Rust Starter Guide: From Zero to Hero

Rust is an action-adventure with a blend of survival mixed in which takes place on a procedural generated map. Your first few nights will be the most memorable in aspects of forming alliances and the hardship involved with learning the tips and tricks to forming your foundation to success. Rust has a lot to offer which may be a pain in learning, but with the use of this guide you will always be one step ahead of your fellow opponents in the game of survival.

This guide is up to date for the latest patch of the game (Alpha Re-boot update 72.)

Game Controls

How to change your controls

The default game controls are most recommended, as they are easy to get used to. If you are interested in changing them, simply launch the rust unity program (the window that opens where you select your graphics options before launching the game itself.) When here there are 2 tabs, “graphics” and “input.” Select Input, and from there feel free to change controls by double clicking on any control you would like to change and entering the new key assigned to this role.

Default controls

  • Move forward: (W)
  • Move backward: (S)
  • Move left: (A)
  • Move right: (D)
  • Jump: (Space_bar)
  • Sprint: (Left_shift)
  • Interact/Pickup: (E)
  • Inventory screen: (Tab)
  • Primary fire: (Mouse_1)
  • Aim: (Mouse_2)
  • Reload: (R)
  • Local voice chat: (V)
  • Global text chat: (T)

rust stone

Player Statuses and Effects

Before being able to play as your character, you must know your character. Much like real life, your player has feelings that are provoked by different situations. We will give you a clear outlook on what causes these statuses, what do they do, and how to cure/fix the problems (if needed.)


Currently removed from the game. In the past, Radiation was accumulated while traveling through areas of high loot called “Rad Towns.” The longer you stayed within these zones, the more radiation you would acquire. Radiation was a 1 to 1 scale regarding your health.

If you had 60hp and acquired 59 radiations, then over time you would survive at 1 hp. Radiation could be combated by the use of radiation treatment pills, wearing radiation proof clothing to accumulate radiation at a much lower pace, or the consumption of meat to acquire hp as you lose it to survive.


Comfort is acquired by standing near an active campfire that is burning fuel, thus producing heat. Do not be confused, as furnaces, refineries, and large furnaces do not provide comfort. The closer you stand to the campfire, the higher percentage of comfort you acquire (be careful though! Get to close to a campfire and you will lose health rapidly!) A single player has a maximum percentage of 50% they can acquire by standing near a campfire alone.

With each extra player standing nearby in the comfort zone, each person receives an additional 25% added on top of their already 50%. In theory, 3 players surrounding a campfire would each receive a full 100% comfort level. Comfort is designed to balance with your player’s health. If you have a 50% comfort level, your player will regenerate health till it reaches 50hp. If you are over the comfort level, your player will not regenerate any hp.


Becoming cold can be caused by multiple problems. Mainly, during the night the temperatures drop and your player may become cold if not clothed outdoors. Being cold is also directly affiliated with being Wet (read below for more information on being “Wet.”) Another common reason for feeling cold would relate to your elevation from the ground. Being cold is safe until you hit the -4 degree mark, till which you start slowly losing health. The primary way to combat the cold weather would be by staying within the comfort zone of a campfire.

The problem is the fact that this is not a viable solution in regards to being portable. The only other alternative is to craft clothing from materials you had scavenged during the day (more on this in the clothing and hunting section of the guide.) A common mistake that players make is thinking metal armored clothing is beneficial in regards to keeping the cold out. This is false, as metal armor actually causes the player to become colder.


This status effect seems very straight forward, but has a few indications attached to it. Currently, the only way to become wet is by standing in the rain or entering a body of water. Being wet causes you to lose more calories at a faster rate depending on the percentage of which you are wet. Being wet goes hand in hand with being cold and causes you to feel a higher degree of being cold than someone who is dry in the same situation.

Currently, there is no clothing which lowers your percentage of being wet while in water. Normally, while swimming you will float around the 50%-75% level of being wet, with more of your body being above water the lower the percentage. An exclusive guide tip, if you are in water and are at a 100% wet level, it is an early indicator that your character is about to start drowning and die. This tip is very valuable and has saved myself in many situations as it will for you as well.


