RUST Group Tips: Team Synergy

Teamwork makes the dream work.

No matter how you look at it, RUST is a game designed for players to utilize their skills to survive. The most valuable resource in the game is, therefore, the skills of your team, and the most significant challenge for teams is to quickly learn how best to utilize their groups’ skill set to progress as swiftly as possible.

Actions Per Minute, or APM, is a metric used by many other games to measure E-athletes’ efficiency in their craft; how many micro-tasks can a said player perform over a minute. As the game progresses, the minutes are combined, the average tabulated, and APM becomes almost as necessary a performance metric as whether the player won or lost.

In RUST, we have different methods for calculating success: 

  • Did you make it through wipe night without getting raided? 
  • How long does it take before you’re no longer considered prim? 

But honestly, could tabulating actions per minute in a survival game be just as important as a Real-Time Strategy Game? Maybe, maybe not. But what we can do is look at some ‘rush loadout processes’ that will maximize your group’s gains.

Disclaimer:  This guide is written from the perspective of a duo/trio/quad setup. While it can absolutely apply to both the solo player and the zerg, all information portrayed hereafter is from the assumption that your group falls into that category.

First things first

First Things First

What, then, is a rush loadout process? In its purest form, nothing more than a series of deliberate actions meant to keep a player (or group) objective-focused, designed to maximize resources gained per minute on the server. For some people, this takes the form of looking at the map, putting a pin where they want to build, and heading for the yellow marker. For others, it’s far more involved.

Base location is an important factor in resource gathering, the domain’s longevity, and the wipe’s overall potential quality. Building near a large, flat portion of land on a higher population server is tantamount to begging a zerg to raid your 2×1 starter within a half hour of putting down roots, just for the spot.  

Picking out a suitable location is its own guide, briefly touched on in our solo wipe day survival tips article, so we’ll leave that subject there for now. On with the strategy!  

Rustic responsibility

Assuming that a base location is picked and that you’re working with at least one or two other individuals, we move right along to using our strengths to live up to our potential. Depending on the server format, whether or not there is a group limit, and map size, running as a unit as opposed to the divide and conquer approach might be more beneficial over the short term, with regards to actions per minute. 

If everyone feels splitting up is the way to go, it makes sense to divide chores based on talents and comfort level.

Strength-based assignments

RUST is a complex animal with hundreds of micro-nuances that appeal to different players in different ways. If the idea is to ‘snowball’ through PVP, it might not be best to send your top builder or farmer out to do that alone. Suppose the group wants a base that can double as a heli tower and agricultural haven; leaving your top PVP players with a hammer and building plan is not the most strategic idea, either. 

Keeping people inside their comfort zone (at least partially) adds longevity to a group’s wipe. Ultimately, the less hand-holding and explaining performed to accomplish tasks, the better off the group is. There is less friction when group members feel comfortable and confident in their roles.

Boundaries and backups

Always Establish an Overwatch

Because the RUST wipe day, and the PVP therein, is a number-trading game, every group member must have a backup in case something goes wrong. 

When builders focus on laying out a base design’s footprint, someone on overwatch should spot and guard for them. If the ‘farmer’ is loaded with ore and notices that he is being followed, there needs to be a group en route to help escort those resources home.

Lay out boundaries early so your group isn’t overreaching to limit the loss and improve efficiency. Don’t stray too far into a zerg’s territory when possible, but don’t roll over and give your turf away without a fight. Stand your ground when necessary, but fight within your means.

Limiting loss through forethought

Whether it comes as a surprise or not, there are many small habits that your teammates can implement that can have drastic impacts on a given wipe cycle. 

Starting with the most basic of RUST-centric practices, players should close all doors behind them as if it were second nature. Leaving doors open under any circumstance can expose your base to outsiders and insiders alike. It’s easy to run out of the base and leave a door open, especially in a rush. Seeing a fresh airdrop just over the hill or running to a teammate’s aid — leaving the base open can jeopardize everything you’ve worked towards. This is especially dangerous if the server unexpectedly shuts down or restarts.

Another area to consider is sharing resources amongst your team. Teammates should never throw resources on the ground because too much could go wrong, and it’s never worth the risk. Items falling through foundations or the world will require server staff to intervene, which may not be included in the rules on your server. Instead, resources should be placed in boxes and accessed by the intended player. 

Fire weapons only when necessary. Firing shots for fun is wasteful for many reasons. Aside from wasting resources your farmer spent time and effort to retrieve, you risk giving away critical information to enemy players. Your location is revealed along with a rough estimate of your team size if multiple members are all firing off shots. Additionally, the sounds of your weapon will give enemies an idea of what they’ll be up against, reducing any edge you may have had over them. 

There should be an understanding and familiarity with the folks you team with, and a shorthand will begin to develop over time. Do yourself a favor; know who you’re teaming with before the wipe starts, and make changes according to what is best for the team. No one wants to spend 2-4 weeks with Johnny B. Reckless.  

Farming tips

Farming Comes in Many Forms in RUST

Leaving tool choice until later, there are several quick tips that even veteran RUST farmers sometimes neglect that can mean the difference between efficient and profitable runs or constant trips back to empty bodies from nearby sleeping bags.

Litter your land

It cannot be overstated it applies to every tip category: place sleeping bags constantly, especially within your primary farming area.  

While having an inordinate amount of cloth in a box at the base is appealing, having multiple spawn points and flank positions is considerably more helpful when the time comes. Place them near monuments, safe zones, and points of interest to reduce travel time drastically.

Don’t forget your wingman.

While it might be seemingly counterintuitive to farm in pairs, getting the loot back to base offsets any lost time immensely. Whether or not this secondary team member farms is up to you, but having an extra set of eyes when you’re topping off an inventory of Sulfur Ore is never a bad idea, especially on high-pop servers.

