Don’t Starve Survival Guide for beginners!
I decided to write this today as I see a lot of questions about helpful guides. Maybe we can get a Fan Written Guide Section to help weed out the typical beginners questions? This is a survival guide that gets me through my first winter and onward to a long survival. I use a streamline type of method to keep efficient with my use of time and resources. Hopefully I wrote this in a timeline that will make sense for beginners.
I'll note that I play both PS4 and PC, PS4 being my preference and is written and geared more towards PS4 users only for the simple fact of NOT being able to MOD EVERYTHING. Still applies for all.
PREPARE - This is 6 pages of writing.....
Yours may be different and I’d like to hear anything you have done differently or offer any opinions of what I could do differently. Also comment on some of my theories of how or where certain things spawn/generate. Give feedback please!
Ask anything you’d like.
Day 1: The Nomad / Perimeter Run
Things to create ASAP & before NIGHT:
· AXE – 1 twig & 1 flint (No chopping yet, this is just in case s*** happens.)
· (2) Torches – 2 grass & 2 twigs x2 (One torch isn’t enough to last a full night, don’t be left in the dark!)
· Grass Suite – 10 grass & 2 twigs (Always use protection!) – Usually ready to craft by mid-day 1
· *Garland – 12 flowers (Optional. Call me crazy.)
Where you begin is where you get most of what you need to start, twigs, grass, flint,
trees, berries, flowers, carrots, and seeds. I will start by gathering everything around me in a streamline fashion. Going from closest item to closest item without straying too far off to grab what I need. This is to shorten wasted time, reduce resistance to a fluid flow of action. By this I’m playing connect the dots so to speak. Collect as much as you can in your surrounding area until you can create an axe, 2 torches and grab some grub for the road.
After a few minutes of this I then begin to run along the perimeter of the map with the water/edge of map on my right side (doesn’t matter which side). Keep your main focus on the map and less on the water so you don’t miss too much on your way. My strategy is to go around the whole perimeter of the map FIRST. This is my goal for the next 8 to 10 days. Especially at night you can continue on your quest without getting lost and without direction. Still gathering as you go.
By the start of day 2 I will have ALL the items above created and nearly if not 40 twigs, 40 grass, amongst the other items depending on where the path takes me.
Your second torch will carry over for your next night as your first torch. Always first use the torch with lower life % left. Create your 2nd torch BEFORE NIGHT. I do it ASAP so I can keep filling up my grass & twigs as I go.
Collecting seeds early is easy and quick on your path. Why not pick them up for quick food? They don’t offer much but we don’t need to be wasteful. Pick and eat as you go.
Tips for Nighttime Exploration:
· Continue grabbing the easy items like grass, twigs, berries, carrots.
· Be careful doing this if you hear spiders. Just keep on truckin’.
· NEVER STOP IN SWAMP BIOMES. NEVER. IDC. DON’T. KEEP MOVING. I’ve never run into a scenario where I’ve been killed/attacked at night if I hug the perimeter and keep it moving.
· Walk Around Spiders Nests (inward to land away from maps edge) Avoid slowing down and getting attacked
· Every once in a while check your map! You can see on your map what you can’t in the dark.
This could be Touchstones or maybe something else to take note of importance.
Carrots don’t respawn. You most likely won’t be exploring much of the perimeter much anymore after you finish or at least for a while. Don’t be afraid to take the food you need now as you need it more now than ever.
Pros & Cons of Perimeter Method:
· Easier and safer for Night Travel Exploration
· Getting more accomplished early. WINTER IS COMING!
· Touchstones – Not sure how these generate but I ALWAYS FIND 2 on the edge. (Sometimes a 3rd by road)
· Chess Biome – Highly important to find and I always find it by perimeter
· Discovering every Biome – Resource is located
· Find majority of the “Things” (just in case I don’t like the map. I will collect them or mark their spots)
· Good chance of finding Chester (or I find him by road, usually where bees nests are)
· Takes about 8-10+ days (not really a con, still worth it)
· Your inventory can fill up before that time (there’s solutions)
· What I’m saying is I don’t find any cons
Days 2-8/10+: Perimeter Exploration
Rough estimate depending how frugal you are with your time. The following info covers these days as a whole and not individually. I say 8/10+ days for a few reasons. There will be times you should stay in an area for a little while and not just running the edge of the map.
