[Top 10] Don't Starve Best Characters (Ranked)

Don't Starve Characters (Ranked)
Which character will you put your trust in?

Don’t Starve - the immersive survival/horror experience in which starving really is the least of your concerns.

Now, while this isn’t strictly the case, it is important to establish early on that there are many, many other things also out to kill you – not least your ever depleting hunger metre.

Fortunately, the game provides you with a plethora of playable characters - known affectionately as survivors – who each tackle the challenges thrown at them by the Constant in slightly different ways. Because of this, some prove to be a little more capable at surviving than others. Each character possesses their own unique arsenal of skills and drawbacks, which can make the decision of who to opt for an additional challenge in itself.

To give you the best shot at survival, I have taken the liberty of short-listing the ten best playable characters, and then ranking them in order of their capability. For this list, I have compiled all the unlockable characters currently available in the solo edition of Don’t Starve (retrospectively referred to as Don’t Starve Alone) and its three subsequent DLC’s (Reign of Giants, Shipwrecked and Hamlet). This therefore disqualifies the characters who are exclusive to Don’t Starve Together, such as Winona and Wortox.


10. Webber, The Indigestible 

Webber excells at hiding in plain sight.

  • 175 Hunger

  • 175 Health

  • 100 Sanity

  • Is a monster.

  • Can befriend spiders.

  • Grows a silky smooth beard.

Coming in at number ten is the adorable Webber, a happy-go-lucky human child who miraculously fused with a spider that once tried to eat him. As such, his outward appearance is that of a humanoid arachnid - which should be a sight terrifying to behold and yet somehow just isn’t.

In the world of the Constant, however, how one looks directly correlates to how they are received, and Webber’s strange appearance proves to be both his greatest strength and his greatest weakness.

Spiders, who are arguably the games most prevalent foe, react neutrally to Webber and will only attack him if they are provoked. As literally every other character is met with a considerably more hostile reception, this can really take the pressure off for players who might be struggling. And better still, Webber is able to actually befriend these spiders, thus allowing for the potential to amass a spider army.

This is just as well, as the poor boy’s spidery appearance means that many other mobs who would usually be neutral to the player, such as Pigmen and Catcoons, will mistake him for an enemy and attack him on sight. This can pose a unique challenge for Webber players, as co-operation with these creatures can often be the key to surviving some of the Constant’s harsher elements. 

To make up for this, the part of Webber which is a monster allows him to safely digest monster meat, a common food source which is generally considered toxic to your typical survivor. Like Wilson, Webber is also capable of growing a pretty neat beard, which helps to protect him from the cold. Unlike Wilson, however, Webber’s beard is made up of silk, a far less valuable resource than the surprisingly precious beard hair.

In short, you should choose Webber if…

  • You are struggling to kill mobs and you want to get a head start.
  •  You want an easy and reliable food source from the get go.
  • You need a bit of extra help making it through the winter.

9. Wolfgang, The Strongman

This strongman isn't afraid to get stuck in to some fighting.


  • 300 Hunger

  • 150 – 300 Health

  • 200 Sanity

  • Gets stronger with a full belly.

  • Is afraid of the dark and monsters.

Ever heard of the phrase “the lights are on but nobody's home”? Wolfgang hasn’t. But, then again, Wolfgang hasn’t heard of much. This loveable giant is the antithesis of brains-over-brawn; a self-proclaimed strongman with thick skin and an even thicker skull.

In many respects, Wolfgang is the most straightforward character the game provides (arguably, even more so than Wilson). When his hunger metre is nearly full, he becomes an even stronger version of himself - with significantly greater damage outputs and health. However, when his hunger metre starts running low, the exact opposite occurs. These two states are known respectively as ‘mighty’ and ‘wimpy’.

And that’s it. It really is just as simple as that.

Naturally, this reliance on maintaining a full belly can mean that food is somewhat more of a commodity for Wolfgang– but in a game that revolves almost entirely around keeping yourself fed this shouldn’t provide too much of an additional challenge.

Wolfgang’s sheer base strength makes fighting mobs a breeze, which is arguably where some of the most fun can be had with the game. Who can honestly say they don’t want to while away an afternoon smacking giant spiders with a homemade spear? Better still, most mobs will drop something edible upon death, meaning you can continue the cycle of eating and punching to carry on punching and eating.

In a cruel twist of irony, however, Wolfgang’s tough guy persona is fuelled by bravado, as he is afraid of the same monsters he excels in fighting. As such, players will need to keep a slightly closer eye on his sanity.

