Escape from Tarkov tips - in-depth guide for the EfT
Welcome to our Escape from Tarkov tips guide. In this one, we will try to give you some guidelines to make you better at Battlestate Games EFT, while also making sure that you have the right mindset going into this game. There are plenty of ways of playing Escape from Tarkov, individual for many players, and most of them are maybe not necessarily wrong, but they will not really be as effective as some of the best possible playstyles. We will not tell you about them. Figure out real-life military tactics yourself. Our objective is to get you closer to understanding what you will have to bash into your head to make you better at escaping Tarkov. As simple as that.
Manage your Global Inventory properly
Each EFT player has a global inventory tied to their account. And you should keep it in the best state possible. This game was released with a few editions, and each version comes with different inventory space. Players already proved that if you can manage your inventory correctly, having a Standard Edition global inventory is more than enough to play Escape from Tarkov without gear issues. Managing is simple; make sure that your items take as little space as possible. For example, mounting an RDS on your weapon will not increase the space needed for this weapon to be put by inventory, so generally - if you have loose RDS, you should put them on any weapons available. On the other hand, items like magazines and grips do increase the size of a gun in the inventory. It is why grips and magazines should be taken off. It will free up about three inventory slots.
Leave 2x1 vertical free space during raids
It seems like a no-brainer, but it's essential if you want to keep your magazines in check. Every item that you possess has to have its place in your character's inventory. That's understandable. But since you spawned with a gun that already has a magazine in it, where will the magazine go after you try to reload? Exactly. That 2x1 free space in your inventory makes your first magazine jump into your inventory, instead of dropping onto the ground. If your inventory is loaded with stuff, that magazine you've just ejected will be dropped, and you surely don't want that. So keep that in mind when preparing for a raid.
Use your Secure Container
As you already know, you will lose all of your items upon death. You can protect yourself from it with insurance, but it depends on enemies, whether they loot your body or not. But there are special containers features that will transfer items inside back to your Stash, so you don't lose them when you die. Place the most valuable items right there. Maybe there was a scope you've been fishing for or the best ammo that you don't want to use on that weapon, and your priority is to extract it? It is the thing that you want to use to ensure that you can use it next time you spawn on the map.
Keep your items in shape
Repair your items regularly. If you don't, you are wack. Your body armor will withstand less damage, your guns will be worse, they will be more likely to jam during firefights, and you will become less effective in all combat scenarios. Of course, the maximum durability will always decrease, so you will have to search for new stuff from time to time, but try to repair your items after extracting. It's necessary, and it can save your life in the future.
Wear a Helmet, will ya?
Exactly what the title says. If you don't wear a helmet, you will always die with one hit to the head. Each helmet has a small chance of ricocheting bullets. Really small. But when it happens, your armor, as well as your head, won't receive any damage.
Know the Items
You will be using Escape from Tarkov Wiki A LOT. Especially when it comes to search for extraction exit points and items. But let's talk about items. There are lots of items in this game. From simple medical stuff, to loot, various types of ammo, attachments for weapons, pieces of armor, weapons, magazines, clips, misc items, tradable and exchangeable goods, cosmetic and functional items. You will not know what to sell and what to stock up on.
And that's when the Wiki website comes in. For example, you can find a Soap. Should you sell it? Give it to your guy so he can drop it at a proper time? Should you stock up on it? Wiki will hold all the answers when it comes to how items can be used. What in the seven hells should you do with Toilet Paper? Ah, it's one of the misc items that can be exchanged for Ak-74, Grizzly First Aid Kit, or 6B5-15 Zh-86 "Uley" armored rig or a Camper Axe. What about a Spark Plug? You can't drive cars in this game! It ain't DayZ! But it's one of the quest items that have to be handed over, and you can trade it for a PSO 4x24 Scope or a 30rnd magazine for AK-74. Always check on items when you get them, and you don't know what they are for, because you can pick a valuable mag from the body, and ignore an item that could be more useful, or even sold for money that would buy you several of those mags. In general, Purple items are the most valuable, but it also depends on who you sell it to.
Learn the Traders and Items
No, I don't want you to remember the price of every specific item. I want you to know about Traders, and how much are they willing to pay for the stuff that you want to sell. In general, you should follow these Trading guidelines:
Prapor - Pays less than Mechanic when it comes to Weapons and Ammo, but you sell it to him when you want to level him up
Therapist - Pays the most for Misc items and Medical goods
Fence - Pays the least amount of money but you can sell items that can't be sold to any other trader
Skier - The best deal for selling Vests, Backpacks, Armor, Helmets, Weapon Attachments
Peacekeeper - Sell to him when you need Dollars, or you want to level him up.
