RUST Status Effects Guide

An in-depth view of the various RUST status effects.

It’s hard to imagine, for those living it, a world free from discomfort or physical limitation. Each of us, in our own way, muddling through what life, our actions, and the consequences of both have thrown at us. Why should we expect the RUST grind to treat us better?  

Sure, our virtual representations will never feel arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, or vision loss from the passage of time, instead opting for more serious ailments like being critically wounded or dying. Unlike the real world, RUST offers us the kindness of recovering from every type of condition in one form or another.  

To understand most of the RUST status effects and ailments, we must first understand a few subsystems and terms that govern the health and wellness of our player models.  

  • Damage over Time (DoT) is a term that we will use to describe the damage that is taken and persists over the course of several seconds or until death. Instead of immediate damage being taken, it instead ‘ticks’ down.
  • Its counterpart, Healing over Time (HoT), does the same thing, but in the positive. This is the slow ticking up of health over seconds or until fully healed.

There are 13 different statuses in RUST; let’s dive into them.

Hunger (Starvation)

Starving — RUST Status Effect

Every entity in the universe needs some fuel to function, whether it be your caffeine in the morning or the gas you put in your car. This is equally true in RUST, with Hunger being a factor and micro-system for performing certain tasks.  

Basic physical activity, such as running across the map, drains player hunger consistently. More physically intensive behavior, such as pushing a boat towards the ocean, pulls much higher numbers of calories from your hunger bar at a time.


  • Hunger utilizes the Calories fuel bar and is directly impacted by both the physical activities of the player as well as the environmental conditions the player is subjected to.
  • Hunger will progress quicker, absorbing more calories, as a player is exposed to extreme cold to stave off death up to a certain temperature threshold.  
  • Comfort also consumes Hunger, allowing for calories to be converted to direct health increases over time, with a certain maximum health being obtainable dependent on comfort level.
  • Hunger is also used to convert calories to health after the damage is taken and bleeding is stopped.


  • No negative impacts are directly associated with being low on Hunger, down to the metered reading of roughly 15. At this point, players will begin taking passive, very slow damage, and hunger continues to decrease over time.
  • A ‘Starving’ status will appear at 40 Hunger.
  • Players will stop passively healing or benefiting from the full effects of Comfort once their Hunger level reaches or dips below 100.
  • Players will continue to lose health until hunger is replenished via Food or death occurs.


  • Hunger may be replenished at any time that a player eats suitable food.  
  • Players low on food may opt to avoid comfort-giving entities to preserve their Hunger level over 100.
  • If hunger is already at 0, players may stay alive indefinitely by using alternative healing means, such as Bandages, periodically to counteract the DoT effect of starvation.
  • Players may avoid strenuous physical activities in the game, such as pushing vehicles.

Thirst (Dehydrated)

Thirst / Dehydration — RUST Status Effect

As a paralleling accompaniment to the Hunger system, Thirst, and subsequent Dehydration, as an end result, can play a major role in player survivability and mobility. Unlike Hunger, becoming dehydrated to its most extreme level results in players being unable to run.


  • Thirst utilizes the Hydration bar and is directly impacted by both the physical activities of the player as well as the environmental conditions the player is subjected to.
  • Thirst will progress slightly quicker, absorbing more Hydration, as a player is exposed to extreme heat, as a form of staving off death up to a certain temperature threshold. This is most directly visible on either Oil Rig monument when standing too close to the flame. 
  • Thirst is also consumed through Comfort, allowing Hydration to be converted to direct health increases over time, with a certain maximum health being obtainable dependent on comfort level. Unlike Calories, Hydration reduces at a substantially reduced rate compared to hunger, roughly 5:1.


  • No negative impacts are directly associated with being low on Hydration, down to the metered reading of roughly 15. At this point, players will begin taking passive, very slow damage, and hydration continuing to go down over time.  
  • A ‘Dehydrated’ status will appear at 25 Thirst.
  • Players will stop passively healing or benefiting from the full effects of Comfort once their Thirst level reaches or dips below 50.
  • Players will continue to lose health until thirst is replenished via Food & Water or death occurs.


  • Thirst may be replenished whenever a player eats suitable food or drinks water (ocean water is salty and not suitable for consumption).  
  • Players low on hydration may opt to avoid comfort-giving entities to preserve their Thirst level over 50.
  • Players may avoid strenuous physical activities in the game, such as pushing vehicles.
  • If thirst is already at 0, players may stay alive indefinitely by using alternative healing means, such as Bandages, periodically to counteract the DoT effect of dehydration, though the speed reduction will persist.
  • Players should avoid any ingestible item, such as Worms and Grubs, that display Hydration values when consumed with a negative effect.
  • Players should avoid Anti-Radiation Pills when already at low hydration levels.


