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This is a survival guide written primarily for the Shipwrecked DLC, which introduces new gameplay mechanics and several other changes. Only techniques and strategies unique to Shipwrecked are discussed here. For players who have not played Don't Starve before, see this guide.
One should play Don't Starve how they usually play for the first day or two - collect resources and food, Campfire for the night, etc. The player will start on an island. Scout the island to get an idea of what resources are readily available, and what resources require a trip to a neighboring isle. Before building a Science Machine, build a primitive version of the backpack (called the Thatch Pack - 4 Palm Leaves) for more carrying capacity.
When the second or third day arrives and once the player has everything they should need, craft a Machete from the tab, and the recipe is one Twigs , and three Flint . Use the Machete to hack down some Bamboo Patches and Viney Bushes, which will drop what one needs for a Raft , so gather four Bamboo , and three Vines .
Craft it from the tab, and deploy the boat onto water and interact with it to start sailing. One can also find Seaweed in shallow oceans, which is a semi-abundant and decent source of food early. When one reaches deep oceans, be sure to sail in the direction that the waves are facing, as doing so will provide a sailing speed boost. Be sure to avoid the waves though, as they'll reduce boat durability and increase wetness if touched, unless you sail over them correctly.
- Resources such as Twigs and Gold Nuggets are scarcer in Shipwrecked, so one may have to sail out to farther islands if one was unlucky. It is possible to spawn on an island without any particular resources, such as Flint.
- Be wary when chopping down Palm Trees. Coconuts can fall onto the player's head, and they do 20 HP of damage each, so it is possible to get very unlucky if chopping many Palm Trees in a row.
- If hunting mobs such as Spiders or Monkeys for meat, be wary that Crabbits will eat any food items they see on the ground.
- Poison is a new game mechanic, where players will slowly lose health and sanity indefinitely without an Anti Venom , and so is very deadly to the unprepared. Poison is inflicted by yellow monsters, Stink Rays and their Poison Fart Clouds, and Poisonous Holes. To craft an Anti Venom, the recipe is one Venom Gland , three Seaweed, and two Coral from the tab, and Venom Glands may be found by killing poisonous enemies or by digging Poisonous Holes.
- Sea Hounds are the oceanic equivalents of Hound attacks, and will similarly occur every 3–13 days, but only if the player is at sea when a Hound attack is meant to occur. Before an attack, the player character will comment on their approach (e.g., Wilson says "I'm going to need a bigger boat..."), and the music will change. Unless the player is well equipped to fight at sea, it is better to kite them to an island shore and fight them from land.
- Be sure to put one's base farther away from the shore of islands, as incoming tides will increase one's wetness and put out Campfires.
- The player may hammer the Debris that spawns around them for some extra Logs and a free Boat Repair Kit . The player may also hammer Crates found randomly, as those will drop random assorted goods, such as refined materials.
- Three new sources of Gears in Shipwrecked are a new Chess biome set piece (has a tiny island with a Teleporto, shallow oceans, and coral) with Floaty Boaty Knights, which drop Gears. The others are Chests (from X Marks the Spot), Sandy Piles or from the Slot Machine.
Once a suitable island is found (medium or bigger), with enough food to sustain oneself, with/without Ice Boxes , place down the following:
- Fire Pit and/or Chiminea ( tab)
- Science Machine ( tab)
- Alchemy Engine ( tab)
- Crock Pots ( tab)
- Chests ( tab)
- Due to the perceived scarcity of resources including food, it is recommended to set up a Crock Pot ASAP to maximize efficiency, since most early-game food types in Shipwrecked perish quickly.
- One Siesta Lean-to may be a good idea because you can regenerate sanity , but there may be better means of doing so.
- The player should try to gather materials for a Row Boat . Its recipe is three Boards , and four Vines in the tab with the Science Machine. A Boat Torch and Thatch Sail is also recommended at the minimum, or better, a Boat Lantern and Cloth Sail . Snakeskin Sails are also recommended, as they have the highest durability of all sails but have their speed between a Thatch and a Cloth Sail.
- Players may continue to mine, explore, or search for the Yaarctopus (found rarely in Coral Reef biomes, which generates in shallow oceans), and exchange raw fish and trinkets for Dubloons , which can be refined into Gold Nuggets. The Yaarctopus may also be given specific Shipwrecked Crock Pot recipes for specific boat items, such as a Thatch Sail or a Spyglass .
- The player may come across the Slot Machine on a beach, and using it costs one Dubloons and 5 Sanity . The player has a 71.4% chance to roll three carrots, or a 14.3% chance to roll three skulls or three gold nuggets. Three carrots will spawn various natural items, three skulls will spawn enemies (three Snakes, or Spiders, or Hounds, or five Poison Mosquitoes), while three gold nuggets will spawn rare items. Loot from the Slot Machine can vary, from common items such as Twigs and Cut Grass , or rare loot such as Thulecite Suit or Obsidian .
- Craft some equipment for self-protection, including a Machete or Spear . Seashells protect from physical poison attacks while Limestone allows tanking at the cost of speed. (Seashell Suit at the minimum, or a Limestone Suit , both from the tab)
- An Ice Maker 3000 ( tab) can drastically reduce the player's hunger needs, if combined with a tree farm, and snake-spawning Viney Bushes and/or Spider Dens. Its recipe is one Thermal Stone , five Bamboo, and two Electrical Doodads, from an Alchemy Engine.
- Around day 16, players may create a Meat Effigy (-30 from max health for each one built), for Wilson (shaving his Beard) or for others, get sanity to below 80 and kill Beardling versions of Crabs for Beard Hair . If available, always bring a Life Giving Amulet along.
