Charlie Don't Starve Guide

Charlie Don’t Starve Guide: The Terror Lurking in the Dark

Don’t Starve is a survival game that puts an isometric spin on the genre. From a top-dqown view, you will fight for survival as you collect resources and build tools to keep your character sane and defend them from the Shadow Creatures and monsters that inhabit the Constant, the Don’t Starve world.

You will encounter many horrible shadowy creatures the deeper your Don’t Starve character falls into madness. Charlie is one such shadow monster that stands above the rest. She is elusive and rarely seen, only manifesting when you are engulfed in complete darkness. 

Charlie is one of the main threats in Don’t Starve and Don’t Starve: Together, she cannot be attacked, being an immortal being. Making her a constant threat, stalking you through your entire playthrough.

While she is extremely dangerous and, with one swipe, inflicts some severe damage leaving you to panic in-game and out of the game. She cannot attack you in the light of daytime, making her appearance preventable. Let’s begin our Charlie Don’t Starve Guide by looking at some avoiding Charlie tips.

Avoiding Charlie Tips

Charlie Don't Starve

  • Be sure that you always have an available light source in your inventory. As you don’t want to be caught off guard when night falls. This can be very dangerous as you will only have a short amount of time to light your surroundings before Charlie attacks.
  • If you are a beginner, Don’t Starve and struggle to keep your characters in the light and sane. I recommend choosing Willow. As Willow can start fires when stressed and is equipped with a unique lighter with an infinite fuel source.
  • Wendy is an excellent pick for fighting off Charlie as Wendy has a 25% resistance to sanity drain from darkness and auras. It makes her a great choice if you struggle to keep your character’s mental health in check. Furthermore, the glow from the ghost of Abigail emits enough light to prevent Charlie from spawning.
  • Winona is a great character to play for avoiding Charlie as one of her special abilities allows her to dodge an attack from Charlie. Winona is only playable in Don’t Starve Together.
  • You can prevent Charlie by standing in the vicinity of fireflies. However, coming into close contact with them will despawn them, walking away gives you enough time for them to spawn back to dodge Charlie’s attacks. Note that the surrounding darkness will significantly drain your sanity.
  • While Woodie is in his Werebeaver form, he cannot be attacked by Charlie.
  • Interestingly Charlie will not appear while a full moon is present, allowing you a free night to explore.
  • Wagstaff is a character that is capable of creating unique inventions such as Infrogoggles, a type of goggles that allow him to see in the dark and avoid attacks from Charlie.

Don’t Starve: Charlie Mechanics Explained

Don't Starve: Charlie Mechanics Explained

Charlie also referred to as the Darkness, is an ever-present being that watches the players move. Lying in wake to attack any player foolish enough to leave their character’s light extinguished.

While she typically cannot be seen, she can be heard, and a player that leaves their character in darkness will shortly hear a noise resembling that of a cat hissing before swiping the player. Note that when Charlie attacks, you will already be taking significant sanity damage for being in complete darkness and take an extra twenty points of damage to their sanity. 

Therefore if you manage to survive an attack from Charlie, you will need to restore your health and sanity as soon as possible. However, restoring sanity at night can be tricky due to the sanity drain that will be inflicted on your character for being surrounded by darkness. Therefore you will need to build a fire or light source big enough to push back the surrounding darkness.

However, be aware that although you may be safe from Charlie’s attacks, you will probably be suffering severely from low sanity, and consequently, you may be attacked by Shadow Creatures. However, this isn’t the end. If you can defeat a Shadow Creature, you will restore a portion of your sanity. By raising your sanity, Shadow Creatures won’t be able to manifest themselves in the world physically. 

Don’t Starve: Shipwrecked

Don't Starve: Shipwrecked

Players are still vulnerable to Charlie when in complete darkness on the open water. This can be dangerous if you are far from shore and don’t have enough fuel to keep your vicinity lit.

Therefore you should always make sure you have enough fuel in your inventory for your journey out to sea. However, if you do find yourself out in the open sea low on resources find a bouy as these floating objects will emit enough light to prevent Charlie’s attacks.

