If you even casually follow the Grimace-colored streaming monolith that is Twitch, you’re well aware that the current flavor of the month is Rust, a survival game that originally came out in 2013. This means new players are discovering the genre oldtimer for the first time. While some enjoy the game’s inhospitable chaos, others are finding that they’ve bitten off more than they can chew.
Rust’s dark—though not exactly little-known—secret is that Twitch streams are not indicative of what the game is actually like. Where streamers all role-play and only open fire in an agreed-upon set of locations and scenarios, regular Rust servers are a hodgepodge. Some players role-play, but many don’t. Some aid newcomers, but others ruthlessly bully them. Anything is possible, but it’s often sandwiched between mounds of death and toxicity. Progress is hard won, especially given that players can stroll in and wreak havoc while others are logged off. New Rust players on Steam, then, are split. On one hand, they’ve found that even after all these years, there’s no other game quite like Rust, but on the other, its sharp edges have cut into beginners’ desire to keep playing.