Staying alive in Rust can be a challenge even for a veteran player, but for a noob it’s a nightmare, which is why I have created the 2021 Rust survival guide to ensure no noob suffers again (Or at least as much).
How to Survive in Rust:
- Pick the right server
- Avoid people until you are ready to fight
- Stock up on food (Including human meat)
- Make basic tools as quick as possible
- Stay hidden from everyone & everything
- Keep several well hidden stashes
- Bone clubs are cheap & offer good protection from other players
- Choose a base location & Build a tool cupboard
- Place buildings with the hard side outwards
- Remember to pay upkeep to stop decay
- Build a door airlock to stop players walking in
- Get to know the area around your base well
- Build traps and remember where they are
- Attempt to make friends with your neighbours
- Research as many items as you can
- Choose the right weapon & ammo
- Hidden sleeping bags around your base
- Drink water to heal yourself
- Learn where monuments are
- Farm junk piles out at sea
- Hit the sweet spot to gather quicker
- Never stand still
1. Pick the right server
Picking the right sever should be an obvious one, but it still needs to be said. Make sure that the server is in the right location for you, choosing one that is hosted the other side of the planet is going to cause you serious lag issues.
Depending on who you play with can also impact the server you should choose, some restrict to smaller groups or even solo.
Picking a smaller community server or even running your own server might be the best option, joining a small community server means less players while you learn and admins to keep cheaters in check.
If you decide to run your own server, then you are in complete control of everything and will not have issues with cheaters, although you might loose some game time dealing with them.
Using the link below and the discount code: UNBOXEDREVIEWS you can get a 7 day free trial and 20% off your first month on a Rust server
2. Avoid people until you are ready to fight
Whoever said “people are basically good” clearly never played rust, most people will kill you on site for the smallest bit of loot, if you don’t have any loot then they will just kill and eat you instead.
I know number 2 on this list is a contradiction to number 14, but your neighbours are an exception, just make sure you don’t have toxic ones before setting down roots.
3. Stock up on food
If you come across any barrels, you’ll like find some ration boxes. You’ll discover food, water, and sometimes metal fragments. Not only that, once you’ve consumed a tin of food you can save the tin and smelt it down to make metal fragments.
Food crates can be found near radtowns, offering mid-game loot as well as food.
But the easiest way to get food when you are first starting out is to pick mushrooms and eat them and look for dead bodies to cook and eat.
If you do manage to find a dead player, just make sure that there is no one else nearby as PVP could have just happened, resulting in the body your about to eat, yummy!
It’s also worth noting that human meat does make you thirsty, so stock make sure you can get to a water source.
4. Make basic tools as quick as possible
You’ll want to start making basic tools once you get going. You can make tools such as a hammer for just 100 wood, a stone hatchet will cost 200 wood and 100 stones and a stone pickaxe will cost 200 wood and 100 stones.
Start by picking up your first rock and bashing it against a tree to get wood. The first stone is free, after which it will cost you 10 stone.
Once you have the basics, farming will become much quicker, meaning you can start to advance at a quicker rate, allowing you some time to get safely established on your server.
5. Stay hidden from everyone & everything
Rust isn’t a playground for starter players. Everything and everyone will likely attack you, so it’s best to stay hidden from busy areas.
Whilst trying to establish a starting base recently some random stumbled across my base, thankfully it was night so I could see him coming.
Once I knew he had spotted my campfire, I simply crouched down and slowly stepped back into the bushes, watching as he shouted out “Is anyone there” and frantically looked for me.
No matter who innocent or friendly they sound, even if they seem unarmed, at this point, there is no point engaging.
If you can make some basic tools and start forming a reasonably secure base to store your loot in, then you can confront people and other things. Until then, stay hidden.
6. Keep several well hidden stashes
It’s inevitable that if you have a base someone will come and raid it. If this happens, you’ll want access to several well hidden stashes so you’re not down to absolutely zero.
It can also come in pretty handy if you are out and about and require some extra resources during a fight or just to help you with some scavenging.
Just make sure that you can remember where your stashes are and that other people won’t be likely to find them.
7. Bone clubs are cheap & offer good protection from other players
A bone club requires just 20 bones to craft. Bone clubs can deal 26 head damage, 11 chest damage, 8 arms damage, and 5 legs damage. They are a good way to protect yourself from other players during the start of your Rust adventure.
While other people might suggest other weapons to defend yourself, bone clubs are generally the cheapest and easiest option, offering a decent amount of DPS.
8. Choose a base location & Build a tool cupboard
As well as picking up some tools, choosing a base location should be the next main priority on your list. Make sure you find a suitable base location by exploring the area, but don’t stray too far as you don’t want to bump into anyone.
You’ll need to build a tool cupboard which costs 1000 wood in order to protect and secure your base. It stops players from being able to place or upgrade structures in the area of your cupboard.
