Rust Solo Survival Tips Guide

Surviving alone in the rust game is quite difficult but enjoyable. Here we have shared with you all the necessary tips to survive on your own.

Rust Solo Survival Tips Guide

Don’t get into a rock fight on the beach. There is no reason to fight when all you have is a rock and a torch. If someone tries to start one, just run away. Even if you win such a fight, you’ll probably take a few hits that’ll negatively affect your survivability. And if you beat another person to death on the beach and take no hits—you’ve wasted a minute and you’re still no closer to surviving over the next minute. Don’t waste your time.

Decide if you’re going to be an early game gatherer or a bandit. The opening gambit in a Rust play can either be as a gatherer, who gathers enough materials to build a reasonably secure house and start branching out from there, or someone who kills a gatherer and takes the things they gathered to start. It’s a matter of preference, but not everyone can be a bandit—being a gatherer also usually means more options about where and how you settle, which is a huge advantage. The game is also less toxic if everybody gets a chance, but it’s ultimately up to you.

Craft some defense, then stone tools. Generally, it’s best to make yourself a wooden spear or bow to protect yourself, especially on wipe day when few people are likely to have anything better. Once you’ve got some protection, find yourself enough wood and stone for a stone hatchet and pickaxe. Obviously, if you’re going the bandit route, weapons are still your priority and tools are something you’ll take from a victim.

Dress appropriately. Remember that wearing clothes near the spawn beach attracts potentially deadly attention—so if you do, have a reason. If you’re in the desert, you probably don’t need clothes at all. Never craft clothes before you have a bow. If you plan on settling somewhere cold—a potentially smart strategy for a solo—make sure you have a full set of clothes before you enter a snowy area. Clothes can also help you survive colder temperatures at night—but a burlap shirt and pants won’t be enough to survive a snowy night.

Eat your fill early. There are usually some pumpkins and corn to be found along the banks of rivers, and crops can often be found near player bases. If you can, try to get your calories up to 500 so you can focus on gathering the basic resources necessary to settle. If you can’t find pumpkins and corn, pick and eat mushrooms—every calorie counts. Scavenge constantly.

Avoid nomadic hunting and cooking. If you can’t find any crops to eat, you can try to hunt and cook some meat early on—but it’s best to wait until you have somewhere indoors to cook it. If you absolutely must cook before you have a base, try finding a cliff facing toward empty water and don’t cook at night—the fire will attract curious players and often, bullets.

Avoid combat before you’ve settled. Avoid interaction with other players in starting areas. Running is preferable to fighting in most cases, but a bow does give you a chance against anyone. If you kill a player and another one engages you, run or hide—don’t stand around looting a body after a single victory. Don’t be the one to start combat. Remember–you’re always one mistake from being back on the beach until you put down a sleeping bag.

Avoid all but small radtowns before you’ve settled. Large radtowns are dangerous and full of things you don’t need in early game. The only thing you’ll get of any use before you settle is food, and safer sources of food can be found elsewhere. Sure, you might get lucky and find a weapon or a useful blueprint—but you’re more likely to get killed.

Risk taker? Try a small radtown. A small radtown—like the Spermket, a gas station, or a mining outpost—might have some things you can recycle into useful materials, but you’re still more likely than not to get killed on wipe day. Save your inventory slots for things other than components you can’t use yet and get settled before you loot radtowns, and be sure to use the recycler.

Amass materials and migrate. Use your stone tools to gather as much wood and stone as possible. Craft a tool cabinet, a wooden door, a key lock, building blueprints, and a hammer. Start looking on the map for places nearby to settle—or decide on an area far away and start migrating there. You’ll need several thousand wood and stone before you should think about putting down roots.

