A veteran "Rust" degenerate with 4.5k hours, a rock, and a dream.
Finding the Right Rust Server
There are a handful of things to consider when choosing a Rust server to play on, including:
- Popularity and likelihood of a queue to join
- Size of the map
- Any server rules or custom modifications
- Wipe schedule and duration
Well populated servers means more opportunity to interact, and fight, with other players. Particularly if the map is small. It may also mean there could be a queue to join that may require you to purchase a VIP pass in order to avoid waiting hours to play.
There are also many custom server rules or modifications, most commonly high resources generated. They are often referred to as "#x" where the # is how much of a multiplier you get over resources. For example, a stone node in a vanilla server grants 1000 stone, but on a "3x" server, it will grant 3000 stone. Servers that modify rules often include other changes, such as group limits, changes to loot other than multipliers, and more.
Lastly, you must consider the wipe schedule and duration to find one that matches your preferences.
A common way to evaluate and browse servers would be to use battle metrics. It lists Rust servers (among other games) and offers basic details about them and players on the server. It's a good way to check how populated a server is or find new servers to try out.
Player Count Tracking
How Wipes Work
The best part of Rust is progressing and accumulating tons of loot. However, that only works sustainably if it can be repeated. As such, Rust servers "wipe" on a regular basis, deleting everything and starting new. There are two types of wipes:
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- Map wipe where everything on the map is deleted and a fresh map, or seed, is generated. This is the most common type of wipe, and can regularly be found occurring weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly in most servers.
- Blueprint wipe where in addition to the map wiping, all learned blueprints are also wiped. This is commonly done with what is called "forced wipe" on the first Thursday of the month and is usually associated with a game update. It's called "forced wipe" because when the developers push out new content, the servers must be cleaned out and started over to starting using the new content. While many servers wipe blueprints every "forced wipe" not all necessarily do. Those that don't will only wipe blueprints if a change is made to the blueprint system by Facepunch, requiring a wipe.
It's important to identify your preferred wipe duration. Different durations fundamentally change how those wipes are played. For example, monthly servers tend to have bigger groups because longer wipes allow for bigger bases. Weekly servers are often full of smaller groups looking for quick PvP. All servers are busiest right after wipe, and slowly decline in player over the course of the wipe. The end of wipe is often the most dead as players get raided off the server, accomplish all their goals, or just get bored.
Common Servers to Consider
Below you'll find a handful of common servers to match various needs.
- Rusty Moose
All four of the above providers offer multiple servers of different flavors. They are generally comparable, but my personal opinion is that Rustafied is the worst with more expensive VIP and more prominent technical problems and lag. That being said, nearly every server will face at least some amount of technical problems like lag and outages as well as cheaters.
- Bloo Lagoon/Bloo Mondays. These servers are named after the popular Rust YouTuber "Blooprint." There are several options including a solo/duo/trio server and a group limit of six in the server. They are mostly vanilla but are a 1.5x with improved barrel loot. They wipe weekly and tend to be a good options for a short but explosive wipe.
- AndysolAM. Heavily modded with many high loot multiplier options, these servers offer a significantly expedited Rust experience.
- UKN.GG. The most popular place to play more standard PvP and practice your skills with guns. Also a commonly spammed request by the losing player of a fight.
- Vital. If you're on this page you don't need to worry about this server. It's for heavily engaged clan play and raiding.
- Rusty Moose Softcore. Softcore servers feature less harsh game rules and while they aren't as popular they can be a good place to learn the game. Most notably Rusty Moose tends to keep a decent user count but softcore servers often aren't very populated as more engaged users tend to move to other servers.
- PvE servers such as Rusty Empires or RustEZ. I almost left these off the list as I don't personally play them and they're quite a bit different from the normal Rust experience, but these servers are populated for those of you looking for a similar experience but don't enjoy the PvP.
Take note that official Facepunch servers are not on this list as they're often not the best place to play. They can be more beginner friendly, but they are known to have many cheaters as they aren't as heavily policed as other servers.
The server can have a huge impact on your experience. Any player looking to play Rust habitually should, and often most will, explore different servers to find favorites or servers that otherwise match a desired experience. I personally find bi-weekly servers the happy medium for myself, but occasionally enjoy a weekly server to have a wipe more focused on PvP and less on progression and build up. I also personally dislike most modded servers as I believe a lot of what makes the game fun is ruined with highly accelerated loot. Search for what works for you, there will certainly be a server out there that matches your needs.