Continue on the perimeter collecting those first listed basic items.
Collect more than 40 Grass as you go.
Chop enough trees to get at least 12-14+ logs 20 doesn’t hurt. (No Camp Fires! I’ll explain why 14+ logs)
Build a pick axe as soon as you see a bolder, especially if it contains gold. Pick away as much as you can (while staying on your linear journey of the perimeter) as you go till the pick breaks and frees up a spot. Keep the flint, rock, and gold. Collect the Nitre if you wish but this is a disposable item early on. Collect it and drop it as a bundled item until you need room if necessary.
Always be mindful of this (duh). Collect the items easy for the taking. Kill something only if you have to. I don’t find it necessary to cook my food items early on (berries and carrots of course). I get by and you can too. Only build a quick campfire IF NECESSARY to cook meats. Never stay longer than to cook. KEEP MOVING!
Not much of an issue. No worries here yet. Or are there? ARE THERE? WAIT, ARE THERE ISSUES!?
Your Health shouldn’t be much of an issue here either as long as you play it smart.
If you got a backpack and or Chester better drop it and suite up before duking it out with whoever you want dead and you shouldn’t have the thirst for blood until you have armor and a spear. Only thing I will kill are spiders (carefully 1 at a time) for silk mostly (highly important item). I won’t destroy too many nests as I want these to develop later on in the game.
Keep the Eyebone in the backpack to drop them simultaneously. You don’t want Chester getting in the way during a battle.
Your First Science Machine:
Taking time at some point and creating a Science Machine. I do this as soon as I have enough items to create the following.
· Science Machine – 1 Gold, 4 Logs, 4 Rocks
· Log Suite – 8 Logs & 2 Rope (Remember to always have protection? Ditch your grass dress.)
· Spear – 2 Sticks, 1 Rope, 1 Flint (IT’S GO TIME M***** *****R!)
· Backpack – 4 Grass & 4 Twigs. (Tada! There’s So Much More Room for ACTIVITIES!)
· *Football Helmet – 1 pigskin & 1 Rope (This is if I so happen to get a pig skin before I build my 1st machine)
Don’t worry about this Machine you will build another when you start your base camp. KEEP MOVING!
Now after 12 logs for those items (machine and suite) this leaves you with 2 logs for a Fire Pit when you start your base.
Your choice on collecting 12 or 14+ logs just because of inventory reasons. You could also wait till you decide on where your base is going to grab the extra 2 logs for your fire pit.
You’re bound to want to keep extra items as you go that might fill up your inventory. This is why I choose to build a ‘throw away’ Science Machine so I can hold more with my backpack. It’s good to collect as much as possible right away.
If you want to mark a spot on your map you want to revisit for any reason, make and drop a trap this way it is marked on your map somehow. Dropped some inventory to make room and want to pick it up later? Drop a trap. Found a dead man with loot for the taking? Drop a trap. Found a mass of Fire Flies you could collect later? Drop a trap. You’ll just have to keep in mind what trap is dropped where and for what. Shouldn't be too hard as this isn't going to happen too much. This reason + early craftables is why I collect so much grass early.
Not all Savanna Biomes have Beefalo. If I see them on my journey I will run inwards a way that identifies itself on my MAP. Remember you’re perimeter walking so anything revealed deeper into the map will give good indication for you later on. You can use this method for other situations as well if you’d like. Refer to the tip above, but use this method instead if desired.
I like to hang in this area when I come across it until I can get 1 GEAR. There are certain items I want right away when starting my base and I want an ICE BOX pronto! Bait yourself to the Clockwork Rook and try and get him to do the work for you OR log suite up with spear in hand and take out a Clockwork Knight to more quickly and efficiently get what you need and get on with yourself. He takes 9 hits with the spear and is very easy to kite and kill.
Also if I have carried “The Things” along with me I will just drop them near this location and take care of it later.
You want at least 10 Gold, 40 rocks before you start your base. Build 2 pick axes if needed to achieve this. Ditch the pick axe if space is needed after you get all of this as well. Remember to stay on your edges as you’ll find plenty of rocks to pick at. I usually only pick the gold boulders as I go.
Your Nomad Days Are OVER...kind of.
