What makes a RUST server "tick"?

So like most of you, a friend introduced me to this game and we started on an established server. It took a very short time to figure out that i love this game. Soon, there were upwards of 15 of us, all members of the same community tooling around as a group. The server we played on was always populated to a reasonable number, never less than 20 people on that i can remember. We got word that that server was shutting down and decided to get our own.

Well, that was fun for the first 3 days. It became pretty much a bromance of epic proportions, so we split into small groups of 2 and three and started fighting each other in order to maintain at least some population. That has not worked out so well. Most of our regulars have become bored with the nearly scripted fighting. We have had a few random connects but they dont seem to stick around. Even though we go to the extent of staying clear of new spawns or helping them get set up, and have virtually ceased raiding to encourage people to build up. We still make note that it IS a PvP server and players looting high value areas, or farming near others bases are absolutely at risk of a firefight, but still it just wont take off. So for the last week its been myself and about 4 other people that have put time in on the server, unfortunately all at different times of the day.

I dont understand it, we are a good group, respectful of the person who just spawned in. I highlight that because i hear “i was repeatedly killed for my rock, fuck that server” as the number one complaint. But the server just wont take off. But, as i am a loyal dog, thats where i spend my time.

So my question is… what does the community see as a major draw to a Rust server… outside of population, thats kind of a no brainer. Is it starting kits? Is it Mods? I would really love to breathe some life into my server, but i dont know what else to do.

There is an abundance of servers. Even if you do everything right, there is a big chance there are just not enough players :slight_smile:

Also, how is the latency, got anything special like no craftingtime or whatever?

  • active, non-abusive admins that show authority against rule violations
  • admins that don’t help too much, i.e. no teleporting requests, item spawning etc.
  • good ping and a stable server
  • language restrictions (we have a German server and many players don’t understand English, so they come to our server because they can communicate there)
  • events (battle for explosives, games of catch the admin and so on)
  • some shitty presents for long-time players (“play 10 days on our server and get one shitty car on your roof”)

Our admins are practically invisible, so far they have had 0 interaction in a professional capacity with any players.
Stability is not an issue, occasional rubber banding but not often.
Language has not been an issue, but we have not advertised a language restriction. Our most promising group of randoms were Italians. I thought we made them feel welcomed, but they left as well.
We do run Events. Even built an Arena for hand cannon battles in Hacker Valley. It was just regulars that attended, so that faded out as well.
The gifting idea is cool too, but really doesn’t help until there is at least a small steady population, right now its at 0 most of the day and just me and one or two others in the evenings.

[editline]5th March 2014[/editline]

I think your right about the abundance of servers being a pretty major factor. But some overcame that, im just curious how. Perhaps its just that we are late to the party… making it all that much more difficult.

Just an idea… Maybe give the server a name so it’s on top of the server list if sorted alphabetically?


The only instances where you might benefit from are where a group of players played elsewhere, trusted the admin and then the admin broke that trust by wiping it or something like this. At which point they may be looking to move elsewhere, give them a decent platform to build on and they might spread the word.

And, have a long breath. Most admins quit if they see that their new server does not get players in a month. If you persist offering a stable and friendly place, people will come eventually.

unfortunately there are almost as many servers as there are players. If i understand it correctly the info at the bottom of the server screen says they are at 1% capacity. so if there were 100X more players, then servers would be all filled up. Id imagine though for your plight, to get a running rust server you might have to entice players with certain features. Such as airdrops(less or more), decay rates, durability rates, craft times. all those things could cater to a niche player base that could be looking for a place to stay. I think though once you find a good steady loyal player base the server starts to tick.

the server im on now was just starting to pick up before the big wipe, its creeping back but the player turn around is high. Even helping out the nakeds and not raiding or even pvp to give them a leg up. There are just too many servers to choose from.

Important line “nearly scripted fighting”. In a day or two you have mastered the environment…easy just to survive. Then your attention switches to the Pvp action. I mess up your stuff and then you come over and mess my stuff up…round and around it goes. I know it’s s survival game, but what are we surviving for? To just spend another day messing with others and replacing lost gear and loot? Need something more here. What could it be?


I’ve been playing on a server for a week now, got raided 3 times already, but im still there since its stable with active admins.

So What the server i play have:

-Rare Airdrops, I think the struggle to get C4 gives the server after each wipe an ALOT bigger chance to get stable before the mass raid/Pvping starts.
-You’re not allowed to build bases or houses inside the “road ring” The Road makes a ring, inside it you can’t build a base making the server more stable.
-Remove tool incase you missplace something
-The admins works on the server and are active, you get a feeling of progress all the time, Just a few days ago they made a new loot area in hacker valley and around sweden.


  • They also have a facebook page to update the server community.

