RUST Server Rule Considerations

Having trouble putting together your RUST server rules?

Etiquette, having been touched on in quite a few of our alternate RUST guides, is the governance by which activities and playstyles are shaped on any RUST server. The rules, administrative style, and expectations for players must be public and forthright to any player connecting for the first time.

While some rules the RUST community uses are standard, different server types or themes have different expectations. What you, as a player, can do on a typical vanilla server will vary greatly compared to a PVE or non-KOS RUST server. For this reason, we’ve compiled a list of RUST server rule considerations used across the spectrum, cataloged for the prospective future server owner to add to his or her server description, website, or Discord rules list.

Table of Contents

  1. Developer Rules
  2. Virtual Private Network (VPN)
  3. Toxicity
  4. Third-Party Software
  5. Language Usage
  6. Staff Interaction
  7. Cheater Reports
  8. Prior Bans
  9. Exploitation
  10. Advertising, Self Promotion, and Spam
  11. NSFW Content
  12. Doxing
  13. Stream Sniping
  14. KOS, “Noob Friendly,” and PVE Specific
  15. Team Limits

1. Developer Rules

It is the understanding that any person that installs a Facepunch product, either for personal use or to provide connection to in a host capacity, agrees to adhere to and abide by the rules laid out by the game developer, Facepunch. This agreement is available for perusal in the Facepunch Terms of Service.

If you are expanding these rules to include your official Discord, adherence to the Discord Guidelines is also advised.

2. Virtual Private Network (VPN)

This comes down to administrative preference. It is substantially easier for persons using cheats or actively evading RUST server bans to do so with the help of a VPN.

  • VPNs allowed
  • Player-Requested Whitelist status only
  • No VPNs allowed at all
  • VPNs are restricted to Whitelisting, excluding certain countries

3. Toxicity

Toxicity is an overused scare word, loosely defined by most and pushed to the breaking point of boundary by every person it applies to. Try to be more specific with explanations like the following examples.

  • Maliciously intended and directed harassment of any form is prohibited. 
  • Racism, sexism, disability bashing, or homophobia is prohibited; this extends to your Steam and Discord profiles.
  • No ‘slave’ talk.
  • No attention-seeking behavior or excessive spamming of chat platforms.
  • Don’t be afraid to include other forms of toxicity that your team disapproves of, but be specific. You will be tested at some point on nearly every rule posted.

4. Third-Party Software

Mostly covered under the Facepunch ToS, it is acceptable to blatantly include this in addition to that reference so that players are clear on what is and isn’t acceptable.

  • Cheating: create, use, make available, and/or distribute cheats, exploits, automation software, robots, bots, hacks, spiders, spyware, scripts, trainers, extraction tools, mining, or other software that interact with or affect the Facepunch Services in any way.
  • The use of auto-clicking software is bannable.

5. Language Usage

Specify whether or not languages non-native to your server geographic location are acceptable or if you would like one language used.

  • English only in chat and Discord
  • Team chat can or cannot be whatever you like

6. Staff Interaction

This is a touchy subject for many players, as the prevalence of Admin Abuse, whether in practice or as a general notion, is very real in the hearts of many in the community. That being said, server owners and their administrative team need to set very real, very sincere guidelines for interactions between themselves and those they serve.

  • Have and cite a contact process
    • Are DMs acceptable?
    • Should a ticketing system be used?
    • Is there an email?
  • Directly address the topic of admin abuse allegations, with the consequence when they’re unfounded and emotionally fueled.
  • Address server bashing
  • Address martyrdom
  • Address lying to an admin
  • Consider a policy on players attempting to manipulate admin teams against each other
  • Is appealing admin decisions acceptable
    • If so, cite a process
  • Protect your staff, with respect being mandatory and disrespect being dealt with
  • Sidebar idea, but have a specific Discord channel or another form of communication where the admin team can have 100% freedom to be transparent in all things together

7. Cheater Reports

When dealing with cheater reports, it is often advised to advocate for silent reporting and conversation instead of starting mobs of spectators on your server, persecuting players without due process.

  • Always use the F7 function to report anyone suspected of cheating and report it to the admin team in Discord.
  • Players engaging in excessive false reports or falsifying information against other players will be banned.
  • We do not ban without evidence, so include as much detail as possible when filing your reports.
  • Accounts that play with cheaters (knowingly) will be banned by the association.

8. Prior Bans

Players with any alt account with RUST-specific game bans are not permitted to play the game, per the developer.

  • Secondary accounts with alternate game and VAC bans count towards our ban rules.
  • No game, EAC, or VAC bans under X amount of days
  • No bans period

9. Exploitation

This is where specific language needs to address player ingenuity. Certain exploits exist in the game that are common, acknowledged by the developer, and used by many people, such as bunkers. Others might warrant direct addressing, such as;

  • Using geographical oddities to hide loot underground 
  • Glitching to areas not meant to be accessible
  • Exploiting item duplication or any other bug that might give an unfair advantage
  • Clearly using illicit methods to alter the base game for advantageous reasons

10. Advertising, Self Promotion, and Spam

Will you allow persons to advertise things like their own Youtube, Twitch, or Discord server links on your platform? Most servers instead create a Self Promotion channel within their Discord for such things.

