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Character Selection

Character selection

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.

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.)

Wilson portrait Willow portrait Wolfgang portrait
Wilson Willow Wolfgang
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.
Wendy portrait WX-78 portrait Wickerbottom portrait
Wendy WX-78


'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.

Very Picky eater. Starts with a free tech level. Self-publishes books, can't sleep.

Woodie portrait Wes portrait Waxwell portrait
Woodie Wes Maxwell
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.
Wigfrid portrait Webber portrait
Reign of Giants iconWigfrid Reign of Giants iconWebber
Excels in Battle; Gains Power from fallen foes; Only eats Meat. Is a monster; Can befriend spiders; Grows a silky smooth beard.
Character Requirements
Willow 160 exp (8 days)
Wolfgang 320 exp (16 days)
Wendy 640 exp (32 days)
WX-78 960 exp (48 days)
Wickerbottom 1280 exp (64 days)
Woodie 1600 exp (80 days)
Wigfrid 1920 exp (96 days in a Reign of Giants save slot)
Wes Find and rescue Locked Wes in Adventure Mode
Maxwell Finish Adventure Mode
Webber Find Webber's skull and bury it inside an opened Grave when playing in a Reign of Giants save slot

Unfinished Characters

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.

Unlocking Characters


Summary screen

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.

Non-player characters

Maxwell (Antagonist)
Maxwell ingame
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.

As seen in the Forbidden Knowledge video, Maxwell gives Wilson the knowledge necessary to build an impressive machine which captures him upon activation.

Maxwell will not appear when playing as himself, instead he will say, "Freedom, at last!"

Abigail build


Main article: Abigail

Abigail is Wendy's twin sister, and as Wendy's perk, she can be summoned with Abigail's Flower.

Placeholder Trivia

  • 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.

Gold Nugget Gallery

Player Characters
Wilson quotes ⋅ clothesWillow quotes ⋅ clothesWolfgang quotes ⋅ clothesWendy quotes ⋅ clothesWX-78 quotes ⋅ clothesWickerbottom quotes ⋅ clothesWoodie quotes ⋅ clothesWes quotes ⋅ clothesMaxwell quotes ⋅ clothesWigfrid quotes ⋅ clothesWebber quotes ⋅ clothesUnimplemented
Gameplay Mechanics
Activities CookingCraftingFarmingFishingSleeping
Environment Day-Night CycleMoon CycleNightmare CycleEarthquakeLightningRain
Seasons SummerWinter • (AutumnSpring Reign of Giants icon)
Mechanics BeardBiomeCharactersCharlieControlsDeathDurabilityExperienceFireFood SpoilageFreezingHealthHungerLightMapNaughtinessNon-renewable resourcesSanitySaving • • Structures (WetnessOverheating Reign of Giants icon)
Mode Adventure ModeSandbox ModeCavesRuinsDon't Starve Together
Others Pig VillageRoad (Trail) • GraveyardOceanAbyssBridgeSet PieceThingsMorgue

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