Don’t Starve Together – How to Make a Shadow Manipulator

Sometimes building a shadow manipulator can be hard, especially for new or less experienced players, that haven’t made one before.
In this guide I will list the many ways of getting the resources to craft a shadow manipulator, and the prestihatitato, and why you should make a shadow manipulator.

Other Don’t Starve Together Guides:

What is a Shadow Manipulator?

The shadow manipulator is a structure located in the magic tab, which unlocks the second tier of the magic tab, just like science machine unlocks tier 1 science tab, and alchemy engine unlocks tier 2. To make one, you need:

  • 1 purple gem.
  • 3 living logs.
  • 7 nightmare fuel.

It is found in the magic tab, and requires prestihatitator to prototype.
For those who do not know, the magic tab is the one with picture of a red skull.

Why Should I Make a Shadow Manipulator?

The shadow manipulator unlocks a lot of useful recipes:

  • The darksword, the weapon that deals 68 damage, the second-highest damage dealt by a melee weapon. It drains your sanity by 20/min. And has 100 uses. recipe: 1 living log and 5 nightmare fuel. 
  • The night armor, a body-slot armor which drains your sanity by 10/min. Absorbs 95% of damage dealt to you, and can absorb a total of 525 health points. Whenever you get hit while wearing this, you loose sanity equal to 10% of the damage dealt. The recipe is 3 papyrus (12 cut reeds) and 5 nightmare fuel. 
  • Bat bat, a melee weapon that deals 42,5 damage each hit, and leeches 6.8 health (you gain 6.8 health each time you hit an enemy), and loose 3.4 sanity, unless you have full health. It has 75 uses. Recipe: 5 batilisk wings, 2 living logs and 1 purple gem. 
  • Belt of hunger, a body-slot item which slows your hunger drain by 40%, and gives 2 sanity a minute. it lasts 8 days before breaking, and a sewing kit repairs 5 days of use, which equals to 63%. It is very useful for wolfgang. Crafting it requires 6 slurper pelts, 2 rope (6 grass) and 2 nightmare fuel. slurpers are found in ruins, and do not respawn, so there’s a limited number of them in your world. 
  • Nightmare amulet costs 6 gold, 4 nightmare fuel and 2 purple gems. it makes you instantly insane when wearing it, but removing it makes you get your sanity back. unlike normal insanity, more nightmare creatures spawn that usual. it lasts 3 minutes and 12 seconds before breaking. 
  • The telelocator staff is a staff that has 5 uses. when you use it on a mob (or yourself), a lightning strikes it, and teleports it to a random place on the map, and it should begin to rain. you also loose 50 sanity. recipe: 4 nightmare fuel, 2 living logs and 2 purple gems. 
  • The telelocator focus is a structure that requires 8 gold, 4 living logs and 4 nightmare fuel. after placing it, you need 3 purple gems to place in its sockets. after you’ve done that, you can now use a telelocator staff, and instead of a random teleport, the target is teleported to the focus. the 3 gems is consumed, making this very costly. 
  • The fire staff has 20 uses, and sets the target on fire. its recipe is: 1 red gem, 1 spear and 2 nightmare fuel (it dont matter how much durabbility the spear has, the staff will always get 100% when crafted). whenever it is used, you loose 1 sanity. 

The Prestihatitator

First you need a prestihatitator, which requires:

  • 4 rabbits.
  • 4 boards.
  • A top hat (durabbility dont matter).

You find it in the magic tab, and you need a science machine to craft the prestihatitator. After you have built the prestihatitator, you now have acces to tier 1 magic recipes.
When you make your shadow manipulator, you can hammer down the prestihatitator to get 2 boards, 2 rabbits and a 100% top hat.

Getting the Nightmare Fuel

To craft a shadow manipulator you need 7 nightmare fuel. to get this there’s many methods:

  • Go insane and kill shadow creatures. this is the most common way, and probably the easiest. 
  • Pick evil flowers, and refine it into nightmare fuel. 4 dark petals = 1 nightmare fuel. however, to get so many evil flowers without an evil flower farm can be very time consuming, combined with the fact that dark petals spoil, this isnt a good option. dark petals can also be found in tumbleweeds. 
  • Going down into ruins and killing splumonkeys during nightmare phase. probably the most dangerous way of getting the fuel. 
  • Going down into ruins and killing the nightmares that spawn during nightmare phase, or just waiting for it to end. 
  • Killing poison birchnuts. chopping birchnut trees can cause poison birchnuts to spawn, just like evergreens spawn treeguards. this is probably the hardest way to get nightmare fuel, due to the drop rate not being 100%, and the fact that poison birchnuts are dangerous, and dont spawn that often during the early days 

The easiest way is to go insane and killing shadow creatures, however crafting it with dark petals is also an option of you cant survive an encounter with the insanity. note that when you pick evil flowers, you loose 5 sanity.

Getting the Living Logs

The living logs can be hard to get, and it can take long time spawning treeguards. Here’s a list of how to get living logs:

  • Killing treeguards yield 6 living logs, and you need 3 to make the manipulator. however killing treeguards can be hard, and drains your sanity fast. it can also take a while to spawn them. the easiest way of spawning them is to plant many trees together, and chopping them when all is grown up. pigs can help you both chop trees and fight the treeguard 
  • Killing poison birchnuts is pretty much the same as killing treeguards, and the spawning is the same, except with birchnut trees instead of evergreens. poison birchnuts can be hard to kill, and need to be chopped instead of being killed. they yield 1-2 living logs, and 1 more if you dig the stump. so you might need to kill 2 poison birchnuts to get enough living logs. 
  • Chopping totally normal trees. totally normal trees is found in evergreen forests. cutting it down gives 2 living logs, and digging its stump gives an additional, meaning its enough to build the manipulator. it can be chopped in 20 swings, 10 with lucy the axe (woodies infinite axe), and is far the safest method of getting living logs. 

The easiest, most reliable and safest way is to find totally normal trees, as they always generate in your world.

Getting the Purple Gem

The purple gem can be hard to get, and in my experience, the last item to get. You can either find it, or craft it.

A list of how to get a purple gem:

  • A clockwork bishops can be killed to get a purple gem. you can find them in clockwork set pieces, or repair a bishop statue and mine it during a full moon. 
  • Very rare to find in tumbleweed, but it is possible 
  • A lot of ways to find it in the ruins, however it is dangerous. i wont list these, as ruins isnt something newer players travel to, and this guide is mostly for newer players. 

To craft them, you need 1 red gem, 1 blue gem and is crafted at a prestihatitator in the refine tab.

  • Red and blue gems can be fond by digging up graves. 
  • Red and blue gems have a low drop rate from tumbleweeds. 
  • Red and blue gems can drop from fire hounds and ice hounds. (red from fire, blue from ice).
  • Both can be found in ruins.
  • Red and blue gems can drop from the “sky” during earthquakes in caves. 

The easiest way is probably to dig up all graves, but each dig drains your sanity by 10, which means you have to be prepared to fight shadow creatures if digging up many. Ghosts can also spawn when digging up graves. A maxwell can make a shadow digger, and let it dig up graves, which dont drain sanity, and cant spawn ghosts, increasing your chances of getting gems.

Volodymyr Azimoff
About Volodymyr Azimoff 13531 Articles
I love games and I live games. Video games are my passion, my hobby and my job. My experience with games started back in 1994 with the Metal Mutant game on ZX Spectrum computer. And since then, I’ve been playing on anything from consoles, to mobile devices. My first official job in the game industry started back in 2005, and I'm still doing what I love to do.

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