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Which Don't Starve Character You Should Play, Based On Your Playstyle

Klei's Don't Starve is a super-difficult survival game. Beginners should start by learning about Wilson, Wes, WX-78 and more to see who suits them.

Don’t Starve has expanded over the past few years, reaching out into the multiplayer zone and adding a few DLC packs. With those additions came new characters to lead in the harsh wilderness. They all have different abilities, which influence how they feel to play and how they approach their situation.

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That’s where the question of playstyle comes in: which Don’t Starve character works best for each player, based on how they prefer to survive or what they like to focus on? We broke down each character into their essential parts, to find out what makes them tick and how to make them perform at their best.

16 Wilson: The Basics

Wilson is the first character in the selection menu for a reason! He’s a well-rounded character, with solid Health, Sanity and Hunger (all of which drain at average rates). His only “special” ability is to grow a beard, but that can actually come in handy. Wilson’s beard can insulate him in the winter and can be trimmed to make Meat Effigies, which are used to resurrect the player.

As long as you have a razor on hand, you should be good to go as Wilson. He’s a great first character to pick for newcomers and a solid choice for veterans.

15 Willow: The Explorer

This spunky firestarter may not seem like the best choice, what with her tendency to start small fires at her feet when her Sanity is down. Willow's actually well-suited to the exploration lifestyle, though, with the help of her trusty Lighter. It can be used to keep her Sanity up during early night, so you have plenty of time to go looking for mushrooms or head back to your base.

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Willow’s Lighter is also pretty useful for cooking and creating charcoal on the move. Having a mobile fire on your hands is a lot more convenient than it may seem at first!

14 Wolfgang: The Fighter

Hardy and ready for battle, Wolfgang has an ability called Mighty Form, in which his damage, movement speed, and Health increase while his Hunger is above 220. Though his Hunger does drop at three times the norm during Mighty Form, it’s a pretty useful ability to have if you prefer rushing into battle or need to take out hordes of Spiders.

If you’re ready to do a lot of food maintenance over any other survival concerns and you have a taste for combat, Wolfgang will be your best bet for a fun time.

13 Wendy: The Farmer

Not a farmer in the traditional sense! Wendy is great at farming resources from Spiders and other swarms of creatures or animals. This is primarily thanks to the assistance of her ghostly sister, Abigail, who can be summoned every two to four days. Abigail has over 600 Health (which regenerates at 1 point per second) and can do anywhere from 10 to 40 damage, depending on the time of day.

Abigail’s attacks also boast an AoE, allowing her to target multiple enemies. She can take out swarms with no problem, and you’re free to gather—or farm—as many resources as you need.

12 WX-78: The Long-Distance Traveler

This robot can seem a bit difficult to master at first, what with his weakness to rain and relatively low initial stats. However, the upgrades that WX-78 can grab are pretty worth it. Gears are hard to come by but will bring WX-78’s stats right up. He is also 'charged' by lightning strikes, which will lend him some additional movement speed.

That’s what ultimately makes WX-78 one of the best options for covering long distances in a short period of time. He can move quickly, especially if struck by lightning, and the chance to find some Gears on your travels is a great incentive to keep moving.

11 Wickerbottom: The Homebody

If building bases and sticking to them is your area of expertise, then look no further than Wickerbottom. Her ability to craft Books is something you'll need to gather and dedicate resources for, and where better to do that than in a carefully-curated base? Reading those books is worth it, too, as they can grant you a range of useful effects (from the sudden growth of plants around you to 16 lightning strikes randomly dispersed near your location).

Wickerbottom also allows you to skip ahead to the next tier of crafting, as she doesn’t require a Science Machine to build more complex structures.

10 Woodie: The Logger

Based on his name alone, it sounds like Woodie would be pretty good at one particular thing: gathering wood. True enough, he starts a run with his old friend Lucy the Axe, who can chop down trees much quicker than ordinary axes. She's also everlasting, which means you’ll never need to craft another Axe again (which can be a real resource saver).

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Careful not to overuse your Axe, though, as Woodie can quickly turn into the Werebeaver! You can consume logs if you want to keep that ability going, though. If you like to gather a lot of wooden resources for crafting, building and turning into a giant monster, then Woodie’s the character for you.

