Desert is a map where players could fight each other on completely flat terrain. Item Pedestals, rocks, and yetis were scattered across the map. This was the original wilds.io map. This map looks like the 1v1 and 3v3 maps but bigger.
Desert was the old main game mode before Ruins came along, and also the first game mode of all. Desert was later removed, as almost nobody played on the map, due to Ruins being a lot more popular. During the 5/30/2017 update, the desert mode was added back, in favor of Melee. This new desert map remains mostly the same as the old desert map, with the exception that it is not possible to bring a ranged weapon onto this map. This game mode has Teams. When you become the player with the most bones in this map you will become the king of the map, and you will get a crown. Your clones will also get a crown, only if they were created after you become king. If they were created before you become king the clones do not get a crown
In the new wilds with the addition of the ruins, there was a backlash against Rezoner for taking away desert. Due to this there was actually an FFA desert map added that was later taken away. Then desert and ruins were combined.