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The Long Dark Wiki
A dead wolf.

Wolves are a dangerous ever-present factor in sandbox mode. In the current game, wolves wander alone or near another wolf; there are no true "packs." They can spawn in
buildings, but this is very rare. A wolf will attack your character if you wander too close.

A wolf eating from a fresh kill.

Behavior and Detection

Wolves usually roam a pre-determined "territory", changing it from time to time. While inside his "territory", the wolf will wander randomly and hunt down any other animal that he detects. They usually kill deer and feed on the carcass, leaving behind a small amount of meat, the hide and guts behind. Nearby wolves may be heard howling and growling, they only bark when chasing the player, so watch out. Wolves appear to defend their "territory" and food sources against bears, but most of the time the end up severely injured and die from bleeding.

Wolves detect the player the same way they detect their hunt:

  • Direct Line of Sight: If the weather is good, with no snowstorms, a wolf can detect the player if he enters his direct line of sight. In that case, the wolf will start to bark and chase the player.
  • Noise: If the wolf has no sight of the player, but is close enough to hear him walking/running, he will start to howl and search for the player. As soon as he gets direct line of sight or smell the player, he will bark and move for the attack.
  • Smell: The player can try to avoid being detected by the wolf by hiding himself and moving quietly, but he can detect you by smell. If the wind is blowing the scent of the player in the direction of the wolf, you will probably be detected.

Avoiding and Defending a Wolf Attack

As soon as the Wolf detects the player, he will charge for the attack. If available, you can defend yourself with a Torch by waving it at the wolf, which might scare him if you are at full health. A player that is suffering from any affliction, overcumbered, tired, hypothermic, hungry or dehydrated will probably not be able to scare the wolf, and will be attacked. Flares will scare wolves if thrown at them. Flares will also temporarily keep a Wolf from closely approaching if the player is holding a Flare, but after a short amount of time, the Wolf will charge. The player can also run from the wolf and try to outrun him, or find shelter inside a building or a car. Also, if you have a Hunting Rifle, you can try to aim in the middle of the wolf head a deliver a headshot, which will kill him instantly. Missing the shot will not stop the attack; hitting any other part of his body will make him flee injured and bleeding, causing him to slowly die from bleeding.

The player being attacked by a wolf.

If you are attacked by a wolf quickly tap the left mouse button to hit him consecutive times and fill the bar that appears on the bottom of the screen. The bar shows the amount of damage necessary to fend off an attacking wolf. Speed is essential to prevent too many injuries. The longer you take to fend his attack, more damage you will receive:

  • Sprained Wrist and/or Sprained Ankles: The player can't wield any weapons until healed (2 hours rest or apply bandages) and/or can't run and has movement speed decreased (4 hours rest or apply bandages)
  • Clothing Damage: The wolf has caused damage to the clothing you are wearing
  • Bleeding: The wolf bite caused you to bleed. If not treated, the player can die from bleeding out and/or have an infection. The initial chance of infection is 56% for a non treated wound and 26% for a wound treated with bandages and no antiseptic.
  • Death: will only occur if the wolf is not fended off. If the player is healthy enough prior to the attack, they may pass out and regain consciousness a few minutes later to see the wolf moving away. However, the wolf is quick to turn around and attack again.

The players death will always be the last thing to happen, but all other afflictions can happen in any order, any number of times, during the wolf attack

If the player has a weapon such as the Hunting Knife or a Hatchet, defend yourself against the attack will be much easier, for they give you a damage bonus against the wolf. Also, the wolf will flee injured after the attack, and will probably die from bleeding.

It's been observed that in Pilgrim difficulty, wolves may initially face the player and bark, as if to charge, and may even move towards the player. However, within a certain distance, wolves will instantly turn around and retreat, much like if a Flare was thrown, a Torch was brandished, or the player fought the wolf off during an attack.

Harvesting a Dead Wolf

Like any corpse, the wolf will begin to freeze if let too much time exposed to the environment. If it freezes enough, a hunting knife or hatchet will be required to collect loot. Wolves can provide:

The pelt can be used to craft the Wolfskin Coat after left to dry indoors for seven days. Four Cured Wolf Pelts are needed to make to coat, along with four Cured Guts.

An image of a Wolfskin Coat, showcasing the temperature and windchill protections it provides at 82% upkeep.


  • Before Update v.256 "Deep Forest" fending off wolves was much more complicated, as you had to build up strength for your attacks pressing the left mouse button and then attacking pressing the right mouse button. Being attacked by a wolf was, most of times, game over.
  • Before Update wolves were skinnier and had a full black pelt. Although having a dark grey pelt now, the color of the items Fresh Wolf Pelt and Cured Wolf Pelt still reproduce his older color.