A device used to launch an emergency beacon into the air. Fires Flare Shells.
In-game description

The distress pistol, often called a flare gun, is a break action, single shot weapon that can be used to distract or scare away wildlife.

Overview Edit

The distress pistol fires glowing red balls of light and noise that are effective at deterring hostile wildlife from attacking the player. The distress pistol is significantly more inaccurate than the hunting rifle or survival bow. Similar to the revolver, the distress pistol serves as a defensive weapon, as it will deter any animal--including bears--from attacking when fired.

Locations Edit

Distress pistols are found inside orange cases accompanied by up to 8 flare shells, which are used as ammunition. Distress pistol cases are located inside the Tail Section of the airplane at the Summit of Timberwolf Mountain and in the yellow train car fallen to the bottom of the Ravine Basin. As of the Episode 3 update, a case may also spawn at the Pleasant Valley plane crash site.

Distress pistols can also be found near frozen corpses such at Peak Cave in Hushed River Valley even if it, in this case, spawns rarely.

In The Hunted, Part One, there is a case in the basement near where that scenario begins. 

In Wintermute Edit

In the first mission of Episode 1, if the player chooses to put the Distress Pistol Kit onto the floatplane, the kit will appear on the ground near Mackenzie's Crashed Plane in the subsequent mission.

When the player travels to the Carter Hydro Dam in Episode 2, the distress pistol will always be found in the first floor bathroom.

When exploring the plane crash in Episode 3. The player can find a distress pistol with 7 rounds in one of the planes.

Use Edit

The distress pistol is a ranged weapon and is equipped by selecting the "2" key on PC. The pistol holds only one round at a time and must be reloaded manually after it is fired. Aim while holding the "RMB", click "LMB" to fire. Reload with "R".

The launched flares are low velocity and arc significantly while travelling forward before impacting a surface. Flares that hit surfaces at an oblique angle glance off the surface, and can bounce around before coming to a rest. Flares that hit surfaces at perpendicular angles stick in place. The round burns brightly for 20 game minutes and emits localized smoke, but the player cannot interact with the round. Spent rounds remain visible even after they have burnt out.

Animals Edit

Animals within hearing range of the flare shot flee immediately. Additionally, animals within visual distance of the impact site of the launched flare will also flee.

Flares that impact an animal directly stick to the animal, causing a bleeding wound that will eventually kill the creature. Tracking the so affected animal is made easy due to the fact that it now glows bright red and leaves a smoke trail in addition to drops of blood.

Animals wounded by the distress pistol bleed faster than from other more traditional ranged weapon wounds.

Bleed out time Edit

Wildlife take a specific amount of time to bleed out, as follows:

Zone Hit Bear Deer Wolf
Head 30 minutes immediately immediately
Chest 50 minutes 15 minutes 30 minutes
Hind 120 minutes  ????  ????
Foot 140 minutes  ????  ????

Game history Edit

The distress pistol was introduced on 16 December 2015 in version 0.298 also known as the Timberwolf Mountain update.

Trivia Edit

  • The flare round that is launched and glows is a model of the shell part of the ammunition that should have been left in the gun after firing.
  • The distress pistol closely resembles the real-life Orion flare gun.


Cooking Can openerCooking potRecycled can
Fire Starting
Starter FirestrikerMagnifying lens
Accelerant AccelerantJerry canLantern fuel
Ice Fishing Fishing tackleHookLine
Hand Tools
Standard HacksawHatchetHeavy hammerHunting knifePrybar
Improvised Improvised hatchetImprovised knife
Weapon Distress pistolHunting rifleRevolverSurvival bowStone
Ammunition Flare shellRevolver ammunitionRifle roundSimple arrow
Lighting FlareFlashlightMarine flareStorm lanternTorch
Mending Quality toolsRifle cleaning kitSewing kitSimple toolsWhetstone
Sleep Bear skin bedrollBedroll
Story Jeremiah's knifeScrap metal shard
Other CharcoalMountaineering ropeSnare
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