Rust Adds Item Store For Modders To Sell Cosmetics

Rust [official site] now has a microtransaction item store, through which players can buy cosmetic items direct from their creators. The idea is that modders can add and profit from the sale of their own work. Perhaps most interestingly, this is all happening through Steam itself using new ‘Item Store’ functionality.

The store already features a number of community-created items, including a skeleton hoodie for £1.60, punk rock pants for £3.20 and a ‘Nightmare Balaclava’ for £1.60. If you click on the store page for any of the items, you’re presented with its current cost in the Community Market – the part of Steam through which players can sell items they didn’t make but don’t want to one another. Prices for that £1.60 Nightmare Balaclava begin at £2.00 when bought from other players rather than its creators.

This might seem odd, but it means that the item store is simply another part of the existing trading ecosystem. Items might come and go from the item store, and prices will fluctuate on the community market accordingly. In all cases, these cosmetic items will also be available as random drops in-game for people who don’t want to pay any kind of price.

This sounds a little similar to the paid mods feature Valve tried to introduce through Steam with Skyrim earlier this year, but the difference here is that these items can still technically be gathered for free or traded for very little, and it has been created to encourage a community that’s not yet as developed as the Elder Scrolls modding community was.

More precisely, it’s exactly what Valve already do with their own games like Dota 2, Team Fortress 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, where community members can create maps or hats or other cosmetic items and list them for sale themselves.

Writing on his own blog, Rust creator Garry Newman explained that he thought the item store was a win for everybody, even going so far as to break down the benefits he thinks it offers for “money guy”, “poor guy”, the modding community and the developers.

“If you’d have asked me if I’d ever have a game with microtransactions in 5 years ago, I’d have probably laughed in your face, but the way Valve does it is different. The idea is that no-one loses out. Everyone wins with every transaction.”

This is interesting for players of Rust, but more broadly the item store functionality’s inclusion in Steam means that this is likely to be the first game of many outside of Valve to include it. It’ll be interesting to see whether all the markets develop as Valve’s have.


  1. DingDongDaddio says:


  2. RegisteredUser says:

    I don’t mind cosmetic monetization, its when skins start to have stats you have to rebel and say something.

    • anHorse says:

      I mind cosmetics in Rust since they made such a big deal out of everyone having a randomised appearance, claiming it was nowt but a good thing.

      Now they’re saying you can pay to rectify that mistake

      • Megarlin says:

        Think of it as a form of realism, you cant pick the size of your dick but you can pick what covers it.

        • anHorse says:

          Well there’s no realism anywhere else in the game, so why not add one random element here.

        • GWOP says:

          Until modders start using the in-game chat to spam us with penis enlargement mails.

          • April March says:

            For some reason I parsed that as, like, a chain mail that enlarges one’s penis.

  3. Wisq says:

    People are still playing this, so I guess everyone got over the horror of being randomly assigned a race and gender and decided it wasn’t the end of the world after all?

    (It took me 10 pages deep in the Steam forum to find a thread about it, and even that one just started innocently enough as “how do I change my skin?” followed by “aww” when they heard that it was locked.)

    That always seemed like such a bold move, and I’m still impressed they went for it.

  4. smeaa mario says:

    No matter how anyone justifies it, if a paid game features ‘real money transactions’ of any sort, it will always immediately find itself in my “not to be touched list”. The only exception would be games like Path of Exile, where the game is already entirely free and the only items for sale are purely cosmetic and exist solely so that you can show your appreciation of the free game.

    • anHorse says:

      That’s a bit of a one dimensional opinion

      Killing Floor was able to fund itself through years of updates (vital to the life of a multiplayer game) through the sale of player skins, unfortunately some weapons got added in more recent years which did make gameplay changes.
      It was (and is) a very cheap game that got years of quality improvements because of cheap cosmetics

      Rust is a bit weirder since this is all being added in early access, a model that implies that the game is still in continuous funded development.
      Then again I can’t find any clear indication whether any % of money spent in this store will (or won’t) go to the devs of Rust.

    • RegisteredUser says:

      Actually you can buy inventory slots in PoE which, for someone like me who is a huge hoarder, are “gameplay relevant” / not purely cosmetic(and given the variability of slots and potential loadout changes, may even influence things like playstyle, DPS etc).

    • Kowie says:

      Your loss, this game actually gets it right for once. The devs have done a hell of a job updating this game their effects and how they keep their community informed put many other EA titles to shame.

      I’d love it if all my other EA games updated every two weeks and kept me informed via their game and polled me from time to time.

      Given their efforts this game is worth more than $20 hell those who got in early got to play two games for the price of one = they are welcome to skim some profits off user generated cosmetics.

      Find another game like this for the same price that gets the same amount of love and attention from its devs and you are one lucky SOB.

    • Judotoss says:

      poe has pay to win aspects, and rust doesn’t.

  5. Jeeva says:

    I was vaguely worried / impressed at the lack of “Paid Mods returns with Fallout 4” headlines so far – having gone back to the article, this really is the TF2 model, which is… a little less scary. Hm.

