The RUST Attack Helicopter Guide

What is the RUST Attack Helicopter?

The RUST Attack Helicopter (AH) is one of the player-controlled helicopters in RUST and the first to introduce a weapons system. The Attack Helicopter is arguably the most devastating and expensive vehicle a player can buy.

Primarily designed as an aerial assault vehicle, the Attack Helicopter will greatly aid players in their objectives, whether raiding player-made bases, ambushing enemies on the move, or intercepting them at monuments.

Apart from that, it’s quite fast as far as transportation is concerned, allowing players to move from point A to B even faster than the Minicopter and Scrap Transport Helicopter. As an aerial assault vehicle, it can help players achieve various objectives.

In this guide, we’ll cover the key features of the Attack Helicopter and give this hell beast its due.

Attack Helicopter Screenshots

How to Get the Attack Helicopter?

The RUST Attack Helicopter can be purchased for 2250 Scrap at the Air Wolf Vendor inside the Bandit Camp monument. Each purchased Attack Helicopter will have 100 Low Grade Fuel upon spawning in. So, if you have a long distance to cover to your destination, be sure to bring extra fuel with you.

The Attack Helicopter’s cockpit can hold two players: a pilot and a gunner. The gunner’s seat is positioned at the front, with the pilot’s at the rear.

Alternatively, you can acquire one of these helicopters by “borrowing” one from the roof of your enemy and cement your future offline raid status. The helicopter has no lock feature, so carefully guard your new acquisition.

Attack Helicopter Fuel System

The RUST Attack Helicopter can hold up to 500 Low Grade Fuel on a standard Vanilla server. It will consume 1 Low Grade Fuel every 2.5 seconds, allowing you to stay airborne for a little over 20 minutes, consistent with the Minicopter and Scrap Transport varieties.

The Attack Helicopter can be refueled while grounded and while actively flying. Be careful; if an active pilot isn’t seated, other players can open the fuel tank and rocket storage and steal their contents. They can also hop into the gunner’s seat if it’s empty, so re-fuel only in secured locations.

A Close Up of the RUST Attack Helicopter Fuel Tanks

Refueling When Grounded

  1. Have the appropriate Low Grade Fuel in your inventory.
  2. Position yourself outside the vehicle on either side of the cockpit.
  3. Look just behind the pilot’s seat for a rusted orange fuel tank conveniently labeled “FUEL.”
  4. Press E on the fuel tank to open the Fuel Storage screen appear.
  5. Insert the Low Grade Fuel into the Fuel Storage slot.
  6. You’ve now refueled the Attack Helicopter while grounded.

Refueling When Flying

  1. Have the appropriate Low Grade Fuel in your inventory.
  2. Press and hold the Left Alt key and look at the bottom of the wall behind the pilot’s seat.
  3. Once the label “Fuel Storage” appears, press the E key to open the Fuel Storage screen.
  4. Insert the Low Grade Fuel into the Fuel Storage slot.
  5. You’ve now refueled the Attack Helicopter while flying.

Attack Helicopter Control Systems

Without going into too much detail, for those more experienced pilots in rust, the Attack Helicopter is a semi-hybrid between the standard Minicopter and the Scrap Heli.

The Attack Helicopter is a semi-hybrid between the Minicopter and the Scrap Transport Helicopter. It has almost equal maneuverability as the Minicopter, with the protective feel of the Scrap Transport Helicopter. There is a sense of balance and self-leveling that you don’t necessarily get with either predecessor.

The controls are nearly identical, with a few exceptions, such as the onboard weapon systems and lights.

Pilot’s Seat Controls

Inside the RUST Attack Helicopter  Pilot's Seat

Ground controls:

  • Hold Left Ctrl + W, A, S, D to shuttle drive
  • Press W once to start the engine
  • Hold W to lift off
  • Hold S to disengage rotors
  • F to toggle headlights on and off
  • Left Mouse Button to shoot rockets
  • Right Mouse Button to shoot decoy flares

In-flight controls:

  • Hold W for lift and accelerate rotors
  • Hold S to descend and slow rotors
  • to turn left
  • D to turn right
  • The Mouse controls pitch and roll
    • Mouse Forward / Mouse Backward to pitch
    • Mouse Left / Mouse Right to roll
  • F to toggle headlights on and off
  • Left Mouse Button to shoot rockets
  • Right Mouse Button to shoot decoy flares

