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How to get food in Rust and avoid starvation

Rust Food guide
(Image credit: Facepunch Studios)

Knowing how to get food in Rust is essential, as managing your hunger to is the only way to avoid death by starvation. Surprisingly this is one of the main causes of death, despite all the other risks to your survival in the game, though we also have some separate Rust tips for dealing with those. This Rust food guide is just here to help keep you fed, so while it won't protect you from wolves, knives, bullets, or any other threats you may encounter while exploring the Rust map, it should at least let you know how to get food in Rust so that starvation is no longer a problem to deal with.

One of the great things about gathering food in Rust, is that there are many different ways to do it. Are you all for gathering and exploring? Do you want to use your weapons? Or is farming more your style? You can always find a way to get Rust food that fits your playstyle.

Types of food in Rust

Rust Food guide

(Image credit: Facepunch Studios)

In case you had any doubts left; there is no ‘easy’ food source that can fill up your entire food bar without effort. No unlimited berry supplies in this game! But once you familiarize yourself a bit with the different food sources in Rust, you should be able to find one near you.

We can roughly categorize Rust food as the foods found in crates, the fruit and vegetables found in the wild, and the meat from animals and humans (yes, that too). Let’s take a look at how to get them.

Find Rust food crates

Rust Food guide

(Image credit: Facepunch Studios)

Pro’s

  • Get non-perishable foods and water bottles.
  • The quickest way to fix any urgent starvation problems.

Con’s

  • It’s dangerous on highly populated servers.

Opening food crates is a great way to get a large food supply in a relatively small amount of time. Especially if you are in early game and can’t hunt animals yet. Furthermore, food crates contain lots of non-perishable items, such as chocolate bars and cans of tuna.

You can find food crates next to the roads and near monuments. Check your map for Abandoned Supermarkets or Gas Stations in particular. Unless another player was just ahead of you, you should be able to find up to 5 food crates inside. There are also lots of food crates in Rad Towns (irradiated sites), but you need to have proper protection before you can get to them.

Find & farm plants in Rust

Rust Food guide

(Image credit: Facepunch Studios)

Pro’s

  • Creates a steady food supply.
  • No need to go search for food anymore.

Con’s

  • A lot more work than opening a crate.
  • Can get raided or destroyed.

If you don’t want to go out every time your character gets hungry, you can also start building your own mini Rust farm full of berries, potatoes, pumpkins, and corn. You can find these items in the wild, especially near fresh water. While searching for them takes time, you will get their seeds after consumption, which you can then use to start your plantation.

Next, you need to craft a planter. The smallest one costs 100 wood and 1 tarp. Pick a safe spot where others can’t easily loot your crops, and remember the importance of water and light. Equip the seeds, hover over the planter box, and plant the seeds wherever a blue silhouette appears. You can keep an eye on the progress by hovering over the plants with something other than a harvesting tool.

If you want to take your crop farm to the next level, you can create an irrigation system by crafting a water catcher and a sprinkler system. But it’s also fine to just water the plants using a bucket, bottle, or jug. Apart from water levels, keep an eye on your ground quality as well. If it gets low, use some fertilizer. You can get it by crafting a composter (200 wood and 2 tarp) and putting anything organic inside. The best thing to use though, is horse dung.

Hunt animals in Rust

Rust Food guide

(Image credit: Facepunch Studios)

Pro’s

  • Can be gathered stealthily, without the need to go out in the open or visit crowded areas.
  • Other animal parts (bones/leather/fat) are useful for crafting.

Con’s

  • Animals can kill you, especially if they’re wolves and bears. Deer and boars can be deadly too without proper equipment. Most players will survive a chicken attack though.
  • It can take quite some time to find them.

Another good source of food is hunting animals. The world of Rust contains chickens, deer, wild boars, wolves, and bears. The most dangerous one, the bear, will get you the most resources. There are horses too, but they are far more useful as a means of transport. Fishing is also an option, but generally considered more time-consuming and dangerous because of your visibility on the water.

Animals appear in all kinds of biome. It is of course easier to spot them in a desert, but be careful you don’t become the hunted yourself. Unless you are targeting a chicken, only go hunting if you have a weapon (not a tool) and at least wooden armor. Once the animal is dead, you need to hit the body with a tool to extract the resources.

How to cook food in Rust

Rust Food guide

(Image credit: Facepunch Studios)

Cooking your meat is always better than eating it raw. Not only will raw meat get spoiled, but cooking will prevent you from getting poisoned, and increases the meat’s nutritious value. Once you have your meat, the cooking process is very simple; you need to make a campfire from 100 wood, select it, and place fuel and meat in the inventory. The food will automatically start cooking.

You can you do something else while your meat is roasting, but keep in mind that it takes less than a minute to be ready. You can also choose to put only a small amount of fuel in the campfire, so the fire will automatically die out before the meat can be burned. Don’t place more than a few pieces of meat in the fire if you want to try this. Did it go wrong? Your food is not completely wasted; burned meat is still edible, but it will cost you some health.

Cannibalism

Rust Food guide

(Image credit: Facepunch Studios)

Meat is meat, right? Besides animals, you can also get your meat from humans. While hunting other humans is not a great way to get food, here’s the (somewhat gruesome) exception; you can eat your perished self.

Imagine this; finding food in early game didn’t work out and you starved. Frustrating, but it won’t happen again; you just need to find the place where you died and you will get a second chance with extra resources and plenty of meat. Be careful though; cooked human meat will dehydrate you, so only consume this if you have enough water available as well.

Good luck chasing those calories!

Marloes Valentina Stella

I’m a freelance journalist who (surprise!) kind of has a thing for videogames. When I’m not working on guides for GamesRadar, you can probably find me somewhere in Teyvat, Novigrad, or Whiterun. Unless I’m feeling competitive, in which case you should try Erangel. You can also find my words on PCGamesN, Fanbyte, PCGamer, Polygon, Esports Insider, and Game Rant.