Don’t Starve Together – Beginner’s Guide: Tips to Survive

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Don’t Starve Together is a challenging game where you must survive in a world of darkness, science, and magic.

As you keep dying from hunger, insanity, temperature, and shadow monsters, you might struggle to keep up with the game and don’t know exactly what to do.

Recommended Read: What Is the Best Armor in DST?

Fortunately, after many hours of suffering in Don’t Starve Together, we can advise you on what to do when you first start the game, as well as give tips and tricks to survive all four seasons in Don’t Starve Together in this beginner’s guide.

Table of Contents

What is The Main Goal in Don’t Starve Together

Since Don’t Starve Together is a survival game, you may think your goal is to survive as long as possible in the Constant world, right?

That’s correct! You can just stay in one place to survive throughout the years and defeat the giant bosses.

However, DST offers more than that.

While some players have a goal to survive for a number of days or hours (100 days, 200 days, or even 1000 days), others have a variety of ways to set the goal for their playthrough, including:

  • Complete all the quests and defeat all bosses.
  • Build a megabase with different areas and cover the whole map.
  • Have fun with your friends.
  • Or simply just like the title says: “Don’t Starve Together”.

Whenever you do, just enjoy the game. You’ll die a lot and become a ghost, and after each death, you’ll learn something to help you survive longer in the next run.

Don’t Starve Together: The Basics

Here are all the basics you need to know about Don’t Starve Together.

1. Choose a Server and Game Mode

When you start the game, you can create your own server or join existing ones. Either way, you’ll be playing in one of the 5 game modes DST offers:

  • Relaxed
  • Endless
  • Survival
  • Wilderness
  • Light Out

For starter players, we’d recommend playing the Relaxed or Endless mode for an easier survival experience, as you can revive and respawn using the Florid Postern, and the world won’t be reset if all players die (which is the case for Survival game mode).

Wilderness game mode spawns players at random locations, and if a player dies, they will be brought back to the character selection screen to pick a new character.

Lastly, Light Out game mode introduces a world full of darkness in which you have to constantly craft light sources to survive. It’s a challenging yet fun game mode to try.

2. Pick a Character

Once you’ve chosen a game mode, the next step is to pick a character. There are 18 characters in DST, each with a different appearance and abilities.

For a fresh start, consider picking Wilson for a balanced gameplay. You can also check out our guide about which character is best.

3. Basic Controls

After picking a character, you will be brought to the Constant world. Your first goal is to learn the basic hotkeys of the game, including:

  • Movement: W/S/A/D
  • Rotate the camera: Q/E
  • Pickup, harvest, and other actions: Spacebar
  • Fight: F/Ctrl+F
  • Open the scoreboard: Tab
  • Open the console command panel: ~

Remember that you can interact with every object and item using the mouse.

However, it’s best to use the above hotkeys to be more efficient at the game. You only need to use the mouse when moving items around or doing complex actions.

4. The Season System and Day-Night Cycle

Don’t Starve Together has a season system that consists of 4 main seasons: Autumn, Winter, Spring, and Summer.

By default, Autumn and Spring have 20 days, while Winter and Summer have 15 days. Thus, a year in Don’t Starve Together has 70 days.

Each day in the game lasts for 8 minutes and has 3 phases: day, dusk, and night. The length of each phase depends on the current season, but the total time will always be 8 minutes.

5. Basic Mechanics

Like any other survival game, to keep your character alive, you must keep your health attribute above 0. But it’s not easy, as hunger, sanity, wetness, and temperature attributes can indirectly affect your health.

So, besides eating decent foods to increase your hunger, you must do various activities to keep your character sane, as well as use different elements to reduce the wetness and adjust the temperature.

Moreover, the darkness in this game can kill you, so remember to always have a light source with you.

In addition, hit and run (kiting) is an essential technique in DST, as it allows you to minimize the received damage while saving you a lot of resources to make armor and healing food.

Each monster in DST has an attack cooldown that represents the time between its attacks. To kite in DST, simply hit the monster during its attack cooldown time and run away when it’s about to do the next attack.

How to Survive All 4 Seasons in Don’t Starve Together

When you’re familiar with the game’s concept, let’s learn how to survive the first season!

1. How to Survive Autumn

By default, you start on day 1 in Autumn.

In the first few days, you should explore the map and gather basic resources like Cut Grass, Flints, and Twigs to craft an Axe and Pickaxe.

Then, use your Axe to chop trees for Logs and use a Pickaxe to mine boulders or gold veins for Rocks, Flints, and Gold Nuggets.

By the end of the first day, you must have some Grass and Twigs to make a Torch.

After crafting it, right-click on it to equip it in your hand slot, then you can continue to explore the map and gather more resources during the night.

Remember to pick carrots or berries along the way to eat.

If you decide to stop at night, consider building a Campfire to prevent the darkness and cook your food for a better hunger restoration rate.

As long as you have a Gold Nugget, 4 Logs, and 4 Rocks, make a Science Machine and craft a backpack to get 8 more inventory slots. If you have leftover materials, try to prototype the following recipes:

  • Boards
  • Rope
  • Spear
  • Log Suit
  • Shovel

With a Spear and Log Suit, you’re ready to fight any small monster, including the first hound wave on days 5-6.

You should also explore a large portion of the map by this time. Your next goal is to find a good spot to build a base.

Your base should be near the Pig King and as many worm holes as possible for faster travel across the map.

If possible, prioritize the worm holes over any other criteria because you will spend most of the time running in this game.