Bleeding — RUST Status Effect

We’re taught from an early age sharp and pointy objects are dangerous. They can cause simple lacerations or possibly put an eye out. Either way, most people don’t consider these wounds as positive life events. To make matters worse, when a laceration or puncture is bad enough, the possibility of bleeding out manifests. This is why we keep medical kits around just in case, just like in real life.


  • Bleeding is primarily caused by slicing melee implements, puncturing melee weapons, or projectiles that enter the player’s body.
  • Bleeding is also possible when making contact with barricade types or anything displaying barbed wire.
  • Trap pits, complete with spikes, do minimal direct damage, but bleeding is applied quickly and can do considerable damage over time.


  • Bleeding is a DoT type, often gaining additional status effect ‘stacks.’ The higher the numerical status effect of bleeding a player possesses, the higher, faster, and more persistent the damage will be.
  • Most trap-based bleed effect barricades also drastically slow player movement, making escaping the DoT stacks precarious.   


  • The simplest method of reducing bleeding stacks quickly while regaining a small amount of health are Bandages.
  • For more serious situations, a Large Medkit immediately negates 100 Bleeding damage over time.
  • When bandages and medkits are unavailable, Medical Syringes and food may be used to counteract some of the damage and sustain life. These items do NOT reduce bleeding, and bleeding will reduce their Healing-over-time effects.


Wet — RUST Status Effect

One of the most situationally overlooked, high-impact status effects a player can sustain is simply being exposed to a lot of water at the wrong time. Players not wearing waterproof attire when entering a large body of water will be affected by this status. 


  • The most common method of acquiring Wet status with a corresponding Wetness Percentage is by exposing yourself to any body of water, whether it be a river, lake, or ocean.
  • Players may also gain wetness up to a certain percentage by venturing outdoors during rain or snow.
  • Additional, less common methods of acquiring a degree of wetness are player-controlled squirt guns and sprinkler systems. Players may also be splashed with water bottles or Jerry Cans.


  • On the surface, under ideal circumstances in the temperate biome, players will notice little to no direct impact from being Wet during the day.
  • In the winter biome, wetness and its severity increase how Cold a player can become exponentially quickly.
  • During the night cycle, or as the sun is fading, wetness will incrementally increase the degree of Cold a player is subjected to.
  • At night, wetness can increase the likelihood of a character dying from Cold exposure in the desert biome.
  • Although minimal in impact, becoming Wet while hot in the desert biome during the day can alleviate the Hot status temporarily.


  • Like most other status effects, Wetness can be completely avoided if any player wears attire to grant waterproofing. Examples are Hazmat Suits and Wetsuits.
  • Players may shelter under cover when snow or rain is falling to avoid wetness from the weather.
  • Standing next to a heat source will provide a steady, over-time drying effect that will slowly reduce wetness %.
  • If you are already wet, equipping waterproof attire will immediately lower your wetness %.

Cold (Frostbite)

Cold — RUST Status Effect

Chiefly responsible for more teams avoiding a biome than probably any other factor, the cold status is nothing to turn a blind eye to in RUST. Capable of bringing fully kitted raiding parties to their knees during the night cycle or snow storms, Cold is a crippling, graphically impacting condition that can certainly turn deadly. 


  • Cold is directly associated with the Winter biome.
  • In addition to the winter biome, the Desert biome swaps from extreme heat to extreme cold during the night cycle.
  • The Wet condition further exacerbates the cold. When 50% wet or more during the night cycle, even the temperate biome can be cold enough to inflict damage.


  • Cold is gauged by temperature in centigrade. Anything more than -7C and players will notice significant damage over time.
  • As the temperature decreases further, the edges of the player’s screen will begin to fog and crystalize.
  • With further temperature drops, damage over time becomes increasingly difficult to mitigate.  
  • Continued exposure to cold weather can lead to death, especially during the night cycle.


  • Primary protection against the Cold status is a commonsense approach to the game.
  • If venturing into regions with snow or water, bring gear that promotes warmth and waterproofing. Check out our Arctic Biome Guide for more tips on this.
  • If you can access the Hobo Barrel item, it can be picked up with a Hammer. Use this item or any other type of fire as an emergency measure when locked down during the night while freezing.
  • Avoid water when in a cold region, especially at night. Drinking water is perfectly safe and does not impact this condition.

Hot (Heat Exhaustion)

Heat — RUST Status Effect

Another bound to encounter status condition is overheating or being Hot. Romping through the desert in a full burlap outfit is enough to bring on the beginning stages and can result in minor health loss and semi-blurred sun-spotted vision.


