How Shotgun Traps Work in RUST

The shotgun trap is a staple of base protection both on and offline.

Whether you’re an accomplished raider or new to the lifestyle, when you set up a PVP-enabled base, it is essential to have a well-rounded understanding of how shotgun traps work in RUST. No matter how familiar you think you are with the chosen raid target’s base layout, the placement of shotgun traps and other anti-raid defenses are always a gamble. 

Once placed, a shotgun trap will trigger whenever a player without tool cupboard privileges walks within its cone-shaped coverage range. It will let loose shots at an impressive rate until the unfortunate target is dead, out of range, or manages to move out of its coverage area.

This guide will walk you through the shotgun trap’s most efficient positioning so that you know how to both place them and deal with them when you come across them during raids.

The shotgun trap, when used properly, allows you to:

  • Add Strategic Offline Base Protection
  • Slow Down Raider’s Progress 
  • Accidentally Kill Your Friends
  • Build Lucrative Trap Bases

Shotgun traps fire when they detect players within a roughly 45 degree spread from its barrel’s tip. It will continuously fire at a rate of two handmade shells per second. The shotgun trap’s range is slightly longer than a foundation and can fire through any doorway or opening. If there is no tool cupboard within its range, the shotgun trap will fire on any player it detects. Shotgun traps can also see players through twig surfaces and fire on players who cross its detection range, regardless of twig walls.

There are 5 essential things to know to use the shotgun trap in RUST effectively.

  1. How to get a shotgun trap blueprint
  2. How to craft a shotgun trap
  3. Shotgun trap placement
  4. How to load a shotgun trap
  5. How to destroy a shotgun trap

How to get a shotgun trap blueprint

The easiest way to get a shotgun trap in RUST is to purchase one from the Outpost monument. Head over to the weapons vending machine and pick one up for 150 scrap. Bring an extra 125 scrap if you would like to use the research table at the outpost, and save risking losing the trap on the run home.

Buy a Shotgun Trap Blueprint in RUST

The only other feasible way of getting the shotgun trap is by looting it from the supply drop, which flies over the island intermittently. The supply drop is almost always hotly contested for PVP but has a 30% chance of containing a shotgun trap.

It has incredibly low odds of being found in crates and sunken chests. At less than a 1% drop rate, this is hardly a dependable method for getting your hands on a shotgun trap. 

Lastly, you can perform research at the workbench level 1 for 75 scrap a pop. Each time you research at the bench, you can unlock any of the level 1 blueprints. There are over 80 blueprints, so your chances of getting the shotgun trap are absurdly low. Research only twice will have put you out the cost of simply going to the Outpost to purchase it.

How to craft a shotgun trap

Shotgun traps require a level 1 workbench to craft. The materials cost are not high but contain gears, which can be a precious commodity at lower play levels. 

Each shotgun trap will cost: 

  • 500 wood
  • 250 metal frags
  • Two gears 
  • Two rope
Crafting Shotgun Traps in RUST

Farm through cutting trees or finding loose wood stumps and gathering metal fragments by mining metal nodes and placing the metal uncooked metal into small furnaces. 

A rope has an incredibly high spawn rate in sunken chests and crates, and a decent spawn rate in barrels. So you’re unlikely ever to be short of it.

However, gears have a much lower spawn rate but are available in both sunken chests and regular crates, so you will have to commit some time to farm the sea or the road to get your hands on them.

Once you have the materials, press Q to bring up your crafting menu. Find the shotgun trap, or type shotgun trap into the search bar to bring it up. Move the shotgun trap to the Hotbar once crafted.

Shotgun trap placement

There are several ways to place a shotgun trap. Once selected on the Hotbar, you should see a transparent-blue hovering shotgun trap. Line up the trap with where you would like to place it. If the trap turns red when you try to place it, this means you are trying to put the trap in an invalid location, such as colliding with an object or on an angled surface. Despite this, you can place shotgun traps in many inventive places, including walls, ceilings, and some furniture surfaces.

Tap the R key to change the rotation of the trap. It will fire in the direction of the extended barrel.

Placing Shotgun Traps in Unique Positions

Placing on the floor

A shotgun trap placed on the floor will put the barrel at waist height and hit players in the chest first unless they are crouched. There are several issues with placing a trap flat on the floor. Players can jump over the trap, and chest armor provides the best resistance to gunfire in the game.

If you use the base layout to your advantage and force players to crouch or move through difficult spaces, there isn’t anything wrong with placing a shotgun trap on the floor. There are simply more inventive places to do it.

Placing on the ceiling

Placing on the ceiling is applied the same way as setting them on the floor, with the added benefits of the shotgun trap now firing at head height and not taking up valuable floor space within your base.

Placing on a wall

Placing shotgun traps on a wall can change the angle and firing range of a shotgun trap, all the way from horizontal to vertical. To put on a wall, simply look at the wall with the trap selected.

If you want the trap to fire downwards, crouch, and look at where you would place the trap, this will turn its angle on the wall to face you. If you want more extreme angles, try placing it from a lower floor.

Placing Shotgun Traps on Walls in RUST

To place a trap so that it fires upwards, find a position higher than ground level, and aim the trap at the wall while looking down. Altering the angle through this method can extend to a trap that fires directly up.

