I hate Winter. I tolerate Winter in Don’t Starve and Don’t Starve Together, but don’t get me started on the Canadian winters I am trying so hard to escape.
Winter appears in single-player Don’t Starve (DS & RoG) and Don’t Starve Together. Winter lasts 16 days by default, making it one of the shortest seasons in Don’t Starve and Don’t Starve Together, though it is not the easiest.
There are many stages in the single-player Adventure Mode that have varying lengths of winter, some stages will even start in Winter, and some stages are always Winter. There are also a few mechanics in Sandbox Mode that will automatically change the season to Winter.
While surviving the Winter is more difficult than surviving the Autumn, Winter is not unbearable if you know what you need to do.
The following guide will take you through all you need to know about how to survive your first winter and what resources you will want to prioritize to ensure that you have an easy Spring and Summer.
I’m going to treat this guide as a “you just started Winter and have no resources or anything prebuilt from Autumn.”
HOW TO TELL IT’S WINTER IN DON’T STARVE & DON’T STARVE TOGETHER
It can be confusing what season you are in when playing Don’t Starve and Don’t Starve Together, especially if you do not have a mod that changes your HUD to tell you what season it is.
Players who play Don’t Starve and Don’t Starve Together without mods will need to build a Thermal Measurer (Science Tab), which will help a player establish when there is a season change coming. Once a Thermal Measurer turns blue, consider that Winter has arrived.
CHARACTERS THAT ARE GOOD IN THE COLD/GENERAL WINTER
The most important thing to playing Don’t Starve and Don’t Starve Together is selecting a character who’s playstyle matches yours. While I wouldn’t necessarily advise picking a character based on whether they are good in a season, some characters can deal with specific mechanics very well, while others lag behind.
The only character that I would recommend avoiding altogether if you’re struggling with Winter is Willow because she’s just awful to deal with.
The following are the characters who make Winter survival a bit easier. If you’re having a lot of difficulties surviving the first Winter, you may want to check one out.
Note: I will also mention characters later on in the post who are exceptional in the Winter, however, not because of temperature control.
Wilson is the default character who was meant to help withstand the cold. You see, Wilson grows a beard that protects him from freezing for 135 seconds when it is at full size.
135 seconds of Insulation is nothing to laugh at when playing Don’t Starve and Don’t Starve Together, as the items with the best Insulation in the game have 240 (Beefalo Hat, Puffy Vest or Hibearnation Vest [RoG]). In contrast, mid-tier items supply only 120 (Winter Hat & Tam o’ Shanter) seconds of Insulation.
Players can also choose to play Webber, who receives 67.5 Insulation from his beard at full-grown. In my opinion, Webber’s beard isn’t an excellent choice to pick Webber for the Winter as Webber’s beard more useful for Silk. If you’re going to choose Webber, at least make yourself a Winter Hat by using 4 Beefalo Wool and 4 Silk.
Webber can be helpful for providing Don’t Starve Together teams with Silk, but the majority of his benefits come from being able to train Spiders.
Surprisingly, Woodie is looked over as a strong survivor in the Winter, but nothing more could be untrue. I guess the thing about Woodie is that he is a complicated character who ultimately has a different form in both single-player Don’t Starve and Don’t Starve Together.
In Don’t Starve Together, Woodie players will receive an extra 45 Insulation from Woodie’s beard, which unfortunately doesn’t carry-over to single-player.
Woodie players will also be Immune to freezing as a Werebeaver in single-player Don’t Starve (DS, RoG, SW & HAM), but will only receive 240 Immunity in Don’t Starve Together (DST)
All-in-all, while Woodie doesn’t receive much insulation, he sure is useful for collecting Gold Nuggets, Rocks and Logs in the Winter.
WINTER GETS COLD, AND YOU FREEZE FAST
One of the biggest surprises, when you get to your first Winter, is how fast the temperature drops in the Constant. When a player’s body temperature gets too cold, the player will begin losing Health.
You must have at least a Thermal Stone to survive the Winter. Dress, armour and other gear could be assembled throughout the Winter season if the player was not prepared.
Thermal Stones will warm up while you stand by a fire and will glow Orange while hot, yellow when cooling off and will turn blue when they are cold. In Don’t Starve (DS & RoG) Thermal Stones do not have any durability; however, in Don’t Starve Together (DST), Thermal Stones will lose durability if they cool down too much. So, if a player wants to make sure they don’t have to build another Thermal Stone, they should always make sure to keep the Thermal Stone warm.
