Rust: What To Know Before You Play

Rust is huge on Twitch right now, surpassing one million total viewers as a surprising kickoff for the new year. This popularity boost is doing a lot for the Rust community – which is quite vibrant, I might add – but it’s also doing a lot for the Rust servers. Namely, it’s filling Rust with newmans who don’t know the most basic of basics and are easy targets.

If you’re a newman coming to Rust for the first time – or if you’ve had Rust but never could get into it – this guide is for you.

System Requirements

The first thing that you should understand before buying Rust (if you haven’t yet bought it) is that the game bottlenecks most commonly in two places: hard drive speed and available RAM. If you don’t have a Solid-State Drive (SSD) to run Rust on, you might want to pick one up before downloading. It makes a huge difference in load times. Available RAM is the difference between the game running and the game chugging. Upgrading from 8 to 16 gigabytes of RAM gave me immediate, massive performance gains. Practically, 16 GB of RAM is the minimum for Rust.

You might be wondering about graphics cards, but the truth is that Rust is friendly to older GPUs. There is a plethora of options to turn down the Rust graphics and increase performance speeds (dubbed “potato mode” by Facepunch and the community). The game will look ugly with all of these options turned to minimum, though.

Game Settings

I’ve already mentioned graphics settings, but there are a few others that I want to mention.

Rust is a mature game, with caveman-esque nudity. Of course, not everyone wants to see that – especially not Youtube or Twitch. Rust has two options for censoring nudity: Pixelated and Underwear. If you plan on creating video content for Rust, use the Underwear censoring option. The Pixelated option has a history of still being counted as nudity on Youtube and Twitch. In a similar way, player-painted signs can also be a cause for grief. Player-painted sign content can be disabled in the same section as nudity in the options menu.

There’s also Streamer Mode, which changes your overhead name in Rust to prevent identifying streamers. If you’re livestreaming, this option should generally be turned on. Keep in mind that Streamer Mode won’t prevent your map from displaying your location – you’ll still have to get around that with an overlay of your own.

Understanding Wipes

Rust runs on a wipe system. This means that, at set times (according to each individual server), some or all game progress is reset. This isn’t a bad thing for a few reasons, but before we jump into those reasons, here’s what you need to know about wipes.

There are two kinds of wipes: map wipes and blueprint wipes. Map wipes are the most common. Many servers have weekly map wipes. In such a Rust server, the entire map is re-generated every week. All player progress on the map – bases, acquired gear, placed sleeping bags, etc. are destroyed. A new map is generated, and all players must start from scratch again, without anything but their learned blueprints (BPs).

That brings us to the second kind of wipe: blueprint wipes. BP wipes are less frequent and always coincide with a map wipe. In Rust, players learn how to craft new gear through BPs. This include new guns, better armors, ammo types, and just about everything else. These blueprints are persistent for a player on a server: you won’t lose them when you die; you won’t lose them in a map wipe. So long as you’re on the same server, you’ll be able to craft items that you learned from a blueprint.

A BP wipe erases all learned blueprints. Everything. Every gun you learned how to craft, every bit of armor, even the decoration items (oh the humanity!) must be re-learned.

Pay attention to a server’s wipe information! Servers will have this information in their descriptions or on their websites. Do not trust chat to tell you when a server wipes. Learn whether or not the server you’re joining is weekly BP and map wipes, or weekly map wipes but monthly BP wipes. Try and avoid joining a server only a few days before a map or BP reset (unless you want to start all over very soon).

Finally, keep in mind that sometimes Facepunch rolls out what is called a “forced wipe.” These are usually map wipes, but sometimes BP wipes, too. They happen on the first Thursday of the month, when a new rust update is pushed out. In emergency cases (such as Devblog 184) a forced wipe is released to fix game-breaking bugs. These types of wipes are rare, but effect all official servers (and sometimes require community servers to wipe, too).

Why are Wipes Good?

