Best Rust Server Hosting

written by jacob tuwiner Jacob Tuwiner

With an average player base reaching upwards of 55-60,000, Rust has been one of the best indie successes in recent gaming history, and it’s showing no signs of stopping.

However, not all players are huge fans of the public rust servers, which are rampant with senseless griefing, profanity, and needless violence.

Whether you want to opt for a PVE experience, you wanna just play with your friends, or you’d like to have some time to build up your base before opening the floodgates, there’s no question as to why owning a personal Rust server has been getting so popular.

But how do you go about choosing a Rust hosting company?

Logo Host Details Rent
best hosting for gmod gtx gaming GTX Gaming
  • Top Pick
Citadel Servers
  • Runner Up
Host Havoc
  • Also Awesome

What is Rust Server Hosting?

hazmut suit guy fighting in rust

You don’t always have to pop into that public online Rust server and just work with whatever cards are dealt there.

Hundreds of players are hosting their own private and public Rust servers to offer a better gaming experience for the community as a whole.

There are two types of player hosted servers you can get access to, but we’ll talk about them more in-depth in the next section.

The baseline, though, is that Rust players can have their servers for whatever reasons they might have to do so.

Rust Dedicated Server vs. Rust Server Hosting

As we mentioned prior, there are two different types of private Rust servers: Dedicated and Hosted.

They’re similar (but different) and each have their own pros/cons.


A Dedicated server, in simple terms, is a server hosted by a player on their home network, with their main computer or a separate dedicated computer that’s connected to their internet.


  • Free (besides having an internet connection)
  • User serviceable
  • Full freedom of customization
  • Full control of server files


  • Uses the host’s bandwidth
  • Speeds are based on the host’s internet speeds
  • Little to no protection from malicious cyber-attacks like DDOSing
  • Growing a large server on your PC is unrealistic
  • Only good for a few people on the server before performance suffers


A hosted server, on the other hand, is for those with some cash to spend for a better experience.

There are tons of online server hosting companies that’ll host your game server for you if you pay fee, of course. Do the benefits outweigh the cost?


  • Faster than a dedicated server
  • Tons of plan options to fit your server use case
  • Encryption and protection from cyber-attacks
  • Instant deployment
  • Easy to manage
  • Support team to help you out if you’re stuck
  • Don’t have to leave your computer on


  • Not free
  • May limit your control of the server in some cases
  • May not allow direct access to server files
  • Some companies are better than others

Which is Best for You?

rust dome cinematic

Each Rust server type has its relative benefits, but it’s good to make an educated decision on what’s right for you.

First of all, do you plan on opening the server to the public? Or would you instead just form a private battle arena between you and some close friends?

Second, do you want to spend any money on the server? If so, how much are you willing to spend?

Third, do you want security for your Rust server or a buffer from possibly malicious hackers to screw around with your server?

Dedicated Rust servers will provide the lowest cost assuming you have a spare computer to host on or if you’re hosting from your main computer.

Otherwise, you might have to buy whole new equipment just to host your Rust server. If you have that existing capability, though, you can get to hosting a server in a couple of minutes for entirely free.

Unfortunately, with a dedicated server, you’ll have little if any security, and if you want to host for a lot of people, your home internet may be a hindrance.

Hosted servers, on the other hand, cover almost all the bases. You get excellent security, the server can be hosted 24/7 without using your internet or desktop resources, and you can increase or decrease the player limit at will with no performance loss. And all this can be yours… for a fee.

Top 3 Rust Server Hosting Options

This table shows the best Rust server hosting options:

Logo Host Details Rent
best hosting for gmod gtx gaming GTX Gaming
  • Top Pick
Citadel Servers
  • Runner Up
Host Havoc
  • Also Awesome
  • Great performance
  • Competitive pricing
  • Free game switching
  • Custom control panels
  • Worldwide support
  • Knowledgebase could be better
  • Support could be faster

As you’ll find out in our GTX Gaming review, they’re one of the best game hosting companies around, especially for open-world survival games like Rust and ARK.

Their Rust servers start at a mere $0.50 per slot, with a minimum monthly payment of $10 for a 50 slot server.

GTX Gaming supports Oxide/Umod support with automatic updates, online backup manager support, Rust IO live map support, dynamic wiping, and way more. You can check out the Rust hosting page on the GTX Gaming website for more information.

I tested their Rust servers with my friends and I was blown away by not only the performance but the pricing as well.

