Maxwell is by far one of the most interesting characters in Don’t Starve and Don’t Starve Together. Not only is Maxwell’s backstory one of the most captivating, but Maxwell is the only reason why the Don’t Starve universe, The Constant, exists.
Maxwell is quite frail, having only 75 Health, but Maxwell has perks like none other. Off the bat, Maxwell has a Sanity pool of 200 in all versions of Don’t Starve, and he will gain 20 Sanity per minute in single-player Don’t Starve and 6.67 Sanity per minute in Don’t Starve Together.
Maxwell is a playable character in Don’t Starve Together. However, he must be unlocked while playing single-player Don’t Starve. Players must escape five randomly ordered and themed adventure maps to unlock Maxwell, making Maxwell one of the few characters that aren’t unlocked by gaining experience.
MAXWELL PLAYS A BIT DIFFERENT IN EACH VERSION OF THE GAME
While the core premise of Maxwell remains the same in both single players, Don’t Starve and Don’t Starve Together, there are some slight differences that you’re going to need to get used to. Differences are prevalent from the moment you spawn into a new world as Maxwell will receive a Dark Sword, Night Armour, Purple Gem, 4 Nightmare Fuel and his Codex Umbra. The good fortune is not shared in Don’t Starve Together as players will only receive a Codex Umbra and 6 Nightmare Fuel.
I guess this is the developers’ way of making sure players are more balanced in Don’t Starve Together, and since it requires quite a bit of skill to unlock Maxwell in single-player, giving late-game items doesn’t seem as OP.
Other differences include a difference in Sanity gain as mentioned Maxwell will gain 20 Sanity per minute in single-player and the 6.67 Sanity per minute in Don’t Starve Together.
HOW TO USE THE CODEX UMBRA
In Don’t Starve, the Codex Umbra can be used immediately.
The Codex Umbra has been updated in Don’t Starve Together and now requires players to place/drop it on the ground, similar to the Science Machine or Alchemy Engine. Once the Codex Umbra has been set, players will have access to new crafting recipes found in the Books tab.
Crafting recipes are used to summon Shadow Puppets, which are essentially shadow beings that are assigned to mine, axe, shovel or fight. Crafting recipes will require the player to forfeit 20-35% Sanity, 2 Nightmare Fuel and the item related to the job assigned to the Shadow Puppet.
If the Codex Umbra is lost, it can be crafted again using 2 Papyrus, 2 Nightmare Fuel and 50 Health.
Players can have a maximum of 4 Miners, Loggers, and/or Diggers. Alternatively, players can have a maximum of 2 Duelists. The truth is that Duelists are useless, and if you want to play a character who has a summoner playstyle, I suggest checking out Wendy instead.
Maxwell’s Duelists are mainly terrible because they have low health, being 75, just like the Puppet Master. The Duelists do a reasonably good job kiting slow enemies, but when they are up against some heavy-hitting bosses, consider them dead.
Use a couple of Duelists when you don’t need to collect resources, especially if you need to farm a lot of Nightmare Fuel.
THE BEST WAY TO USE YOUR SHADOW PUPPETS
So, now that I’ve shat on Maxwell’s Duelist, we can start talking about the real benefit of using Maxwell’s Shadow Puppets. Maxwell is the best 👏 resource 👏 collector 👏. Prove me wrong.
Maxwell makes all early game resource collecting a complete breeze, whether it’s chopping down trees or mining Rocks and Gold Nuggets. The best perk of the Shadow Puppets is that they can continue to do their assigned tasks in the dark. In games where I play as Maxwell, I usually get about a chest filled with resources every day.
If you have a Maxwell on your team and you’re running low on resources, whoever is playing Maxwell is not doing things right. Unless, for some reason, you do not have enough Nightmare Fuel to create your Shadow Puppets, I would always make sure I have at least three out.
I recommend using a maximum of 3 Shadow Puppets at a time since having 4 Shadow Puppets causes Maxwell to have too little Sanity for my comfort.
