Rust starts all players off the same: naked, vulnerable, and afraid.
It’s up to each player individually to loot and scavenge their way to success, and much of that might be dependent on luck rather than skill.
However, if you know where to look, you can arm yourself pretty quickly.
In total, there are 40 different weapons you can obtain in Rust, from pistols and makeshift shotguns to rifles and even a grenade launcher.
However, there is one gun that seems to stand out from the rest for its mix of capacity, fire rate, and damage output, and that gun is the M249.
The M249 is classified as a belt-fed light machine gun, and it is considered by many members of the Rust community to be one of the best weapons available in the entire game.
But, for that very same reason, they are not particularly easy to come by.
So in this next installment of our Rust guides, we are going to tell you Everything You Need to Know About the M249, and hopefully you’ll be able to use this information to dominate your server.
Or, at least survive until the next wipe.
Let’s get started!
Well, there are a few reasons.
The first and perhaps most important reason is damage output.
Here is a quick breakdown of the kind of damage you can expect to do to human targets in Rust:
Those are definitely awesome numbers, especially among what is available in Rust, but it doesn’t really tell the whole story of the M249, and it also doesn’t illustrate its best use case.
To do the latter, we need to talk about the capacity of the weapon.
The M249 is a belt-fed weapon, meaning its ammunition comes in a large cartridge that attaches underneath, and then the belt of ammunition is slotted into the gun.
The M249’s ammo cartridge holds 100 hundred rounds, which is enough to allow you to shoot for a good long while before you need to reload, especially if you’re firing in short, controlled bursts (as is the recommended use case in an actual fight).
The high capacity also makes the M249 well-suited for providing cover or suppressing fire when you have teammates in trouble, or if you’re trying to convince a gang of opponents to leave you alone.
Though, the allure of the M249 might also convince them to risk it all and wait for their opportunity to jump you and take it away.
With this in mind, it’s important to note that the M249, to counterbalance its power and rate of fire, takes the longest of any gun in the game to reload.
You can shoot for a while, definitely, but once that cartridge is empty, you’re in trouble for probably more than 20 seconds as your character goes through the lengthy reload animation.
This knowledge can be used to kind of trick players who are after your precious gun if you make them think your bullets ran dry, but it’s a risky tactic no matter how you look at it.
If you find yourself in a combat situation with an M249 and you have the excruciatingly long reload time in the back of your head, you’re going to want to make each shot count.
If you’re going for accuracy, it’s obvious that the M249 isn’t designed for that, but it is also cursed with almost unmanageable recoil if you’re firing it in longer bursts or even holding the trigger down for full auto.
That recoil will 1.) waste a ton of bullets,
and 2.) give targets a chance to get away after you hit them a few times if you aren’t managing it.
So, to reiterate, you’re going to want to fire off the M249 in short, controlled bursts to mitigate recoil and maximize your accuracy as much as possible.
After a certain distance, the M249 will be largely useless anyways unless you equip it with a good sight, but just keep that in mind when you’ve got all that power in your hands.
Now that you know the ins and outs of the M249, you probably want to get your hands on one so you can try it out for yourself.
But, in order to do that, you’re going to have to put yourself in some danger first.
Quite a lot of danger, in fact.
As of now, the only way to obtain an M249 for yourself is to loot the wreckage of an Attack Helicopter, or the dreaded Bradley APC.
That means you’ll either have to take on these dangers yourself and destroy them or camp out while someone else does and hope you can get to the goods before them.
But, if a person just took down some of the scariest things in Rust for a player to deal with, they probably won’t be concerned about killing a little weasel who is trying to steal their hard-earned loot.
So, unless you’re armed to take down another player and have no shame in stepping on someone else for what you want, you’re going to probably fight these things yourself.
Luckily, we have a handy guide that will walk you through what a Bradley APC is, what it’s capable of, and how to take it down.
That guide also has some information about the Attack Helicopter, and perhaps we will have an entire guide for that enemy coming up soon.
But until then, aim for those rotors.
The M249 light machine gun is one of the best weapons in Rust, and it is highly sought after.
It is nearly overpowering at close range, but longer distances will require the use of a scope, and the gun’s high recoil makes it not so suited to those applications.
But, if you need something powerful, fast, and loud, the M249 has you covered.
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