Seasons are different times of the Don't Starve year in which the environment changes, changing the gameplay. Note that while seasons have specific lengths specified in the code, there appears to be relatively common rounding errors that result in one extra day being in a season; this tends to add 1-2 days per year. In Don't Starve Together, these extra days are much less common.
In Sandbox Mode, if you don't customize your world, the first Winter will begin on day 21 and end on day 35 (15 days total). The seasons should then keep alternating between 20 day Summers and 15 day Winters (next winter on day 56, etc.).
- A long season lasts around 50 days
- A short season lasts around 10 days
In Winter, Nights are longer and the player must stay warm to avoid Freezing to death. Plants stop growing and many creatures stop being active, while other creatures can only be encountered during Winter.
Winter can be a challenge and should not be taken lightly. Players should prepare for Winter during the Summer by stocking up on resources and making sure they will have sources of heat, Food, and Health, as well as the means to defend themselves from Monsters.
In the Reign of Giants DLC as well as Don't Starve Together, there are four seasons; Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. Winter is largely the same, albeit with changes to Deerclops that make survival more difficult. Autumn, for the most part, is the old Summer, making it the safest season of the year. A new Summer has been added, in which the player is susceptible to Overheating (the opposite of "Freezing" in the Winter). During Spring, there is no Freezing or Overheating, but rainfall is excessive and can cause Wetness, which causes rapid Sanity loss, and can lead to Freezing after prolonged exposure. Rabbit holes will close, forcing the player to switch food sources in the Spring, Bees will turn red (hostile) and Beefalos will be in heat, making them hostile to everything.
Spring and Autumn are considered "friendly" seasons, while Summer and Winter are considered "harsh". Because of this, when starting a new game, the default starting season will be either Spring or Autumn. The "friendly" seasons last for 20 days each, whereas the "harsh" seasons are only 15 days. A full year in the game is 70 days long.
Each season now has its own "Giant", or boss mob, that spawns sometime during the respective season. Winter retains the Deerclops, but now there is the Bearger in Autumn, the Antlion(DST)/Dragonfly(RoG) in Summer, and the Moose/Goose in Spring. Each giant will drop a material needed to craft an item that can be used to better survive the hazards of the following season, with the exception of the Dragonfly, as being before Autumn (the season with no special hazard), will instead drop a material to craft an item used for combat or a special container.
In the Shipwrecked DLC, there are four seasons; Mild Season (20 days), Hurricane Season (16 days), Monsoon Season (20 days), and Dry Season (16 days). Compared to Reign of Giants, the year is slightly longer, at 72 days, as half the seasons have an extra day.
Mild Season is equivalent to autumn without hazards apart from occasional strong winds and mild rain. Hurricane Season differs the most from seasons in Reign of Giants where instead of having to deal with cold, the hazards are frequent strong winds, downpour, lightning and large waves. Monsoon Season is similar to spring with frequent rains but with additional hazard of areas getting flooded. Dry season is equivalent to Reign of Giants' summer with overheating but with the added danger of volcanoes erupting.
In the Hamlet DLC, there are three seasons; Temperate Season, Humid Season, and Lush Season. Each season lasts for 11 days, making Hamlet's year the shortest at 33 days. The Temperate Season is the equivalent of Autumn, with no special hazards, other than short rain showers and thunderstorms. The Humid Season is similar to Spring, including lots of rain and thunderstorms in addition to Fog, a new hazard which reduces the player's vision range to a small radius around the character, much like Sandstorms, and slows them down if they are wearing anything in the Chest or Head slot. The Lush season does not seem to resemble any other season in the game. During this season, the major hazards are Hay Fever, which causes the player to sneeze periodically, losing 3 per sneeze and dropping 0-4 items from the inventory; as well as Brambles, which randomly block off some areas of the world.
Modifying season length works the same way as Autumn in Reign of Giants; 5, 12, 31, and 50 days for very short, short, long, and very long respectively. This oddly means that a choosing to make any Hamlet season short will actually increase its length from 11 days to 12.
- In the Reign of Giants DLC, If the player tries to disable all the seasons the game shows a custom error message.
- If the player disables a season such as winter, and then tries to generate a world starting with the season that is disabled, the characteristics of the season such as snow in winter will generate in the first 1-10 seconds before quickly disappearing.