Mechanic - Pays the most for Weapons, Ammo, and Weapon Mods that Skier doesn't want to buy
Ragman - Clothing gear, not really worth it, but useful when you want to level him up, and you WILL want to level him up.
Jaeger - I have yet to unlock him, but some legends say that this lad has some good stuff.
Some items are in high demand on the Flea Market. Especially when it comes to Body Armor and Helmets, people will pay a lot for a good piece of protection. Armors from the mid-tier range can be sold for 200k Roubles in a blink of an eye.
So you have to not only know what to sell to which Trader, but what items you should not sell to traders, and instead use the Flea Market to get more money for your repairs and modding.
Learn Weapon Modding (and build the Workbench)
Weapon modding is a massive part of Escape from Tarkov. Except for the screws, every part of the gun can be removed and replaced. And it's an essential thing to know what you should look for when it comes to attachments, as a single replaced part can make or break your weapon when it comes to firepower, accuracy, and reliability. Do you want to become a killing machine? Then you should have one in your grip at all times as well.
You should start with building your Workbench in your hideout, as it makes weapon modding very convenient and quick. You will be able to compare your weapon parts quickly, and even create your weapon presets, so you don't have to remember what attachments have you used for that weapon that felt good in your hands.
Each gun has its stats, and those are very important. There's a vast difference between a wild, jumpy, and unstable AK-74M, and a true AK-74M that with proper attachments shoots like a laser gun that can be easily controlled, even when you are moving as you shoot. Weapons have stats that are affected by the parts that you put on them, and sometimes - even ammo can affect how your guns feel. There are quite a few things that you should look out for when it comes to weapon properties:
Ergonomics - This one is critical, as it affects three things when it comes to your weapon handling. Having higher Ergonomics will lower the sound that your gun makes when you ADS (aim down sights), increase the speed of ADSing, and reduce the stamina consumption when you are looking down sights. Having high Ergonomics will allow you to be more sneaky and stable when it comes to longer gunfights. ADSing can make a lot of sound that will be easily heard even by PMCs with no headphones. And having very slow ADS time can ruin it for you when you have to be quick on your feet, nobody wants to wait for half a second to look down sights after a sprint. Ergo - fixes that pretty nicely. The higher, the better.
Recoil - Y'all FPS players already know how this works. There are two kinds of recoil, horizontal, and vertical. Having high recoil is a big no-no. It will completely ruin your firefights. You won't be able to be a significant threat on the battlefield, and even firing very short bursts will force you to readjust. It is especially true for Russian weapons, as those can be very jumpy when their vertical recoil is too high. You will be easily able to control horizontal recoil, so do not fret when you see a three-digit number. But vertical one - it's best to have somewhere below 65-70, so you can easily control it with slight mouse movements.
Accuracy - You can be accurate as you want and have low recoil. Maybe you can easily control it. But you won't have a true laser gun if your accuracy is too low. How does it work? When you're shooting, your shots will land where your sights are pointing. However, your shots won't hit the exact pinpoint location. Instead - they will land in an invisible circle that will show up on your target. Imagine a sharp cone that comes out of the barrel of your gun. This cone represents where your bullets can go when you shoot. At the end of that cone, is a circle, and this circle represents the area that your bullets may hit. They can go everywhere in the circle, right in the middle, as well as near the edges. Having higher Accuracy makes the circle smaller. It's imperative to have high Accuracy when you prefer shooting from a larger distance, as the size of the circle also depends on the distance. This circle should be as small as possible so that you can hit a majority of your bullets fired precisely where you want.
Muzzle Velocity - Determines how fast your bullets go. The speed depends on this stat, as well as on the properties of the ammunition itself. Your bullets should travel as fast as possible, your targets will receive damage sooner, and you won't have to compensate when your target is moving sideways in relation to you.
Movement Speed - Guns can be quite heavy. Maybe not as heavy as your Body Armor, Helmet, and ultra-large Backpack filled with stuff, but it can hinder your movement. When your gun reduces your movement speed, you will move slower.
Turn Speed - Turning your mouse around will take a longer time if your weapon negatively impacts your Turn speed, which essentially lowers your mouse sensitivity when using a specific weapon.
