Don't Starve Together Beginner's Tutorial (Days 13-20)

❄️ Preparing for winter!

This is part 3 in a series of tutorials. If you haven't already, be sure to check out Days 1-5 and Days 6-12!

First and foremost, it’s great to be back! We had intended to write this article 2 years ago but life got in the way and we ended up working on a bunch of other projects. Recently, we got back into DST and were reminded of what a great game it is! There have been a bunch of updates since our last articles but, in terms of prepping for winter, the steps have stayed largely the same.

So without further ado, let’s jump right back down the wormhole into the world of DST... 

Preparing for Winter!

Days 13-20 are all about stocking up and preparing for winter which starts on Day 21. We have broken down days 13-20 into two parts: the goals to achieve and a strategy to accomplish them. This is Don't Starve Together after all so our approach assumes there are at least two people playing.

Goals for Days 13-20

  1. Improve your base

  2. Stock up

  3. Gear up

🏗 Improve your base

There are two main structures you need to add to your base. The Lightning Rod and the Ice Box. Additionally the Tent is a good addition to your base.

Lightning rod

Lightning rod





Lightning Rod

There’s nothing worse than meticulously crafting the perfect base in preparation for winter and then having it all burn down from a rogue lightning strike. Do yourself a favour and always build a Lightning Rod. You should already have plenty of gold and rocks from your exploration to be able to build one.

Ice Box

An Ice Box is an essential structure to have in your base, as it slows down the rate at which items stored inside spoil by 50%. This is especially important during days 13-20, as you'll need to stockpile as much food as possible to prepare for the winter season.

To construct an Ice Box, you must first find some gears. You'll find out more on gears below in the strategy section of this article.


The tent can be a life saver in times when you need to boost your health and/or sanity up quickly. Just be sure to jump in as soon as dusk begins to maximise the time you spend in the tent. As soon as day rolls around you will forcibly be ejected from the tent. The tent has 15 uses so keep that in mind.

Existing structures

In addition to the new buildings, by Day 13 its unlikely you'll have built all the Crock Pots and Drying Racks you need to scale up your production.

Crock Pots - 4x

Continue to build more until you have four. It may seem like overkill to build four crock pots until you realise your 30 stack of cooked berries are about to spoil and you need to cook them all ASAP. Four Crock Pots allows you to cook in parallel so that you can support your entire crew.

Drying racks - 6-9x

To ensure a reliable supply of Jerky for your health and sanity, continue building additional drying racks until you have between 6-9 in total. As we mentioned in our part 2 tutorial, Jerky is a nutritious food with a long shelf life of 20 days, making it an ideal choice for long-term storage.

During the Autumn season, you should be using your meat supply (whether it's rabbits, beefalo, or birds) to produce enough food to sustain yourself well into the winter. You can still dry meat during winter, so don't worry about having to prepare everything all upfront.

🥕 Stock up

Instead of living day-to-day, you want to be building up food and resources at a faster pace than you're consuming it. You'll achieve this by:

  • Scaling up your farms (berries, grass, saplings or twiggy trees, rabbits, drying racks)

  • Harvesting as soon as possible

  • Continued exploration, gathering and some specific expeditions before it starts getting cold.

More on harvesting, exploration and expeditions in the strategy section below.

Food & resource production

By the end of the Day 12 you should already have the a good start to your farms. The goal now is to expand the size of your farms. Aim for the following targets:

Berry farm - 45

Sapling farm - 30

Grass farm - 30

Trees - 15

Rabbit traps - 10

Birds: Traps & cage

Bird traps are a good way to supplement your meat supply, but they also give you access to eggs which unlocks some egg-cellent recipes 🙃. Simply bait your traps with a seed or berry and wait until you catch one.

Once you catch a bird you can then either murder it for a morsel or imprison it inside a Bird Cage to start your egg production.

You can feed your imprisoned bird any meat (we recommend the easy-to-get monster meat) and it will in turn give you a egg!

Bird Trap

Bird Trap

Bird Trap baited with Seeds

Bird Trap baited with Seeds

Caught Bird

Caught Bird

Trapped Bird

Trapped Bird

Feeding your bird Monster Meat

Feeding your bird Monster Meat

An Egg!

An Egg!

🧥 Gear up

Get out your knitting needles! It’s time to gear up for Winter. As you'd expect Winter brings with it some colder temperatures so keeping yourself warm is very important to survival.


