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Nickname The Gentleman Scientist
Motto "I will conquer it all with the power of my MIND!"
Perk Grows a magnificent beard
Health 150
Hunger 150
Sanity 200

Do you like science?


Wilson Percival Higgsbury is the first available Character in Don't Starve, requiring no Experience, and was the first character with a confirmed backstory, thus making him the main protagonist of the game. He's a witty Scientist wannabe that doesn't lack a sense of humor. He also has a peculiar haircut resembling the letter "W".

Wilson's only perk is that he can grow a magnificent Beard that gives him a few small advantages in harsh weather and life preservation. Being the default character his Health, Hunger, and Sanity all have default values and he has no drawbacks. Overall, Wilson is meant for better Winter survival and efficiency, as well as easier access to Meat Effigies. His stats make him a good all-around character, and many players (from beginners to experts) find that Wilson, as well as his Beard, provides welcome advantages to surviving in the wilderness.


Don't Starve Forbidden Knowledge01:40

Don't Starve Forbidden Knowledge

With the Forbidden Knowledge video published to Klei Entertainment's YouTube channel and hidden in their website, Wilson's origin was revealed.

Wilson used to live in a rickety wooden house in the mountains, where he performed experiments all day. After a mixture of some sort exploded in a puff in his face, he sat down, agitated that things weren't working out for him. He didn't have too much time to do so, however, as he heard a mysterious voice coming from his radio (revealed to be Maxwell's later on in the video). Maxwell offered Wilson secret and forbidden knowledge, and Wilson, willing and hungry for said knowledge, hastily agreed. This caused massive amounts of information to be inserted into his head. What Wilson didn't know was that almost all this information wasn't about anything scientific.

With this newfound knowledge, he began building a mysterious machine. When the machine was finished, he gazed upon it in wonder. Maxwell told him to throw the switch - Wilson, however, was hesitant. Only with a bit of egging on - Maxwell shouting "DO IT!" - does he pull the lever. Wilson then realized that this machine was some sort of portal, only meant to lead him to his demise. As Maxwell laughed maniacally, shadowy hands appeared from the floor and pulled Wilson into the mysterious wilderness world where Don't Starve takes place.

Special Power

Wilson Beard Growth

Wilson's different stages of beard growth.

Wilson's special power is that he can grow a hairy Beard. It has two basic characteristics:

  • Depending on volume, the Beard provides up to 135 insulation against Freezing
  • The Beard can be shaved for Beard Hair, allowing the player to easily make a Meat Effigy and restoring 10 Sanity.

Below is the days it takes Wilson to grow his Beard to the next stage, along with the number of Beard Hair gained and Insulation provided with each stage.

Days until growth Length Beard Hair Yield Insulation Time
4 Days Short Beard 1 (0.25 per day) 15 seconds
7 Days Long Beard 3 (0.43 per day) 45 seconds
15 Days Magnificent Beard 9 (0.6 per day) 135 seconds

If Wilson dies and resurrects, the Beard growth resets but otherwise carries its length between worlds or Caves and Ruins.

Reign of Giants icon Reign of Giants

In the Reign of Giants DLC (RoG), having a Beard during Summer will make Wilson Overheat faster. Some of his examination quotes also change to reflect the changes in the DLC.


  • The Beard will take exactly 15 days to grow to its full length (full length at the beginning of day 16), and since Winter starts on day 21 on default settings, this proves advantageous for Winter survival. The player can easily survive Winter with just a full Beard and a Thermal Stone.
  • A good tip is to not shave your Beard until the first Winter is over, as the Beard (unlike clothing) will not wear out, providing insulation as long as the player doesn't shave.
    • In RoG, it is advised to shave at the beginning of Summer due to the Beard accelerating the rate at which Wilson overheats and providing no benefits when fully grown.
  • Wilson's extra insulation from his Beard allows him to go a long time without a source of heat when wearing additional warm clothing, reducing the amount of resources needed to keep warm in cold weather. This is especially useful when tracking a Winter Koalefant, which usually requires extended time away from fire to follow its trail.
  • The player should also consider that due to the extra insulation they can spend time preparing for Winter in other ways. For example, instead of tracking down a Koalefant in order to make a Breezy Vest, the player could focus on ensuring enough Rabbit Traps have been placed or plenty of Logs have been gathered in preparation for the reduced effectiveness of fuel during Winter. If the player is entering Winter with little more than Rabbit Earmuffs, it would be wise to keep the Beard for the added insulation.
  • If plenty of insulated clothing has been gathered prior to Winter, shaving may be a good option. A Meat Effigy will require 4 Beard Hair, and 9 Beard Hairs can be obtained by shaving on day 16. Shaving leaves the player with less insulation for the Winter, but a nice insurance policy from the Meat Effigy. Shaving the Beard at any stage before full length will not provide enough Beard Hair in a single shaving, but it can always be stored for later as it does not degrade.
    • The earliest one can build a Meat Effigy is on day 11. Shave as soon as possible for 1 hair, and shave the Long Beard for the other 3. This is not the most efficient way, but it is the quickest (outside of lowering Sanity to hunt Beardlings).
  • As the Beard doesn't grow longer after 16 days and the player loses it on resurrection or by changing Characters, it is most efficient to shave after every sixteenth day, unless Winter is coming.
  • In terms of gaining Sanity, shaving every 5 days will yield the best results.
  • Wilson keeps his Beard when he uses a Wooden Thing to move to a new world. This proves useful in Adventure Mode when "King of Winter" or "The Game is Afoot" are still to be encountered.

Placeholder Trivia

  • Wilson's voice is sounded by a "Harmon muted trumpet (mixed with some cup muted trumpet as well)".
  • Wilson's age is in the early 30's.[1]
  • Wilson is the first Character to be given a background in video form.
    • While the designs are flying around Wilson in the origin video, a Tie Fighter from Star Wars and other various words, such as "KLEI", can be seen.
    • On the video, when Wilson is holding the radio up (~00:40), there is a hidden link (in fact http: is shown in the video) that leads to a page with the machine that Wilson built. Clicking on the machine's lever will turn the machine on and go to a page with concept art on the Don't Starve website, along with a message from Maxwell.
  • With a Puffy Vest, a Beefalo Hat, a Heat Stone and the Beard at full length, Wilson can have the highest insulation factor in the game at 735.
  • Wilson is the only Character capable of producing Beard Hair from shaving.
  • With the introduction of the Insanity! update, Wilson is no longer the only Character that could build the Meat Effigy.
    • With the implementation of Webber in RoG, he is no longer the only Character that could grow a Beard.
  • Wilson is the only Character unaffected by the Strange New Powers update, aside from Maxwell, who was not finished in time and got his new powers later on in the All's Well That Maxwell update.
  • Wilson is the only character with no drawbacks.
    • Even in RoG his Beard needs to be grown to accelerate overheating in Summer, which is not required of Wilson during that season.
  • Wilson has a skull.
  • Before the November 14, 2013 patch, Wilson used to share a lot of examination quotes with the other characters. 
  • Wilson can be used as a Steam chat emoticon.
  • Team Fortress 2 promoted Don't Starve with a hat modeled after Wilson's hair.
  • Wilson is one of the two Characters whose full name is known, the other being Maxwell.
  • When struck by Lightning in the Reign of Giants DLC, Wilson, like most other characters, is shown to have bones in his hair.

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

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