Befriend the Traders - Quests and Trading
In a game like Escape from Tarkov, where the income and losses of weapons flow like a river, it's a crucial thing to use the services of your local traders. There are 8 of them, and 7 of these guys will be available for you right from the start, the last one has to be unlocked throughout your Tarkov adventuring. In the beginning, each Trader will be able to offer you items of Tier I - common things and weapons for Beginner (some of those can still be really powerful when used correctly). Traders can provide you with items of higher Tiers, but to do that, you will have to:
- Level up your PMC Level
- Make trades that increase the cash flow
- Increase the Reputation with a particular Trader.
Leveling up your main character is simple, you play, you loot, you kill, and at the end of each raid, you will receive EXP.
How do you increase the Cash Flow? Well, that's what I called it, but it basically means - each trade you make, doesn't matter if you buy or sell, will add up to this number that you have to fill to level up the Trader. Let's say that you purchase an SKS for 30k Rubles, and you sell your Vest for 13k Rubles to the same Trader, the value has jumped up 43k Rubles. Got it? Aiight.
As for Reputation, you will increase it as you make more and more trades with your guy. And there are also quests. Most of these guys will require you to find something out in the raids, bring it to them, and give it to them for free — simple fetch quests. But not only, for example, the first quest from Prapor involves killing a few Scavs at a specific map. And there's so much more to do quest-wise.
There are quite a few types of quests:
Elimination - Involves killing Scav or PMC opponents, often in a specific way or on a particular map. For example, a quest from Prapor The Punisher - Part 6, will require you to murder 15 PMC Operators using an SVD.
PickUp - Find an item during a Raid, bring it back, and hand it over to the Trader that asked for it. Find. FIND. Purchasing it from another Trader to give it as a quest item won't help. You have to go out there, take it from the ground, or the box, or from the body, extract it, and turn in.
Completion - Mix of Elimination and PickUp, you have to find something, or kill someone, or give something really specific (like a weapon with certain parts) to a trader.
Merchant - Reach a certain LVL with a specific Trader
Exploration - Come in to a specific area
Skill - Reach a certain LVL of a specific skill
Parameter-oriented Modding - Modify a specific item in a required way
Standing - Reach a specific level of loyalty with a Trader
Discover - Mark something using a marker item or find something
Loyalty - hand over money to a Trader.
Multi - Find a location, and do something in it.
Completing those will grant you some cool things. Reputation will be increased. You can gain some Money, some items for the effort, ammo, some mags, medical items. It's worth it to do them as you will progress in your game considerably faster, and you will unlock some items that will be up for purchase after you complete certain quests.
Escape from Tarkov Gameplay Tips
Keep it slow, keep it simple
Escape from Tarkov is a game when you have to keep it slow. Don't rush in, don't make rash decisions, unless those have to be split-second when you are in danger. In any other scenario, when it comes to things other than saving yourself from dying, you should just flow slowly like a river. Don't sprint everywhere, because you will get tired, and you will make a lot of unnecessary sounds. Don't rush in immediately when you see a hostile target that is not aware of your presence. Rushing into a hotspot is also not a very good idea.
Same with extracting too early, there are people out there who will cap you if you try to extract too early after getting that one kill. You don't have to wander the land for a very long time. Hunker down for a while, observe your surroundings, scan the area before you go for extraction. Make sure that your zone of control is safe, make sure that the zone that you are about to enter will enable you to risk as little as possible during your firefights. Keeping slow is very important, but…
... don't be afraid to be Aggressive
Violence, speed, momentum, aggression. Keep it slow, and keep it simple - of course, but don't you dare be inactive. Being inactive puts you in a stalemate, and in the long term - it actually makes you worse at the game. And you can't let that happen. Act when you can, and don't be afraid to take control of the pace. Be aggressive when you know that you have a high chance of succeeding. We can guarantee that players will not expect you to try and dominate the playing field. In a game like Escape from Tarkov, players will usually expect to take the role of a stealthy hunter, who prefers to hunker down, stalk, camp, or play the defensive game. But you can't be a complete and competent hunter if you behave like a gazelle. Be a mountain lion. Be active, be aggressive, learn to lead with the initiative, and take control of any situation you can. If you are too afraid to do that, you should play as one of the Scavs. Just make sure that you stay aggressive without being reckless. Take your risks, but calculate. Don't run mindlessly into the action, and think about what you are doing.
