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Lubed: Rust Tackles Its Creaky Gunplay


"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.]

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Alice O'Connor avatar

Alice O'Connor

Associate Editor

Alice has been playing video games since SkiFree and writing about them since 2009, with nine years at RPS. She enjoys immersive sims, roguelikelikes, chunky revolvers, weird little spooky indies, mods, walking simulators, and finding joy in details. Alice lives, swims, and cycles in Scotland.