RUST 2022: Year in Review

Change: the only constant in life.

Revision. Diversify. Modification. Shift. No matter how you slice it, how you say it, or which way you phrase it, change is something that most humans and RUST players alike absolutely loathe. With it comes unexpected bugs, side effects, distortions, and forced alterations to routines that some would prefer had been left alone. 

There’s no denying it; change ultimately is also synonymous with another less frowned upon term – time. Both work together to make the whole experience we call life continue unpredictably.

Unlike regular humans, change for the RUST player can often alter the whole player experience. If you dare read on, you will arguably find the top 25 changes made to RUST in 2022. Each will highlight the overarching alteration or addition made and briefly touch on the good, the bad, and the potentially very ugly that manifested as a result. 

This isn’t an all-inclusive list and is itself the product of thousands of hours of exhaustive play and research. Take it for what it is, or reach out to us on Discord and let us know how we screwed up. 

On with the shambles!

RUST’s combat system changes

While a sore subject for many, changes have been made. Whether or not we agree with them is left up to the individual. Without further ado… 


The handmade light machine gun, or HMLMG for short, was added, filling the small firepower gap that existed between the AK and the M249. This gun quickly rose to become the budget Explosive Ammo alternative to the harder-to-acquire M2.  

  • The Good – Overwhelmingly positive response, very strong craftable weapon
  • The Bad – Initially a bit overpowered, but patched back down to reality with increased craft cost and more damage taken to the weapon per bullet fired

Prototype 17

An anomalous weapon, the Prototype 17 was added late in the year and brought about its own unique function within the game of RUST. It is the first gun with a set burst fire function and is the first to be intentionally scrapable to gather the Burst Module component.  

  • The Good – Intriguing concept, both in practice (burst fire) and through the process of reverse engineering a weapon into a component on purpose
  • The Bad – Not the easiest weapon to come by, and the sights being neon is a bit off-putting

Molotov Cocktail & Flashbang

The Molotov Cocktail and Flashbang were released simultaneously, and these two additions have made quite a bang since hitting servers. The Flashbang simulates a brief disorienting effect when thrown toward players and causes minor damage at its blast site. The molly, however… If you haven’t read our Molotov Meta guide, you should check that out now.

  • The Good – The Molotov is absolutely an overpowered early-game raiding tool.
  • The Bad – The Flashbang has an absolutely underpowered disorienting effect.

Compound Bow Durability

Facepunch made a noticeable change to the Compound Bow’s durability and overall function in the game, as it had primarily been used as a grub-centric weapon with infinite charging time. This has now changed.

  • The Good – Bluntly, there are fewer compound bows in the game because it was changed to a tech tree blueprint instead of being the default and because it breaks. Less CB grubbing.
  • The Bad – For everything removed, something takes its place. Pump/Slugs has gone through a recent surge in popularity, taking the place of the top grub combination. In addition, we old-timers can no longer efficiently shoot out auto turrets from a safe distance.

Weapon Recoil

Controversy Warning – There is no middle ground about this change. Some changes were minimal; some were game-breaking. Attachments, gun sounds, fire patterns; nothing was off limits.

  • The Good – Undoubtedly, from the perspective of the newer or more casual experience, gunplay was simplified, and controlling fire patterns is considerably easier now. People also seem to positively respond to the new built-in crosshair, especially when using rocket launchers.
  • The Bad – Alienation. No other way to put it. This change alienated a great many ‘chads,’ leaving them feeling as though they are now at the same disadvantage that newer or casual players were before it. It also took the rest of us a long time to adjust to the new gunfire sounds.

On-the-go changes

Above Ground Rail Network

The above ground rail network was a semi-welcome addition to the RUST landscape for many. The new aboveground rail network added a cheap way of traveling across the map fast and an overall aesthetic quality to the map that was lacking before.

  • The Good – Commuting around the map is a lot safer for those who would be far too hesitant to make the trip on foot.
  • The Bad – The minimum 4250 map size forced some server owners to decide whether to maintain their smaller seeds or upscale to provide their tenants with a few months’ worth of updated content.


