Rust guide: Surviving your first day

PC Gamer

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Written by Andy Chalk

Welcome to a new day in Rust! Life is hard in the multiplayer survival game (read our alpha review to find out why it's worth playing), but with the right knowledge, you can at least make it through a day.

Which brings us to our first tip: Check the time. If sundown is approaching, consider quitting for 20 minutes and coming back at dawn. It's cheesy, but spending a night in the open without food or shelter puts you at a real disadvantage.

Your first steps

The rock: Your best friend in the early going.

Once you're ready to begin, equip the rock in your inventory, then find a pile of logs and hit it to "harvest" wood. Trees will do as well, but they provide far less wood for the same amount of work. Keep your eyes open for free-standing boulders and do the same to them to gather stones, metal ore, and sulfur ore. Work quickly, and when you have ten wood and five stones, press "Tab" to enter the inventory, pull down the crafting menu and make a stone hatchet. Bye bye, rock!

Log piles are far better sources of wood than trees.

While you continue collecting wood and stones with the hatchet, keep your eyes open for animals. There are two you can kill at this stage: boars, which you can outrun, or wolves, which you won't have to. Wolves will mess you up badly, but you can usually take one down without dying by walking backwards and hitting it with the hatchet while it attacks; even so, do yourself a favor and try to find a boar.

Be careful while you're stalking your prey, because unlike the real world, the animals in Rust get along fabulously and where there's boars and deer, wolves and bears often aren't very far away. If you don't get at least five cloth from your first kill, find another animal and do it again.

Killing pigs with a rock isn't the worst thing you'll do in Rust.

It's probably best to avoid other people during this delicate time. Some of your fellow players may be very helpful but there are a lot of griefers out there too, and while it's easy enough to get away from a guy with a rock, dodging a spray of bullets is another matter entirely. Pay attention to the conversation to get a feel for how things are going; if you see a lot of players complaining about being killed (and they will most definitely complain) you should probably keep a low profile.

You can also simplify your life by turning off the grass with the F1 console command "grass.on false," entered without quotes. The denuded landscape isn't as pretty, but it's a lot easier to see things on the ground.

On the next page, craft shelter, armor, and weapons...

Let's go crafting!

It may not look like much, but it'll get you on your feet.

Collect as many resources as possible until hunger or darkness sets in, then craft a wooden shelter and place it in an out-of-the-way corner by putting it in a quick-access slot and then selecting it. Craft and attach a door the same way, then go inside, lock up, and make a campfire. Place and start it, then press and hold the "Interact" key and click "Open" when the menu pops up. Put the raw meat you collected from your kills—it will all be chicken breasts, by the way—into the "Cook" square and give it a few minutes to roast up into a tasty meal. Meat won't go bad, so cook as much as you can.

Your hovel holds all the necessities: fireplace, furnace, workbench, and sleeping bag.

With the food on the grill, go back into the crafting menu and whip up a bow and a bunch of arrows—20 or 30 at least. You'll need 35 wood and five cloth to make the bow, which is why you may need to kill multiple animals with your hatchet. The bow isn't terribly accurate but it hits hard and makes hunting a relative breeze, and at this stage that's what you need.

A simple bow eliminates most animal dangers (but watch out for bears).

If you have sufficient cloth remaining, make armor; if not, whip up what you can, then eat up (at least some of the chicken should be cooked by now) and go hunting. Depending on how much was left over after building the bow you're going to need 40 to 50 pieces of cloth to make the next big jump in progress, so don't be shy about killing everything you see. Once you have enough, get back home and craft whatever armor remains unmade plus a sleeping bag.

Place the sleeping bag on the floor of your cabin to create a respawn point, then build a wooden storage box, place it and put excess food, wood, stones, and whatever else you can spare inside. Having a stocked-up respawn point makes bouncing back from death a lot easier—assuming nobody comes along and blows it up.

Gearing up and getting serious

By now you should have a good supply of basic crafting materials, so at this point the game becomes less about staying alive and more about transitioning from prey to predator. Use animal fat and excess cloth to make low-grade fuel, then use that and some rocks to make a furnace. Wood, metal, and sulfur ore goes into the furnace; charcoal, sulfur, and metal fragments come out.

Use wood and stones to make a workbench—it'll be crowded in your little hut but everything will fit as long as you're not too sloppy with the layout—and with all the necessary furnishings in place you can craft a proper firearm, plus gunpowder and ammunition.

Stay away from places like this until you're packing heat.

It's a lot to do in a single day but with a good jump on the morning and a little bit of luck, it won't be much trouble at all. And now, properly armed and armored, you're ready to strike out into the world. But keep the bow—bullets are scarce. Good luck!

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