Winter is one of two seasons present in Don't Starve (the other being Summer). By default Sandbox Mode Winter lasts for 15 days; the first day of winter will start on day 21 and end on day 37. This will change if you edit the length of the seasons in the Preferences. Stages in Adventure Mode may have different seasonal variations. Many things in the world change in Winter and surviving can become much more difficult.
- Main Article: Freezing
The biggest change in Winter is the drop in temperature which results in freezing if the character gets too cold. Freezing quickly drops the player's health. To prevent freezing, characters must maintain their body temperature by regularly going back to a source of heat. The best way to do that is to carry around a Heat Stone, and one should always have the means to make Fire in an emergency during winter. Aditionally, wearing warm clothing increases the time a character can be away from fire before getting too cold. Wilson's Beard also helps him keep warm similar to warm clothing, and its efficiency increases as it gets longer.
Building a Winterometer helps you know when the change in seasons is coming ahead of time, and tells how cold it is getting. Dusk and Night are colder than Day, and they last longer in Winter. Freezing is often a recurring death for new players as they don't prepare well enough to stop the freezing in an emergency. A good strategy to keep your temperature up is to put on your warm clothes on the last day of Summer so your heat will start off higher in winter.
During Winter several new creatures appear and some others go into hiding. The change which can be seen on the first day of Winter (even before snow begins to fall) is that the sepia toned environment gets a bluish tint instead, Redbirds are replaced by Snowbirds, Rabbits change into a white winter coat, and both remain an active and stable food source throughout the Winter season. When the Hounds attack, Red Hounds are replaced with Blue Hounds. Going on a Koalefant hunt will result in finding a Winter Koalefant whose trunk can be made into a warm Puffy Vest.
Some new aggressive creatures appear as well. A Walrus hunting party lead by MacTusk along with his son WeeTusk and their 2 Blue Hounds will appear in an igloo at their Walrus Camp (which can be found during Summer ). In addition, Deerclops also roams the Winter landscape. Deerclops is huge but slow, and will smash structures in addition to characters. A new type of neutral creature known as a Pengull will often hop out of the ocean in huge flocks during the first few days of winter.
Many creatures are inactive in Winter. Bees do not leave their hives and thus do not produce honey (Killer Bees and homeless Bees can still be found). Butterflies do not spawn from flowers; nor do Mosquitoes or Frogs spawn because Ponds themselves are frozen over and cannot be fished, although they can be walked across.
In Winter it becomes too cold to Rain; instead snow begins to fall which builds up on trees and many other objects. Farms do not grow crops, however any crops currently awaiting harvest will still be fresh until picked. Berry Bushes, Saplings, and Grass Tufts regrow extremely slowly in Winter, to the point that they seem to stop completely. Spiky Bushes are not affected by the winter cold and will regrow as in summer.
Nights are much longer (and days shorter) in winter, and this has a subtle impact on Sanity. Sanity slowly drains at night, and does not have a chance to fully recharge during the winter day. This is compounded as sanity falls, because night-time hallucinations (and nearness to dark) further drain sanity -- spiraling into more impactful hallucinations, including Night Hands. A large set of Drying Racks (10 to 20) can be a great help, allowing you to turn Rabbits and Birds (which continue to spawn during Winter) into Small Jerky -- restoring 10 Sanity each. In fact, living off rabbit Traps and Drying Racks is a simple and sustainable way to conquer winter, hunger, and sanity.
- Food rots 25% slower in Winter due to the cold.
- Taking your warm clothing off during the night when you are by a fire allows you to save the durability on the clothes. (Because you don't need warm clothes when near a fire)
- Torches give off almost no heat whatsoever, though they do delay freezing slightly.
- There is a Chest located in a Forest biome spawned between a Winterometer and an Ice Box. The chest itself contains an assortment of winter-related items such as an Ice Staff, a Winter Hat and a Breezy Vest. However, upon opening the chest, winter starts immediately. It also spawns the Deerclops near the chest. Destroying the chest with a Hammer drops its loot, but still triggers the trap. On trap activation, Wolfgang says 'Whoops' and the rest of the characters say 'Oops'.
Snow is basically winter rain; it will make your ground snowy thus making it hard to see what you are doing when placing in turf and running along paths.
- Setting rain to lots (infinite) on world presets will make infinite snow during winter.
- Snow makes you slightly colder.
- Snow does not damage WX-78 the same way rain does.