The Helpful Worm is an item designed as a mobile shield to block bullets from Enemies.
The Helpful Worm is an item that can be found within common locations, including choice enemy Camps, given by Spouses, and rarely as a reward from Seasonal Festivals. Upon being picked up, small Worm Pickups will always appear after tilling soil or breaking crust and will disappear if not picked up within ten seconds. Picking them up adds one segment to the Worm Follower. Each segment can block one bullet before being destroyed, however explosives from certain Enemies can destroy multiple segments at a time, providing an additional reason to be cautious around them. In addition, certain projectiles cannot be blocked, including the turnip skulls that appear in later years or Corpse-a-Copia's fist attack. The Worm Follower will continuously follow behind the player and occasionally drop a small amount of Fertilizer.
Unlike all other shield related items, with the exception of Gourds, the Helpful Worm serves as the only one that can transported outside of the Farm. This allows for it to be useful in most combat situations when raiding enemy Camps. In addition, the Helpful Worm is one of the few shield upgrade without a direct timer or instantaneous effect. Due to this, is is possible to build up the Worm Follower over time, improving the odds of it successfully shielding the player from attacks. This is aided by how the current length of the Worm Follower at the end of the night will transfer over to the next day. A slightly lesser advantage over other shield upgrades is the ability to produce Fertilizer, albeit the amount created can be very small. However, due to how the Worm Follower will constantly trail behind the player it can be difficult to control at greater lengths, which in turn could lead to it being destroyed very quickly. This is unlike Gourds, which orbit slowly around the player and are indestructible. Additionally, while on the Farm it can be difficult to gather the Worm Pickups while a tense situation is present, due how they are not collected or activated instantly like other shield upgrades. This makes the Helpful Worm unreliable and inefficient in bullet heavy situations while on the Farm, making other shield items more preferable.
- Prior to Doom and Bloom, the pickups from Helpful Worm would not disappear, allowing the player to pick them up whenever they desired.