Homing Missile Launcher
The Homing Missile Launcher is a weapon in RUST capable of firing the Homing Missile. It is a first-of-its-kind shoulder-operated weapon system, relying on visual and auditory tone cues to determine potential impact.
Another way of thinking of this new weapon system/ammunition is like a portable SAM Site.
How to get a Homing Missile Launcher
The Homing Missile Launcher is located in the tier 2 workbench tech tree, requiring a total of 2300 scrap to learn if starting from the bottom of the tree or 500 scrap to learn directly with the research table. This launcher type may be found in various mid to high-tier crates.
What does the Homing Missile Launcher do?
The primary function of the homing missile launcher is to utilize the Homing Missile (ammunition) type to shoot down aircraft. It is important to note that this system doesn’t differentiate friend from foe, so shooting into crowded skies could prove fatal for anyone who gets in the missiles’ way. The current maximum stack size for this item is 1.
Currently, the following vehicle or NPC types may be targeted by the Homing Missile Launcher:
At the moment of writing, Hot Air Balloons and Parachuting players are NOT targeted. It’s important to note that the Homing Missile Launcher also cannot target any craft if their engines aren’t on, so only airborne craft are targetable.
How to use the Homing Missile Launcher
The Homing Missile System works on the principle of line-of-sight to acquire a ‘tone’. Players must load a homing missile by pressing R into the homing missile launcher for the tone to initiate. Only one missile can be loaded into the launcher at a time.
Once loaded, pointing the launcher at applicable vehicle types will create a distortion noise audible to anyone nearby. After a period of 3 seconds consistently spent looking at the vehicle, the tone is established, and the noise will become steady and louder. This sound indicates that the launcher has locked on to its target.
Players may then fire using their designated ‘shoot’ button, usually left mouse click. Failure to ‘lead’ and trace the flight path of a moving vehicle can cause the homing missile to go off course and crash elsewhere.
Identifying and defending against incoming fire
Players in airborne craft will also hear a distinct noise when targeted. This noise becomes louder, more rapid, and really menacing after the missile is fired and actively pursuing them. This is usually followed by an explosion, flames, and a death screen.
Flares are a pilot’s best bet at surviving an incoming Homing Missile. While not impossible, especially if you are in the Attack Helicopter and can deploy Flares (signal jamming), it is very improbable that the average pilot will be able to ‘shake’ a properly fired and targeted homing missile.
Some things to note about the Homing Missile Launcher
At the time of writing, the homing missile system can be used to acquire stationary, undercover targets through structures. This is the first direct weapon (non-attachment) type to require Tech Trash as a component. At this time, while a player is seated or standing in the back of a vehicle, homing missiles fired from that vehicle will pass through the roof or sides without damage.