Heat is caused by two variables, one being in a hot climate whilst wearing too much clothing, the other being the player standing on top of a campfire. Generally speaking, standing on top of a camp fire will cause you to lose health points at a very rapid rate compared to overheating. In both cases you do lose health unless nothing is taken care of.

The only prevention and fix to camp fire burns are being more cautious of your surroundings and eating food to gain health. In the case of being overheated, get rid of active clothing which is not necessary until you are fully cooled down. A tip, if you keep yourself moderately wet by going for small swims in bodies of water, you will gain heat at a much lower pace.


Injury is a common part of rust and is primarily caused by taking a fall. Injury causes the player to move at a slower than walking pace, not be able to jump, and your player will start making mild noises which others may hear. The fix to injury is natural and takes a few minutes to kick in. It is recommended in the meantime to stop all travel and refill health in a safe location.


Caused by going underwater without coming up for air in excessive amounts of time. The only cure to drowning is by moderating your dive times and staying above water.


One of the most common status effects you will encounter in the game. Bleeding has a chance to occur by animal scratches, gunshot wounds, sharp weapon penetration, animal traps, and also in severe falls. Depending on the percentage of bleeding, you will lose health at that rate (1% being the slowest while 100% being very rapid.) Bleeding naturally heals at a rate of about 2% per a second, but this should not be considered a solution unless in very small cases. There are currently 2 safe cures towards healing bleeding wounds.

A Bandage will stop the bleeding effect imminently

  • Small or Large Med kits will stop the bleeding and provide slow health regeneration at the same time.
  • At the very least, food is an option to help keep you alive, but medical syringes help by injecting an instant 50hp to help keep you alive till you can find proper equipment to patch your wound.
rust camp fire

Camp fire is like a double-edged sword. It’s important for cooking and keeping you warm but also attract unwanted guests at the same time.

Food and Cooking

Earlier we took a quick glance at how to cook food via the camp fire. In order to be able to put the technique to use, you must of course be able to hunt proficiently beforehand. There are currently 4 ways of obtaining food in rust. You can hunt animals, harvest human meat, grow vegetables or do rad runs. Let’s take a look at some of the animals and their optimal locations regarding their presence.

Chicken (Threat- zero)

Chicken are very common around Rust and are largely passed by. Chicken provide low fat, food, or crafting supplies. They occupy all land around the island and can be found in any region. Chicken also tend to not travel in groups but can be found in very close proximities of each other. These should be considered as first night food as they supply enough meat to keep you alive for a good day. Taking only 1 rock hit to the head, Chicken can easily be hunted and should not be passed upon by newer players. Chicken do not survive past the first hit, so there is no need to chase them. When hunting, no steps need to be taken to tail a chicken as you can easily catch up to it.

Rabbits (Threat-zero)

Rabbits in most cases are weighed as equal to Chicken. They are small, non-hostile, and commonly looked upon by players. They tend to inhabit all weathers and locations but are more frequently spotted within the forests. Rabbits are more evenly scattered around the map and are not usually within close proximity of each other. Rabbits should however be approached slowly as they are more agile compared to Chickens. Do not pass by these opportunities as a fresh-spawn as they are very easy game to hunt!!!

Dear (Threat-low)

Dear are fast animals with higher health compared to other animals. Unlike other animals though, the Dear provides great amounts of all materials such as meat, bone fragments, animal fat, and cloth. Dear are recommended to be hunted with a bow, but as cloth is hard to obtain without first killing an animal a wooden spear will have to do. With a spear it takes about 3-4 hits to kill a dear before being able to harvest. Dears are marked as a low threat as they tend to run after the first hit and must be chased for a medium distance before they calm down and are able to be caught up to. The main strategy to employ whilst hunting a dear is to tail it at a good 1.5meters from the behind until it is still and can be jumped upon. Be ready for other players joining the race as Dears are very valuable in the Rust economy.

