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MLRS in "Rust"
The Multiple Launch Rocket System, or MLRS for short, was added to Rust in November 2021 as part of the desert base update. Located in the desert base monument itself, it allows players to launch long range rockets at a targeted location. These rockets deal significant explosive damage and are a powerful raiding tool that offer little warning to enemies, but they can easily tear through a lot.
However, obtaining all the necessary materials to use the MLSR and successfully executing a launch can be challenging. The components can't be crafted, only 1 MLRS exists on the map, and the desert base is defended by NPC scientists in addition to the high likelihood of player activity in the area.
How It Works
To use the MLRS, you need to go to the desert military base. There you will find the MLRS vehicle. To use it you must:
- Interact with the back of the vehicle to load it up with rockets. You can use up to 12 at once.
- Enter the front to begin using the system.
- Select "open" when looking at the lever on the right to input your aiming module.
- Select "set target" when looking at the screen to aim the MLRS.
- Select a location to send the rockets to. Note that it will take some time for the system to aim to a newly selected location. Additionally, the red circle represents where you have selected but the white circle is where the rockets will actually hit. They are often slightly off due to terrain, but may be significantly off if something blocks the path you have selected. The MLRS is most accurate in completely flat places.
- Once selected, select the red button on the left to "fire rockets."
From there, the rockets will shoot towards the target location. Landing one after the other in rapid succession. While the rockets will land anywhere in the white circle, they are fairly accurate and tend to be closest to the center of the circle. Do take note that after fired, the MLRS will break down and go on a 10-minute cooldown.
Using the MLRS
Obtaining MLRS Rockets and Aiming Modules
MLRS rockets aren't particularly rare, but they can only be obtained at notably contested locations. They drop from:
- APC Crates dropped by taking down Bradley in Launch Site.
- Elite Crates found in Launch Site, Military Tunnels, and Oil Rig.
- Helicopter Crates dropped by taking down the Patrol Helicopter.
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The aiming modules drop from:
- Locked crates on Oil Rig or dropped by Chinook at various monuments.
Unsurprisingly, these are some of the most contested and dangerous drops in the game. They're often controlled by large groups and skilled players. If you plan to try to get some, be mindful of what you're stepping in to.
A standard rocket deals 350 damage with a radius of 3.8 meters. An MLRS rocket exceeds this, dealing 500 damage with a 15 meter radius. This makes an MLRS rocket strike exceptionally dangerous, easily capable of leveling multiple stone walls and floors and can even pierce metal walls. However, while it technically packs enough punch to break armor, it always appears to leave an armor wall just shy of fully breaking in the most directly hit spot. Still, an MLRS rocket strike can take out small bases, or completely devastate the roof and shooting floor of a larger base.
Defending Against MLRS Rocketing
With little warning from a top down rain of rockets, a MLRS attack is very threatening. However, it can be mitigated with some effort. SAM sites will shoot the rockets down, with three SAM sites required to defend against a full wave of MLRS rockets.
SAM sites can be purchased from Outpost for 500 scrap each, and SAM ammo is 75 scrap for 6. The ammo can be blueprinted for 75 scrap, but unfortunately the SAM sites cannot. This means you'll need to spend 1650 scrap for 3 SAM sites, the ammo, and learning the ammo in order to be fully capable of defending an MLRS attack.
After purchase, you'll need to set them up. Each SAM site takes 25 power, so you'll need a wind turbine to power a complete setup. Typically you want SAM sites placed low as they only shoot things above them, but for the purpose of defending against an MLRS attack you can place the SAM sites basically anywhere as the MLRS rockets come from a very high angle.
After placing and powering the SAM sites, you should be capable of defending yourself against an MLRS attack without major issue. Just be mindful of the SAM sites as they shoot at any minicopter or scrap helicopter flying nearby, you and your teammates included! It's wise to keep them on a smart switch so they can easily be turned on and off.
An intriguing addition to the game, an MLRS rocket strike is an interesting new way to execute raids. They can function as an entire small raid or just an opening strike to a larger raid. They also force larger groups to use SAM sites which both makes things a bit more interesting but also a bit more annoying. Casually flying around the map has become more challenging with a higher presence of SAM sites, but an MLRS strike is also a fun way to raid.