There are other sources of light that can be found at sea such as Bioluminescence. These beings act just like fireflies and gather in the ocean. However, they do not disappear when you get close to them you can also catch them with a net giving you a portable source of light.

Rainbow Jellyfish are another mob that spawns in the ocean that emits light. They can be caught and are often eaten by other creatures. They will glow inside the belly of the creature that ate them although this is not a great source of light.

The Shipwrecked DLC is a challenging experience however, there are many natural light sources that can help you avoid Charlie. Periodically a volcano will erupt and release a barrage of lava and Dragoon Eggs. Lava is another source of light that will protect you from Charlie however, be careful of the rising temperature that your character will gain for standing close by.

Don’t Starve Together: Charlie Explained

It’s made clear in Don’t Starve that Maxwell is the main antagonist from his initial dialogue at the beginning of each playthrough. He can also be seen in the epilogue of adventure mode, a slave trapped sitting upon the Nightmare Throne.

For those who don’t know, after you defeat Maxwell, the Nightmare Throne replaces Maxwell with your character. An unnerving climax to your Don’t Starve story. Or so you would believe, the story continues with Don’t Starve Together. However, this time you must work together with a friend to defeat a new ruler of the Nightmare Throne. 

The “A New Reign” cinematic for Don’t Starve Together picks up from where Don’t Starve left, showing Wilson being tormented by the Nightmare Throne. When all hope is lost, Wilson is approached by Charlie, Maxwell’s assistant.

Want to know more about Maxwell? Here’s our complete Maxwell Guide.

As she draws near, she sees Wilson’s predicament; however, approaching the Nightmare Throne, she is corrupted and begins to transform into a monster. Banishing Wilson back to the constant Charlie can be seen transforming back and forth between her true self and her monster form. 

In her monster form, Charlie corrupts everything she lays her eyes on. With a wicked smile, Charlie sits upon the Nightmare Throne, and the cycle continues once again. However, this time you won’t be alone, as Wilson and the other Constant survivors band together To-Get-Her, her being Charlie. 

Don’t Starve Character Connections

Who is Charlie, how did she get to the Constant, and what is her relation to the other survivors? The story of Don’t Starve is told through brief intermittent events in-game and through short lines of dialogue. The story is fairly ambiguous, with most of its key points shown in short cinematics on the Klei Entertainment website and YouTube channel. 

From these cinematics, as well as the Compendium featured in Don’t Starve Together, we learn that Charlie is, in actual fact, Maxwell’s stage assistant for his magic act. She was pulled into the Constant along with Maxwell when he irresponsibly miss used shadow magic from the Codex Umbra, an ancient and dark book that Maxwell discovered on his travels. 

Charlie unknowingly worked alongside shadow creatures and other dark material that bridged out from the Constant from the Codex Umbra. Until Maxwell lost control and both were pulled into the realm. There are only little hints to Charlie in the original Don’t Starve. However, we learn from Don’t Starve Together that Charlie is, in fact, Winona’s sister. 

Maxwell and Winona 

Maxwell and Winona 

Maxwell is the alias of William Carter magician from London who dreams of nothing more than becoming the greatest magician in the world. With barely a pence to his name, Maxwell traveled to America in search of something greater.

While traveling to San Francisco, his train crashed, and he was left stranded in the desert. With nothing but his determination, he walked through the desert hell-bent on surviving and accomplishing his dream. Along the way, he would discover an ancient book called the Codex Umbra, a unique starting item for Maxwell in Don’t Starve Together. The book acts as a bridge from the mortal realm to the Constant realm, the origin of all shadow creatures. 

Equipped with the Codex Umbra, William Carter begins a new magic act with Maxwell as his new name. Maxwell would employ the services of Charlie to be his stage assistant. Both would be praised for their amazing magical act. However, Maxwell foolishly used the Codex Umbra, unknown of the dangers lurking within the pages. 