  • The most common condition in which to face being Hot is wandering through the desert.
  • Being Hot can also occur while having an abnormally high cold defense and standing near a heat source.
  • Fire, particularly the flame spouts at either Oil Rig monument, are proximity based and can incinerate a player rather quickly.
  • Oddly enough, player-produced fires, such as Molotov Cocktails, Flame Throwers, and Incendiary Rockets, do not put off heat. They instead do fire damage.


  • Lower heat levels, up to roughly 45C, have a very limited impact on gameplay.
  • Levels of heat exceeding 45C may impact a player’s vision, causing sunspotting to appear. Higher levels will begin to do incremental damage over time, increasing in severity the hotter it gets. The end result is death.


  • In most instances, unless you’re deliberately too close to a heat source, the option to remove high cold protection clothing is available.
  • Entering bodies of water reduces the degree of heat a player experiences, except when waterproof.
  • Possibly turn off a few campfires in your base, should things get excessive.
  • Don’t wear Winter gear in the desert during the day.

Oxygen (Drowning)

Oxygen — RUST Status Effect

In some games, food and water might be optional, but in most, Oxygen remains a relatively steady requirement for survival. In RUST, short of blasting yourself into space from the Launch Site (maybe someday), forgetting to breathe is fairly hard to do. The one notable exception is in deep enough water sources.


  • As mentioned, you can’t spontaneously suffocate running around. You must enter a deep enough body of water and stay submerged until the newly-visible Oxygen countdown reaches 0 (starts at 3)


  • After depleting your oxygen timer from 3 to 0, the darkness quickly closes in, you begin to gasp, and damage is taken very quickly.  
  • Unless you surface immediately, you will succumb to this condition quickly, and all will fade to black, and your death will be final.


  • Break the water’s upper threshold and breathe before the timer runs out.
  • Stay on land.
  • Consider purchasing a full scuba set if you intend to spend inordinate amounts of time submerged.
  • Buy a Submarine.
  • Use a boat.
  • Seriously, breathe.

Poison (Poisoning)

Poison — RUST Status Effect

Falling under the category of mostly unknown, not really all that advertised, and highly misunderstood, Poison is an under-the-radar status in RUST. If damage over time wasn’t confusing enough with bleeding, the poison effect isn’t displayed when acquired.


  • Poison is caused exclusively by eating food items that list it in their description
  • This condition doesn’t display a status bar, so there is no way to know when it ends. Eating an assortment of high +poison foods simultaneously has a cumulative effect.


  • Once poisoned, depending on severity, it is nearly impossible to predict when the status will run its course. Damage over time taken and time until dissipation are both increased per degree of poison ingested.
  • Poison, unless mitigated, will result in death.


  • Poison mitigation is rather straightforward;  
    • Bandages will aid in taking the edge off and mitigating the damage over time
    • Medical Syringes provide more upfront health and remove a considerable amount of poison
    • Large Medkits are a buffed version of the syringe effect, and several will almost assuredly remove all poison unless you intentionally tried to make the condition terrible.
  • Additionally, attempting to compensate by eating higher instant-health-yielding foods such as Mushrooms might be enough to sustain you through a serious bout of poison.

Radiation (Radiation Sickness)

Radiation — RUST Status Effect

The radiation status effect is like poison, except it is entirely based on radioactive exposure at monuments instead of ingesting raw animal parts.

Radiation is one of the few conditions you can hear yourself getting, taking the form of an incessant clicking noise when exposed. This noise increases the closer you get to the source, and additional stacks of the damage over time Radiation effect are added the longer exposure is maintained.


  • The singular cause of radiation poisoning in players is lacking protection while at monuments with radioactivity.


  • The first indication of radiation exposure is the clicking mentioned.  
  • As you maintain position or edge closer to the source, the ticking will increase in volume and frequency.
  • Depending on your radiation protection level compared to the required level, ‘stacks’ of radiation will further compound your condition.
  • Once you reach a relatively high number of stacks, above 50, your field of vision will begin to distort and appear like a fuzzy black-and-white television losing reception.
  • Once over roughly 100 stacks, you will be unable to run.
  • Damage over time will increase as the stacks increase until death approaches or the stacks are removed.


  • The first line of defense against radiation is clothing. A good baseline for low to mid-tier monuments is 11 radiation protection. When in doubt, wear a Hazmat suit.
  • If you’re doing an endgame monument that you know exceeds even the protection of a Hazmat Suit, bring a Jerry Can full of clear water. Sipping water reduces radiation very quickly.
  • Medical Syringes instantly remove 10 radiation poisoning and increases your health by 15.
  • Jumping in a pool of water and sloshing about reduces radiation quickly.
  • Anti-Radiation Pills or teas also remove and help to protect against radiation poisoning.

