How to Turn Off Grass in RUST

TL;DR – As of Jan 2nd, 2018 the answer to how to turn off grass in RUST, is that grass cannot be turned off, removed, hidden, or disabled in RUST Experimental.

Are you looking for how to turn off grass in RUST?

Lots of the top blogs, articles,  videos, and RUST guides you’ll find on the internet about RUST are outdated and flat-out wrong. They also contain incomplete information that does not answer many common questions around the grass in RUST. This post explains some of the histories around the grass in RUST, what modification options are and are not available.

What you can’t do to the grass in RUST?

  • The ability to turn off, hide or disable the grass is not available.
  • The ability to control the distance at which grass is rendered is not available.
  • The ability to reduce or control the height of the grass is not available.
  • The ability to control the audio sound of grass rustling in the wind.

These may seem like odd questions on the face of it, however, there are practical reasons for wanting these specific abilities. RUST is a very competitive game and each of these abilities can give a RUST player a small notch of competitive edge.

What you can do to the grass in RUST?

  • The ability to flatten grass under your feet while you’re walking over it.
  • The ability to reduce the rendered texture quality of the grass around you.
  • The ability to reduce the range of the rendered texture quality of grass around you.
  • The ability to increase or decrease the shading applied to grass.
  • The ability to completely turn off all of the game sounds, including the rustling grass.

There are a few settings that can be found in the options and configurations that will allow you to control the above abilities. These settings can be set through the options section in the graphical interface of RUST or they can be set using the in-game console, which will write to your saved configuration file.

Grass Displacement Option

The grass displacement option will flatten the grass under your avatar’s feet as you walk over it, enabling you to the ability to see items directly below you. This can be useful when trying to find items that have been dropped, both intentionally or accidentally, in the grass. This can also be useful when trying to avoid stepping on traps, such as landmines and bear traps that have been placed in the grass. While it’s true, you will have to creep slowly to use this ability to your advantage, it’s better than nothing.

This can go so far as being useful for identifying sleeping animals in grassy woodland areas and may help you avoid them. Being in a woodland area can make this difficult.

One other question that’s often asked in this area, is does grass displacement affects the bushes as well? The answer is no. Objects placed in bushes will still remain a challenge and stepping through them will not flatten their rendering.

Grass Displacement OffGrass Displacement On
Grass displacement onGrass displacement off

Grass Quality Option

The grass quality option will determine the distance in which the grass texture will be rendered at a higher quality, increasing its level of detail. The higher the setting, the farther and more realistic the grass will appear in your field of view.

This particular setting can potentially lower your frame rate and have a significant impact on the game’s overall performance. Each year of RUST’s development, all of the associated settings involving grass have been optimized to where this is no longer necessarily true for many players with higher-end video cards.

Shader Level Option

The shader level option will increase the shading levels used on grass, among other objects in the game. This helps to provide a higher level of detail in your field of view, making the overall world more realistic. Similar to the grass quality option, this can have an impact on your game’s overall performance.

Why all this hub-hub around the grass in RUST?

There’s nothing worse than thinking you’re hidden by thick grass or ground cover, only to find out the opposing players have grass disabled and can see you – clear as day. In April of 2015, RUST developers released this devblog which highlights some of the community discussion around this.

Keep in mind, for developers of any game, let alone RUST, it is a struggle and a challenge in allowing grass to maintain its beautiful appearance, while also keeping the performance balanced at acceptable levels across a wide array of gamer’s computer setups. Stacked on top of this, making the decision for whether or not it should be a requirement alone is a challenge, as there always appears to be an opinionated argument over this and what constitutes “fair.”

The big argument here is: “Should all players remain on the same level of competitive play, enforced by the game’s own options?” What’s your opinion on this? We’d love to hear your opinion on this in the comments below.

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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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