Do you enjoy getting lost for hours on end in massive sandbox games that offer endless possibilities? I know I do. Back in the day, there weren’t many titles that allowed you to do that but that’s clearly not the case anymore. I’ve played most of the popular games in this genre, ranging from classics like Minecraft to newer releases like Conan Exiles and everything in between. However, one sandbox title I find myself being drawn to time and time again is Rust.
Rust is an open-world survival game that puts a lot of emphasis on crafting, exploration, and player interaction. Whether you want to form alliances with other players or fight everybody you come across, that’s entirely up to you. Rust can be a very rewarding experience if you’re willing to put in the time and effort needed to get through the challenges you’re likely to encounter at the beginning of the game.
Take it from me, the world of Rust is as deadly as it is beautiful. In addition to having to deal with things like hunger, cold temperatures or the local wildlife, there’s also a high chance you’ll encounter other players pretty early on. Unfortunately, most of them aren’t very friendly and are always on the lookout for an easy target. This is a survival game after all.
Rust doesn’t feature a traditional single-player mode so surviving these initial challenges can be rough if you’re a new player. Unless, of course, you decide to create your own server and experiment with things at your own pace. If hosting your own server sounds like a time-consuming process don’t worry because you can make things very easy by simply renting one instead.
Renting a Rust Server vs. Hosting Your Own
There are a few things to keep in mind if you decide to host your own Rust server. Although setting up a server is not a particularly difficult process, it does require a bit of technical know-how. Your best course of action would be to start by downloading a tool like SteamCMD and then searching online for a good tutorial that will take you through the whole process.
However, the main problem with setting up your own server is not actually related to the setup process. Rust is a pretty big game so you would need to allocate at least 6 GB of RAM to the server, though I would recommend 8 GB just to be on the safe side. If you want your server to stay online all the time, you’ll also need a very good internet connection and a computer that runs 24/7. You can get away with switching the server on and off whenever you want if you’re playing by yourself. But if other people are also playing on your server, it’s a given that you’ll need to make sure it runs smoothly at all times.
As I’m sure you’ve figured out by now, you’ll need to be prepared to invest some time and resources if you plan on hosting your own server. So is it worth it? Well, that depends entirely up to you but a lot of the time it’s a better idea to simply rent a server instead. You will need to spend a bit of money but renting a Rust server is pretty cheap and will save you a lot of headaches in the long run. And if you’re looking to create a server that can handle more than a handful of people, renting one is pretty much mandatory.
A Few Things to Note About Hosting Providers
There are plenty of companies out there that offer server renting services so choosing the one that’s right for you can be a bit tricky. Prices generally start at about $10-15 per month but can set you back a bit more if you’re renting a server that supports a lot of slots. ‘Slots’ is the term most providers use to refer to players so if you see a server that supports 30 slots, for example, that just means that up to 30 people can play on that server at any given time.
In addition to price, you’ll also need to think about the features you might need because some companies offer more than others. A lot of people play Rust with mods so mod support is a must most of the time. I would also suggest going with a company that includes security features like DDoS protection along with an easy way of backing and updating your server. Whether you want to take care of these things manually or prefer the processes to occur automatically, that’s entirely up to you.
Another highly sought-after feature is debranding. This term just means that your provider is willing to give users the option to remove logos or anything else that has to do with the company’s brand from their servers. Not every provider will include this while others make it an optional feature. Things like customer support and server location are also pretty important so make sure to take those aspects into consideration as well.
Top 5 Rust Server Hosting Companies in 2019
After doing a fair bit of research and seeing for myself what hosting providers have to offer to Rust players, I was able to come up with a pretty solid top 5. I also took a look at what the Rust community as a whole had to say about these companies and I’m confident that you won’t go wrong with any of these picks.
As its often the case with these types of things, your experience with these companies might differ from mine so it’s always a good idea to do your own research and see what works best for you. With that out of the way, let’s jump straight into the list.
ServerBlend is a well-known hosting provider that has been around since 2014 and offers game servers for everything ranging from Ark: Survival Evolved to Kerbal Space Program. The company strikes an excellent balance between performance and affordability while also offering plenty of useful features.
