Rust Survival Toxicity

This summer, there was a big Steam Summer Sale, and I bought Rust, which is an online survival game. But I regretted my purchase the following days, and its achievements were to be unlocked (I got them with the help of handful friends). I discovered that the Rust community as well as most of its players were toxic, either (or both) by being a maggot (insulting, scamming, hacking, etc.) and/or by raiding and killing everyone on sight (including noobs like me). Everybody thinks is a threat to everybody, so everyone is raiding each other because everyone thinks “Oh it’s PvP! Then, screw morality! Screw everybody! I don’t care about them, I’ll just kill them and steal their stuff, because I’m just an ******** person!”. The thing is that there is no need of raiding everybody because resources respawn indefinitely.
I’d like to play PvE, and I did. However, the devs decided that achievements had to be more unlockable on official servers (which are all PvP) than on Community servers.
In every survival game, you can get raided, of course. But I got raided only a few times per server in Ark Survival Evolved (like 3 times max on PvP servers). Most people were being nice with me (going their separate ways or just chatting a bit with me or even inviting me in their tribe) even though I was on PvP servers.
But in Rust?! I was 99% sure of getting killed or raided, because of its damn intoxicated community. I even met a scammer maggot, who tried to blame me for what he did (it was on a minicopter practicing server, and he built a base on spawn zone so that people wouldn’t be able to get out [nobody but him was able to destroy his structures]. Thankfully, I called him on Discord, waited him to make a mistake, which he did make [he let me out]. Then, he offered me a tour on his minicopter. I embarked, but I felt he was going to kill me so I fled and hid inside a mini hangar. Then, 5 min laters he came back and saw me. And he had a hatchet. So, I ran down a hill while zigzagging. Then, he just abandoned chasing me. But people were joining the server, so he tried to blame me for what he did. I grabbed some stones, made tools and built myself a tiny house. Thankfully, I convinced people of the truth [that he was the one to blame {anyway, the proof of his guiltyness was on the server’s discord}] by accepting their teleport request. The maggot tried to tp to me, but I refused his request. I helped people getting out.). It is only a mere example of a Rust community player.
You might be asking : “Why don’t you raid or kill people on sight instead of getting killed?”. Because it would make me as worse as most Rust players, first. Also, I don’t see the need of raiding and stealing people. In addition, it’s not fun to get raided. It’s frustrating, really. I don’t want to get raided, so I don’t raid people. One must break the cycle, even if it doesn’t help. But only one person I know did (me). So, I stopped playing the game as soon as I got all the achievements. I don’t want to play that game anymore.

Feel free to speak, guys.

P.S.: Rust is toxic. GLaDOS almost described its toxicity, lol.


I haven’t played rust. Just recently they decided to drop Linux support, which isn’t cool:

So I’ll likely never played. What kept me from playing it was that I knew it was basically a pvp free-for-all.

I’ve not played Rust either.

I think it’s possible there’s an interesting game theory thing called a “Nash Equilibrium” happening. An NE is when a group falls into a state where no person can improve their position by changing their behavior. However an NE doesn’t need to lead to optimal outcomes.

Take the Rust servers as an example. If everyone was cooperating and would shoot anyone who shot first this would be an NE. Continuing to cooperate would be the best approach and changing to shooting people would get you shot and wouldn’t improve your position.

However if everyone shoots on sight that is also an NE. If you try to change to cooperating then you will get shot on sight by someone else so you cannot improve your situation by changing strategy. If you could convince everyone else to switch to cooperation you could end up in the other NE but you can’t change things yourself.

Here’s a fun interactive game about game theory which is pretty cool I think

One further thing I noticed in EVE (which is also a very cutthroat world) is that people you learn to trust knowing they could really screw you over is much stronger than trust in other games. If an MMO prevents people from attacking each other then you never really know if they are your friends. However when you are in hauler with a lot of your goods and your friend is guarding you in a combat ship which could kill you any time you know they are really your friend.


I’ve always been aware of Rust’s toxicity which kept me from playing it, although it might just be that I don’t like mmo pvp. I have Ark, but I only play single player, and occasionally join a server once and abandon it after an hour or two.

I think this unfriendliness can lead to interesting outcomes at large scales, as noted by tjwhale. If a server consists of thousands of players who are free to abuse each other, then any player able and willing to offer protection will likely attract followers, which leads to a sort of feudalism. Since most players don’t want to be attacked and lose their things, being incorporated into a larger group is attractive. This is how many real states formed. Joining the Roman Republic was attractive because Roman citizenship allowed access to Roman markets and protection by the Roman state. I generally prefer a laissez-faire approach to policing players, as it leads to a dynamic formation of political unions. Of course, cheaters/hackers/etc. should be removed.


Very pertinent. It showed me a great lesson. I posted the game’s link on some Rust discussion (the ones about “Why is Rust community so toxic”)

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I can tell you want to replace the M with an F in “Maggot” so badly with how much you used the same insult, but can I really blame you? Growtopia, an old mobile game by Ubisoft I think, has an even more toxic community compared to Rust. I know your pain when it comes to that sort of thing.

One way to make toxic people work together in a toxic game is to have the biggest gun. If you run up to someone who has no chance to fight you, you can spare them and other them a place in a group. You continue doing this until your group is so large and well equipped that absolutely no one can challenge you and even if you get betrayed they literally doomed themselves trying.

Aaand that’s where we got the concept of kingdoms. If you have an essential monopoly on violence, it’s pretty easy to get people to submit to you. Especially if other “big guns” exist, your rule can take on the role of defending from external threats. Control just for the sake of control isn’t viable (see below), especially in a game where participation is voluntary.

just a sin/cos

George Orwell’s 1984 takes “repression in exchange for protection” to its illogical extreme - the world has become divided into three superstates in permanent war, but unable to defeat each other. The lack of consumer goods there is because a supermajority of its production goes solely to the military sector in the hopes of gaining a slight upper hand.
It’s very likely, however, that such a society’s next generation will value tranquility and happiness (at least superficially) - such as in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. This relation was noted in a letter between the two authors.

In the context of a factions game, totalitarianism is impossible. Your constituent players can firstly just log off and return to the free society we live in, and they’ve had enough English classes to see it coming. Real-world autocracies instead can curtail the voluntary entry and exit of citizens, and deportation of certain undesirable peoples is not fun either.
There is historical background to the “boutta head out” strategy - secesio plebis and general strikes have been quite effective in shaking up the rulers so they can comply to the will of the people.

A second strategy is another classic - revolution. Rally behind a new leader and the supporters will have their greivances adressed and pockets filled. Modern chat platforms offer a great way to emulate the “secret convents” of yore, with the same aspect of espionage that real revolutions have. But in a factions game, socioeconomic issues are primarily not at stake - it is purely hunger for power.
I think factions games, as they have many humans and a simple economy, are great social experiments/simulations. Though that could also be said of a miniature Civilization clone I played, begging for an alliance when my invader (best friend) came knocking on my door.


In a game like rust where everyone is trying to kill each other, the players are split into small groups. This leads to no one getting anything and a night time raid resetting groups, stopping them from getting too far. If you get a large enough group of people together you will eventually become unstoppable on a server in a game this violence defined. In ark there is a lot more of a pve aspect, even on pvp servers which allow large tribes to form (and even dominate an entire server).

Yeah you’re underestimating the vile behind a lot of the Rust accounts. Often times this would just result in one of the group shooting you in the back once they get the chance and running off with your ‘biggest gun’ / taking over control. The only way to actually create a proper clan which won’t consume itself from the inside out is to have it consist of people that know each other outside of the game too, since then everyone wouldn’t just be ‘some rando’.