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What is Escape From Tarkov? Everything to know about the game

by | Feb 12, 2022

Reading Time: 3 min.
Reading Time: 3 min.

This hardcore survival-shooter game from a Russian developer has taken the gaming community by storm, but what exactly is Escape From Tarkov? Here’s everything you need to know about this increasingly popular game.

What is Escape From Tarkov?

Escape From Tarkov is a hardcore survival shooter from Russian developer Battlestate Games that borrows elements from roleplaying games including quests, upgradable skills, and other similar ideas. With a massive range of weapons, armor, loot, and tasks to accomplish, Escape From Tarkov has given many FPS fans exactly what they’ve been yearning for. In Escape From Tarkov, you take on the role of a private military contractor, or PMC, in the post-civil dissolution city of Tarkov. In the game you make your way through a variety of dangerous locales filled with other players and AI to complete quests, find loot, and tap heads.

In Escape From Tarkov, you have two options of how to play. You can choose to pilot your own PMC, a persistent character whose gear you equip before loading into the game that becomes more powerful the more you play. The other option is to choose to be a Scav, short for scavenger, one of the AI hooligans who pepper each of Escape From Tarkov’s maps. Either way, your goal is to make it from one side of the map to the other, engaging in gunfights, finding loot, and hopefully living to tell the tale.

Scavs load in with poor quality loot that only improves bit by bit as you play more Scav games. Be careful not to kill the allied AI Scavs, or you’ll risk ruining your reputation to the point that they will no longer be your allies when you load in. Not every Scav is controlled by a player, and most have rudimentary AI that play the role of the most basic opposition for PMCs.

PMCs are where the true game is played. As a PMC, the gear you take into a raid can be lost forever should you die without your gear being insured. PMCs can complete quests on maps for NPC traders, as well as build a fully customized loadout before the game. Your PMC has a collection of gear to pick from before loading into a game, and the gear you successfully take out of a match will come with you. At the same time, gear that is lost during a match is gone and you’ll likely never see it again.

Every couple of months, Escape From Tarkov fully wipes player progress ahead of a big update, and everyone begins their journey again from the same starting point.

Which version of Escape From Tarkov should you buy?

There are three versions of Escape From Tarkov available for purchase, each mounting in price as well as in-game rewards. You can upgrade versions at any time by paying the difference between your current version and the version you would like to upgrade to in order to collect its additional benefits.

The Standard edition is $44.99 and provides the very basics required to play the game. This is the recommended version for fans going in blind who are unsure of if they want to invest into Escape From Tarkov in the long term. The Left Behind edition will run fans $74.99 and increases the size of the player’s loot stash as well as providing more starting resources.

The third option is the Prepare For Escape edition. This option also increases the player’s stash size and ups their starting supplies and equipment as well. Finally, the Edge of Darkness edition will run fans $139.99 and includes a huge stash, separate rewards with traders, and access to any future paid downloadable content.

Those wanting to try out the game should dip their toes in with the Standard edition and upgrade as they see fit once they know if they enjoy the game’s punishing and hardcore style of play.

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