9. Place buildings with the hard side outwards
If you’ve ever played survival games like Ark, you may be familiar with the soft side/hard side feature of building parts.
If you place the soft side of a wall facing outwards, essentially where other players can attack from, it makes it much easier for them to take down your buildings.
10. Remember to pay upkeep to stop decay
When you choose your base location, you will need to put down a tool cupboard as mentioned above.
But you will also need to make regular maintenance deposits to that tool cupboard in order to keep your base from decaying and leaving you venerable.
Essentially this feature acts as a way to stop servers being bombarded with bases from people who have left a server, allowing others to move in should you stop playing the game and not pay the upkeep.
11. Build a door airlock to stop players walking in
It’s pretty common in rust to be running in and out of your base while gathering resources, whilst forgetting to shut the door behind you.
Using a triangle foundation against a square foundation and placing two doors facing into each other, you can create an airlock which will block other players from being able to simply walk into your base.
12. Get to know the area around your base well
It can be very easy to get lost in Rust, so it’s worth familiarising yourself with your surroundings.
If you are out scavenging and need to get back quickly, or you find yourself in trouble, it’s essential that you know your way back. Spend some time getting to know the area around your base well, making several trips back and forth so you know the surroundings.
13. Build traps and remember where they are
While you might love a good PVP game, like me you might actually be bad at fighting other players, but don’t give up, use brains over brawn to beat them.
A great example is from an attack that happened on my base recently, after a group of 3 other players started taking pop-shots at me, I lured them straight back to my base.
Normally I would run the other way from my base, to lead them away and lower the chances of future raids, but I knew I had enough traps set up to take them out.
Run in a zig-zag line and make it hard for them to hit you, when you get close to your base you will want to run straight past any traps you have setup, but try to make avoiding them less obvious.
When I did this, I was lucky, I had a ton of traps set out and they all went into them almost at the same time, you might not be so lucky and the first to fall may warn the others, if this happens and they avoid traps, well, grab a gun, you’re going to have to fight, good luck!
14. Attempt to make friends with your neighbours
Although the nature of Rust doesn’t always serve well for making friends, it could be a life or death decision if you don’t.
Making friends with your neighbours could prevent them from trying to raid you when you’re just getting started. They may even help you with basic tools and resources.
15. Research as many items as you can
The key to progression in Rust is very dependant on the amount of recipes you have unlocked.
The success of both surviving raids and running your own raids would strongly depend on how much arsenal you have unlocked that you can use to either defend or attack.
Not only is it important to PVP but the recipes you can unlock are also used to help you survival by making gathering clean water, food or resources quicker too.
16. Choose the right weapon & ammo
Many of the weapons in the game have multiple ammo types, but did you know that each of the ammo types actually affect how your weapon handles or the type / amount of damage it does.
Knowing when to use a high velocity arrow over a bone tipped arrow can mean the difference between life and death.
17. Hidden sleeping bags around your base
If you get raided or you’re under attack, it’s worth having multiple sleeping bags hidden around your base.
You may get to a point where you’re inundated with dying, but if you can keep respawning you may have a chance at saving your base and items.
Most raiders will also expect you to respawn in your base after they kill you, so why not take them by surprise and come armed up from the woods using your hidden sleeping bag and stash.
18. Drink water to heal yourself
You should always make sure that your health is at the maximum it can be. By drinking water you can heal yourself back to half health.
Make sure you have a water source at your base or you have access to water or consumable to ensure your health doesn’t deplete.
If you are in a fight, getting to a clean water source or having some water with you can help you to regain some health and take the advantage in a fight.
19. Learn where monuments are
Monuments can be popular places for people looking for either PVP or loot, but they are a great resource for gearing up quicker.
Learn the map and get to know where all the monuments are, this will lead you to much more efficient and lucrative loot runs, giving you more time to prepare base defences and pick some fights.
20. Farm junk piles out at sea
Sometimes the land can be a little too dangerous on Rust, it can be better to take to the sea and try to avoid as many of the bloodthirsty other players as possible.
Floating junk piles like the one pictured above can be found out at sea and are a great way to find valuable resources without as much chance of action.
Of course, it’s not guaranteed that you wont run into some action whilst out at sea, but I have personally found it’s much less common.
21. Hit the sweet spot when farming
When you are hitting nodes or trees you really want to be as quick as possible.
You are going to make tons of noise and that brings a high chance of someone finding out where you are and possibly killing you.
By hitting the marked sweet spot you gather resources much quicker allowing you to move away from the spot and spend less time in one place.
22. Never stand still
Rust is a brutal game, especially for noobs, the best piece of advice I can give is to never stand still.
It doesn’t matter how far into the game I am, what I am doing, I never stay in the same spot, even if I am gathering wood, I walk in alternating circles around the tree so I’m constantly moving.
Even constantly moving isn’t always enough with Rust, switching to running in a zig-zag line can also make the difference between life and death.