OK That’s basically it for important info within this time frame. You've outlined the whole map and now you can start your plan for the long haul.
Base Camp: Home Sweet Home
Yea, not really. But we’re moving on up! Take your time and examine your map. It’s important to decide where to live. What’s close by? What’s worth taking a trip for?
Most times somewhere centrally located is the best. You want Beefalo fairly close (half day travel at tops). Manure is very important to you for farming and sustaining a place where you won’t starve. Another benefit of this are Rabbit holes with the Beefalo. Rocks are important as well, they craft many items. Touchstones could possibly play a role (it shouldn’t be a major role) Regardless, this is on you to make your best decision where to camp. Choose Wisely.
Once I've found my area of choice I will place my fire pit where desired. Nighttime or not. Build my new Science Machine within reasonable distance to a well-lit fire. I should have enough items to craft an Alchemy Engine as well. Now I’ll build my ICE BOX, Crock Pot, and Chest and place them within reasonable distance of my fire pit. I’ll build any Chests I can to store items I don’t want to carry with me anymore.
Note* It takes time, trial and error, experience to efficiently build your base into something of magnitude. If you are a beginner don’t worry about extravagant bases until you become more experienced. You’ll know when that time comes. One word – Pitchfork. I've provided a diagram picture of my base by the start of 2nd Winter later on in this.
Basics of a BASE started. Now what?
You got a base now but that doesn't mean we’re settling down. Besides what we have going for us now, a few Drying Racks and farms would be ideal as well as soon as you can.
Winter Preparation: Days 8-21+
We want more items for winter prep. Winter starts Day 21 and lasts 16 Days.
We need Clothing!
Resources we need a lot of are Grass, Grass, and Grass, did I mention Grass? Rocks, Manure, Silk.
Savanna I believe is the most important to surviving your first winter. Grass for multitude of items such as Traps, Improved Farms, and Beefalo for manure (farms) and shaving fur (winter hat). Crack down those boulders out there for rocks as well.
Grass – Rocks – Manure – Silk – Food ALWAYS
Try and set a day on specific goals in one biome.
Savanna - Pick grass and poop, set traps over rabbit holes, shave beefalo at night.
Rocky – Rocks on Rocks on Rocks. I LOVE GOOOOOLLLLDDDDDD.
It’d be nice to have some Improved Farms going (you can go basic but I never go basic)
This takes a lot of resources which is the problem. Starting with 3 would be ideal. Grow 3 items to toss in a crock pot with 1 meat item for Meatballs. Easy start for farming and food.
Track him down first chance you get after your base is set. He is too important not to pursue. See his tracks and sniff him out! 8 meat for some drying racks/crock pot/ icebox storage. His trunk to create a Breezy Vest. Having this vest to start winter I feel is important.
Base Goal before Winter Breakdown:
Crock Pot (at least 1 preferably more)
Ice Box (at least 1 preferably 2)
Improved Farm (at least 3)
Drying Rack (at least 2-3 I strive for more)
Some food in IceBox
Possibly Bird Cage and 1 Bee Box
I collect rabbits by trap near base for food.
While I’m out and about I keep an eye for a Winter Koalefant tracks. Winter Vest is the ideal choice of winter protection to survive the cold at dusk.
Still collecting basic resources
Crafting items by fire at night (It’s good to be able to craft on the road without your machine)
Never traveling too far during winter. I’m wreaking havoc on my nearby ecosystem.
If I do travel far it would be for a Rocky Biome where I plan ahead to camp the night.
Hopefully with these basic tips you will survive your first Winter or even if you have already it will help you improve your next attempt. I’d love to hear any feedback if this was of any help.
After Winter I’m working on really developing my base for long term survival.
Goal of my base before 2nd Winter
11 Improved Farms (I set them up in 3 rows. 4 across 1st row, 3 across 2nd row, 4 across 3rd row)
10 Drying Racks
2 Ice Boxes
4+ Crock Pots
40+ Grass Planted nearby
40+ Twigs Planted
20+ Berry Bushes Planted
1-4 Bee Boxes
Chests Setup near Touchstones with essential items to survive a winter walk back to base.
I hope my time writing this was worth it for someone. Either way I enjoyed writing it. Again feel free to comment with some feedback please!
Thanks for reading.
First Time Post. 1 month lurker.