Building the Best PC for Rust

Rust Official Art

Last updated: October 2019

Rust is a multiplayer-only survival game developed and published by Facepunch Studios for Microsoft Windows, macOS, and Linux . Rust was initially created as a clone of DayZ, a popular mod for ARMA 2, with crafting elements akin to those in Minecraft. However, to say it is "simply" a clone is a huge disservice to the huge variety of play modes the game now enjoys thanks to custom (and often modded) servers, not least to mention the immense popularity of the game.

Although Rust has had a version out to the public since its alpha in December 2013, we held off doing a guide until the launch version of the game was stable and matured, which we're happy to say that it has (and then some)! It has received very positive reviews from players more-or-less for the entirety of its life on Steam, although reviewers generally marked the game down for its learning curve for new players. However, once you get over that initial hump, you'll be having a blast in no time.

Whether you haven't had a chance to play the game before, you're looking to update an existing PC to get the most out of the in-game visuals, or you just want to know how much of an impact each of the game's graphical settings have on performance—this guide will lead you on the right path towards an excellent Rust experience.

In Section 1, we discuss the official minimum and recommended specifications for Rust, and what kind of performance each set of specs could provide.

In Section 2, we provide four balanced example builds geared toward providing enough power to run Rust at 60 FPS with different resolutions (1080p, 1440p, and 4K).

Finally, in Section 3, we have put together a Rust graphics settings guide that will tell you what each graphics option does, and how much each of them impacts the FPS of the game.

Rust Official Hardware Requirements

The official system requirements for Rust, according to its Steam page, are as follows:

Minimum System Specifications:

  • CPU: i7-3770 or FX-9590
  • Graphics Card: GTX 670 or R9 280
  • RAM: 10GB
  • Storage Space: 20GB
  • Additional Note: An SSD is highly recommended to cut load times

Recommended System Specifications:

  • CPU: i7-4690K or R5 1600
  • Graphics Card: GTX 980 or R9 Fury
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage Space: 20GB
  • Additional Note: An SSD is highly recommended to cut load times

There are a few very important things to note here. Firstly, the recommendation for an SSD. With a lot of the "entry" builds, we sometimes don't include SSDs in any capacity, favoring larger (and cheaper) HDDs. However, based on how Rust handles its assets, as well as it essentially being a requirement listed by the developers, all of the builds below will feature SSDs. Although this does add a bit of cost, it is well worth it for Rust!

One other important aspect is the memory usage. The requirements for both minimum and recommended are pretty much accurate, especially if you're thinking of using some of the higher graphics settings—because a lot of that visual information is dumped into RAM during your session for rapid use. But that of course results in high RAM usage, which in turn results in those unusually high RAM requirements above.

On the flip side, the actual CPU and GPU requirements are not too brutal. Essentially something with a good number of cores and a reasonable clock speed is the only real requirement. Again though, expect some higher requirements if you're using some of the higher settings.

NOTE: Rust does have a number of experimental graphics options available to it in the main menu; however, for the sake of stable comparisons (plus the wide variance in visual improvements they do or do not provide) we have left these off at all times.

Rust Screenshot 2

Example Rust PC Builds

These builds are designed to provide sufficient computing power for playing Rust at 60+ FPS (or 100+ FPS, where noted) at 1080p, 1440p, or 4K resolution.

There is a notable performance difference under certain conditions, based on the number of players which are in your field of view at any time (hard to quantify, but can be around 15% difference in average output). Plus, some areas are more graphically intensive, usually to the tune of up to 30-40% less frames at 4K on higher settings, with the intensity of the impact scaling down to around 10-15% at 1080p.

As you'll see in the builds below, the cost really starts to ramp up quickly as additional frames and/or higher resolutions become a priority.

If you're not sure what resolution you want to play at (or how the different resolutions compare to each other), then take a look at our monitor resolution explanation page.

If you're not sure what frame rate you want to play at (or what frame rate is), then take a look at our FPS explanation page.

1080p 60 FPS [Low Settings] Rust Build ($550)

This build is designed to simply allow you to play the game. As such, we're playing around with the now-inexpensive Ryzen 5 2600 to get a multi-core CPU with easy overclocking, while pairing it with the equally cheap and reliable RX 570.

This is the lowest-tier build that we feel can comfortably promise a consistent 60+ FPS in Rust at 1080p while playing with all graphics settings turned down to their lowest notch (or off, where applicable).

