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Most items will gradually decay in The Long Dark. Tools degrade when used, while food and clothing decays over time.

How fast items decay over time depends on the item and on the selected difficulty. Compared to Stalker difficulty, items only decay 80% as fast on Voyageur and 25% as fast on Pilgrim. On Interloper difficulty, on the other hand, all items decay twice as fast.

The decay values in the tables below are based on Stalker difficulty and are extracted from the game files.

Food and drink Edit

Food decays at different rates depending on whether it is stored outside or inside. Currently the game also considers sheltered locations without a loading screen, such as the Mountaineer's Hut, the Forestry Lookout or caves, to be outside. It also doesn't matter whether the items are stored in a container or not.

When eating food with low condition, the Food Poisoning effect may be applied. Eating meat from carnivores also adds a risk for intestinal parasites on Stalker and Interloper difficulties.

Name Decay inside (%/day) Decay outside (%/day) Best stored
Beef jerky   0.100   0.010 Outside
Black bear meat (cooked)   8.333   0.833 Outside
Black bear meat (raw) 25.000   2.500 Outside
Candy bar   0.250   0.025 Outside
Cat tail stalk   0.000   0.000 Any
Coho salmon (cooked) 12.500   1.250 Outside
Coho salmon (raw) 33.333   3.333 Outside
Condensed milk   1.000   0.250 Outside
Cup of coffee   0.000   0.000 Any
Cup of herbal tea   0.000   0.000 Any
Dog food   0.667   0.167 Outside
Energy bar   0.833   0.417 Outside
Granola bar   0.333   0.033 Outside
Lake whitefish (cooked) 12.500   1.250 Outside
Lake whitefish (raw) 33.333   3.333 Outside
Military-Grade MRE   0.056   0.028 Outside
Orange soda   0.167   0.833 Inside
Peanut butter   1.000   0.500 Outside
Pinnacle peaches   0.333   1.667 Inside
Pork and beans   0.133   0.667 Inside
Rabbit (cooked) 12.500   1.250 Outside
Rabbit (raw) 33.333   3.333 Outside
Rainbow trout (cooked) 12.500   1.250 Outside
Rainbow trout (raw) 33.333   3.333 Outside
Reishi tea   0.000   0.000 Any
Rose hip tea   0.000   0.000 Any
Salty crackers   0.000   0.000 Any
Smallmouth bass (cooked) 12.500   1.250 Outside
Smallmouth bass (raw) 33.333   3.333 Outside
Stacy's grape soda   0.167   0.833 Inside
Summit soda   0.167   0.833 Inside
Tin of sardines   0.067   0.333 Inside
Tomato soup   0.200   0.050 Outside
Venison (cooked) 10.000   1.000 Outside
Venison (raw) 20.000   2.000 Outside
Wolf meat (cooked) 10.000   1.000 Outside
Wolf meat (raw) 33.333   3.333 Outside
Water (potable)   0.000   0.000 Any

Quartering Edit

Name Decay inside (%/day) Decay outside (%/day) Best stored
Bear quarter 10.000 10.000 Any
Deer quarter 10.000 10.000 Any
Rabbit carcass 10.000 10.000 Any
Wolf quarter 10.000 10.000 Any

Clothing Edit

Clothing items have three different decay speeds: when stored (in- or outside), when worn inside and when worn outside. Clothes gradually offer less protection from the cold the more they decay. It thus important to keep one's clothes in good condition.

Clothes can also rapidly decay from blizzards, wolf attacks, and falling.

Hats and scarfs Edit

Name Decay when stored (%/day) Worn inside (%/day) Worn outside (%/day)
Balaclava 0.100 0.250 1.000
Baseball cap 0.333 0.833 3.333
Cotton scarf 0.133 0.333 1.333
Cotton toque 0.500 1.000 2.000
Fleece cowl 0.125 0.313 1.250
Long wool scarf 0.067 0.167 0.667
Wool scarf 0.100 0.250 1.000
Wool toque 0.133 0.333 1.333

Gloves Edit

Name Decay when stored (%/day) Worn inside (%/day) Worn outside (%/day)
Driving gloves 0.500 1.000 2.000
Fleece mittens 0.333 1.000 1.333
Gauntlets 0.125 0.375 0.500
Rabbitskin mitts 0.050 0.125 0.500
Ski gloves 0.167 0.333 0.667
Wool mittens 0.250 0.750 1.000
Work gloves 0.167 0.333 0.667

Shirts and sweaters Edit

Name Decay when stored (%/day) Worn inside (%/day) Worn outside (%/day)
Cowichan sweater 0.033 0.083 0.333
Dress shirt 0.333 1.000 1.333
Fisherman's sweater 0.040 0.100 0.400
Hoodie 0.100 0.250 1.000
Plaid shirt 0.250 0.750 1.000
Sweatshirt 0.250 0.750 1.000
Thick wool sweater 0.050 0.125 0.500
Thin wool sweater 0.067 0.167 0.667
T-Shirt 0.500 1.500 2.000
Wool shirt 0.167 0.500 0.667

