Lubed: Rust Tackles Its Creaky Gunplay

Guns N' Roses got weird.

“This game’s murdering sucks” is a common complaint amongst murdergame enthusiast, but what does that even mean? Virtual murder is a system of many tiny parts, covering animations, timings, kinaesthetics, damage, balance, effects, sounds, and, you know, murder – basic murdering. Sometimes a few small changes can make all the difference.

Rust [official site] developers Facepunch have taken a look at complaints of “how badly the gunplay sucks” in their open-world survival murdersim, and come up with a few changes – big and small – that might help fix that.

Facepuncher Maurino Berry said in last week’s dev update that he “took a look into this and the reason the guns felt shitty is multi-faceted”, coming up with this list:

  • Viewmodels sway too much when moving.
  • Muzzle Flashes occlude your target.
  • No hit indicator sound/visual.
  • Gunfire hiccups and lag.
  • Hitbox code incomplete.

That incomplete hitbox code is a pret-ty big part of it. Berry explains that Rust’s locational damage is granular enough that it can detect when someone’s shot in the ring finger, which obviously does less damage than a chest shot. However, bullets don’t penetrate flesh and go deeper, so a shot that seems like a torso hit might be stopped dead by their finger for a miniscule amount of damage. And, obviously, folks in a firefight are likely to have their arms and hands up carrying a gun. Ultimately he’d like to implement a system where bullets can penetrate, losing power of damage, and hit people again, but for now he’s tweaked the damage values so it’s less frustrating. Before, a shot could do anywhere from 3 to 43 damage depending on where it hit.

As for the other gunplay problems, weapons now sway less when you’re staring down the sights (another stopgap solution), muzzle flashes now obscure your aim less, the hit indicator sound is back so folks can tell when they’ve hit someone, and they’ve fixed a problem with laggy gunfights caused by the game halting as it loaded assets for the first shots and hits.

The dev blog covers other goings-on in the world of Rust too, so have a peek if you’re curious about rubberbanding, balaclavas, bandanas, backpacks, and that female player model.

So, has this made much of a difference? You tell me, pal.

[Disclosure: former RPS writer Craig Pearson works for Facepunch.]


  1. Andrew says:

    Alice, “Mythbusters” proved some time ago, that even very shallow water — couple of feet, maybe meter — can stop bullets even of very high caliber. So, you gonna be fine.

  2. Alfius says:

    A finger, not so much though.

    Arma 3 does terminal ballistics rather well – see: link to

    I’ve had rather a lot of fun in King of the Hill matches while in a helicopter supporting friendly infantry assaulting a watchtower. Just before they stormed each floor in turn I’d yell at them to hit the deck then pepper the next level up with minigun fire. The physics simulation allows each bullet to penetrate the thin metal wall and bounce around a fair bit causing absolute havoc to the defenders.

    • J. Cosmo Cohen says:

      That’s one of the better things I’ve read today.

  3. geldonyetich says:

    Isn’t the ideal gunplay mechanism in Rust some kind of automatic griefing machine? It’s not working right until you can spray your assault rifle randomly in the air and instantly kill everyone who doesn’t want to start over on the server.

  4. racccoon says:

    As far as this game n company is concerned, the only thing they got right was the company name FacePunch, as the owner needs to have one right in there. He’s got to be the biggest big headed jerk in the gaming industry.

  5. padger says:

    Rust is a very weird game. I sort of get the popularity: it’s a classic of “wouldn’t it be cool if…” But the reality of that is a game that is basically a bit of a mess. I wish it had some sort of clearer central vision I could get behind.

    Then again, it has sold like hot cakes, so what do I know?