  6. BluuMuu says:

    Hello yes I’m also here to wine like a little baby because valve is giving people the opportunity to get paid for their own COSMETIC items to be put in a sandbox game were the color of someones hat only matters to them.

    • minijedimaster says:


    • SaintAn says:

      You poor baby, you weren’t around when DLC, microtransactions and F2P/B2P got their footholds in gaming were you? There were plenty of naive kids just like you that don’t know how the world works defending the companies ripping people off, and that all grew to be a plague on gaming and even destroyed the entire MMO genre. And Vale has mentioned multiple times that they messed up by putting out Skyrim’s paid modding system and that they need to start small. So they’re obviously getting the foothold to grow that cancer.

      Modding is a hobby that you can do if you like a game and want to add to it. It’s not a job and making it cost money for the mods will only kill PC gaming. Grow some sense and fight against the destruction, not defend it like some mindless corporate slave you’d see in a totalitarian dystopian movie.

      • Meoith says:

        SaintAn when it comes to Rust you clearly are ignorant as hell about Rust.

        You can still play on modded servers it doesn’t cost the modders a cent.

        On the other hand if a modder wants to make some $ from cosmetics providing its of a acceptable standard they can very well do just that.

        I don’t like your “all or nothing” extremist stance i prefer the best of both worlds, there are times where its fine that modders can turn a buck so long as these games still allow you the ability to make and use mods for free, which Rust allows you to do = drama in a tea cup.

  7. zeep says:

    Feeling uninspired Garry?

    • Hexagon Sun says:

      this was my thought also.. This game is in ALPHA, and already the community is taking over clothing Maybe finish it up, beta it, release it, then maybe?

  8. racccoon says:

    Garry’s such a douche bag this is right up his ally..greed.

  9. April March says:

    I took a look at the store and I kinda want the ‘Friendly’ cap and the missing texture tee. In real life, I mean.

  10. SaintAn says:

    Glad I never bought it, and now I never will. Ark is a much better version of this game anyways, and the devs on Ark are very much against microtransactions, ripoff DLC, and paid mods in games so we’ll never have anything other than new maps as DLC.

    • Meoith says:

      “Glad I never bought it, and now I never will.”

      OMG here you are acting all high and mighty as if you know what you are talking about and it turns out you don’t even own the game, Shame on you for being so ignorant about the game yet pretending to know what you are talking about.

      “Ark is a much better version of this game anyways”

      /facepalm They are two very different types of games.

  11. noodlecake says:

    Well I kind of like thisin a way. It’s a way for up and coming designers to get one step closer to not having to work at ASDA to support themselves and to be able to focus more of their time on doing something creative instead.

  12. Uhuru N'Uru says:

    If this is the same, as what Valve sells, in it’s own games, labelled as paid mods.
    No mods are sold in any of them.
    Not because they are sold, mods can be sold.
    What makes these DLC and not mods is, Valve selects which can be sold and that makes it DLC, created by a third party and sold by Valve/Publisher.

    Paid mods must be an all or nothing situation, to still be mods and be sold. Whatever the publisher, labels the extra content. If mods are sold, all mods must have the right, to be sold. The choice, whether to sell a mod or not, must always be the mod creators decision.
    Any type of selection, makes the content DLC.

    I also think Paid Mods are only acceptable on a new franchise. Not existing ones. Even then only when it’s announced, before the games sold.
    Letting an open and free modding community grow and then changing to selling mods, is unacceptable.
    It doesn’t matter if they have a legal right do do it, it’s unacceptable to me and I won’t buy their games.

    As for microtransactions and games that use them, I won’t play any of them.
    My rough guide as to whether, any added content is worth buying, is simple to explain, but what “quantity” defines is much more than mere length and varies by game and genre.

    If they want to sell me extra content, for any game, I expect equality of content.
    Charge 10% of the base games price and I expect 10% of all the current content, including any previous extras, in “quantity”.
    I also expect at least the same quality, if not better than, the previous content.

    Microtransactions are exactly the same as, what I define as DLC, content so small that on it’s own, it has no spendable value. DLC are not worth buying at all.

    Expansions are the only extra content worth buying and to be an Expansion, the content must meet the criteria outlined above.

    It doesn’t matter what the publisher calls the content, this is how I define, their extra contents, value for money.
    This is how I decide, what to buy and what I expect to be included with the base games cost. Patches and DLC, which is only extra content, because it was made or more likely completed, after release.
    DLC can be part of an expansion, but is best provided as separate downloads, giving the user the choice which to install.

  13. Hexagon Sun says:

    There’s a bit of a problem with the assumption that Cosmetics cannot/do not affect competitive balance in games, especially Rust. Color variances are going to alter player visibility and players at this point can end up paying for camouflage, a real advantage in Rust. Isn’t this game still in alpha? Is it a bit troubling that the community already has to be tapped for content? The whole “everyone wins” rationale is purely based on who profits, but the average player who purchased the game isn’t necessarily part of this “everyone”. Especially if they get KoS’d by some kid that just bought a $2 camo outfit at the store. It will be interesting to see if/how they will regulate such potential advantages.