Horses (Threat-medium)

Horses are considered the most beneficial animal for the rich. They provide enough meat to keep a player full for at least 4 in game days, and are able to be harvested for the most amounts of cloth and leather than any other animal. Leather is very important for richer players with bases as it is needed in almost every high-grade weapon design. If you have a stock-pile of leather, sell it (we will cover trading in another section.)

Horses are a medium threat due to their insane speed and reaction timing. Horses are to be hunted with bows as in very slim occurrences are they able to be hunted with melee weapons. While hunting a horse, get a good position preferably on higher ground and aim for the general body of the horse in order to ensure a hit. Try to stay close enough to where you can still get a second shot in without having to chase the Horse. Although Horses are non-combative, they are still very fast and precious to richer players so expect some hardship whilst hunting them.

Bear (Threat-high)

Bears are combative animals which will chase you once you are in their sights. Bears are slower animals compared to wolfs, but inflict much heavier damage with higher chances of the bleeding status effect than its competitor. Bears generally cannot be hunted efficiently with hand held tools and must be taken out with a bow or lethal firearm. Bears provide enormous amounts of animal fat, meat, bone fragments and cloth. Bears generally take 4 arrows to die, and it is recommended you always stay a distance when firing. A good technique is to gain ground on a bear and fire from a distance, and to run to gain more distance in order repeat the process. Never take your chances and stay close to a bear, they have longer arms and are able to attack from farther distances than you would think.

hunting a wolf in rust

Wolf is quite hard to hunt but its rewards are worthwhile. 

Wolf (Threat- high)

The wolf is the opposite of its predecessor, the bear. It is a fast moving unit, with lower attack damage. The wolf can attack faster than the bear and has a shorter reach, but with its increased hits per minute it has a higher chance to cause a bloody wound which would need to be treated. Wolfs are commonly recommended to be hunted with a firearm due to their speed but if need-be can be taken down with a simple bow. It is highly recommended you gain a good story above your pray before attacking and just barraging arrows at the wolf until it dies. Wolf give moderate levels of meat, animal fat, and bone fragments much like the dear but they give enormous amounts of cloth as a bonus. It is considered that a wolf is more dangerous than a bear

Raiding Strategy

The most important thing to remember when raiding is that you want to take the path of least resistance. You don’t want a long drawn out fight in most instances. The most ideal raid is where you can get in and get out with the goods before the other team even knows you’re up to something. Always spend time before a raid looking for the easiest route to the stash. Think about how you’d lay out the base and make sure you aren’t using your C4 to blow up structures you need like stairs.

Solo Raid

Solo raiding is the act of attempting a raid by yourself. Unless you have very good gear, it isn’t recommended. Even on a 1v1, the defender of the base has the advantage because they know the layout of their base. If you do decide that you are going to raid solo, it is suggested that you have full Kevlar armor, explosives, and a multitude of weapons for all circumstances. Blow down the door then step back. If you have caught the inhabitant off guard, they may come out not knowing where to look. Take this opportunity to kill them quickly. If they do not come out, proceed into the base, navigating it carefully. Do not start hauling loot out of the base until you are sure all inhabitants are dead. This provides defenders an easy opportunity to kill raiders when they are preoccupied.

Group Raids

Once you’ve established a group in Rust, you may begin preparations for a team raid. Team raids are more encouraged than solo raids, and will allow you to hit bigger bases. Make sure your entire group is armored, and you have a good amount of explosives and healing supplies. If you are raiding a base, it is wise to do some recon before you attack it. See whether or not the players that own the base are home, what kind of weapons they are carrying, and what their base layout is. Once you feel prepared to attack, put explosives on the door then blow it up. Then, take the inhabitants by surprise by rushing the entire group into the base, shooting up every intruder you meet. Again, make sure to check the entire base before looting it.

raiding in rust

Shelter and Fundamental

Rust players who first join a server are plopped into a world naked with a rock. This is only the first page of your story, and if you do things right, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a post-apocalyptic warlord in no time. As the world is full of perilous dangers, such as zombies, bears, wolves, and even other players, the first thing you need to know how to do is build a base.

