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Guides/Surviving the first month

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Note: This guide is based on my experience in the game and may be subjective. -- Neoma


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This guide is aimed at helping you survive your first month in-game. This is not the only way to survive the first month, but one of them. Do not feel like this is the only way to survive. Also check out How to Survive by DUDETTE.

Where do I begin?

Try not to hurry to reach the end game. There's no easy way other than cheating, but where is the fun in that? The first few weeks are crucial to your survival, do not lose focus!

First Things First

  • Gather some flint, saplings, and grass first.
  • If you can find 3 pieces of flint and 3 sticks, build a pickaxe and an axe. You can get more flint by mining rocks. If you only find 1 flint by midday, only build an axe. If you find 2 pieces of flint and some boulders, make a pickaxe and mine them.
  • Gather the basic resources: flint, logs, rocks, saplings, and grass.
  • If you find gold, carrots, and berries along the way, pick them up until you reach 5 carrots and berries. 5 altogether will put you up to full Hunger. The rest will just spoil. Never cook more food than needed either. For example, having both raw and cooked berries just means wasted inventory space.
    • However, it can be useful to leave carrots. They can make a helpful snack when exploring in Winter.
  • You should take some pine cones if you have enough space.

It's better to pick an optimal location than to settle on the first day!

Be Prepared

Gather and carry resources when you can.

Prepare a campfire when you have enough materials for it. (Or if you want to consume less resources, make a couple of torches, you can explore by night.) How can you prepare a campfire, you ask? By building the item and clicking your right mouse button, the item will not be placed and will just be stored in your game tab. The resources are consumed and you can continue to gather more without making more stacks. Do not place the campfire during the daytime. When you want to place your campfire, you simply need to go back to the Light tab, and click 'Place', and then build as normal.

Then, when Dusk arrives, you still have enough time to gather resources.

What to Do During the First Few Nights

Once you place a campfire near some resources. Gather them as soon as you can.

Be sure to cook some food in that campfire and then consume it, cooked food will replenish more hunger than uncooked food. Don't starve. (Do not let hunger Hunger.png get the best of you.)

Before the night ends, prepare another campfire. You will need it for your next journey.

Be Thrifty

Using resources carefully will go a long way. Do not create a fire pit on the first night. That's a waste of time and resources. Your current location may not be best for you to settle. However, the fire pit does indeed allow more visibility in the night, but also allows some of your raw food (such as carrots, berries, monster meat and morsels), to be cooked, which will upgrade their hunger, health and sanity replenishment stats.

A Campfire or a Fire Pit?

Campfire.jpg

If this is your first night, you don't have to make a fire pit because you're likely not going to settle just yet. Set up a campfire right before night comes and surround it by some resources, so you can gather them during the night.

4.5 h.png

If the flame is almost gone, check the time if it's nearly morning, do not waste your fuel if morning is about to come. Use one log to fuel the campfire just for the first night but be mindful about the burning time of the fuel you are using. Do not use them all at once! One log is enough for an hour (in-game time). One campfire, if the player starts in Autumn can usually survive the night without being fueled meaning players can save their logs.

As much as possible use logs to fuel your fire as they have a long burning time and are readily available.

Cooked or Raw?

Cliché as it may sound "Cooked food is generally better", whether something is cooked or raw is one of the most important things to keep in mind.

Cooked food is generally better than raw (note however that Seeds can be eaten raw without little benefit to Cooked Seeds other than an added health point upon consumption. If you are running low on health, cook them first; If not, eat them whenever your Hunger bar is at 145 or greater at the exception of having more potent foods). Mushrooms all have different effects meaning it is the player's choice to decide what effects. (See mushrooms for more information.)

On the first few nights, you can cook 3 to 4 berries or carrots and eat them. This will be enough for you to survive the next day.

When you are traveling, eat berries, carrots, and seeds raw. You do not want to waste time or materials making a campfire/fire pit just to cook 2 or 3 berries. Whatever you do, do not eat raw meat (unless you are Webber with monster meat, then whatever since it will not hurt you and you gain no additional hunger from cooked monster meat).

Building a Good Base

Building a strong base is key when it comes to surviving for long days.

Check Here for more information on bases!

Location, Location, Location

Location, location, location.

Harold Samuel

Dedicate day 2 and/or day 3 to look for a good location. At dusk, gather a few logs and grass for your campfire and don't forget the pine cones.

Points for a good location:

  • Near a road but not just any road. Check where the roads leads to, connects to and where they stop. A good place is usually an intersection. Use your good judgement.
  • Close enough to either pigs or beefalo (meaning: not visible from your base camp). This is approximately, one screen away. Why?
    • If your camp is visible to the pigs and full moon comes, they turn into savage Werepigs which attack you.
    • Beefalo get aggressive during mating season. If you can kite them, then they can be an excellent source of meat.
    • Cannon Fodder - Pigs and beefalo make excellent fodder for attacking hounds and when they do fight back, they usually win and the chances are, you get loot!
    • Manure - Pigs drop manure when fed vegetables and beefalo drop manure... because they can.
  • Rabbit Holes - Two to three Rabbit holes within your base serves as a constant source of food. This is especially important during the winter.
  • Ponds - Ponds serve as a source of Frogs which can be caught with Traps just like Rabbits and Spiders. You can also fish in them using a Fishing Rod. Remember that they freeze during Winter, though.
  • Do not settle near a Walrus Camp, they will attempt kill you when they move in for the winter.
  • Do not settle near a plugged sinkhole, if you destroy the rock plug, bats will fly out and attack you.

