Why Is Rust Popular Again

In its glory days, Rust used to have around 140.000 average concurrent players on Steam, and we can explain why is Rust Popular again. This happened back in January 2021. Since then, the game experienced a significant decline, but it’s still being played by around 80.000 players concurrently, on average. The total player base is probably somewhere around 1 million.

Rust Popular

Why Rust Is Hard

Some multiplayer games also give you a single-player option or at least allow you to take it easy if you don’t want to dedicate a lot of time to them. But Rust is a multiplayer-only survival game that will force you to compete in a harsh environment. From the early access, players knew what they were going to get.

This is one of those survival games that would rather make you quit than let you live. Of course, its multiplayer features allow you to at least choose a server that will suit your needs. But even then, the game is still difficult. But that’s what makes it one of the best survival games out there.

Rust Popular

Rust has its unique selling points. It is brutal and simulates the reality of a survival situation quite well. In that sense, it gives players a realistic scenario in which they must find a way to stay alive and even thrive.

Rust teaches you from day one that you can’t really trust other players. The rules of the game, unless the server you are playing on modifies them, encourage savagery. This is true of all competitive games, but Rust is particularly tough because the experiment never stops until the end of the wipe.

Rust is fun because it allows you to develop your self-confidence. If you can’t survive and you fail repeatedly dozens of times, you’ll likely quit. But if you do get to know the game well enough to start succeeding, it becomes addictive.

Each time, you start with nothing and are forced to gather resources while others are trying their best to kill you. But after you’ve gained enough experience, you know exactly what you need to do to maximize your speed of progress.

Other Factors That Have Contributed to Rust’s Popularity

Rust Popular

Rust became very popular after a number of famous streamers decided to play and show it to their audience. In the gaming industry, a lot depends on what the influencers promote. If they like something, a lot of other people will try it at least once.

Game developers often try to befriend the biggest streamers and give them good deals to promote their games. Now, we don’t know if Facepunch decided to use this strategy or not. But one thing is certain: in the early months of 2021, people like xQc decided to start playing Rust and his videos had hundreds of thousands of views.

From there, Rust’s community consolidated and the game now has around one million fans who play it regularly. It might not seem that much for a competitive game, but it’s actually a lot when you consider the fact that other games, such as Elden Ring, which sold tens of millions of copies, now have just 28.000 average concurrent players.

In this industry, games tend to die very quickly. They last for 2-3 months after their release and then everyone moves on to the next title. Skyrim and other masterpieces are the exceptions. 

Almost nobody plays a game more than 10 years after its release, no matter how good it is. It has nothing to do with quality. People just want to play the latest releases.

Rust is a survival game with so many elements that it’s hard to get bored of it. If you quit, it’s usually because you got discouraged or simply can no longer dedicate enough time to succeed at it. But the game itself provides hundreds of things to do or work with and that’s enough to generate a fresh experience each time.

The game is highly replayable and the servers make it even more interesting each time you compete. You can think of Rust as the survival version of a MOBA. 

Even Rust is not free, just as in MOBA games like Dota 2 or LoL, you get to choose a unique hero each time and are faced with a novel combination of challenges. Rust provides you with unpredictable obstacles you need to overcome each time you start a new session.

You must find recipes, rare materials, and much more. As you gather these resources, you become more and more able to survive and win battles if other players try to kill you.

The prehistoric element is very strong in this game, and it’s also quite nuanced. The game Empire Earth comes to mind. You start with primitive tools and after a certain amount of time you reach a much higher stage of development where you can build modern equipment.

But to reach that stage, you need to find the necessary materials. And as you might imagine, those materials are placed strategically around the map, creating a lot of friction between the players. This often leads to conflicts, making the game unpredictable, difficult, and addictive.

To make Rust even more fun, you can customize your experience by purchasing Rust skins.

Posted by
William Westerlund

William is an author, editor, and an avid gamer with over 10.000 hours in CS:GO (Counter-Strike 2). He also enjoys playing Rust, Dota 2, and TF2 but never became a top 1% player in any of those games.