Knowledge First, Skill Second
To be good at the game, you have to study the game. Learn its mechanics, learn what works best in what situation, and incorporate that to your gameplay. It's as simple as that. You can have all the aim skills you want. You can be able to kill enemies in a blink of an eye. If you don't know why you do what you do, you will fail. Even the worst poker players can win their hands with pure luck. It's the knowledge that will give you the consistency needed for you to be called a good Escape from Tarkov player. Learn the maps, learn the hot zones, know the peek angles, learn to manage your inventory quickly, and know the paths that lead to places of interest and extraction points. Also, keep in mind the building layouts. If you know the building, just by the direction of sound from enemy footsteps, you can determine a location where the player is at the moment.
Don't be greedy
Plenty of scenarios, when infused with greed, will make you lose more encounters. You kill three enemies, you get excited, you heard that sweet M4. These guys looked like they were in top-tier gear, you run up immediately, and get capped by a 4th guy you did not notice. Greed kills you. You shouldn't engage on a player as soon as you see them. Instead, you should choose to fight when the risk of getting shot back is as small as possible.
EFT is realistic and resembles life. In life, when you win the encounter with an attacker, don't immediately call yourself the champion of the world, don't celebrate prematurely, cause maybe he had a friend hiding just around the corner with a baseball bat? The same goes for Escape from Tarkov. As you kill someone, before looting the booty, check the perimeter, whether it's safe. Make sure there is no one left to take you down, and all the bad guys, who heard the shot, are nowhere near.
Even after you score that kill - looting dead bodies in Escape from Tarkov takes a long time. It is because every backpack, and pocket, has to be examined before you can see the items, and finally put them into your inventory. This time is enough for a random shooter to line up their shot and take your head off easily. You should take your time after capping a guy to make sure that you are not being observed. Check your surroundings, hunker down in a safe spot and listen, maybe you will be lucky enough to find someone at that dead body so that you can kill a filthy scavenger in the same place. The same thing can happen when you've already got the item that you've been searching for, especially when you are playing with the squad. Because you will not opt to play with the team to protect each other's backs, you will focus on yourself, so you can survive and extract the item. Greed kills you, and it kills your squad chemistry. So run around the area for a while, don't go for the end goal immediately, and be patient.
You've got your headset so you can hear everything in the game better. And then you can get a headset for the game for which you've already purchased your headset. It seems silly, but it's a great addition. Your in-game character can wear a special headset that will enhance certain sounds, making them more full, enabling you to pinpoint the direction from which they are coming easily. Sounds made by players will be much easier to hear. It involves shots, footsteps, switching between standing, crouching, and proning, using items, reloading, and more sounds that can be produced by the player. The difference between having the headset and not having it is massive. It almost doubles the range of your hearing and makes it easier to distinct player-made sounds from other sounds.
Watch your kinds of steps
Every surface in Escape From Tarkov creates a different sound when stepped on by a human character. Be it gravel, grass, stone, or metal. You should learn two things based on that. One - learn which surface makes which sound so you can identify it even if there are multiple sounds all around you. Two - you should memorize the map, so you know what surfaces are around you. It is to ensure that you can locate the zone where your opponent can be. If there's a road of gravel between grassy space, you know where your guy can be when you hear gravel steps only. And it ties heavily into map knowledge, so learn your maps as soon as possible. Pay close attention - we said "maps". It means that you will have to go everywhere, not only Customs and Shoreline, for instance.
Don't peek from the same angle twice...
...especially when you have missed your shot, and your enemy has the general idea where you can be at the moment. In general, you should always change your position after taking a shot or several shots when you have an automatic weapon. The reason behind it is quite simple. Survival should be your top priority at all times. Peeking out of the same angle enables your enemy to finish you off just by placing a crosshair at a single spot. You should avoid that at all costs. If you have a choice of peeking the same angle or going around the building to reach a different angle, you should immediately start moving towards the other position.
There are some exceptions to this rule. If you absolutely need to peek, because, for example, you will be cornered if you don't, or you can get some quick advantage by peeking out immediately (for example, when you are in a 1v2 scenario, and one of your enemies is out in the open, rushing you down), you can go for it. Outside of those individual situations, you should always opt to put your enemy in a min-up position, which essentially works like whack-a-mole in the mind of your enemy. If you have multiple choices when it comes to peeking on your enemy - abuse the hell out of it.
Better gear = Heart Attack
If you are an older man - start your raid with the weakest weapon possible and don't kill anybody with the good stuff, especially during your first 100-200 hours of EFT. Because the better gear you have, the more scared you will be to lose it. And you know how it is, you see an enemy when you are wearing that one unique item, and your heart rate goes above and beyond, escaping the stratosphere at a worrying rate. Now increase it with shots incoming your way, or getting shot in the leg. Your grandpa would've died at the exact moment in a situation in which you would've dropped the F-bomb after hearing a bullet going past your head. No doubt about that. It's the beauty of EFT (not your grandpa dying, but the strength of feeling that anxiety and desperation), and everyone should experience that in their gaming life. Only a handful of games will provide this kind of thrills regularly. Keep your heart healthy by bringing in trash gear, unless you are ready to play with the big boys.
