A veteran "Rust" degenerate with 3k hours, a rock, and a dream.
In Rust, your effectiveness at taking down other players can dramatically increase your progression and start you down a snowball. Winning more fights than you lose will let you gain loot to dominate even harder. However, you have to actually win those fights. While there are many factors to winning a fight, simply aiming and shooting better is certainly at the core. However, in Rust, there are a lot of things the developers have done to make aiming and shooting a little different than your typical first person shooter. Most notably, spray patterns on many guns are fixed. This means if you memorize the spray patterns and build the muscle memory to execute them, you have a huge advantage in a gunfight.
Guns With Fixed Spray Patterns
The automatic weapons in the game all feature fixed spray patterns that you can explicitly learn. Of course they still have accuracy and an associated cone of fire, but you can definitively control where your gun will be pointing if you master the spray pattern. The weapons that have fixed patterns are:
- Assault Rifle "AK"
- LR-300 Assault Rifle
- Custom SMG
Each of these can be deadly when mastered, in particular the top three, which are very powerful. Below I will cover the pattern used to counteract the recoil so you can improve your accuracy. However, you may find it useful to find a server that allows you to explicitly practice the patterns. There are many available, but I personally often use Rustoria RTG, and I have used images from their recoil mode below.
Assault Rifle "AK" Spray Pattern
The most iconic gun in the game, mastering the Assault Rifle can make you an incredibly deadly force. However, the gun kicks hard; the first five to six bullets are very challenging. The pattern you must make with your mouse is roughly a small lightning bolt into a backwards S. You'll find the later parts of the pattern much easier to deal with, but it may take more practice for those first five to six bullets.
MP5A4 Spray Pattern
A strange but not overly challenging pattern, the MP5A4 is incredibly deadly and features a relatively low amount of recoil. However, the challenge comes in the pattern having sharp right and left hooks, which can be very unfamiliar for many shooter players. Mastering those turns can make you comparatively threatening to someone wielding an Assault Rifle.
LR-300 Assault Rifle Spray Pattern
Often considered the easy version of the Assault Rifle, the LR-300 features an easier pattern than the Assault Rifle, but it comes with lower bullet damage. However, given the easier pattern, the LR-300 can be incredibly deadly at range or at stringing together multiple sequential headshots. It's often used with an 8x scope for exactly this purpose.
M249 Spray Pattern
This gun is very simple, but it has an incredibly hard kicking recoil. The M249 is the rarest weapon in the game and arguably the most deadly due to its incredible damage per second. The main challenge with the M249 is how much desk space you have to pull down on your mouse and how well you can make minor side to side adjustments while making such an exaggerated downward movement.
Thompson Spray Pattern
The Thompson is fairly easy as its lower fire rate and gradual pattern are straightforward to get used to. Nice and easy movements and knowing when the pattern tilts to the sides can make this the deadliest tier 2 weapon and a wonderful way to dish out high damage without having access to tier 3.
Custom SMG Spray Pattern
Similar to the Thompson, the pattern for the Custom SMG is fairly easy to get used to. While they are similar, this gun has a lower role than the Thompson. This weapon's accuracy and effective range are quite poor, so you may often find the recoil pattern isn't as useful to know as the Thompson. With the Custom SMG, you can take someone down quickly at close range, but you won't have the accuracy to do it at long range even if you control the recoil.
Every weapon spray can be incredibly valuable to learn for different reasons. Ultimately, only very skilled players or players with a lot of hours will master every gun. It's common for groups to have players that focus on just one to three of the above weapons, and that's generally what I would recommend. Find a gun that feels fairly natural to you and master the pattern; you'll be able to leverage that to your advantage. However, I also recommend at least trying the pattern and remembering it, even if poorly, so that you aren't completely incompetent should you be forced into using one of them.