How to Get Food in RUST

6 of the Best Ways to Get Food in RUST.

As a survival crafter, it’s half the game to know how to keep your hydration levels up and get food in RUST. Keeping your hunger and thirst bars full will provide you with the bonuses that will give an edge in PVP and keep you going longer while you roam the island. 

Here are 6 ways to get your hands on food and water quickly.

  1. Foraging and Finding Food & Water
  2. Cooking Edible Meat
  3. Farming Vegetables and Fruit
  4. Purchasing Food & Water From Vendors
  5. Water Well Monument
  6. Boiling and Brewing Water

Each way of getting food has its benefits and drawbacks. Some are better suited to the casual player, while others are only for the truly committed chads.

Players who manage to keep their hunger levels above 100 receive bonuses for health regeneration. Meanwhile, letting hunger drop down to zero, and you will begin to starve to death. It’s not an exceptionally fast death, depending on how much health you have at the time. But, during PVP and long journeys, it may be the difference between keeping your kit and loot or losing it to a lucky player or bear.

As well as calories, food gives a small bump in health over time. Useful for recovering health while you travel or sit at your base. It’s not so good during combat, as taking any damage will cancel the health recovery. But in a pinch, slamming down some Cooked Bear Meat mid-fight may save your life.

Hydration is also required to keep you alive. A player dying of thirst will suffer diminished movement speed and must keep the water meter above 50 to stave off dehydration damage. Water can also restore a bit of health, but only up to half your health bar. Beyond that point, you will need food or medication to restore more health.

Foraging and finding food & water

As you travel along the roads and especially the Abandoned Supermarket and Gas Station monuments, you will find a wealth of processed and prepared food in crates and boxes. These items range from:

Processed foods have the advantage of being high in calories and health recovery but aren’t always high in hydration. Fortunately, wherever you find them, you’ll also tend to find Small Water Bottles and Water Jugs to wash the food down. Without a doubt, foraging and looting crates are the quickest ways to get food in RUST as the boxes containing them are plentiful along the roads.

Foraging for Food in RUST Monuments

Naturally occurring food exists too, which varies depending on which biome you find yourself in:

It’s common to find stalks of corn or wild pumpkins growing alongside the rivers in temperate and desert biomes. The bonus to the desert areas is the cacti. If struck carefully with a stone or gathering tool, cacti will yield cactus flesh, which is excellent for hydration and yields cloth as a small bonus.

Foraging Food in RUST Wilderness

Mushrooms and potatoes are only found in wooded areas but are plentiful when found. If you spot just one, look around, as there are bound to be much more nearby. This plentifulness is also true for berries, as the different types of berries spawn across the various biomes, and where you find one bush, you’re bound to spot others nearby.

Water also can be found in natural formations such as lakes, rivers, and swamps. If you find a suitable water body, you can crouch in the water to see if it’s drinkable. Once you’ve determined it’s not salt water, you can fill your jugs and bottles to your heart’s content, hold the container, and use the right mouse button.

Cooking edible meat

Amongst the best ways to get food in RUST is through hunting. All animals, humans included, will yield some form of meat when harvesting with a sharp tool such as a bone and combat knife or a hatchet in a pinch. The more appropriate the tool, the higher yield you will receive from your harvest, with the hunting knife providing the highest benefits.

Once carved, you can get your hands on:

The unfortunate vegetarians of the RUST world, such as the chicken and deer, are much safer to hunt but have less value in terms of caloric intake. The more dangerous pigs, bears, and wolves have a much more fulfilling bounty in terms of meat, extra fat, and leather cuts.

Cooking Meat in RUST

Humans and horses are also meat options but are the worst in yield and effort. Horses are better to keep as a functional pets, and human flesh has the unfortunate effect of massive dehydration. Make sure to have a water jug nearby if you result in eating your teammates.

Fish are farmed using the craftable fish trap. Once placed in water, the fish trap will catch the relatively filling minnows and the much more delicious small trout. Place any food other than minnows or fish meat in the trap, wait for the sounds of water splashing, and check in on your fish trap. Once caught, the fish will eventually get away if not checked on within the next few minutes. The fish trap will also take damage over time while it is being used, so it is essential to go out with a hammer and repair them from time to time.

Farming vegetables and fruit

Since the farming update, managing a farm has become one of the most effective ways to get food in RUST to date. Building a small or large planter will give you space to plant your berries, corn, pumpkins, or potatoes. Seeds can be found when you eat berries, wild corn, pumpkins, or potatoes. Seeds for the various berry bushes can also be found in the wild if you plan to diversify your farming efforts for brewing teas.

Farming for Food in RUST

Farming can be as complicated or as simple as you would like it to be. Plant your crop of choice; make sure it’s either getting sunlight or lit by an electric light source. Growing plants will also require fresh water from time to time. You can check the stats of your growing plants by looking at them in the planters. The plant UI will indicate whether or not more light or water is necessary.

For the truly dedicated, farming can be a rewarding experience through the manipulation of plant genetics. Each seed comes with its genetic code, which will determine:

  • How fast the plant will grow
  • How high the yield will be
  • Requirements for light and water

If you aren’t happy with your plant’s genetic code, there is a crossbreeding process, which takes a lot of experience to master. Guides can walk you through the process. However, it’s unnecessary to understand if you’re happy keeping your plants sufficiently lit and watered, your farm will do just fine.

Purchasing food & water from a vendor

In the Bandit Camp, the Food Market vendor sells food and water in exchange for scrap; this includes cans of tuna, pickles, and water jugs. While it is a bit overpriced, if you find yourself needing water jugs desperately or want a few empty tuna cans for tuna can lamps, this is an option.

RUST Bandit Camp Vendors Sell Food

RUST Bandit Camp Vendor Menu

Water Well monument

The Water Well monument may or may not spawn on your map each wipe, but when they do appear, they can be invaluable. The mini monument water pump is a location where you can fill your jugs and bottles with fresh, clean water. Handy when you live far away from naturally occurring freshwater sources.

Boiling and brewing water

If you’re not lucky enough to live near fresh water, you can gather saltwater in containers and bring it back to the base. Building a water purifier is relatively cheap, but it can take time to convert your useless saltwater into healthy freshwater. Pour water into the top of the purifier, and put wood in the space underneath to begin the purifying process.

Boiling Water in RUST

Once you’ve got a steady supply of fresh water for your base, you might begin brewing it into teas using the mixing table. Depending on what benefits you would prefer, mix water with different berries to apply stat bonuses while maintaining better hydration levels than if the water had been drunk plain.

How you choose to get food in RUST is up to you.

How you get food in RUST depends upon how you, as a player, approach the game. Will you wander the island as a salvager living off the foraged remains of the dying civilization? Are you the rugged hunter who keeps his kill or the stoic farmer tending his crop? What works for you will come with time and experience.

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About Digital Ghost

Dg is the founder and co-owner of Corrosion Hour, a niche gaming community established in 2016 focusing on the survival game RUST. He is an active and contributing member of numerous other RUST communities. As a community leader and server owner for over 15 years, he spends much of his time researching and writing guides about survival games, covering topics such as server administration, game mechanics, and community growth.

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