Wall placement allows for tricky positioning and firing angles that many players do not expect. Keeping your shotgun trap out of the line of sight is what will make it a surprise for players who come across it.

While shotgun traps don’t mind the various angles, you can place them on a wall they don’t like when you put them on an angled surface. As such, they can be tricky to place down on angled roofing surfaces.

Firing through a doorway or opening

Surprise is the most destructive element of a shotgun trap. Many players know how to get rid of them once they are detected. So you’re hoping to take out a player before they realize what’s going on.

As such, it’s a bad idea to have your shotgun traps readily visible through doorways or around corners. Best placement puts them out of sight until a player has committed to moving through a door or around corners.

Effective placement can be challenging to achieve without compromising the trap’s firing range, and no matter how well you do it, there will always be some way of spotting a trap. The most efficient ways to hide them effectively are to consider the firing cone of the shotgun trap and place it so that peeking around a corner should be enough to trigger it. Alternatively, use another trap to expand the angles you cover so that another can protect a peeked trap.

When all else fails, consider interesting angles, such as placing them above a doorway facing downwards. Although it has become more challenging to drain traps, it is still possible.

The best opening a trap can defend against is a vertical drop. If a player must descend into a room and you have traps placed on the underside ceiling, they will fire as someone steps down over the edge, making the traps virtually impossible to drain.

On top of the items

Placing Shotguntrap Traps

Handy in spaces such as loot rooms, you can place shotgun traps on specific pieces of furniture. If you leave enough space between two boxes on a shelving row, you can place a shotgun trap on the shelves’ underside. While it’s not the most effective use of a shotgun trap, it does slow down players as they make their way towards the spoils of a loot room.

Moving a shotgun trap

If you’re unhappy with where you have placed a trap, you can pick one up with a wooden hammer. Mouse over the trap until you see the prompt to pick it up. Doing this will damage the shotgun trap, and you must repair it with a hammer while holding its construction materials.

How to load a shotgun trap

Approach a shotgun trap you own and press the E key on it. You will see several slots appear that can hold stacks of handmade shells. Handmade shells are a default blueprint, along with the gunpowder required to craft them.

To craft handmade shells, take the charcoal that gathers in any base component that utilizes fire. Fireplaces, barbeques, furnaces, etc., Combine the charcoal with mined sulfur to create gunpowder. Then take your gunpowder and combine it with stone to make handmade shells.

Refill Ammo for Shotgun Traps

Note that if you don’t have tool cupboard permission, a loaded shotgun trap will begin firing if you are standing in its detection range.

How to destroy a shotgun trap

There are several ways to destroy a shotgun trap, all of which are essential to know for placing your own and taking out your enemies. Many people will promise in guides that there are methods for making a trap undrainable. While there are specific methods that make it difficult to drain a trap, there is no such thing as undrainable.

Draining a turret requires you to stand within the detection range of a turret while avoiding its pellets. You can drain a turret by finding an edge around a corner or wall, from which the turret can detect you but not hit you. There are also some spots on a turret aiming cone where it can see you and fire, but miss, either entirely or frequently enough, to heal through the damage.

Destroying Shotgun Traps

Shotgun traps are very susceptible to melee damage and can be broken by any melee weapon or tool if a player can get close enough to hit it without triggering its detection.

In a pinch, you can take out shotgun traps with firearms. However, as it can take up to 60 rounds of 5.56 rifle ammunition depending on the turret’s health, this method is not ideal. Explosives or explosive ammo can take out a turret quite quickly. Fire and arrows are inefficient in taking out shotgun traps.

It’s important to remember that, if raiders destroy your tool cupboard, your shotgun turrets will fire indiscriminately. If raiders get their tool cupboard placed, that turrets will consider this as being claimed by the raiders, effectively turning them on you.

The frustrating world of shotgun traps

A shotgun trap’s utility goes beyond simply defending your base when you’re offline. Unless you get raided, a shotgun trap is likely to only see action by blasting a friend or visitor you brought to your base. If you forget to give the visitor TC rights or unload the shotgun trap, sure enough, it’ll go to work, blasting your guest, and probably you into next week.

Under no circumstances should you ever give strangers TC access when they’re visiting, just unload the traps. Friends and allies will need TC privileges to get around safely in a base with shotgun traps. 

Note that shotgun traps do considerable damage to base components, so when you have a shotgun trap-related accident, look around for anything that might damage and repair it with a hammer. Boxes, sleeping bags, and even shelving can take a hammering from the shotgun trap, so keep an eye on them.

Shotgun traps are hugely useful tools, but take a lot to master. There is no such thing as perfect placement, and no turret is ‘undrainable,’ or ‘invincible.’ However, more generally equals better protection. So once you move into mid-game and have a steady supply of gears, it’s always a good idea to have many of these stalwart guardians placed around every corner.

Does the shotgun trap need electricity?

No. The shotgun trap does not require electricity to function. Its requirements are minimal. Simply place it and ensure it’s loaded with sufficient ammo.

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About Digital Ghost

Dg is the founder and co-owner of Corrosion Hour, a niche gaming community established in 2016 focusing on the survival game RUST. He is an active and contributing member of numerous other RUST communities. As a community leader and server owner for over 15 years, he spends much of his time researching and writing guides about survival games, covering topics such as server administration, game mechanics, and community growth.

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