 Another free and straightforward transportation method, ziplines, have taken on a triple purpose. Chiefly, they are viewed as a means to traverse two points at a potentially high rate of speed. They are also good sources of loot and resources. Finally, players have begun using them as FOB-like platforms from which to provide overwatch during raids or PVP.

  • The Good – Sometimes, you want to feel the wind blow through your pixelated hair as you rush headlong toward your destination.
  • The Bad – Trees. Just…trees. Followed quickly by the ground and profanity.


Following the theme of every biome-specific monument having its own feature, so too did the Arctic Research base in the form of the Snowmobile. This skinnable speed demon makes cruising around the Arctic biome an ‘impactful’ breeze. Seriously, you’re going to run into a lot of trees. It just happens.

  • The Good – Using very little fuel and taking very little damage on impact with anything you might hit, the Snowmobile is rather handy within its particular biome.
  • The Bad – It doesn’t do well outside of the snow, slowing to the speed of the average player running. Sometimes, it’s easier to abandon the vehicle and take off on foot.

Friendlier Skies

With the introduction of SAM Site’s Defender Mode, players could now configure their SAM Sites to shoot down just MLRS attacks. Years of agony and expense were had before this change, and then it came. This was every pilot’s dream manifest.

  • The Good – 750 scrap is not wasted because you forgot to flip a switch!
  • The Bad – Thinking you toggled your SAM Sites to defender mode, only to recognize when you hear the first missile barreling down on you that you did it too fast and the configuration wasn’t saved.

Invalid Projectiles when Mounted Fix

For a large portion of 2022, a bug existed that made shots fired from a vehicle register as Projectile Invalids in the combat log, resulting in wasted bullets and no damage being dealt. Simultaneously, those mounted could still be hit, resulting in loss of life and property. This was finally fixed!

  • The Good – Fewer bugs! Yay. Aerial combat is once again epic.
  • The Bad – It depends on whether you’re the one in the sky or the one on the ground. We’re giving this category a pass since everyone technically benefits.

Monument changes

Arctic Research Base

The Arctic Research Base is the second biome-specific monument that made its way onto the map in early 2022, bringing with it new (old) loot receptacles, a swarm of cool-looking scientists, and a new vehicle. This monument has since become a player favorite for its tendency to provide tons of meds and ammo, as well as components and fuel.

  • The Good – It is an excellent landlocked monument addition to every map.
  • The Bad – The Arctic Research Base has quite a large no-build zone and occupies a good deal of space. This means less farm country per map for those with a Jackhammer fetish.

Coaling Tower Event

The follow-up to the Above Ground Rail Network, the Trainyard Monument, got a little update in the form of the Coaling Tower Event. Players may bring loaded train cars here for resource-gathering purposes.

  • The Good – Everyone likes alternative ways of gathering resources. Couple this with the mobility involved and seeing most of the map on the journey; you’ve got a top-rate group experience.
  • The Bad – On higher-population servers, this isn’t an ideal adventure you would want to take as a solo.

Lighting Changes

To be more environmentally conscientious, RUST swapped out all of the lightbulbs in the world for more efficient LED models. In addition, they’re all on timers with switches to further save on energy.

  • The Good – For those who know the locations, each monument has a master switch that turns on every exterior light available at that location.
  • The Bad – Those who don’t know the locations will have quite a difficult time seeing anything at night.

Launch Site Scientists

After introducing scientists to Trainyard, Facepunch decided they should also probably lock down the Launch Site and its inner workings. Only on the inside of the main Red Keycard building, though.

  • The Good – No one will fault anyone else for increasing security and providing jobs.
  • The Bad – Not overly friendly to strangers, even if you have the appropriate access card to enter the facility. Rude.


Gambling on the go is undoubtedly a novel approach to scrap-making and entertainment-having. Though the implementation at first has been greeted with apprehension due to the hostile environment in which the gaming tables exist, hope remains.

  • The Good – Blackjack! Very well-put-together gaming mechanisms and a brand-new format for making scrap.
  • The Bad – Currently not safe-zoned, but rumor has it this might be changing.

