Sanity is a new necessity added since the Alpha 9 update. It measures your psychological levels and how close or far you are to starting to see hallucinations or lose control of your character. It can last quite a long time, at maximum without any skill for it, you can have up to two days (48 hours) of complete sanity. As time goes on, however, your sanity levels will slowly wear away. As your sanity draws near the halfpoint mark, you will become "Disturbed," which your person starts seeing things that are not true, such as your followers declaring you an enemy, an NPC murdering someone, and more. As time passes on you will cross the half line, losing all your sanity completely. You will see these hallucinations described in Disturbed, as well as spontaneously losing control of your character at times. Because of this, it is not required to have your sanity always up, but it is strongly recommended so that you keep control of yourself and not get into trouble.
To recover your sanity, you need to gather entertainment items or "yellow" pills, which are similar in effect to the green and blue pills. You may also form a bond with a follower in order to gain sanity.
Items:Books - An entertainment item with good value of sanity gain. After each usage the chance of getting "bored" of the book will increase. Once you are bored of it, you cannot use that book again to raise sanity. Books are not stackable.
Magazines - An entertainment item with low value of insanity gain. This is used once and then discarded. These are stackable, though, unlike books, and are more common. It is recommended you get a book as backup though, so if you do run out of magazines you'll still have a book.
Sanity Pills - Similar in effect to the blue (sleep) and green (stamina) pills, these yellow pills increase your sanity levels by a little each time. The stack is the same as the other pills (20), and the effect's potency can be also increased by the Medic skill.
Another way to gain sanity is to "Bond" with a follower. This requires getting up to 1,400 trust points or more with the follower. Once this is achieved, you will form a bond, and whenever you are near that person you will both gain sanity. This is a great incentive to get a follower since it boosts up sanity greatly. However there is a risk to this. If that follower dies, your sanity will take a hit because of the loss of a friend. It is advised to keep these bonded people close.
Ways to lose sanity are:
- butchering a corpse. - eating a corpse (living cannibalism is worse). - eating someone alive. - zombification and corpse rising. - death of follower/leader with whom the living had a bond (see below)
Thus, it is recommended to get at least one follower and a book to keep your sanity high.