When Thermal Stones are warm, they emit a light glow that is enough for you to stay safe from Charlie. If you do not need to use a Torch to set trees on fire, I would recommend using Thermal Stone’s light to continue farming resources throughout the Winter.
Clothes do not warm up a Player, so in reality, clothes are not necessary for survival in Winter. Clothes will insulate a character and make sure that their temperature doesn’t drop any lower after a Thermal Stone cools. So, if you’re just chilling by the Fire Pit, make sure to take off your clothes and relax! In reality, you don’t have to wear Insulated clothes until the moment the Thermal Stone stops working. Mind-blowing, eh?
Players must know how to receive immediate warmth upon the first day of Winter as travelling to get any resources will require a heat-up. I would recommend building yourself a Fire Pit and Camp Fire in advance by clicking build and then clicking another area of the screen. Building a Fire Pit, Campfire or any other large structure will not take an inventory slot. Having a source of Fire pre-built will also ensure that you do not freeze to death or die to Charlie.
Make sure you’re shaving Beefalo with a Razor throughout the Winter as Beefalo Wool is one of the best fuel sources in Don’t Starve. Each piece of Beefalo Wool will fuel a Fire by 25%, making Beefalo Wool as useful as Logs, Manure, and Charcoal. I usually keep a stack of Beefalo Wool in my inventory at all times so I can spark any Fire Pits that are built on the map.
The only benefit to it being this cold is that food takes 25% longer to expire, making the need for an Ice Box less cumbersome. Though, I recommend getting some Gears and building one as Ice never melts in one.
The most important thing to remember about temperature is that the Day is the warmest and temperatures drop drastically in the Dusk and Night.
THE DAY CYCLE CHANGES
It’s important to understand that the day cycle will continuously change while playing Don’t Starve (DS, RoG, SW & HAM) and Don’t Starve Together (DST).
During Winter, Day will become shorter while Night and Dusk will become much longer. Being that Night and Dusk are longer, players will experience more Sanity loss in the Winter, having them rely on foods and clothes that provide Sanity.
Since Day is so short in Winter, players will have often have to travel in the Night to get to the places where they must do chores in the Day.
If a player does not have enough gear to survive the cold in Winter, but would still like to travel, I would recommend burning down a few trees with a Torch. Make sure that you’re not standing too close to the tree, but it will heat both you and your Thermal Stone up.
Burnt trees will also provide you with Charcoal, which can be used to make extra Crock Pots or as fuel for Fire Pits.
The most important thing about Winter travel is to build multiple Fire Pits across your map to ensure that you always have a spot to get warm, especially if you choose to travel during the Night.
WINTER FOOD SOURCES
During Winter, many of the food sources in Don’t Starve (DS, RoG & DST) change, causing players to seek out other resources to stabilize them through the season.
While survival will be much easier if players have prepared for Winter, players can still survive successfully if they understand the changes in food mechanics.
The following are all of the food sources that are still available to players in the Winter and whether or not they are dependent.
BERRIES THAT ARE LEFT ON BUSHES (NOT DEPENDABLE & CAN DEPLETE)
Dependent on what you were using as filler during the Autumn, chances are you have a few Berries left in your inventory.
The sad reality is that Berry Bushes “don’t grow” (grow extremely, extremely slowly) during Winter; however, if Berries were already grown on the bush, they will stay entirely fresh all Winter. Berries that are left on the bush before Winter has started should be left there until the player is in dire need.
Berries, in my opinion, become the snack food to keep you sustained until you get to a Crock Pot.
Similarly, Farms do not work in the Winter, so if you’ve got Applied Horticulture, make sure to use it a few times before Winter. Saplings and Grass Tufts will also grow much slower, so gather as much as you can before the season change.
MINI GLACIERS & ICE (YOUR NEW FAVOURITE FILLER)
Mini Glaciers are completely renewable in Don’t Starve Together and will often begin freezing in the Autumn. The great news is that one Mini Glacier will provide you with 3-4 Ice when a Mini Glacier is in its largest form.
When playing Don’t Starve, make sure that you only farm Mini Glaciers when you are out of filler, or try to focus on making foods that do not require a Crock Pot, like Jerky.
Saving Ice can come in helpful, especially if you want to construct an Ice Flingomatic, which will keep you safe from Fires caused by Spring’s Thunderstorms or Summer’s Wildfires.
Depending on how big your base is, you may need about 3 Ice Flingomatics.