Sun-Tzu is your Friend
We don't want to pick friends for you, but we kid you not. You can read Sun-Tzu, and incorporate that into your gameplay, and actually see a significant change when it comes to the outcome of many in-game encounters. That fabulous man who is writing this guide at this very moment is an example. This great guy managed to play the same DayZ character for over two months, playing almost every day, on full servers, killing a large number of enemies throughout his journey as a lone solo wolf, as well as a part of a small squad of 5 people that he commanded. Of course, the philosophy of war has to be appropriately interpreted, so it suits the game that you are playing. Live by the rules, to remain in the "live" status for as long as possible.
Pick your fights
As long as you can, you shouldn't always commit to the fight. If your enemy has a favorable position, you should either fix that or disengage. You have to reach that ascended mindset that will be at the back of your head, telling you that sometimes it's simply not worth it. Learn how to swallow your pride and disengage before things get worse for you or your whole squad. It doesn't matter if you want to take that kill or not. Take a breather once in a while, and come back stronger when you feel like it, or don't, the choice is yours. This idea applies to firefights that haven't even started yet. If you see an enemy and they are not aware of your presence - you don't have to engage immediately. Take your time, have some fun stalking, learn the sneaky ways of being the hunter. In the best-case scenario, you will meet a new friend (that's how the humble author met one of the best and most loyal squad members and a great friend in the DayZ back in the days of early alpha) or your target will kill someone or get killed by someone. That makes one more body to loot for you, maybe even more. Don't fight every fight; that's a loser's attitude. It doesn't make you a coward. It makes you smart.
Flank. FLANK. FL4NK
Flanking is one of the best things you can do. The enemy sees you. You are in a firefight. You disappear for a while to find a different angle and BAM! You are dead because your enemy flanked faster and broader than you. Flanking is a simple concept, at first sight, you change your position to stab your enemy in the back or in the side to create the best opportunity to get kills while remaining as safe as possible. You will use that in a lot of scenarios. Are you in a 1v1 situation? Flank. Are you in a 1v2 scenario? Flank. Are you in a 2/1 scenario? One of you goes for a flank. Your wife divorced you, and she took the kids? Flank.
Flanking will be useful, it doesn't matter if your enemy is already aware of your presence, or if you've been in a longer firefight. It connects to the idea of always switching your peeking angle and never using the same spot to shoot from. However, the more you flank, you will notice that this is actually a mix-up situation. When you flank alone, you lose track of your enemy. In that 20-30 seconds that you are changing your position (some flanks can take even 10-20 minutes), your opponent can do lots of things. They can set up their own flank, prepare to defend from a different angle, even disengage completely and disappear heading to the extraction point.
There's a great balance in flanking, as you can make a shallow flank and reach your destination faster, or do a deep flank, where you circle around the globe to reach your enemy from a safer and more unexpectable position. It's a legit thought process, whether you should go for a deeper or more shallow flank, and you have to find the perfect balance to be good at that. It will come with experience.
Control your Movement
Escape from Tarkov offers players a lot of mechanics to further immerse its players. You can lean to the right or left like in other games, and you can walk slower like in other games. However, this title has something special for you. For in EFT, you have absolute control over the sound you're making, and the position of your body you are in. You don't have to lean right all the way. You can instead use a specific button combination to balance your angle in your own way. Be it only an inch, you can lean like that in this game.
The same goes for the position of your body. Of course, you can switch between standing and crouching by pressing the "C" button on your keyboard by default. But did you know that you can Hold "C" and scroll up and down with your M.Scroll, to increase and decrease your height between crouching and standing? It's a perfect addition to this game. In many other games, if there's a hole in a boarded-up window at your chest level, it doesn't matter if you stand up or crouch, you won't be able to see clearly through it, Cause you will be too high or too low. This system basically fixes it for you, as long as that hole is above you when you're crouching, and below you when you're standing, you will be able to peek through it and see things clearly on the other side.
