Rust – Progression Guide: How to Progress Effectively

At the start of a Rust playthrough, most new players will wonder what is the right progression when it comes to guns, armor, and base materials. When and how should you progress through this game?

Most survival games have a relatively clear progression path that you can realize with a bit of exploration. However, there are many Rust players that have more than 200 hours and still have no idea what the right progression would be in the game.

Recommended Read: Rust – Complete Recycling Guide

Since most official Rust servers wipe every week, you don’t really have time to discover all of the mechanics of the game, considering that everyone is destroying your base every time you log out.

In this guide, we will present a clear progression path that you can follow and make sure that you also have fun while playing Rust.

Table of Contents

Progression Guide – Basic Start in Rust

In Rust, there are 4 levels that you will find yourself at: basic, Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3. These tiers are based on the general Workbench level that you will have and how hard the monuments you can loot are.

At the start of the game, you won’t have a huge chance if you go to radioactive locations, as you probably won’t have a Hazmat Suit.

This is why your goal at the start of the game is to get decent tools, weapons, and a base. Once you get all of these things, you can start crafting the Workbench Level 1.

To make this Rust progression guide easier to follow, we will talk in each section about the armor and weapons you should use, what material your base should be made out of, what monuments to visit, and what items are necessary to research at the Workbench.


At this point in the game, the best armor you can get is either Bone Armor or a Hazmat Suit. Players can easily craft the Bone Armor using Bone Fragments and Cloth.

However, you can get the Hazmat Suit either by looting random boxes or killing scientists. Usually, it might be easier to make the Bone Armor. But, if you are lazy, you can just go naked for now until you find better armor scavenging.


For skinning animals, you can make a Bone Knife and keep it for most of the game. In the first few seconds of Rust, a Wooden Spear should be enough.

However, you should try to quickly make a Hunting Bow if you want to survive most encounters with other players. Once you get used to the bow, you should be able to destroy most players that don’t have guns.


At this point in time, you shouldn’t be able to handle either scientists or radiation. So, the only monuments you should frequent are the Supermarket, Gas Station, Junkyard, Harbor, Mining Outpost, and Lighthouse.

All of these locations will give you decent resources and also have a Recycler, allowing you to get higher-level resources faster. The only problem with these monuments is that they will be full of newer players or people that just started on the server.

So, you should either leave them alone for now or only visit them after you advance to the next tier. But, if you really want Scrap, these starting locations with no radiation should be good enough for now.

All you should find at this point are Green Keycards and locations where you can use them.


Your base shouldn’t be more than a 2 by 1 base made out of Stone. Never make your base out of Wood, as it is incredibly easy to destroy. Making a honeycomb helps to keep your base safe, but it can eat a lot of resources if you are a solo player.

Also, make sure to place a Tool Cabinet and Sheet Metal Doors instead of wooden ones, as you don’t want to find your base destroyed when you come back from scavenging.

Your main goal should be making a Level 1 Workbench. You will only need 500 Wood, 100 Metal Fragments, and 50 Scrap to craft it. Once you do, you can finally start progressing down to better equipment.

Tier 1 Progression

Now that you have a Level 1 Workbench, you can start getting better weapons and some decent tech for your base. You should also have access to decent clothes that can combat both bullets and radiation.


Unfortunately, there isn’t any type of powerful armor hidden in the Level 1 Workbench tech tree. However, you will gain access to some really good pieces of clothing that will protect you from a lot of damage and radiation.

The best item that you can unlock from this tech tree is the Snow Jacket. This apparel item will give you 20% radiation protection, along with 20% projectile protection. Unfortunately, you cannot wear any kind of armor over it, and, weirdly enough, you can’t wear any shirt underneath it.

Another good item that you can get is normal Pants. You should be able to combine these Pants with most types of armor, allowing you to get some extra layers of protection.

At this point, you should just accept that you will get a lot of damage in most fights and you should just bring a lot of bandages with you wherever you go. Still, a Snow Jacket and Pants with Wood Armor Pants should be more than enough to protect you.

You can wear anything on your head, as most items at this point will not give you enough protection to survive a headshot.


There are two weapons that you can learn how to craft at the Level 1 Workbench in Rust that will be extremely useful until you reach the Tier 2 bench: the Compound Bow and Double Barrel Shotgun.

These are the only weapons that actually matter, as the other ones aren’t as efficient or will likely use a lot of resources to make and get ammo for.

Satchel Charges are also a relatively bad investment, as you can ignore base raiding at this point in the game. You should only attack people that still have wooden walls, which you can take down without Satchels.

The Compound Bow will become your main weapon, as it has really good accuracy and damage stats and incredibly cheap ammo. You can make arrows easily, and the Compound Bow is also easy to make if you die or lose it.

The Double Barrel Shotgun is the best weapon at this point in your Rust playthrough, as it will one-shot most players that are in close range. This will be extremely useful when defending your base from online raids.

Since Handmade Shells are available from the start of the game, you can make a lot of bullets for your shotgun without evolving your workbench, though they won’t be as strong as the 12 Gauge.

