RUST Submarine Torpedo Raiding: An Aquatic Meta Deep Dive

Learn the ins and outs of the RUST submarine torpedo raid meta.

Addition, subtraction, division… Math is at the core of everything. Consider the RUST recycling system for a moment, as the output of any given item fed into the grinder pays out exactly half of the cost of creating it. RUST raid calculators and reference guides? More math. Everything, down to how much it costs to upkeep your base per day, is just another equitable function that can be boiled down to 1s and 0s.

And while there are raiding guides and tip tutorials all over the internet, few have yet to shine a light on probably one of the most cost-effective modes of breaking and entering that exist within the world of RUST today; using submarine torpedo raiding meta.

In this guide, you’ll learn how submarine torpedo raiding can be used in RUST as a cost-effective mode of breaking and entering and learn the advantages and disadvantages of using submarines to raid bases located in ocean-accessible waterways, covering the technical details, risks, and strategies involved.

First, the elephant in the room: Water.

So yes, water is one glaring drawback of this raid category. For players to use submarine torpedoes to raid, they must purchase, procure, steal, swindle, or otherwise find a submarine. For a submarine to move around and effectively engage in combat, it needs to have an adequate body of water in which to do so. There’s no way around this.

This means that all potential raid targets must be located in ocean-accessible waterways and typically have at least a portion of their foundations/doors directly in the water.

A Duo Submarine Launching a Torpedo at an Exposed Shore Base

What’s changed to make submarine torpedo raiding viable?

Submarines and torpedoes have been out for quite a while, blowing past the two-year mark with its original release in August 2021 with the Going Deep update. Why would we be making such a splash about years-old content suddenly?

Unless your brain is covered in barnacles, you know that the RUST ocean recently underwent some rather drastic changes. In addition to changes in weather patterns potentially knocking your boat astray, you might have also noticed that some shiny new vehicles have started spawning at Large and Small Harbor monuments near you, taking the form of enormous pilotable, livable Tugboats.

While we won’t do a complete recount of our guide, we would draw your attention to that adjective used to describe them—livable.

Early response to Tugboats has been stunning, and they don’t seem to be falling out of favor with the community. Right and left, streamers are posting videos of life at sea, and players are fighting over the spawns so that they, too, can experience the life of a RUST pirate.

The large, glossed-over detail often omitted from these journeys is the danger lurking below. Sure, you can put on your choice of single door, lock your tug up well and tight, and park at a Fishing Village safe zone of your choosing, but a few details are missing from this idyllic story.

1. Not-so-safe, safe zones

The Small Fishing Village in RUST

Let’s get this out there now; parking a tug in a safe zone overnight isn’t at all safe. In addition to other Tugboats being able to push your boat out for raiding purposes physically, there is absolutely no safety from submarines shooting into the safe zone and sinking your Tugboat.

Furthermore, it only takes a minute for the Fishing Village and its turrets to forgive the offending sub-commander completely.

Even worse, once the tug sinks, that same submarine can finish off the doors with little to no worry about being targeted by the turrets, as most don’t face the areas in which tugs would dock, nor do they seem overly interested in targeting players inside submarines.

2. Budget-friendly raiding

Sure, if you’re attempting to sink a Tugboat in RUST with conventional raiding means, you have your work cut out for you. It takes a solid 8 Timed Explosive Charges (C4) to bring one crashing to the ocean floor, equal to going through an armored wall.

But what about those Torpedoes we keep mentioning? 12. It takes exactly 120 Gun Powder and 4 Metal Pipes to replace 8000 Gun Powder worth of C4.

Oh, and breaching the doors? Once the vessel carcass is on the seafloor, it takes (on average) ⅓ to ½ the amount of Gun Powder in the form of torpedoes to flatten any door type you chose to fortify your loot hold with.

(See the comprehensive torpedo raiding chart further below.)

3. No recourse for defense

A Tugboat Being Shot with Torpedos From Afar

For those players owning and living out of the Tugboat, once that twelfth torpedo impacts, you’re left with virtually no means to defend yourself. Guns are fairly useless in water, and any bags or beds that were on the Tugboat are no longer spawnable. Oxygen will quickly run out unless you’re actively packing a scuba set at the time of the sinking.

For the attacking submarine captain, having a scuba set will almost be a certainty and a solid melee tool for personal underwater warfare and defense. All that remains is collecting that sweet booty. As far as a single-door raid goes, this is about as safe as you can expect to get in RUST.

4. Can’t raid my main base!

Well, now, don’t be too certain. Players are increasingly taking to the seas full-time, building port-like bases in semi-shallow peninsulas and shoreside stilted fortresses. If the foundations of any base are submerged to the point that a torpedo could reach them, you might not be nearly as safe as you think.

Take a moment to consider the functionality of the common RUST torpedo.

  • The projectile itself is a fast-moving, quickly spammable missile that coasts along in a straight line from the underside of the submarine.
  • It travels a considerable distance or until it impacts something. 
  • The damage of the impact is considerable and deadly to players.
  • The damage radius and splash are roughly that of a traditional Rocket, though the aftermath is somewhat tempered in comparison.

