There are currently fifteen 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. Each character has different perks and cons, and usually are different in play style. 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 currently five 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 pantomimes instead). 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 water. Can upgrade with gears.||Knows many things. Self-publishes books. Can't sleep, hates food spoilage.|
|Has a lovely axe. Has a terrible secret.||Can't talk. Has trouble staying alive. Practices balloonomancy.||Is dapper, but frail. Can split his mind into pieces.
In a first-name basis with the night
|Excels in battle. Gains power from fallen foes. Only eats meat.||Is a monster. Can befriend spiders. Grows a silky smooth beard.||Loves surfing. Dries off quickly.|
Is a pretty chill gal.
|Has distinguished tastes. Cooks in custom cookware. Has a stylish chef pouch.||Can't talk. Can run. Is a monkey.||Can sniff out treasures. Captain of the "Sea Legs". Pirate.|
|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|
|Walani||2240 exp (112 days in a Shipwrecked save slot)||200||120||200|
|Warly||2560 exp (128 days in a Shipwrecked save slot)||200||150||250|
|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|
|Wilbur||Find the Tarnished Crown and return it to Wilbur when playing in a Shipwrecked save||150||125||175|
|Woodlegs||Find Woodleg's Cage in the Volcano and then unlock it with the Iron, Bone and Gold Keys while playing in a Shipwrecked save||120||150||150|
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, 1920 in the Reign of Giants DLC and 2560 in the Shipwrecked DLC.
In Don't Starve Together all Characters are unlocked from the start.
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.
Main article: 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: 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 • Walani quotes ⋅ clothes • Warly quotes ⋅ clothes • Wilbur quotes ⋅ clothes • Woodlegs quotes ⋅ clothes • Unimplemented|
|Activities||Cooking • Crafting • Farming • Fishing • Sleeping|
|Environment||Day-Night Cycle • Moon Cycle • Nightmare Cycle • Earthquake • Lightning • Rain
(Strong Winds • Fog • Waves • Flooding • Volcanic Eruption )
|Seasons||Summer • Winter • (Autumn • Spring )
(Mild Season • Hurricane Season • Monsoon Season • Dry Season )
|Mechanics||Beard • Biome • Characters • Charlie • Controls • Death • Durability • Experience • Fire • Food Spoilage • Freezing • Health • Hunger • Inventory • Light • Map • Naughtiness • Non-renewable resources • Sanity • Saving • Structures
(Wetness • Overheating ) (Disease ) (Poison )
|Mode||Adventure Mode • Sandbox Mode • Caves • Ruins • Volcano • Don't Starve Together|
|Others||Pig Village • Road (Trail) • Graveyard • Ocean • Abyss • Bridge • Set Piece • Things • Morgue|