Migrate during the day. Moving at night before you’ve settled is generally a bad idea—you can’t see traps or other players, and you’ll be tempted to use your torch, which might as well be a sign that says “kill me” to armed players. If you don’t have a secure home, gather wood or hide in a bush. If you plan to settle in a cold climate, wait for dawn before even stepping onto the snow, as a cold night can force you to deploy a campfire to stay warm, which will probably attract attention and get you killed.

Accept your inevitable mortality. On a server of any significant size and population, you are probably going to die several times before you manage to settle. Some of my best experiences started with 5-10 deaths, some of them even before I even had a spear. Sometimes you’ll die when painfully close to completing your first base. Getting back on the horse and not getting discouraged is necessary for reliable success at soloing in Rust.


Find an isolated area. Even on high population servers, there are plenty of lonely areas. Don’t settle in the shadow of a large player-built tower and don’t settle in the shadow of a radtown. Find a place that isn’t easily visible from at least two directions and doesn’t have lots of player bases nearby. Two or three grid squares from a small radtown or a river are usually good spots.

Don’t settle on the beach. It may be tempting to put down roots where you spawn if you manage to gather the materials, but this would be a mistake. In addition to constant waves of new players screaming at each other and murdering one another on your front porch, there is just too much activity in a spawn area to practice good situational awareness. You’ll eventually become inured to all the commotion, miss something essential, and die from it.

Maximize access to wood, nodes, a small radtown, animals, and fresh water… in that order. When you decide to settle you should ideally have most of what you need to complete your build, but survival in rust is resource intensive. Even if you don’t find a spot with access to everything—and you often won’t—take note of what the area lacks and where you might have seen places nearby that may have what you lack. Fresh water can be secured relatively easily later with rain catchers.

Place a sleeping bag with a hidden small stash nearby. When you arrive in an area you want to settle, place a sleeping bag and a hidden small stash nearby. Any raw resources you gather for construction should be placed in the small stash. If you die, you can respawn in the area you want to settle and you haven’t lost everything. There’s a big difference between starting over with nothing but a rock and starting over with 3k wood and 3k stone from a full stash.

Don’t get too attached. If you try to settle in a place and die more than once or lose a half-built base to another player, you’ve already attracted too much attention. Abandon the area and look somewhere else. Your chances of successfully settling in an area drop every time a player even sees you. If players keep killing you, your chances are pretty grim. Move on.

Where to Build

Line of sight. Wherever you decide to build, make sure that lines of sight to your base from all around are minimal–in other words, there are few or no places where your base can be seen from far away. This is especially important for your front door. Make sure if you’re running toward your base from any direction, there is plenty of cover that you can dart behind to break line of sight with your pursuers. This is of immeasurable value for a solo.

Build near (or inside) rock formations. Building your base behind a rock formation means it’s not visible from far away in at least one direction. Building it between rock formations means a player will need to get very close to discover your home, which means you probably won’t be found unless someone is looking. Getting creative with your build also means one side of your base could be the rock face itself—saving you resources and making one side of your home invulnerable to raiders.

Build into the side of a coastal cliff. Not only does a cliffside base offer potential raiders one less side to breach, it also means that your base will be almost invisible to anyone who is not specifically looking for it. Even passing boats far below may not see your small stone base far up the cliffside, and if they do, they’re unlikely to stop and try to climb up. To anyone nearby, you’ll appear and disappear over the side of the cliff without giving away the location of your home.

Build in the dense forest. Dense forests provide plenty of cover so your base won’t easily be seen. Forests are also an ample source of wood—but just make sure you don’t harvest all of your cover. Forests see more player activity than the other areas, so you’ll want to hide often and always be ready for a fight if you settle there. Unfortunately, one player farming trees can expose your hiding spot—so have a plan if you log in and your area is deforested.

Build in a rocky, snowy area. Cold areas are inconvenient for most players, meaning you’re likely to compete with fewer players per map square for resources. Rock formations and hills can provide concealment. Only large groups usually populate colder regions and they often don’t stray far from their large, easily visible compounds. If they don’t know you’re nearby, you’re unlikely to run into them unless you want to. Just don’t farm tall trees your neighbors are likely to see fall down—instead, stick to fallen tree trunks to avoid attracting attention.

