Rust Handmade LMG
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Rust: Weapon Tier List Guide

Check out all the weapons you'll never use in Rust!

Around 40 different weapons are currently available in Rust, and many within the community will never make it past the bow and arrow stage, with a few finding their first Thompson or SAR from a lucky play or scrounging the leftovers of a clan battle. But for the diehard fans who don’t mind grinding and dealing with an infinite zerg down the block, the concept of wielding an AK or LR-300 isn’t far-fetched.

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Rust Weapon Tier List

From handcrafted weapons to military-grade hardware only found in the toughest of monuments scattered across the map or in the hands of deadly scientists at Big Oil, Rust features countless pieces of weaponry for players to PvP and raid with.

Some of these weapons, like the bow or stone spear, are ideal for early game plays against other naked players. But the high-end loot, like the M249 or L96 Rifle, can turn the tide of battle and leave an entire clan in the dust.


Rust Rocket Launcher
Screenshot by Prima Games
  • Rocket Launcher
  • L96 Rifle
  • M249

There is nothing quite like the telltale whoosh of a rocket leaving the tube of a much-coveted Rocket Launcher. It’s a powerful, almost euphoric sound. If you’ve made it this far into the wipe cycle, then congratulations because these weapons are the most powerful in the game and are tough to contend with. Bring a Rocket Launcher or three on a raid, then let your buddy snipe from a distance with the L96 Rifle for a guaranteed loot room score!


Rust Bolt Action Rifle
Screenshot by Prima Games
  • LR-300
  • Assault Rifle (AK-47)
  • Bolt Action Rifle
  • MGL

If you fancy yourself a budding roof camper or raid god, this is the tier you’ll work with most often. From above, the Bolt Action Rifle, paired with a scope, is a powerful tool to take down unarmored fresh spawns as they leave the beach. After all, they can’t fight back, so it’s an easy win. But if you want to take the fight up close and personal, say, during a raid, the Assault Rifle or LR-300 proves most effective!


Rust Prototype 17 Handgun
Image via Facepunch Studios
  • M39 Rifle
  • MP5A4
  • M92 Pistol
  • SPAS-12 Shotgun
  • Prototype 17

Now, we’re starting to deal with powerful weaponry that can tackle an opponent wearing sheet metal armor with relative ease. From a distance, the M39 Rifle is a powerful mid-range firearm capable of taking down a small group with accurate shots. But up close and personal, nothing beats the power of the SPAS-12 Shotgun or the latest addition to the game, the Prototype 17.


Screenshot by Prima Games
  • Pump Shotgun
  • Custom SMG
  • Thompson
  • Python Revolver
  • Semi-Automatic Rifle
  • Double-Barrel Shotgun

As resources begin flowing into the base, and you have a workbench tucked into one corner, you’ll likely start researching better weaponry and crafting new firearms to tackle better monuments down the road. Your first genuine guns will probably be the Pump Shotgun, a Semi-Automatic Rifle, or a Custom SMG, though a Thompson is a fantastic drop that you should cherish until late-game.

Related: When is the Next Rust Console Wipe? – Answered


Rust Compound Bow
Image via Facepunch Studios
  • Semi-Automatic Pistol
  • Compound Bow
  • Crossbow
  • Nailgun
  • Revolver

Once you’ve settled down and built a small base, even a 1×2, you’re ready to grind for better weaponry. Your first batch of weapons will likely consist of a Crossbow, Nailgun, and perhaps, if you’re fortunate early on, a Semi-Automatic Pistol. You can make serious plays against unarmored opponents with these tools.


Rust Eoka Pistol
Image via Facepunch Studios
  • Waterpipe Shotgun
  • Hunting Bow
  • Stone Spear
  • Wooden Spear
  • Eoka Pistol

While certainly not the worst weapons in Rust, especially the Hunting Bow, in the right hands, these become tools of destruction against other early-game players. At the beginning of a wipe, you’re bound to run across more bow-wielding players than anything else, so relish in the one-on-one fights as arrows sail through the sky.

If you enjoyed this Rust guide from Prima Games, you might also like to explore our Rust: Arctic Research Base Loot Guide to score a few of the weapons mentioned here!

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Brandon Morgan
Brandon began writing in 2012, for websites such as OnlySP, before transitioning to digital marketing in 2016 to learn the ins and outs of SEO. In mid-2023, Brandon returned to write strategy guides for Prima Games, IGN, DualShockers, and more, with a focus on ARPGs, RPGs, and Survival games. His past coverage includes Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty, Starfield, Skull and Bones, and many more!