Gunner’s Seat Controls

Inside the RUST Attack Helicopter Gunner's Seat
  • E to enter targeting screen
  • ESC to exit targeting screen
  • Mouse controls the chin turret direction
  • Left Mouse Button to shoot the chin turret
  • R to reload the chin turret
  • Right Mouse Button to fire rockets
  • Middle Mouse Button zooms in on the targeting screen

Both Seats

  • Hold Left Alt + Mouse to look around
  • SPACEBAR to leave the vehicle
  • X to swap seats

Attack Helicopter Weapon Systems

Targeting Screen

In the gunner’s seat of the RUST Attack Helicopter is an interactable monitor allowing players to interface with the targeting screen that displays the following:

  • Directional Compass
  • Weapon Crosshairs
  • Zoom Level Indicator
  • Damage Notifications
  • Ammo Reload Status
  • Turret Ammunition Counts (Chambered & Inventory Reserve)
  • Rocket Ammunition Counts (Chambered & Inventory Reserve)
  • Rocket Type

When the helicopter is powered on, and you’re sitting in the gunner’s seat, look at the green monitor and press the E key to open the interface. Once you’re in the targeting screen’s interface, you can exit by pressing the ESC key. The gunner can only access this screen and its controls, so the turret is useless to a pilot without a gunner.

Once opened, a night-vision interface will appear that is relatively blurry. Objects become skewed, making them harder to see while in this firing mode. A crosshair system appears in the middle, indicating where the turret points. This is controlled by the mouse’s movements. Additionally, a static block target represents where the Rocket Launchers are aiming.

For the gunner, pressing Left Mouse Button will fire the turret. Pressing the Right Mouse Button will fire whatever Rockets are currently loaded.

Chin Turret

On the underside of the RUST Attack Helicopter is a chin turret, which can be operated by the gunner if a weapon has been manually attached and the helicopter is powered. This chin turret accepts the same weapons that an Auto Turret can use.

The type of weapon will dictate the firing capacity before reloading, and using weapon modifications like Extended Magazines does impact performance, increasing rounds down range before a mandatory reload phase of a few seconds.  

To add a weapon to the chin turret:

  1. There must be no one sitting in the pilot’s seat.
  2. Have the weapon and ammunition in your inventory.
  3. Look and place your cursor under the gunner’s seat from outside the vehicle.
  4. Press the E key when the label “Turret” appears on your cursor to open the turret inventory screen.
  5. Now, insert your weapon into the weapon slot and the ammo into the ammo slots.
  6. The turret is now equipped and ready to be used.

The chin turret is managed with the targeting screen and is controlled exclusively by the gunner.

Rocket Launcher

The Attack Helicopter has side-section rocket launchers, which can only be loaded with High Velocity Rockets and Incendiary Rockets, and an additional bay for Flares. It cannot use standard Rockets.

Like the chin turret, there is a cooldown period of around 8 seconds after firing a round of rockets, which are set to 6 by default. The rationality for this is stack size, as the default stack size of any Rocket type is 3. Multiply that by 2 rocket launchers; that is how many you may fire before a short 8-second reload window. The Attack Helicopter can hold up to 36 combined rockets.

In addition to facilitating the rocket storage, there is an inventory space for up to 30 Flares. The pilot can fire these as decoys to deviate incoming Homing Missiles that are locked onto your aircraft with the intent of blowing you out of the sky. The gunner cannot access these Flares, but they can manually throw Flares from their personal inventory.

The pilot’s Left Mouse Button will fire whatever rockets are loaded, while the Right Mouse Button will deploy Flares behind the vehicle. These are limited to one use every 30 seconds.

To add Rockets and Flares to the Attack Helicopter’s rocket launchers:

  1. There must be no one sitting in the pilot’s seat.
  2. Have the ammunition and flares in your inventory.
  3. Look and place your cursor under the pilot and gunner’s seat from outside the vehicle.
  4. Press the E key when the “Rockets & Flares” label appears on your cursor to open the Rocket Launcher inventory screen.
  5. Now, insert the Rockets into the Rockets inventory slots and Flares into the Flares inventory slots.
  6. The Rocket Launchers are now equipped and ready to be used.

It’s time to hit the skies and wreak some havoc!