The first thing you’ll want to do is use your rock to gather up some stone ore and trees to gather enough wood and stone to create a stone hatchet. This tool will allow you to gather materials much faster to expedite your overall building process.

Once you’ve gotten the hatchet, you’ll want to continue gathering stone and wood using that to create your first base, which at this point will be a simple utilitarian shelter that will simultaneously protect you from the elements, allow you to store your beginner loot, give you a place to logout safely, and a place to put things like crafting stoves.

As the design of a shelter is fairly straightforward, one of the most important things you want to keep in mind when deciding how to build it is the location of it. Being a new player will generally keep you relatively safe from the more advanced players. For people who have been playing, it’s generally more trouble than it’s worth to kill a new player since they don’t have much of value, but still make sure not to make yourself an easy target. Even with that in mind, you could easily fall prey to other newer players on the server who are looking to cut their gathering time down. This is why it’s very important to choose a shelter location that’s well out of the way and hidden from view.

Building one in the forest against a cliff alcove is generally the best bet. You’ll have a ton of access to nearby resources and you’ll be fairly well hidden. Don’t just keep inert minerals in mind, either as you’ll want to ensure there are plenty of things like zombies around to. They often drop great things such as radiation pills and blueprints which can be extremely useful when you’re first starting out.

The design of your very first shelter can be pretty basic: four walls and a door. This is more than sufficient to give you the base you need to catapult yourself to the next level.

build a shelter

Master of Firearms

Weapons play an important role in Rust, each weapon has different in usage. Player should know all weapon well in order to pick a right weapon into the right situation. In this chapter we will analyze recommended weapons you should have in the crucial time.


Damage: Upper body 23, lower body 15. Headshots are 70 dmg.
Ammo: 9mm bullets (pistol rounds)
To craft: 200 wood, 50 cloth, 100 metal fragments

Another classic pistol, the revolver is the step-up from the Eoka pistol, also coming from the legacy version of Rust. The pistol shoots 9mm bullets causing smaller wounds which in turn deal less damage. The pistol is deemed not as powerful from the Eoka pistol, but has the pro of being a longer ranged weapon. Another obvious advantage to the Revolver is its magazine capacity of 6 compared to 1. With this addition, you are also given the trigger mechanism which causes every shot you want to take, to actually go through. The pistol is semi auto with built in manual chambering. It’s definitely worth it against those with Eoka pistols due to particular the magazine size. Crafted at only 200 wood, 50 cloth, and 100 metal fragments the pistol is quite cheap compared to others in the category of semi auto.

Semi Auto Pistol:

Damage: Upper body 50, lower body 35. Headshots are 80 dmg.
Ammo: 9mm bullets (pistol rounds)
To craft: 25 cloth, 15 HQM (high quality metal)

The Semi Auto pistol is a direct upgrade from the Revolver costing an adequate amount to craft. The weapon statistically speaking is not an economically logical upgrade compared to its predecessor the Revolver, but is quite worth it when compared to the 50 HQM needed to craft the Riflef. The main popularity around the pistol is its sturdy feeling when firing, giving you the shooter assurance that your bullets did make impact. The weapon its self is very sturdy and withstands more shots going through it compared to both the revolver and the Eoka but this again comes with its expensive price. The 15 HQM metal is a problem for some newer players who cannot afford to sustain both an oilrig and mine, but with a profitable mine backed by an productive oilrig this weapon is not a big resource impact especially due to its low need of cloth.