In short, you should choose Wolfgang if…

  • You have a very battle-centric playstyle.
  • You are struggling to take on some of the slightly more difficult enemies encountered in the mid to late game.
  • You don’t want to plan or prepare your actions much in advance.


8. Wilbur, The Monkey King 
More than just a cute little monkey, Wilbur is quite adept when it comes to surviving.

  • 175 Hunger

  • 125 Health

  • 150 Sanity 

  • Can’t talk.

  • Slow as biped, fast as quadruped.

  • Is a monkey.

Next up we have Wilbur, a semi-intelligent primate who styles himself as King of the apes. And who are we to dispute such a claim – he wears a crown, after all! As Wilbur hails from the sunny isles of the Shipwrecked DLC, you could be forgiven for thinking that his skill sets do not provide him many benefits outside of it. This could not be further from the truth however, as the base game is where this simeon really starts to shine.

Wilbur’s main and most obvious ability is his agility. As a monkey, his is quite adept at transversing the terrain of the Constant on all four limbs - receiving a thirty-three percent movement increase whenever he does. While it is true that he moves around slightly slower than average when he stands upright, the positives of this speed buff more than outweigh the downsides.

Not only is the ability to move around faster liberating to play, but it also allows for simplified exploration and much greater leniency in regard to setting up a base. Gone are the days of fretting over where to station yourself; Wilbur can shoot about from place of interest to place of interest with ease.

As well as this, the monkey king produces his own manure, which can in turn be used to fertilise crops more efficiently. This makes him an excellent farmer. Wilbur’s only real downside is also quite a manageable one; what he lacks in linguistic skills, he more than makes up for in his speed and efficiency.

In short, you should choose Wilbur if…

  • You want to crack on and get things done – quickly.
  • You like the idea of growing most of your food.
  • You don’t mind missing out on vocal cues.


7. Wendy, The Bereaved

Playing as Wendy is a great excuse to sit back and let somebody else do all of the hard work!

  • 150 Hunger

  • 150 Health

  • 200 Sanity

  • Haunted by her twin sister.

  • Comfortable with darkness.

  • Doesn’t hit very hard.

Playing as Wendy gives the player control of an eerie Victorian child who is haunted by her own dead sister. Not many games can boast of that, but Don’t Starve is one of them. Tragic backstory aside, Wendy is a wonderfully versatile character for all walks of the ability spectrum. If you can stomach her gloomy persona and slightly morbid outlook on the world, then she can make surviving the horrors of the Constant feel like a breeze.

Actually, Wendy’s main benefit is her sister, Abigail, who manifests as a ghostly apparition that watches over her twin. In short, this means that any mobs that try and attack Wendy will have to make it through Abigail first. And what Wendy lacks herself in damage and strength, Abigail’s spirit more than makes up for.

With Abigail taking a lot of the pressure off, Wendy is left with far more time to undertake other activities which necessitate survival, such as farming, base building, and cooking.

Not only this, but since Wendy is no stranger to death and the macabre, it takes quite a lot to frighten her. As such, things like the darkness and hostile monsters drain significantly less of her sanity. While it can be harrowing to witness a child displaying such nonchalance to the terrors lurking in the Constant, it certainly makes for more interesting play.

In short, you should choose Wendy if…

  • You prefer a passive style of play.
  • You struggle to manage your sanity.
  • You can handle a sombre atmosphere.


6. Wormwood, The Lonesome

Is he a plant or is he a boy? The answer is that he is a little something of both...

  • 150 Hunger

  • 150 Health

  • 200 Sanity

  • Plants relate to him.

  • Has a green thumb.

  • Food fills his stomach, but not his heart.

If you’ve ever dreamt of going through life as an anthropomorphic plant, then Wormwood could be the character for you. Though this might be something of a niche desire for most people, it doesn’t stop this botanical boy from excelling when it comes to surviving the harsh landscapes found in the Constant.

Due to his affinity with nature, Wormwood is able to grow crops wherever and whenever he pleases. This gives him a huge amount of freedom when it comes to growing his own food and means that he can enjoy something of a more nomadic lifestyle. On top of this, he shares a strange sort of kinship with said greenery, and thus he gains sanity for everything that he plants; from seeds to bushes to pinecones.

On the flipside of this, Wormwood also loses sanity whenever he chops down a tree, picks a flower or damages the natural environment in any sort of way. While this can seem daunting for newer players, it actually only poses a minor inconvenience as it is incredibly straightforward to counterbalance. Need to cut something down? Not a problem - just plant something new in its place.

