The server list is user-independent, it won't respond or behave the same for everyone. That list isn't being populated from a central server. It's being seeded by a central server, but the population of it is entirely dependent on the server(s) server being connectable and responding to source engine A2S queries.
The basic flow is:
- Rust client asks Steam for all Rust servers
- Rust client sends source engine A2S queries asking for basic server info from all the servers given by #1
- As the servers reply to the A2S queries in #2, they appear in the browser.
So If the server isn't well-positioned geographically (to you), is suffering from a DDOS attack, or your own internet has packet loss/hiccups, it may appear slow, but for someone else may appear super fast.
If you are not seeing many servers or not seeing the servers you want then try the following:
- Check Steam server settings
Rust uses the Steam master server for server collection so you should ensure ‘Server browser pings / minute’ is set to a minimum of 5000
- Hit ‘Steam’
- Open ‘Settings’
- Go to ‘In-Game’
- Check the ‘Server browser pings / minute’ is set to a minimum of 5000
2) Ensure you are launching the right version of Rust that you want to play
There are two versions of Rust in your Steam games library, Rust and Rust Staging Branch. Rust Staging Branch will typically have fewer servers available as Staging is commonly used for testing purposes and can be less stable.
Launch regular Rust if you would like to see more servers.
3) Disable any VPN you have running on your system
The server list is populated geographically to your IP address’s geolocation so if you are using a VPN you may see servers not relevant to your current location.
4) Opt-out of betas
- Open the Steam library
- Right-click on Rust
- Press ‘properties’
- Go to ‘betas’
- Ensure you have not opted into any betas
After opting out of betas you should Verify your game files
5) Restart your internet connection
Turn your household router / modem off and then on again.
6) Antivirus & Firewall
Update any antivirus programs you may be running and see if temporarily disabling your firewall has any effect.
7) Connect to Rust servers using their IP address
If you have the IP address and port of the server you are trying to connect to then you can connect to it via the main menu (whilst not currently connected to a server) by pressing F1 and then typing “connect IP:Port” as seen here: