Swtiching between standard and experimental branches -- a quick way?

When I switch between standard and Rust experimental branches in Steam, Steam re-downloads the entire game (it seems). Is there a way to save both versions without having to download with every switch?

I guess make a copy folder for both, then when you switch to one of them copy the rust folder of that “one of them” inside “common”

Yeah but I was hoping Steam had a more automated way of handling this.

You don’t really want to rely on delta updates back and forth across complete different branches like this.

You’re basically going, okay, I’ve got a diesel engine here, and a gasoline engine that runs much better over there that I’m building. How do I make it so I can swap these out as fast as I can buckle a Velcro shoe?

It’s really actually kind of an involved process, so it’s easiest for Steam to just wipe it out and start over.

You should be able to have the two versions in the Steam\steamapps\common\ folder as different names, and when you want to play experimental (instead of stable), change Rust to Rust.stable and Rust.experimental to Rust. This could screw things up, but you seem to be okay with reinstalling Rust once or twice a week anyway, so reinstalling it again to fix it if it turns out this is a really bad idea isn’t going to be that much worse. Make sure you exit Steam before doing this file swap, however.

For a test, this is what I suggest doing. Copy whichever one you have to a new folder, e.g. if you’re on Experimental at the moment, make a copy and name it Rust.expr (for experimental). Then switch branches to stable and let Steam download it. Run Rust once on stable, and then exit and shut down Steam. Rename the stable Rust folder to Rust.stable, and make a copy of Rust.expr and rename it Rust.

Then restart Steam, switch Rust to the experimental branch, and let it do the file validation. See if it explodes and complains. It might. If it does, just switch back to stable, stop the download and shut down Steam, and then put back the stable build, or just delete them all and do a clean install, your choice.