The RUST Minicopter Guide

An In-depth Guide and Walkthrough for Obtaining and Using the Minicopter

The RUST Minicopter is the smallest player-controlled aircraft with two mountable seats and a high level of agility. They were introduced in the Air Power Update on February 2nd, 2019, and later substantially modified in the Modular Vehicle Update on July 2nd, 2020.

They were the fifth aircraft to be introduced to RUST and the second officially pilotable by players. These aircraft are by far the most streamlined and nimble of the available aircraft but have the lowest health and combat ability.

This guide provides detailed information about the Minicopter, enabling RUST players to identify basic facts quickly and helping them to acquire, learn the controls to fly, how to re-fuel, repair, prevent decay and safely secure this aerial vehicle.

Table of Contents

How to Get a Minicopter in RUST

Players can purchase the RUST Minicopter for 750 Scrap at the Air Wolf Vendor inside the Bandit Camp monument. After purchasing one, it will have 100 Low Grade Fuel upon spawning in, so if you have a long distance to get back to base, be sure to bring extra fuel.

The Minicopter can hold two players: a pilot and a passenger. The passenger’s seat is positioned at the front, with the pilot’s at the rear. While flying, the passenger will have full control over their hotbar functions, including the ability to swing, eat, med, or shoot. The pilot will be limited to piloting and accessing the onboard fuel storage while the vehicle is in motion.

Although RUST Minicopters use Low Grade Fuel to operate, a player is able to push the vehicle much like a Rowboat. Be warned, when pushing the vehicle up or down hills, once it starts rolling, it is nearly impossible to stop unless mounted, or it impacts something.

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

Anatomy of a Minicopter

Like any other vehicle type, there are specific names for the individual pieces that make up a whole vehicle. While some of these aren’t absolutely pertinent to the game or operation of the Minicopter, they might be referenced at some point in this guide.

  • Fuel Tank – deposit slot for fuel storage
  • Fuselage – also known as the seating area, unprotected from gunfire or blunt impact
  • Landing Gear – the wheels of the Minicopter, one of the primary components that can cause it to get caught on a terrain feature
  • Pylon – a vertical bar that connects the rotor blades to the airframe
  • Rotor Blades – whirling blades that simulate the flight effect, cannot be damaged or damage players
  • Tailboom – rear protrusion that is used to attach the tail rotor
  • Tail Rotor – back-most rotor used to simulate real-world stabilization mechanism

Minicopter Screenshots

Learn to Fall Before You Fly

Threats are looming everywhere in RUST, so knowing about and acknowledging those often most lethal and avoidable is important. The Launch Site monument, in particular, comes equipped with S.A.M turrets (Surface-to-air missiles) that are deadly to Minicopters and the Bradley APC, which is always keen to shoot down low-flying fruit.

You should avoid the Launch Site monument at all costs when flying. Players can deploy SAM turrets at their bases, so beware of large compounds or bases you notice with Wind Turbines or large banks of Large Solar Panels; if you’re unsure about a base’s anti-air capacity, scout before flying over whenever possible.

A Minicopter flying by is an enticing target for any experienced RUST player. The quickest way to put one down is to shoot the pilot in the head. The only way to avoid this is to pitch or roll away from where you think targets might be shooting so that the bullets hit the aircraft’s frame instead of your face. If you are in the passenger seat and your pilot goes down, hitting the X key will swap to the pilot seat to assume control.

More recently added, the Homing Missile Launcher is designed to take down flying aerial vehicles flown by players. At least with this particular missile type, pilots are given warnings when locked onto, and passengers can throw Flares from the Minicopter to cause the Homing Missiles to miss entirely.

Lastly, in an inevitable collision or crash, you can press the SPACE key to eject from your seat, even in flight. Doing this at the last minute might save your life, so long as you don’t eject too early or too late. Jumping too early, you will experience tremendous fall damage. Jumping too late, you will be too close to the explosion of the crashing Minicopter to survive the fire that will clutter the ground.

Minicopter Fuel System

Player in an Arctic Suit Staring at the Minicopter's Fuel Tank
Fuel Tank Access Behind the Pilot’s Seat

The RUST Minicopter 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 Attack Helicopter and Scrap Transport Helicopter varieties.

The Minicopter 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 passenger’s seat if it’s empty, so re-fuel only in secured locations.

Refueling When Grounded

  1. Have the appropriate Low Grade Fuel in your inventory.
  2. Position yourself outside the vehicle on either side of the fuselage.
  3. Look just behind the pilot’s seat for a red fuel tank conveniently labeled “FUEL.”
  4. Press the E key on the fuel tank to open the Fuel Storage screen.
  5. Insert the Low Grade Fuel into the Fuel Storage slot.
  6. You’ve now refueled the Minicopter 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 back right tire area/fuel tank 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.

