How to install a Rust server (with Oxide) on Windows

A quick guide on getting a Rust Oxide server up as painlessly as possible.

For about a year I was a full-time community administrator and server admin for one of the largest Rust based gaming communities, Rust Factions and in that time I learnt a fair bit about running rust and oxide servers for large playerbases. At our peak we had over 120 players on the server for many hours each day. Working with a large number of players and entities (we hit the entity limit several times, even after the batching feature was added) meant that regular shared hosts just wouldn’t cut it. We ran an 8 core, 32GB ram, 3 SSD dedicated server just for the rust server which was way overkill but it sure improved performance!

I don’t actively play Rust anymore, but I do still help out with the Rust Factions community occasionally – hopefully this guide will help you as well.

Installing your Rust Oxide server

This guide will take you through installing a Rust server from an empty directory, to a working server that you can play on with Oxide installed and configured.

NOTE: This guide is for Windows computers only!

For this tutorial I will be using the root level of my E:\ drive where I will end up with two folders: E:\steamcmd\ for the SteamCMD files and E:\rust\ for the Rust server and Oxide files.

Step 1 - Install SteamCMD

The first step is to install the Rust server package from Steam. The easiest way to do this is with SteamCMD which will let us install and update the server simply by launching one of two batch files.

Installing SteamCMD is pretty easy:

  1. Create the directory E:\steamcmd\
  2. Download the latest version of SteamCMD from here:
  3. Extract the zip into the E:\steamcmd\ directory so that the steamcmd.exe file is at this file path: E:\steamcmd\steamcmd.exe

Step 2 - Set up batch files to start and update the rust server

Next we need to use SteamCMD to install the rust server. Create the directory E:\rust and within that directory create these three files and copy/paste the contents listed below into them, updating anything within angle brackets like so: <rcon pass>


@echo off

cd "E:\rust\server"
RustDedicated.exe -batchmode +server.port 28015 +server.identity "MyRustServer" -logFile "output.txt" rcon.ip <ip here> +rcon.port 38015 +rcon.password "<rcon pass>" +query_port 28015
cd ../

A few notes on the config options here:

+server.identity "MyRustServer" // This will be the folder name where your rust and oxide config files are stored

rcon.ip <ip here> // This should be the server IP address, it will be where you connect to rcon using a tool like Rusty

+rcon.port <rcon port> // This should be different to your game server port, it is where you connect to rcon

+rcon.password "<rcon pass>" // This is the password for rcon. Make it secure! Having this password gives you admin powers on the server

+query_port  <rcon port> // This is the port where players connect to your server


@echo off

cd ../SteamCmd
steamcmd.exe +runscript "E:\rust\update_script.txt"
cd ..



@ShutdownOnFailedCommand 1
@NoPromptForPassword 1
login anonymous
force_install_dir "E:\rust\server"
app_update 258550 validate 

NOTE: In both the update_script.txt and update.bat files a directory is hard-coded to E:\rust\. Make sure this directory matches your directory structure!

Step 3 - Install the rust server

To install the rust server, double click the E:\rust\update.bat file. This should launch a new command window where you can see SteamCMD downloading all of the files required for the rust server into a new server directory inside E:\rust\.

Step 4 - Launch the server

Once the server is installed, we need to first launch it at least once before installing Oxide.

To do this, double click the E:\rust\START.bat file. A new command window should appear and you will see the Rust server start up. It may take some time to start up at first as it has to generate the map terrain.

Once the server has started up fully, type save into the command window and press enter/return, then type quit and press enter/return to gracefully shut down the Rust server.

Step 5 - Install Oxide

Once the server is shut down, we can install Oxide. First, download the latest version from the Oxide GitHub page.

Be sure to select the file to download!

Once downloaded, extract the contents of the zip into a temporary folder somewhere on your desktop or documents.

Copy the RustDedicated_Data directory into the E:\rust\server\ directory, selecting “yes” when asked if you want to overwrite ~14 files or so.

Once the copy is complete, use the START.bat file to start the Rust server again. If the Oxide install was successful, you should see something like the following in the command window:

Server Config Loaded
Running server/Factions/cfg/bans.cfg
Running server/Factions/cfg/users.cfg
Generating terrain of size 3500 with seed 302
Loading Oxide Core v2.0.3376...
Loading extensions...
Loaded extension CSharp v2.0.3376 by Oxide Team
Loaded extension MySql v2.0.3376 by Oxide Team
Loaded extension SQLite v2.0.3376 by Oxide Team
Loaded extension Unity v2.0.3376 by Oxide Team
Loaded extension Rust v2.0.3376 by Oxide Team
Using Covalence provider for game 'Rust'
Loading plugins...
Loaded plugin Unity v2.0.3376 by Oxide Team
Loaded plugin Rust v2.0.3376 by Oxide Team
WebSocket RCon Started on 38015
[1.8s] Loading World

The key thing here is this part:

Loading Oxide Core v2.0.3376...

You can now install Oxide plugins by copying them into the E:\rust\server\oxide\plugins directory.

Step 6 - Configure Your Server

By default, your server will run with a basic name and a random seed. You will want to configure these, so create the following file:

E:\rust\server\server\<identity name>\cfg\server.cfg

And customise the contents as you like. A list of available config options can be found on Steam’s developer documentation for Rust, but the most common ones are listed below:

server.hostname "My Awesome Rust Server"
server.url ""
server.description "This is nevada_scout's awesome rust server"
server.maxplayers 100
server.saveinterval 1200
fps.limit 500

server.seed 302
server.worldsize 3500
server.salt 33

Make sure that you only edit this file while the server is shut down, otherwise your changes will not apply and will be lost.

Step 7 - Allow Rust through the Firewall

As a server, Rust requires incoming connections to be allowed. This is not enabled by default in the Windows firewall, so you will need to allow the Rust server executable file access to incoming connections.

To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Press the start key and type “firewall”
  2. Select “Windows Firewall with Advanced Security”
  3. Click “Inbound Rules” in the left-hand sidebar
  4. In the right-hand sidebar, click “New Rule”
  5. Select “Program” and click “next”
  6. Click “Browse” and find the rust executable file at E:\rust\server\RustDedicated.exe and click “next”
  7. Select “Allow the connection” and click “next”
  8. Select “Domain”, “Private” and “Public” and click “next”
  9. In the name field enter “Rust Server” and click “finish”

Step 8 - Play on your server

Once the server is running, you will be able to find it on the Modded server list in-game with the hostname that you set in the server.cfg file above.

Alternatively, you can connect to it directly by opening the client console when on the in-game menu screen and typing client.connect <ip>:<port>

Rust & Oxide Updates

FacePunch updates the game every week or every other week, and when they do a server update will be required. As you are running Oxide on the server, that will also need to be updated with each Rust server update – however it can take several hours for the Oxide developers to release a new version that is compatible with the latest Rust version.

As such, I suggest that you wait for the Oxide update to come out before you update the Rust server

To update the server follow these steps:

  1. Type save on the command line to save the server
  2. Type quit on the command line to shut down the server
  3. Take a backup of the server by coping the whole \<identity name\ directory to your documents or desktop
  4. Launch the update.bat file to update the Rust server code
  5. Download the latest version of Oxide
  6. Install Oxide by copying into the Rust server folder as detailed in Step 5 above
  7. Launch the server with START.bat