Guides/How to not starve
This is a guide to Don't Starve, for players who want to survive. It's obvious, the only way to not starve is to eat food. But how do I get food? What food is good for me? Can I make this food better? These questions and more will be answered in this guide.
Your First Day
So you just spawned in a brand new world. Now what? Already your hunger meter is slowly ticking down, so you must find food posthaste. Scavenge any and all food that you can get your hands on - Berries, Carrots, Seeds, Mushrooms - as long as there is no danger, grab it. Of course, be mindful that once you get this food, it is going to spoil, so ensure that you leave some food in case your supply spoils.
Many higher tiered foods, which are dropped from enemies, are more sustaining, but at this point in the game, you should leave them alone until you gear up with armor and weapons. However, if you are desperate, you can attempt to collect meat from beasts. The easiest (and most rewarding) thing you can collect is Tallbird Eggs, which are a great food source early in the game due to their abundance in rocky terrain in spite of other more common food sources. Beware, as the mother will not be impressed and you will have to make a dash for it.
Once you've explored a bit and amassed a fair amount of items and equipment in your inventory, you will want to move up in the world. Weak enemies like Spiders, Frogs and Bees can yield somewhat useful and healthy loot, but don't let your guard down as these enemies tend to swarm you, killing you swiftly.
Spiders are not only useful for their Silk and Spider Glands, but also Monster Meat, which at this point is no better than a food buffer in dire situations, especially if the player is playing as Wigfrid, but it has a use. With it, you can befriend Pigs, which will follow and attack for you, meaning you can collect even more food. Once they die (and if your fingers are swift), you can collect the Meat that they drop for even more food. Besides befriending them, you can prematurely cause Pigs to turn into Werepigs, which always drop two Meat and a Pig Skin, making them somewhat valuable.
Frogs, while annoying, can be useful for your hunger, giving you Frog Legs, which don't do much on their own, yet they are better than nothing. Don't forget though - these little guys become really tough when in a group and cause you to drop a large amount of items, so caution must be taken when attacking one.
Bees are definitely a last resort, considering that they only drop Honey and at a fairly low chance. They also don't give much food back, making them unreliable and even somewhat dangerous to gather without the right equipment.
Alternatively, you can collect Morsels from Rabbits and Birds by hitting them with a Boomerang or trapping them in their respective Trap, but Boomerangs cannot be crafted until you place an Alchemy Engine and traps require some time for results.
Creating Sustainable Food
Once you settle down in a non-hostile area, food becomes a priority to gather as it is not simply picked from the ground. The first priorty is to put those Mushrooms and Monster Meats to better use by crafting a Crockpot. Most of your food will come from this little contraption, so guard it with your might. You'll be making some basic recipes from this early on, including Meatballs, Fishsticks, Froggle Bunwiches and Butter Muffins, which do not give too much more Hunger than the ingredients, yet they do give some Health and Sanity, making them very useful in the long run.
Get your Torch out, because you'll be burning a lot more Trees. Your next step is to make the food last longer, meaning less food is wasted. There are two components to this; Drying Racks and Ice Boxes. Drying Racks, as the name implies, dries Meat and meat substitutes into Jerkies, which yield the same amount of Hunger, yet they last much longer and also give Health and Sanity by themself. There's no reason as to keeping meat un-jerkified (unless you want to craft a special recipe like Turkey Dinner), so throw all your meat on Drying Racks. Ice Boxes keep your food cool, making it last longer in Summer and Winter. Ice Boxes are invaluable to players; even one is enough to keep a large storage of food for hard times.
Once you've done that, you'll want a variety of foods at your disposal so you can get the best out of recipes. There are three main food groups which you'll want a fair amount of each - Meats, Fruits and Vegetables. Meats can be acquired from animals roaming the land, and at this point, you should be a master at gathering, but Vegetables and Fruits are fairly scarce in terms of abundance and variety, which is where Farms come into play. When you plant a seed in a fertilized Farm, it will slowly grow into a random Fruit or Vegetable over a set period of time. Once grown, you can pick it and eat it raw or cooked, but even better is to use it in a recipe. Generally speaking, the rarer the fruit, the better it is. Dragon Fruits and Pomegranates are the best Fruits to be grown, while Pumpkins and Eggplants are the best Vegetables, not just because they return a fairly large Hunger and Health value, but they can also be cooked into incredible Crock Pot dishes, including Pumpkin Cookies and Dragonpies. If one of these fruits is obtained, save it for later as there is a way to definitely get this food over and over again.
How to Create a Reliable Source of Food
- Traps: Build a couple of traps from Twigs and Grass. Place them on top of rabbit holes. Be sure that these traps are not to far away from your base. Check these traps every two days, mostly then there will be a bunny in there.
- Berries: You can dig up berry bushes with a Shovel. Place these bushes near your base (be sure to place a lightning rod near them, because if lightning hits the bushes they will all burn away). Fertilize the bushes with Manure or Rot.
- Improved farm: The good old farm, (please note that you should skip the normal farms and build the improved farms instead) these are very easy, just build them, place seeds in them and wait... Once the crops have grown you can harvest them and place new seeds. So stop cooking up your seeds and eating them, but store them in a fridge.
- Drying Rack: Create a drying rack with Charcoal, Rope and Logs. Hang your Morsels, Meat and Monster Meat on them to dry them. This may take some time, but it is very rewarding. The dried version of meat will restore more hunger, health and also some sanity.
- Birdcages: A bird in a cage; your best friend if you want an Egg for breakfast. Build a birdcage with some Gold, Papyrus and Seeds. You have to put an bird in there also, these are catchable with bird traps. Give your bird food, and he will drop an egg. Eggs are used in a couple of recipes, and can be given to the mighty pig king for gold. (The only meat birds won't accept is raw monster meat, but you can cook or dry monster meat, the bird will accept it). They can also be used to control your farming, feed a bird a fruit or vegetable and it will give you back at least one seed of the same type. As this consumes a fruit, and you may not always get more than one specific seed, this should only be used with a large amount of farms to make sure you get some returns.
- Crock Pot: Build this machine with charcoal and some Stone. Combine four ingredients and watch the magic happen, check the Crock Pot page for all recipes. Crock Pots can be used to nullify the negative affects of harmful foods such as Monster Meat and Mushrooms. Monster Meat, for example, can be cooked with three Berries or Carrots to create Meatballs, which restores more health and hunger than its ingredients
- Monster Meat farming: As mentioned above, Monster Meat can be cooked in a Crock Pot to remove its health penalty. But how to get n good farm? This is where the advanced stuff happens. You can trap spiders in traps! Go to a near (tier 3) Spider Den. Walk into spider spawn radius, place your trap and run. A spider should get trapped and you can check the trap, it can contain: monster meat, Silk or a Spider Gland. After you got all the spiders you can destroy the spider den and get even more silk!
To be continued....