Prototyping, When Should I Start?

Icon Science.png

Once you have enough resources and found a good location (hopefully by day 3), you should start prototyping other tools by building your first Science Machine!

  • Make a backpack to increase your inventory slots.
  • Prepare a Log Suit and a Spear. Always bring a log suit with you, as it offers great protection without slowing you down. Do not use a Grass Suit it is not worth having unless you have no wood and you want to quickly make something to protect you against hounds and such.
  • Create a Hammer, this will come in handy. If you encounter any Touch Stones, be sure to use your hammer on the four Pig Heads that surround it. This means FREE Pig Skin. The Touch Stone will resurrect you if you die. (one use)
  • It's recommended to prototype a shovel, to dig up saplings, graves, and other important things.

Be Mindful

Dealing with emergency scenarios like:

  • Hounds showing up and attacking you.
  • Encountering a Deerclops (or any other boss monsters)
  • Aggressive beefalo
  • Treeguards showing up.
  • Frogs, lots of them.
  • Killer bees.
  • Lost Tallbirds (or very protective mothers)
  • Wandering Spiders and their really annoying queen! (unless you are Webber!)

These encounters will make you lose your focus on your current objective and could quite possibly kill you. Thankfully, this is just the first week. So... onwards to our adventure!


Let Me Count the Days...

Guides/Surviving the first month
Guides/Surviving the first month
Day 1
Gather resources
Day 2(s)
Location, location, location
Day 3
If location found, settle.
Day 4
Gather resources
Day 5
Gather more resources
Day 6
Expand your base
Day 7
Your base should be well set already.


All Your Base are Belong to Us[1]

Base Camp Sample

Assuming that you have found a good location, you need to expand your Base Camp.

Placing items like the Science Machine, Alchemy Engine or a Chest near your fire pit will be helpful. This way, you can refine, build, and organize during night time.

The image on the left is an example of a base camp. It may be a little cramped but it's tightly semi-organized. This way, you won't have to use too much fuel to light up your surroundings.

If you find rabbit holes near your base, set traps just above it and leave it there. No need to put any bait.

The less effort, the faster and more powerful you will be.

–Bruce Less, ---Deerclops is gonna get you if you do that.---

You may also want to read up on: Self-sustaining Settlement Guide.

The Lightning Thief

Put a Lightning Rod near your chest and the farm. You don't want any of them burning when there's a thunderstorm. When it comes to being thrifty, placing a few lightning rods in your base will go a long way.

Keep Calm and...Don't Starve

Gathering

When gathering, focus on gathering only one type of resource for that day and keeping your sanity up while you're at it.

One of the best (if not THE best) ways to boost your sanity is get two to three pigs to follow you and chop trees. Keep on chopping trees like a boss (or at least you have around 40 logs). You will notice a big up arrow on your sanitySanity.png meter. Pick up the logs later during dusk or on your way back to base. And make sure that it's not a full moon. If this is the case, your befriended Pigs will all turn into aggressive Werepigs, which can be as dangerous as Hounds if the player does not expect it!

Every time you go back to your base camp, organize your chest and see what type of resource you need to stock up. That'll be your objective the next day.

Use Fodder

Hounds are nasty creatures. They will attack you day or night but at least they give off sounds and alert your character. One can use the pigs or beefalo to help survive against them.

There is a guide on how to protect yourself and it's worth a read: Hound Wave Survival Guide.

Winter is Coming!

Icon Survival.png

By the 2nd week, you should be able to have a self-sustaining base camp.

Dedicate this week for extra supplies and set aside two pieces of Winter gear, such as the Winter Hat or the Rabbit Earmuffs. Depending on your game preferences, Winter starts on day 21, and it ends on day 36 (default).

Thermal Stone Stage 3.png
  • You should already have a Thermal Stone ready.
  • During the day, just keep gathering resources.
  • Always bring a hot Thermal StoneThermal Stone Stage 5.png with you when you go out of your base.
  • When heat runs out from that stoneThermal Stone Stage 1.png, move back to base or at least set up a fire for it to recharge.
  • Do not stay away too far from camp.

Read up on the Winter Guide Tactics.

Survival Together!

Now that Don't Starve Together is open to the public, players can now play with their friends!

The first thing you should do is split up. Have all of your friends go alone to find resources. That way, you can find a good place to set up. After about 3–5 days meet up with your friends at the Florid Postern and decide where to build your base. (You should make your base near Pigs unless you have a player with the character Webber). If you do, then have your base near Beefalo, who are great sources of Manure for farms. Try to camp near spiders because you will need glands for Telltale Hearts to revive your friends upon death. You are going to want to explore the world for 3 places:

  1. A savanna for Rabbits which can be put in the Crock Pot to make Meatballs and also for manure from beefalo. If you have about Three players, try using a Beefalo Horn to lure one beefalo off at a time and kill them for their Meat and fur. Make sure to leave 2-3 beefalo alive for their manure, (which can be used to make helpful farm and fertilize plant.)
  2. Rockyland Biome for Gold Nugget and Tallbird Egg, Who you can hatch for allies or eat for stats.
  3. Graveyard This is a good place to get Trinkets for the Pig King , gems, and gold (but beware of ghosts that can spawn at a full moon or digging graves.)

If you can't decide over the many servers in Don't Starve together, Visit [v This site!] and look for dedicated servers that you can to play on.