I hate to ask a stupid question, but, I just started playing Don't Starve this evening. I know the game saves every time a day passes, but when I die I have not seen any option for restoring that saved progress.

Why does the game save progress if you can't restore it? Is that just so you can quit the game and pick up close to where you left off?

  • You could also kill the program before it saves the fact you've died, but that's kinda cheaty
    – Pharap
    Jan 29, 2015 at 15:04

3 Answers 3


Don't Starve uses the permadeath system commonly seen in traditional rogue-likes such as nethack - when your character dies, the save is deleted automatically. Of course, there are ways to escape death...

Through the use of Life Giving Amulets, Touch Stones or Meat Effigies

... but otherwise death is permanent. The game saves every game day to make sure you don't lose your progress if the game crashes, and also to ensure you can't cheat by reverting to a previous save.

  • Thanks! And, thanks for using the spoiler! I'm trying to be good and not read ahead!
    – David M
    Jan 2, 2014 at 12:54

To explain further what Ice is saying, here is how to rollback to a given backup file:

First, you need to locate your saved files. Mines are in Program Files (x86)\Steam\userdata\31706488\219740\remote... but if you go in your steam folder, you can search for survival_1 file.

Survival_1 is your game in the first game slot, Survival_2 second slot and so on..
saveindex is where the game validates the Survival files when you try to load your game.

So, what needs to be done is to backup both saveindex and survival files. You can do it everyday.. once in a while.. whenever you want to be able to rollback to this point.

Whenever you die, you need to restore both files again. Be careful to backup all your files if you play multiple games at the same time.

Hope this helps!


There is a way to cheat "death." The save file is located in the Steam folder. It's kind of comlicated to explain how to find it, but you can google it by typing "don't starve save game location" in the Search bar and look for one that gives you the best answer. Once you find it you can copy it and change the name of the copied file to something the game won't recognize. For example: savegame1(copy).sav, the game will not see that file and will not delete it. Simple.

Although, you may need to copy the original file again since it auto-saves. I recommend doing that when you are finished playing or if you are worried that your character will die. Also, if you die your original file will be deleted as mentioned above. Just change the name of your copied file by deleting the (copy) part and your game will continue from that point. You will need to backup that file as well, as it will be deleted also if you die and you will be left with no save file. In short, you will need to keep copying the newest save file.

  • 1
    I actually use the standalone version, not Steam. But, there is another way to cheat death. As you start dying, but before the game can autosave, quit immediately. I think this may only work if you have a touch stone because it gives you a bit more time to react. As an aside, if you wish to gain rep here on the site, I would recommend that you google it for us, and post a small summary and a link to the information. People here tend to dislike the "google this" answer.
    – David M
    Feb 5, 2014 at 0:21
  • 1
    @Ice This actually doesn't answer the question although I agree it is useful information it should have just been a comment. Also just to reiterate what David M said 'google it' is not really enough when providing an answer, you should add the best information you have found into the body of text or you are likely to receive down votes.
    – Colin
    Feb 5, 2014 at 0:53
  • @Colin, his answer was more than adequate. He explained how the save system works, how to find and backup your save file so that you can replace it with a previous one as needed, and that google would provide plenty of information on how to do so. There used to be a mod that backed it up for you, but I don't believe exists anymore.
    – user70453
    Feb 27, 2014 at 20:41
  • 1
    Though this does offer some advice for how to save a copy of a game world, and how to restore a saved game to an earlier state (thus it is an answer to the question), I agree that 'just google it' isn't the best way to describe how to find the Steam Games folder. To improve the quality of the question, I suggest replacing that with a link that explains the process. Though this isn't the best answer, it does offer what the question was asking for.
    – Zibbobz
    Feb 27, 2014 at 21:10
  • This answer is fine. It provides all the information you need to backup and restore a saved game state. However, it doesn't go into the specific location of the save game files because then you have to get into steam vs. standalone installations and other variables. It is likely quite more useful to google for the various locations that the save files could reside and decide for yourself which one is correct based on your system's configuration. (Or even ask a separate question since it is a different topic.)
    – Mike D.
    May 23, 2014 at 3:40

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