SHADOW PUPPETS FOR TREE FARMING
In most cases, it’s best to start by making yourself 2 Loggers and 1 Digger. As you can guess, Loggers will chop down trees, and while you can follow Loggers with a shovel as time is better-used gathering up the wood that your Loggers leave behind.
Having a Digger on your team will make it a lot more manageable to pick up the resources dropped by your shadow puppets. Since trees commonly grow in clumps, you shouldn’t have issues continuously farming trees for a while. Similar to using Woodie, there’s no downside to leaving logs on the ground as no mobs will pick up Logs, Birchnuts and Pine Cones. So focus on picking up the resources you want and need.
Although having 3 Loggers can make chopping down trees a lot faster, digging up tree stumps makings the ground ready for bases. It’s always a good idea to have an extra side base. Even if you choose to keep the area you just chopped down as a farm, having no stumps makes it much easier to place trees in a row and build better tree farms.
It’s important to note that Loggers will chop down all trees no matter what size they are, so if you have a tree farm that is not ready to harvest, don’t go anywhere near it.
The only way to stop your Shadow Loggers from destroying your tree farm is by dispelling them or running far, far away.
SHADOW PUPPETS FOR MINING
If you need some Rocks, Gold Nuggets, Nitre or Flint, I would recommend assigning yourself 3 Miners as this will make sure that you still have a good amount of Sanity and will provide you with speedy resource collecting.
I only choose to make a fourth Miner if I want to clear out a full area of Boulders. I usually spend a few days completely clearing the Rockyland, so I never have to mine in there again. It would be useful to have a Science Table by then so you can have a backpack, though having a Wickerbottom can come in handy with Maxwell.
Unfortunately, unlike cutting down trees, mining takes a bit more running around, and chances are you are not going to be able to pick up the majority of your resources. Luckily, the risk is also very low when leaving your resources out in the open Rockyland.
HOW DO I DESPELL OR UNSUMMON SHADOW PUPPETS?
To dispell one of Maxwell’s Shadow Puppets, you must use your forced attack (Control+F), which will cause the shadow puppet to drop one Nightmare Fuel. Dispelling a Shadow Puppet will also immediately give the player the missing portion of Maxwell’s Sanity; however, the Sanity will still require to be refilled.
Sanity recovery is not really an issue, especially if you have enough Silk to make a Top Hat. You can also use Cooked Green Caps if you are feeling nervous about the amount of Sanity you have.
In reality, your Sanity is no lower than it was before, and it’s a better idea to become insane as soon as you dispell a Shadow Puppet so you can gather enough Nightmare Fuel to resummon a new puppet. It’s always a good idea to collect Nightmare Fuel whenever you can.
DO SHADOW PUPPETS LAST FOREVER?
Shadow Puppets last a different length in Don’t Starve and Don’t Starve Together. Shadow Puppets survive until killed, or unsummoned in Don’t Starve Together. In Don’t Starve Shadow Puppets will only stay alive for 2.5 days.
HOW DO YOU MAKE MAXWELL INSANE?
The best way to get Maxwell to become insane is to have as many Shadow Puppets as you can and then eat a Raw Green Cap. Maxwell’s Sanity will be reduced to 0, making players able to farm Nightmare Fuel.
You can also merely equipt a Dark Sword and Night Armour onto Maxwell, reducing his sanity by ten each minute. Using a Dark Sword and Night Armour is a safer method of farming Nightmare Fuel.
SAFEST WAY TO GET NIGHTMARE FUEL
Although I’m not the biggest fan of this method, it’s understandable that you would want an extremely safe way to farm Nightmare Fuel with Maxwell. At this time, the safest way to farm Nightmare Fuel is to become insane and catch Beardlings, which are Rabbits when under 40% Sanity or Crabbits in Shipwrecked.
Beardlings have a 40% chance to drop Nightmare Fuel, making them a mediocre way of farming the resource. You can, however, place a bunch of traps, wait for them to be filled, become insane and then murder all the Beardlings. Still, my favourite character to farm Nightmare Fuel is Wigfrid.
