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The gigantic, classic survival game Rust is flying on Steam right now

Inspired by DayZ before moving closer to Stalker, Rust, the survival game classic from Half-Life legend Garry Newman, is surging on Steam.

Rust Steam survival game: A man shooting a rifle in Steam survival game Rust

It’s strange. When you think of the PC games that have defined the last decade, Rust, originally designed by GMod and Half-Life community legend Garry Newman, doesn’t normally spring to mind. At its conception, the enormous survival game served as an alternative to DayZ. Later, as developer Facepunch rebuilt and reshaped the idea, Rust started to have more in common with Stalker. Now, 11 years since its alpha release, it’s something entirely of its own, a surreal, often slapstick world where everything can kill you. One of the most enduringly popular games of the last decade, Rust is currently enjoying a resurgence on Steam – and deservedly so.

Let’s get straight to the numbers. Throughout June, according to figures from both SteamDB and Steam Charts, the average concurrent player count for Rust grew by more than 18%. On Thursday June 6, the survival game attracted more than 175,000 players at once. Likewise, in the past week, on Thursday July 4, over 174,000 players logged in to play Rust simultaneously. According to SteamDB, in the last 30 days, Rust has reached its highest average player count since October 2022.

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So, why the uptick? Two significant Rust updates have arrived recently, one in June and one in July. ‘Seismic Shift,’ released on Thursday June 6, introduced new items, adjustments to the meta, and a variety of quality-of-life improvements. On Thursday July 4, Facepunch released the ‘Road Renegades’ update, which adds motorbikes, a traveling vendor, and, more ominously, handcuffs to the sandbox game.

Rust Steam survival game numbers: Player numbers for Steam survival game Rust

More than 12,000 user reviews for Rust have been posted on Steam in the last 30 days, 86% of which are positive. In combination with the increased player count, it seems Facepunch’s changes and additions have been favorably received. Of course, Stalker 2 and Once Human (read our exclusive interview with developer Starry Studio) will bring greater competition to the survival genre, after more than a decade, it looks like Rust can hold its own.

If you’re a big Rust fan, you might like some of the best open-world games, or maybe the best multiplayer games on PC.

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