Sanity is the character's "mental health" in Don't Starve. The Sanity icon, represented as a picture of a brain, is located near the character's Health and Hunger. Characters can gain and lose sanity in various ways. A small animated arrow appears over the icon, indicating an increase or decrease in Sanity. The size of the arrow signifies the rate of gain or loss.
As sanity decreases, the player's vision becomes shaky, over-saturated, and bright, whispers are heard, and Shadow Creatures start to appear. These creatures become "physical" and aggressive and will attack the player when their sanity is below 15%; the sign that sanity is low enough for Shadow Creatures to attack is when the player's character covers their ears and closes their eyes while rocking back and forth, as if experiencing a bad headache.
Being alone in the wilderness will take its toll. Generally speaking, being in close proximity to Monsters, Darkness, Rain, eating bad Food, or using various magic items decreases sanity; while wearing certain clothing, eating Jerky and Crock Pot food, being near friendly Pigs, and sleeping increases sanity. See the Sanity Tables below for a complete list.
Instant Sanity Table
|• Resurrecting a Ghost Player ()||+80|
|• Sleeping in a
|• Sleeping on a
|• Repairing a
|• Eating most Crock Pot Dishes except for those shown elsewhere in this table and
|• Riding a wave on a with||+1|
|• Using a||-1|
|• Eating Spoiled Food
• Charlie attacks
|• Using a||-55 Max Sanity|
|• Resurrection via||Set to 1/2|
Temporal Sanity Table
|• Sanity aura of a||≤+25|
|• Sanity aura of a friendly and Sanity aura of a glowing||≤+25||Must be very close to benefit from aura.|
|• Playing as||+20
|• Being near a fire as||≤+10||Amount depends on strength of fire.|
• Wearing while on a Boat
|• Sanity aura of or||+6.25||Must be very close to benefit from aura.|
|• Wearing or holding||+2|
|• Wearing||-2||For One-Man Band this is the default insanity aura without followers.|
|• Insanity aura of||-3||Only when active.|
|• Rain||≤-3.3||Sanity loss depends on "precipitation rate".|
|• Wearing soaked items.||≤?|
|• Being on land as||-4.8|
|• Dusk, Night and Caves||-5|
|• Total darkness||-50|
|• Insanity aura of||-6.25|
|• Insanity aura of||≤-25|
|• Wearing and having or
(-25 per follower)
|• Insanity aura of||≤-40|
|• Insanity aura of||≤-40||Shadow Creatures spawned from Nightmare Lights are not present during the "warning" phase of the Nightmare Cycle.|
|• Insanity aura of||≤-100|
|• Insanity aura of||≤-400|
- WX-78 - 100-300 Max Sanity (depending on upgrades)
- WX-78 - 150-300 Max Sanity (depending on upgrades)
- Wickerbottom - 250 Max Sanity
- Wilson, Wendy, Wolfgang, Woodie, Maxwell - 200 Max Sanity
- Walani, Warly - 200 Max Sanity
- Wes - 150 Max Sanity
- Wilbur - 150 Max Sanity
- Willow - 120 Max Sanity
- Wigfrid - 120 Max Sanity
- Woodlegs - 120 Max Sanity
- Webber - 100 Max Sanity
Characters with the potential to stay sane longer:
- Maxwell - Sanity is restored at a rate of 20 points per minute.
- Maxwell - Sanity is restored at a rate of 6.67 points per minute.
- Wendy - 0.75x Sanity is lost while in darkness or near monsters.
- Willow - Gain Sanity while near a fire.
- Wolfgang - 1.1x Sanity is lost while in darkness or near monsters.
- Wigfrid - Gains Sanity after killing Mobs.
- Walani - Due to her drying off quicker, the combined sanity loss from wetness would be reduced over time.
- Warly - Gains more sanity from Crock Pot meals.
- Mr. Skits will appear.
- Eyes appear in the darkness.
- The screen starts getting distorted.
- Lighting is desaturated in overworld and caves. Lighting brightens in the Ruins.
- Whispering can be heard.
- The screen is surrounded by red tendrils.
- Crawling Horrors and Terrorbeaks will attack.
- Player holds head with hands and rocks back and forth.
- The "day to night" transition jingle becomes warped.
- Lighting becomes dim.
- Sanity was added in the Insanity! update.
- Distortion can be turned off in the Options menu, removing the blurry effect on the edges of the screen that occurs from Sanity loss. This can also boost performance on slow systems.
- The saturation effect is set on the percentage of sanity. By using the console to lower the player's sanity below 0%, the screen will become more saturated and colorful, albeit intense.