How to Use the RUST Composter

How to Use the RUST Composter

Make Captain Planet smile by putting your waste products to work in the RUST composter, the power is yours!

The RUST composter is a base component, shrouded in mystery, that has flown under the radar. Place waste food or organic products in the composter, wait a while, and fertilizer comes out. But what does fertilizer do, and what are the best leftovers to put in the composter. The game itself doesn’t make things super clear on this front, leaving players to guess what food they should eat and what they should throw into the compost pile.

With a functioning RUST composter, you’ll find yourself with the ability to;

Facepunch has been adding a lot of functionality and nuance to the farming system. First and foremost for success in farming is maintaining the quality of your farming soil. Once you’ve found the balance of light and water, you’ll need a steady fertilizer supply to balance out the soil quality. But to get that started, you’ll need a firm grasp on the basics of the RUST Composter.

In this guide, we’ll show you;

  1. How to get the RUST composter
  2. What fertilizer in RUST can do
  3. What to put into the RUST composter
  4. How to use fertilizer from the composter

How to get the RUST composter

There are two primary ways of getting your hands on the essential composter in RUST. By default, the composter is a default blueprint known by all players. For only 200 wood and two tarps, all players can craft the composter. 

You don’t have to build the RUST composter at a workbench; however, doing so will substantially speed up its crafting time. Without a workbench, it will take a full 30 seconds to craft. Its crafting time speeds up to seven seconds when crafted at a workbench level three.

Purchase the RUST Composter for 30 Scrap at Bandit Camp

If you’re having trouble getting your hands on a tarp or having a surplus of scrap on hand, there is an alternative method of getting your hands on the composter. Namely, the bandit camp sells the RUST composter for the low, low price of 30 scrap. The vendor selling RUST composters is located right in front of the Air Wolf Shop entry gate.

What fertilizer from the RUST composter can do

Four primary factors determine the overall health of a planter in RUST. How well lit the soil is, how well watered, the soil quality, and the temperature determined by the biome you have settled.

The maximum overall health of the soil is capped at the lowest of the four stats. If you have 100% water, sunlight, and temperature, but only 75% soil quality, the overall health won’t go beyond 75 percent.

Overall health combined with the plant’s genetic code determines how much impact each gene has on the plant. Since the fertilizer props up the soil condition without much effort, it is worth putting fertilizer to work in your crop cycling.

Plants’ growth time, maximum yield, and hardiness are all affected by the soil condition. As such, it’s imperative to keep the soil condition at least as high as its minimum stat.

What to put into the RUST composter

Similar to the furnace in RUST, organic items put into a composter will break down into fertilizer. Each item in the composter will break down into a different amount of fertilizer, and most things will not break down into a complete fertilizer.

The only item that will break down into a fully complete pile of fertilizer is horse dung. Find a horse and keep it fed, and it will eventually leave you dung piles. Pick that up and chuck it straight in the composter as each piece of dung will turn into five fertilizers.

This incredibly poopy output makes horses, hands down, the most effective producers of raw materials for fertilizer. 

After dung, small trout is the most productive, outputting 0.8 of a piece of fertilizer. Now, this may sound confusing, but it’s not too hard once you understand that you might have to add more to round out the composter’s breakdown process.

There's a wide array of organic materials to be used.

If you put a trout in the composter, it will sit at 0.8 of a fertilizer produced. Add something small, like an apple, and the composter will create the remaining 0.2. Once that number reaches a full 1, the composter will produce a whole piece of fertilizer.

This process makes more sense when you see the fertilizer outputs for all other items than dung, as it is the only item that creates multiple pieces of fertilizer. It’s the only item that creates one whole piece at all.

Everything other than dung produces 0.3 to 0.2 of a fertilizer. At that rate, you’ll need five apples to create one fertilizer in the RUST composter. In short, don’t overthink about what other materials to place into the composter. 

On average, you’ll need to place 4-6 items in the composter to get one fertilizer back out. So just chuck in anything that looks organic and compostable. Plants, vegetables, meats, cooked meats, human flesh, and refined products will all break down at close to the same rate. 

So, if you’re not going to eat it, chuck it in with the mulch. The only items not worth breaking down are the harvested berries.

How to use fertilizer from the RUST composter

Once you have used the composter to produce fertilizer, it’s time to put that plant food to work. Head on over to your planters, add one fertilizer per planted seed in the planter. Replacing a fertilizer per plant each cycle should be enough to maintain 100% soil quality for at least one plant’s life cycle.

In time you’ll have to add more, but only as needed. And remember, if any other stat is lower than 100% and you can’t remedy that, then you only need to keep your soil quality at that same minimum.

I wish people wouldn’t make fun of our compost piles, it’s so biodegrading

And there you have it. Before long, you’ll have green thumbs and have more produce than you’ll have the storage for. Whether you open a food shop, restaurant or simply keep your zerg-clan fed and supplied with delicious tea is up to you.

Digital Ghost's avatar

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.

View all posts by Digital Ghost →