The alpha version of survival game Rust has more than its fair share of cheaters. Designer Garry Newman says that stopping these cheats are a "huge priority" for the development team at Facepunch Studios.
Rust currently uses Valve Anti-Cheat, which bans cheaters from any VAC servers. However, these bans sometimes occur days or weeks after the actual infraction. As a result, Facepunch is looking into other options.
"We’ve been talking to a few different companies about other anti-cheat solutions," Newman says. "If we go for one of these, we want it to be super super lightweight. We don’t want to force you to install an obstrusive third party program. We don’t want to make you sign up for another system."
Facepunch is also developing patches to address some of the game's exploits. Newman says that the fruits of these labors will start appearing soon. The team's being very careful, though, because they don't want gamers who aren't cheating to be accidentally banned.
"It’s important to realise that there’s a lot about our anti-cheat measures that we can’t talk about, for obvious reasons. So it might look like we’re not doing anything about cheats. But please keep in mind that making the game as cheat free as possible is in our interest just as much as yours. It’s our game, of course we care."
In Rust, players are dropped naked into a wilderness filled with violent animals and zombies. The players must gather materials from the countryside and use them to create items and shelter. Once they're well-equipped enough, they can start to venture into radiation zones to scavenge more advanced materials. Human interaction is a key part of the game. You can build settlements with other players and watch their backs or just kill each other.
The game's been available through Steam Early Access since December. Facepunch warns that it's still early in development. The Steam listing says: "some things work, some things don't." The team is still trying to decide on their final vision for the game so many changes are still on the way.
In spite of Rust's bugs and cheats, it's attracted a whole lot of players. Over 750,000 copies have been sold to date. It's currently the top-seller on Steam, though it keeps trading the spot with DayZ Standalone. While Newman says that the sales have exceeded their wildest dreams, there's a downside to having so many players online.
"We see all these amazing things happening, voices from all directions, ideas, bugs, cheaters.. and we’re scrambling to catch up with everything. So please don’t be offended if we’re not doing what you want us to, if we don’t respond to emails or tweets, if we’re not administrating the servers properly. We are still adjusting our trajectory, there’s still a lot we want to do."
If you're trying to decide between playing Rust or DayZ, check out our in-depth comparison of the two games. Should you choose Rust, be sure to read our beginner's guide before venturing into the wilderness for the first time.