How to Build Solo

Maximize internal space and the number of doors in your build. Use triangle foundations liberally–I like a nice six triangle hexagonal build with one or two square foundations on one side to serve as the airlock. The more doors between the outside and your tool cabinet and loot, the better.

Always build the whole planned foundation out of twig first, wall in your innermost chamber, then place your tool cabinet and lock it. Make sure the design you want is feasible in the space you have by building it with twig first—and then place the tool cabinet, authorize yourself, and lock the cabinet so no one can steal it from you. Upgrade the foundation beneath the tool cabinet to stone right away. Some folks may disagree with this, but if you’re going invest the time to build a lasting base, you don’t want to invest hours only to find out the ground is too uneven for your planned build, and a little twig takes practically no resources to lay out.

When the foundation and innermost room is done in twig, upgrade as much as possible to stone. Always have the wood and stone necessary to upgrade your twig build right away. You can use the program FORTIFY to figure out how much you need for a particular build beforehand—and don’t start putting the base together in twig until you have enough to upgrade once you confirm that the build is feasible.

Always build an airlock entrance with the option to expand. Always build two doors between the inside and outside of your base as the entrance—ideally in a place where you can add to the base later by building more rooms in front of the outer exit door. Eventually you want as many doors as possible between the final outer door and your tool cabinet and loot room. Make sure your outer door is always facing away from any nearby player structures. If your front door is higher than the ground in front of it, place twig stairs so you don’t have to jump to get inside.

Build a furnace and start efficiently refining metal. Once both of your doors are locked and your airlock is secure, you’ll need a furnace to start refining metal. Metal is often the bottleneck of your build in early settlement, so the more furnaces refining metal the better.

Sheet metal doors, lots of sheet metal doors. The first thing you’ll need to do to make your solo build viable long-term is to replace all wooden doors with sheet metal doors. Armored doors will be out of your price range for a while (probably forever), but putting your tool cabinet behind several sheet metal doors will make raiding your solo base a pain.

Don’t waste metal on code locks. In older builds of Rust, the struggle to get code locks on your door was essential. But if no one else needs to access your doors, all you need to do is craft some key locks and lock them—no need to craft keys. You’ll always be able to open the door and even remove the lock without a key.

Avoid building windows. Without special blueprints for metal and armored window bars, windows are just too vulnerable. Windows should only really be built on a second floor or higher—but as a solo multi-story bases are a needless extravagance. Avoid building windows—but if you must, put a door between the window and anything important.

Use a low wall and a half wall to make your airlock into a pillbox. This is an optional building technique—but you can build a half wall with a low wall on top of it as one of the walls of your airlock. This allows you a small slit at the top of the wall—too small for a player to get into, but big enough for you to stand on top of deployables and shoot out of—like a pillbox. Ideally your pillbox slit should overlook an open area or the approach to your base from the nearest radtown. Even if a smart assailant decides to throw grenades in or camp it, it’s in your airlock so it won’t really matter. But if you’re being camped, you can see out and shoot at attackers without the dangers of a window.

Concealment and Vigilance

Watch. If you see a player in the distance, try to identify what he’s doing. Most players outside of a base are migrating prior to settlement, farming materials, building a base, or raiding a base. Players that are migrating are vulnerable but probably don’t have much to take. Farming players are the easiest to ambush. A building player likely has lots of valuable materials—especially if he’s building a new base rather than just adding on an existing one. Raiding players are likely armed and on high alert. A wily solo will know to avoid the path of well-armed players who are heading to raid but may choose to ambush someone who is farming or building. Everything is a risk-benefit calculation you can make more accurately with practice—but results are never guaranteed.