RABBITS (NOT FULLY DEPENDABLE)
Rabbits are still considered a stable food source in Winter. Though Rabbits are still a food source, players should only be using Rabbits as a food source if they are killing the Rabbits in combat.
Traps are incredibly expensive, being 6 Grass and 2 Twigs, and there isn’t a stable way to renew Grass or Twigs in the Winter. Instead, intercept Rabbits while they are running back to their Rabbit Holes.
Rabbits will also appear to as white, though their mechanics and drops will not change. The only time Rabbits ever drop anything different is when they become Beardlings.
SPIDERS & PIGS (DEPENDABLE ALL YEAR AROUND)
Pigs and Spiders, in my opinion, should always be your primary source of Meat and Monster Meat.
Spider Dens should become tier-3 at the latest by mid-Winter, making them transportable. Until Spider Dens are tier-3, players can place a Fire Pit by the Spider Den and collect Monster Meat as needed.
Pigs can be more difficult to farm as once killed a Pig will take 4 days to respawn. The way around waiting for Pigs to respawn is to build multiple Pig Houses near your base. Pig Houses can be crafted in the Structures tab by using 4 Pig Skin, 4 Boards, and 3 Cut Stones.
In Winter, I would make all of my meals that need meat with Monster Meat, and I would make my regular Meat and Morsels into Jerky. Since Monster Meat can only be eaten when mixed with other foods in the Crock Pot, there is no purpose for Monster Meat, unless you need extra rot.
If you’re a very aggressive player, chances are you’re going to have stacks of Monster Meat, and you’re not going to know what to do with it.
DRYING RACKS (BEST WAY TO USE MEAT)
Since players will be losing extra Sanity since Dusk and Night are much longer in Winter, I recommend that you build a few Drying Racks. Drying Racks require 3 Twigs, 3 Charcoal and 3 Rope (9 Grass). Build as many Drying Racks as you can, since Drying Racks take longer to yield a product, but I’d say have a minimum of 3.
Drying Racks can produce Small Jerky (Morsels) and regular Jerky (Meat).
Jerky provides players with 25 Hunger, 15 Sanity and 20 Health, while Small Jerky provides players with 12.5 Hunger, 10 Sanity and 8 Health.
Jerky has a 20-day lifespan, making it one of the longest-lasting foods in the games.
BIRDS (SUSTAINABLE AND USEFUL FOR WEAPONS, ESPECIALLY WITH WICKERBOTTOM)
Something you may want to be aware of in the Winter is the fact that birds change from being Redbirds to being Snowbirds.
For new players, a change in birds may not seem significant; however, the different Feathers birds drop will craft different weapons. Similar to Rabbits, players should try to attack birds instead of using Bird Traps by Winter.
In the Winter, killing a Snowbird will provide players with an Azure Feather. Players can craft a Blow Dart by using 2 Reeds, 1 Hound’s Tooth and 1 Azure Feather. Blow Darts deal 100 damage and should not be looked passed, especially in Don’t Starve Together.
If a player is Wickerbottom, get to know her books well. For example, Birds of the World can summon a multitude of snowbirds and Sleepytime Stories can help you put all the birds to sleep. Do you see where I’m going? More on why Wickerbottom is an amazing character to play here.
BIRDCAGES FOR UNLIMITED EGGS
Players may not want to make Meatballs all Winter long, so players may be interested in building themselves a Birdcage in hopes of trading undesirable meats like Monster Meat for Eggs.
SUSPICIOUS DIRT PILE CHANGES / WINTER KOALEFANT (THE BEST FOR MEAT)
Another mechanic that changes in Winter is the Koalefant hunt. While Hunts can still be an Ewecus or Varg, the Koalefant will be a Winter Koalafant.
Winter Koalefants drop Winter Koalefant Trunks, which can be used to make a Puffy Vest. Puffy Vests restore 2 Sanity per minute and have an Insulation Factor of 240, making them one of the best pieces of chest armour for temperature control.
I would recommend trying to hunt the Winter Koalafant if you are playing as Wigfrid since she has an extremely cheap head armour. Wigfrid’s Battle Helm gives players 80% Damage Reduction and has almost double the durability of a Football Helmet. Save that Pig Skin for a more critical Ham Bat.
Killing one Koalefant will reward players with 8 Meat, which should last them a few days. In Don’t Starve Together, players may have to rely on a few sources of Meat.
If you’re not struggling with staying warm in the Winter, character that will benefit you are Webber, Wendy, Wigfrid and Wolfgang, as their perks are more focussed on killing mobs and doing lots of damage.
