There are currently eleven playable characters in Don't Starve (including DLC characters). The first accessible character is Wilson, considered the protagonist and the focus of the game's story. Most of the other characters can be unlocked when sufficient experience has been accrued, gained at death or when escaping to a new world. There are three exception characters that are not gained by conventional experience, but through game feats.
If the player has not unlocked a character, it will appear as their respective silhouettes. Upon selecting a silhouette, the Poster on the left will be a coffin shut with chains and a lock, and the description will simply say "The Unknown".
Each character is "voiced" by a different instrument (except Wes, the speechless mime) and speaks differently when examining items and objects (Wes usually pantomimes instead, but will still announce, "I can't do that" under certain circumstances). In addition, each character has at least one unique perk or ability.
Below are the abilities and requirements to unlock each character. (DLC characters have an icon by their name.)
|Grows a magnificent beard.||Immune to Fire damage; Has a sweet Lighter; Lights fires when nervous.||Gets stronger with a full belly, is afraid of the dark and monsters.|
|'Haunted' by her twin sister. Comfortable with darkness. Doesn't hit very hard.||Not a picky eater. Charged by lightning, damaged by rain. Can upgrade with Gears.|
|Has a nice axe and a terrible secret.||Can't talk, Has trouble staying alive, practices balloonomancy.||Is dapper but frail. Can fragment his mind. Brings his own sword.|
|Excels in battle; Gains power from fallen foes; Only eats Meat.||Is a monster; Can befriend Spiders; Grows a silky smooth beard.|
|Willow||160 exp (8 days)||120||150||150|
|Wolfgang||320 exp (16 days)||200||150-300||300|
|Wendy||640 exp (32 days)||200||150||150|
|WX-78||960 exp (48 days)||100-300||100-400||100-200|
|Wickerbottom||1280 exp (64 days)||250||150||150|
|Woodie||1600 exp (80 days)||200||150||150|
|Wigfrid||1920 exp (96 days in a Reign of Giants save slot)||120||200||120|
|Wes||Find and rescue Locked Wes in Adventure Mode||150||113||113|
|Maxwell||Finish Adventure Mode||200||75||150|
|Webber||Find Webber's skull and bury it inside an opened Grave when playing in a Reign of Giants save slot||100||175||175|
There are several additional characters planned for Don't Starve. These other characters only exist in the form of portraits, sound, and other bits found mainly in the game files. For a list of these unimplemented characters, please refer to the Unimplemented Characters page.
See also: Mods
On the PC version of Don't Starve, Characters created by users can be published on the Steam Workshop or the Klei Forums using the Don't Starve Mod Tools. Once downloaded, the character can be set up in its directory. When you start up the game, click the Mods button and enable the character. They will now be available for use after restarting.
- Main article: Experience
New characters are unlocked by earning Experience (exp). Exp is given when the character dies or escapes using the Wooden Thing. The summary screen (right) appears at the end of each world and shows how long (in days) the character survived for. One day survived equals 20 experience points. The longer a character survives, the more exp they will earn. Currently, XP is capped at 1600 in the base game and 1920 in the Reign of Giants DLC.
Maxwell (Antagonist) right|100px|link=File:Maxwell_ingame.png
- Main article: Maxwell (NPC)
Maxwell appears before the start of every game, saying, "Say pal, you don't look so good. You better find something to eat before night comes!" He disappears before the player assumes control of his or her character.
Maxwell will not appear when playing as himself, instead he will say, "Freedom, at last!"
- Main article: Abigail
Abigail is Wendy's twin sister, and as Wendy's perk, she can be summoned with Abigail's Flower.
- All playable characters' names start with W apart from Maxwell's. Within the game's code, Maxwell's name is written "Waxwell," in line with the other characters and not to confuse playable Maxwell with NPC Maxwell. The trailer puzzles confirmed that Maxwell's real name is William, though.
- Having all character's names start with W was unintentional at first, but Klei decided to go with it.
- Wolfgang was previously unlocked after Wendy.
- All characters are ambidextrous thanks to their sprite work.
|Wilson quotes ⋅ clothes • Willow quotes ⋅ clothes • Wolfgang quotes ⋅ clothes • Wendy quotes ⋅ clothes • WX-78 quotes ⋅ clothes • Wickerbottom quotes ⋅ clothes • Woodie quotes ⋅ clothes • Wes quotes ⋅ clothes • Maxwell quotes ⋅ clothes • Wigfrid quotes ⋅ clothes • Webber quotes ⋅ clothes • Unimplemented|
|Activities||Cooking • Crafting • Farming • Fishing • Sleeping|
|Environment||Day-Night Cycle • Moon Cycle • Nightmare Cycle • Earthquake • Lightning • Rain|
|Seasons||Summer • Winter • (Autumn • Spring )|
|Mechanics||Beard • Biome • Characters • Charlie • Controls • Death • Durability • Experience • Fire • Food Spoilage • Freezing • Health • Hunger • Light • Map • Naughtiness • Non-renewable resources • Sanity • Saving • Structures (Wetness • Overheating )|
|Mode||Adventure Mode • Sandbox Mode • Caves • Ruins • Don't Starve Together|
|Others||Pig Village • Road (Trail) • Graveyard • Ocean • Abyss • Bridge • Set Piece • Things • Morgue|