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Creating Custom World Generation Settings for Your Don't Starve Together Server

Last updated: 02/24/20
written by  Nodecraft Staff

If you want to change the default settings for world generation on your Don't Starve Together server, you will have to add a config file to your server which records what changes are to be made.

The file is called leveldataoverride.lua, and once created it must be placed in the Master folder for your server. If you are using caves, a separate config file can be made for it as well, and placed in the Caves folder.

This config file will allow you to set all kinds of things on the server, like:

  • Enabling special event content
  • The spawn levels of animals like rabbits, birds, beefalo, etc.
  • The spawn levels of resources like trees, bushes, boulders, ice glaciers, etc.
  • The length of seasons, days, nights, etc.
  • The starting season.
  • And a whole lot more!

Creating the leveldataoverride.lua File

The most accurate way to create the config file is to let the game itself do it!

If the game creates the config file, it will have all the most up to date settings, including any new settings for any of the special events that are frequently introduced into the game (The Gorge, The Forge, Return of Them, etc).

The only problem is that the leveldataoverride.lua file won't normally be found on a multiplayer server at all. There is no existing file that can be opened up and edited, and no way to easily see what settings are. While you can find examples of the file on the game's wiki and online in forums, they are usually severely out of date.

And as we mentioned above, they won't have any of the custom settings for any recently added special events (and if you don't even know what those special event settings are, there's no way to accurately add them). So the way to fix this is to start up a self-hosted game of Don't Starve Together on Steam, and use the GUI in the "host game" section to select what kind of world you want. Once all the settings are changed, the game will make the file for you, and it can be copied and moved to your online multiplayer server!

Getting started

Start the "Don't Starve Together" client on Steam. Once the title screen appears, click "Play!", and then choose "Host Game" on the left side of the screen, and you should see the following below:

A view of the world creation UI for hosting a new world in Don't Starve Together

There will be 5 Tabs across the top of the page; "Settings", "Forest", "Caves", "Mods (0), and "Rollback".

But, before you can change any settings on the game, you need to choose the play-style you want to have, by clicking one of the four choices "Social", "cooperative", "Competitive", and "Madness".

On the "Settings" tab, choose a slot on the far left for the new world, and then change all the settings for your new world, like the server's name, description, password, and other settings. You don't need to be too picky here, since you're only creating a game for the sole purpose of making this config file.

A view of creating a new server in Don't Starve Together

Click on the "forest" or "caves" tab, depending on which version of the leveldataoverride.lua file you want to create.

A view of the world generation settings for a new Don't Starve Together server

This page shows the settings for the "forest" (the basic world). Use the arrows to change each setting just the way you want it. If you have any questions about what a settings controls or does, the information in the online wiki for Don't Starve Together is accurate (just the examples of the config file they show are usually out of date).

When you're finished changing the settings for your world, click the "Generate World" button in the lower right corner. It will now create a new world, which may take a few minutes. Choose your character (any character, doesn't really matter since we only want to start a new game just make the config file) and then click "go!". Once your character appears in the game world, hit ESC and then "disconnect" from the server.

Return to the main menu of the game, and then look for the "data" button in the lower left corner. Click on it, and it will open a window which shows the game save files on your computer, which will look something like the image below:

A view of the data folder for Don't Starve Together newly created server

The Cluster_1 folder shown above is the newly created world! If you've made multiple worlds, each one will be in a different Cluster folder, like Cluster_1, Cluster_2, Cluster_3, and so on. Simply find and open the last one you created.

Open the cluster folder, and then open the Master or Caves folder inside. There you will see the leveldataoverride.lua file that you will need. Copy that file from your local computer, so that you can upload it to your online server!

Upload the leveldataoverride.lua to your Server

Open the control panel of your Nodecraft Don't Starve Together server, and navigate to the following folder:

/.klei/DoNotStarveTogether/MyDediServer

You should see the following:

A view of where to place the leveldataoverride.lua file in a newly created Don't Starve Together server

Open the Master or Caves folder, and place the `leveldataoverride.lua file you created into the folder.

If everything has been done right, when you start the server next time, it will create a whole new world, using the settings from the leveldataoverride.lua file you added to your server!

If you already created a world

The leveldataoverride.lua file is is only used when the game needs to make a whole new world, and the game won't create a new world if one already exists.

The presence of a save folder inside either Master or Caves is how the game tells that a world already exists. The save folder is loaded, and it won't look at or use the leveldataoverride.lua file at all. So you need to move or delete any save folders inside either Master or Caves first.

With the save folder gone, it triggers the game to make a new world, and that's when it will read in and use the leveldataoverride.lua file.

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