The Best Base Building Game: A Full Rust Review

Rust is a game full of role-playing, frustration, and, above all else, survival. But is it worth the forty dollar price tag?

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The Steam library boasts over 23,000 individual game titles not including additional DLC content available for many games. With so many unique titles to choose from, how could someone possibly be expected to pick out a game that is perfect for them? Add a price tag to the mix and the decision only gets more stressful.

Narrowing in on the type of game can certainly help to lessen the seemingly never-ending list of games on Steam. For this article, we’ll zoom in on the niche category of base building games. Even still, there are many great options out there like ARK, Subnautica, and a number of stellar indie games. Choosing just one is nearly impossible, yet is exactly what we aim to do.

We have selected one of the many base building games available on Steam that we believe to be the best of the best, that game being Rust. While it certainly has other mechanics that could sanction it to other game genres, base building is a core mechanic if you want to find success in the world of Rust. We’ll take a deep dive on the interactive world of Rust and its community. We’ll tackle some of the most common questions asked by potential buyers before they decide on a purchase and, ultimately, whether you should buy it. Specifically, we’ll be addressing:

  • What is Rust?
  • What does Rust do well?
  • What are the cons of Rust?
  • Should you buy it?

What is Rust?

rust base building game spawn point
As with many survival games, you will start out with nothing. The aim of the game is to change that as fast as possible by harvesting materials, finding loot, and stealing loot from others! Image courtesy of

At its core, Rust is a survival game where the journey is more important than the destination. Upon loading in, you will find yourself on some area of the uniquely-generated map (usually the beach) with nothing but a rock and your wits. From here, the journey is completely up to you. Most playthroughs consist of gathering materials, building a base, and a healthy dose of PVP action.

However, not all playthroughs are typical. You see, Rust is structured in a way that each server goes through ‘wipes’ on a varying basis. A server that has just been wiped means that every player on the server loses all progress and thus finds themselves naked, alone, and once again on the beach. This is a great time to join the server as you will be able to make similar progress to everyone else. It can also be an extremely frustrating time as you stand defenseless against the lucky guy who happened to find a revolver in a crate.

Aside from the scheduling wipe phase, Rust servers typically consist of various solo players and small teams scattered across the map. On larger servers, there will be massive clans dominating certain loot-heavy areas of the map. If that feels like it is up your alley, there are tons of Discord servers out there to apply to clans and make new friends! No matter your playstyle, there is an option out there for you on one of Rust’s hundreds of servers.

In terms of in-game mechanics, Rust is a standard first-person shooter and most of the standards of an FPS game apply. Some of those being gun recoil, ability to aim down the sights of a gun, the implementation of a heads-up-display (HUD), and of course your weapon being held in the character’s hands. Unique mechanics to the game that some FPS games do not have, however, would be the ability to melee, an inventory system, a hotbar, vehicles, and many more minor details that make Rust so distinct.

What does Rust do well?

rust base building game still on steam
Rust can certainly be played as a solo survival game for those who are ready for it. However, teaming up is strongly encouraged on servers that allow it to double the fun and your chance of survival! Image courtesy of

In our opinion, the greatest aspect of Rust is its replayability. Considering Rust servers wipe on a listed schedule (usually weekly, sometimes monthly), you’ll constantly find yourself rebuilding from the ground up. This gives you the ability to try out new base designs, loot different areas that have different PVE bosses, and even try out unique challenges like only using a Eoka pistol (if you’re up for the challenge!).

Another great aspect to Rust (which will also be discussed as a con) is its vast player base and community. As of the time this article was written, Rust boasted a monthly player base of approximately 140,000 unique players. This means there will always be new people to meet, new friends to make, and (most likely) new enemies to wage war upon.

A Rust review would not be complete if the progression system was not touched upon. A typical full wipe will look like the following:

  • Spawning in naked on the beach (gather wood, stone, etc. and start making a base)
  • Primitive gear phase (bow & arrows, spears, basic pistols, wooden armor)
  • Mid-tier gear phase (sub-machine guns, hazmat suits, larger bases, monument farming)
  • Late game phase (rocket launchers, explosives, massive bases with fortified turrets)

With a typical progression system like this one, a player gets to experience all of the different combat phases along with everyone else. Better players typically progress faster and thus are able to dominate lesser players as all they will have is lower-tier loot. Ultimately, this is the name of the game: domination.

