Top 10 Tips for Escape from Tarkov

By Abby Espiritu

First-person shooter action RPG Escape from Tarkov has reached a high level of fame in the gaming world as of late. But how does a game that hasn’t even officially been released yet and only currently offers a closed alpha version that was released nearly four years ago randomly become popular in 2020? Let’s catch you up to speed…

Escape from Tarkov (EFT) is currently in development by Battlestate Games, a Russian video game studio. It’s set in the fictional Norvinsk region in Russia and features life-like combat unlike past tactical FPS’s before it. For example, the game features location-specific damage, meaning that a gunshot to the leg will slow a player down, while an injury to the arm will result in poor aiming skills. The game’s battle gear is elaborate and complex, with a wide array of various gear to obtain and equip, and also features vast weapon customization options that allow for an unending number of permutations and combinations when it comes to building the perfect weapon. You have to be calculated and clever though, as there’s a risky aspect to the game, as players can loot your goods in a match. The game also features survival narrative qualities, such as the ability to forage for food to stay alive. 

Players can choose between playing as PMC or Scav, allowing for vastly unique gameplay experiences. Playing as PMC essentially means playing as your “main character”, while Scavs are more random and less personal. Each mode has a number of advantages and disadvantages when it comes to the game. 

Even though the game still hasn’t officially been released and is still in beta testing, its popularity skyrocketed on Twitch at the very end of 2019 after the update of the release of “the .12 patch” in its beta. The new update was accompanied by heavy marketing by Battlestate, which included a YouTube live-action miniseries that fills in the backstory to the game, as well as intense Twitch marketing that rewarded players with in-game bonuses just for watching big streamers like Dr. DisRespect play EFT.


Despite a long, seemingly never-ending journey towards development, Escape from Tarkov’s popularity (and notoriety) is still growing. If you’re looking to try out this FPS and need some help getting started, we at Gaming Top Tens have compiled a list of some of the best tips in Escape from Tarkov to get you started. While every player may be looking for something unique and may pursue their own gaming styles in their own playthrough, this guide is a great place to start for the player who is feeling a little lost and overwhelmed.

Below is a list of the Top 10 Tips for Escape from Tarkov.

10. Practice in Offline Mode

Top 10 Tips for Escape from Tarkov - Practice in Offline Mode
Escape From Tarkvov – Credit: Battlestate Games

Jumping in cold into Escape from Tarkov can be a pretty daunting task, and you may find yourself getting killed over and over again without proper experience and practice. Luckily, the game offers a handy “offline mode” which allows players to familiarize themselves with the game without the pressure and fear of constantly dying. Offline mode is a fantastic way to practice fighting against Scavs, get a sense of maps, and learn the best routes and extraction points. Since offline mode is basically considered “training,” you won’t earn any XP or loot while playing, so keep that in mind. Don’t plan on spending too much time in offline mode, but definitely put aside some time in the beginning of your Escape from Tarkov journey so you can be fully prepared for the real thing when you’re ready.

9. Don’t get “Tarkov Gear Fear”

Top 10 Tips for Escape from Tarkov - Don’t get “Tarkov Gear Fear”
Escape From Tarkvov – Credit: Battlestate Games

“Tarkov Gear Fear” has been known to stop both novice and experienced players, so try your best to get over this as soon as possible. Luckily, there are a few ways to quell this source of anxiety. Firstly, know that money should not be a huge hindrance. Low-mid tier guns are pretty cheap, and if you’re ever in a pickle for money it’s quite easy to do a hatchling run or two to grab some extra resources. Don’t make the mistake of hoarding all your gear and don’t be afraid of losing it either. Gaining new gear and losing it is a natural part of the game, and dropping the “Tarkov Gear Fear” mindset will not only make your playthroughs immensely more exciting but overall more satisfying and enjoyable. Be sure to enjoy the game to its full potential and use your gear to the fullest extent!

8. Use Gear Insurance

Top 10 Tips for Escape from Tarkov - Use Gear Insurance
Escape From Tarkvov – Credit: Battlestate Games

Going off of Tip #9 and “Gear Fear,” be sure to take advantage of gear insurance during your playthroughs. Players can insure their gear, and if they die in a raid they might have the chance to get the item back. This can be very useful with rare and top-tier weapons that you don’t’ want to lose. However, while gear insurance can be helpful, remember that there is a caveat. Players will only receive insured items if it isn’t taken from the raid. In other words, if you die in battle and someone loots you and your insured items, you won’t get those items back. However, if the person who loots you also dies, you will receive your insured items back. If this is the case, you will receive a message sometime the following day to claim them. Additionally, another great strategy if you’re worried about dying and losing your insured gear is to hide items strategically on the map, in hidden areas like corners where it’s unlikely to be found. This is a good way to raise your chances of receiving your items back after death.