ServerBlend offers free DDoS protection and debranding, includes a TCAdmin control panel along with Steam Workshop mod support. Speaking of mods, the company also includes 1-click mod installs, auto-updating mods, and a mod manager GUI. Free automatic backups, game updates and location switching are all included as well. Access to the server is done via FTP and ServerBlend even includes a MySQL database. One of the best features of this provider is the inclusion of a Discord bot that allows you to control your server directly from the app. Rust servers are available in several countries, including the US, UK, France, Australia, and The Netherlands.
ServerBlend offers two types of Rust servers – Standard and Custom. The Standard variant will set you back anywhere between $13.50 and $57 per month, depending on how many slots you want. The minimum amount is 50 while the maximum is 300. The Custom version allows you to choose the exact specs of your server so the pricing can vary quite a lot depending on your preferences. If you go for the Custom version it’s worth noting that you will only be able to pick between two server locations – Canada and West EU. A potential drawback of ServerBlend is that the company only accepts monthly payments.
ServerBlend offers 24/7 customer support and works primarily through a ticket system, though support agents can also be contacted via email and chat. In addition, the support section also includes an FAQ section along with some useful tutorials.
- Affordable prices
- Customizable server
- Discord bot integration
- 14-day money-back guarantee
- Monthly billing cycle only
2. GTX Gaming
GTX is a veteran game hosting provider that’s been around for more than a decade at this point. The company offers private servers for pretty much any online game you can think of and its prices are some of the cheapest out there.
GTX Gaming offers a few interesting features I want to highlight first, which include daily offsite backups, RCON support, and the ability to switch your Rust server for any other game hosted by the company. Server backups can also be scheduled manually. Aside from that, you can expect the usual stuff like free DDoS protection, debranding, TCAdmin control panel, and FTP access. Mod support is included complete with a mod manager GUI, 1-click installs, and auto-updating mods. Game updates can be scheduled manually, server migration is not free, and there is no location switching. You probably won’t miss that last feature, though, because GTX Gaming offers worldwide location coverage.
Renting a server from GTX will only set you back $10 a month for a 50-slot server but you can rent servers that support as many as 400 slots for $80 a month. The payment system is flexible so you can choose the exact number of slots you need as long as the value falls anywhere between 50 and 400. The company offers four billing cycles to choose from – monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, and annually. However, there are no discounts for paying months in advance.
GTX Gaming offers 24/7 support via email or ticket. The company doesn’t have a live chat system but it does offer two phone numbers (London and Texas) where you can reach them at, as well as a dedicated Discord channel.
- Daily offsite backups
- Game switching
- Very affordable prices
- Great location coverage
- Paid server migration
- Only 24-hour money-back guarantee
GameServers is a very well-known provider that rents servers for pretty much any game you can think of. The company has been in the business since way back in 2000 so I think it’s safe to say that the guys have quite a bit of experience under their belt. GameServers is the default choice for a lot of people who are looking to rent servers and it’s easy to see why.
GamesServers offers a custom control panel but you can also access your files more directly via FTP. DDoS Protection and debranding are both included for free and you can also switch locations on the fly. The mod support is very good, with customers benefiting from an auto-updater, 1-click installs, and a mod manager user interface. The bad news is that server backups and game updates are not done automatically. GameServers has the largest server network out there with locations all over the world ranging from the US and Canada to Japan and Australia.
Prices start off at $17.45 per month for 50-slot servers and can reach up to $69.95 per month for 200-slot servers. I find that to be a bit on the expensive side compared to other providers but they do offer a lot of flexibility in terms of how many slots you want to add and include multiple billing options – monthly, quarterly, bi-annually, and yearly. Moreover, you can benefit from discounts of up to 15% off by paying several months in advance, which is always a nice option to have.
GameServers offers 24/7 support via tickets or email but doesn’t have a live chat channel. The company has been around for nearly two decades and many of its support agents are very experienced so you can always count on them to give you a helping hand whenever you need it.