Beefalo Hat, Winter Hat or Rabbit Earmuffs

You each need some kind of headgear to keep yourselves warm. The Beefalo hat is best, but it requires hunting a lot of Beefalo (3 Beefalo on average for one Beefalo Hat). The Winter hat is much easier to craft so is a good middle ground. The Rabbit Earmuffs have the lowest insulation value and also only have a durability of 5 days so should really be your last choice in a pinch.

We'll dive deeper into Beefalo in the strategy section below.

Beefalo Hat

Beefalo Hat

Best one of the three

Winter Hat

Winter Hat

Good insulation without needing to fight the Beefalo

Rabbit Earmuffs

Rabbit Earmuffs

In a pinch but the other two are much better.

Thermal Stone

The Thermal Stone is your core winter survival item. It retains heat from fire and keeps you warm while it is in you inventory. It will heat up anywhere near a fire regardless of whether its on the ground or in your inventory.

The colour of the thermal stone indicates its temperature and by extension, how long it will keep you warm.

  • Grey - ambient (no heating benefit, so you're essentially on your own)

  • Yellow - warm

  • Orange / red - hot

The Thermal Stone loses its durability as it moves back to Grey from being Orange. An easy way to recharge it on the move is to light a tree on fire and place your Thermal Stone on the ground next to it.

🗞 Strategy for Days 13-20

As you can see there is a lot of ground to cover in only 7 days. We've broken this down into three categories of jobs to be done. You can divide the jobs in whatever way suits you. We usually have one person who manages most of the camp related jobs and others who like to be out in battle, gathering and/or exploring.

  • Camp: Harvesting, planting, cooking, growing farms, crafting & building

  • Combat: Beefalo & spiders

  • Collect: Primary resources (see part 1), Vegetables, Seeds, Reeds, Beefalo Wool (if not fighting)

Camp jobs

Camp jobs can be done by anyone in and around camp. The jobs are:

  1. Build the structures: Lightning Rod, Ice box, Crock Pots, Drying Racks, Bird Trap, Bird Cage and Tent

  2. Scale your farms: Plant and fertilise your berry bushes, grass tufts, saplings and trees.

  3. Continuously harvest: Constantly check your rabbit traps, fill up drying racks and gather from all your crops.

  4. Cook!

Base at the start of day 21.

🫐 Camp job: Harvesting


When near your base, constantly be on the lookout for any of your rabbit traps that have sprung. Collect the rabbits, reset the traps and carry on. Fortunately rabbits appear in Winter so you can continue to harvest your rabbit traps even during Winter.

Crops: Always harvest your crops until dusk on Day 16

In the lead up to winter you should be harvesting crops as soon as they grow in order to maximise your yield. Once a berry bush, grass tuft, sapling or tree have grown to maturity there is no benefit to keeping it unharvested.

Why dusk on day 16?

During winter, crops will grow slowly or not at all. Aim to enter winter with all your resources fully grown. To do that make sure there’s enough time left in autumn before winter rolls around. Different resources have different growth periods:

  • Berries: 3-5 days (No winter growth)

  • Grass tufts: 3 days (Slow winter growth)

  • Saplings: 4 days (No winter growth)

Our recommendation is to simply stop all harvests by dusk on day 16.

🍲 Camp job: Cooking

Mmm, what’s that cooking in the crockpot? There is an overwhelming number of recipes you can cook in your Crock Pot. We've taken three of our favourites that will more than satisfy your hunger.


This will become your staple. It’s easy to make, and provides good hunger regeneration. You need any meat and three fillers except for twigs. Here are some common recipes:

  • 1 Morsel (E.g: Rabbit), 3 Berries

  • 1 Monster Meat, 3 Berries

  • 1 Morsel, 3 Ice

Meaty Stew

A real hunger killer. This will give you a whopping 150 hunger points which is sure to fill you up! To make Meaty Stew you need 3 units of Meat. Meat has different unit values depending on the type.

  • Pigs, Beefalo, Monster Meat all drop Meat which is 1 unit each.

  • Rabbits, Birds and Moles drop Morsels which are only 0.5 units of Meat.

Keep these values in mind if you want to produce a Meaty Stew.


This is a real super food which gives you the substantial healing power of 40hp. You do need a bird cage for this but it is well worth the investment. To make a Pierogi you need: one meat, one egg, one vegetable and a filler.

Combat Expeditions

Embarking on some combat missions is a great way to get some key resources you'll need. The following are a series of combat expeditions with an indicative difficulty and usefulness.

