Rust is an open-world survival game that has exploded in popularity since its release. It offers a unique combination of team-based tactical combat and exploration that makes it one of the best games to play with friends.
One of the most exciting (and rage-inducing) aspects of Rust is its player-versus-player combat. If you’re looking for a more peaceful experience, there are plenty of Rust servers that focus on PVE gameplay.
In this article, we'll be taking a look at four servers with very different takes on the PVE Rust experience. We'll also be introducing you to Hostari—a platform you can use to host your very own Rust PVE (or PVP) server.
Ready for a more relaxing Rust experience? Let’s get started.
What Is a Rust PVE Server?
Before we get to the servers, let's quickly recap the basics.
PVE stands for player-versus-environment. It's a game design term that refers to a type of game in which players interact with an environment to complete objectives. In PVE games, the player is usually pitted against computer-controlled enemies or environmental obstacles instead of other players.
So, a Rust PVE server is just a game server that cuts out Rust's notoriously cut-throat player versus-player (PVP) element. It's an environment focused on cooperative play, exploration, base-building, and survival where players can relax without constantly looking out for looters and griefers.
Joining a Rust PVE server is a matter of finding one that meets your requirements, hosting your own dedicated Rust server, or renting a dedicated Rust server from a service like Hostari.
What To Consider When Choosing a Rust PVE Server
Choosing a server can be tricky when you don't know what you're looking for exactly. To help you out, here's a quick look at some things you should consider:
Rules: Every server has its own rules, and you need to make sure that there aren't any dealbreakers in the list. If you spend hours on a base, only to find that it can be destroyed as soon as you disconnect, you're probably going to be pretty annoyed.
Player Count: Knowing the number of players on a server can give you an idea of how crowded and active it is. Plus, you may have an idea of how populated you like your servers to be.
Wipe Times: Most servers are wiped (i.e., fully or partially reset) once in a while to keep things fresh. Knowing when a server is wiped can help you plan your activities accordingly.
Friendly Admins: This is a big one—the people running the server are just as important as its other features. Good admins will be helpful, bad ones will be a pain. Luckily, PVE Rust is a much different game than PVP Rust when it comes to player interactions.
The 4 Best Rust PVE Servers
Rusty Wasteland: For a Well-Rounded PVE Experience
Salty Zombies: For an Action-Packed PVE Experience
Zombie Land: For a Play-to-Win PVE Experience
Rust Empires: For a Role-Playing Focused PVE Experience
1. Rusty Wasteland
For a Well-Rounded PVE Experience
Rusty Wasteland is a PVE server where looting, killing, and raiding of any kind is fully disabled. Plus, all town centers are safe zones where new players can find useful items, resources, friendly players, and admins.
The server is usually close to (or at) its 100-player capacity, so the world feels lively and active. The servers are also wiped once every two weeks, which means you'll have plenty of time to build and explore before having to start over from scratch.
To keep you entertained, there's a bunch of PVE-focused content—helicopters that drop rare loot, NPC raids, building contests, skill trees, a leveling system… the list goes on!
Rusty Wastelands is totally free to join. If you feel like supporting the server, you can pay for a membership—you'll unlock some cool extras and bonuses as a thank-you.
Currently, there are four membership tiers—Bronze (4.95/month), Silver (9.95/month), Gold (19.95/month), and Platinum (29.95/month). More expensive tiers offer better bonuses, but the biggest benefit is that you get to bypass the queue to join the server.
Offers premium plugins
Offers rewards for voting
Runs building challenges regularly
Active, friendly mod team
Relatively small server capacity (plus queues)
2. Salty Zombies
For an Action-Packed PVE Experience
Salty Zombies runs three Rust servers that are all worth checking out, but we'll just be focusing on their PVE-only server in this article.
It's a place for players to build bases, join clans, explore, and battle NPCs without worrying about being raided or killed every second. The player base is a great mix of beginners learning the ropes and seasoned veterans who've been around since the server's early days.
Aside from the standard PVE experience, what really sets Salty Zombies apart is the range of server events that the moderators have added into the mix—things like armored trains & convoys, defendable bases, NPC raids, and (of course) zombie hordes.
There's never a dull moment!
Salty Zombies is free to play, but you can unlock benefits by buying a membership.
There are four membership tiers total—Ensign ($10/month), Corporal ($20/month), Sergeant ($30/month), and Captain ($50/month). As you move up the tiers, you get access to more (and better) quality-of-life perks like backpack slots, teleports, and skins.
Different events happening each week
Active mods who care about the server
Server lags at times
Customization can be tricky for beginners
3. Zombie Land
For a Play-to-Win PVE Experience
Zombie Land is a unique PVE server that promises to cut out pay-to-win elements. Everyone needs to earn their victories on this server—all extras, bonuses, and rewards are easily attainable with a bit of grinding in-game.
The server itself is quite well-developed, with plenty of time and effort put into making it look (and run) great. All the maps you play on are custom-built, and there's a ton of content to enjoy—quests, NPCs, bases, events… you name it.
Plus, the admins are friendly, active, and willing to uphold the server's strict “no toxicity” policy. So, if you're tired of the trolling and harassment that's common in other PVP (and even some PVE) servers, Zombie Land is certainly worth considering.
Zombie Land is a totally free server.
According to the admins, there's nothing you can “purchase” from Zombie Land. Instead, you make a suggested “donation” according to a tier system and are rewarded with some in-game currency and a set number of supply drops. Sounds a bit like buying a membership to us, but we'll let the lawyers argue that one!
To learn about the tiers, you'll need to connect your Steam account to the Zombie Land store and then take a look at their shop page.
Awesome custom maps
No pay-to-win elements
Quick server wipe cycles
Full PVP 20hrs before server wipes
4. Rust Empires
For a Role Playing Focused PVE Experience
If you're a fan of GTA RP, then this is the Rust PVE server for you.
Rust Empires puts a unique spin on the PVE experience by adding role-playing elements into the mix. Players can claim land to open shops, form clubs, or build entire cities. There are a comprehensive set of rules that govern everything from evictions to war (yes, war is allowed under certain circumstances), and the admins are great at enforcing them.
Plus, there's a ton of extra content to keep you occupied—missions, events, quest lines, and even a player-driven economy. Just be warned—this is a mostly PVE server. You can be robbed, raided, and even killed if the server rules allow it.
Like all the other servers in this list, Rust Empires is totally free.
The server does have a Patreon with five tiers, though—Donator (£1/month), Funder (£5/month), Sponsor (£9.50/month), Elite (£19/month), and Daddy Warbucks (£28.50/month). Most of the tiers only grant Discord titles, but Elite and Daddy Warbucks give you access to Skinbox.
Mix of PVE and RP elements
Fun, engaged community
Killing is only allowed under certain circumstances
Server occasionally lags at peak times
Host Your Own Rust PVE Server With Hostari
Are these options just not fitting the bill? Consider taking matters into your own hands and hosting your own PVE server with Hostari.
You'll get full control over all the server and game settings, and we offer a range of plans to suit every budget. Plus, you'll have access to our world-class customer service team that's available by chat 24/7/365.
Ready to get started? Sign up for a 24-hour free trial and give Hostari a try.