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dont starve surviving first 10 nights

Recently, I dove into the world of Don’t Starve. I have been curious about this game for a long time but had never actually played it. When I took the plunge, I found myself sucked in for hours! There was very little to guide me going in, so I was expecting it to be difficult but was surprised at the depth of the game. There is so much to do, and all of it is vital for your survival. After making it through the first 10 days a few times, I found a pattern in the tasks necessary to ensure my survival. All of my findings are based on my play-through as Wilson, the first character you play.


Making Camp

Making a base camp quickly is essential to surviving. Sometimes you’re lucky enough to spawn in a good area but not always. I’ve had to walk around for the better part of 4 days exploring different biomes before finally finding a good place to settle. If you need to, there are wormholes that teleport you to a different area of the map. However, they consume your sanity with each jump. Beefalos are incredibly important for your survival in the winter. Setting up your camp near a herd is something I’ve found to be useful because they offer protection from hounds and fur for winter clothing. They are found in grassland areas which also house bunnies who play a key role in winter survival.

Collecting

There are a wide variety of resources you can harvest and collect. Chances are if you see it, there’s a way to get some sort of resource from it. When harvesting, hold the space bar to gather faster. Obtain a multitude of components quickly so you can construct items and keep a stockpile for when winter comes. The more you collect, the more you can build. If you go out and find yourself far from your camp as night falls, make sure to gather or carry with you the supplies to make a temporary fire. Set up camp for the night or a torch or two to run back with if you are close enough. You cannot survive in the dark; the monsters will kill you! Materials can also be refined and build into other items such as chests and fridges. Logically, logs can be made into boards and rocks into cut stone.


Sanity

One of the things that got me into trouble as winter rolled around was Sanity. Each character has different items that affect their sanity, and Wilson has one quick way to ensure sanity sticks around for a bit: a garland. If you gather 12 petals, you can make a garland to help keep Wilson’s sanity at its peak. Petals spoil, so you need to collect sparingly. At night, Wilson’s sanity goes down a few points every hour. The easiest way to combat this is the garland, since it raises sanity by a few points throughout the day counteracting the decrease at night.

Move Fast

As I mentioned before, speed is essential. The days go quickly, and the nights are scary and seem to drag on. Setting up camp and gathering supplies quickly is the only way you can progress past the 10 days and into the winter on day 20. Refine materials if you need and when you’re short on them, hop into a wormhole to collect around the new area. When trying to gather resources, make a torch and set off right before the sun comes up to save on time.

Don’t Fight!

Gathering silk and spider glands is a task you need to do and have to kill spiders to do it. However, I found I lived longer the less I fought. I took the pacifist route and avoided fights as long as I could. Each fight is a risk, whether it’s bees, spiders, or other manner of crazy critters. Only fight if you have a weapon, such as the spear, made from the Science Machine. Kill only when you have to and try leading enemies into other creatures. An example would be to lead spiders or hounds into pigmen or beefalo because when they are bitten by one trying to attack you, the entire mob turns on it. A virtually instant death.


Farming

I never thought I would enjoy farming as much as I do in this game. After several failed attempts at making it past day 10, I started striving to make a farm which made a world of difference. Having crops growing during the summer helps not only with hunger and health but can give you a great amount of recipes to use in a Crock-Pot (which you can create using the Science Machine and Alchemy Engine). The Crock-pot is a needed item to create food that gives you larger portions for sustainability. These recipes need meat and berries/vegetables to complete. Certain recipes can help or hurt your hunger, health, or sanity; so choose wisely. Building up a good, established farming system helps you survive the first 10 days of your adventure.

Karma Meter

You don’t need to worry too terribly much about the karma meter, but you should keep it in mind. It isn’t something you can see, but the game will do particular things based on your actions. After you get the science machine, make sure to build a shovel fairly quickly to dig up stumps, bushes, twigs, and plants. You can replant them around your base camp. Not only does it help in the winter time to have plenty of supplies but also helps appease the game. If you dig up a bunch of stumps and don’t replant them, the game will send tree guardians to protect the forest. Do not anger Mother Nature in this game. She’ll fight back!


Science Machine and Alchemy Engine

There’s not much you can do without the science and alchemy engine machines. You can build some basic supplies but cannot farm, replant anything, or build necessary storage for all the items you collect. The science machine enables you to build a shovel, a chest, a farm, and more. The alchemy engine can do most everything the science machine can, plus more. Having both machines at the ready will help you prepare for the winter and prepare yourself against all manner of critters.

Release the Hounds

Around day 10, things start to get difficult. Listen carefully to the world around you, and you’ll notice Wilson say “Did you hear that?” Prepare yourself because here come the hounds. The hounds are incredibly difficult enemies, and they will hunt you down no matter where you settle. They will chase you, chomp at you and never let you rest. I did figure out there is a pretty simple way to get rid of them. If you camp out and settle near some beefalos, you can lead the hounds into the herd and let them attack each other. From what I’ve seen, the beefalos win, so your problem is taken care of rather quickly. If you made the unfortunate choice not to settle near beefalos and cannot find any other enemies to lead the hounds into, then run. Run as far as you can and don’t stop until you find a mob to run them into.


Use Resources Sparingly

As I learned after my first few tries, everything tends to run out rather quickly if you’re not careful. Replanting helps your karma meter but also helps you in the long term. Replanting near your base means more supplies for you. As you get into winter, having a thriving tree farm and good amount of berry bushes, grass plants, and saplings is a welcome relief to the terrors of winter.

This game has sucked me in. The anxiety as your sanity falls and the winter bearing down upon you is very real. There are so many tasks to accomplish, and I find myself anxious to build this, harvest that, and gather those. Before long, hours have passed. Even with all the time I’ve put in, there’s still so much I haven’t seen. Do not let the gorgeous and whimsical art style fool you; the game is deceptively difficult. You have to keep your wits about you watching/listening at all times. Whatever you do, Don’t Starve!


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Founded in 2015, Stack Up (TAX ID: 47-5424265) brings both veterans and civilian supporters together through a shared love of video gaming through our primary programs: The Stacks, Supply Crates, Air Assaults, and the Stack Up Overwatch Program [StOP].

Stack Up helps US and Allied military service members get through deployments to combat zones and recover from traumatic physical and emotional injuries with the power of video gaming.