Wormwood also heals himself with manure instead of the more typical foodstuffs (he is a plant, after all). This isn’t really a positive or a negative about him, just a difference. However, you could argue that it is actually something of a blessing in disguise as manure is readily available and much more easily renewable than most foods.

In short, you should choose Wormwood if…

  • You are happy living in harmony with your environment.
  • You want almost complete control over your sanity levels.
  • You don’t mind spending a little more time gathering manure.


5. WX-78, The Soulless Automaton

The best thing about playing as a robot is the ability to upgrade your stats.

  • 100-400 Health

  • 100-200 Hunger

  • 100-300 Sanity

  • Not a picky eater.

  • Charged by lightning, damaged by water.

  • Can upgrade with gears.

Up next, we have everybody’s favourite misanthropic robot: the perpetually miserable WX-78. Though they are technically just a sentient assortment of bolts and screws, that doesn’t stop them from being just as capable as the next man, woman, or machine.

In fact, it is WX-78’s own upgradable hardware that gives them a slight edge over those of organic matter. By consuming gears – a resource which is scattered fairly liberally across the game world – their maximum health, hunger and sanity levels will all slightly increase. While WX-78 starts off with objectively pretty weak stats, the more they play the more they will begin to improve.

This isn’t the only benefit WX-78 gains from being a robot. As they lack the typical digestive systems found in their human counterparts, WX-78 is also able to consume stale and spoiled foods without incurring a penalty. This proves to be incredibly useful when it comes to keeping and storing food over longer periods of time.

Players of WX-78 will have to remember to watch out for thunderstorms too, as a well-timed bolt of lightning will restore your health and cause you to glow powerfully enough to see in the dark. Just keep an eye on precipitation levels, however, as prolonged moisture can seriously damage their systems.

In short, you should choose WX-78 if…

  • You have the patience to play the long game, so as to fully reap their benefits.
  • You struggle to stockpile your food supplies.
  • You need a bit of extra leeway with darkness.


4. Wagstaff, The Cryptic Founder

This plucky scientist is the epitome of turning their greatest weakness into their greatest strength. 

  • 150 Health

  • 225 Hunger

  • 150 Sanity

  • A great inventor.

  • Nearsighted.

  • Delicate stomach.

Wagstaff is a very skilled character with a range of useful items and abilities - but with one glaringly obvious downside which typically scares most players off. In reality, however, this downside is not as difficult to manage as it might seem, leaving you plenty of time and resources to reap his rewards.  If you can overcome this downside, Wagstaff is arguably one the most powerful characters the game has to offer.

An ageing inventor, Wagstaff suffers from an unfortunate case of near-sightedness. This means that unless he has his signature spectacles equipped, the screen will appear fuzzy and incomprehensible. Thankfully, he spawns into the game with a pair of these glasses already built, and the resources required to build more are really not that difficult to obtain.

Wagstaff can also use his scientific knowledge to tinker around with these glasses, providing you with some cool, unique gear. Whether you want a night-vision mode, protective head armour or even the ability to shoot fireballs out of them, Wagstaff can upgrade his goggles in a number of different ways. He can also whip up some other exclusive inventions, such as a particularly handy teleportation device to help get you out of trouble.

Due to his delicate stomach, he does take a very minor health penalty from eating food uncooked – but really, due to the ease of cooking over an open fire, there is little excuse for you to be eating raw food anyway. This therefore poses no additional challenge for even the most novice of players.

In short, you should choose Wagstaff if…

  • You want access to some nifty and unique items.
  • You think his bespectacled benefits are worthwhile.
  • You don’t mind having an extra factor to consider.


3. Wigfrid, The Performance Artist

Always battle ready, Wigfrid is an mob killing machine.

  • 200 Health

  • 120 Hunger

  • 120 Sanity

  • Excels in battle.

  • Gains power from attacking.

  • Only eats meat.

Taking home the bronze medal is Wigfrid, a highly committed (if a little intense) method actor. Fortunately, her arrival in the Constant coincided with a role playing a Viking warrior, and as such she goes through the entire game without ever breaking character. If that doesn’t spell dedication, then I don’t know what does.

Wigfrid spawns in the world with authentic Viking armour and weaponry already in her inventory – which presumably was ‘liberated’ from the theatre’s props department. This means she has a significant head start when it comes to combat.