Another safe way to collect Nightmare Fuel is by building yourself a Prestihatitator and prototyping it with 4 Dark Petals. Check this post to find out how to farm Evil Flowers for Dark Petals with Bees.
SHIPWRECKED CHANGES TO MAXWELL
There are a few changes in the functionality of the Shadow Puppets in Shipwrecked. Because Shipwrecked requires players to sail across from island to island, Shadow Puppets will have their own shadow Row Boats.
Puppets also can use a Machete in Shipwrecked.
MAXWELL SHOULD KEEP YOUR TEAM SAFE FROM INSANITY
It’s hard to keep track of everything in Don’t Starve, but luckily playing Don’t Starve Together lets you assign different people jobs based on their character’s perks. Wendy, for example, is excellent when dealing with Bee Boxes or when trying to massacre spiders.
Since Maxwell has a seemingly unlimited supply of Sanity, you may want to use him for picking up Evil Flowers and eating them.
The most valuable part of Maxwell always having Sanity is that he will never require a Top Hat making his headspace always free for some armour like the Football Helmet or Battle Helm.
HOW DO I DEAL WITH HOW FRAIL MAXWELL IS?
Dealing with Maxwell’s frailty has a lot to do with kiting and making sure that you always have Night Armour on him. Night Armour reduces damage by 95% when worm, making it almost impossible for Maxwell to be taken to 0 in a few hits.
While Night Armour shouldn’t always be worn since it will continuously drain your Sanity, instead, only place your armour on when you are ready to fight a big boss. Always make sure that you always have items or foods that can heal you on hand, even with Night Armour.
MAXWELL IS MORE OF A SUPPORT IN DON’T STARVE TOGETHER
You can also use Maxwell to do other tasks that require Sanity loss *cough* like end game stuff… *cough* presto chango… Magic!
Since Maxwell has a constant supply of Sanity, he can use weapons like the Fire Staff and the Ice Staff unlimitedly.
The Fire Staff is an item that can be crafted in the Magic Tab and can be used to light enemies on fire. Enemies will take fire damage over time, helping your team take down mobs faster. The Fire Staff will also stun enemies, though if enemies are killed while on fire, there is a chance that their drops will be burned.
Using an Ice Staff will ensure that the items enemies drop will not be disintegrated, though there is no damage over time. If I were fighting a mob with a lot of health, I would use the Fire Staff first and then switch to the Ice Staff for the final blows.
MAXWELL PAIRS WELL WITH WICKERBOTTOM
When it comes to choosing characters, it’s always a good idea to see who’s perks work well together. If you didn’t already think that Wickerbottom is an overpowered character, wait until she is paired up with Maxwell.
Maxwell not only can read Wickerbottom’s books, but unlike Wurt, Wickerbottom’s books work with Maxwell. There’s no use putting Wickerbottom in danger of becoming insane when you have a goldmine of Sanity in Maxwell.
Make sure that in Winter you take some time to kill MacTusk to receive the Tam o’ Shanter. The Tam o’ Shanter will provide players with as much Insulation as a Winter Hat, however, it will also provide players with 6.7 Sanity per minute. Using a Tam o’ Shanter while reading of Wickerbottom’s books will make sure that Maxwell is always safe.
When the Tam o’ Shanter gets low, make sure to build yourself a Sewing Kit to repair its durability.
IS MAXWELL NOOB FRIENDLY?
I wouldn’t say that Maxwell is the most noob-friendly character you can choose in Don’t Starve or Don’t Starve Together. I will admit, Maxwell is much more noob-friendly in single-player as he receives better starter items, but other than that… no, I wouldn’t say he’s the most noob-friendly.
If you want to pick up Maxwell as your first character, I strongly suggest playing him with a few of your friends as he can be mighty, but he needs some getting used to.
All-in-all, Maxwell is a pretty exciting and fun character, especially for the number of resources he can farm in a short amount of time. I would say that Maxwell was much more interesting to me when I was reading up about him, but in actual gameplay, I prefer more tanky combat-based characters.
But I’m curious, what do you think of Maxwell? Do you play him as your main character? What do you find most useful when playing him? Let me know in the comments below!