The RUST Dynamic Vendor Pricing System

An in-depth guide on the RUST Dynamic Vendor Pricing System

Introduced into the game on July 4th, 2024, to provide more variety to the NPC vending system, the RUST Dynamic Vendor Pricing System will increase or decrease the sale price of items sold by NPC vendors based on the item’s popularity through supply and demand. This dynamic system will replace the static prices vendors have maintained until its implementation for all items purchased with Scrap. While admins can manually turn this feature on or off using server convars, it will default to being on for vanilla-based servers.

While player vending machines remain unaffected, all others on the map will face this new form of surcharge (or potential discount) moving forward. Ranches, Outpost, Bandit Camp, and Fishing Villages; none will be excluded unless disabled by server admins.

Talk of Taxation

Many will initially view this as an affront to the solo player, yet another attack in a line of attacks to make the game unplayable, unwinnable, and unmanageable. On the surface, it might look like that. When a server initially wipes and spawns, if no changes are made to the default settings, every NPC-owned vending machine item will start at the cost of 100% higher than the base. 

Sure, exchange rates will remain the same on transactions like Stone for Wood, but purchasing that same resource outright will come with an upfront, substantially higher Scrap price.

Despite the hate that this change may bring, the logic is sound. When you are starting out in any venture, whether naked on the beach in RUST, opening a real-world business, or buying your first computer, the upfront cost will come with a feeling of sticker shock. When a server wipes, the demand for upgraded tools, firearms, or quick resources should be anticipated to be higher than at other times. 

This new system will, at least in the very short term, award those who would instead scavenge and steal rather than purchase and trade.

The Upside

No one would willingly pay more for simple goods and resources if given the choice, but in this instance, patience might come with a sweeter price. As the hours of a wipe tick on, so does the algorithm that further calculates and alters the cost of that Jackhammer or Small Oil Refinery. 

RUST’s Dynamic Vendor Pricing System is based on the basic economic principles that guide the real world. The opportunity allows vendors to charge more when it presents itself. When things are slower, discounts can be issued. And it is in this that the average RUST player might find themselves better off in the long run than had it all been left alone.

Understanding Core Mechanics

Understanding the system’s core mechanics is essential to determine how to take advantage of it. At its heart, the Dynamic Vendoring Pricing System averages purchasing trends to decide how to price items on the following “tick.” The absolutely easiest way to explain such a system is to just put it all out in the open for clarity:

  • The system operates on ‘ticks,’ or interval hours, set to 1 by default.  This is in-game time hours, not real-world hours. 24 ticks should occur in a day.
  • Unless otherwise changed, the Dynamic Vendor Pricing System will engage every hour, and the pricing of all NPC-owned vending machines will recalculate and post anew.
  • Items historically in high demand (most bought by players) will increase in price by 10%, while those underperforming as an average could go down 5%.
  • The cap for price increase is set to 200% by default.
  • The cap price for a decrease, or discount, is set to 50% by default.
  • The minimum price possible for any item is 1 Scrap. Sorry, pickle lovers.

Averages & Swings

Just like in the real world, when demand for an item increases, so does the price. Think back to a time not so long ago when finding toilet paper and hand sanitizer, two items that were in surplus, was quite hard to do. 

On wipe day, with everything beginning as ridiculously expensive, prices are likely to drop rather fast. As time goes on and things level out, and depending on the server population, prices on things like Jackhammers and SAM Sites will probably remain slightly elevated, but other less-sought-after things like Smoke Grenades and Tesla Coils could become lucrative for purchase and repurpose. 

Fortunately for players looking for a bargain, prices and surcharge/discount information are readily available via the shop icon function on the map interface. Means of exploiting this are yet to be seen with this system being the first of its kind, but we’re sure the community will quickly adapt and overcome.

Dynamic Vendor Pricing System Commands & Convars

Command/ConvarDefault ValueDescription
npcvendingmachine.dynamicpricingenabledTrueDoes this server use the DPS system
npcvendingmachine.intervalhours 1How many in-game hours between price checking / updates
npcvendingmachine.maximumpricemultiplier5The highest inflationary markup on any given item where 1=100%
npcvendingmachine.minimumpricemultiplier0.5The lowest discount on any given item where 1=100%
npcvendingmachine.pricedecreaseamount0.05The amount to be decreased from the price on any item underselling on average where 0.05=5%
npcvendingmachine.priceincreaseamount0.1The amount to be increased from the price on any item overselling on average where 0.05=5%
npcvendingmachine.startingpricemultiplier3What is the discount or surcharge immediately present upon the wiping of a server
server.listvendingmachinesPrint all vending machine information on a server to console
npcvendingmachine.printallpricechangesPrints all vending machine price alterations on a server to console
npcvendingmachine.resetdynamicpricingResets the state of all discounts and surcharges from NPC vending machines to default

Final thoughts on the Dynamic Vendor Pricing System

As the developer continues implementing new events and features within the game, you can be sure that Corrosion Hour will be here detailing it all to the absolute best of our ability. Because this is brand new content, it is sure to break and change at least a dozen times, but we will try our darndest to keep our information current. Be sure to check out our Discord for our most recent updates. Be good to each other, always.

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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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