Thats some things to consider…

Id also like to add, beeing active on the server is just as important as beeing active outside. Like faceboo and,Rust server Forums. Posts advertising the server.
You just need to go that extra mile to attract players, and as we all know. You can spend endless hours trying your best, but if new players can’t find your server nothing ingame will help :slight_smile:

Great input. Thats what im looking for. Thank you.

Thanks for the input everybody. I’m sure the admins are working hard to get the features installed that people will be interested in. I know that we’re strong on the ‘community’ aspect that people have mentioned as there is a long history beyond Rust with our regulars. We also host other games already.

Admin abuse/immaturity seems to be a common theme out there (sadly). I’m curious, why else would people consider switching servers? Also, when you do, how do you find a new server? This forum, others, reddit, in-game server browser? Interesting ‘alphabetical’ suggestion above.


When i’m finding a new server its mostly about finding a newly wiped one And Ping. But i really like the first hours or so after a wipe :stuck_out_tongue: But most of all when i’ve found a server and i see other players, if they rubberband alot and farming feels laggy. thats when i leave to find a new one.

3 or 4 weeks ago, I used to play on a perfect server.

The server was like this:

  1. Non-abusive and active admins who actually prevented hackers from playing on the server. The server was almost free from hackers. They were banned very quickly.
  2. High populated (75/75 during the evenings for 3 weeks, everyday).
  3. Uncraftable C4, which prevented the raidfest + good loot tables which prevented super fast proggression. PS: C4 could still be looted on crates (rare) and on airdrops. Raiding people was possible, but you had to think about it and to plan it more carefully.
  4. Good mods such as remove tool (essential mod, in my opinion).
  5. Decent ping and stability.

That’s it. The server I played was like that, perfect in my eyes. It had 75 players during the evenings (the capacity was 75, so 75/75, very active). And guess what? The server has died. A perfect server has died.

Why the server died, you ask? What went wrong? I’m gonna tell you my thoughts, based on my 600 hours of gameplay.

Because the game at its current stage gets boring. Even on servers which admins slow down the proggression, the game gets boring after you build a more or less secure base and get kevlar sets + m4, + BAR. After that, there’s not much to do other than kill your enemies. Most of players go killing everyone and some of them can’t take it and end up leaving the server. The population goes down like that.

Also, and this is something very important, the game at its current stage can’t handle more than 15 days of building. What do I mean with that? I mean that there’s this well-known mark of 30~40k structures building parts that lags the server. Once servers reaches that mark, admins are “forced” to wipe, because it becomes unplayable. You can still play, but you will see 70% of players teleporting, instead of walking/running properly. Sometimes a wipe is good, but not once every 15 days. Too short period. There are people who are not willing to do the same effort again for only 15 days. People get frustrated, people quit. Oh, I mention 15 days because that’s usually when high populated servers reach the 30k mark.

So yes, even if you do everything right, the game at its current stage probably won’t let you have a server with a decent population for a long time. We need more content. We all know it’s alpha and alpha isn’t really the stage that devs add more content. However, I think they should rethink about it, because the overall population is going down and that is bad for the game. They obviously didn’t think their game would get so popular at this early stage, but it did. That’s why, in my opinion, they should also rethink about their development process. Maybe adding new content wasn’t planned, but based on the way things happened, I think they should.

Ok, I probably answered way more than you asked.

Edit: but doing the things I listed there is a good beginning to have an active server.

I can tell you as of this moment the majority of our problems is high pings… I run a server that at one point was very popular. But about a month ago the ping took a bad turn and drove my server from 50+ average to a 9 average according to game tracker. I have a good name and new players continue to keep coming… But my 125+ ping drives them away… I have switched providers 3 times and still have the same issue… High pings… Ive tried running my server with 0 mods with the same results… Always 125+ ping unless you want to play at 3am… Seems nothing we can do but wait or quit at this point

#1 thing my friends and I look for in a new server: fresh wipe, today or yesterday, maybe the day before.
#2 thing: population. We want to play against other people.

Some other IMPORTANT things: ping, no admin abuse, prompt handling of hackers

Other items: mods like halfcraft, starter kit etc. DON’T MAKE IT TOO EASY, the game is supposed to be hard.

Some excellent information here. Thank you guys for your input. Green and I have shared what has been posted here with the server managers and hope to see some of it implemented.

Does anyone even sort by name? That seems kind of pointless.

At this point, to start a new server it’s going to be mostly luck. There are too many servers as it is and most gravitate towards the most popular. The ones that are most popular became so due to luck and timing (perhaps one of the first, etc). It doesn’t matter what kind of admin you are or what features you offer. I’ve tried most if not all variations. Until they modify the server browser to search for criteria, finding your server and getting it populated to or near capacity is going to be like finding a needle in a haystack.

I really have to agree with this. Its an uphill battle for ANY new server, BUT if we are going to hang on to the server and keep trying, i think we should have elements in place that would keep those random connects interested.