Skip to content

Was Rust ever free on Steam?

No, Rust has never been free on Steam. It has always been a paid game since first launching on Steam Early Access in December 2013. Let‘s take a deeper look at Rust‘s pricing history and methods for getting it free or cheap in 2023.

Rust‘s Pricing History on Steam

Rust first became available on Steam on December 11, 2013 for $19.99. This was the launch price for the Early Access version of the game.

According to SteamDB price history data, Rust received its first price increase to $24.99 on June 16, 2016. Nearly 2 years later on April 5, 2018, Rust increased again to $34.99.

Finally, when Rust left Early Access and had its full release on February 8, 2022, the base price went up once more to the current $39.99.

So in summary, here is how Rust‘s pricing progressed on Steam over time:

December 11, 2013 $19.99
June 16, 2016 $24.99
April 5, 2018 $34.99
February 8, 2022 $39.99 (Current)

As you can see, Rust has steadily become more expensive over time, more than doubling from its early access launch price. This is common for games that transition from early access to full launch. But Rust has never been completely free.

Has Rust Ever Been Free Temporarily?

While it hasn‘t been permanently free, Rust has had some limited-time free promotional periods:

  • Free Weekend in 2015: Shortly after launch, Rust held a free weekend from October 29 – November 1. This enabled anyone to play for free for that weekend only.
  • Twitch Drops in 2021: By watching certain Rust streams on Twitch in 2021, viewers could earn free in-game item skins. But not the full game.
  • Console Launch Promotion: When the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions launched in 2021, Rust was free with PlayStation Plus and Xbox Games with Gold for that month. But those offers have ended.

So in summary, you‘ve been able to play Rust for free temporarily via promotions and events, but never permanently for free on Steam.

What are the Cheapest Ways to Get Rust in 2023?

If you don‘t want to pay full price, here are some of the best ways I‘ve found to get Rust cheaper in 2023:

  • Steam Sales: Rust frequently goes on sale during big Steam seasonal events in 2022/2023. I‘d wait for at least 50% off during a Winter or Summer sale.
  • Third Party Key Sites: Sites like CDKeys often sell Steam keys at discounted rates year-round. I once got Rust for only $16 this way!
  • Console Promotions: The console versions go on sale too, and are sometimes offered as part of PS Plus/Games with Gold monthly free games.
  • Giveaways: Follow Rust streamers or websites running giveaways. I entered and won a free Steam key from a streamer!
  • Android Emulators: You can play the mobile version free on PC through emulators like BlueStacks. Not the full experience but can work in a pinch.

So in summary, keep an eye out for deals and discounts, but expect to pay at least $15-20 realistically in 2023. With some luck and persistence, you may even score Rust completely free!

Is Getting Rust for Free Legally & Safely Possible?

While I love scoring free games, there are legal and safety issues to consider around getting Rust at no cost:

  • Cracked & Pirated Games – Illegal and risky. These versions often contain malware and may get your Steam account permanently banned.
  • Exploits or Hacks – Also against Steam terms of service and can prompt bans. Avoid "free Rust code" videos promoting shady exploits.
  • Steam Family Sharing – Lets you borrow owned games, but limits play time and doesn‘t work simultaneously.
  • Official Giveaways – Limited but legitimate free keys provided directly by Facepunch or partners. Very rare but keep an eye out!

So in summary, exercise caution when seeking out free options. Your best bet is to wait for an officialpromotion or discount of 50% or more during a Steam sale to get Rust at the lowest risk and cost.

Is Rust Worth Paying For?

In my opinion as a long-time Rust player – yes, absolutely! Rust is one of my all-time favorite survival multiplayer games and worth the $40 price tag. Here‘s a quick breakdown of why I feel it‘s worth the cost:

Incredibly deep crafting and building – The sheer amount of items you can make and bases you can create is incredible. I‘ve sunk hundreds of hours into crafting alone.

Tense PVP and raiding – The risk of being raided keeps you on edge, and raiding others is a total thrill. Some of my most intense gaming moments were Rust raids.

Constant updates – Facepunch is very active, adding new content and improvements nearly every week. Keeps the game feel fresh.

Huge player population – Over 100,000 concurrent players daily on Steam. Finds matches fast and plenty of interaction.

Moderately priced – At $39.99 ($15-20 on sale) Rust offers good value compared to pricing of other survival games like Ark or DayZ.

So in closing, I can wholeheartedly recommend Rust as worth the price of admission, especially when found discounted. But exercise caution when seeking out free versions, and opt for legit giveaways when possible. Let me know if you have any other Rust pricing or free game questions!