A veteran "Rust" degenerate with 3k hours, a rock, and a dream.
Honeycombing in Rust
Most players of Rust quickly hear of the building concept of honeycombing. Honeycombing is when a player builds extra walls around their base that contain nothing. These walls exist purely to make it more expensive to raid a base as a honeycombed base will require destroying two walls before reaching loot. This is most commonly done by adding triangles outside the base and half walls above the base, but this will depend on the base footprint and other factors.
However, base building in Rust is all about efficiency and optimization for the builder's preferences. Honeycombing adds protection value, but otherwise contributes nothing to the base. This is where usable honeycomb comes in as a sort of in-between honeycombing and just expanding your base.
What Is Usable Honeycomb?
The idea of usable honeycomb is to use your honeycomb space for something other than nothing. Most commonly, this is for lower value or non-critical things such as small furnaces. This space is not completely sealed off with a wall. Instead, the most common practice is to use a window so that you can access what's inside but can place a window to seal it off, a cheaper and more durable alternative to a door.
The pros of doing this are the dramatic improvement in space efficiency within your base without adding significant risk to your loot. However, the flipside is that every option for creating usable honeycomb has a defensive downside, especially when trying to upgrade your walls above stone to metal. For example, a reinforced glass window, the strongest window, takes four rockets to destroy whereas a metal wall takes eight. If you have usable honeycomb with this window on a metal wall, the raiders will simply destroy the glass window and go through it. There are options to deal with this, but there are pros and cons to each.
Variants of Usable Honeycomb
There are three major variants of usable honeycomb, each with their own set of pros and cons.
Using a Window
Instead of placing a wall for your honeycomb, you place a window so you can access content behind it. You use glass windows and/or embrasures to block it against raiders coming through the honeycomb.
- Easy to access what's inside
- Can be more durable than a door, yet cheaper
- Less secure than a metal wall in any variation
- If using a glass window, you have to remember to replace it when you log off
- May require window or embrasure blueprints to use properly
- After removing and re-using a window you'll need to repair it
- Costs more than just a wall
Using a Half Wall + Low Wall
Instead of a wall, you place two half walls on top of each other, destroy the bottom one, and place a low wall. Contents can be accessed in the slit between.
- Raiders cannot get through it, so you can upgrade it to any material and it's still effective
- Does not require blueprints
- Does not require placing any deployable like windows
- Raiders can immediately shoot through it, allowing them to take advantage of rocket splash damage
- Costs more than just a wall, but more or less than a window depending on how the window is used
Using a Doorway
Instead of a wall, place a doorway. This is only a secure option if a vending machine is used to block the doorway. The vending machine can be placed after the doorway, but it will stick out into the room a little bit. If you place the vending machine carefully just behind the wall line first, you can build the doorway afterwards with the vending machine perfectly covering the gap without sticking into the room.
- Very secure, a vending machine takes 10 rockets to destroy while a metal wall takes 8
- Reduces upkeep as the vending machine doesn't add upkeep but a doorway is cheaper than a wall
- Requires no blueprints or repairing
- Requires high quality metal and gears to craft
- If placed incorrectly, can block the doorway from being placed
- If destroyed, it will destroy the loot inside
Overall, I believe that using a doorway + vending machine is incredibly powerful and I use it a lot in my bases personally. Otherwise, a half wall + low wall is overall the better option than a window, but it can vary depending on the uses.
Windowed Honeycomb in Detail
Windowed honeycomb is easy to get in and out of and can support a lot of different placements in a triangle such as:
- 3 furnaces
- Locker + 1 furnace
- Large battery + electronics
- Workbench 1 and 2 (I recommend horizontal embrasure if doing this)
- Vending machine (if placed carefully)
- Small box + barbecue storage
- Auto turret
The main issues to work around for good windowed honeycombs are:
- Raiders can destroy a glass window or embrasure cheaply, and then shoot through or hop through the window. To remove them hopping through, you can use a floor at half height forcing them to destroy the floor or the window to get through. However, they could still shoot rockets through and this prevents placements of taller items like furnaces and batteries.
- Windows and embrasures are cheaper to raid. They can never match the durability of a metal wall. A reinforced glass window is roughly the same cost as a stone wall while a strengthened glass window is a bit cheaper. You can place an additional embrasure on the window, but if it's on the inside of your base it will get splashed by rockets. If it's on the outside the embrasure and the window will both get splashed if the raider hits the window with the rocket instead of the embrasure.
Half Wall + Low Wall Honeycomb in Detail
Durable and upgradeable all the way to high quality metal, the half wall + low wall honeycomb is quite strong. It can be more annoying to access stuff inside of it, but it does support plenty of placements:
- 3 furnaces
- Locker + 1 furnace
- Large battery + just a few electronics you can easily access
- Workbench 1 and 2
- Auto turret (it will shoot over a low wall)
The main thing to consider with this type of honeycomb is the ease of access to the contents. Some things are still easy, but some are more challenging.
- You can still use and be able to carefully place three furnaces in the space but it is more difficult to access the back furnace.
- If using a battery, you have some space for electronics, but it's more limited.
- If using a workbench, you will lose access to the workbench if standing on a box.
Overall, I think this type of honeycomb is better than using a window, but I still use some windows in my builds for a workbench that has floor boxes beneath it and batteries.
Usable honeycomb is a great addition to most bases unless a large base size, space to move around, and raid cost are the top priorities for your group as they might be in larger groups. Of the available options, should you wish to pack extra storage, a doorway with a vending machine is an amazing option. For the typical three furnaces or a spare workbench, the half wall + low wall combination is also excellent. Windows should ideally be avoided unless required because they are often less secure for a handful of reasons.