Hide. Make hiding your default state of being. While moving around, you can find plenty of foliage and rocks with which to conceal yourself. If you see a group or you hear someone’s loud footfalls, stay crouched—which makes your movement silent—then find a bush to hide in. Wait until they leave. Find routes that do not include open fields and stay out of the view of tall towers or bases with open windows. Stick close to potential cover. When you are outside your base, you are vulnerable—don’t make yourself easy to see, hear, or otherwise detect.

Listen. Hearing the telltale signs of other players is essential for surviving as a solo player. Crossbows reloading, gunshots, footfalls, and players’ voices can all be heard and give you important information about when to run, when to stay still, and when to fight. Listen for falling trees, for tools striking a node, and for the sounds of base building and upgrading. The sound of metal tools striking a node may mean an advanced player is nearby—telling you either to avoid the area or to start planning an ambush. The sound of a tree falling outside your base means someone is nearby but probably isn’t looking for a fight. All of that information is of great use to a wise solo player.

Solo Combat

Remember that combat is subordinate to survival. Interesting gunplay and exciting combat are great, but they rarely help you survive as a solo. For the purposes of this guide, combat is a means to an end—getting more stuff or eliminating a threat. If you kill 10 players spectacularly and then take a lethal arrow to the face, at best you’ve wasted your time.

When to engage in combat. Use good judgment about when to attack a player. Only attack if you intend to kill and loot, but don’t loot if all threats haven’t been eliminated. Only lean toward aggression if you’ve got the upper hand—which usually means surprise. The perfect solo combat situation is a single quiet shot that ends a player with a full inventory—followed by the solo disappearing with everything useful.

Solo combat is ambush. Combat should be quick and decisive, with no room for mercy. Crouchwalk to quietly close on your target, using bushes and solid cover to avoid being seen. Aim for the head if you think you can hit it, otherwise aim center of mass. If you miss and they outgun you, you may want to disengage and disappear. If you hit, use solid cover and never stop moving. Hit them with a ranged weapon, move in, and finish them with melee or a pipe shotgun. No talking.

Avoid long fights. Don’t get into an extended ranged fight—especially with loud firearms. If you exchange more than 10 arrows or bullets and one of you still isn’t dead, your opponent’s friends may be on the way; abort. A quiet crossbow exchange is more likely to net a positive result—but a loud gunfight attracts attention, meaning that even if you win you may get none of the spoils when curious players show up and kill both of you.

Don’t pursue an opponent. Don’t follow someone into an area with which you’re not familiar. Most people who get attacked will instinctively run back toward their base—and they might have friends. Take note of where they live but don’t follow them there. They may know the location of traps and try to lead you into them. If you’re sprinting after somebody, you are probably risking more than it’s worth.

Do not engage armed groups. You are not going to win in combat against a group—and supposing you do, they are likely to find to find where you live and end in you in an offline raid. If you see players cooperating, walk the other way. Remember that most groups use Discord to communicate internally, meaning that you won’t hear their conversation. Look for signs that they are working together—mainly that they’re not killing one another. The only time engaging a group can work out is when you catch a small group of new players and decide to take bandit route to steal a base.

Weapons. Experiment with different combinations of weapons until you find one that suits you. Before I have high-quality firearms, I like to carry a machete for melee, a pipe shotgun for close range combat/ambush, and a crossbow for range. The machete and crossbow’s status as default blueprints means getting good with those weapons will be most useful for a solo player.

Learn to dodge. The hunting bow, crossbow, and pipe shotgun have long reload times for a single shot. Learn the reload time—and when you’re running from an assailant spamming with you with one of these weapons, you’ll be able to abruptly shift your path to left or right at just the right time for the next quarrel or shotgun spread to miss. Once you get good at this, you’ll be dodging arrows and shotgun blasts regularly.

Carry bandages in your hotbar. Early game, carry bandages to stop bleeding during combat. You should never be without bandages for the rest of the game. If you’re lucky enough to learn to craft other medical supplies, they should be part of your regular inventory.

