My only personal memories of Rust are from its earliest days in 2013. I remember being bashed in the head with a rock by another player and then promptly ditching the weird survival sandbox that I found unfathomable. Rust has changed a lot since then and today it’s changing a bit more with its first paid DLC: Instruments.
Rust’s new melodic repertoire includes several post-society instrument options like the wheelbarrow piano, jerry can guitar, and xylobones. You can see all 10 in action in the DLC trailer below. I’ll be the first to admit that this silly demonstration appeals to my childish appreciation for physical humor. But as with all trailers, this is Rust’s instruments in their most ideal setting. Out in the wild, I suspect that I’ll still get murdered with a rock. It will just be in the middle of a roaring pan flute solo, not perfectly timed with its ending for comedic effect.
You don’t actually need to buy the DLC to play an instrument, which is a nice touch. Facepunch says in their update notes that “you only need the DLC to craft these instruments, but if you find one on a corpse or are given one by a friend you can play it as much as you like.” In another post, they go into detail on how exactly the music system works. The short version is “You can now bind the standard note range (A, B, C, D, E, F, G) to any key. From there you can bind sharp and octave modifier keys which allow you to play over 20 notes on some instruments.”
The coolest bit of Rust’s new instruments is that they accept MIDI input from compatible devices. You won’t be restricted to a set of pre-made songs like in Sea of Thieves. You’ll be able to play your own actual tunes if you’ve got the right hardware. The rest of us will just plunk away on our computer keyboards, presumably.
I look forward to seeing what instruments are capable of in the hands of talented musicians and pranksters alike. If I don’t start seeing videos of full battlefield bands or indie rock groups debuting exclusively in Rust I’ll be sorely disappointed.