CPU: AMD R5 2600
Graphics Card: RX 570
Motherboard: ASRock B450M-HDV R4.0
RAM: 16GB (2 X 8GB) DDR4-2400
Storage: 512GB Intel SSD
Power Supply: SeaSonic Focus 450
CPU Cooler: Stock
Case: Thermaltake Versa H15
Operating System: Windows 10

1080p 60 FPS [High Settings] Rust Build ($850)

Providing a lot more horsepower than the first build, this option has been designed so that you will comfortably be able to play with all settings set to their highest at 1080p with 60 or more FPS. The largest changes here come in the form of a more powerful CPU and GPU, while also having faster RAM to start squeezing out frames in the higher settings options.

CPU: AMD R5 3600
Graphics Card: GTX 1660
Motherboard: MSI X570-A Pro
RAM: 16GB (2 X 8GB) DDR4-3200
Storage: 1TB Intel SSD
Power Supply: EVGA 650 GQ
CPU Cooler: Stock
Case: Fractal Design Focus G
Operating System: Windows 10

1440p 60 FPS / 1080p 100 FPS [High Settings] Rust Build ($1500)

At this point, we're starting to move into the much more high-end systems, with the aim to comfortably handle 1440p 60 FPS gameplay, or be able to churn out more frames at 1080p. However, this additional performance requirement does come at a cost.

CPU: AMD R7 3700X
Graphics Card: RX 5700 XT
Motherboard: ASRock X570 Steel Legend
RAM: 16GB (2 X 8GB) DDR4-3600
Storage: 2TB Intel SSD
Power Supply: SeaSonic Focus 750
CPU Cooler: be quiet! Dark Rock 4
Case: Corsair 275R
Operating System: Windows 10

4K 60 FPS / 1440p 100 FPS [High Settings] Rust Build ($2800)

This particular build is such a beast that—not only does it become a monster for 1440p, never really dipping below 110 FPS—but it happily handles everything you throw at it in Rust at 4K, too.

However, all this performance comes at a huge premium. Along with the usual CPU and GPU upgrades, we've also bumped up the RAM, SSD, CPU Cooler, and PSU to match.

CPU: Intel i9-9900K
Graphics Card: RTX 2080 Ti
Motherboard: MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon
RAM: 32GB (2 X 16GB) DDR4-3600
Storage 1: 1TB Samsung SSD
Storage 2: 2TB Intel SSD
Power Supply: Thermaltake Toughpower DPS G 850W
CPU Cooler: be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4
Case: NZXT H510i
Operating System: Windows 10

Rust Screenshot 3

Rust Graphics Settings and Performance Guide

This section takes a close look at the graphical options in Rust, and their effects on the game’s performance.

The ‘performance impact’ in each subsection below is the measured difference in average FPS between playing the game with all settings at their highest and turning only the setting in question down to the lowest (or off) while leaving all others untouched.

It is also worth pointing out that the performance impact is not necessarily perfectly additive. So if disabling one setting increases FPS by 10% and disabling another increases FPS by 10%, disabling both would not be expect to increase performance by 20%. Instead, the increase would likely be somewhere from 12-18% total.

Overall Quality

At it's most basic level, the main graphics quality setting does a lot of the work for you, setting the game up according to the option you select. Left of the slider is the lowest, with 5 being the highest on the right.

Performance Impact: ~150% between 1 (High Performance) and 5 (High Quality)

Rust High Performance Setting 1
Rust High Quality Setting 5
Drag the bar to compare Overall Quality on 1 (High Performance) and 5 (High Quality).

Particle Quality

How good does your campfire look? How impressive does that thing explode? There's many things covered with particle quality, but unfortunately they're essentially the graphics showing the world reacting to something, so it's hard to get a comparison shot for this.

Generally, the more action on the screen, the larger the impact having this turned up will have.

Performance Impact: ~8-12% between Off and 100


There's 3 settings for shadows, each giving a slightly different result when you tweak them. As a result, depending on what you're looking for visually, you might be able to get away with changing the options here to your preference. Firstly, overall Shadow Quality: this does what is says on the tin; you either get soft, realistic looking shadows or you get very angular, artificial shadows. This then works in tandem with the other two settings (cascades and shadow lights) to generate and impact the overall visuals.

Performance Impact: ~15-20% between Low and Max (environment-dependent)

Rust Shadows Low
Rust Shadows Max
Drag the bar to compare Shadows on Low and Max.


