So, you've decided that you're ready to play Rust and you don't want to die. I'll be honest, you're going to die. Some bandit will trick you and steal your stuff, leaving you alone in the cold. You'll be out hunting for food and you'll be killed by a zombie or other dangerous animal. You'll be hunting for good loot and die of radiation poisoning. Death is inevitable.
What I can do is help you increase the amount of time from your spawn until your bloody demise.
The Way of The World
First things first. Let's familiarize you with the absolute basics. On the bottom right corner of your screen is three bars covering Health, Calories, and Radiation. Health is your main statistic and covers how much damage you can take before dying. Calories determine how many actions you can perform and you gain more calories by drinking water and eating food. If your calories drop to zero, you'll begin to lose Health. Radiation is the last stat you need to watch out for and it starts at zero. Higher radiation (above 500) can lead to radiation poisoning, which will lower your health, but you can avoid that by eating foods like meat or taking anti-radiation pills.
The next step is worrying about nightfall. When it turns to night, you need to have clothes or some shelter to hide in. Without either of those, you'll get cold, which causes you to lose calories at an accelerated rate. A camp fire will give you the 'Comfort" buff, which causes your hunger to decrease slower and regenerates your health. We'll talk about making a camp fire later.
- Radiation Zones contain crates with some great loot, but your radiation level will rise fast while you're exploring these areas.
First Night Alone
You'll begin the game with a rock, a torch, and two bandages. Sometimes when you get hit, you'll get the 'Bleeding' debuff, which should appear above your health bar. Don't use the bandages to regain health, because they'll remove this debuff. If you want to regain health you need food and if you want to stay healthy you need shelter. So let's find some materials and food.
The first thing you need is some Wood, for building a hatchet, your basic camp fire, or even some shelter. Much like Minecraft, you collect items from deposits by banging on them with your best tool. Now, you could go all caveman lumberjack and use your rock to harvest wood from trees by hitting them, but that's not very efficient, which means you're wasting calories. Instead, look for wood piles around the area as they'll yield far more wood when you hit them. Next, you want to grab some more Stone, which can be found in grey rocks around your area. These rocks will remain important later since you can get ore and sulfur from them as well.
Now it's time to join civilization and move beyond that dinky rock. When you have 10 wood and 5 stone, you can craft a Stone Hatchet. The crafting window is available at the top of the screen when you hit the Tab key. Once you've crafted your hatchet, it's time to do some real gathering. Use the hatchet to get yourself some more stone and wood. Next, you need some food and cloth.
The best way to get yourself some food is to kill animals, find canned food in crates and loot bags, or to kill other players and take their food. Since you don't have any weapons -- other than the rock -- your best bet is probably a boar. Brain that digital porcine and keep hitting the corpse to take your spoils, which should be some Cloth, Animal Fat, and oddly enough, some Raw Chicken Breasts. Chickens and rabbits are also easy prey for rock or hatchet-wielders.
Once you've gotten some wood, stone, cloth, and meat, it's time to worry about heat and cooking. You can eat raw meat, but it's better to cook it on a Camp Fire, which you can craft using 5 wood. The camp fire will consume 1 wood per minute, so to conserve wood, you'll have to move quickly. Hit your Use key (E) on the camp fire and this will open up a window with two options: Ignite/Extinguish and Open. Light that fire up and then use the Open option to cook your raw meat and add any additional wood to fuel the fire. Eventually the camp fire will output cooked meat which you can eat. Huzzah!
- You can craft more bandages with some cloth.
- Be wary of where you place your fires, because the light can attract player bandits.
- The wolves and bears are hostile animals and will try to kill you, but they'll also drop better materials than the non-hostile animals
- The camp fire makes Charcoal as you use it. Keep that Charcoal for creating advanced items, like bullets!
- The camp fire has multiple slots to cook items in, so use them! When cooking on a camp fire, split your meat into three different piles. This will cook more meat with less resources used.
Movin' On Up
Now that you've handled the basics, it's time to really protect yourself. Your first step is to build a simple shack. The Wood Shelter is a small wooden box that will shield you from the harsh, harsh world of Rust. Once you have 80 wood, find a safe hiding spot and craft your shelter, which will take up 50 wood. The other 30 wood will be used to craft a Wooden Door. Once placed, you're finally safe from most average bandits and animals, because only you can open your door. People with rock and hatchets need a lot of time to get through a door, so you can ignore them for quite awhile or shiver in fear until they get to you.
If you've killed enough animals for meat, you should also have some cloth. Use 15 cloth to craft a Sleeping Bag, which acts as your Camp Spawn point in the world. You can only spawn at a specific sleeping bag every five minutes, so it's best to craft multiple bags to place in one area.
Unfortunately, your ugly shack won't last forever. Rust has something called Decay. Each building in the game has a timer: 12 hours for wood shelters, 24+ hours on wood buildings, and 4 days for metal buildings. When that timer reaches 0, the building begins to decay from the top down. The easy way to reset the timer is by simply opening the door to your home.
You can also repair your tiny shack by placing the relevant material - like wood - in your hotbar, aiming at the item that needs to be repaired, and hitting the hotbar key. You'll get a notification that the health of your item is going up. You can also use this as a defense against player bandits trying to hack their way into your shelter. As they're doing damage, you can simply repair it from the inside if you have enough resources.
You'll also want to build your first ranged weapon, the Hunting Bow. The bow itself requires 35 wood and 5 cloth to craft, while the arrows require 1 stone and 4 wood (makes 4 arrows). Arrows are physical objects and will drop when shot over long distances, so be prepared to practice your trajectories!
- Remember, only you can open your door. If you let a player into your shelter, they can kill you and the shelter will remain open.
Gateway Into A New World
The last thing I'm going to clue you into is the Furnace, which you'll need to smelt ore and create better weapons. You'll need 15 stone, 20 wood, and 10 low-grade fuel to make a furnace. Where does the Low-Grade Fuel come from? Animal fat and cloth, meaning you'll need to hunt some more animals! 2 animal fat and 1 cloth can be crafted into low-grade fuel. You'll need more than 10 on-hand, because the furnace uses the item as constant fuel while lit.
Much like the camp fire, hit the Use key to open the Furnace and place your Metal Ore and Sulfur Ore inside for smelting. This will create Metal Fragments and Sulfur, which can be used to craft bigger and better things! You can also tan cloth in the furnace to create leather.
To be able to craft things like guns, you'll need the items crafted from a furnace and some Blueprints. The blueprints come from supply drops (dropped by the planes flying overhead) and the corpses of zombies (one reason you need the bow).
- - Using the furnace also creates charcoal.
- - You can build a Small Stash for 10 leather. You can place items in the stash and it's completely invisible to other players. It'll actually be invisible to you when you walk away, but will re-appear when you get close.
Trust No One... Or Someone
Remember, Rust is an online multiplayer game. So while you have to worry about hunger, cold, radiation, zombies, and hostile animals, the most important thing you should be worrying about is the other players. You need allies, so you can try to cautiously talk to players via text or voice chat, but realize that many players are just out for themselves in the beginning. Always make sure you have an escape route. People will feign weakness to trap you, they'll completely destroy you with superior firepower, and sometimes, they'll be legitimately nice to you; you never know what to expect in Rust. In fact, get used to packs of naked people with weapons trying to kill you. It's pretty normal in Rust.
- To hide the digital genitalia of the aforementioned naked people, open up the console by hitting F1. Then type "censor.nudity true" and the junk of your enemies will be replaced with large pixels.