Welcome to Tarkov!
I’ve seen some recent curiosity geared toward Escape From Tarkov, and being an active player myself, I figured I’d give a basic crash course of the game so you know what your $60-150 investment gives you.
What is it?
Tarkov is essentially a survival shooter, but with a bit more going on. You start with whatever gear your package comes with and your goal is to level up your character and traders by successfully extracting from a raid/scenario/encounter, whatever you want to call it. There are quests you need to complete from the traders in order to level them up and get more powerful gear. They key mechanic in the game is that if you bring any gear into a raid, you risk losing it by dying. If you escape the raid, you keep all of your gear plus any items you picked up in the raid. It’s important to always fill up your inventory, even with junk, as it’s always better to come out with anything rather than nothing. Bear in mind, if you get beat up pretty bad but aren’t loaded up on junk, it’s best to extract so you don’t lose your current gear.
What is a raid?
A raid is the scenario you enter when you decide to play. There’s currently four maps out now, Customs, Shoreline, Factory, and Woods, each with a selectable time to play, usually day or night. Your goal is to extract with either more gear and items than what you came in with, quest items to complete objectives, or both. Each map has its own player count plus respawning AI called Scavs. Different spawn points have different extractions. It’s important to study maps and practice in offline mode to find the extractions. All maps have one standard extraction plus some others that have certain prerequisites.
AI? Gross, I want PvP!
Rest assured, there is ample PvP and the Scavs are very, very lethal AI. Not all Scavs are AI, however. About halfway thru the raid, player Scavs can spawn in. All PMCs are players, and are identifiable by their uniform. USECs wear all green BDU, BEARs where a black long sleeve shirt. In the future, PMC faction will matter, but for now just blast everybody.
I keep dying and ran out of gear, now what?
The devs thought this out. When your stash gets low enough, Prapor will give you a free AKS-74U and some ammo. In addition, you can play as a Scav every 30 minutes. You can either load in and loot, or just book it to extraction. Scavs have a different extraction than PMCs.
I don’t understand how getting shot works, why can’t I heal my leg?
Right, so the medical system in this game is pretty intense. When you get shot, a few things happen. You’ll be bleeding, you may have 0 HP in a limb, you may have a tremor in your head. What do you do? To fix bleeding, you need bandages, duh. To restore HP in a non “blacked out” part, you need to use any type of medkit, most of you will have the AI-2 medkit, the “piece of cheese” as we call it in the bizz. Other medkits are the CAR, Salewa, IFAK, and the Grizzly. If a part has 0 HP and is “blacked out,” you cannot restore HP. The only way to not be affected is to take painkillers and morphine. Painkillers last 4 minutes, morphine lasts 8, so you wanna move fast. Be sure to read the medkits, as they heal differently and some even bandage, so you won’t even need to take your bandaids. If you ever fracture a limb, you’ll need a splint to get it working again. Fracturing and blacking out are different. If you have a symbol called Fresh Wounds, simply do not sprint, it’ll heal on its own. Lastly, if you have a tremor in your head, take painkillers and book it. This is unstoppable and only slowed by painkillers and morphine. Also keep an eye on your food and thirst meter. They aren’t usually a problem unless you’re in a raid for over thirty minutes.
This is a lot of info, I don’t think this game is for me…
That’s because it may not be. EFT is very unforgivable and hard to learn, and certainly a niche game. It doesn’t take grind so much as it takes patience. You will die. You will lose everything. But you’ll learn and recover. Every major patch the devs do a server wipe and reset everyone to their starting package. This is to test new balances in the major updates. This is only a taste of the information I’ve learned in the game. I didn’t go over ammo types, weapon handling and modding, armor types, package differences, looting tips, etc. If it sounds like your game and you wanna learn it, awesome! You can usually find me in the discord server. If it’s not your game, hey, no biggie, glad I could save you some cash.
If you made it this far, thanks for reading my wall of text, and I’m glad to help out however I can. Stay cheeki.