I was learning how to play PVP better with the bow in Rust and I realised that there’s a lot to mastering the bow, so I made this guide about tips to PVP better with the bow. Everyone starts at the beach and if you want to make it out of the spawn area alive, you might need to learn how to be a good bow player.

The faster you can progress from a bow to guns, the faster you will reach endgame. This is perhaps one of the biggest hurdles and some players can spend nearly all wipe trying to get a gun. With these tips, you will most likely speed up your primitive progression and your skills on the bow. Read How To Train Your Aim In Rust.

Master The Jump Shot

The jump shot is a very strong mechanic to master with the bow. If you hold down right click and then jump, your player will retract the arrow and you can shoot it mid air. This is great for being mobile in a bow fight and forcing your opponent to miss.

Jumping around and still being able to hit accurate shots is a great skill to learn, especially if you can manage to hit headshots while in mid air shooting down on them. Learn the timing of when you should shoot your arrow in the air if you want to improve this skill.

Jumping can mess up your hitbox slightly and make it harder to be hit, dodging a single hit from your enemy can determine if you win your bow fight or not. More times than not in a bow fight you are trading consecutive hits with one another, to be able to have a lead in hits is what will win you the fight.

Bow Jump Shot

Bow Movement for PVP

Now this is one of the most important parts to learn about being a good PVP bow player. If you don’t move around much or become static in a bow fight, you will get headshot and die very fast. The trick is to keep moving no matter what and only stop to shoot your arrow.

With some practice you will be able to accurately shoot your arrow when only stopping for a second to shoot. There are a lot of different ways to abuse movement in Rust.You can run in one direction and then stop to make your opponent shoot in front of you as he is trying to lead the arrow.

This is great to do when you are reloading another arrow, run in multiple directions and stagger your steps so your opponent misses. Another thing you can do is strafe shooting. This is where you run in a certain direction again, but this time you only stop when you are ready to shoot your arrow.

Then quickly stop and fire a quick shot at your target before he can take advantage of the fact that you are static. Doing this is great to keep moving and not allow your opponent to have any easy shots on you, especially if they know how the stagger trick.

Bow PVP movement

Make Them Miss First

I have mentioned the importance of keeping a arrow hit lead on your target, this is why making your enemy miss first is crucial.

If you can combine the tips above and use good movement to make your opponent miss, you just have to hit your shot and then you have a one hit advantage in the fight. Fighting with a one hit advantage means to win, you just have to hit a few body shots and keep up your good movement so you don’t get head shot.

Getting headshot or if you miss is the only way they can equalize the fight. Make sure you take your time and take easy shots if you have an arrow hit advantage.

Bow PVP predict shot

Bow Prediction Shots

Being a good PVP player with the bow is also a lot about predicting your opponents movement and having a good lead on the arrow. When you are able to predict where your opponent will move when in a bow fight, you can hit really easy shots.

You can also predict when he will stay still and get an easy shot on him, perhaps he is about to take a shot and just before he does he will stand still. The bow has a specific travel time and bullet drop. A player that becomes comfortable with these things will be the better bow aimer.

Aiming with the bow isn’t about pointing at the target, it is more about predicting where they will run and shooting in a spot that they run into. The further away a target is, the more you should lead with your bow as they are running.

Take Advantage Of High ground

In nearly all games it is an advantage to maintain high ground over your enemies, same as in Rust.

With the bow especially, it is very easy to beat someone in a fight if you have high ground over them. One of the reasons why it is so deadly with the bow is because hitting bow headshots is what wins you bowfights and this is easier to do when you are aiming down on an opponent.

When a player stops for a second below you, that is your time to hit an easy headshot onto him. Then when he is tagged with a headshot and also in the open, it only takes another one or two body shots to take him down. Playing the angle correctly will allow high ground to also protect your legs and most of your torso. Use rocks and ledges to cover your body and only expose your head, while your target is fully exposed.

Crouch and un crouch to do fast peeks and take cover in between arrow shots. A lot of the beaches have cliffs, use this to your advantage when looking for high ground in the spawn area.

Bow High Ground

Hit The First Headshot

If you can nail the first headshot with the bow, your chances of winning the fight just skyrocketed.

One bow headshot gives you a two or three body shot lead against the other player. Bow fights are back and forth tagging each other, hitting the headshot before they do will secure the win faster. Headshots with the bow can be difficult, I suggest you practice against bots or players on Rust aim training servers. These can be found in the modded section of the server list.

Use Food During Bow PVP

In the primitive stages of Rust, most people have a bow and some bandages to heal.

However, bandages take a long time to heal and there is no time to do it in a fight. If you use food instead, you can heal while fighting by pressing the food in your hotbar. Foods that are easily accessible in the spawn zone and provide the most health are mushrooms, corn or pumpkins.

Look for a river on the map near a beach, corn and pumpkins grow rapidly around there. Stock up and craft a bow then start going into bowfights with an advantage. Having the ability to heal while fighting with a bow will force your opponent to either run and bandage or continue fighting at a health disadvantage, either way is favorable for you.

Rust Spam Food in PVP

Conclusion

Mastering the bow in Rust is simple but it's not easy. There are a few tips and tricks to the bow that will make you instantly become a better bow PVP player just by having the knowledge of them. Most players don't know how to use the bow properly, these tips will give you an advantage going in.

Always be mobile and think about your elevation when you are engaging in bow fights. Aiming with the bow is more about predicting where your opponent will move and giving the arrow enough lead in front of the target. Instead of purely aiming towards their player model.