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

Looking to locate the Shotgun in Sons Of The Forest?

The Shotgun in Sons Of The Forest is the most powerful ranged weapon in the game that can deliver decimating damage with just one hit. Each shot delivers a cluster of pellets that decimate anything organic in sight. The closer you are, the more effective it is. 

The Shotgun is by far your best choice for clearing caves and facilities. While other guns like the Revolver and Pistol pack a punch, the Shotgun’s damage elevates it to the next level. No matter how large or fast a mutant or cannibal is, the Shotgun’s raw power will prevail. 

Let’s dive right into how to locate this powerful firearm and add it to your arsenal.

How to get the Shotgun in Sons Of The Forest

The Shotgun can be found in two locations in Sons Of The Forest:

  1. Inside an operative’s grave site in the northwestern corner of the map
  2. In the Puffton Bunker on the northeastern part of the map
Sons Of The Forest Shotgun Locations

Find detailed steps below for each location, and note that specific tools and items are required before you can get the Shotgun.

Shotgun Location #1: Operative’s Gravesite

The first location in the northwest corner of the map, marked by a purple marker, is the quickest and easiest option and will require the Shovel.

Follow these steps to get the Shotgun:

  1. Open your GPS Tracker and navigate to the purpler marker
  2. Once there, you will spot a grave with a makeshift cross covered in Cloth
  3. Equip your Shovel and start digging until a casket is unveiled
  4. Open the casket with your Shovel to reveal the Shotgun

Shotgun Location #2: Puffton Bunker

The Puffton Bunker is more difficult to access than the Operative’s grave site, requiring more items and tools, such as the Maintenance and VIP Keycards.

  1. Open your GPS Tracker and navigate to the Puffton Bunker on the northeastern part of the map
  2. Enter the facility using the VIP Keycard and head down the stairs
  3. Navigate through the facility until you find another set of stairs to go down
  4. After you pass the second set of stairs, you will enter a hallway that has two possible paths
  5. Turn left and continue forward until you find another doorway that leads into a bar/lounge area
  6. The Shotgun will be on the bar counter alongside some ammo

What type of ammo can it use?

The Shotgun uses two types of ammunition, Slugs and Buckshot shells.

Both ammo types are found all over the Sons Of The Forest map. Checking every cave, camp, landmark, and notable location will help you in your travels. It is in most loot pools, and finding it shouldn’t be that much of a problem if you know where to look. That is only if you’re using it efficiently. 

The fact that the Shotgun can use two ammo types is hugely beneficial. Other ranged weapons, such as the Pistol and Revolver, only use 9mm ammo.

As our 10 Tips For Beginners mentions, never pass up the chance for loot; prioritize checking every possible loot box. If you’re interested in farming Shotgun shells, you can make a tent near certain loot sources and save your game after looting. Reloading your save will then respawn all loot in the area.  

Weapon attachments for the Shotgun

Putting attachments on your weapon is possible in Sons Of The Forest. There are currently 3 attachments that you can put on the Shotgun. You can attach them by combining the Shotgun with each attachment in your crafting station. This will allow you to use the Shotgun more diversely.

Rail Attachment

Sons Of The Forest — Shotgun Rail Attachment

The Shotgun Rail Attachment is essential, allowing you to attach the other two upgrades. There are two locations where you can find the rail attachment in Sons Of The Forest:

  1. In a box at an abandoned campsite north of the Shotgun grave. You’ll know you’re there when you spot two white tents
  2. On the body of a soldier’s corpse east of the beach spawn point. It’s an abandoned campsite with red deflated boats near the shore (the Machete can be found here as well)

As always, we’d advise you to consult the Sons Of The Forest interactive map if you can’t find these places purely via pictures. 

Flashlight & Laser Sight Attachments

These two are some of the best attachments you can put on your ranged weapons in Sons Of The Forest. The Flashlight illuminates even the darkest corner of a cave, and the laser sight helps with general hip-fire accuracy. There are a few locations to look out for:

  1. One Flashlight Attachment can be found on a soldier’s corpse in the cave where you find the shovel (Requires the Rebreather and Rope Gun)
  2. Another Flashlight Attachment can be found next to the Pistol on the first level of the Residential Bunker (Requires the Guest Keycard to access)
  3. The Laser Sight Attachment is next to the 3D Printer on a table inside Maintenance Bunker A (Requires a Shovel)

The Pistol is the only other weapon supporting the Flashlight and Laser Sight attachments. If you want more clarity on the attachment locations mentioned above, we’d recommend checking out our Pistol guide.

