Sons Of The Forest: How to Get and Use the Rifle

What is the Rifle, and what is it used for?

Combat in Sons Of The Forest is dangerous, especially melee combat, where the enemy usually has the upper hand. Weapons like the Compound Bow and Crossbow are great for fighting at range but can be difficult to aim, especially over long distances.

You should check out the Rifle if you need a weapon that can maintain its power at long range. This high-caliber marksman weapon is capable of ripping through armor and even killing most cannibals in a single shot, all from a safe distance.

This guide will show you how to get and use the Rifle in Sons Of The Forest and offer advice on how it can best be used to your advantage.

Where to find the Rifle in Sons Of The Forest

The Rifle is located inside the Cultist Cave, the same cavern system where the Night Vision Goggles and Golden Armor may be found. Before you run off to find this powerful weapon, ensure you are well prepared, as the Cultist Cave is extensive and extremely dangerous.

Players should ensure they have a good supply of food, water, energy supplements, armor, healing items, and ammunition of all kinds before attempting to conquer this cave system. Some of the most deadly mutants in the game will be waiting for you inside in large numbers. Additionally, players will need the Rebreather to pass through the flooded portions of the cave safely.

Though the Rifle may be reached through either entrance, the fastest and easiest way to locate this weapon is to enter the cave through the eastern entrance. The passageway you’re looking for can be found at the back of a large lake on the island’s eastern side, at the base of the cliffside overlooking it.

Once you’ve entered the cave, follow the ramps down through the mutant-infested cavern and through a series of corridors. If you see small structures and materials that look like they came from a cannibal camp, then you’re heading in the right direction. The corridors will eventually take you through a small flooded cave section and spit you out in a large, crescent-shaped room.

The Rifle can be found in this room, clutched to the chest of a dead agent lying against a nearby boulder.

What ammo does it use?

The Rifle, unsurprisingly, is chambered in Rifle Ammo, which cannot be crafted and must be looted from dead operatives and military ammo crates found at campsites, in caves, bunkers, and other points of interest.

The Rifle will be automatically cocked between each shot but must be reloaded manually and by hand. The rifle’s internal magazine can hold a total of 4 rounds at a time.

Tips and tricks for using the Rifle

Shooting Cannibals Out of the Trees with the Rifle in Sons Of The Forest
Shooting Cannibals Out of the Trees

Unlike other guns in Sons Of The Forest, the Rifle cannot be fired without aiming first. Holding down the block button (default RMB) will aim the rifle, bringing up the red-dot scope it comes standard with.

The Rifle is an extremely powerful firearm, capable of dealing more damage with a single shot than any other weapon. The Rifle’s high-caliber bullets are also capable of easily piercing armor, though the damage of a round will be reduced if it strikes an armored area on an enemy. Regardless, a standard enemy wearing a helmet won’t survive a shot to the head.

Though certainly deadly, the Rifle’s greatest strengths are its incredible range and accuracy. Players can rest assured that their shot will always land exactly at the center of the red dot in the scope, except at absurdly long range. In most cases, an enemy will leave the player’s field of vision before the Rifle becomes ineffective from range.

Scoping in On a Mutant with the Rifle in Sons Of The Forest
Scoping in On a Mutant

Rifle ammo is a particularly rare resource, and though it is renewable, boxes are hard to find and will only carry a few rounds. Because of this, it’s especially important to make every shot count by aiming carefully for weak points such as the head.

The Rifle is certainly capable of being used at close range, but its high zoom and reload time make it better suited for long-range engagements. Specifically, we don’t recommend using it inside caves, small bunkers, or other tight spaces.

The scope that comes standard with the Rifle is fixed and cannot be replaced or removed. Additionally, this weapon currently accepts no additional attachments.

How to equip the Rifle

Equipping the Rifle From the Inventory
Equipping the Rifle From the Inventory

Once you have acquired it, you can equip it by:

  1. Opening your inventory
  2. Panning the mouse to the left of the crafting mat
  3. Selecting the Rifle by left-clicking on it
  4. The inventory will close, and you will be wielding the Rifle

How to assign the Rifle to a hotkey

If you want to switch equipped items faster and grab your weapon with one keystroke, you can assign it to a hotkey by:

  1. Open the inventory
  2. Mouse over the Rifle to the left of the crafting mat
  3. With your mouse over it, press one of the ten available hotkeys (1-0) to assign it to that key
  4. Now when you press the assigned key, it will automatically be actively equipped.

How to add the Rifle to the quick select bag

Adding the Rifle to the Quick Select Bag
Adding the Rifle to the Quick Select Bag

Alternatively, if you’ve added the Rifle to your backpack, you can access it through the quick-select bag. Briefly hold down the inventory key to pull out the quick-select bag.

This is much faster than having to pan through the inventory screen each time you want to switch between items. You can find it in the long weapon slot if you have it on your quick-select bag.

The Rifle is considered a long weapon but may also be added to the short weapon slot. These slots are both located on the left side of the quick-select bag and carry items such as the Rifle, Firefighter Axe, Rope Gun, Katana, Guitar, and more.

To add to the quick-select bag:

  1. Open the inventory screen
  2. Add the backpack to the crafting mat by right-clicking on it
  3. If there is an item in both the long and short weapon slots, right-click on one to remove it
  4. Right-click on the Rifle to add it to the quick-select bag

Final thoughts on the Rifle

Tree shelters, towering cliffs, and wide-open vistas are all ideal locations for snipers to pick off enemies. Endnight Games must have realized how desperately players wanted the ability to truly utilize the island’s environment and offered this high-powered, futuristic marksman rifle as a solution. Now you can really engage in some guerilla warfare and pick off enemies from a completely unseen location.

Looking for more tips to help you survive the island? Check out our 10 Tips for Beginners.

Aaron Van Dyck's avatar

About Aaron Van Dyck

Aaron Van Dyck is a thriller novelist with a passion for survival games and exploration. He started writing at the age of 13 and has always been drawn to the sense of self-reliance and freedom found in open worlds. An avid urban explorer and RPG enthusiast, he enjoys dungeon crawling and has a particular love for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Far Cry 5, and Cataclysm: DDA. He's also a fan of shooters and action games with immersive stories and unique monsters to encounter.

View all posts by Aaron Van Dyck →