9 Wes: The Challenge

Wes is a tricky character. Being a mime, he can't talk, and he has much less Health and Hunger than any of the other characters. His Hunger also drains faster than normal, and he cannot do as much damage. Based on all of that, Wes doesn’t sound too great.

However, Wes provides one important thing for players: a challenge. While he may not always be the first pick, he is a fun character to practice your veteran Don’t Starve skills with, to see how long you can survive with multiple obstacles in your way.

8 Maxwell: The Sane One

Oddly enough, the former ruler on the Nightmare Throne has the least to worry about of any of the characters. His Sanity stands at 200, and it recovers at a rate of 20 points per minute. It helps that he comes with the Codex Umbra, an item that requires Sanity to create Shadow Puppets (which can help you in combat or when gathering resources).

If you like to have a party of shadows by your side and reassurance that you won’t go insane, then unlocking Maxwell will be a good way to go. Don't get overzealous with him, though: he has low Health!

7 Wigfrid: The Tank

Despite calling herself a performance artist, Wigfrid is ultimately a warrior, one of the most combat-oriented characters in the game. She comes with a Battle Spear and Battle Helm that are pretty powerful to start with, excellent starting gear. She also gets a nice boost to Health and Sanity with every successful mob kill.

Wigfrid does exist exclusively on a meat-only diet, though. Still, as long as you keep up the combat and track down some Meat for her to cook, you should be ready to roll out.

6 Webber: The Gatherer

Webber’s spiderish traits are pretty apparent from the get-go, but what may not be as clear is his ability to quickly gather resources. He can befriend Spiders, and they can easily help his cause by fighting with other swarms for supplies. They’re also a great form of protection, whether around Webber's base or while he's on the move, so he can effortlessly get around to gather the things he needs.

It helps, too, that he suffers no ill effects from eating Monster Meat, unlike the other characters. This allows him more versatility when it comes to his food supply, making him a pretty great gatherer overall!

5 Winona: The Builder

It only makes sense that Winona, who takes half as long to craft items, would be best for building structures of any sort. The fact that she comes with three Trusty Tapes (which can be used to repair any degraded clothing) also helps when building any good base.

Winona also has a Mechanics skill when crafting, which allows her to create more unique items like flashlights, spotlights, or catapults with ease. If you’re a player who likes to create a sprawling, complex base with all sorts of contraptions, Winona will be your gal!

4 Walani: The Surfer

The Shipwrecked DLC added four new characters to Don’t Starve, along with a whole lot of new watery areas to explore. Walani is definitely the best person for those new maps, as she comes with a Surfboard that allows her to easily traverse water with speed. The Surfboard is actually 1.3 times faster than the average raft, so you can get around those rivers and seas with flexibility and style!

The Surfboard can also fit in Walani’s inventory, so you can just get up and go wherever you’d like without having to worry about where you left your raft.

3 Warly: The Chef

It’s only fair that a character calling himself “The Culinarian” would end up being the chef of the group! Warly has a pretty large Hunger capacity—up to 250— which can drain quickly, but he also comes with one of the best items in the entirety of Don’t Starve: a Portable Crock Pot. Not only is Warly able to start cooking right away, but he can bring his cooking pot with him wherever he goes.

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Warly also comes with a Chef Pouch, in which food can be stored for twice as long as in any other character's inventory. Now that’s handy!

2 Wilbur: The Fertilizer

That’s kind of a strange name for a playstyle, but Wilbur has a very specific and helpful ability: he can create Manure every two to five days. While it can be equipped as a weapon, it can, more importantly, be used to fertilize crops. As such, Wilbur is the second farmer character (albeit focused more on actual farming than on gathering supplies from a specific source).

Wilbur also has the unique ability to run if he walks in the same direction for more than three seconds. If you build an expansive farm, he can move around it speedily!

1 Woodlegs: The Nomad

The final character from Shipwrecked is the Captain of the Sea Legs, a man who prefers the open ocean to anywhere on land. If you’re a player who likes to keep on the move, Woodlegs might just be the perfect character for you. On land, Woodlegs will lose Sanity pretty rapidly (at a rate of 4.8 points per minute), so sticking to the sea is a good idea.

Once you’re out there, Woodlegs can use the infinite cannon of the Sea Legs to defeat fish. He can also find buried treasure easily. If this sounds like the life for you, then you should definitely check out this pirate!

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