wilson Ghost Voice
Wilson sighing, as part of the /sleepy emote (Don't Starve Together icon).
Wilson Sleepy Voice
Wilson yawning, as part of the /yawn emote (Don't Starve Together icon).
Wilson Yawn Voice
Wilson singing the Starver's Carol, as part of the /carol emote (Don't Starve Together icon).
Wilson Carol Voice


  1. Klei Entertainment confirming Wilson and Willow's age on Facebook: "Wilson is in his early 30's. We never really established where Wilson is living or from but the "Gentleman Scientist" theme does kind of come from a "Proper English Gent" kind of personality. The story is 1920-ish. Willow is roughly in her early 20's."
  2. Klei Entertainment confirming Wilson's native origin: "We never really set this in the lore, but I can say he is roughly designed as a European, maybe a European USA Immigrant? We never really picked a home land for him. His era is inspired by the 1920's so everyone was a little bit more proper back then."
  3. Forum thread "What means the P in the name?" Kevin Forbes: "I'm pretty sure it's Percival." / "By pretty sure, I mean I think that's what I had in mind when I wrote the "P." on the special promotional Wilson business cards that we got made for a conference, and from which Wilson got his name."
  4. Dictionary of Modern Medicine p. 246
Player Characters
Don't Starve Wilson (quotes ⋅ clothes) • Willow (quotes ⋅ clothes) • Wolfgang (quotes ⋅ clothes) • Wendy (quotes ⋅ clothes) • WX-78 (quotes ⋅ clothes) • Wickerbottom (quotes ⋅ clothes) • Woodie (quotes ⋅ clothes) • Wes (quotes ⋅ clothes) • Maxwell (quotes ⋅ clothes) • Wagstaff (quotes ⋅ clothes)
Reign of Giants Wigfrid (quotes ⋅ clothes) • Webber (quotes ⋅ clothes)
Shipwrecked Walani (quotes ⋅ clothes) • Warly (quotes ⋅ clothes) • Wilbur (quotes ⋅ clothes) • Woodlegs (quotes ⋅ clothes)
Hamlet Wilba (quotes ⋅ clothes) • Wormwood (quotes ⋅ clothes) • Wheeler (quotes ⋅ clothes)
Don't Starve Together Winona (quotes ⋅ clothes) •  Wortox (quotes ⋅ clothes)
Removed Warbucks (quotes ⋅ clothes)
Unimplemented Wilton • Winnie • Wallace • Waverly • Pyro • Watricia