What are the best Rust servers to join in 2023? We’ve scoured the internet looking for the top Rust servers that cater to everyone. Whether you’re looking for some intense competitive PvP, a relaxed PvE sandbox, minigames, creative and build servers, or high-rate battlefield servers of the kind offered by Rust Academy, where you can get right into the action with minimal gathering.
Rust is one of the best survival games on PC. In its vanilla form, Rust is a gritty Darwinian sandbox in which you must scavenge to stay alive, developing your equipment from sticks and bows to M249 machine guns, keeping it all safe in bases of wood and rusty metal while other players seek to take it all from you. But as these servers amply demonstrate, it can be so much more than that. By tweaking all these particulars or adding new ones through mods and custom content, creative players host games that focus on the PvP aspects, or the building systems in a more peaceful environment, or create entirely new minigames with more restrictive but wildly inventive rule sets, and we’ve found them all. So whether you’re a veteran looking for a challenge or a new player looking to navigate what can be one of the most intense online communities, we’re sure you’ll find a Rust server below where you’ll feel at home.
Here is a list of the best Rust servers to join in 2023:
Facepunch’s official Rust servers run vanilla game settings, resulting in a slower-paced experience compared to most third-party servers. As the obvious destination for new players, the official servers unfortunately also attract the more predatory elements of Rust’s community – which is already known for skewing in that direction. Expect a fair few hackers too. If you’re still learning, do consider a third-party server with group limits (solos, duos, trios, etc) and/or relatively low populations to control such obstacles. We’ll be sure to mention them in our list below.
Rustafied is a wide-ranging resource and community for Rust players. Its website features an update tracker where you can learn about the latest additions to the game, guides for help while playing, and of course, a range of servers. These servers aim to provide a little something for everyone; choose a server with your preference of population size, resource density, wipe frequency, map sizes, and even map shapes across a range of custom options. There are trio servers too, for those who like to play in small teams, and as one of the bigger Rust communities out there, the servers are usually well-populated. A great place to look if you know what you’re after – we advise newcomers to select a small group option to limit the risk of getting ganged up on (or ‘zerged’).
Rustoria, similarly to Rustafied, is an online community that runs its own servers, and plenty of them. On their website, you’ll find a variety of experiences: rates from 2x to 10x, solo/duo/trio, modded and vanilla, and alternate game modes including base invaders and training grounds. With well over 2,000 players across all servers at almost all times, populations are healthy, and custom plugins are available for quality of life. The group’s ‘premier’ server is named Zeus, and boasts high pop caps and minimal lag with a 5x gather rate, plus a version with and without blueprints. There’s lots to discover on the Rustoria website too, including clan tracking and support, leaderboards, and regular votes on a range of custom maps.
Rust Reborn specializes in Rust minigames, providing servers that host targets and aimbot servers, parkour, FFA, combat arenas, creative and build servers, and battlegrounds. Its biggest claim, however, is to be the “original and best” server group for bedwars, a very popular minigame in which the goal is – with charming literalism – to destroy the opposing team’s bed before they do yours. There are many tactical considerations to make around this as you maneuver across the map and try to win an economic advantage in your team’s equipment; a reductive description might be ‘Dota, but in Rust’. Rust Reborn regularly tops the population charts for bedwars and other minigames, so look no further if you’re after something a bit different.
Another online community forming a new portmanteau from the word ‘Rust’, Rusticated is a similar operation in nature to Rustafied and Rustoria, but offers a few further game modes – specifically, minigame and creative servers. These host bedwars, gun game, and Targets, with more coming soon, and the Rusticated website has explainer content to help you get to grips with them. Rusticated also offers the usual mix of vanilla and modded servers with variable wipe frequencies, rates, and team sizes, but it’s slightly less extensive than Rustafied or Rustoria.
Making the lofty claim to be “the heart of competitive Rust”, Rust Academy offers a range of thoughtfully tuned servers designed to strengthen the game’s competitive flavors. There are no blueprints and thus no research to get in the way of the action, and gather rates from 5x to 15x to speed it along. For the even more demanding adrenaline junkie, Rust Academy also offers intense ‘battlefield’ servers with 1000x rates to almost entirely trivialize the gathering game, set on (slightly) smaller maps for more frequent combat. A great place to start if you enjoy Rust’s PvP elements but don’t want to make the game totally unrecognizable.