7. Experiment as a Scav

Top 10 Tips for Escape from Tarkov - Experiment as a Scav
Escape From Tarkvov – Credit: Battlestate Games

While most people will probably choose to play as PMC’s, it’s a good idea to also try your hand playing as a Scav as well. Why? Well, if you die while playing as a PMC, you will lose all your items, no matter what. Yeah, you can take Tip #8’s advice and insure them for a chunk of change, but even then there’s no guarantee you’re getting your stuff back. However, if you’re playing as a Scav, and manage to kill just one PMC, you can loot their gear and stock up on goods. Sure, Scavs start off pretty weak with the most minimal item supply, but it’s easy to change that pretty quickly. Plus, if you complete an extraction as a Scav, you get to keep all the gear you looted on your main character. 

6. Play Both Passive and Aggressive

Escape From Tarkvov – Credit: Battlestate Games

Along the same lines of trying out playing as both as PMC and Scav, you should alternate between passive and aggressive play. Obviously, each player is different and you’ll need to adapt your style to your own needs, interests, and experience levels. Stealthy, passive playing may take a little longer to achieve results, but have really amazing long-term effects once you figure out how your opponents move and operate. Hardcore, aggressive playing can have great short-term effects, but also might get you killed because of a silly mistake. In general, a good rule of thumb to remember is to play sneakily and passively before combat, and then amp up the fighting and aggression after contact with opponents has been made. It’s also a smart move to play aggressively whenever you notice parties fighting in the distant, as you’ll be safe from their combat.

5. Pay Attention To Sound

Escape From Tarkvov – Credit: Battlestate Games

Escape from Tarkov delivers its audio in stereo and sound is an incredibly vital part of the game. Bearing that in mind, you’ll want to make sure your sound levels on your computer are up while playing in order to hear every little thing, from footsteps to and other sounds made by other players and characters. But sound is also important in-game as well. The Peltor ComTac 2 headsets amplify low-level sounds while simultaneously suppressing impulse noises as well. The headsets are also water-resistant, enabling you to use them outdoors. It’s recommended to procure and use them if you can so you don’t miss anything sound-wise while playing! 

4. Learn Map Spawns

Escape From Tarkvov – Credit: Battlestate Games

Though spawns can be confusing and risky, it’s a good idea to learn them, this allows you to get an idea of enemy spawns. Before spawning, it’s a good idea to have a map of your location. When you spawn, be sure to pay attention to your spawn location as well as where other PMC’s may have spawned. Once you have an idea of where spawns are, you can get an idea regarding where to expect enemy spawns and what angles to be aware of during a raid. Once a raid’s begun, enemies could be at their spawn point, moving towards you, or going towards another spawn point. Therefore, being aware of spawn locations can ultimately help you when it comes to enemies. The same idea applies for Scav enemies as well. You can find a really good map of customs here!

3. Know what/when to loot

Escape From Tarkvov – Credit: Battlestate Games

Looting is the main way for players to procure everything from gear, weapons, and items. While each player will have their own priorities when it comes to figuring out exactly what to spend time finding, here are a couple of tips in case you’re overwhelmed. Quests are extremely important (more on that in Tip #1) so it’s not a bad idea to focus on looting for quest items when you can. Other important things to keep an eye out for are keys, bitcoins, statuses, GPU’s, and anything with “gold” in it. You’ll want to loot as many small valuable items as possible to help max out your income. If you need some help figuring out what is worth what, check out the Flea Market and other traders to get a sense of pricing. Only grab basic looting items if you absolutely need them, like for trading purposes and such. Also, if you’re interested in looting a kill, you should be sure to clear an area entirely first. That way, you won’t need to worry about accidentally dying and losing all the loot you’ve just accumulated.

2. Level up trader loyalty

Buying items isn’t the only important thing when it comes to traders. Building and maintaining a great relationship with them is also good rule of thumb. The more traders like you, the better your chances of getting some pretty sweet deals and goods. Make sure to get your trader loyalty levels up. This can lead to the ability to purchase large numbers of new items from a trader. There are several things to do when leveling your loyalty. First, be sure to level up your traders. Boost your reputation and spend some cash on a trader to help with that. Second, level up your cash spend and reputation. Trading is a two-way street, and traders will appreciate it if you have any goods to sell to them. Each trader has different interests and tastes, so be sure to keep that in mind when selling back goods. Lastly, and probably the most important when it comes to leveling trader loyalty, is to do quests. More on that in our last tip…

1. Do quests

Escape From Tarkvov – Credit: Battlestate Games

Quests are a huge part of Escape from Tarkov. Completing quests is easily the quickest way to earn XP. Even completing one quest can help you earn tens of thousands of points. Quests can also reward players with the following benefits: leveling up trader reputation, which can help with unlocking new trader loyalty levels (more details on that in Tip #2); special quest-locked items (or items that can only be unlocked to purchase after a quest is completed); and, of course, money and items in prizes. Each quest is unique, though they usually will involve something along the lines of picking up something for a trader, killing operators, or marking off specific places and vehicles.


While this list is a great starting point for players, it’s important to remember that everyone’s playthrough experience is unique. These tips and tricks can also be customized to fit your own needs. But hopefully, this short guide has provided some assistance and insight on some tips to get you started in your own playthrough of Escape from Tarkov.

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