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Rust beginner’s guide: tips and tricks for getting started

Everything you need to know before you start playing Rust, including material gathering, crafting, base building, and more.
Rust beginner’s guide: tips and tricks for getting started

Rust can be an incredibly brutal game, definitely one of the hardest survival games out there. No one will spare you or show mercy so you need to know exactly what are you doing the very first moment you enter the game.

Your only goal in Rust is quite simple: survive at any cost. In order to achieve that, you will need to protect your character both from the game's world and from other players. You will also need to keep your character hydrated, fed, and warm.

To make sure that you are ahead of other players, good foundations and a proper start are crucial for later success on the server.

Here's what you need to do when you drop into a server for the first time.

The first things to craft and gather in Rust

Rust beginner’s guide
Use the rock to collect your first materials (Picture: Facepunch Studios)

When you start playing, your character will literally be dropped naked right into the game, with only a torch and a rock.

First thing you will want to do is to use that rock and start smashing stones and trees in order to gather Stone and Wood. 

Any tree in the game will give you Wood, but when it comes to stones, you will need to find a specific type of stone which is mineable, but they are mostly quite recognizable. They are usually big boulders with a shining spot on them which indicates that you can interact with them.

Rust beginner’s guide
Boulders which give you Stone are easily recognizable (Picture: Facepunch Studios)

As soon as you have enough, craft a Stone Hatchet and a Stone Pick Axe, your first two real tools. You can craft them through your Inventory, which you open by pressing the Tab button. You can now your rock from the inventory, you don't need it anymore.

The Stone Hatchet and Stone Pick Axe will help you mine resources significantly faster which will save you time and reduce exposure to danger.

Continue gathering Wood and Stone, as well as hemp plants, which will give you cloth, another crucial material for the early game. You will also want to kill any animal you see along the way, like boars and chickens which are fairly easy to kill, and they will provide you with meat necessary for staying alive. Additionally, you can collect various mushrooms and berries which are eatable as well. You can find some food in abandoned supermarkets and gas stations as well, but those are risky hotspot locations, which should generally be avoided in the early stages of the game.

How to build your first base in Rust

rust basic base building guide
A good home is crucial if you want to be successful in Rust(Picture: Facepunch Studios)

Now when you have your basic tools and some resources, you will need to set up your first base as soon as possible, because in Rust, if you are homeless, you are as good as dead.

When starting a game of Rust everything you do should be dedicated to having your first house up and running as fast as possible.

Find a proper location, which should be isolated and secluded from other players.

To set up your first simple house and base, you will need to use crafting, and for that, from your inventory select the "Crafting" tab at the top of the screen.

First things you will need to create are:

  1. A building plan, to build various structure elements, like walls and foundations)
  2. A hammer, which you will use to upgrade and repair structures.
  3. Tool cupboard
  4. Sleeping bag
  5. Wooden door
  6. Key lock

These are the essential things which you will need in order to construct your first simple base in Rust.

Once you have these, use the building plan to place square foundations. For the very first house, two will be enough, one next to the other connected.

Then put square walls on 5 outer sides, and leave one for the doorway, where you will put your door, and on that door, put a lock. Finally, put two ceiling elements.

rust simple starter base guide
An example of a basic starter base (Picture: Facepunch Studios)

Congrats! Now you have your first house in Rust. The quality is currently of the lowest level possible, but you can use your hammer to upgrade the foundations, walls, and ceiling to stone once you have enough resources. That should be one of your priorities in order for your house to be less vulnerable to attacks.

Finally, put your tool cupboard inside and your sleeping bag and everything is set, your first little shelter is now in full operation. Optionally, you can craft the second lock and put it on the tool cupboard. 

The sleeping bag is your spawning point and you will start from there whenever you die. The tool cupboard will need to be constantly restocked with building resources in order for your base to function and not be destroyed. If you don't provide resources for the upkeep, it will eventually start to collapse.

What to do after building your first base in Rust?

Once you have everything set and operational, you know that you always have a relatively safe space and you can now go into exploration.

There are several basic natural resources which you will use for many things:  Wood, Stone, Metal Fragments, High-Quality Metal, Sulfur, and Cloth.

You should generally try to collect as much of these resources as possible, as you will need them in order to continue building new things, upgrading stuff, and keeping everything going.

One of the next things you will need to build is a furnace which you will use for smelting Metal Ore, High-Quality Metal Ore, and Sulfur Ore. Sulfur Ore is used for making explosives and ammunition, and the world outside is not exactly friendly, so you will need those.

rust barrel drops
Barrel drops are rich in resources but everyone will want to get them (Picture: Facepunch Studios)

Barrels and crates are one of the most important sources of materials, but they are some of the hottest points of interest, everyone will want to put their hands on them, so you should be careful around them. They will provide you with all kind of scraps, materials, and components which will help you in upgrading your base and improving your chances for survival.

Keep an eye on litter near the roads as well, as there you can find useful stuff as well.

With time, as you collect enough metal and sulfur, you will be able to produce more and continue to upgrade your base with all kinds of useful additions. Also, make sure that your base is well-protected as well, as you don't want to see some uninvited guest lurking around and trying to kill you.

And that would be it, you are now quite familiar with what you need to do and understand the basic, but from here: you are on your own.

Good luck, stay safe, and stay alive!

For more Rust news, be sure to check out our dedicated section or take a look at some of our Guides & Tutorials just below:

Rust Updates, Wipes And Regular Guides
Rust Tier Lists & Important Guides
Rust Monuments Guide
Rust Game Guides
Rust Biome Guides
Rust Events
Rust Game Settings Guides