Don’t Knock It Till You’ve Tried It: Don’t Starve Together

FUN FACT: it’s quite difficult for two or more people to starve in close proximity, because inevitably one will begin to eat the other. With that cheeriness in mind, I’m here to tell you that sign-ups are now open for the closed beta of top-down survive-’em-up Don’t Starve‘s to-be-free multiplayer component. You don’t even need to own Don’t Starve to apply, as those accepted will be given a limited version of the client that only allows for multiplayer. All you need to do is fill in this form and hope fate smiles upon you.

There’s a FAQ on the process available here, including why they’re asking for so much info and how the selection process will work:

For the most part, beta applications will be chosen at random, although we will also be hand selecting various players who we feel would be of great help to the early testing process.

The information in the application is going to be used so that we have a better sense of your interests in Don’t Starve. Mainly this helps us get a sense of your preferences. Most of the application is purely optional.

The application will be used for no other purpose than DST beta . If you are selected, you will receive information regarding your acceptance. Otherwise, your email address will not be used for any other purpose.

The original announcement of multiplayer put the launch date before the end of next week and this is likely the final step Klei need to take to get it ready.

Other questions, like “why are you making a multiplayer mode when you said you didn’t want to?” were answered in the announcement post for the project. It’s still going to be on the smaller side, just 2-4 players rather than the large server communities of the big survival sims. They’re also still working out some specifics, like whether they can get the game’s expansion, Reign of Giants, to work in multiplayer.

Klei are also working on procedurally-generated tactical stealth game Invisible, Inc., which Alec enjoyed rather a lot in its current Early Access form. He dug Don’t Starve too.


  1. InfamousPotato says:

    Wonderful! I’m looking forward to not starving with a few of my siblings and/or friends. I also like how you get to be a ghost instead of permadeath. I think permanent death works for singleplayer, but the ghost option sounds like a much better fit when playing with friends (haunting seems almost more enjoyable than surviving).

  2. eggy toast says:

    This is pretty cool, but if you don’t already own the base game then honestly you have made some mistakes and ought to correct them.

    • Dare_Wreck says:

      I have the base game but, after playing it a couple times, never really clicked with the tedious and repetitive aspects of the collecting and crafting that you had to redo each time you died.

      • ersetzen says:

        There is a normal plus mode which basically skips the first couple days of collecting. You spawn with four chests with stuff and in a ring of spiders so you can start quickly, I think.

        Edit: It was default plus:

        At the start of the game, it spawns you with food and many useful items to quickly establish a base. However, resources around the map are scarcer and monsters are more numerous. Boons are also more common than in Default.

        • Dare_Wreck says:

          Hmm, interesting. I had no idea that option existed – I usually just hit Start and went with the default options and never explored the ways you can tweak the world when you start a new game. I like the idea of starting with more loot, though not so much the idea of starting in a harsher world.

          Still, I’d think in the beginning of playing the game that you should start with the default options in order to get used to the game mechanics as the developer intended them to be before you begin to tweak them. It kind of feels like cheating to me, in some kind of weird way.

          In any case, the fact that I bounced off Don’t Starve pretty quickly isn’t really enticing me back to playing it again. I have way too many other games that I really do want to get to one of these days, that putting more time into a game that didn’t quite work for me for the first time around doesn’t seem terribly appealing.

  3. bosseye says:

    I played Don’t Starve for a good while and whilst I enjoyed it, ultimately I found it to be too much hard work. Too frantic, too much running around, too much planning ahead, too much plate juggling. I’m far too lazy for it, it stressed me right out squire. Plus I survived for like 17 days and was getting a bit cocky and was then killed by a Walrus thing when winter rolled in as I thought he was friendly. I was freezing to death anyway as I was eating my rabbits as oppose to making them into hats never realising the weather would change and I might need a hat to stop myself freezing. Never felt the urge to go back.

    • Shimoistalri says:

      So you stopped playing because you yourself screwed up, then proceeded to blame the game. Huh, okay.

      • Dare_Wreck says:

        How did he screw up? He didn’t know that winter was a thing in the game. Heck, I didn’t know that either (of course, I never got very far into it). The game requires quite a bit of work to get back to where you were after you die, and you pretty much have to have a wiki handy to figure things out as you go, a trait that appeals to some people but not others. I think I’d be done with the game at that point too.

        • hotmaildidntwork says:

          It’s an understandable response. The game has a strong flavor of roguelike to it in that the “proper” way to play it involves dying repeatedly and learning a bit each time. Once your knowledge of the world and the crafting system is sufficient you can be manufacturing your own respawn points, operating out of fortified camps, and slaying the mightiest of enemies with just the intelligent application of a few items. The road to that point is long though. Getting there is satisfying but you could be forgiven if you can’t spare the time for the journey.

          • Dare_Wreck says:

            Touché – that’s an excellent point. That also makes me realize why I never got along well with the game. With Rogue-likes such as the Binding of Isaac, Spelunky, FTL, and Tower of Guns, I can get back into the action really quickly. But with Don’t Starve, it takes ages to get everything going again, and so I couldn’t get past the feeling like it was a chore every time I started over.

          • Yglorba says:

            The problem is that a well-designed roguelike is going to put many interesting choices and lots of content early on in the game, since that’s the part you replay the most. (For example, letting you choose your class and race in Dungeon Crawl.)

            Don’t Starve doesn’t do that. Its early game is filled with repetitive grinding, which is exactly identical every time you play.

          • whorhay says:

            It’s always funny to me that people find the beginning of a new game as tedious and repetitive. I find the early game to be the most fun because honestly once I get my base established in earnest most of the challenge of the game is done with. For me it is fun to run around the map like crazy trying to explore as much as possible while gathering enough of the right resources to get my base going quickly once I find a prime spot for it.

        • SavageTech says:

          I agree, Dare_Wreck, the lengthy and tedious startup period can really sap the fun right out of the game. I started using a combination of mods and console commands (cheats) to give myself all the basic resources right at the start. That way the start of each game became a fun search for a good base location, and then I could get immediately into exploring the more interesting content rather than hoarding more dried grass than a hay factory.

          • Quiffle says:

            …doesn’t that make the game even more tedious? The point of these supposed roguelikes is that every start becomes an entirely new experience from which you’ll have to adapt and adjust your strategy. Having everything from the get-go sounds like an incredibly boring way to play.

            For me it’s about the journey from barely scraping by to being essentially self sufficient. After I’ve reached that point, then there’s little else to do and it’s time to start anew.

  4. Kaiyuna says:

    I understand the closed beta, but I’m a bit disappointing in the fact that people who never purchased Don’t Starve can sign up for closed beta. I had purchased this game before its official release, and it kind of puts me down to see that those who haven’t played the game have a chance to play multiplayer. It takes up slots for those who have been devoted to the game and who have played for a long time. I am excited that this game mode came out, but a bit disheartened that those who bought the game could be pushed out of beta by people who don’t even own the game.