If this wasn’t already enough of a boost, she also gains a small amount of health and sanity whenever she sends another foe to Valhalla. Ever the performance artist; this makes Wigfrid’s playstyle very rewarding, as combat is not only heavily subsidised but also actively encouraged.

This is just as well, as her commitment to the role means that she refuses to adhere to an omnivorous diet, exclusively consuming meat products instead. While this can pose a bit of an additional challenge during the early stages of game, it quickly becomes apparent that some of the best cookable meals in the game are meat-based, such as meatballs and pierogis. This renders her only real downside as one which is pretty easy to manage.

In short, you should choose Wigfrid if…

  • You absolutely love fighting mobs.
  • You don’t want to worry so much about health and healing.
  • You want access to some cool, exclusive battle gear.


2. Wilson, The Gentleman Scientist

 It would be difficult to talk about Don't Starves best characters without mentioning Wilson.

  • 150 Health

  • 150 Hunger

  • 200 Sanity

  • Grows a magnificent beard.

It's often all too easy for players to overlook the usefulness of Wilson – what with him being the default character and all. But playing as this inquisitive scientist is more than merely experiencing the game as it was intended to be experienced. Wilson has several character specific traits that make him an excellent choice for newer players and veterans alike – not least for his liberal usage of wordplay and puns.

Wilsons main advantage is that he has no real disadvantage. This may not sound quite as exciting as for other characters, but think of it this way: every character has at least one fatal drawback that limits them from being unstoppable. Everyone except Wilson. This alone is enough to elevate his status to the elite tier.

On top of this, Wilson’s actual advantage is more than just cosmetic. While growing a big, bushy beard is a fun little touch that documents the passage of time nicely, it also insulates him significantly against the bitter chill of the wintertime. This makes surviving in the Constant’s harshest season much more straightforward.

Once winter comes to an end, Wilson can also shave off his beard, leaving him with a larger stack of beard hair than he knows what to do with. As beard hair is a surprisingly important resource that can be quite difficult to come by, this makes his facial hair growth all the more special.

In short, you should choose Wilson if…

  • You want to make winters easier for yourself.
  • You can’t be bothered coping with pesky downsides.
  • You want an infinite source of beard hair.


1. Woodie, The Lumberjack

When it comes to surviving the horrors of the constant, Woodie and his axe reign supreme.

  • 150 Health

  • 150 Hunger

  • 200 Sanity

  • Has a lovely axe.

  • And a terrible secret.

  • Is thankful for bountiful harvests.

Swooping in to the number one top spot is the kind-hearted Canadian lumberjack, Woodie. Due to his rather odd unique ability, there is no better character when it comes to gathering resources. As this is arguably the most important factor in guaranteeing your survival, struggling players need look no further than Woodie.

Woodie is accompanied to the Constant by his very own sentient axe, known as Lucy. Together, Woodie and Lucy make an unstoppable duo when it comes to procuring wood, as they can chop down trees at double the speed and in half the swings. Wood is an essential resource that can be a little cumbersome to acquire when playing as other characters, so this ability should definitely not be overlooked.

The real reason that Woodie is the greatest when it comes to surviving is not down to his axe, however, but his so-called terrible secret. Once a full moon (or if he gets too overzealous in chopping down trees), he will transform into an entity known as the Were-beaver, meaning he will become temporarily stronger, completely immune to darkness and able to mine all types of resources at a truly phenomenal speed. Although he is unable to collect these resources when in were-beaver form, there is nothing stopping him from retracing his steps and grabbing them when he becomes human again.

Were-beaver transformations do take it out of the poor guy though, and upon reverting back Woodie is left with low health, hunger, and sanity. While this may sound a little daunting, it is actually pretty easy for players to prepare for this in advance and stockpile the appropriate items for recovery – providing they don’t forget to keep an eye on the lunar cycle.

In short, you should choose Woodie if…

  • You want a basically unlimited supply of wood and other core items.
  • You relish the opportunity to use your powers for productive means.
  • You’re happy planning your playstyle around your transformations.

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Hailing from a leafy metropolis know colloquially as London, Jacob gains XP from micro-brewed produce and a health buff from wearing full vintage. He holds a personal vendetta against all urban foxes.
Gamer Since: 2003
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Yet another play-through of 'The Simpsons: Hit & Run' on his elderly PlayStation 2 (whilst waiting patiently for a next-gen port).
Top 3 Favorite Games:Don't Starve, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Dragonborn, The Sims 4