  • Dude they're dirt cheap
  • Long established company
  • Fastest servers
  • Great support
  • A bit less performance than competition

Citadel Servers Rust servers start at just $0.18/slot with a minimum slot count of 50 players, bringing their cheapest monthly price to $9/month. Their servers go up to 400 slots, but they don’t give a bulk price per slot discount as you increase your slot count.

Host Havoc, on the other hand, lowers the cost per slot as you pay more. However, Host Havoc’s lowest slot price is $0.18/slot, and their servers start at $0.46/slot with a minimum slot count of 30, bringing their lowest monthly payment to $14/month.

For this reason, it’s awesome that Citadel Servers has a dirt-cheap slot price of just $0.18/each, which is great for those on a budget.

If you’re looking for the cheapest Rust server hosting, Citadel Servers is the best option.

They have fast, reliable servers across the world, with discounts when you make a long-term commitment upfront. You can also pay extra for added performance in case you plan on running a large server.

Overall, if you’re looking for a Rust server hosting company on a budget, Citadel Servers is a great choice.

  • 99.9% Uptime
  • Servers around the world
  • Best game server hosting support
  • Great control panel
  • Easy plugin/mod support
  • Pricier than their competition
  • High minimum server slot count
  • No free trial

Host Havoc is my overall number one pick. I’ve been using them since 2016 when I wanted to go with a new hosting company for my Rust server, and I haven’t looked back ever since.

They blew me away in all four aspects of the criteria I mentioned above. Aside from their terrific performance and uptime, I love their support team.

In my experience their average response time was around 10 minutes, which is faster than any of the other companies I’ve tried. Most of my tickets were swiftly answered within just 5 minutes of asking the question.

Usually they would link to a helpful article on their resource page that solved the problem, and when that wasn’t enough, a support staff member would personally help me out.

And while their control panel is incredibly easy to use (another great feature of Host Havoc) you’re bound to run into issues with your server eventually, so having a responsive and helpful support team is crucial.

Host Havoc offers Rust servers from 30 to 400 slots, and the price scales up accordingly. For example, a 30 slot rust server costs $0.46/slot, whereas a 400 slot Rust server costs just $0.18/slot.

The bulk discount is nice for large servers, but that’s the thing - Host Havoc is best suited for server owners who plan on having a decent player base.

Otherwise, considering their minimum slot count is still a bit pricey, Host Havoc may not be the best pick for tiny servers.

Click the red button below to check them out, or the blue button to read our Host Havoc review.

Logo Host Details Rent
best hosting for gmod gtx gaming GTX Gaming
  • Top Pick
Citadel Servers
  • Runner Up
Host Havoc
  • Also Awesome

Free Rust Server Hosting (Private Server)

rust game

If you don’t feel inclined to pay for a Rust server host and you’re okay with using your internet to host your server, a dedicated server is the way to go.

As long as you download the proper files and set it up correctly, you could have a private Rust server up and running in a matter of minutes.

However, if you’re planning on hosting a public server for a large number of players, this option is not suggested.

Running a server on your internet will take up a portion of your internet bandwidth, causing the connection for both you and the server to suffer.

In addition, running a server on your main computer (as opposed to a separate tower) will use some of your PC’s valuable resources which can lower your FPS in games while running the server.

How Do You Make a Private Server on Rust?

making a rust game server

To make your own rust server, we suggest you use a separate server box, but you can use your main computer if you’d like. Once you choose your device, it’s a simple matter of downloading files and setting configurations, easy stuff.

When you get your server up, you can go test it out yourself and try to invite some friends so you can make sure everything’s working correctly.

If you want to learn how to make a Rust server for free, check out our guide.

Can Rust Be Played Offline?

You can’t play Rust offline because Steam requires authentication to prevent piracy, but that can’t happen when you’re offline.

Rust Server Hosting Guide

The rest of this article is designed to teach you how to choose the right Rust hosting company.

Let’s dive in:

Advantages of Running Your Own Rust Server

A combination of most of the positives and not too many negatives makes hosting a Rust server the perfect choice for the player looking for a friendly sanctuary or total control, but what can you expect to gain from opening a server yourself?

Avoid Angst and Frustration

rust game

We all know how players are in these online survival games (terrible).

The griefers who tend to ruin the game for newer spawns who’re trying to build up in the harsh world of Rust.

The stray player-hunters whose goals can only be described as barbaric.

Or, my personal favorite, the hackers that fly around the map killing everything in sight indiscriminately, ruining the game for everyone.

Wouldn’t it just be nice to be completely free from all that annoyance so you can truly have fun with the game?

Everyone’s On a Level Playing Field

rust rock

If you’ve played Rust for more than a second you know the amazing feeling of spawning in ready to begin your journey to build, loot, and pillage only to catch a bullet, arrow, or rock to the dome every time you spawn.