Hurricane Season is the second season in Shipwrecked, and is equivalent to Winter, though, freezing is not an issue and plants will still grow normally. By default, Hurricane Season begins on day 21 and ends on day 37. Seagulls will visit land, unlike in other seasons, where they can only be found at sea. Hurricane Season's hazards are constant rain, strong winds (slows movement if they go against wind, pushes items and destroys walls), very frequent lightning (every 5–20 seconds), and the Sealnado.
It is advised not to go out sailing or island exploring during the night or even late into Hurricane Season, as the strong winds make any non-wind resistant light source (such as a Campfire) difficult to fuel sufficiently and there will be mostly only Big Waves. Hail also falls during Hurricane Season storms. As of the Eye of the Tiger Shark update, hail is no longer a valid Crock Pot filler, but it can still be kept in an Ice Box indefinitely, extinguish fires, or be refined into Ice from four Hail. Big Waves are frequent in deep oceans, and in late Hurricane Season, deep oceans mostly have Big Waves.
- A Chiminea is recommended, as they are not affected by strong winds, and so will not be put out, unlike a Campfire or Fire Pit.
- Lightning Rods are also recommended, due to how frequent lightning is.
- A Snakeskin Hat and Snakeskin Jacket set ( tab) will fully protect the player from rain. These items should be also be used during Monsoon Season.
- Having a Palm Leaf Hut near a fire can almost completely negate wetness during this season.
Monsoon Season is the third season in Shipwrecked, and is equivalent to Spring. By default, it begins on day 37 and ends on day 58 although by default, the rains won't start until day 41. Monsoon Season's hazards are heavy rain and flooding, although lightning is far less frequent and strong winds never occur.
Small puddles form in the beginning of the season and eventually become larger, covering land and inducing wetness, while the tides will also encroach, flooding island shorelines with water. Normal bees aggro towards the player and crab holes closeup for the season, while Poison Mosquitoes start to appear.
- Sandbags ( tab) can be used to prevent flooding from puddles, and are crafted from two Cloths , and three Sand at a Science Machine, and give four bags when crafted. To use them properly, place them in the middle of new puddles or along the edges of an island shoreline.
- A Snakeskin Hat and Snakeskin Jacket set ( tab) will fully protect the player, if they must traverse into flooded areas.
- A Brain of Thought ( tab) will allow the player to prototype items anywhere without a crafting station, and may be essential when Monsoon Season flooding renders crafting stations unusable. Its recipe is one Brainy Matter , one Jellyfish , and two Ropes at an Alchemy Engine.
- Poison Mosquitoes may be a nuisance during the season, especially if a puddle spawned near one's base. They are fast, difficult to hit, and inflict poison from physical attacks. It is recommended to equip a Seashell Suit before engaging them. If one doesn't have access to a Seashell Suit, it is recommended to befriend a Wildbore or two. They can attract the Poison Mosquitoes to some extent thus reducing the chance to get attacked, and making it easier to get the mosquitoes killed with their assistance. Also, friendly Wildbores can help regain Sanity very quickly, which is often at a loss due to wetness.
- The Sharkitten Den will open up and Sharkittens will spawn. Going near them, or attacking them causes Tiger Shark to spawn and attack the player. Tiger Shark also can spawn while sailing, during all seasons, but with a higher chance during Monsoon Season. The Tiger Shark spawned without going near its den will not attack the player without getting attacked first, but it will attack everything else in the water and the player can be caught in the cross fire.
- To prevent puddles from spawning in a base, adding man-made flooring (such as Wooden Flooring) will not allow puddles to spawn on them. Tides and expanding puddles can still flood them, however.
Dry Season is the fourth season in Shipwrecked and is equivalent to Summer. By default, it begins on day 58 and ends on day 74. Dry Season's hazards are overheating and constant volcanic eruptions, which launch falling meteors into the air, and flooded areas from Monsoon Season start to dry up. The player may trigger the season earlier by picking up the Volcano Staff from the Volcano Staff set piece.
The player will get three warning tremors half of a day before an eruption. When an eruption occurs, meteors will rain down. They'll either destroy structures and set things on fire if on land or cause a ring of Big Waves to spawn from their origin point if they fall into the ocean. The world will fill with screen obscuring ash (which does go away eventually), which may make things difficult to see. The player will have a gap of one day between eruptions.
As the season goes on, the intensity of eruptions will increase. Meteors will fall every two seconds after one another, and two eruptions can occur in a row, especially during the very end of the season.
- For overheating, an Endothermic Fire Pit and one or two Thermal Stones are suggested, so keeping a secondary chilled stone in a Backpack or Thatch Pack is advised. A Floral Shirt is also recommended as Shipwrecked makes it far easier to craft and is also available year round. One may also bring along a bunch of Ice if desired (from an Ice Maker 3000), to help with sudden overheating. Chilled Amulet is great if Piratihatitator has been made and a Blue Gem is at hand.
- If one chooses to sail during eruptions, a Row Boat or better is advised, with a Boat Lantern and Cloth Sail, as the increase in speed will allow the player to sufficiently dodge the meteors and the lantern will be needed if eruptions continue into the night. Multiple spare Cloth Sails and Boat Repair Kits are also recommended.
- Since meteors are a major hazard, it is recommended to either inhabit a barren island or go sailing when eruptions occur. Sailing may be easier, since the player has adequate speed to outrun meteors, and having a large expanse of shallow oceans are recommended, as the player will not have normal waves to contend with while they dodge meteors.