Custom SMG:

Damage: The weapon deals random damage between 15-35 per shot
Ammo: 9mm bullets (pistol rounds)
To craft: 200 wood, 10 cloth, 30 HQM (high quality metal)

Modeled around the TF2 Sniper SMG, the Custom SMG is very useful compared to the Semi Auto pistol seeing as 1 SMG is more effective than 2 Semi Auto pistols. The fire rate is fast paced but this is countered by its insane recoil and low accuracy. The weapon jitters around and so do the bullets making it a close range weapon unless you plan to use it like a pistol and single fire. If you plan on doing a CQB raid (Close quarters combat) then this is definitely recommended over the SA Pistol. On the other hand, in longer range shootouts it is more viable to go with the pistol as opposed to the SMG due to it being more expensive for the same purpose of tap firing. One additional comment to add would be the iron sight is more user-friendly on the pistol compared to the SMG in medium range combat due to its natural design.

Rust Rifle


Damage: Upper body 50, lower body 40. Headshots deal 100 dmg.
Ammo: 5.56 ammo (rifle bullets)
To craft: 200 wood, 50 HQM (high quality metal)

The Rifle was the Experimental version of Rusts choice of replacement for the M4. In the Legacy version, players were able to craft M4/m16 models of the rifle in which had amazing damage, accuracy, and iron sights. In the experimental version, the weapon is replaced with an Ak-47 lookalike, which is actually a mistake many players make. The weapon is actually a modified Czechoslovakian Vz.58 which lookalike from the outer layer but have complete different internals. Ironically, the Ak-47 lookalike (which fires 7.62 rounds) is actually chambered with 5.56 ammunition, the ammo commonly used in the Ak competitor the M16. In regards to the gun performance, it is the sturdiest gun in the game currently. It fires reliably, has very low recoil in comparison to other fully automatic weapons, and has great iron sights. It competes in all fields from CQB to long range firing. The weapon although economically expensive, is well worth the funds if put to correct use.

Bolt Action Rifle:

Damage: 80 Upper body, 70 Lower body. Headshots are 100 dmg.
Ammo: 5.56 ammo (rifle bullets)
To craft: 300 wood, 100 cloth, 30 HQM (high quality metal)

The Bolt Action Rifle is also another returning weapon from Rust Legacy with similar statistics. The weapon is a longer engagement rifle with potential to be converted into a sniper rifle with a scope attachment (to be later introduced.) The rifle is known for its high damage output and low capacity magazine, only holding 3 bullets per clip. The weapon has to be chambered after every shot which compensates for its small recoil. The hand movement is time consuming and puts off your crosshairs from where you were looking beforehand. The rifle is able to be mastered in medium range combat as well with practice as it does do more damage the closer you are. It is not optimal for close quarter situations as SMGS particularly out match the weapon due to its rate of fire. A tip to using the weapon, always keep close to cover so that you have a fall back for every time you must reload/chamber the rifle. Remember, when using this weapon range is your best friend, make sure to use it to your advantage. This can be done by building tall sniping towers to get a higher outlook on the fields close to home, or when raiding standing on a hill farther away to cover teammates.

Pump Shotgun:

Damage: Generally a 1-2 hit kill at medium range
Ammo: 12 Fires both Handmade shells and 12 Gauge
To craft: 400 wood, 40 cloth, 30 HQM (high quality metal)

The pump shotgun is a new addition to Rust molded around the WW2 Trench gun. The weapon is capable of firing handmade shells but is considered quite insignificant to its capabilities of firing 12 gauge. The weapon typically is a 1-2 hit kill at close range and is quite an improvement from the waterpipe shotgun. The weapon is capable of holding 6 shells with a small pump in between fire. The weapon in general is quite on par to other CQB weapons making it one of the community’s personal favorites. The weapon is quite bang for buck when it comes to the economics and in general is just a very satisfactory weapon to work with.

Rocket Launcher:

Damage: Generally an instant kill if head on collided with
Ammo: Rocket, High velocity rocket, Incendiary rocket, Smoke rocket
To craft: 200 wood, 80 cloth, 60 HQM (high quality metal)

All though you will typically not see the Rocket launcher used in PVP scenarios, it is a very commonly used in the raiding aspect. The weapon is like a portable c4, using rockets to damage building structures. It does less damage to structures than C4 but costs significantly less to produce than a C4. The reason not seen that commonly on the battle field is due to its high economical cost and non-viability in combat situation. If you are just starting out, I would even forget about holding one of these unless you plan on spending all your resources upon it. The weapon is expensive, the ammunition is expensive, and its overall player to player damage is not worth it even before considering the risk of losing it. It generally takes 4 rockets to destroy a hard stone wall. On softwalls you can expect to get past within 2 rockets (further explained in the raiding chapter [for softwall/hardwall].)