Survival Metagame

Trust no one and let no one influence you. Rust’s culture is toxic and brutal–if someone sees you have something they want, or they just decide to end you, they’ll kill you without a second thought. Players will claim to be friendly, beg for food, or claim to want to trade. They’ll insult you and try to shock you. Don’t let anyone influence your behavior just by talking—don’t open a door because of something someone says. Don’t let an insult or an epithet cause an unforced error on your part. Maintain your position by declining to engage with trolls and rising above the chaos outside your door.

Make no assumptions and never let down your guard. Never assume a player is benign, unarmed, or friendly. Never assume that a player who was camping your door has left unless you’ve seen it yourself—and even then, assume that player will be back. Never assume that you’re not being door camped by a stranger, never assume that a naked player is harmless, and never assume that another player sees you as anything but a fleshy loot-sack waiting to be killed at looted. Rust is Lord of Flies and everyone wants to kill you.

Don’t complain in global chat. Better yet, don’t engage at all. The fastest way to earn the boundless contempt of an entire server is to complain about getting killed or raided in global chat. This applies too for the official Discord servers of high population Rust servers. If someone who engages with you decides to announce your location to the server, or you antagonize a person or group who know where you are, you’re inviting a raid on yourself. Stay below the radar for survival and for your mental health.

You’re dead the moment you step outside. Some soldiers have a ritual where they mourn themselves before they go into battle, accepting that they will die so that if they return, it is a happy surprise. This ritual should be yours every time you leave your base. You should consider anything you carry as lost as soon as you leave. If you’re going out to gather resources, go naked with a hatchet. If you’re going to raid, don’t take your only firearm or armor you can’t craft. If you die you’ve lost nothing that you weren’t prepared to lose. But if you manage to kill somebody and take their stuff, they’ll feel pretty silly for being killed by a dead man.


Maintain a Depression-era mentality. Resource management in Rust is paramount. Waste nothing. Even charcoal from a fire can be used to craft gunpowder, bones can be used for armor and weapons, and a burlap shirt can provide enough protection to mean the difference between life and death. Don’t throw away an empty bean can if you have the room to hold it until you can melt it for metal. Have a sense of what you have, and what you don’t, because a glut can turn into a shortage very quickly.

Farm smart, farm light. When you go out specifically to gather wood and nodes, take only the equipment and clothing you need and can afford to lose. This doesn’t mean go farming unarmed, it just means that you should be willing to lose what you have. Don’t fill your inventory completely, as if you’re killed you could lose 20 minutes of work instead of five. Keep moving while farming so you’re not an easy target for an ambush. Listen closely for players. If you hear players approaching, hide. Failing that, run away—but not directly toward your base. Failing that, ambush if you think you can get a drop on the approaching player. But don’t just run home with a group in pursuit–getting home with 5k wood, a metal hatchet, and a replaceable crossbow is not worth giving away your home’s location to a nearby group.

Build ample storage space. Try to have enough storage to hold on to everything. Your base build should have room for at least four large wood boxes. Basic resources like wood, stone, and metal can find their home in your tool cabinet to contribute to upkeep, but it’s best to have dedicated large boxes for components, one for clothes and armor, and one for tools, weapons, and items. It’s also nice to have an extra empty large wood box to dump your gains from a raid or downed player for later organization. Salvaged shelves are a great way to economize internal space—if you can get them.

Hunt smart, hunt quiet. Hunting animals with a firearm is loud and risky. Hunting with a bow or crossbow is less so. A boar will provide with you lots of meat and animal fat to make low grade fuel but even a boar can kill you if you’re careless. Stay aware of your environment while hunting and always have an escape plan. If you want to hunt more dangerous game like a bear, try to lure the bear back to your base so you can fire at it from the safety of your airlock. Remember that a hunting situation can quickly become a combat situation if another player hears the commotion and decides that he wants your dinner.

