Beginner Tips & Tricks for Don’t Starve Together
Last updated: July 25, 2021
Don’t Starve Together is an unforgiving survival game that will challenge you to learn and adapt to the harsh world that surrounds you.
The game can have a steep learning curve for new players but you will master the basics after your first couple of run through’s, slowly building upon your knowledge as you continue to figure out the survival loop of the game.
We live in the age of the internet so you can easily search for helpful guides and tutorials that will teach you how to survive your first full season, which is an impressive skill once mastered.
My Top 5 DST Tips & Tricks
To help new players I have put together a top 5 tips and tricks guide to highlight the foundation skills and knowledge you should have if you want to survive longer than the first season.
1. Customise your world settings
World generation plays a huge part in this game as maps are randomly generated based on your settings.
The default settings provide an average user experience that is considered very balanced however first-time players should try tweaking the settings to give themselves a slight advantage.
For example, you could add more buffalo, remove frogs or even change the spawning season at the start of the game, there are so many options to choose from.
If you are completely new to DST, changing the world settings can be confusing as you will not understand what each resource does or what impact certain settings will have on your server, so I have created a few points below that you should follow:
Choose the “Endless” setting
Endless mode is a great place for new players to learn the game without the fear of permadeath.
If you die during your game you will be re-spawned back at the world portal. This takes a lot of the risk out of the game but it will save the frustration of losing 20 days progress because you were killed by a wave of Hell Hounds that you weren’t ready for.
Start in Fall
Fall is the most forgiving season in the game.
By default, the game will usually start the game in the fall but it’s always best to have this fixed within the settings.
Remove wildfires and frog rain
Random events such as frog rain or wildfires can easily wipe out unprepared players as they are both unpredictable and highly dangerous if you don’t know how to deal with them quickly and effectively.
Tumbleweeds are seen as a hidden bonus in the game that can give you both common and rare resources when opened.
The drops are random but you can often find useful crafting items, weapons, tools and even gears if you’re lucky.
Once you feel more confident with the game you can slowly start to change the setting back to default or tweak them to best match your play style.
The game is a survival game so I always suggest trying to turn off the “endless” mode as soon as you feel ready, as this adds plenty of excitement and risk to the game.
2. Create your own Don’t Starve Together server
The best way to learn DST is to experiment and gain knowledge through playing on your own server with your own settings (as mentioned above.)
However, you may run into problems if you are running an open server or you have joined another player’s server.
This is because you may encounter other players that are hostile if the world is PVP or you may join a world that has limited resources that you are unfamiliar with.
To avoid problems I would suggest setting up your own server locally or via a server provider.
Running your own world locally is easy, just play the game through the world creation found in the main menu.
Alternatively, if you want to play on a rented server because your PC isn’t powerful enough to run a server you could rent one from a dedicated Don’t starve Together server hosting company.
This will cost you a monthly fee but is worth it if in the long run (an in-depth guide to choosing a don’t starve together server provider can be found here).
3. Learn the core mechanics of the game
Once you’ve chosen your world’s setup and created your server you will next need to learn the basic survival skills that will help keep you alive.
New players should keep a close eye on their HP, hunger and sanity meters, as letting them drop too low can result in a game over.
To keep things simple I have listed a few of the key skills that you should be applying in the first 30 days.
Always have a torch in your inventory
Nighttime is extremely dangerous if you’re caught running around in the dark.
If you remain in the darkness for too long you will be attacked until you have placed your character in a source of light including a torch, campfire, firefly and other light-based items.
To avoid an early death always have a torch or the resources to make them available, which are twigs and grass. These resources can be found dotted around the map.
Stock up on Flint
Pick up as much flint as you can find as you will always need it to build axes and pickaxes, which then allow you to cut wood and mine stone, flint and gold.
Picking flowers is a great way to improve your sanity in the early game, you can also turn those petals into grassland that can be worn to improve your sanity over time.
Craft armor and weapons as soon as possible
The first week in DST is pretty forgiving, you will usually die if you are careless or push your luck with nature, however as the days progress the environment will become more hostile.
An early game event that you will want to prepare for is a Hell Hound attack that can easily wipe you out if you’re not ready for it.
So try to make a spear and some log armor before day 10.
4. Explore the world
For the first 7 – 10 days you should be exploring the map to find the perfect place to set up camp and collect resources.
The game is rather forgiving in the first 10 days as you start with full stat bars, which means you can survive on eating wild berries and carrots to fuel your exploration.
On your travels you will want to note key locations that will ensure your future survival, these include:
Beefalo Spawn areas
Beefalo is a key source of winter clothing and emergency food. Though Beefalo can be a rare resource that will slowly diminish as the game progresses so don’t wipe out the entire herd early on.
Note: The Beefalo will mate during certain periods which makes them hostile, so try to avoid contact during these times.
The Pig King
The Pig King is located in the birch forest biome which is easy to spot once you have played the game enough.
He always spawns in this area and can be used for gold trading.
Gold, flint, stone and niter can be mined from these areas.
Nitre isn’t important at the start of the game but you will always use the other three resources for science machines, tools and other blueprints.
Pig farms are great for easy resources including, flowers, carrots, grass and berries.
You can also destroy their huts and collect enough materials to build a pig hunt near your own base.
Moving the pig farms closer to your base can be used for farming and defense purposes when applied correctly.
There are plenty of other resources and locations you should look out for while exploring but these are the main ones that will help you survive through the first two seasons.
5. Create a Base
Creating a base depends on how you plan to survive, but all bases should have the core blueprints to help you survive the first few months.
The base doesn’t have to be beautiful but it does have to produce enough food and provide a good defense location to store your items.
You will spend a lot of time at your base camp so you should follow the below guidelines for your base foundations:
You can pick any location to set up your base but it’s always best to find a location that is close to resources and emergency food.
For safety camp near Pigman houses and avoid spider nests. Being near a biome with Beefalo is always a good choice for emergency food and wool during winter.
An Alchemy Engine and Shadow Manipulator are the main science machines you will need to build in the first season of the game as this will give you access to all the items that will help you conquer winter.
Use a lighting Rod
A lighting rod will prevent your bases from catching on fire.
It’s always a good idea to create more as your base expands, however, you shouldn’t need more than one in the first season.
Chests and Iceboxes
Storage is essential for DST as your inventory is limited and you will need free space to collect items as you progress through the game.
A chest is a good place to store clothing, resources and weapons whereas an icebox is used to store food for long periods of time.
Both of these storage options are important in the early game.
Enclose your base with a wall
A well-placed wall can keep unwanted guests out of your base.
I would usually create an entrance to my base that has a bottleneck that funnels the enemies into a canal.
This makes it easier to defend my character. However, you should avoid fighting within your base as things can get damaged easily.
This guide is only the start of your journey as you will continue to master new skills as you play the game for longer.
These 5 basic tips will allow a beginner to survive the first 30 days easily and can prepare you for the future game.
DST is essentially about creating a good start for yourself, as without it you will fail due to a lack of food, warmth or sanity when the winter season approaches.
If you’re looking to further expand your knowledge it’s best to check out the DST forums on steam or visit the Klei website for in-depth guides and tutorials.
My Hosting Review Process:
1. Find 31 popular Don't Starve Together Server Hosting providers
2. Buy a basic package and set it up
3. Run speed tests on server
4. Compare the features vs. cost