Mainly because there are a lot of different biomes available in Rust these days, the tree options can either have a big impact (in a forest area) or none (in a desert area). Where things get complex is that many of the bushes are actually affected by the grass quality (and not that of the trees), so it's generally better to use those settings in tandem for the largest impact.

Performance Impact: ~0-10% between Off and On (environment-dependent)


Like shadows above, there are sub-options for water: the overall quality and the reflections. It's normally worth moving these up or down together, because by themselves the performance gains that can be made aren't as noticeable.

Performance Impact: ~10-15% between Low and Max

Rust Water Low
Rust Water Max
Drag the bar to compare Water on Low and Max.

Draw Distance

Although the game's draw distance is generally high anyway (joys of needing fairness in an open-world PvP environment), you can set this higher or lower as you wish. Yet be aware that, at its highest setting, you could see significant drops in framerate if you're moving quickly.

In the sample shot, you can see just how much is still visible even on the lowest setting, with only the smallest details on the far island not visible when draw distance is turned down.

Performance Impact: ~10% between Low and Max

Rust Draw Distance Low
Rust Draw Distance Max
Drag the bar to compare Draw Distance on Low and Max.

Decor Quality

Fancy yourself a bit of a decorator? Or indeed exploring different buildings throughout the world? Then you might be interested in the decor quality options. The greatest impact for this is on signs and, well, indoor and outdoor decorations.

Performance Impact: ~5-10% between Low and Max

Anisotropic Filtering

It's all about reducing jagged lines in the textures. This setting can result in very subtle visual changes, especially if you're at a higher resolution. For this setting, we need to remind you that the system used to take these screenshots is running at 1440p, so visually you’re going to need a good eye to spot the difference between 16x and 2x!

Performance Impact: ~5-8% between 2x and 16x (environment-dependent)

Rust Anisotropic Filtering 2x
Rust Anisotropic Filtering 16x
Drag the bar to compare Anisotropic Filtering on 2x and 16x.

Light Rays

Ah, the old lights from on high! As Rust has a full day/night cycle, the environment will be changing and evolving as you move within it, resulting in some unique lighting situations. At its simplest, this setting will determine glare and reflection from the sun when it is visible (directly or otherwise) in-game.

Performance Impact: ~10% between Off and On

Rust Light Rays Off
Rust Light Rays On
Drag the bar to compare Light Rays Off and On.

Choosing the Best Settings for Rust

If your computer can achieve a steady 60 FPS with all the settings turned up at your desired resolution, then we recommend keeping things as they are.

However, if you’re not reaching 60 FPS, or if you have a specialized monitor with a higher refresh rate and want to get even better performance, there are certain settings you can lower in Rust to improve your framerate without sacrificing too much in the way of visuals.

Unfortunately, as we said above the image sliders, lowering multiple settings will not have a straightforward cumulative effect on framerate: if dropping one setting gives 10% improvement, and dropping another gives 10%, lowering both will not give 20%, but possibly between 12-18%.

Improve FPS considerably with little to no impact on visuals

  • Turn off Light Rays.
  • Turn Anisotropic Filtering down (especially if playing at higher resolutions).

Improve FPS by larger amounts with moderate impact to visuals

  • Turn Water Options down.
  • Turn Shadow Options down.

Last Resorts

If doing all of the steps above still does not achieve your desired framerate, try some of the following:

  • Turn down Particle Quality.
  • Turn down Tree and Grass Quality.
  • Very last resort: Turn all settings to Low or Off.

If you try all of the above and still can’t run the game as smoothly as you would like, you may need to upgrade your hardware.

Rust Screenshot 4


If you can't quite tell from the performance guide and builds, we've found that Rust seems very much optimised for 1080p gameplay. Which isn't so bad, as that's still the most popular screen resolution for gamers. Yet it was a little disappointing seeing just how much more power is needed for smooth 4K gameplay on max settings. But the world is visually quite stunning, so—for a busy open-world PvP game—the requirements aren't too surprising!

Thankfully, there’s a whole host of options for players to customize their settings specifically to their needs. And the best part is there’s still new players joining all the time, so now’s the best time to jump on in and start learning how to play!

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments below, or email us at

About Us

Chris is a contributing writer for Logical Increments, and has worked in the gaming and technology industries as a community manager for many years, as well as a live streamer. He has been building PC's for over 11 years.

When Chris is not here creating builds and guides, he can be found at University, studying for a BSc in Video Production as he makes the transition over to the film industry from gaming. You can read more about his journey on his website.

Logical Increments helps more than 2 million PC builders each year with hardware recommendations for any budget.

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