Attack Helicopter Repair, Decay and Durability Systems

Everything that goes up must come down. Blood pressure, gas prices (just kidding), even online video game vehicles. Nothing lasts forever. This brings us to our ‘catch’. 

In addition to the frailty of the players piloting the Attack Helicopter, the vehicle itself isn’t exactly bulletproof. A comprehensive chart below illustrates how easily your 2250 scrap flying fortress can turn into a pile of scrap metal.

Repair

The RUST Attack Helicopter can be repaired 30 seconds after it last took damage. This requires using a Hammer and having Metal Fragments in your inventory. Each repair swing will repair up to 51 damage. Both the pilot and the gunner can repair the helicopter in flight.

Decay Rates

The Attack Helicopter shares the same decay parameters as the Minicopter, being 2880 minutes by default while sheltered or 480 minutes outside and uncovered. These variables can be altered by server owners.

Durability Damage Chart

The RUST Attack Helicopter has 850 Hit Points; all calculations were done based on this number. While fire-based ballistics are included, their damage is impact-based only, as this vehicle is immune to fire damage over time.

AmmunitionDamage Done PerTotal Required to Destroy
5.56 Rifle Ammo2.5350
Incendiary Pistol Ammo9.75~88
Pistol Ammo1.875~454
Explosive 5.56 Rifle Ammo12.2~70
Incendiary 5.56 Rifle Ammo13~66
High Velocity Rocket367~3
Homing Missile5212
Incendiary Rocket5017
Rocket5502
40MM HE Grenade70~13
Satchel Charge3003
Timed Explosive Charge850+1
SAM Ammo1257

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens when an Attack Helicopter is destroyed?

When an Attack Helicopter is completely destroyed, the turret payload (weapon and ammunition) drops to the ground in the form of a gray bag near the crash site, as does the rocket payload in its own separate stacks.

Can you land the Attack Helicopter on a Tugboat?

Yes, however, it’s a large vehicle to land on a minimal deck space, and it heavily depends on your placement.

Does the Attack Helicopter have lights for night operations?

Yes, the front headlights can be toggled on and off by pressing the F key.

Can the Attack Helicopter fit through Garage Doors?

No. Players should be able to navigate the vehicle about halfway under a double door frame before getting stuck on the rotor mast.

What happens to an Attack Helicopter that gets submerged in water?

Similar to the Minicopter, there is a cutoff point at which the vehicle will no longer allow for engine engagement. For the Attack Helicopter, this appears to be when water has crept up to the bottom side of the driver seat or has submerged the fuel tank. It is exceedingly improbable that a submerged Attack Helicopter can be salvaged (through pushing) once sunk.

Does a destroyed Attack Helicopter leave behind harvestable components for resources?

No, unlike the Scrap Transport Helicopter, the Attack Helicopter will instead only leave behind any weaponry that was equipped in either the turret or rocket tubes at the time of its destruction.

Is it possible to destroy the Bradley APC with Attack Helicopter?

Yes. The damage inflicted by Bradley APC to the vehicle itself is minimal. However, players are still as susceptible to his damage. This is highly contingent on flying ability and preparation. High Velocity Rockets fired from this vehicle will take him down just as they would fired from a standard Rocket Launcher.

Admin Commands

CommandDefault ValueDescription
playerhelicopter.insidedecayminutes2880How long (in minutes) before an Attack Helicopter loses all its health while inside
playerhelicopter.outsidedecayminutes480How long (in minutes) before an Attack Helicopter loses all its health while outside
spawn attackhelicopter.entityBasic spawn command for admins

Final thoughts

Undoubtedly, players will find ways to exploit this hovering death machine and bring those methods to a server near you as quickly as possible. As the situation evolves, devolves, and crashes to the ground, we’ll do our best to keep you updated on the RUST Attack Helicopter and how this impacts you. Be sure to check out our Discord for our most recent updates. Be good to each other, always.

No Limit Llama's avatar

About No Limit Llama

An aspiring woodworker and web designer. Father, husband, and Rust veteran. Llama has written op-eds and official game documents for over two decades. The earliest writings were on Asheron’s Call, followed by World of Warcraft and eventually Rust. The vast majority of his indoor time is spent running Rust servers or helping friends with their Rust-related projects. He enjoys working around the house, continuing his education when time permits, and creating new processes to simplify activities of daily living for his friends and family. He has an incredible wife, a dog, three children, and one granddaughter.

View all posts by No Limit Llama →