The rifle's range allows it to wound or kill animals from relatively safe distances.
The hunting rifle is a tool used to fire rifle rounds at targets. The high-velocity rounds travel in a straight line and can cause massive internal injuries to the first object they encounter, potentially killing animals instantly. If a shot hits the targeted animal (indicated by a spurt of blood) but fails to immediately kill it, the round will still usually result in a bleeding wound that will leave a blood trail on the ground. Over the course of several game hours, the wound will eventually kill the animal. Expended rounds disappear.
- The rifle currently has a maximum range of approximately fifty paces with a Beginner Firearms skill. Targets beyond the maximum range cannot be hit.
- Hitting a fleshy target will produce a blood spray effect.
- Hitting a solid target will produce a smoke effect often accompanied with a "clank" sound.
- Hitting most environmental targets will produce a snow scatter effect.
Players need certain types of equipment before they can start practicing the firearms skill.
The hunting rifle is an aimable tool used to fire rifle rounds at targets. The rifle's condition will degrade about 1.333% per shot. Rifles can be repaired by using a firearm cleaning kit to keep the weapon in optimal condition.
Rifle ammunition for hunting rifles is only renewable with the Ammunition Workbench, which can be found in the Bleak Inlet region. The rifle holds a maximum of 10 rounds at a time, and can be loaded with 5 round stripper clips; rounds will be loaded individually if there are 6 or more rounds in the magazine or if the player has fewer than 5 rounds. Loading will continue until interrupted by clicking or canceling or until the magazine is fully loaded.
- Main article: Hunting
Hunting animals to kill and then harvest their flesh is an efficient means to acquire food and materials in The Long Dark. Shooting animals with projectiles, such as rifle ammunition, is the most effective way to kill game while completely bypassing the animals' natural defenses. Rifle shots move too quickly to be blocked or dodged and can be fired from outside the animal's zone of perception.
Critical hits are random occurrences, but are more likely in an animal's designated critical areas. Shots to the head and neck seem to have the best chance to cause a critical hit, with shots to the front shoulder and chest being second. Shots to the feet are immune to critical hits.
Direct hits to an animal with a rifle round that are not a critical hit will cause a bleeding wound. Animals will bleed out according to which area they were shot in. Multiple shots to the same area will not make the animal bleed out any faster. However, shooting an animal in an area that bleeds faster than a previous wound it has already received will cause it to bleed out as if the faster wound were caused when the first wound was.
|Deer||Instant||45 minutes||60 minutes||240 minutes|
|Wolf||Instant||Instant||60 minutes||120 minutes|
|Bear||60 minutes||240 minutes||360 minutes||480 minutes|
- Moose do not bleed out.
Rifle Skill is increased by scoring hits on live wildlife with the Hunting Rifle, or by fully reading the research books "Frontier Shooting Guide" or "Advanced Guns Guns Guns!". Multiple copies of each book can be read, each granting skill points when fully read.
- A rifle round striking a live animal (except crows) grants 1 skill point.
- Frontier Shooting Guide grants 5 skill points (4 hours of reading), but only to a maximum of Level 3.
- Advanced Guns Guns Guns! grants 10 skill points (25 hours of reading).
Once players have reached a new skill level, they unlock the effects described in the table below.
- The rifle can't be used with a sprained wrist.
- Bullets are more likely to cause a critical wound, reducing bleed-out time.
- Bullets cause less bleeding than an arrow, creating additional bleed-out time.
- Firing the rifle indoors will cause temporary deafness.
- The rifle is dropped during a struggle.