Rust is an open world multiplayer survival game developed by Facepunch Studios. It can be played here. At the time of writing this guide, the game is extremely buggy, so be ready to forgive several in-game errors.
Your inventory can be accessed by pressing Tab. Here, you can arrange your carried equipment, craft items, or change options. There are several tabs at the top of the game window to help you navigate your inventory. The tab for the Options menu can be found at the top right. For now, focus on your inventory in the middle of the screen. Here, you will find the most important item in the game: your hatchet. Click and drag the hatchet down to your hotbar at the bottom of the screen. Press Tab to exit your inventory and press 1 to equip your hatchet.
From the start, every player has two medkits, three flares, and a hatchet. You will quickly find that the hatchet is the most valuable item in the game. Click to swing the hatchet. Swinging the hatchet can be used as a melee attack or to collect resources. Medkits are used to heal your health, and can be used by pressing their hotbar key (Default: 2). Flares provide light in dark areas, but will also show unfriendly players where you are. Pressing the hotbar key for the flares (Default: 3) equips them. Mouse 1 allows you to hold the flare, and Mouse 2 throws it.
The world of Rust is full of things to collect. This guide will go over the basic natural resources: Wood, Metal, Chicken, and Cloth. Wood can be obtained by swinging the hatchet at a tree repeatedly. Random piles of wood will provide 10x the amound of wood that a tree will. Metal ore is obtained by swinging your hatchet at large boulders. The ore must be processed to be used (discussed later). Raw chicken and cloth can be obtained by killing wandering animals and hatcheting their corpses. Eating items is done in the same way as using medkits is. Food is necessary for survival. Whenever you obtain a resource, you will get a message in your chatbox informing you of your success.
From your inventory, select the "Crafting" tab at the top of the screen. To the right of your inventory, you will see a panel of craftable items. More items can be discovered by studying blueprints, but that is not discussed in this guide. For now, select the Campfire item and craft one. During the time it takes for an item to be crafted, you will move much more slowly, so time your crafting well.
Take the crafted campfire item and equip it from your hotbar. Click to place the campfire when it's "ghost" is green. The campfire is used for both light and item processing. Interacting with the fire (E) will give you the option to extinguish or open the fire. For now, open the fire. Adding more logs will make the fire burn longer. Putting items like metal ore, sulphur ore, or cloth into the fire's inventory will allow them to be slowly processed. Metal ore will produce metal fragments, sulphur ore will produce sulphur, raw chicken will produce cooked chicken, and cloth will produce leather.
In the game, there are harmless animals, aggressive zombies, and other players. Animals can be killed for food, but zombies (which will fight back!) will drop numerous items upon their death. Dead zombies leave a bag of loot in the vicinity of their death, as do dead players. You may see other players around the world. They appear as army men in tan uniforms. Beware: not everyone is your friend. Hover over the player's character to see their name. This will help you communicate in the chat. If they start running at you, be prepared to fight back! Murderous players are known as bandits, and are villified by the community. They will often hunt players at night, so keeping a low amount of light will help you evade attack. Avoid becoming known as a bandit, or else the friendly player bases may reject you when you need them most.
By now, you've probably noticed the wooden structures around the world. These are player-created homesteads. In your crafting tab, you will find a section of wooden structural items to craft. All wooden building items (except the door and barricade) must be placed on a wooden foundation, which can be crafted. Find a good, safe place to build your home. Craft a foundation and equip it from your hotbar. Clicking when the foundation's "ghost" is green places it. Use your scroll wheel to rotate the foundation during placing, if you wish. You may now begin to add pillars, walls, windows, and stairs in the same manner. The exact nature of every wooden item would be too extensive for this guide, but all the information you need can be found by clicking the item's name in the crafting tab and reading the text below it. If you wish, fortify your home with barricades. Remember, no home is impenetrable. Gradually chopping down buildings with the hatchet is possible, although it takes a long time. To keep your house safe, consider living in a well-regulated community.
In your house, there are three things you should have. First, craft a sleeping bag and place it on the ground like a campfire. If you die, you will return to this bag, albiet without your items. Second, craft a couple of storage crates and place them around your house. Unless someone gets in and raids them, items you place in the crates will not disappear. Be sure to store your crates away from the walls, so that bandits can't reach in and steal your things from outside. Third, craft a door and place it in a doorway. Other players will be unable to open this door, and will recieve the notification "It's locked..." when they attempt to open it. At the time of writing this guide, there is no way to open a locked door that isn't yours.
Some areas are full of radiation. The clicking noise of a Gieger Counter can be heard in these areas. Standing in irradiated causes your rads to go up (check underneath your food bar). If you gain 500 rads, you will start taking damage every few second. Standing in clean areas gradually decreases the amount of rads you have.
Eventually, you will accumulate the resources needed to craft better items. Armor and guns can be made from blueprints. For now, get 40 metal fragments and some gunpowder. Craft a 9mm pistol and 10 ammo for it. Mouse 2 will let you aim down the sights of your new weapon. Eventually, you may obtain armor, shotguns, and grenades, but the pistol is a prime example of expensive technology.
More information can be found at the Rust Wiki page. Thanks for reading the guide, and good luck out there!