When you have the ability to decide who comes and goes on the server, you essentially have a way to level the playing field in a way, if you’re sick of all the tryhard clans invading and destroying entire servers.

You have the ultimate choice of what path the server takes, whether that be a public battleground where only the strong survive or a relatively peaceful land of war between prebuilt factions of close friends.

Total Control

Again, as the owner of the server, you’re the one who has complete control of its inner workings. Whether you want to use that for personal gain or not is up to you.

You can morph the server to be whatever you want it to be, do whatever you want to do, and screw with anyone on the server you choose. If you want to add mods to the server, you can do that too.

Rust Oxide & Mod Support

Not all server hosts support modding for your Rust server, and there are some others that support it but have a difficult installation process. So be sure to pick a server with better mod support if modding is your goal (like Host Havoc).

Rust Server Hosting: Things to Keep in Mind

All of the server hosts you’ll encounter will have a similar set of features, but the quality between them may differ from host to host.

You Get What You Pay For

The age old edict “You Get What You Pay For” applies for any purchased product.

Expect worse performance and feature sets from services that cost much less than proven high quality hosts, but at the same time don’t go overpaying for performance you don’t need.

If you’re running a server for 5 people, you shouldn’t go paying for a server built to support 50 people.

Customer Support

Similarly, customer support may vary across platforms and your individual experiences may vary.

Since you usually can’t know what the customer service is like until you have a problem, we suggest that you look online for reviews on the customer service from users of each host.

Refund Policy

Server hosts don’t generally offer refunds for any reason other than an error on their part, but many services provide 7-30 day free trial periods to get a feel for the server or some sort of money-back guarantee if you don’t end up enjoying your experience with the service.


One great way to gage the quality or reputation of a hosting service is by taking a look at the history of the company that runs it.

The first thing to take note of is how long the host has been on the public market. Newer hosts tend to have a lower quality of customer service and less fleshed out protocols to cover you if something goes wrong.

The second, is if the host has a relatively long history you should do some research on any large issues in the past that might’ve diminished their reputation. Past issues can persist in the future in terms of quality control.


Just like with the customer service, you should find some reviews on the server hosts themselves to get a good idea of the personal experiences that other users have had and what to expect going in.

Rust Crashing When Joining Server?

rust keeps crashing

If your game keeps crashing when you’re joining a server, we have a guide that’ll walk you through 5 possible solutions for your problem.

Click here to check out the guide.

How Much Does it Cost to Host a Rust Server?

Server hosting doesn’t tend to cost a whole lot across the board and Rust servers are no different.

On average between hosts a Rust server can run you anywhere between $10 per month to $25 per month on most hosts. However, some hosts can reach up to $50 a month, while others like Fragnet charge by the amount of player slots it will have.

If you want to learn more about how much game servers cost, check out our guide.

How to Grow a Rust Server

For those of you who want to own a public server for random players to join and enjoy, you might have a bit of trouble getting people to join your server at first, but trust me, when the ball starts rolling it rolls fast.

One way to get new members to join is by advertising on the Rust Server Directory or PlayRust subreddits. Try posting a thread with some information about your server.

Otherwise you can try posting on the official Rust discord server or one of the many player-ran Rust fan servers that dot the internet.

Best Rust Server Mods and Plugins in 2020

rust logo

Whether you want to live out a fantastically modded Rust paradise or have a couple of useful commands at your disposal on your server, plugins can boostthe all around experience in a number of ways.

So here are our top picks for Rust plugins that can improve the quality of your server in just a couple of minutes.


Steam Groups Automatically adds users to a permissions group from a Steam group.


Zone Manger Allows you to set that can restrict PvP, building, item pickups and more.

Better Chat Allows chat modifying and formatting.


N Teleport Let’s you teleport to players or preset locations.

Easy Vote Allows players to vote for the server to obtain in-game rewards.

World Editing

Copy Paste Pretty self explanatory, you can copy and paste buildings.


Economics Adds a player balance and currency exchange system.

GUI-Shop Allows players to create shops and sell items. This plugin requires the Economics plugin.

Quality of Life

Backpacks Adds backpacks for extra inventory space that can be configured to drop on death.

Rust Kits Adds the ability to create item kits for players.

Crafting Controller Allows you to modify item crafting times.


Hosting a Rust server is hard enough, not to mention the buying process. But if you want your server to thrive, choosing the right server hosting company is imperative.

Hopefully this guide pointed you in the right direction. If you need any extra help choosing or want some assistance, please feel free to contact me.

Happy Rusting!