You can build and decorate your base however you like, but consider the following:

  • Fire Pit: a permanent fire source to prevent darkness. You need to refuel the Fire Pit with fuel items.
  • Alchemy Engine: a crafting station that allows you to craft most recipes.
  • Ice Boxes: used to preserve food and slow the spoiling process by 2 times.
  • Crock Pots: used to cook food into different useful dishes.
  • Chests: used to store and organize your items.
  • A Bird Cage: used to trade Meat or Monster Meat for Eggs and fruits or vegetables for the corresponding seeds.
  • Drying Racks: used to dry Meat to get Jerkies.

To plan the base’s layout, use a Pitchfork to dig the turfs. Typically, you should dig a 3×3 or 5×5 area and build a Fire Pit in the center tile.

Moreover, Ice Boxes and Crock Pots should be placed near each other so you can access both of them while cooking.

There are many ways to get gears to build Ice Boxes, but beating the Clockwork monsters is the fastest method. However, they’re pretty hard to kite for new players.

To fight Clockwork Knights, hit it 2 times, then run away and repeat the process. For Clockwork Rooks, dodge its charge attack and hit it. For Clockwork Bishops, you must have decent armor to tank their attacks.

Burning trees is the easiest method to get Charcoal to build Crock Pots. But remember to burn the ones far from your home to prevent the fire from spreading, potentially burning your entire base.

Besides the above structures, you should use a Shovel to dig Grass Tufts, Saplings, and Berry Bushes to replant them in your base.

Then, pick some Manures from the Beefalo herds to fertilize the plants. This way, you’ll have a reliable source of basic resources in your base.

In addition, it’s a good idea to start a farm and grow giant crops if you have many players on the team. Tomato and potato are excellent crops to plant in Autumn.

Although walls aren’t worth building because monsters and bosses can easily destroy them, walls can be helpful for fighting the Dragonfly or when you need to capture passive creatures.

Once you have some free time, use a Pickaxe to mine Sinkholes to enter the cave. Then, collect some Light Bulbs to craft Lanterns. These items last longer than a Torch and can be refilled using Light Bulbs.

By day 15, you should have everything ready to survive the following season. Stock up on Rocks and Flints to make a Thermal Stone, and consider building a Tent so you can sleep to restore some health and sanity.

Once you reach day 21, Winter begins.

2. Winter

The most significant change in Winter is the cold temperature that can freeze your character and stop all plants from growing, including the Berry Bushes.

If you’re running out of food, check out this guide to learn how to fish in DST.

Carrying a hot Thermal Stone in your inventory is the best option to beat the freezing weather. Moreover, you can craft and wear warm clothes like a Winter Hat, Beefalo Hat, or Puffy Vest to prevent the temperature from decreasing.

Winter is the season of ice and Walrus Camps, so make sure to mine a few stacks and put them in the Ice Boxes. Ice can then be used as fillers in most cooking recipes or to craft Ice Flingomatic.

On top of that, remember to hunt the MacTusks for their tusks. The MacTusk’s tusk is the main ingredient to craft a Walking Cane, which makes your character run 25% faster when holding.

Since the night in Winter is more extended, your sanity will be constantly reduced, creating a suitable condition for nightmare creatures to spawn.

If you’re not afraid of them, this is a perfect opportunity to farm Nightmare Fuel.

Lastly, Deerclops – the boss of Winter – will spawn near your base on the night of day 30.

For more details about surviving this cold season, check out our guide on how to survive Winter.

3. Spring

Spring starts on day 36. The weather is still cold but not freezing as in Winter, so keeping the Thermal Stone with you is recommended.

Rain and lightning strikes is the specialty of Spring.

If you manage to beat the Deerclops in Winter, you can use its eye to craft an Eyebrella to avoid wetness. If not, you can always use alternative items like an Umbrella and a Rain Coat.

To prevent lightning strikes, build a Lightning Rod in the middle of your base. Each rod can only cover a 10×10 area, so if you have a big base, remember to build multiple rods.

Plants also grow faster in Spring, so starting a giant Dragonfruit farm is ideal. You may also want to spend time planting flowers and finding the Lunar Island this season.

Moose/Goose also spawns in Spring, but fighting this boss is optional. For more details, check out our guide on what to do in the Spring.

4. Summer

Summer starts on day 56 and ends on day 70.

Opposite to Winter, Summer has a high temperature that can make your character overheat, dealing damage over time.

The high temperature also allows all objects around the player to catch wildfires.

To prevent the intense temperature, consider traveling underground to discover the Ruins or building the Ice Flingomatic to extinguish the fire.

Besides the temperature, Summer introduces a new boss who can destroy your base and leave painful sinkholes everywhere. To prevent this, check out this guide to beat the Antlion.

We also have a detailed guide on how to survive the Summer, so check that out!

5. The Next Year

If you manage to survive a whole year in DST, congratulations! From now on, the season cycle will just repeat.

However, from the second Autumn onward, the boss of Autumn – Bearger – will spawn and disturb you.

For players who have the goal of defeating all the bosses in DST, you have a long way to go. You can beat any boss in any order you like, except for:

  • Ancient Fuelweaver: You must first defeat the Shadow Pieces and Ancient Guardian to spawn this boss.
  • Celestial Champion: you need to complete Crabby Hermit’s quests and use her pearl to summon and defeat the Crab King first. After which, you’ll get Inactive Celestial Tribute, one of the items to summon the Celestial Champion.

Once you’ve achieved your goal, you may challenge yourself with a different game mode or a new character. Also, you may want to install mods to vary the gameplay and extend the game’s content even more.

That’s our beginner guide for Don’t Starve Together players!

Have any suggestions for this guide? Let us know in the comments section below.

Binh Tran

As a game writer, my goal is to craft engaging, informative, and concise articles. Whether it's diving into the latest gaming trends or writing game guides, I'm always excited to share my insights with others.

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