Fresh water and water storage. If you’re near a river, there is little need to store more than a bota bag or a plastic water bottle. But if your base has little access to fresh water, you should dedicate a little space to storing any water you find. If you’re lucky, you’ll find a water jug in a radtown. A single water jug usually holds 4k ml—that’s 80 sips—more than enough to keep you hydrated for hours of gameplay. Likewise a small water catcher placed outside your base, if you can craft it or steal one, can provide for all of your needs.

Radtown visits. You shouldn’t go out farming basic materials and then decide to visit a radtown on a whim. If you visit a radtown, you should leave valuable tools at home and just take protective clothing, armor, some decent ranged weapons, and a durable melee weapon with which to destroy barrels. Killing scientists on roads near radtowns is a great way to get metal tools to research. But your main takeaway from radtown visits is scrap—scrap is love, scrap is life.
The mining life. Mines are a great way to find free tools, including metal tools—but don’t get lost and don’t go too far down. Mine the four of five nodes, take the tools and other goodies available, and then leave the same way you came in.

Scrap economy. When you begin amassing scrap, first build a Workbench level 1 and then a Research Table. Once you have these two items inside your base, you should collect scrap in order to research useful items—metal gathering tools, basic firearms, and ammo types. In a colder environment you may also want to research heavier clothing. If you don’t have any items to research, pour your scrap into blind experiments in the Workbench. Don’t waste valuable scrap on building nail guns or other items that don’t help you learn new blueprints.

Use the scrap you have. Unless you’ve got a Level 2 or 3 workbench, you should never log off with more than 74 scrap stored in your base—you can use it to perform an experiment on your Workbench. If you log off with 100 scrap stored, at best the scrap will be there when you come back and at worst your base will be gone and the scrap will be lost. If instead you use it now to experiment or research, you’ll have the ability to craft something new—and no raider can take that away from you. The only exception to this rule is if you’re saving to research a juicy high-tier item in your possession, like a fancy firearm or powerful armor.

Component economy. You can always use rope—and depending on what blueprints you get from your Workbench Level 1, you may find yourself constantly using metal pipes, metal blades, propane tanks, and gears. But chances are that after a while you’ll be overflowing with sheet metal, road signs, sewing kits, tarps, and semi-automatic bodies, as there just aren’t many things a solo player needs in bulk that require them. Hold on to them anyway, and recycle them when possible.

Learn to love your local recycler. A lot of items that you find in radtowns, including some components, wood signs, or store fronts are basically useless to a solo player—but you can recycle them. You don’t need five electric fuses—but recycled they are worth 100 scrap, which could represent the ability to craft a shotgun trap, a winter coat, or a flamethrower. Don’t recycle components unless you’re sure you don’t need them, and as a rule, never recycle your last of any single component—you’ll never know how fortune will favor you with rare blueprints, and you’ll wish you had that last metal spring or rifle body.

Always carry a wooden hammer to check decay and steal deployable items. While exploring, farming, or raiding, you will come across decaying bases after the first day of the new wipe. If you come across a base where walls have fully decayed, you can certainly steal items out of chests—but if you have a hammer and are lucky enough to authorize yourself on an unlocked tool cabinet, you can also use your hammer to take useful deployable items—furnaces, research tables, wood chests, tuna can lamps, chairs, etc. If the base hasn’t decayed yet, you can use your hammer to estimate when it might—and come back for first dibs on the loot.

Base Security and Resilience

Your best chance at survival as a solo is avoiding attention. Whatever additions you build onto your base, remember to try to keep it invisible from as many directions as possible. Never advertise your location. Sometimes keeping the location of your home secret is worth dying for, even with a full inventory.