Spider Hunting

Difficulty: (2/5)
Usefulness: (5/5)

Silk is required for many very useful items and so the spider expedition is the top of our list. Here is a list of items we recommend and their Silk cost:

  • Bird Trap - 4x Silk (two traps total)

  • The Winter Hat - 4x Silk (two depending on if you go Beefalo hunting)

  • Tent - 6x Silk (one tent)

  • Top Hat - 6x Silk (one Top Hat)

  • Puffy Vest - 8x Silk (1-2 Top Hat's)

  • Bug Net - 2x Silk (1 Bug Net)

You get silk from:

  1. Killing Spiders (25% drop rate)

  2. Killing Spider Dens (6 for a large den, 4 for a medium den and 2 for a small den)

  3. Here is a list of items we recommend and their Silk cost:

Collect between 30-46 Silk in total (depending if you get Beefalo Hats and go Koalefant hunting in winter).

Generally speaking Spiders are the easiest Mob to kill as you can stun lock them. However Spider Warriors and swarms can be a little challenging so the difficulty rating reflects this.

Beefalo Hunting

Difficulty: (1/5)
Usefulness: (5/5)

If you're up for some battle, there are some great benefits to hunting Beefalo instead of shaving them. Killing a Beefalo can actually be easier than hunting spiders as it's easier to isolate one at a time.

When hunting Beefalo you must lure one away from the herd by feeding it. The easiest food to use is cut grass. If you don't lure it far enough away, the rest of the heard will charge, attack and likely overwhelm you (you should however be able to out run them if this happens).

Hunting one Beefalo gives you:

  • 4x Meat

  • 3x Wool

  • 1 Beefalo Horn (33% of the time)

Therefore for two players, if you want to build two Beefalo Hats on average you'll need to kill 6 Beefalo.

Do not kill the whole herd otherwise they won't reproduce. You only need to leave one and it can reproduce.

Beefalo kiting pattern

The kiting pattern for Beefalo is is easy to remember:

  • Hit 4-6 times, move back (so that it misses its attack), repeat.

Beefalo Hunting

Clockwork Hunting - Finding gears

Difficulty: (4/5)
Usefulness: (5/5)

At least one gear is essential to prepare for winter. Above all else, you will use this to build an Ice Box. With more people it is beneficial to build a second Ice Box and so a second gear will be required. Of all the resources to find, gears will be the hardest.

The most robust way to find a gear is to find a Clockwork Knight and to kill it. It can be difficult to isolate from other Mobs around them, particularly the Clockwork Bishop who has a ranged attack. The Clockwork Knight, as with most mobs, has a predictable kiting pattern where you can dodge its head butt and get some attacks in.

An easier approach is to simply tank the damage with your Log Suit, and Football Helmet, so that you can kill it as soon as possible with all your party members.

You can also find gears by Digging Graves however the drop rate is only 3% so your best bet is to kill a Clockwork.

🌾 Collect

The last piece of the puzzle is to continue collecting your primary resources. Ideally you will collect from areas that are far away from your base so that during Winter you'll have easier access to any resources you need.

Beefalo shaving at night

Beefalo Wool

If you can't bring yourself to laying a finger on the precious Beefalo, grab your torch, don some shears and head out to the Beefalo herd just before night. You can instead give them a hair cut while you gather all the beefalo wool you can.


Reeds are used to craft Papyrus which in turn is used to craft the Bird Cage. Collecting reeds can be very dangerous business. You will need to venture into the Marshes (Swamp) which is riddled with Tentacles that won't hesitate to deal crushing and often fatal blows.

Fortunately you only need to collect a minimum of 4 reeds. Obviously having some spare is handy too.

When adventuring in the swamps, its best to keep moving, so that if a Tentacle appears you will be out of range before it strikes. The best way to collect Reeds to walk past the Reed you intend to collect and then circle back to it. This is to make sure you don't start collecting a Reed in range of a Tentacle.

📋 Days 13-20 checklist

Tier one (strongly recommended)

  1. Lightning Rod and Ice box built

  2. Beefalo Hat or Winter Hat (or Rabbit Earmuffs) built for each player

  3. Thermal Stone built for each player

  4. Crock Pots, Drying Racks and farms all built

  5. Supply of Jerky, Meatballs and Meaty Stew in addition to ingredients (Berries, Vegetables, Meat)

Tier two (not strictly required to survive)

  1. Tent built

  2. Bird Traps & Bird Cage built

  3. Top Hat crafted

Let us know down below if you have any comments, suggestions or tales from your adventures. We'd love to hear any feedback! Good luck and Don't Starve Together!!