If you have decided you do not want a ready to use RUST server service like the cheap companies on the home page provide and would rather do it yourself then this guide is for you.
You can go and rent a dedicated Windows server or VPS and set the files up yourself then manage it through command line, though you will probably have to pay more per month.
If you have an active, large community ready to go then this may be the favourable route to go for a private RUST server of your own.
What You Need
The Windows machine that you are running your RUST server on needs to have at least the following:
- At least 8GB of RAM
- A decent CPU capable of handling your game server
- A solid state hard drive with at least 15GB spare
- A router that you can open ports on (if you are hosting at home and want to play with people not on your network)
- A Steam account that owns the game RUST
With your server having these minimum specs lets get setting it up!
How to setup a RUST dedicated server on Windows
This guide will show you how to take a standard machine running Windows and install the needed SteamCMD and RUST server files then launch a configured dedicated world for you and your friends.
Setting up a server on Linux is very similar to setting up one on Windows but is out of scope for this guide.
1. Create a folder for your RUST server to run from
This step is super easy, you just need to create a folder somewhere on your computer that is easy to access and has ample room for your RUST server to run.
I usually stick my dedicated server folders on my desktop with a descriptive name like “RUSTServer-LargeMap” so its there in front of me when I log on.
You could even stick it at the root of a hard drive on your system, it really doesn’t matter.
2. Download SteamCMD into your target folder
You need to download and run the SteamCMD program available from the official Steam website. This program can install the needed RUST server files and update them automatically for you.
Unpack the ZIP file you have downloaded in the target folder from step 1, then one completed run the steamcmd.exe file.
Running that file will start the downloading and installing of the latest updates for the SteamCMD program.
Once updated the window that has appeared will be awaiting for further instructions by displaying “Steam>” with a space for you to type in your command.
3. Use SteamCMD to get the latest RUST server files
With your SteamCMD waiting for your next instruction, paste the following code into the window:
Changing the second line to reflect the folder location from step 1.
4. Launch your RUST server using your chosen options
The files and folders that have been downloaded by SteamCMD into your target folder don’t contain a .exe file, so you are going to have to make the closest equivalent.
What you need to do is create a batch script, a file that contains a few lines of code instructing your system how to launch a series of files.
Its not as hard as it might seem at first, here is a basic template to get you started:
C:\RUSTServer-LargeMap\steamcmd.exe +login anonymous +force_install_dir C:\RUSTServer-LargeMap +app_update 258550 +quit
Copy that line into a new file created in a program like Notepad then save it as start_my_rust_server.bat in your target folder form step 1.
Double clicking that batch file, or linking to it in your startup programs list will cause it to fire up a new RUST server.
More Detailed Instructions
For a more in-depth explanations of these steps in a less newbie-friendly format check out the official Valve setup page.
With that guide you can start making changes to your server and look into the more complex aspects of managing your game rules.