HOUNDS CHANGE IN THE WINTER
Dependent on how lucky you are, you may not have seen the Red Hounds all Autumn, but starting on the first day of Winter, get ready to start seeing some Blue Hounds.
Blue Hounds will freeze nearby creatures upon death, and in Don’t Starve Together all Hounds can swim through water. Hounds will freeze nearby players if two die within 5 seconds of each other.
Blue Hounds have a 20% chance to drop a Blue Gem, which is used to craft the Ice Staff, Chilled Amulet, Salt Box or Blue Moonlens. New players will be most interested in the Ice Staff, and Chilled Amulet as the Saltbox and Blue Moonlens require quite a bit of exploration before they can be crafted.
MACTUSK & WALRUS CAMP [WINTER SPECIFIC MINIBOSS]
Bring out those powerful characters again, because you’re going to need to get your armour on again to fight the annoying MacTusk.
MacTusk can be considered a seasonal mini-boss who appears in most forms of Don’t Starve (DS, RoG and DST). Among MacTusk is his son Wee MacTusk and 2 Blue Hounds.
MacTusk is afraid of players and can be run out of the area until he becomes passive. Once MacTusk is passive, he will begin walking back to the Walrus Camp, which is when players can start bashing MacTusk to death.
Players may want to deal with Wee MacTusk and the 2 Blue Hounds first as they have much less health, though kiting them is also an option as they do not have range damage.
MacTusk, on the other hand, can shoot Blow Darts at players, making him a nuisance to deal with. I say, run him out of his biome! Smack him to death and collect yourself that sexy Walrus Tusk. Players can also receive a Tam o’ Shanter, which provides players with 6.7 Sanity per minute.
A Tam o’ Shanter only has a 25% chance to drop from killing MacTusk, but once it is collected, you can keep using a Sewing Kit to keep the durability up.
MacTusk only appears during the day, so if you haven’t chased him away from his camp by then, set up shop close by for the Night.
THE DEERCLOPS (SEASONAL MEGA-BOSS/GIANT)
The Deerclops is the seasonal Giant that appears in both Reign of Giants and Don’t Starve Together. The Deerclops has one form in Don’t Starve (RoG) but has two forms in Don’t Starve Together (DST).
The most important thing to know about the Deerclops is that it destroys Structures and trees, it has an attack period that you can kite, and it will always appear in the second half of Winter.
Players will know that the Deerclops is arriving when they hear him breathing into their speakers. Although you can use Beefalo to distract the Deerclops, Beefalo will most likely be frozen to death and rendered useless in the battle.
During Winter’s Feast in Don’t Starve Together, the Deerclops will take on a different appearance and will acquire a laser attack. The Winter’s Feast version of the Deerclops is a lot more difficult to kite than the regular version.
Killing the Deerclops will give you a Deerclops Eyeball, which is used to craft the Eyebrella. The Eyebrella is the best protection from Overheating and rain. Craft the Eyeball as soon as you can, because Spring means rain, rain, rain!
Check out this post for an in-depth guide to the Deerclops.
MOBS THAT DO NOT SPAWN IN THE WINTER
There are a few mobs that refuse to come out during Winter in Don’t Starve, and they include Frogs, Butterflies, Mosquitos,
MECHANICS THAT ARE INACTIVE IN THE WINTER
As mentioned earlier, some mechanics completely change in Winter. Some of these mechanics will prevent players from obtaining a resource or building a structure.
The following are the Mechanics that become inactive in the Winter
One of my favourite things to do when I’m playing Wendy is to set up Bee Boxes. The only thing is, if you don’t get Bee Boxes set up by the end of Autumn, you can’t start setting them up again until Summer since Bees are aggressive Killer Bees in the Spring.
Not only are bees aggressive in Spring, but as you might have guessed, Bees do not produce Honey in Winter. While Bees do not leave their nest, homeless Bees will still move around the map.
If you want to start Bee Boxes, never do them in the Winter or Spring, because you’ll have to wait for Summer to catch docile Bees anyways.
Although Bees do not produce Honey in Winter, if there is leftover Honey from the Autumn, players can collect it without aggroing the Bees inside the Bee Box.
MUSHROOM PLANTERS DON’T GROW
Chances are if this is the first Winter you are trying to survive or get through, you haven’t built yourself Mushroom Planters.
If you ever do get a chance to build Mushroom Planters before Winter take note that Mushrooms that are harvested turn to rot in Winter. Mushroom Planters will resume their work in Spring.
