How do I get more players on my RUST server?
If you’re asking yourself the above question, you’re in the right spot! Setting up and hosting a RUST server can take a matter of minutes and cost little more than a latte each month. However, knowing how to populate your RUST server, not to mention building up a player base that sustains itself and one that stays vibrant, can be time-consuming and challenging. Sometimes your server’s player base can come with luck, but most of the time it requires a little bit of strategy, guided maintenance and a dash of love.
So how do you populate your RUST server?
Read through this list of 6 tips to get more people on your RUST Server.
1. Avoid admin abuse & accusations at all cost
This is incredibly important as it’s one of the top reasons why players abandon their servers. New players who have been burned by admin abuse are very vocal about the bad experiences they’ve had on previous servers. For new players, there’s no clear indicator that the server they’ve just joined will be prone to having abusive admins, so take the extra time needed to indicate in your server description, advertisements, website, and forums that your server is the opposite. Good admins are hyper-sensitive to these conversations as they strike up and address them head-on. The other side of the coin is to avoid abusing the admin powers absolutely. Watch a few minutes of this video on YouTube to get a clear picture of what admin abuse is in RUST.
2. Server stability, speed, and availability
Ensuring that your server is stable, maintains a low ping and latency, and is available 99.9% of the time is critical to sustaining a player base. Currently, few game server hosts don’t offer some method of down-time watch or protocols for restarting the system automatically. If your game server host doesn’t provide these tools, you should first request them and let them know how important they are to you. Instead of this, you can use 3rd party services, such as Pingdom and IFTTT, to help you build monitoring tools and notifications. Server speeds are often solvable by throwing money at your configurations and hardware; however, this isn’t always an option for admins. Make sure you’re hosting within your means and that the server is rated for the load you’re putting on it. In regards to availability, RUST and the majority of game server hosts do not have an automated way built in to update the server to the latest releases. Steam will automatically update the player’s client-side code, causing a rift between the game server’s hosted code. This can prevent your server from being available to your player base, so it’s essential to stay on top of news regarding the latest releases.
3. Active, friendly and responsive administrators
For many years now, the state of RUST servers has been much like the Wild West. You can find thousands of official servers, community servers, and modded servers without any form of authority. However, you can also find abusive players, hackers, and exploiters. These players are toxic and eat away at the player bases they come in contact with. Imagine dropping all of your spare time into the game, only to have all your effort blown away by one of these players. Again, it’s critical to have active administrators available as much as possible. If you can, provide a way for the players to notify the admins outside of the game. Setup an email, a twitter, or a forum for them to use. Hosting and being an active administrator is hard work, but it can pay off in the end.
4. Establish and organize a small group of regulars
If you’re starting your server up from scratch or looking to revitalize a server you’ve been running for a while, it helps to establish a small group of 5-10 people who are like-minded and willing to play as regulars. Use player forums, chat rooms, or try merging with other servers that look dead. Most often you’ll find the admins are the single players on the server roster. Take a few minutes and talk with them. See if it’d be a good connection and extend an offer to see if you can work something out. After all, most people are looking to play with others. It’s essential to have a similar play schedule as well, as having more people on your server helps in attracting others. It doesn’t take many players to have a good time, especially if you’re playing with high-quality people!
5. Build a community, a RUST community
This seems like a no-brainer, right? Though, have you ever built a community before? It takes a lot of work and relentless dedication. It’s no easy task, and there are life lessons that can be used to help you build and sustain your game server. Treat people with respect, help out when and where you can, promote others to do the same, and don’t forget to have fun doing it. Setting up weekly events, contests, and giveaways for your players can go a long way and create some buzz. Figure out creative ways to get your players to share and talk about
your their server with their friends and communities and reward them for doing so.
You want to be inviting to newer players and veterans alike. Be sure to communicate with your players and respond to them in the server chat and when possible through verbal communications in game. Consider setting up a voice server to sit alongside your game server.
6. Sign up for server listing websites
This last tip’s mileage will vary; however, it can help get your name out there. You can also use these sites as a way to see how other servers are broadcasting and marketing themselves. Use these sites to submit your server, advertise on their communities, respond to forum posts and comment systems. Also, remember to check in on them from time to time.
Know of something we didn’t cover?
We’d love for you to post them in the comments, so all the players and admins out there looking to help their servers can share and use this post for themselves. Thanks!