Build farm bases

Nothing extravagant, but placing a 2×1 every 5-6 blocks gives a triumvirate of positive effects, acting as a quick depot position when utilizing expensive Teas, a closer respawn position with potential kits if you’re killed, and even as flank base structures in the event of an online raid.  

When considering the cost/benefit ratio, you can’t afford NOT to build these. They’re also really good indicators of impending raid groups moving through, sometimes acting as buffer raids before the raiding party makes it to your main base. Add your early game Work Bench Level 1 to refill jackhammers as necessary.

Depot often

It’s the classic RUST farmer’s lament; there were so many nodes so fast, I didn’t notice the duo on the cliff above me. I wish that I had depot’dDon’t be another statistic. Make sure you are using the farm bases you’ve established, and never pass up an opportunity to bank loot.

Constantly alt-look

We’ve talked in other guides about situational awareness and game sense. While considered by most a province of the PVP scene, I would argue that it is even more important while farming. Keeping a sharp eye on your surroundings, maintaining clear coms, and constantly listening for other players is essential for your own progress and potentially to prevent your own destruction.  

If you’re constantly feeding another clan inventories of sulfur, it won’t be long before what you’re farming comes back to bite you. Monitor other bases going up within your area and relay that information to your group for potential raid targets.

PVP Tips

Communication is Key

Utilize farm bases

Taking a page straight from the Farming Tips section, recognizing, accessing, and utilizing farm bases as quick depot locations ensures that you keep most of your loot and that you can have a respawn advantage if things start going south. Make it a point to load ‘burner kits’ into these bases for team-wide use. Farming players have the same rules as farming nodes – depot often.

Time well spent

Some teammates will laugh at this practice and think it’s stupid until they’re out on the field with you. Spend the first 20-30 minutes of every day running around your area completely naked, paying attention to which bases are active, which monuments are hopping, and where the roof-camp towers are. Having this foresight when PVPing is some of the most valuable information that you can possess. 

Check your group’s notes about potential raid targets with what you see, and look for easy hits at all times. Don’t be afraid to jump in a few compounds while you’re at it, as this is both potentially profitable, informative, and fun.

Communicate as if your life depended on it

Hint hint – it does. Keeping clear, open communications between team members while in the field is the difference between a ‘meh’ team and a ‘we rolled those kids’ team. There is nothing more important in combat now than recognizing an enemy and their position before they recognize yours. Don’t let the reason this becomes a shortcoming be because casual chit-chat muffled the enemies’ boot noises.

Constantly alt-look / know your team.

As mentioned before, just as important in this situation. A player with his head in the clouds, holding W and following the man in front of him is, for lack of a nice way of saying it, a bad player. Every person on your squad should be independent and confident enough to PVP on their own so that when you come together, there are no weak links in the chain.  

If you don’t trust the person to your left or right, you’ll constantly be splitting focus, and your link will weaken to compensate for their weakness. Know your teammates’ capabilities BEFORE throwing away your fresh new kits.

Be prepared to die

Sounds gruesome on the surface, but this advice is more in regard to the capacity to get back into a fight quickly. If you are playing your life, waiting for a killed teammate to make it back to the fight, the last thing you want is them looking for components to make meds and ammo.  

By keeping lockers and other assorted boxes cleanly labeled and stocked, ready to run out the door, you set your team up for victory down the line. Every person should be responsible for their own provisions, regardless of what clan leaders say. Don’t depend on someone else to do your base work.

The best, but not always

There are times when it might not be conducive to progress to gear up with the best weapons, armor, and equipment available to you. 

Oftentimes in RUST, especially early game, these things are in short supply.  

We are not advocating for hoarding items – one of the worst things a team can do is become afraid to use what they have. Instead, this is more of a cautionary tidbit about resource management and making wise investments.  

The Sunk Cost Fallacy

If you’ve just come back from a group farm run and everyone else decides to take a break, it might not be the best idea to go out into a full-pop server on wipe day with the only jackhammer the group owns. Worse still would be instigating a confrontation by yourself with the duo next door and feeding them kits because you “killed one and got the second to 20hp”.  

Investing, losing it all, and reinvesting over and over is what is called the Sunk Cost Fallacy. It’s the mentality that gamblers have when they lose 80% of their stack and think that adding more is surely going to turn things around. You’ve sunk so much in already; maybe a bit more will turn the tide.  

It isn’t that winning it all back can’t happen, but going hand-in-hand with this fallacy is another gambling term applicable to RUST; tilt. Tilt is a state of emotional compromisation, resulting in spontaneous bad decisions being made out of fear, anger, or confusion.  

Don’t be the reason that your group’s wipe is called short. Use your head and remain calm in the face of adversity.

Looking ahead

The urge to think before taking action is at the heart of almost every tip. Take the time to think things out and hypothesize the worst outcome before it happens. Having plans in place, not just as individuals but as a team, will save your team a lot of unnecessary stress, farming, and heartache in the long term.  

If you have some excellent group tips that you don’t mind sharing, be sure to mention them on our Discord. Drop in and see what the community comes up with. We can all get better together.

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About No Limit Llama

An aspiring woodworker and web designer. Father, husband, and Rust veteran. Llama has written op-eds and official game documents for over two decades. The earliest writings were on Asheron’s Call, followed by World of Warcraft and eventually Rust. The vast majority of his indoor time is spent running Rust servers or helping friends with their Rust-related projects. He enjoys working around the house, continuing his education when time permits, and creating new processes to simplify activities of daily living for his friends and family. He has an incredible wife, a dog, three children, and one granddaughter.

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