Greetings everyone! Jediaelthewise here from RustHelper.com. I’ve seen many threads here on the face punch forums and the Rust subreddit with complaints about admin abuse and bad servers. I decided it would be good to create a simple guide explaining what an admin is and how you can do it properly on your server depending on the type of server you want to create. I believe some issues could be resolved just by having a better understanding and perspective of how to look at administration and setting a few rules for yourself. So without further ado:
What is an admin?
An administrator is one who is in charge of enforcing the rules of a server. He or she is given the power to act in certain ways to enforce these rules and make sure that they are followed. An admin is tasked with watching for violations and taking action when rules are broken.
What is a server owner?
A server owner is one who pays for and owns the server. In most cases, the owner and primary (sometimes only) admin are the same person. Someone who owns the server has full authority and say in what the server can be used for because they paid for it. At rust helper.com, our servers are owned by tastycrumpet and I (jediaelthewise) do a lot of the main administration. I may give suggestions but in the end, whatever tasty crumpet wants to do with the servers, I abide by because he is the owner.
What can an admin do?
An admin is capable of using server commands. See here for a full list. A few common ones are teleporting one player to another, changing time of day, giving items, kicking, banning and many others. In order to legitimately use these commands, an admin must login by the F1 console and use an rcon.login command with the correct password that is provided/set by the server console.
There are some mods such as /promote that allows you to promote people to admin without giving them this password. It is not the same password as the console side server controls. All commands can also be used from the server console without actually logging into the game.
If you install additional add ons, an admin would also have the ability to set and configure the settings of these as well. These sometimes are done in game via a command. Other add ons must be configured by JSON coding from the server console.
Tip: Here is a good website to use to verify your JSON code to make sure it is marked up correctly. It has been especially helpful to me when working with the huge kit files for our creative server. http://jsonlint.com
As a server admin and host, you need to determine what kind of server you want to host. Is it a vanilla survival server? Are you hosting a creative server? Perhaps a roleplaying server? Just your own server you and your friends can experiment on?
None of these are ‘better’ or more correct than the other. If you own the server, you have full complete rights to decide what it should be. What we recommend is that you should develop a list of expectations beforehand so that you have a guide with which to work by. What I have done for our servers is written a full list of rules for both our creative and survival servers, which you can see here:
By creating a list of rules and expectations, you have something to refer to and abide by. You also tell your server community what kind of server you are hosting and what to expect.
You can choose not to do this at all, there is nothing wrong with that either. As I said, you own it, you may do with it as you please. If you choose to have no official rules, then the rules are what the owner says goes. However if you plan to host a community, you risk potentially disappointing people when their expectations don’t line up with yours and how you choose to enforce your rules.
What is admin abuse?
Abuse is violation of an expectation of conduct. Basically people will expect certain things from those who administrate and when those expectations are violated, you will likely be accused of abuse.
The reason we recommend setting a clear list of rules and goals is so that both you and your community understand what to expect.
True admin abuse is when you violate the rules you have communicated to your community. So for example, in our rules for our survival server, we purposefully limit our admin controls with oxmin to only ban, kick and teleport (for getting people unstuck). If we were to then spawn items, we have broken our own rules and have committed abuse. (Now don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to say putting on god mode and just killing all your player isn’t abuse as well. I am just trying to make a point that without a set of expectations or rules laid out, it leaves more chance for admins doing things that violate your expectations.)
When there are no rules or laid out expectations, what the admin chooses to do is law and there it is not abuse for him to do as he pleases. If you join a server with no published or clear set of expectations, then you don’t have any true legitimate reason to accuse someone of admin abuse. Unless they clearly state that they will not do something and then violate the rule, whatever they say and do is entirely up to them. If you don’t like it, just move to another server.
Note on recruiting admins: By setting a list of rules and expectations, you create an expectation of conduct from all your admins. It is then easier for you to watch for abuse and create consistency among your admins. When bringing in new admins, you have them agree to your rules and that they commit to enforce them. If they break them, then you have clear justification and guidelines with which to make a decision because you have made them clear to both your admins and your community.
How can I admin my server better and grow my community?
Here are a few tips, some of which we’ve already covered:
- Decide from the start what kind of server you want to run - Figure out ahead of time what you want to accomplish and then plan around it. If you want to change things, give your community the courtesy of telling them what changes you are making and why.
- Establish a clear set of expectations and rules - This helps people to know how you plan on doing things and your reasons when you enforce the rules. If you want some examples, check out our server page on our website. Look up the rules on other servers.
- Abide by your own rules - Once you have settled on a set of rules and expectations, abide by them. Nothing will piss of your community more than saying one thing and then doing another thing. Consistency and integrity go a long way, not only in Rust but in life in general.
Here are some ideas to help you as an admin.
- Play the neutral party - Do you want to admin and play at the same time? Play the neutral party. Set up a market or a shop. Admining a server can take a lot of time and so you might not have the ability to play normally depending on how you set things up. By playing the neutral party, you can play while still interacting with everyone on your server.
- Restrict admin commands - This is something we do on our survival server so that our community has clear expectations of how we plan to do our job. If you want a survival server and play with your community, make a rule for yourself that you will spawn no items under any circumstances. Then tell your community that. It gives your players confidence and assurance that you will do your job correctly.
I hope this guide has been informative and helpful. If you have any other suggestions to go along with this, please feel free to share them. Tell me your stories of being an admin so that we can help each other provide better servers for the community. If you have any other good suggestions, I will add them to this guide. I will also host this guide on our website at www.RustHelper.com for future reference and will update it as I add more content to it.