11. NSFW Content

It is the responsibility of each RUST server, as well as Discord owner, to ensure that certain imagery isn’t used on their respective platform, but at a certain point, lewdness and less serious subject matter may creep up. It is best to establish a baseline for acceptable and differentiate it from what isn’t.

12. Doxing

Doxing is defined as a personal attack against another person, usually taking the form of disclosing private or privileged information to the masses without the subject’s permission. Doxing is widely regarded as illegal, with laws prohibiting it in just about all 50 states. It is always good practice to discourage this activity.

13. Stream Sniping

Some RUST servers are indifferent to Stream Sniping by not enforcing it or having a public stance. While not necessary to document within your rules, it is quite handy to do so one way or the other if an issue occurs.

14. KOS, “Noob Friendly,” and PVE Specific

If your server has the mission to provide a friendlier, more noob-centric atmosphere, you will need to document the rules you wish to have followed. Additionally, you’ll need to use specific server convars and mods to achieve your end goal. While this guide won’t explore how to activate PVE or use mods to prohibit certain behavior, we will list a few things that go a long way.

  • Griefing – it is important to establish if it is or isn’t allowed as a baseline
    • If it is, do you offer de-griefing as an admin-specific service?
      • Note: This is a huge undertaking for your staff, so be warned.
    • If it isn’t, do you punish offenders?
      • Are mods in place to prevent it?
      • Is raiding in any form possible?
    • Are base takeovers allowed?
  • Killing on Sight – allowed or not allowed
    • Are you using mods or convars to achieve this, or do you require manual enforcement?
  • Raiding – allowed or not?
    • Are you using mods or convars to achieve this, or do you require manual enforcement?

15. Team Limits

The largest can of worms admins can possibly choose to enforce are group limits. If you are running a modded server, something like the Group Limits mod can be an absolute lifesaver in that it can alert you to preconfigured group settings being violated and take action on your behalf. For Community servers, you must disable the auto-enforcement action, per Facepunch directive, or risk being forced to Modded status or, worse, being blacklisted.

This is a very involved section, so we are using an actual server group’s rule set as an example:

Group Limit Rule Considerations:

  • The group limit for this server (typically solo, duo, trio, or quad) is X.
  • Players are or aren’t allowed to switch out team members, often limited to a # per wipe cycle, with the following considerations usually stipulated
    • All bags, codes, locks, TCs, and turrets must be cleared.
    • Once a person is removed, they cannot be added back to the team until X.
  • Friendly Neighbor policies:
    • We do or do not expect you to kill each other every time you see each other.
    • Non Hostility agreements – yes or no, stipulating what.
  • Trading rules and guidelines:
    • Must you use safe zone trade windows?
    • May be done within an enemy compounds walls
    • Must it be done via Vending Machine / Drone?
    • Must all trades be equitable?
  • Sharing Resources yes/no?
  • Are base giveaways allowed?
  • What defines a ‘team’?
    • Recognition of the ‘green dot’ team, or does the server use a different metric?

Teaming Rule Considerations:

Teaming is allowed as long as it adheres to the group limitations. So, what constitutes ‘teaming’? On the example server we’re using, the following definitions are used.

  • Roaming – the act of wandering around the map, doing anything, while actively not killing each other (on purpose).
  • Gathering – the act of wandering around the map together, gathering anything at any time for any reason, while actively not killing each other (on purpose).
  • Cross Pollinating – the act of allowing any solos or smaller groups access to any portion of building/compound, codes, or authorizations (TC, turrets).
    • Raided bases with open TCs generally do not fall under this rule unless the structure is deemed ‘used.’ 
      • Typically, you won’t want to punish for persons for checking TCs on decayed bases they come across
  • Raiding – the act of being anywhere on the map, using any destructive medium, while actively not killing each other.
  • Defending – the act of being at your base (or another team’s base), using any destructive medium against persons attempting to destroy either building while actively not killing each other (on purpose).
  • Counter-Raiding – the act of being at someone else’s base that is being raided (not by you), using any destructive medium against persons attempting to destroy that building while actively not killing each other (on purpose).
  • PVPing – Actively doing anything anywhere that involves any other team or person and choosing to selectively target other non-affiliated teams (on purpose).  (no crossfires, no loot distribution, no giving back kits, no loot dead drops)
  • PVEing – Actively doing anything anywhere that involves any monument or bot and choosing to selectively target only the bots (on purpose).  (no helping run rigs, cargos, tunnels, what have yous.)
  • Sharing Resources – Actively sharing any type of resource intentionally with anyone.

Final thoughts RUST server rule considerations

While certainly not all-inclusive, the information listed here should give a general idea for the new (or veteran) admin team looking to branch out, add new rules, or alter existing rules.  If there is a specific topic or subtopic in this article that you would like more elaboration or illumination on, don’t hesitate to contact us via our Discord; we would be happy to expand on it. Be good to each other, always.

No Limit Llama's avatar

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.

View all posts by No Limit Llama →