POISON BIRCHNUT TREES DO NOT SPAWN
Poison Birchnut Trees are notorious for being annoying spawns. While Poison Birchnut Trees do not move, they spawn in annoying Birchnutters, which can quickly kill players.
So, if you’re like me and you hate dealing with them, chop down some Birchnut Trees in the Winter!
CRAFTSMERM HOUSES DO NOT SPAWN MERMS
This one goes out to all of you Wurt players. You will not be able to build yourself a team of Merms in Winter because they hibernate in their Craftsmerm Houses.
Now, just because the Merms don’t spawn, doesn’t mean that you can’t craft Craftsmerm Houses until Spring arrives!
KLAUS & THE LOOT STASH
During Winter Don’t Starve Together, players will be able to find a Loot Stash in the Mosaic biome or the Deciduous Forest. During Winter’s Feast, players will be able to find the Loot Stash no matter what the season.
Players can unlock the Loot Stash by using a Deer Antler, that is dropped by a No-Eyed Deer after it charges at an object. Upon using the Deer Antler on the Loot Stash, Klaus will appear.
Klaus is another demanding seasonal boss, though players can choose not to summon him. Upon defeating Klaus, players can receive 4 bundles of supplies, some of which contain Blueprints for exclusive items.
GOALS AND PLANS FOR THE NEXT SEASON
Depending on what your spawn looks like and what resources you were able to collect were, there are a few things you want to get done in Winter. Some goals are achievable much more manageable when playing Don’t Starve Together because you have teammates to help you through, so make sure that you scale things based on what resources you truly need, rather than what you can collect in future Winters.
CRAFT YOURSELF AN ICE BOX (“SHOULD HAVE DONE IT BEFORE”)
If you haven’t crafted yourself an Ice Box by the end of Autumn, make sure to work towards crafting one by the end of Winter.
To craft an Ice Box, you will need 2 Gold Nuggets, 1 Board, and 1 Gear. Ice Boxes will help reduce food spoilage rates by 50%, and Ice will never melt in them. Ice will be beneficial for building Ice Flingomatics and for cooling down in the Summer. My thoughts on Ice? Collect as much as you can and put it in an Ice Box because you’ll never know when you need it and stockpiling isn’t a bad idea anyway!
If you can craft yourself multiple Ice Boxes, I would place one at a second base. Having multiple Ice Boxes in different areas of the map will ensure that players do not have to return home to get food.
If you are playing WX-78, chances are you won’t need an Ice Box, since WX-78 doesn’t mind stale food.
BUILD YOURSELF LIGHTNING RODS (NECESSARY FOR SPRING)
Lightning Rods are relatively inexpensive and prove players with a 40 area radius (~7 Pitch Forks) of protection from Lightning Strikes.
Lightning becomes a huge problem in Spring, so any way you can bring down the chances of burning, the better.
PRESTIHATITATOR (LAST CHANCE BEFORE SUMMER)
Since there are no Rabbits in Spring, players should build a Prestihatitator at the latest in Winter or they will not have access to a whole tier of equipment for a season.
The Prestihatitator requires 4 Rabbits, 4 Boards and 1 Top Hat.
ICE FLINGOMATICS (OPTIONAL)
You don’t really need Ice Flingomatics until you are getting ready for Summer. However, placing Ice Flingomatics also depends on whether players are planning on migrating to the Oasis/Desert biome during Summer.
When playing single-player Don’t Starve, I tend to migrate; however, in Don’t Starve Together, we usually build 2 or 3 Ice Flingomatics. Given how many chances there are of the base burning with 4 people, we’d rather not risk it!
MODS THAT ARE USEFUL FOR THE WINTER
When it comes to dealing with Winter I like using the following mods:
Show Me (Origin) [DST]: Shows all-important stats, including Mob Hit Points, Food Stats, Thermal Stone temperature, Durability, Insulation Amount, Waterproofing, and similar information of allies.
So while Winter is a lot more difficult than Autumn, after a few wipeouts Winter was definitely manageable. For me, the most important things to keep in mind were to always keep a Fire Pit and Camp Fire built in my inventory and to always keep my Thermal Stone by my weapon slot so I can easily see it.
Staying warm is going to be a lot more manageable if you have lots of Fire Pits across the map and if you ever run into trouble, burn a forest down. Trees are expendable.
So, I’m curious, what are some of your struggles dealing with Winter? What kept killing you? Let me know in the comments below!