This is the million ruble question in Escape from Tarkov. Tarkov is a different genre of game depending on how you play it. Tarkov is a mixture between a hardcore FPS, a large scale MMORPG, or a Tertis mini-game if you’re into that sort of thing.
As obvious as it might sound, the ultimate goal is exactly what it says on the tin. You need to escape, get out, Exfil, survive.
ps. If you are a Tarkov veteran and have some tips for new players, please do drop a comment below. The best thing about this game is the great community around it and people being happy to help.
What do you do in Escape from Tarkov?
In Escape from Tarkov, you enter into a ‘raid’ with your character, carrying whatever gear you have equipped yourself with prior to queuing up. You get dropped into the map you’ve chosen during the time window you selected (day or night). You then have the duration of that raid, which is around 30-40 minutes to grab whatever you can and get to your designated extract points. If you survive, you get to keep and use/sell all the precious loot you found. If you die, then all of your gear is then there to be taken and extracted by anyone left alive (most likely by whoever killed you).
The best comparison I could make for a new player is that Escape from Tarkov is like taking a really hardcore survival game (like DayZ) and concentrating it down into 30-40 windows of high action PvP.
Is Escape from Tarkov PvP or PvE?
It’s both! When you join a raid, you’ll be placed in with other players as well as a bunch of AI enemies called Scavs. As a PMC (Private Military Company, basically your main character) you will spawn at the beginning of the raid with pretty much the full time left, and at the same time as other PMCs.
What the difference between a PMC and a Scav?
A PMC is your character, where you get to control the gear you go in with. On the other side, a Scav is a Tarkov local that walks about, equipped with random gear and will shoot all PMCs on sight.
What you need to understand about Escape from Tarkov, is that you’re going to die. You’re going to die a lot and you’re going to lose a lot of your stuff. The average survival rate even for some of the best players is around 20-40% and that’s OK.
What exactly is a Scav in Escape from Tarkov?
When you enter a raid, if you select Scav you will be spawned into a raid with other players but your gear will be completely random and always on the bad – average side of things. You won’t be hostile to other AI-controlled Scavs and if you manage to escape then your PMC will get to keep all of the gear you escape with. Keep it in mind, anything you don’t transfer to your stash at the end of a Scav run will be lost forever. It’s essentially a super low-risk mode of the game and can be really useful as a warm-up game, to learn a map or just to make a bit of extra cash.
As a Scav you can spawn in randomly at a timeslot throughout the raid, sometimes even with only 10 minutes left.
Our advice for a new player would be to Scav often, it’s a great way to learn. The only thing to keep in mind is that there’s a ~20-minute timer between Scav runs so you can use that time to organise your inventory or make a cup of tea.
Tip: If you load into a Scav run and see a white Labs Keycard, make a b-line straight for the exit, they sell for upwards of 150k.
Escape from Tarkov is whatever you want it to be
A little bit cliche, maybe, but it’s kind of true. If you want to play the market in Escape from Tarkov you can! Just sit in the Flea Market (Player to Player marketplace) and build fat stacks. If you want to go full Sam Fisher and stealth about on night maps with night vision goggles and a silenced pistol, you can (check out FairTX’s video where he does this, it’s amazing). If you want to load up with all the thickest armour and weapons and human tank it (sorry Polygon) then you absolutely can.
Just remember one thing. Escape from Tarkov is not a forgiving game. If you get easily frustrated and go through a number of keyboards per year then it may not be the game for you. But even still it’s worth giving some time.
Something in Escape from Tarkov one day just clicks. You start to feel more comfortable in the game and dying and losing all your gear, isn’t the end of the world.
Take your time, recognise that it’s not a standard FPS game and there is a high risk.
Our resident YouTuber Hudson has quite a few good gameplay videos to give you an idea. Here’s one of my favourites of a small squad game where we only took pistols into one of the hottest sections of the map Customs.