Coats, vests and jackets Edit

Name Decay when stored (%/day) Worn inside (%/day) Worn outside (%/day)
Bearskin coat 0.133 0.033 0.133
Down vest 0.250 0.750 1.000
Expedition parka 0.063 0.188 0.250
Light shell 0.167 0.333 0.667
Mackinaw jacket 0.083 0.250 0.333
Mariner's pea coat 0.071 0.071 0.286
Military coat 0.071 0.214 0.286
Old fashioned parka 0.083 0.250 0.333
Simple parka 0.100 0.300 0.400
Ski jacket 0.067 0.167 0.667
Sport vest 0.333 0.667 1.333
Urban parka 0.200 0.600 0.800
Windbreaker 0.333 1.000 1.333
Wolfskin coat 0.020 0.050 0.200

Underwear Edit

Name Decay when stored (%/day) Worn inside (%/day) Worn outside (%/day)
Thermal underwear 0.200 0.500 2.000
Wool longjohns 0.100 0.250 1.000

Pants Edit

Name Decay when stored (%/day) Worn inside (%/day) Worn outside (%/day)
Cargo pants 0.067 0.167 0.667
Combat pants 0.067 0.167 0.667
Deerskin pants 0.029 0.071 0.286
Jeans 0.100 0.500 1.000
Snow pants 0.080 0.200 0.800
Work pants 0.050 0.250 0.500

Socks Edit

Name Decay when stored (%/day) Worn inside (%/day) Worn outside (%/day)
Climbing socks 0.100 0.250 1.000
Sports socks 0.625 1.875 2.500
Wool socks 0.133 0.333 1.333

Shoes and boots Edit

Name Decay when stored (%/day) Worn inside (%/day) Worn outside (%/day)
Combat boots 0.067 0.067 0.667
Deerskin boots 0.033 0.033 0.333
Insulated boots 0.125 0.250 0.500
Leather shoes 0.167 0.167 0.667
Mukluks 0.040 0.100 0.400
Running shoes 0.250 0.250 1.000
Ski boots 0.050 0.100 0.200
Trail boots 0.067 0.067 0.667
Work boots 0.050 0.125 0.500

Accessories Edit

Name Decay when stored (%/day) Worn inside (%/day) Worn outside (%/day)
Wool ear wrap 0.133 0.333 1.333

Medical supplies Edit

Only painkillers, antibiotics and water purification tablets decay over time. Fortunately, there are craftable alternatives (Reishi tea, Rose hip tea) that do not decay.

Storing these supplies inside does not alter the rate of decay.

Name Decay over time (%/day)
Antibiotics 0.100
Painkillers 0.100
Water purification tablets 0.200

Tools Edit

Most tools degrade only when they're used. Once their condition goes below a lower threshold, they have a chance to break when they're used.

Note that these decay values are not affected by the difficulty multiplier.

Name Decay per action (%) Breaking threshold (%)
Can opener   2.000 20
Distress pistol   4.000 10
Firestriker   2.000 10
Fishing tackle 10.000 20
Hacksaw   5.000 25
Hatchet   2.000 15
Heavy hammer   0.667 10
Hunting knife   2.000 15
Hunting rifle   1.333 10
Improvised hatchet   3.000 30
Improvised knife   3.000 30
Prybar   1.600 20
Quality tools   2.000 10
Rifle cleaning kit   5.000 20
Sewing kit   5.000 20
Simple tools   3.333 20
Survival bow   2.000 15
Whetstone   5.000 20

Special tools Edit

Name Crafting (%/hour) Harvesting animals (%/hour) Clearing ice fishing hole (%)
Fishing tackle 10.000
Hacksaw   1.000
Hatchet   1.000   1.000   5.000
Heavy hammer   0.667   1.333
Hunting knife   1.000   1.000   5.000
Improvised hatchet   1.500   1.500 10.000
Improvised knife   1.500   1.500   8.000
Prybar   1.600
Quality tools   1.000
Sewing kit   5.000
Simple tools   1.667

Arrows Edit

Arrows only degrade when they're used. The amount of decay depends on the angle with which the arrow impacts and on the hardness of the object it hits.

Arrows can break on impact when their condition sinks below 20%. If an animal is hit and the arrow breaks, it will not be embedded in the animal and instead just drop to the floor.

Bedrolls Edit

Bedrolls both decay over time and when used.

Name Decay over time (%/day) Decay when used (%/hour of sleep)
Bedroll 0.200 0.100
Bear skin bedroll 0.274 0.068

Materials Edit

Hides and guts stop decaying once they've cured completely. All other materials not mentioned here don't decay.

Name Decay over time (%/day)
Black bear hide 3.333
Deer hide 3.333
Flare shell 0.067
Gut 5.000
Herbal tea 0.067
Rabbit pelt 6.667
Tin of coffee 0.100
Wolf pelt 5.000

Last updated for version 0.393

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