All of this being said, the Gun Powder cost between using traditional rockets or torpedoes to flatten a stone (or really any material) base is night and day. It could be argued that you’d be a fool to raid any aquatic base with anything other than torpedoes.

And unlike conventional Rocket Launchers, no durability is lost on a torpedo-launching submarine. Lastly, unlike your traditional Rockets, they are craftable with a Tier 2 Workbench.

How to prepare for a submarine torpedo raid

So it’s that simple, right? Get a Tier 2 Workbench, farm up a bit of Gun Powder and Metal Pipes, and away we go. Well, yes and no. You have a bit of preparation needed to pull off the submarine torpedo raid before you go sailing off to hit your target.

1. Scout your targets

Snooping Outside of a Shore Base

Before you get trigger-happy, it’s important first to scout out your potential targets. You may want to map out multiple targets in an area to maximize your efforts.

For Shore Bases

  • If you’re looking for shore-based targets to raid with your submarine, you will look for those bases with partial foundations submerged in ocean water.
  • It may be worth spending some time running around on foot to get additional intel, such as listening for turrets and active occupants inside.

For Tugboats

  • Use smaller, faster boats to help you find susceptible Tugboats near shore bases, Fishing Villages, Oil Rigs, and Underwater Lab monuments.
  • If you find a Tugboat out at sea, ensure you have the gear to access the loot and protect yourself from sharks while diving.
  • When considering Tugboats near Fishing Villages, remember the turrets protecting the area. You can use a Rowboat or RHIB to knock the Tugboat into a safe looting range or bring a partner so that the hostility status doesn’t matter.

2. Acquiring the submarine

As alluded to, coming to a submarine raid without the proper essentials is begging for trouble. Players that wish to raid in the deep blue ocean need to put in the proper time both in the scouting of their targets as well as in the preparation of their equipment. The first bit of advice we’re going to cover is vehicle choice.

If you’re doing this whole activity alone, you absolutely want to go with the solo submarine type, with the rationality being that an angry Tugboat owner could jump into the copilot seat of the duo type and kill you from the inside. 

If you have a partner in crime, this also needs to be thought of, and eyes need to be peeled. You don’t really get a chance to ‘run back’ after a failed underwater raid attempt. The upfront Scrap requirement to purchase the vessel is really one of the largest obstacles.

3. Acquiring the necessary equipment

Fortunately, almost everything you need gear-wise can be purchased for Scrap at the same Fishing Village monument that sells you your submarine.

At an absolute minimum, always have a Diving Tank. For 35 Scrap and to rule out drowning to death for any number of reasons, you can’t afford NOT to carry at least one of these. You also need at least one melee weapon or a Speargun with Spears

Other highly encouraged items to bring are as follows:

4. Acquiring the torpedos

Acquisition of the torpedoes themselves is easy enough. They may be purchased directly from any Fishing Village monument and learned straightaway at a Research Table to circumvent having to go all the way down the quite lengthy tech tree. You should save yourself several thousand Scrap and go this route.

Torpedo raiding cost chart

We’ve put together a torpedo raiding cost chart with a comparison column for C4 to highlight the advantageous value of torpedos.

EntityTorpedos RequiredTorpedo GP CostC4 GP Cost
Upgraded Wooden Walls & Foundations~242401000
Stone Walls & Foundations~10010002000
Metal Walls & Foundations20020004000
HQM Walls & Foundations400 40008000
Wooden Door~990Too Much
Wood Double Door~990Too Much
Sheet Metal Door~323201000
Sheet Metal Double Door~323201000
Garage Door~757502000
Armored Door~1251250~2500
Armored Double Door~1251250~2500
High External Wooden Wall~47470~1000
High External Wooden Gate~47470~1000
High External Stone Wall~959502000
High External Stone Gate~959502000
Vending Machine12512503000
Solo Submarine1101000
Duo Submarine2201000

Remember, safety first

A Player Defending Their Base Using a Rocket Launcher

The last thing we really need to stress is the fragility of the submarine vehicle itself. While they can take a few shots from common-use firearms (and honestly, not that many), if you are raiding a Tugboat and see someone pointing a Rocket Launcher at you, it might be time to dive, dive, dive!

The solo variety is considerably more fragile than the duo submarine, but both are really glass cannons. Also, check your radar screen often, as other nearby submarines with similar ideas can destroy you in a matter of 1-2 hits.

The significant tradeoff to submarine torpedo raiding is the potential lost boom due to failure. If you had raided on land, you could lose hours and hours of progress and farming by dropping a few rockets to counter raiders; losing a few dozen torpedoes is nearly equivalent to what you’d spend to craft your ammunition for the day. You’re also not arming your targets with Rockets and Launchers to come after your base.

Final thoughts on RUST submarine torpedo raiding

It’s always fun to try out older systems that maybe you didn’t give a fair shot or weren’t around for at launch. Making things new again, incorporating the old into the modern, and playing a much more exciting version of battleship is always a blast.

If you feel like there are aspects of this submarine torpedo raiding guide we could have gone over or mentioned, be sure to drop us a line in our Discord. We love hearing from you. 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 →