Create backup respawn locations. Dot your area with sleeping bags outside the radius of your building privilege so you can respawn outside of your base—and always respawn at one of these first if you die so that the sleeping bag timer inside your base stays at 0. Another good idea is to take over a nearby base which has been abandoned—this saves you resources and gives you a backup location in case your main base is under siege or you lose it to a raid. Once you’re established, you never want to wake up on the beach with no options for spawning near your base.

Practice good airlock hygiene. Never open both of the doors of your airlock at the same time, not even for a second or to save your life. If one door is open, the other door stays closed. If you get killed with your outer door open, do not spawn inside of your base and open your inner door, as a smart assailant will be waiting for you. Instead, spawn at a nearby backup spawn location and close your outer door before doing anything else. Using triangle foundations as an airlock and properly placed doors can also prevent airlocks from being penetrated even with both doors open—but don’t get complacent.

Make your base a frustrating hazard with wooden barricades and floor spikes. Lining your outer walls with a few well-placed wooden barricades or floor spikes can frustrate attackers. These traps can also prevent enemies from obtaining commanding positions nearby or do a little damage to a careless attacker—and either of those can mean the difference between life and death in combat. Barricades and spikes are too cheap and easy to make for you to ignore, even if their utility is marginal. They won’t do much against determined raiders but they might just kill an attacker who follows you home or frustrate and wear down people camping your front door.

Turn your base into an unpredictable kill zone with advanced traps. A well-placed snap trap can take down a fully geared player outside your base, or bring down a hapless poacher who is stealing your pumpkins. Hiding snap traps in natural foliage or beneath planted crops can make them even more deadly. Just remember where they are and don’t forget to reset them after use. Placing shotgun traps or a flame turret inside your outer airlock can allow you to lure geared players by leaving a door open, or allow you to fight someone who has followed you home.

Better yet, a trap base. Building a nearby base, built only to trick people into entering and dying, is even better. It also can make raiders who decide to blow off your outer door regret that very fast, and if you’re online when that happens it can even delay a successful raid.

Sheet metal doors are the weakest link against raiders, until they’re not. Most raiders will target doors—and prefer breaking down four sheet metal doors to breaking down a single stone wall. This means that once you have five sheet metal doors between the outside and your tool cabinet, the weakest link in your build is now the wall. So once you have five doors, the only way to guarantee increased security is to upgrade your entire base to sheet metal or to build an additional wall on all sides between the tool cabinet and the outside—which can be expensive and limited by terrain—which is why planning out the base when you put down the first twig is crucial.

Base upgrades can make you safer, but you will never be safe. A graph of time spent upgrading the security of your base versus reward is a bell curve. Once you have a fully metal base and ten sheet metal doors, you’re on the dropping side of that bell curve. Armored tier components are difficult and time-prohibitive for solos to upkeep. It’s important to remember that as a solo, you’ll never be able to out-grind a group of five players who know where you live.

Solo Late Game

Don’t stand in front of the recycler. In late game, you’ll visit the local recycler quite a bit. Keep in mind that it’s a perfect place to ambush someone and it makes a lot of noise while operating, which attracts curious players. You may want to use this to your advantage. Turn on the recycler and hide—and ambush anyone who comes investigating. Never just stand in front of the recycler and watch it work.

If you obtain an item whose blueprint you cannot get from a Workbench Level 1, immediately take it back to your base to research. If you manage to snag metal armor, a fancy firearm, or some other impressive item from a downed enemy or from a raided base, immediately head home and stash it in your Research Table. If you can save enough scrap, you’ll be able to research and craft it, adding to your long-term survivability. Likewise, if you have only one copy of an item that you can’t craft, don’t let it leave your base before you’ve had a chance to research it.

The fool and his AK are soon separated. It can be tempting to strut around like you own the place if you’ve got an assault rifle and metal armor after days of barely scraping by. But showing off fancy items can attract more attention than you can handle—and is likely to attract the kind of attention that gets you raided.

