Rust Wiki

Tool Cupboard, decay and building privilege

What's a Tool Cupboard?

A tool cupboard, commonly referred to as a 'TC', is a very important building item in Rust that will prevent your base from decaying (getting damaged over time) as well as prevent other players from building on your base and close to it.

A tool cupboard is crafted for 1000 wood and every base needs one.
You want to keep it secure as raiders will be looking for it. Put a lock on your TC to keep it extra safe!



When you place down your TC you will automatically become authorized to it. This means that you are able to build within its radius, pickup deployables within its radius and be authorized to traps that require TC privilege - flame and shotgun traps.

Your teammates (or anyone else) will not be authorized to the tool cupboard until they approach it and press E to authorize:


Anyone authorized to the tool cupboard can also deauthorize themselves by holding E and choosing to deauthorize:


Anyone that has access to your tool cupboard can hold E and choose to clear all people that are currently authorized to it:


You will know if you are authorized to the tool cupboard as within its radius it will display "BUILDING PRIVILEGE" in the bottom right above your health bar.


How big is my Tool Cupboard's radius?

The foundations of the building that your tool cupboard is connected to will project the TC's radius and your building privilege.

Here is the rough visualization of the TC radius of a square 2x2 base:


And for a different base design:


Note how the radius is projected by the foundations and not from the point of the tool cupboard!
The radii shown may not be to scale but it is important to note the shape that the privilege makes around the foundations

You can work out where your building privilege lies by running around your base and noting where the green "building privilege" indicator in the bottom right appears and disappears:

Why can people still build on my base when I have a tool cupboard?

Other players that are not authorized on your base can still place twig floors (using a building plan) and wooden ladders onto your base. When players do not have authorization, the building outline will display orange and it will display "BUILDING BLOCKED" in red in the bottom right as shown here:

If another player tries to place anything besides a floor or a ladder then the building outline will display red and they will be notified privately in chat:


Decay and upkeep

Your tool cupboard is also used to prevent your base from decaying by using it to 'pay for' your base with a fraction of the resources it cost to build it - this is known as 'upkeep'

Without a tool cupboard with resources inside your base will start decaying straight away

You can press E on the tool cupboard to bring up its inventory and see the cost per 24 hours of keeping it from decaying:


What adds to my upkeep cost?

The materials used to build the walls, foundations, ceilings, and roofs of your base will all add to the cost of its upkeep as well as the materials used for doors and window pieces. Items placed within your base, however, such as sleeping bags, will not add to the upkeep cost.

This means that a base that is fully stone and has sheet metal doors will only cost stone and metal fragments to upkeep.

How do I know how long is left before my base starts decaying?

Your tool cupboard inventory will display how long your base is protected for:


As well as in the bottom right when you are within building privilege of your base:


Are all buildings within my building privilege protected from decaying?


All separate buildings require a tool cupboard to prevent them from decaying.
Either connect the 2 buildings via foundations or give them separate tool cupboards.


High external walls and decay

High external walls will not decay as long as they are within the radius of a building with a tool cupboard.

High external walls will not add to the upkeep cost for the TC preventing them from decaying


You can prevent walls decaying by creating 'external tool cupboards' which are small structures that just have a tool cupboard inside


It is also a good idea to build external tool cupboards to prevent people from building structures just outside of your TC radius to be able to jump over your high external walls

What happens if I run out of upkeep and my base starts decaying?

Bases are like onions, they have layers. When your base starts to decay the outer-most parts exposed to the environment will begin to decay first until they break until the decay reaches the core and the whole base disappears.

Different building materials will decay at different rates once there is no upkeep for them due to their higher health.
Here's how long each building material takes to fully decay and be destroyed after no upkeep is left for it in the tool cupboard and it begins to decay:

  • Twig will decay in 1 hour after there is no wood left in the TC
  • Wood will decay in 3 hours after there is no wood left in the TC
  • Stone will decay in 5 hours after there is no stone left in the TC<
  • Metal will decay in 8 hours after there are no metal fragments left in the TC
  • Armoured will decay in 12 hours after there is no high quality metal left in the TC

What if I only run out of 1 material that makes up my upkeep?

If your base is made out of metal and stone and then your upkeep runs out of stone, then only the stone parts of your base will lose health and decay.

Grief protection

If your tool cupboard is broken whilst there are still resources inside of it, then it will eat up to 24 hours worth of upkeep on being destroyed to prevent the base from decaying until 24 hours later from this point.
This is designed to help you not lose your base when it gets raided (provided that the raiders don't take it over with their own doors!)

Your tool cupboard is more likely to be broken and consume upkeep if it is locked!

Note how the tool cupboard has fewer resources after being broken due to 24 hours of upkeep being consumed.

Your tool cupboard consuming upkeep is also another good way to prevent raiders from getting all your loot!