- Very impressive location coverage
- Flexible payment system + discounts
- Highly experienced
- Fairly expensive
- No automatic backups
4. Nitrous Networks
Nitrous Networks is a top game server hosting provider for over two dozen different titles. The company values good performance over everything else so expect low latency if you choose to go with them. Their prices are a bit higher than those of other providers but you do get what you pay for.
Nitrous Networks offers free DDoS protection and debranding, FTP access, and a TCAdmin control panel. Mod support is included along with 1-click installs and a mod manager GUI, but you’ll have to update your mods manually because there is no auto-update feature. Game updates and server backups do not occur automatically either, so you’ll need to take a more hands-on approach with this provider. However, in return you do get some nice features like free web hosting, a free MySQL database, and a free Mumble server. Location coverage is pretty decent, with servers being available in the US, UK, Canada, Germany, and The Netherlands.
Renting a Rust server from Nitrous Networks will set you back anywhere between $20 per month for a 50-slot server and $80 per month for a 200-slot server. That’s a bit expensive but the company lets you set the exact amount of slots you need so there’s a lot of flexibility to the payment system. You are also not restricted to monthly payments and can opt between quarterly, semi-annual or yearly billing cycles.
Nitrous Networks offers 24/7 customer support via tickets but there’s no live chat or email system. The support options are pretty limited but the company does have some useful articles and tutorials on its website that somewhat mitigate that.
- Great performance
- Flexible pricing
- Free web hosting
- Fairly expensive
- Few support channels
- No automatic backups
PingPerfect has been around since 2012 and offers features that are pretty similar to some of my other entries on this list. It does lack a few key features but makes up for it with extremely low prices and huge servers that can support more players than most of its competitors.
Renting a server from PingPerfect gets you free DDoS protection, debranding, FTP access, and free web hosting. You can access the server via a TCAdmin control panel and can look forward to mod support complete with mod manager GUI and 1-click installs. The downside is that mods do not update automatically. Likewise, game updates and server backups are not automatic either and location switching is not available. Server migration is available but is not free. The good news is that PingPerfect has worldwide coverage, with servers being available on almost every continent.
PingPerfect offers very low prices of just $9.5 per month for a 50-slot server. With these guys, you can get servers of up to 1000 slots for $190 per month. That’s definitely not cheap but you can choose to go with any other number of slots up to 1000 so you have a lot of flexibility here. The billing cycle is flexible as well and you can even get discounts of up to 15% off if you pay for several months in advance. If you’re willing to pay a bit extra, you can also add extra bandwidth and a TeamSpeak server with up to 250 slots to your package.
PingPerfect has a very good support system in place. The company offers 24/7 assistance via email, tickets, and live chat. PingPerfect also has an extensive knowledge base on its website along with forums and even a number you can call them at.
- Very cheap prices
- Servers of up to 1000 slots
- Free web hosting
- Great support
- Only 24-hour money-back guarantee
- Paid server migration
- No automatic server backups or game updates
I really hope this article helped you learn more about what it means to host a Rust server and why it’s often a better idea to just rent one instead. That goes double if you want a server that can support a large number of players because then you’ll need to constantly keep an eye on it to make sure that it’s always running smoothly, which can be a bit of a hassle. Wouldn’t you rather just enjoy the game and let a company take care of all the busy work?
I ended up going with ServerBlend as my first pick because the company offered good performance at a reasonable price and there aren’t many downsides for signing up with them. However, you can get even better performance with a company like Nitrous Network if you don’t mind paying a little bit extra. Meanwhile, GameServers is always a safe choice thanks to its vast experience and worldwide coverage.
If you’re worried about the price, though, GTX Gaming and PingPerfect are both great choices. PingPerfect is a bit cheaper and offers huge servers but there are a few more drawbacks for signing up with them when compared to GTX Gaming. That said, if you want a cheap server that will allow you to test things out without having to worry about other players you can’t go wrong with either of these companies.
I tried my best to only include popular companies that are well-known for their quality services but it’s ultimately up to you to decide which of these providers would make a perfect fit for your needs. Depending on when you’re reading this article, some of the information might be a bit inaccurate because companies change their offers all the time so my advice is to do a bit of research on your own before deciding what to purchase.