What is a RUST Admin?

Understanding the core concept of a RUST admin

What is a RUST admin? What can seem like an otherwise simple question, can have several answers, depending on who you are and what your perspective on the topic is. A RUST administrator at its base level is a matter of permissions — what a user can and can’t do within a system, in this case, a RUST server. Other responses might also consider RUST admins as the server owner, and while this may be the case in many instances, it’s not always true; the distinction, though is important.

This guide aims to answer questions about what exactly a RUST admin is, their roles and responsibilities, and common day-to-day tasks.

What are RUST user authorization levels?

Let’s take a look at the default values built into RUST. Out of the box, the default RUST interface recognizes three numerical-level representations of users inside the game. 

During the initial setup of a RUST server, the server owner typically will set the authorization level for their admins and moderators from the server console itself. Still, they can be set in a few different areas, such as the server console, the in-game F1 console, and modifying the users.cfg file and through RCON applications.

Refer to our How to Add RUST Admins guide for a full write-up and more in-depth technical commands for adding to or altering your server’s user.cfg files.

  1. Authorization Level 2 – Owner
  2. Authorization Level 1 – Moderator
  3. Authorization Level 0 – Player

Authorization Level 2

Authorization Level 2, also known as the owner permission, can perform all administrative tasks within the game. This includes spawning items, using various commands such as teleport functions, spawning in and removing entities, and issuing all RUST Admin Commands

The chief function of the owner level that differentiates it from other authorization levels is its ability to add and remove other authorized users, regardless of their authorization level. The owner level is only beneath those with access to the real-time server configuration interface and file system, which may add or remove any authorization level remotely.

Authorization Level 1

Authorization Level 1, also known as the Moderator permission, has the same permissions as the owner level 2 but may not alter administrative permissions. Moderators cannot assign new or existing players to Auth Level 2, nor can they demote or remove those roles. 

Authorization Level 0

Authorization Level 0 are default users, your server’s players, possessing no administrative capability. All players connecting to the server have this permission.

What are a RUST admin’s roles and responsibilities?

“Admin” responsibilities vary greatly depending on the mission and rules of each server. It’s up to the server owner to develop and define the administrative roles of those they designate to manage their server and its players. In many cases, the server owner is also playing the administrator role.

For some servers, this information is laid out for players to see in the server description, server chat, in an official Discord server, or on the server’s website. Sometimes all four options. This documentation is paramount to avoid allegations of ‘RUST admin abuse‘ and to set reasonable expectations for all persons the server owner elects to trust with administrative responsibility.

Server owners are tasked with ensuring that the server is functional, secured, updated with the most recent security and game server patches, and otherwise accessible by the general public (except when EAC is intentionally disabled.)

The server owner can delegate this responsibility to someone other than the server owner. However, this is a risk that the owner assumes by entrusting another person with the “keys to the castle.” Without the proper configurations and setup, you can compromise the security of the owner’s server hardware and associated files, not to mention other private information, such as billing details, addresses, and additional personal information, if using a third-party hosting service. 

If permissions are improperly designated, server owners may be locked out of their own administrative interfaces and require third-party technical support to recover their accounts. Or, those hosting their own dedicated machines can lead to compromised network security or a total lockout of your machine. 

Ultimately, the main task of any RUST administrator boils down to one word – responsibility. If you look at it from the perspective of the 3 Authorization Levels, it’s simple!

  1. Server owners are responsible for having procedures and guidelines to govern Auth level 2 owners. 
  2. Owners are responsible for using these procedures and policies to work with and manage Auth level 1s. 
  3. Moderators are responsible for following this example when exercising authority during player interactions. 

If you look at it from a practical perspective, the server admin’s role is to ensure the server’s overall health remains intact while maintaining the server’s core mission and rule set.

What are a RUST admin’s day-to-day duties?

Outside of backend technical troubleshooting, general maintenance, and policy enforcement, there is also the in-game portion of the admin’s job. Depending on the Server Purpose and Format and the environment laid out by the server owner, duties can range from simply responding to inquiries in RCON, in-game, or Discord, providing server updates and maintenance information to players, or investigating issues brought up via a Discord ticket or F7 report.  

Much of the daily process is responsive, meticulous, and tedious, with every action taken or issue resolved to keep the server’s etiquette in mind. Depending on the server, admins may or may not have access to specific tools, procedures, and fail-safes to make sure that they make correct choices when performing their duties.

In addition to ticket response, RUST admins are also the frontline defenders of server integrity, often tasked with tracking down suspected cheaters or players being otherwise crude and offensive. First-person spectating, invisible ghosting, and keeping both eyes and ears open at all times are prudent for success. Unfortunately, it is impossible to be everywhere at once, so it is crucial to advocate that server tenants provide the most detail and proof when reporting issues.

RUST — Cheater scaling the walls of Launch Site

Beyond cheater investigation, RUST admins are also on call to respond through available communication methods when things like lag, outages, or unexpected stutters affect the player experience. 

Due to the structure of RUST admin ranks, not all staff will be equipped to address all issues, and thus part of the job is escalation to higher ranking officials or Server Owners. These issues are chronologically indiscriminate. Most prospective admins can look forward to those 4 AM Discord pings asking why the server is unplayable. This behavior will be unavoidable.

The lasting impression of daily duties should be to expect the unexpected. Heavier days tend to be around fresh wipes, once again depending on format, while the end of wipe calms down on most servers. 

There will be days when you might have a single query or issue depending on player population, and there are days when you could have 100. The only thing limiting the barrage of issues RUST admins face is the playerbases’ imagination. Unfortunately, things like hate speech and toxicity are typical fodder in help calls, but sometimes you can genuinely help someone with an issue. Those are the days when it is great to be a RUST admin.

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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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