A newer farm with two crop patches growing vegetables early on in the game. A single biofuel generator sits above the crop patches.
Screenshot by Pro Game Guides

How to use Focus Mode (and what it’s for) in Rusty’s Retirement

Don't tell me what to do.

Rusty's Retirement has a lot of different settings that you can play with to optimize the game in the best way for your play style. Whether you have your game at the bottom or the side of your computer screen, you may want to occasionally access Focus Mode — a feature found in the settings of the game that can be useful when you need to concentrate on something other than your idle farming experience.

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What is Focus Mode and what does it do?

We know that Focus Mode in Rusty's Retirement slows down crop production (as it says in the settings menu underneath it), but that may feel like a strange addition to an idle game that you're supposed to leave running on your screen while you do something else.

The point of Focus Mode is to allow you to move away from your game without having empty crop fields and lazy bots hanging around not doing their jobs.

A bustling farm with three crop patches, a bench for Rusty to sit on, and bright flowers covering the open areas of grass.
Screenshot by Pro Game Guides

Idle games are typically played in a way that allows players to earn more items or currency to buy items by actively playing the game. They don't require your full attention, often only needing you to keep tapping the screen or occasionally doing a few tasks before leaving the game to run while you do something else.

Many idle games take up the entire screen — which is what makes Rusty's Retirement such a unique game. The gameplay continues whether you interact with it or not, but you will eventually run out of things on your farm for Rusty and his friends to water, harvest, or build.

What Focus Mode does to fix this is slow down some of the events occurring in the game while you're playing. Once activated, it takes twice as much time for any crop to grow than it does when you don't have Focus Mode on.

5 Ways to use Focus Mode in Rusty's Retirement

The settings menu for Rusty's Retirement, with the Focus Mode feature activated.
Screenshot by Pro Game Guides

You can activate Focus Mode at any time from the settings menu, just by clicking the white box next to it. If you see the 'OK' mark in the box, Focus Mode is active already.

The best way to use Focus Mode is when you want to concentrate on something else while working on your PC or laptop. When Focus Mode is on, your bots will be forced to slow down while looking after your farm for you because of the slower production time.

But having IRL work to do isn't the only reason to use Focus Mode in Rusty's Retirement. There are other benefits to this feature that can work well for your gameplay, too.

1. Slow down the use of Biofuel

Two biofuel generators sit on each side of the farm, with colorful flowers between them. There are crop patches at the front.
Screenshot by Pro Game Guides

When the production rate is doubled, your bots will use less Biofuel because they aren't moving crops to the generator as much. The plus side to this is that you won't come back to the game to see most of your Biofuel has been used while you've been inactive.

You'll often get less Biofuel than Spare Parts, even though Biofuel is worth more and you can convert it to Spare Parts whenever you want to. Returning to the game to see that your Biofuel has been used isn't ideal.

2. See your achievements

The crop storage menu from Rusty's Retirement sits open on the screen above a Steam achievement for the game that shows the player has unlocked the 5000 Biofuel achievement, 'A small production line'.
Screenshot by Pro Game Guides

The downside to idle games that continue to run while you're offline or inactive is that you lose a lot of gameplay time. Events can occur while you're offline, and you might miss achievements if you're not actively looking at the game.

With Focus Mode, your entire farm will slow down because your crops take that much longer to grow. Several achievements in Rusty's Farm are related to producing Spare Parts and Biofuel, and it's always disappointing to miss that little announcement from Steam that you've got a new achievement from a game.

3. Organize your farm

A bright farm on Rusty's Retirement with four crop patches that are full of new crop seeds. The patches have crop signs at the front.
Screenshot by Pro Game Guides

By slowing down the production of your crops, you can get all of your crops planted around the same time instead of having your crops growing and being harvested at completely different speeds.

Seeing the uniformity in an idle game is one of the best feelings, after all. I hate looking at my farm being in different stages of growing and all messy. That's why I started adding the crop patch signs, too!

4. Take advantage of longer crop production times

The crop menu from Rusty's Retirement showing the production information for cauliflower.
Screenshot by Pro Game Guides

While you're trying out Focus Mode in Rusty's Retirement, keep in mind that it's best to plant crops that have longer growing times than shorter ones. There's no point using it if you're just going to plant wheat, radishes, and cabbages, or if you only have one Biofuel generator on your farm.

To properly utilize the Focus Mode feature, grow cauliflower crops or higher. This will ensure that you have more time (over an hour) to take care of the other responsibilities you have before you need to come back to the game and plant more crops. This also means that you won't be waiting around for your plants because you won't be interacting with your game as much while in Focus Mode.

5. Play other games at the same time

A brunette fem-presenting avatar from Spirit City: Lofi Sessions is typing on their laptop while Rusty's Retirement shows the full layout of a farm at the bottom of the screen.
Screenshot by Pro Game Guides

This might seem like an odd final point, but I have been able to play another game at the same time as Rusty's Retirement because of the Focus Mode feature. Although the game can sit on your screen while you're doing other things, you can minimize it without the game stopping. Or reduce the size so it takes up less of your screen.

If you're someone who struggles to concentrate on one thing at a time or you enjoy multitasking, you might like using Focus Mode to have Rusty's Retirement running alongside another game that you like. Pulling Rusty's Retirement back up can also give you something to do between gaming breaks or while you're waiting in Overwatch queues. Personally, I played it alongside Spirit City: Lofi Sessions because that has my to-do list and a productivity timer to keep me on-task.

Now that you understand the uses of the feature, consider the other possibilities you have by playing an idle farming game that you don't need to continuously play to advance.

Looking for more Pro Game Guides PC game content for 2024? Check out our guide on the 10 Best cozy games coming to PC in 2024 and Xbox Game Pass Core full game list (April 2024).


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Author
Lyssa Chatterton
Lyssa Chatterton has been a freelance writer for over 6 years, ever since graduating from their Master's degree in Transliteration & Screenwriting. They have worked with clients in practically every industry, including iGaming and TCG/Tabletop news. Lyssa prefers cosy games and indie games, but that doesn't stop them from going all out with a great fantasy RPG or digging out old retro games. An avid fan of Pokémon, Animal Crossing, the Witcher, and Persona, you'll be seeing a wide range of writing from this freelancer.

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How to use Focus Mode (and what it’s for) in Rusty’s Retirement

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