Minicopter Control System

A close up view of the Minicopter Cockpit Controls
Pilot and Passenger Seats

The large separator between piloting a Minicopter and any other aerial vehicle is maneuverability – this baby turns on a dime, can dive to blistering speeds, and can zigzag through terrain due to its smaller size with relative ease (and pilot skills).

Pilot 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

Pilot In-flight controls:

  • Hold W for lift and accelerate rotors
  • Hold S to descend and slow rotors
  • A 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

Both Seats:

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

Minicopter Repair, Decay & Durability Systems

Repair System

The RUST Minicopter 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. The passenger can repair the aircraft in flight.

Decay Rate System

The Minicopter starts with 750 health and will slowly decay over 480 minutes while outside. If sheltered (roof overhead), it will take 2880 minutes before it decays beyond repair. Housing one is quite practical, a common retrofit for most base designs. See our simple heli storage base diagram later in the guide.

Durability Damage Chart

The RUST Minicopter has 750 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. All calculations used an LR-300, MP5A4, or Pump Shotgun for the assorted ammo types at point-blank range, where applicable.

Ammunition / ToolDamage Done PerTotal Required to Destroy
5.56 Rifle Ammo2375
Incendiary 5.56 Rifle Ammo11.665
Explosive 5.56 Rifle Ammo1263
Pistol Bullet1.7442
Incendiary Pistol Ammo10.274
12 Gauge Buckshot10.572
12 Gauge Slug4188
Handmade Shell984
High Velocity Rocket3673
40MM HE Grenade7011
Satchel Charge3003
Timed Explosive Charge750+1
SAM Ammo1207

Building a Minicopter Garage

A Completed RUST Minicopter Garage
Completed Minicopter Garage

As promised, we’re including a diagram for a very simple garage base concept that new players can whip together with relative ease. To keep things simple, we are including a materials list of everything that goes into creating what is depicted in the images. You are free to change the layout in any way you like, so long as it has (most of) the key components specifically gone over. 

Materials / Deployables List:

  • Resources:
    • 6630 Stone
    • 1106 Wood
  • Building Tools / Essentials:
    • 1 Tool Cupboard
    • 1 Building Plan
    • 1 Hammer
    • 2 Garage Doors
    • 2 Sheet Metal Doors
    • 5 Key or Code Locks
An overhead view of the Minicopter garage footprint
Overhead View of the Garage Footprint

Arrival / Departure Platforms

A platform for arrivals and departures
Operations Platform

Everyone thinks they’re the best ace pilot in RUST until they decide to land a Minicopter on a single square foundation in the middle of the night while it’s raining – next thing you know, you’re looking for 750 Scrap and a Horse to buy a new vehicle. Don’t be that guy. Ensure you give yourself a large enough and lit-up landing and takeoff zone so you don’t acquire an unfortunate nickname from your teammates.

Functional Airlock

A functional airlock configuration
A Functional Airlock

A side entrance that opens and closes faster than a garage door is a must, especially if you are building in a highly populated area with plenty of grubs looking to ‘go deep.’ If you are building a variation of this design on top of your main base, this airlock area can lead directly into the building instead.

Side Triangular Area

A Tool Cupboard locked and secured behind a metal window.
A secured Tool Cupboard

Every Tool Cupboard should have its designated area, and if you are building this structure separate from your main base in its own space, it will need this feature. While a separate garage probably isn’t vital to the common player, you shouldn’t let just anyone walk in off the street and claim it. Protect that TC, people.

An inside view of the completed Minicopter garage.
Inside View of the Garage

Common Player Questions

What happens to the fuel when a Minicopter is destroyed?

All fuel inserted into the fuel container is lost on destruction. This is true, both of impact destruction and simple decay.

Do SAM Sites shoot at Minicopters?

Yes. They shoot regardless if player-owned or monument-based. Keep your distance.

Can you land a Minicopter on a Tugboat?

Yes, however, with minimal deck space, this relies heavily on the pilot’s skill, placement, and luck.

Does a destroyed Minicopter leave behind harvestable components?

No, unlike the Scrap Transport Helicopter, it will only leave behind the bodies of those piloting it that failed to eject at its destruction.

Admin Commands & Convars

Commands & ConvarsDefault ValueDescription
minicopter.population0How many Minicopters per KM spawn on map
vehicle.killminisInstantly destroy all applicable Minicopters on map
spawn minicopterAdmin command to spawn a Minicopter

Final Thoughts

As players further push the envelope of game progression methods, game mechanic exploitations, and game admin patience, you can be sure that Corrosion Hour will be right here detailing all of the tools that they are sure to use for these ends. Be sure to check out our Discord for all of our most recent updates. Be good to each other, always.

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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.

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