A new mode of transportation is coming to Rust this week! The ‘Rowboat’ allows individuals and groups to travel the Rust landscape in a fast and efficient manner like never before. Spawning all around the map, these aquatic vehicles are destined to become a hot commodity.
This article summarizes all you need to know about the Rowboat. Keep in mind, this functionality is still a work in progress, so things are very likely to change prior to the update going live on Thursday. As always, I’ll keep this post as up to date as possible. Check back Thursday for a full summary of everything else coming in the update.
Floating junk added
Before we get into the specifics of boats, an exciting new loot opportunity has been added to accompany these new aquatic vehicles. Featuring similar types of loot you'll find at normal junk piles on the road, floating junk spawns out in the open water and require a boat to realistically get to (sure, you could swim it, but most floating junk is about 1 map grid out in the water).
To get your loot, simply pull your boat up, dismount onto the floating junk, smash those barrels, then mount back into the boat. Be careful with how you park your boat, as I've had to push it off the junk pile, back in the water, causing it to capsize.
Tip: Pull up to junk piles with them to your right. When you dismount, you'll land right on the platform instead of in the water.
Where to find the Rowboat
Boats spawn randomly around the map near shores, rivers, and Lighthouses. Although they cannot be crafted, there are around 64 boats spawned on a normal size (4k) map at any given time. They despawn in 3 hours if not properly parked, so be prepared to build a boathouse once you find one (more on that below).
Getting started with boats
Upon finding a boat on the shore, the first thing you’ll want to do is get it in the water. Given they spawn right next to bodies of water, a few pushes with your trusty ‘E’ key should do the trick. Note: if you are starving or dehydrated, pushing will simply not work, so make sure you’ve had a balanced breakfast before going boat hunting.
Once sufficiently submerged, the boats ‘Push’ prompt will change to ‘Mount’. With another click of the ‘E’ key, you can hop in your newly acquired craft. Mind where you are looking when you mount though, as there are 4 seperate places to sit, and only one drivers seat (the one in the back, closest to the motor).
Not so fast though, before you start zipping around you need to add some fuel. To do so, simply look at the motor in the back till you see ‘Fuel Storage’ pop up. From there, click ‘E’ and fill the subsequent container slot with some low grade fuel (just like you’d fill a lamp). Once fueled up, the ‘Fuel Storage’ option shifts to ‘Start Engine’ (you can still access fuel storage by holding ‘E’ on that spot). One more click of the ‘E’ key and you’ll hear that motor start to idle.
From there, just mount yourself in the rear seat of the boat and you’re ready to go!
How to get around in boats
Now that you’re fueled up with the engine started, the hard part is done and you’re ready to have some fun! Being captain of this motorized rowboat is pretty straightforward - the WASD keys are used to steer the way, and you can free look with your mouse at all times (which does not impact your steering).
If you happen to beach yourself by running aground, simply press spacebar to dismount from the boat, push it into the water again, and hop back on.
The Rowboat holds 4 people total - a captain and 3 passengers. The captain goes in the back next to the motor, two passengers to sit on the middle bench, and one final passenger goes up front near the storage. Although the captain must always focus on steering the ship, all other passengers can look around and shoot from the boat (although aiming from a moving boat is very difficult). Your position on the boat is determined by where you're looking when you mount.
Note: Passengers peripheral view is limited to a little more than 180 degrees based on where your sitting, so you cannot aim directly behind where you’re facing (middle passengers face the front of the boat, front passenger faces back).
Edit: Passengers can now rotate a full 360 degrees in boats.
Tip: You can bind a key to 'swapseats' to quickly change your position in the boat. Example: bind k swapseats
Passengers isn’t the only thing this boat has room for, it also has a small storage container. To access, simply go to the front of the boat till you see ‘Open’. Similar to the small wooden storage boxes you’re familiar with, this features 12 individual slots for loot. Unlike its wooden counterparts, however, boat storage cannot be locked.
Now that you’ve got your passengers and belongings, how long is it going to take you to get from point A to point B? Thankfully, not a heck of a lot of time (especially compared to hoofing it).
From a standstill to full throttle, it takes the boat just over 15 seconds to travel one grid on the map. Once at full speed, you can shave about a second off that time, and traverse each grid in just over 14 seconds.
To put that in perspective, traveling the entire length of a 4k map takes roughly 6 minutes at full speed. Of course, these estimates are subject to change. Also, it assumes you’re traveling in a straight path - swerving and turning will decrease your speed.
All this speed and efficiency comes at a cost. That cost, however, is surprisingly low at the moment. With a maximum fuel storage of 500 low grade fuel, the Rowboat is only using around 1 fuel per map grid traveled!
Keep in mind, having the motor running whilst staying stationary does consume fuel, but this amount is negligible. Also, like everything else, this is subject to change prior to going live.
Edit: It appears efficiency has gone down a bit and fuel consumption might now be more like 1.5 or 2 low grade per grid.
Tip: You can open the fuel storage while moving by looking back at the motor and holding E.
Damage and sinking
Cruising around water of Rust doesn’t come without risk. The Rowboat is not invincible and can be sunk with the right tools. With 400 hit points, the boat will go down after roughly 40 hits from explosive rifle rounds or 80 regular rifle rounds.
Once that HP hits zero, the boat sinks like a ton of bricks, quickly taking any mounted passengers down with it. This also opens up the new possibility of sunken treasure, as storage of sunken boats is still accessible (although not easily).
Getting shot isn’t the only way to hasten a boats demise. They are susceptible to melee and explosive damage. They also lose health while sitting out in the open, so be prepared to repair...
Similar to various other items in Rust, the boat can be repaired with a hammer and resources. Requiring wood and metal fragments, each hit of the hammer will raise the boats health. Each hit takes around 15 wood and several metal fragments.
At the moment, repairing boats is not working all the time. I spoke with Alistair and he told me people might only be able to repair boats which have decayed, but not ones which have been damaged by other means (bullets, melee, etc.). This seems to be up the in air, so we'll keep you posted.
How to store Rowboats
As mentioned before, these boats will despawn after about 3 hours of sitting outside (I guess they don't like the sun!). Given this, you’ll quickly want to build a boathouse for your recently acquired aquatic treasure.
Like skinning a cat, there are many ways to go about storing a boat. At the moment, it appears some variation of a partially submerged building with and open middle and garage door is the way to go. Here are some examples to get the ideas flowing.
Example 1 - The Plain
Example 2 - The Role Player
Example 3 - The Space Saver
There are also some helpful boat commands for admins:
- ‘spawn rowboat’ - Spawns a boat in front of you
- ‘swapseat’ - Moves your players seat position