Don't Starve

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Don't Starve is a dark fantasy survival game created by Klei Entertainment and released in April, 2013. It is currently available for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux through Steam or stand-alone application. Don't Starve is also available on the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, PlayStation Vita,[1] and Wii U.[2]

Official Description

Don’t Starve is an uncompromising wilderness survival game full of science and magic.

You play as Wilson, an intrepid Gentleman Scientist who has been trapped by a demon and transported to a mysterious wilderness world. Wilson must learn to exploit his environment and its inhabitants if he ever hopes to escape and find his way back home.

Enter a strange and unexplored world full of strange creatures, dangers, and surprises. Gather resources to craft items and structures that match your survival style. Play your way as you unravel the mysteries of this strange land.

Key Features:

  • Uncompromising Survival & World Exploration: No instructions. No help. No hand holding. Start with nothing and craft, hunt, research, farm and fight to survive.
  • Dark and Whimsical Visuals: 2D characters and odd creatures inhabiting a unique 3D world.
  • Randomly Generated New Worlds: Want a new map? No problem! At any time you can generate a new living and breathing world that hates you and wants you to die.


Don't Starve challenges the player to survive in a wilderness environment for as long as possible. In Survival Mode, the only way the game ends is with the player's death or by restarting the game in a new random world through the use of the Wooden Thing. When the player dies they are awarded Experience for the number of days they survived. Each death provides experience, which is added to a cumulative total and used to unlock additional playable characters. Although death is permanent and the player's world will be lost when the game ends, various methods of resurrection can be found to stave-off the inevitable.

See also:


The canonical game plot centers around Wilson, a gentleman scientist tricked by the mysterious Maxwell into building a machine which transports him to a strange world filled with monsters and other challenges.[3] The player must help Wilson navigate the various worlds of Adventure Mode, which offer more difficulty as the game progresses. Wilson will begin to understand why Maxwell brought him into this world and the terrible secret of his power. Along the way, the player will find an extra character who can only be unlocked during Adventure Mode, and he will eventually confront Maxwell himself.


Glommer's Flower.png Main article: Don't Starve/Version History

The game's developer, Klei Entertainment, has committed to a series of game updates for at least 6 months after the game's initial release. A large portion of these updates have focused on adding a new environment (Caves) to the game, along with other new content and bug fixes.[4]

On January 10th, 2019, Klei Entertainment released the Quality of Life update that added features that were formerly exclusive to Don't Starve Together.[5] These features were added to the base game as well as all DLCs.

On April 27th 2023, Don't Starve Mega Update was added , fixing many long existing bugs, balancing changes and further adding many QoL Changes from Don't Starve Together.

Downloadable Content

Glommer's Flower.png Main article: DLC

Reign of Giants

Don't Starve: Reign of Giants is the first downloadable content pack created for Don't Starve, released in April, 2014.


Don't Starve: Shipwrecked is the second downloadable content pack created for Don't Starve, developed in cooperation with Capy Games and released in December, 2015.


Don't Starve: Hamlet is the third downloadable content pack created for Don't Starve, released in December, 2018.

Other Don't Starve games and versions

Don't Starve Together

Don't Starve Together is the multiplayer expansion of Don't Starve, distributed independently from Don't Starve game in Steam.

Giants Edition

Don't Starve: Giants Edition is the PlayStation Vita port of Don't Starve, containing the Reign of Giants DLC.

Pocket Edition

Don't Starve: Pocket Edition is the iOS 8+/Android 5.1+ game, containing the Reign of Giants DLC.

Pocket Edition: Shipwrecked

Don't Starve Pocket Edition: Shipwrecked is sold as a separate app for iOS 8+, and it only includes the Shipwrecked DLC.

Don't Starve: Nintendo Switch Edition

Don't Starve: Nintendo Switch Edition is the special version of Don't Starve for Nintendo Switch, containing both the Reign of Giants and Shipwrecked DLCs.

Don't Starve Mega Pack

Don't Starve Mega Pack is a pack for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 and it contains a single disc containing Don't Starve and Don't Starve Together as well as the Reign of Giants and Shipwrecked DLCs. It also contains an Xbox One/PlayStation 4 controller skin.


Don't Starve has received moderately positive reviews from critics. GameRankings has given it a combined score of 78.69%, while Metacritic gives it 79/100. Armchair Empire rated the game 8.5/10 saying, "Players looking for a game that will consume them for the next while should consider Don't Starve. The whole process of gathering supplies, and making a go of surviving in the wild while fending off starvation, madness, and predators is quite entertaining."[6] Hardcore Gamer Magazine however was more negative, giving the game only a 2.5/5 rating and saying, "Unless there’s a major update in the near future, you’d be better off waiting until it inevitably becomes part of an indie bundle so that you can briefly jump in and enjoy its first few hours. Until then, your money and time should be spent elsewhere."[7]

Don't Starve was a finalist for the grand prize and "Excellence in Design" subcategory at the 2014 Independent Games Festival awards ceremony; it also received honorable mentions for "Excellence in Visual Art" and "Excellence in Audio." [8]

In the 42nd annual Annie Awards, Don't Starve: Console Edition was nominated for an award in the category "Outstanding Achievement for Character Animation in a Video Game". [9]

Placeholder.png Trivia

  • Upon starting a game in the PlayStation 4 version of Don't Starve, Forbidden Knowledge will play. However, a scene where Wilson cuts his hand is skipped to the part where he drips the blood into a beaker, which has been recolored to blue.[10]
  • The game's art design was inspired by Tim Burton's work in films like Frankenweenie and The Nightmare Before Christmas, as well as Laika's Paranorman.[11] The work of Tom Waits was also a big inspiration for the look and feel of the game.[12]

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  1. Jamie Cheng, Co-Founder Klei Entertainment, Playstaion.Blog June 10th, 2013
  3. Don't Starve Cinematic Trailer: Forbidden Knowledge, August 1st, 2013
  4. DS Roadmap Kevin Forbes, Klei Forums, August 1st, 2013
  6. Armchair Empire Don't Starve Review
  7. Hardcore Gamer Magazine Don't Starve Review
  9. Nominees from the 42nd Annual Annie Awards.
  10. Censored scene from Forbidden Knowledge
  11. Archive of forum thread "What the Devs said during the live stream": "Inspired by Tim Burton stuff, Paranorman, Franken Weenie[sic], Nightmare Before Christmas" March 11, 2013
  12. Kevin Forbes on the Forums: "One of the big influences on the look and feel of the game is Tom Waits.", October 24, 2012