Don’t Starve: Next of Kin 

Winona is a playable character in DST and is Charlie’s older sister. It was revealed in the “Next of Kin” animated short that Winona has been trying to locate Charlie for some time. With suspicions of Maxwell’s act after receiving a letter, Winona’s leads finally led her and Wagstaff to the discovery of the Constant. One day while working on the portal, it came alive.

Wagstaff would be swept into the portal before Winona could save him. As Winona stared into the portal, she saw Charlie in her human form. With excitement to see her sister, she grabbed hold of her to try and pull her out of the Constant. Only for Charlie to transform into her monstrous form and pull Winona into the Constant instead.

It was revealed in a letter from Charlie sent to Winona that she enjoyed working with Maxwell as she had learned a lot about showmanship. The letter implies that Charlie had no idea that the Shadow Creatures were real and thought they were a trick that Maxwell created.

Night Hands or Charlie’s Hands

If your character is somewhat traumatized, there is a good chance that Night Hands may appear. Watch out for these creeping terrors as if they manage to reach your fire. It’s lights out. I recommend that you either walk on them to make them retract, or you create another fire or light source. 

Many believe that the Night Hands that appear at night to extinguish your fires are actually Charlie’s hands in the Don’t Starve community. I believe this theory as all other Shadow Creatures are seen in full and resemble monsters and animals.

However, Night Hands are never fully shown on screen, only the hand and long stretching arms. It makes you wonder what these skinny and grotesque arms are connected to. 

Because Charlie is never seen and the Night Hands are never fully seen, it could be speculated that the two are the same entity. In my opinion, Charlie’s attack sound effect sounds like a swiping sound, while this may be a stretch. However, in the “A New Reign” cinematic, Charlie is shown spreading evil with her new powers and picking Wilson up with her monstrously longhand.


Question: Can you Beat Charlie in Don’t Starve Together?

Answer: Unlike Don’t Starve, DST has no adventure mode and is purely a co-op survival mode. Therefore you cannot beat the game and defeat Charlie. I believe that Klei Entertainment will conclude the story with a new Don’t Starve game rather than a DST update.

The DST story creates a great scenario for a co-op survival game. The games have developed into a series that has many subtle peeks into the Don’t Starve lore. These hints, along with animated shorts showcasing significant story beats, shift the game to a more grandiose scale, and the actions you and your fellow survivors make feel more impactful.

Question: Why do all Don’t Starve Characters start with the Letter W?

Answer: If you have unlocked all the Don’t Starve playable characters, you may have noticed that they begin with the letter W. All apart from Maxwell that is, however, Maxwell’s true name is William. Therefore the W could represent good, and the M could represent evil. As William Carter was corrupted by the Cortex Umbra and turned evil while sitting on the Nightmare Throne. Charlie opposes this theory as the new ruler of the Nightmare Throne in the current DST timeline.

Although some believe in the Don’t Starve community that she represents Chaos. Klei Entertainment is known to hide small but key details within the game. For example, the Don’t Starve Together title broken down reads To-Get-Her, her referencing Charlie.

Question: How Many Players Per World in Don’t Starve Together?

Answer: DST supports up to six players per a world and can be either friends or strangers. You can set up a private world allowing only your friends to join. Unfortunately, DST does not support crossplay between different gaming platforms.

Question: How Many Bosses are in Don’t Starve Together?

Answer: There are a total of seven bosses to challenge you and your friends in DST. Defeating any of the following bosses Deerclops, Crab King, Dragonfly, Toadstool, Ancient Guardian, Celestial Champion, and Ancient Fuelweaver will reward your team with a sizeable share of the loot.


In conclusion, Charlie is the danger lurking in the dark, the entity that will kill you if you linger in darkness for too long. However, as scary and pivotal, she is the main antagonist of DST. She is easily avoidable by simply staying in range of a light source.

Characters such as Winona, Wendy, and especially Willow will make surviving Charlie a lot easier. However, you can prevent a confrontation with Charlie by carefully planning your strategy for nightfall by doing a quick inventory check that you have enough fuel and fire to get you through the night.

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