World changes

Polar Bears

When you thought it was safe to roam the desert, a giant hulking mass appears in the distance. Is it a mirage? No… it’s the new AI type that refuses to acknowledge climate boundaries. Say hello to the Polar Bear.

  • The Good – Brown bears are suddenly very much more manageable and tame.
  • The Bad – Their cousins are real buttholes.

Patrol Helicopter Marker

Look out, seasoned RUST veteran with good headphones. The map is now more accurate than your hunch that Patrol Heli “sounds near Outpost.”

  • The Good – You can look death in the face before he sees you.
  • The Bad – Death is still going to see you.

Junkpile Scientists

It was almost pleasant, there for six months. You hit barrels, you loot boxes, and no one except other players was going to leap out of the bushes to shoot you in the face. Man, aren’t we all glad…that they fixed…this.

  • The Good – An early warning system for players looting the road near your base.
  • The Bad – Heart attacks are actual. With the increase in foliage, these things will definitely increase blood pressure, especially if you aren’t paying attention.

Land Mine Changes

How could we possibly make land mines more efficient? Let’s color them a more neutral tone and make them smaller! Developer trolling at its absolute best.

  • The Good – Land mines no longer do friendly fire damage.
  • The Bad – I lied. After four long hours of deliberation, we have concluded that no good can come from this mess.

New World Models

Several world items and entities received much-needed facelifts, either receiving a model of their own or being upgraded to the new general-purpose Loot bag model.

  • The Good – More realism and higher quality graphics for everything not yet given its own world model.  
  • The Bad – The tea models are small and easily get lost in a pile.

Quality of life improvement changes


After years of adapting to the jackhammer and the tapping efficiency meta, the developer finally updated it so that simply using it without interruption is efficient.

  • The Good – No more tapping; simply hold down the button and let’er rip.
  • The Bad – It took most of us months to break old habits.

Furnaces & Food

No more splitting, no more math; just easier to fill, higher capacity furnaces and cookware. On top of that, barbeques and campfires can no longer burn goodies.

  • The Good – From the top down, the new system is a timesaver and an improvement in all ways but one. Some might disagree, but the math favors this contention.
  • The Bad – Hitting relatively close to home, players may no longer store general-purpose loot within furnaces, refineries, or BBQs. But…

Expanded Storage & TC

However existing box formats were given a sizable increase in storage capacity to compensate for this inconvenience. In addition to the increase, Tool Cupboards were equipped with built-in building tool storage.

  • The Good – Who doesn’t like more all-purpose storage inside their base?
  • The Bad – There was that weird period during Halloween when Caskets became more of a building feature than a storage spot. Not fair to dangle that in front of the community and then rip it away just because we switched to Turkey instead of Candy. Rude.

Spray cans!

Breaking onto the scene with the Graffiti DLC, spray cans are the answer to many OCD teammates’ prayers. Finally, Billy doesn’t have to empty out each box and find a hammer to re-skin them.

  • The Good – Probably one of the most underrated time-saving implements of the year. There was also that great stint where raiders could get TC and then change door skins to see if they were worth raiding. Ah, memories.
  • The Bad – People write mean things on my base and run away, and words hurt. On the bright side, it gives me an excuse to use my water guns.

Phantom Footstep Fix

Consider yourself fortunate if you weren’t around to experience the RUST Hauntings period. Once upon a time, there was a bug. This bug struck without warning, reason, or remorse. All of a sudden, from deep in the bowels of my base, footsteps could be heard coming from the roof. Boots on metal, unrelenting, seemingly in place. This could go on for hours, sometimes days.

  • The Good – Peace, at long last.
  • The Bad – We’re always just one hotfix away from a resurgence. The quiet is too nice to last.  


Feel like something else should have made this list? We love a good argument! Be sure to reach out through our official Discord and let us know. While this list wasn’t all-inclusive, we stand behind our decisions based on player impact per category, and many long days went into researching every little changelog. Seriously, that jackhammer fix can’t be understated. Thank you, Facepunch.

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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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