It sounds kind of annoying to lose all your gear, but it’s the great equalizer. Wipes are an essential part of Rust because they give all players a chance to start fresh. For example, if on one wipe your moderately sized base gets completely squashed by dirty offline-raiders then you probably won’t want to start over immediately after. Wait a few days for wipe, though, and you come back to a server where everyone is starting from nothing. Your chances of survival skyrocket, and maybe this time your base won’t get offline’d.

On the flip side, if you and your twelve-person-“totally-not-a-zerg”-clan are crushing everyone around you all wipe, you’ll find that players stop playing. Servers dry up from over-raiding, and become boring, with a few major clans living peacefully in their corners of the map. A map wipe resets this, and restocks the server population for a new chance to crush those puny solos.

Choosing a Server

There are LOADS of servers to choose from, so before you lock up with choice-paralysis, here’s a guide to some of the most popular server types. Besides the “Offical” tab in the Rust server list, the organization of servers is pretty, well, non-existent. I highly recommend using the “Search Servers” feature instead.

Official and Vanilla servers usually provide the vanilla Rust experience. The server is running the default Rust game, with variation only in map size, server population, and wipe cycle. Some servers have more people (300+) some servers are “low pop” (150 or fewer). Other servers are “barren” (lacking foliage and surface details – great for low-end PCs). Some servers enforce player-group rules, preventing groups larger than three (trios), two (duos), or even enforcing solos only. These are, generally, all considered “vanilla.”

Modded servers are any non-vanilla server, but the term is usually used for servers that are close to the vanilla experience. Many modded servers have reduced upkeep costs for tool cupboards, 2x or 3x gather rates, and many other server plugins. There are servers under this category that are insane (like 10,000x gather rate servers with instacrafting and revamped loot tables). Some have zombies. Some are PVE only. There even exists “creative” servers for testing base designs and circuitry.

You can usually find Roleplaying servers through their host websites. These are for general Rust roleplay, with many using custom-made maps and enforcing strict rules on how the game is to be played.

Combat Tag, Deathmatch, Battlefield, and Minigame servers all provide excellent practice with guns, vehicles, and other aspects of Rust gameplay. (If someone out there could bring back The Walls minigame, that’d be great.) There are also Battle Royal servers, which emulate vanilla Rust combat very well.

If you want the vanilla Rust experience but want to learn at a relaxed pace, I highly recommend scouting out an empty or near-empty server and playing on that. This way, you’ll have an opportunity to learn the game without going head-to-head with other players, who likely have hundreds of hours under their belt.

Engaging with the Community

The Rust community is great so long as you’re not in-game. Facepunch releases weekly Community Updates, as well as monthly devblogs, which are each great ways to keep in touch with the game and content creators. Besides loads of Discords for roleplaying servers or map-making, there’s also the official Rust subreddit, which perfectly mixes enjoyable content with incredible amounts of whining.

Rust content on Youtube exists in all sorts of manners. Some content is highly scripted or roleplaying videos. Some are general day-by-day highlights of a player. Raidcams were popular when Phaedo82 was still making content, but have died down since then. Basically, there’s content out there for anyone (including people who like watching “Best MLG plays compilation” and “RAIDING HIS BASE – 50 AKS?!!?!?!?!”).

Playing Alone and Playing With Friends

I’m not going to beat around the bush: playing Rust alone is much more difficult. As a solo player, you’ll usually have to play on the bottom of the food chain. It’s an unforgiving Rust experience that rarely ever has the excitement most people think of when it comes to Rust. You might think that playing as a solo means raiders won’t target you, but that’s not the case. Solos not only have a reputation for hoarding loads of loot, but small bases are considered an easy raid rather than a worthless one.

For this reason, I highly recommend you play with friends or finding a group/clan to play with. This will give you more protection, a chance to gather more materials, and make Rust a more fun experience in general.

Hopefully, with these tips under your belt, you’ll be ready to jump into Rust for the first time, or give it another try! Rust can be unforgiving, but it doesn’t have to be a blind run.

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