Only start a fight in a radtown if you’ve got the upper hand and an empty inventory. If you encounter a player in a radtown, use your best judgment about whether to engage or retreat. If you’ve got a full inventory and you’ve already looted the place, go home. If you’ve just arrived and they don’t seem to see you or you think you’ve got them outgunned, you can try to ambush by using tips from the Combat section above. If you’ve got lots of scrap or a valuable item to research, think twice before getting into a fracas.

Don’t mess up your own neighborhood. If you anger your neighbors by constantly killing them or raiding nearby bases, and a group finds out where you live, you are likely to lose everything. If you want to go out raiding—killing folks and taking their stuff or breaking into bases—go to another area. Your reputation there can be awful as long as they don’t know where you live.

Negotiating a détente with a neighbor. Generally, don’t engage with your neighbors—but if you’re close enough to someone that you’ll constantly interact, sometimes a negotiated détente is necessary—especially if the alternative is constantly shooting at each other every time your front door is opened. If you decide to try for détente, approach them with an empty inventory and tell them nothing more than you’re sure that they already know. Start with the most basic possible agreement—to leave each other alone. You can usually tell very quickly whether a conversation is worth your time. Remember that making friends with your neighbor isn’t the same as trusting him.

Don’t allow revenge, anger, or frustration to cause an unforced error. You’re going to die and people are going to treat you horribly. If you are killed, don’t go charging back to your body unless you think you have a real chance of getting your stuff back. Doing so several times means your sleeping bag timers will force you to wait to play again, which can lead to additional frustration. If someone is antagonizing you outside your base, don’t let them win by opening your doors. Don’t turn a single death into a string of humiliating defeats and lost loot, and don’t let an insult provoke you into losing a base. Don’t allow someone else’s bullying influence how you react to your environment or to threats.

Don’t engage with trolls. Don’t. Engage. With Trolls.

Remember! This is Solo Rust

This is Rust, and no one gets out alive. Whether it happens overnight after your first day in the server, several days into a wipe cycle when you’ve had a chance to follow most of these instructions, or when the server wipes—your beautiful sand mandala gets dumped into the ocean and your work is consigned to oblivion. If you are lucky your character will be ground up for human meat and animal fat to fuel a stranger’s furnace, which also will eventually become nothing.

Rust is not about reaching an end state, beating a boss, or even settling a score. It is the wild unpredictability of fortune and the cold brutality of competition in a world that generates thousands of emergent experiences a day. It’s up to the players—it’s up to you—to decide what that experience will be like for yourself and for your those with whom you share the server. If any part of this guide gets in the way of generating the experience that you want—or the experience you want others to have—toss it out and play your own way. The sky is the limit, there’s no bottom, and nobody is at the helm. Welcome to Rust.

Note from writer:

Like my last two guides, this guide assumes some basic Rust knowledge about crafting, building, and the general mechanics of the game—it should be what you read after you’ve learned to play, not before. And remember–be kind (if you can), Rust is chaos.

The guide is written with the goal of providing you with the tools and knowledge to survive in an unmodded high population Rust server as a solo player while economizing your resources and playtime. All other priorities are subordinated to this goal—if you want to learn to become a godlike PvPer, this guide’s focus isn’t for you, though you may still take something useful away from it. This guide is about living long enough to build a base and keeping it safe from the ruthless mobs that populate Rustopia and Rusty Moose.

Truth time: Being a solo in Rust is brutal. Even if you follow this guide to the letter and put in a couple of hours per day on a high population server, you’re still probably less than 50 percent likely to have a base last an entire week-long wipe. But applying these principles will massively improve your chances at surviving, building a base, and protecting it on your own.

My judgment comes from 3300 hours of experience, but it is by no means perfect or beyond question. I invite suggestions, corrections, and constructive community engagement. The guide also offers, where appropriate, mental exercises to keep you from getting frustrated and to keep you from making what I call “unforced errors,” which in my experience are responsible for most needless incidents of loss of life and property on Rust servers.

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