How to Find Leather in RUST

The Best Ways to Find Leather in RUST.

So you have a starter base down, you have bows and pistols, and you have decided to make your way beyond the roads and are heading for more complex and danger-filled monuments. Trainyard and Harbour monuments just aren’t cutting it anymore, and you would like to move onto more considerable prospects, like the Water Treatment, Dome, and maybe even Military Tunnels? To make these advances, you will have to learn how to find leather in RUST

Face it, that burlap kit is starting to itch and just isn’t providing enough protection. Fortunately, you’re in an excellent position to get your hands on leather—the optimal mid-tier resource. It’s relatively easy to find, and its gathering comes with bonuses that will help you develop new materials and expand your base.

The 2 best ways to find leather in RUST:

  1. Hunting and Harvesting Animals
  2. Recycling Equipment

Each method carries a unique associated risk and will undoubtedly be encountered while playing. On more densely populated servers, safely accessing recyclers can be rather risky. Areas that are more heavily trafficked, such as the Outpost monument, are prone to other players setting up surrounding forward operating bases. Often set up for the off-chance of ambushing other players coming out with a hefty payload in their inventories. 

While on the other hand, hunting animals can be less risky and as simple as opening your base door and bowing down an animal. Regardless of what method you adopt, numerous items require leather for crafting, and they are essential stepping stones on the way to end-game equipment, such as:

  • Hide Armor Set
  • Boots & Gloves
  • Road Sign Kits
  • Metal Chest Plate & Mask
  • Saddle Bags
  • Bear Skin Rugs
  • Extra Clothing

Hunting and harvesting animals

The most efficient way to find leather is to find animals in RUST. Finding animals is not incredibly difficult, but hunting them can be a challenge, especially when you become the prey in the middle of the hunt. Bring a bow and sufficient arrows to pursue larger animals, such as bears and wolves, as they can do substantial damage despite your burlap armor. Bows are the tool of choice as guns and other heavy-duty weapons will create more sound than is necessary.

Harvesting animals in RUST for Leather

All animals in RUST are harvestable and produce multiple resources, sometimes including leather. When skinning your kill, you will receive a set amount of leather per animal, depending on which tool you use to harvest. You will always get the maximum amount of leather if you use a Bone Knife, Combat Knife, Hatchet, and Stone Hatchet. If you use one of these tools, you’ll harvest approximately:

  • Bears 100 Leather
  • Wolves 75 Leather
  • Horses 50 Leather
  • Stags 50 Leather
  • Boar 20 Leather

While you may use any of the tools from the list above, the cheapest option is the Bone Knife. At the low cost of only 30 Bone Fragments, which you will inevitably gather while hunting, using a bone knife instead of a metal or improvised tool will save you metal, wood, and other useful resources.

The added benefit to hunting for leather is the copious amounts of useful resources you will accumulate alongside. All animals will drop some helpful meat variation that you can cook for health restoration and recovering hunger and thirst. Animals will also give animal fat that can be combined with cloth, which is also harvested from animals, to make low-grade fuel.

While no leather helms are listed in the game, the unofficial member of the leather armor squad, the Wolf Headdress, is made from the skull of harvested wolves. The Wolf Headdress looks badass, boasts similar defensive stats to the Coffee Can Helmet, and has the added benefit of cold weather and radiation negation. It’s a great bonus item to acquire when hunting for leather.

Recycling equipment for leather

It may seem counterintuitive that the only other way of getting leather is to pull apart the things you have either already made, conveniently found or stolen, or lastly, purchased from a vendor. However, leather serves three tiers within mid-game equipment. Each of which you will leave behind as you move from one to the next. Hide armor in RUST is less useful as you step up to wearing roadsign armor, and roadsign armor will fall behind as you move into metal armor kits.

Recycling equipment for Leather in RUST

As you move through these tiers of armor, you are at an advantage if you simply scrap any of the lower levels you’ve crafted in the past or fresh copies you find along the way. Other items, such as the tank top and black shirt, provide equal or less protection than their hide counterparts. That means there’s no good reason to craft either item and an excellent reason to toss them in the recycler whenever you acquire them. Remember this when looting and raiding other players as well!

Another major recyclable item to keep an eye out for is the bear rug. While the bearskin rug is highly useful, you will find the rugs reasonably often during crate farming. You’ll never need more than one, so recycle any extra bear rugs you find for a sweet 50 leather. Once you know the key items to recycle for leather, it becomes much easier to acquire them en masse.

The fastest way to get leather in RUST is using scrap to purchase leather boots from the Outpost vending machines for 20 Scrap, then recycling it down. There are many ways to acquire scrap in RUST, and sometimes it can be used to brute force your way to obtain other items, like guns, building materials, and clothing. Regardless of how you obtain scrap, each pair of recycled boots will yield the following materials:

Leather is a progressive resource in RUST

The hide armor sets will take your protection levels beyond that of burlap armor and provide the rad resistance required to start venturing into the monuments.

Accessing New Monuments with Leather Armor

From here, you’ll then begin to find the pieces necessary inside of monuments to begin creating roadsign armor sets. After you’ve obtained roadsign kits, consisting of a jacket, kilt, and gloves, will carry you most of the way to end-game until you have enough spare high-quality metal to begin crafting the metal chest plate and facemask armor. The craftable boots and leather gloves hold out as best in the slot and won’t need to be replaced either once you have them made for each kit.

A few additional considerations

Saddle Bags, on the other hand, are made to expand your horses’ storage capacity. However, they only expand your carrying capacity by six slots and noticeably reduce your horses’ maximum speed. As such, using saddle bags boils down to what you want from your beast of burden.

The Bearskin Rug (Rug Bear Skin) is a base utility item. When put down in a room with sufficient warmth, you can stand or sit near its head-end to benefit from a 100% comfort rating. With 100% comfort, you gain a boost to your health regeneration and recover up to full health without burning excessive resources. These can be rather handy on shooting floors where health regeneration is needed.

If you’re not a fan of the bear skin rug taking up precious floor space, they have the curious property to be placed on walls or even ceilings. It might seem weird at first, but when you’re throwing down spare sleeping bags for your friends and floor space becomes a precious commodity, roof bears become a more common occurrence in your base.

Better late than Leather

There’s not much to know about how to find leather in RUST. Both methods are dependable and efficient and may serve you better depending on what stage of the game you find yourself in. Once you have either or both techniques mastered, you will never be short of this versatile material and can progress yourself and your team to the higher-tiered monuments.

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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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