Knocked Down (Crawling)

Knocked Down (Crawling) — RUST Status Effect

As we take damage within RUST, we eventually reach a threshold when our characters can no longer function. There is an internal trigger that takes a number of variables into account, and usually, around 4 health, we drop to what is known as a crawling phase. This isn’t consistent across all damage types, as will be elaborated on in the next topic.


  • Taking damage over time from any source or repeated shots from a weapon within a certain range of health causes us to enter this condition.
  • This condition can be circumvented entirely in cases where inordinate amounts of damage are taken all at once, skipping this completely and rendering us dead.


  • Upon being rendered ‘knocked down,’ players will drop the weapon or item they held during the event.
  • After dropping to all fours, players can crawl and interact with doors by holding the default E key.
  • Check out our full Wounded System Guide.


  • The best way to avoid ever being knocked down inches from death is to simply not leave your base and log off.
  • Staying out of gunfights is a great place to start for the rest of us.
  • If bullets start to fly, ensure you have plenty of bandages and other assorted medical supplies.
  • Monitor your health constantly, and heal when necessary.
  • Use obstructions to prevent damage from hitting you, and communicate with your team when you need assistance
  • Carry Large Medkits for a basic ‘get out of jail free’ card, allowing players with this item on their hotbar to 100% stand up should they be downed by an enemy player.
  • If you are knocked down in this fashion, position yourself as far from the enemy as possible to avoid being knocked prone if they reach you or completely dead if they hit you again.

Knocked Down (Prone)

Knocked Down (Prone) — RUST Status Effect

Being knocked down and crawling is a terrible position, but being knocked and prone is far worse. Instead of having limited mobility, players are positioned on their backs, hands in the air and pleading. Not the most photogenic pose you’d want to be caught in.


  • Being knocked prone is either a combination of being knocked crawling and then ‘caught’ by an enemy player or;
  • Is the result of falling a considerable distance and taking damage that otherwise should have killed you.


  • While prone, you are virtually helpless. There is a small chance by default of 10% that you might stand back up. High levels of Hunger and Thirst may add to this number, up to roughly 40%.
  • When falling from a high distance is the cause of prone status, Large Medkits will not resuscitate you.
  • While prone, you may still engage in voice communications in the game, but at this point, your fate is determined by RNG and player mercy.


  • Maintaining high hunger and thirst levels are the only factors at play that can aid you after becoming prone.
  • If you become prone, having a nearby teammate to assist you can save your life.


Comfort — RUST Status Effect

The best way of describing comfort is as the antithesis of radiation – instead of an invisible force emanating from a monument that deals passive damage, comfort is localized to an item or entity and its radius that can passively heal players.


  • Comfort-yielding items, such as Chairs, Rugs, or Pookie Bears, create a small space around the item or when interacting with it.
  • Once within the bubble of comfort or seated in some situations, players are presented with a Comfort status.


  • Once Comfort status is displayed as a percentage based on proximity, players that have sufficient Hunger (more than 100) will begin passively healing.
  • Health regeneration depends on the hunger level staying above the 100 threshold and will heal up to a percentage of health depending on the comfort level displayed (not 1:1).


  • Though not typical, should a player wish to avoid comfort, the comfort-yielding entity can be turned off, dismounted, or picked up in most cases.

Dead (Death)

Death — RUST Status Effect

Whether or not death is a status effect is up for debate, but there is no doubt that being in a state of Dead in RUST is both terrifying and calming. Dying isn’t at all permanent, and in some cases is beneficial. Just be sure it is on your own terms and that your remains are free from valuables.


  • Death is caused by your health reaching 0 for any number of reasons.
  • In the event that you are first Knocked Down, death can take place if you receive another damage-dealing impact or aren’t helped up and fail your RNG save check.


  • Due to the non-permanence of death in RUST, it takes on the role of unintentional transport from your current location and activity to another area, such as the spawn beach or a sleeping bag.
  • Death, or the act of suicide, can also be used to intentionally move to other locations very fast.
  • Upon dying, players will drop everything that they had prior to death, first on their corpse before transitioning to a lootable backpack.
  • Corpses and backpacks may be looted by anyone so long as they aren’t located within a safe zone.


  • Death in RUST, as in life, is viewed as quite unavoidable, and all players will most assuredly be forced to tango with their mortality sooner or later.
  • Don’t allow your health points to reach 0.
  • Never leave your base.
  • Never load into a server.
  • Never install the game.
  • Seriously, it happens.

Final thoughts on RUST status effects

What really binds us in RUST is our susceptibility to all of the things that can hurt or help us, whether directly or passively. As the game evolves, so too do the ways that we can be beaten down, irradiated, and helped back up. And as this evolution takes place, it’s important to be aware of the dangers (and lifesavers) that are out there.

If you feel that we missed any RUST status effects in the game or would like more edification regarding any subtopic in particular, drop a comment in our Discord. We genuinely love answering community questions.

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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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