The Double Barrel Shotgun can also shoot twice without reloading, allowing you to finish off any player if you manage to get both shots in.


Now that you have decent weapons and enough radiation protection, you could generally go anywhere you wanted. The best targets at this point would be the higher-tier monuments, such as the Dome, Satellite Dish, and Sewer Branch.

If you wanted riskier adventures, you could also start going to the Airfield, Train Yard, and Water Treatment Plant monuments.

This is also the point when you can start raiding the Oil Rigs, where you should start finding tier 3 weapons and equipment. However, these runs can be extremely dangerous if you don’t have a crew.

You have also reached the level where you can start using the Blue Keycards that you found while you were at the basic tech level. Most of these monuments have Blue Keycard puzzles, which should give you some really good loot and a Red Keycard.


When it comes to your base, not much should change. You should just level up from Stone Walls and Floors to Sheet Metal. Otherwise, you can also learn the Blueprint for the Large Planter Box and Sprinkler to start farming properly.

You can also discover how electricity works and start making advanced electrical circuits for your base. However, since you won’t have access to the Auto-Turret yet, it will be mostly useless.

In general, you should keep your resources in more than one base, since offline raids will become the norm. If you truly want to keep your base safe and only have one base at this point in the game, the caves might be your best option.

Tier 2 Progression

Tier 2 is where a lot of players stop advancing through the progression tech tree. A lot of Rust fans consider that just using this level of technology is more than enough to have fun and not waste too many hours of your life playing.

You will have access to most of the best armor and weapons at this level, almost everything you need to make your base safe, and everything you need to defeat even tier 3 players.


Once you reach the Level 2 Workbench, you can start making the Road Sign Armor, which will be more than enough to protect you from all your enemies. Though the best armor in Rust can only be unlocked at the Level 3 Workbench, the difference is too minor to actually matter.

The best armor you will probably use to also explore monuments will be a Coffee Can Helmet, Snow Jacket, Tactical Gloves, Pants, Road Sign Kilt, and Boots.

This will offer you all the protection you need from radiation, damage, and everything else that should be a problem.

You will also unlock the Heavy Plate Armor, which has the best defensive stats in the game. You can use this armor when you are protecting your base, as it provides 90% protection from bullets, but it will slow you down a lot.

Players can also unlock Night Vision Goggles, which are the most important item if you want to go scavenging or trolling at night. They are the only way you will see something during the nights in Rust.


Since you will learn how to make the 5.56 Rifle Ammo, you won’t even have to craft your own weapons anymore. You should be able to loot as many Assault Rifles (AKs) as you want from players and the Tier 3 monuments.

Still, if you want to craft your own weapons, the Thompson should be more than enough. If you also use the Pump Shotgun for close range, you should be set for most of the game.

The Rocket Launcher also becomes available at this point, but you can only craft High Velocity Rockets for it. This is probably one of the only reasons you should consider getting a Level 3 Workbench, as it will be really hard to raid high-level bases without real Rockets.


At this point, you should be set to visit any monument you want. Some of the most attractive ones should be the Launch Site, Military Tunnels, Arctic Research Base, and Power Plant. You should also attack the Cargo Ship as often as possible and maybe even consider going into the Underwater Labs.

At this point, you should only think about scavenging monuments that have Red Keycard puzzles, as they shouldn’t be a problem anymore, considering your equipment.

If they prove to be too difficult, you can still follow the instructions from the Tier 2 level, as you will still get enough Scrap and resources to last you until the wipe.


You will now unlock Garage Doors, which should become your new doors all along the base. You should also get all your Sheet Walls and Floor to Armored level.

Players will also get access to the Auto-Turret, which is the best tool to protect a base in Rust. You can also start using Prison Cell Walls and Gates to protect your base, as the Auto-Turret can shoot through them.

The External Stone Walls can also be extremely useful if you want more layers to defend your base. This should be more than enough to defend your base when you are online. However, you should accept that there is no level of defense that will protect you from offline raids.

Tier 3 Progression

This is the hardest tier to reach and most Rust players don’t even see it until the day of the wipe. This is because you will need to invest a lot of resources and time into the game to get here.

However, if you do get here, you will have the ability to craft some of the best possible equipment in Rust.


The Level 3 Workbench will give you access to the Metal Chest Plate and the Metal Facemask. These are the best armor pieces in the game and you should always wear them. Otherwise, you can keep using the armor from the previous levels.


At this final level, you will finally be able to craft AKs, Explosive Ammo, Rockets, and C4. With these weapons, you should be able to bring down any base in your way.


When it comes to monuments, there is nothing more to do from the previous step. You can go to any monument you want even before reaching this tier.


All you can do now is change your Garage Doors for Armored Doors. That is all you will gain at this level, but they are the best doors in the game. Still, 2 C4s should be more than enough to bring it down.

That’s everything you need to know about progression in Rust!

Have any input or suggestions for this guide? Let us know in the comment section below.

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