Rust Ammo

Ammo types + Recipes:

Pistol bullets: Normal bullet with no special effect. 4 bullets = 10 metal fragments, 5 gunpowder

Incendiary Pistol bullet: A bullet which has the chance of setting the target on fire. It generally causes normal bullet damage + additional fire damage. 3 bullets = 10 metal fragments, 10 gunpowder, 5 sulfur, and 1 low grade fuel.

HV Pistol bullet: These bullets are lighter than a normal bullet causing it to travel faster, which hence causes the bullet to hit its target at a faster rate. This causes less bullet drop and allows it to travel farther distances. The downside is an obvious slight drop in damage as it is coming with less impact. 3 bullets = 10 metal fragments, 20 gunpowder.

5.56 bullets: Normal rifle bullet with no special effect. 3 bullets = 10 metal fragments, 5 gunpowder

Incendiary 5.56: The bullet when collided with structure has a chance of igniting a fire. Slowly burning down the building and spreading, it is impossible to stop. On players it does normal bullet damage with a higher bleeding status effect chance and the possibility to ignite the player putting them on fire. 2 bullets = 10 metal fragments, 20 gunpowder, 5 sulfur, and 1 low grade fuel.

HV 5.56: This bullet is like the pistol HV bullet, traveling at faster speeds to farther ranges than the normal bullet while sacrificing a slight damage reduction. 2 bullets = 10 metal fragments, 20 gunpowder.

Explosive 5.56: Commonly used by lower-class players to destroy armored walls. The bullet causes 1 damage per shot at a hard wall whilst causing 2 damage to a soft wall. In a PVP situation the bullet causes normal bullet damage whilst causing a small explosion on the player greatly increasing the chance of causing a bleeding status. This explosion also hurts nearby players in the impact vicinity. 2 bullets = 10 metal fragments, 20 gunpowder, and 10 sulfur.

12 Gauge: A shell fired from a shotgun that travels short/medium range causing normal damage. 2 shells = 5 metal fragments and 10 gunpowder.

12 Gauge slug: A shell fired with wider close range spread limiting its longer range abilities. 1 slug = 20 metal fragments and 20 gunpowder.

Handmade shell: A small shell filled with metal fragments fired causing intense bleeding damage. 2 slugs = 5 metal fragments and 5 gun powder.

Rocket: A normal rocket which is used primarily in destroying building structures.

  • Twig wall = 1 rocket
  • Wood wall = 2 rockets
  • Stone wall = 4 rockets
  • Sheet Metal = 2 rockets
  • Armored wall = 6 rockets

It is basically a 1 hit kill to any players directly hit or in its close vicinity of impact. It costs 80 metal fragments, 150 gun powder, and 10 explosives.

Spec Requirements

Rust is a very CPU and GPU intensive game, with that said, there are some tricks to get it running better without lowering your visual quality.

The Minimum requirements to run the game as cited by the official Rust page and our research are as follows:

Windows 7

  • 4 Gb of ram
  • 4 Gb of space on your hard drive
  • Intel Core I3
  • Gtx 550

Our cheapest, but recommended specs to run the game at maximum settings are as follows:

Windows 7 (and above)

  • 8 Gb of ram
  • Gtx 660 or the R9 270 (Great cards for very cheap prices)
  • 10 Gb of hard drive space
  • Intel Core I5

A few tips to boosting FPS

  • Playing in full screen as opposed to windowed mode
  • When launching your game, lower graphics quality to fastest
  • While in game, press f1 and type “terrain.pvt false”
  • Make sure to close all windows that are not in use
  • If all comes to all, try a computer restart. In most cases it can help with up to 10 fps

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