Matt Bird writes all sorts of nonsense, but he dedicates a large chunk of his time to writing game walkthroughs.
A far-off howl. A comment from Wilson about a noise. And, in time, a terrible, vicious attack that may see your helpless survivor ripped limb from limb. This is the province of the Hound, and as far as Wilson goes, you'd best be prepared for their arrival. With time, they will always appear.
Hounds are large-jawed canines with great running spread and a definite appetite for human flesh. Once the game hits day seven, Wilson will begin to chatter to himself about something in the distance, and you'll hear growls from an unseen creature. This is the sign that Hounds are on their way, and they'll always come straight for Wilson, regardless of where he is. This will continue to happen every handful of days, and the number of Hounds deployed will slowly increase.
Hounds are an unavoidable aspect of Don't Starve. They must be killed one way or another.
Dealing with Hounds
The easiest, most straightforward way to finish off a Hound is simply to attack and kill it yourself. Construct a Log Suit and a Spear early on, and have both on your person when the warning signs of a Hound attack begin. After one or two such signs, equip your gear and wait. The Hounds will rush in sooner or later, and by holding down the spacebar, you can attack and finish them off before they get in too many bites. With both equipped, they won't be able to deal a lot of damage before they're killed.
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The other method for dealing with Hounds is to let something else kill them for you. You have a few different candidates for this duty:
- Pigs are your primary helpers against Hounds. Recruit two or three with meat offerings and they'll engage the Hounds on sight. Assist them with the kill and you'll be out of danger in no time. You can also employ Pig Villages for this purpose without the use of meat. As always, be wary of Pigs consuming any Monster Meat the Hounds will drop.
- Beefalo are another viable option for killing Hounds, assuming they're not currently in Heat. Wait inside a herd of Beefalo when there are warning signs and they'll surround and protect you once the Hounds appear.
- Bees are a fun way to kill Hounds, as some of them will invariably die in the melee as well. Double the items!
- You can similarly use other monsters (Tallbirds, Spiders, Tentacles, etc.) to kill off approaching Hounds. That said, you need to be careful not to be attacked by these same monsters in the process. Rush past the attack zone immediately as the Hounds get entangled with others problems.
- Along the indirect route, you can use Tooth Traps or Bee Mines to kill Hounds, preferably Bee Mines.
Hounds only drop two things: Monster Meat, never terribly useful, and Hound’s Teeth, which can be used for a variety of crafted items. Because Hounds are difficult to find when they’re not actively tracking you, you may have some trouble collecting Hound’s Teeth regularly. There are, of course, exceptions…
- Occasionally you’ll be attacked by Red Hounds. These creatures are weaker than their normal counterparts, but they will set Wilson on fire with their attacks – and they’ll explode when killed. This can cause widespread fires and burn down whole forests. If Red Hounds are after you, stay away from trees. They’ll drop Ashes and Red Gems upon defeat.
- During winter, Blue Hounds will appear instead of Red Hounds. They’re less dangerous, as they have no added special attacks. Be careful, though! Blue Hounds always accompany MacTusks, and though the Hounds aren’t that dangerous, their master is. Keep your distance until you know how to deal with MacTusk properly.
- In Adventure Mode, Hounds will spawn from Hound Mounds, similar to Spiders from Spider Dens. These Hounds will only pursue you a short distance from the Mound before retreating.
- Hounds will lose immediate interest in Wilson after their initial attack, assuming you manage to get away. Worm Holes are a great way to escape Hounds and throw them off your trail.
- The sounds Hounds make get louder and louder the closer they are. If you don’t normally play Don’t Starve with the audio on, you may want to turn it up temporarily to gauge the Hound’s distance to your camp.
- They may not sleep during the initial attack, but Hounds will slumber if you manage to escape. If you fear being killed by Hounds, escape their onslaught and wait until night to get in a surprise attack.