Aside from Rust’s replayability, the game also does a great job at bringing in new players through popular streaming sites. On Twitch, Rust developers have introduced a ‘Twitch Drop’ system in which a certain amount of hours watched on any given stream equates to that streamer’s custom skin being unlocked on the viewer’s account. This recent trend has skyrocketed the game’s growth and player base as with many games that become popular amongst streamers.

From a marketing standpoint, the Twitch Drop system is quite genius. Not only does it give the game more attention through the increased viewership, but it also gets more streamers to play the game and thus show it off to even more people. The relationship works both ways and has a beautiful compounding effect that can seriously impact a game’s player base.

With this new influx of players, the game has become a remnant of a time many thought had passed. As with any high-skill cap game, the game reaches a point in which only experienced players can find any joy within the game. This is especially true for Rust as a new player would stand little to no chance against someone who has been playing for years. However, the new surge of new players has allowed there to be dedicated servers to those who are new to the game. Even in standard servers the average skill level has decreased dramatically. Of course, you still may get one-tapped from time to time, but that comes with the territory.

One final positive note for Rust is their custom servers. Rust gives players the ability to create their own custom servers ranging anywhere from standard Rust with certain unique settings all the way to player’s own  custom maps and game modes. One of our personal favorites is the ‘Gun Game’ server type in which players work their way through the arsenal of weapons available in Rust, advancing one weapon on each elimination. First player to cycle through all of the weapons wins (you may remember this from some Call of Duty custom games)! It also works as a great way to train your aim without the consequences of losing your loot.

What are the cons of Rust?

rust game still on steam
Every game has its own drawbacks and restrictions. Thankfully, most of Rust’s problems have ways of addressing them or can be seen as both a pro and a con! Image courtesy of

All games come with their own unique list of problems. Rust’s main problem is the frustration for newer players. Considering there are thousands of players out there with literally thousands of hours of in-game time, it can be difficult for newer players to keep up. For newer players, we recommend trying to find a friend who has more experience to show you the ropes and help you out on your first wipe day.

The frustration of Rust is not unique to new players, however, as even experienced veterans can feel the wrath of larger clans. No matter how well your base is fortified, a clan of twenty people with explosives is simply impossible for a solo to defend. This can be avoided, however, by picking a community server that has clan caps that would be listed in the server details section.

One topic that simply cannot go unmentioned in a full game review of Rust is the frame rate. It would not be fair to say that the frame rate is strictly bad, it’s just not great. Steam recommends users to have a GTX 670 graphics card or newer, but if you want to be able to actually play the game on higher settings a 900 series card is recommended. This can certainly be a defining factor for those who do not have the greatest of graphic cards and thus a pretty major drawback in terms of potential players.

A final con to Rust would have to be the in-game voice function. Although this can be toggled off, many leave it on as it certainly increases immersion. This, however, can lead to some toxic, potentially even racist, interactions among certain players. Considering that Rust cannot monitor every single one of these interactions, it is hard to fault the developers for this (and at least you can toggle it off). That being said, it is certainly something to note before jumping into the world of Rust.

Should you buy it?

Rust game still on steam
Ultimately, the choice falls upon your shoulders. Always remember about steam refunds if you decide you don’t like before reaching two hours of in game time! Image courtesy of

The short answer: It Depends.

If you like survival games full of player and community interaction, then certainly! Rust has arguably some of the best replayability on the Steam marketplace meaning that you can certainly get your money’s worth of in-game fun. That being said, the initial price tag is quite steep.

Rust used to be only twenty dollars, but the influx of popularity it has received lately (mainly due to popular streamers bringing in tons of new players) has allowed them to double the cost. While this is unfortunate for potential new players, it atleast comes with the caveat of coming from a surge of new players and not the greed of developers.

At your average minimum wage job, this would take somewhere around four to five hours of work to pay for. Considering that, the average time played across every account is just over 300 hours! That is nearly 60 times worth your money if you spend the average amount of time in Rust as any other player (not to mention there are some out there with well over 10,000 hours).

Overall, the choice is yours. If the description of Rust seems enticing to you then go for it (remember, there is a refund option on steam for less than two hours of in-game time within 48 hours of purchase). Remember to check out the system requirements to ensure you can run the game at an enjoyable level before you buy! If not, there are tons of other options out there in the realm of survival games, many of which are even free to play!

If you decide to buy, good luck, stay safe, and trust no one!

Image courtesy of

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