Tips and tricks for using the Shotgun

Sons Of The Forest — Tips and Tricks with the Shotgun

Seeing how powerful shotguns are in nearly every other game, they won’t act differently in Sons Of The Forest. It should be your go-to ranged weapon for close-quarters combat, and it will destroy anything standing in your way. Knowing this, you should avoid wasting your buckshot ammo on enemies in the distance. 

Slug shells are a different story, though. Slug ammo is suited more for longer-range engagements, and you should use it if you want to engage mutants or cannibals from a distance. This is why you should always have a nice amount of slug ammo on hand. You never know when you’ll need it.

As for general tips, here are some key things to remember: 

  • Switching ammo types for the Shotgun can be done by looking down and Pressing the R key
  • Virginia can use the Shotgun against cannibals. The great part about this is that she has infinite shotgun ammo.
  • The Shotgun can only hold 8 shells at once. Make every shot count; reloading takes time
  • Watch how many shells you use and who you use them against. Buckshot shells work best against larger mutants like the Twins, Ronnies, Sluggy, or Demon
  • Slug shells deal more damage than buckshot rounds when used at their suitable range 
  • Don’t rely on the Shotgun too much. Your stash of ammo won’t last long if you use it for every engagement
  • Given how close you will be to your enemies, strafing movements are recommended when using the Shotgun

How to equip the Shotgun

Sons Of The Forest — Equipping the Shotgun

Once you’ve acquired the Shotgun, it will appear in your inventory. Here’s how you can equip it: 

  1. Open your inventory by pressing the default I key 
  2. Find the orange case above the crafting mat next to the black weapon case
  3. Select the Shotgun by clicking on it with the default Mouse 1 button
  4. Your inventory will be closed immediately, and the Shotgun will be equipped into your hands

How to add the Shotgun to the quick-select bag

Alternatively, if you’ve added the Shotgun 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 panning the inventory screen whenever you want to switch weapons. If you have the Shotgun in your quick-select bag, you can find it in the long weapon slot.

The Shotgun is considered a short weapon but can also be added to the long weapon slot. The long and short weapon slots can be found on the left side of the backpack and hold weapons such as the ChainsawCompound BowKatanaCrossbow, and more.

To add the Shotgun to the quick-select bag

Sons Of The Forest — Adding to the Quick-Select Bag

Adding weapons to the quick-select bag may not be clear to some. Here are the necessary steps

  1. Open your inventory
  2. Select and bring down your backpack
  3. Find the Shotgun in the orange case above the crafting mat and right-click to add it to the backpack
  4. The Shotgun can now be equipped as you pull up your quick-select menu in-game

If your quick-select menu is empty as you pick up the Shotgun, it might just get added to the backpack.

How to assign the Shotgun to a hotkey

The quick-select menu might be fast, but sometimes it’s not that efficient, especially not in the heat of battle. Additionally, there is a chance that every slot in your quick-select bag might already have a weapon or tool. This is when you should consider hotkey binding. 

You’re given the ability to assign the Shotgun to a hotkey. Follow these steps to get started:

  1. Open your inventory 
  2. Hover over the Shotgun with your mouse 
  3. Hold your mouse over the Shotgun and press 1 of 10 hotkeys (1-0) to assign it
  4. You’ll be able to press that specific hotkey whilst in-game and equip the Shotgun without needing to enter any additional menus


Can the Shotgun dismember cannibals or mutants?

Yes. The Shotgun can dismember the limbs of any incoming cannibals or mutants.

Can you give the Shotgun to Virginia?

Yes. Alongside the Pistol, Virginia can equip and use the Shotgun.

Can the Shotgun be dropped or traded?

No. The Shotgun cannot be dropped or traded in Sons Of The Forest.

How many shells does the Shotgun hold?

The amount of shells the Shotgun can hold is capped at 8. There are no attachments that increase its limit.

What attachments can you put on the Shotgun?

There are 3 attachments you can put on the Shotgun: the Shotgun Rail, Flashlight, and Laser Sight Attachment.

Final thoughts on the Shotgun

The Sons Of The Forest Shotgun offers an entirely new experience. A world full of various enemies is at your doorstep, and having a weapon like this will intensify and enhance the fun that awaits you. Getting the Shotgun might be difficult, but you won’t ever find yourself doubting its power and usefulness as a weapon. 

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About Digital Ghost

Dg is the founder and co-owner of Corrosion Hour, a niche gaming community established in 2016 focusing on the survival game RUST. He is an active and contributing member of numerous other RUST communities. As a community leader and server owner for over 15 years, he spends much of his time researching and writing guides about survival games, covering topics such as server administration, game mechanics, and community growth.

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