Don't Starve: Survival Guide
In the beginning of Don't Starve you're thrown onto a large island without so much as a beach ball to keep you company. No tutorial, no manual just you and your wits vs all the creepy and horrific things the developers at Klei Entertainment could conjure up. So here's a starting guide to help you survive...
Game Mechanic's: Understanding them so they won't kill you
While Don't Starve is a discovery and exploration game if you spend most of your time exploring, you will starve. The longer you survive the harder the game gets, introducing new aspects of the game every few (ingame) weeks.
Here's how you want to space out exploring: at first explore a bunch to find the perfect base-camp area, afterwords spend some time building up your camp, and once you have a nice little nest egg then you get to do more exploring. Also while you are searching for the perfect base-camp, this is the perfect time to pickup materials necessary to start building your camp.
Another mechanic of the game is sanity. Some things make you feel sane while other make you crazy. The crazier you get the harder the game gets. For instance daylight, building new items, and sleep increase sanity while spending time in the dark, going through wormholes or using magic causes you to lose sanity. Your sanity levels are measured by the icon that looks a brain; a full brain means your sane while a shriveled up raisin represents insanity.
Naughtiness, here's a mechanic you probably missed upon your first look at the game. Meat provides some of the easiest and most filling sources of food, but killing innocent animals awards naughtiness points which eventually summon a boss mob called Krampus, which breaks into chest stealing items before disappearing. Every 60 seconds of restraining yourself decreases you naughtiness points by 1. At around 30 points Krampus starts appearing. Naughtiness points are not a visibly measured mechanic.
Green grassland has the most abundant sources of food, Savannah is nice for rabbits and beefalo. The perfect location is a combination of both biomes. For best results pick a place close to rabbit holes, allowing you to regularly check for captured meat.
Sometimes the perfect spot isn't the easiest to find. So instead look for spots with easy renewable food sources. You can always bring in berry bushes to help supplement your food, so don't pick a spot based on berry bushes. Think meat. Rabbits, Frogs and Fish are going to be your best bet. Ponds allow you to fish and (green ponds) spawn frogs; based on the location of the pond depends on what spawns from it. Don't put your home too close to a pond, frogs are aggressive and they steal items.
Beefalo. Not only are they walking fur coats of beefy goodness and can act as guardians with the right items but their poop is valuable as well. Wanting to replant berry bushes but nothing grows? Add fertilizer. You can make things grow faster and as a last resort use it for fuel for the fire.
Near roads will allow for faster travel across the map.
Don't spend more then a day or two exploring for your base camp. If you have to spend the night outside remember to build a torch or campire before dark.
You've discovered the location, now what?
Hopefully you heeded the advice at the end of the last tip. The longer you spend looking for the perfect spot the less time you have to prepare for what's coming. What is coming? A frozen winter where food is scarce and the cold can literally kill you, killer hounds which spawn every 3-10 days and eventual insanity (if you're not careful). A basic setup of multiple sources of food and a light source are necessary before exploring the map.
At your base-camp you're going to want to have a reliable source of light. The easiest and more reliable source is the fire pit. It will burn various items to provide you light, warmth and the ability to cook meat while safely containing the fire within the reusable ring of rocks.
Multiple Food Sources
You're going to want to make sure that multiple food sources are available to you.
-Rabbits are a reliable source of renewable food and can be saved indefinitely in a chest.
-Berry Bushes can be dug up with a shovel and replanted (make sure to fertilize them)
-Farm Plots allow you to grow various greens
The above three food sources are easy to produce and renewable. Other food sources are available and should be taken advantage of should the occasion arise.
Also a Crock Pot should be one of the first things you create. Crock pot recipes last longer then normal food and usually provide more of a benefit.
A drying rack is also good for saving meat.
Here's a bit of advice that you'd probably not expect to read in a guide...expect to die some. In Sandbox mode Winter typically comes at 20 days, make sure you have stores of food, a base and warm clothing. If you think you've mastered surviving try finding Maxwell's Portal, which will take you to Adventure Mode where you'll be set against a brand newly generated world five different times. Each world gets progressively harder with one of the last worlds consisting of a permanent night cycle. The goal of adventure mode is simple, survive long enough to discover all the "Things (objects)" to escape the world. Dying in Adventure mode will set the player back to Maxwell's portal with the option to start Adventure mode again.