To be honest, the game only really works well with 10-25 populated player servers. It gets too cramped very fast otherwise. Anymore and it’s just utter chaos. Additionally when you’re in bed, there’s nothing stopping someone blowing your place to hell. I believe allowing a player to create explosives are a mistake, and receiving anymore than 1 explosive from plane drops. This way explosives will be valued, it’s far too easy to churn out 50 charges within a day, more so with more than a couple of people.
To survive you need resources and shelter. Unfortunately resources are limited to small domains around the map, veering off the road too much will end you up in the middle of no where, where nothing spawns. Some use this to place their base just outside the perimeter. Once you have a spot, just go hard collecting resources and raiding towns & attacking zombies when there’s a low chance of players spotting you. The older a server gets, the more houses are strategically placed around landmarks of value, the players will sit back and shoot anyone who moves. I suggest creeping light on gear.
In the current game’s state, along you’re most likely just going to be meat for the bandits. There’s not really a lot you can do about gangs of bandits on your own, however you can band together. But generally bandits do too with the soul intention of just trying to annoy/ruin players and their houses.
I’ve found over playing, it takes a certain kind of person to be a bandit. In real life they wouldn’t dare, online they’re trolls and by night Rust rewards these non-team players extraordinarily well.