Rust crafting guide: 8 essential items you should craft right away

Rust crafting guide
(Image credit: Facepunch Studios)

Our Rust crafting guide is here to help if you're just getting started in the brutal multiplayer survival game from Facepunch Studios. There are tons of items to craft in Rust, from basic tools like torches and hatchets to more complex items like targeting computers and incendiary rockets.

We can't cover every single craftable item in the game, so our Rust crafting guide highlights 8 important items you should build as soon as you can. Rust moves lightning fast, and there’s not much time to stop and pick through the crafting menu while the spears and bullets are flying. Being well equipped on a new server is the difference between swinging a rock on the beach and eating your enemies' pumpkins in a freshly conquered base. 

Here are a few of the most important craftable items, along with some personal favorites.

1. Thompson

Crafting Cost: 100 Wood, 1 SMG Body, 1 Spring, 10 High Quality Metal

The Thompson is a simple short range SMG, putting you a cut above pistols, nail guns, and bows in a stand up fight. It’s not too expensive to build, and you’ll only need to worry about losing fights to higher damage and longer range rifles, but if you get the drop on them you’ll still have a good chance to hose them down and get out alive with their kit.

2. Hatchet/Pickaxe

Rust crafting guide

(Image credit: Facepunch Studios)

Crafting Cost: 100 Wood, 75 Metal Fragments

While not as efficient as salvaged tools, hatchets and pickaxes are trivially easy to make and a big upgrade over stone tools. With a low investment, they’re great choices for farming trips where you don’t want to risk a lot or even for picking at a weak side wall. Don’t overlook them in favor of their rustier friends.

The hatchet and pickaxe are efficient, and also something you won’t feel bad for losing when someone gets the drop on you.

3. Semi-Automatic Rifle

Crafting Cost: 1 Semi-Auto Body, 450 Metal Fragments, 1 Metal Spring, 4 High Quality Metal

The semi is reliable and effective, able to engage and down enemies at long range with steady aim. With practice it can down targets far outside of the range of most lower tech guns like the custom SMG. It’s great at keeping you safe and letting you pick off distant and unaware targets before swooping in to scoop up the loot.

4. Weapon Flashlight

Crafting Cost: 3 High Quality Metal

Night fighting in Rust is a pitch black confused mess, swapping between a light source and a weapon and trying to guess shots, or just remaining in the dark and trying to shoot at lights. With a weapon flashlight, you’ll still be a target, but you can quickly pop it on for a shot and then turn it back off and move.

5. Medical Syringe

(Image credit: Facepunch Studios)

Crafting Cost: 15 Cloth, 10 Metal Fragments, 10 Low Grade Fuel

The healing difference between a medical syringe and a bandage is substantial, instantly restoring 15 health and healing 20 more over time. Though you’ll still need bandages to remove bleeding, medical syringes will be your go-to choice for mid-fight healing when ducking into cover. You’ll want to bring them when raiding, farming, or visiting more dangerous monuments like Launch Site or Military Tunnels.

Ducking into cover and out of fights to quickly recharge with a medical syringe is an essential skill.

6. Satchel Charge

Crafting Cost: 4 Beancan Grenades, 1 Small Stash, 1 Rope

Satchel charges are your go-to for when you start trying to raid. They’ll let you break into smaller bases with just four per sheet metal door, and hopefully trade up into better long term options like explosive ammo, rockets, and even C4. Just be aware that satchel charges time to detonation is random once thrown, and sometimes they won’t go off and will need to be picked back up to throw again.

7. Garage Door

Crafting Cost: 300 Metal Fragments, 2 Gears

Far tougher than a sheet metal door, but only requiring metal fragments to upkeep unlike the slightly tougher armored door, the garage door is an excellent find that can keep your base interiors efficient and easy to move through. Remember not to get lazy and leave them all open, as tempting as it may be when running in and out of your base at a rapid pace.

8. Wooden Ladder

Crafting Cost: 300 Wood, 3 Rope

One of the only things you can place inside someone else’s building area, the wooden ladder is an essential tool for getting past outer walls, and scaling taller bases. Often a ladder can let you exploit a weakly built rooftop or sneak inside a larger compound to steal resources from large furnaces or refineries that have been left unattended.

Philip Palmer

Phil is a contributor for PC Gamer, formerly of TechRadar Gaming. With four years of experience writing freelance for several publications, he's covered every genre imaginable. For 15 years he's done technical writing and IT documentation, and more recently traditional gaming content. He has a passion for the appeal of diversity, and the way different genres can be sandboxes for creativity and emergent storytelling. With thousands of hours in League of Legends, Overwatch, Minecraft, and countless survival, strategy, and RPG entries, he still finds time for offline hobbies in tabletop RPGs, wargaming, miniatures painting, and hockey.