UKN is a server group that’s known for offering some of the best training grounds in Rust, and it maintains that tradition with nine Rust training servers across the EU, US, and Australia, with many custom game modes offering everything you need to improve your PvP gameplay. This includes targets, aimbots, arenas, and scrims, and you can even compete for prizes via leaderboards. UKN’s offering doesn’t stop there, with a number of sandbox and 2x vanilla servers also active. Note that training servers aren’t the same as newcomer-friendly servers – they cater to experienced players looking to improve further, rather than those who need to learn the basics.
If you are looking for the best Rust server for beginners, you might find a home here. AndysolAM is a Rust YouTuber, and runs a large group of servers in which his loyal audience all but guarantees a healthy population. Many of these servers are marked ‘noob friendly’, and the community ethos tends to be about having fun. They cater to many preferences in team size, including duos, trios, and quads, with a range of wipe frequencies and rates (if you fancy a bit of chaos, there’s even a 1,000,000x server). You can find them listed on Andy’s Steam group page.
With over a million subscribers, Willjum is one of the biggest Rust YouTubers out there. He specializes in solo play and so do his servers, which boast that “any teamers will be swiftly caught by our admins and custom detection system”. Further customizations include mods, settings, and maps all designed for solo play, with over 100 community-created maps reviewed and voted upon after each wipe. The obvious choice if you fancy going it alone (or are really, really fed up of getting zerged).
Another YouTuber server group, this one founded by Stevie, another million-sub pillar of the Rust community. Named Stevious, it doesn’t make too many changes to the base game, with 2x gather rates and few mods, so it’s a good place to look if you just want to give vanilla a little boost. It’s also been around for a while and is spoken of fondly by experienced players for its thoughtful but not radical changes.
However, it pitches itself at “the hardcore Rust player wanting more PvP and raids”, and as Stevie’s channel has grown his servers have tended to attract the kind of player that looks to optimize their tactics. It’s almost as easy to find complaints of toxic behavior and very meta, sometimes tedious min-max play – such as grubbing and roof camping – as it is to find praise from veterans for its well-judged tweaks. Sweats and discerning experts should feel at home Willjum.
If the pressure and anxiety of Rust’s typical PvP-heavy experience isn’t your thing, look no further. Rusty Wasteland is one of the leading Rust PvE servers, and prides itself on its active, friendly community. PvP play isn’t really a thing – looting, killing, and raiding are fully disabled. Instead, you’ll find NPCs to fight, with their own bases to raid, and even zombies sneaking around for surprise challenges.
There are plenty of custom features to enhance the PvE game, such as four levels of helicopters for you to fly, Bradley APCs to fight and drive, and a community town that acts as a safe zone, with everything you need to get started. The server itself offers welcome rewards for new players and a rank-up system to recognize both loyalty and server donations. If you’re not fussed about fighting other players and just want to enjoy Rust’s systems in an NPC context, among one of the friendliest communities out there, here’s your new home.
In a similar vein, Rust Empires claims to be the “world’s largest RP/RP-friendly” Rust server, and as you might infer, is designed to offer a fundamentally different way to play the game. You can claim land – either solo or as part of a clan – and build not just bases but whole cities in peace. PvP is limited to designated zones and base raiding is limited either to agreed wartimes or in unclaimed land, but if you’d like a little action, you can find PvE dungeons filled with hostile NPCs, or peaceful NPCs that hand out quests.
There’s even a separate creative server that allows Rust console commands enabling god mode, flight, item spawning, and Ubertool (god mode but for building), for total building freedom. If Rusty Wasteland is a fully PvE sandbox game, Rust Empires is a cluster of deep systems offering experiences from PvE building and roleplay while retaining some PvP potential if you wish.
That’s all you need to know about the best Rust servers. If you’re still searching for more Rust content we have a list of the best co-op games if you’re looking for a new game to play with your best mate.