The same thing happens with the speed of your movement. If you look at the bottom-left side of the screen, you hold "Crtl," and you scroll up and down with your M.Scroll, you will see a Speaker meter that will move around as you scroll. That is your movement + sound meter. You can actually balance the speed of your movement, and the sound that you will make while moving. Every state (standing, crouching, and lying down) has its own speed + sound bracket. It's a very great tool for sneaking up on someone, especially in buildings. Most buildings and Tarkov have lots of Gravel sounds which are very easy to hear amongst other steps like Stone and Wood. If you crouch and lower your speed to the maximum, you will make close to zero sound by moving. You will still generate a lot of unnecessary noises when you lean, turn around quickly, you ADS your weapon, you step into the bush, or you check the inventory for some reason, but keep in mind that no one will hear you coming if you don't make any sudden moves. Also - you become a straightforward target by moving slowly, so use it sparingly out in the open. You are the best treat for snipers moving at that speed, Snake.
Run from Desync Abusers
If you ever, ever, EVER encounter a Desync Abuser - you better get the hell out of there as fast as possible. Some people in EFT tend to ruin gameplay for so many people by purposefully playing with high ping so that they can hop around the screens of other players due to their high latency. It gives them an enormous advantage in firefights, as it's tough to kill someone who is teleporting across your screen. If you ever see a person doing that, even if they are far away - run in the other direction and forget about this raid. Or stick to the zone that you are already in because these people will fire you up before you can drop the F-bomb due to the inability to shoot teleporting fellow gamers. Take this advice to your heart. You don't want to lose your stuff, especially from someone who doesn't intend to give you a fair fight.
Abuse the Terrain
The terrain is one of the greatest things that can shape the way you play out your encounters. The land you're getting into can be your best friend as well as your best enemy. It provides cover, concealment, it blocks shots and distorts the vision if you've got a good color of your attire. Always use the terrain and objects to your advantage. Whether it's a small hill to cover your body or the bottom of the train that will give you a lot of protection when looking at the other side of it - it can be invaluable in specific scenarios. The absolute worst thing that can happen is your enemy holding the high ground behind a hill. They can essentially hide, peek when needed and shoot at your body, with you - a deer in the headlights - seeing only their head popping out when they want to shoot. Their advantage is even more serious when the hill is long, and you have no cover on the way up. Your only chance in that scenario is to disengage somehow, which will be hard, as hills can work as a major vantage point. Doing a flank would need a lot of luck when it comes to timing.
Handling Multiple Opponents
If you are a player that prefers a lone wolf playstyle, listen to the old wolf writing this guide. Prepare for a more extended tip. You should not engage in a fight with a large group, unless you absolutely have to, or want to (getting into a battle for mere practicing against a few enemies is fine). Of course, after a few hundred hours, ending up on the better side of the road, leaving multiple foes six feet under will become something quite common for you. But you have to be perfect in every sense of this word to win as an underdog consistently.
Taking down bigger groups of enemies requires a certain mindset. You are not the Terminator (unless you are, big fan here), and you should never engage in an open fight. You should always opt to stay undetected and stalk your enemies in the beginning. Figure out what the group is about. In my DayZ days (which are still lasting to this day) when I tended to survive for a very long time, even when fighting bigger groups of enemy players, I always engaged on enemies following a set of rules. You either kill one isolated member of the team (or incapacitate them by fracturing their legs, making them unable to stand up, which doesn't work that well in EFT), or you fire them up when they are out in the open, crossing an empty field for example. Both of these scenarios usually end up the same. The group will do almost everything to take care of any hostiles, to avenge their friend, and take their loot, so it doesn't go to someone else. It always happens. Sometimes you will react to your enemies, and sometimes you will have to dictate your own pace. You can set the pace when you kill an isolated enemy, but when it comes to an open field - you have to react, and you have to do it fast. Most people, when shot at out in the open, will immediately panic. It is your time to kill their morale by basically murdering and wounding as many of them as you can. In general, a good scenario occurs, when you manage to kill one and at least wound the second guy.
Now, as you already know, sound plays a huge role in games like EFT. It is why you should never really stay in one place after taking a shot. The first shot is always harder to locate because it's unexpected. Fire a second one from the same position, and each decent player will be able to pinpoint your exact location. And if you don't have space to disengage while remaining undetected at this very moment, you can forget about getting any loot and continuing this encounter without going for a very deep flank. And it has to be veeeeeeery deep. The reason is simple; if the enemy compromised your location, your choices of approach can easily be predicted, especially if enemies know which direction you went to set up the flank. If you can flank to be on the other side of the enemy, basically doing a clean 180 without getting detected - that's the deep flank that you're most likely going to need.
The worst situation that you can get in is getting spotted in solo vs. group situations. Since you always want to play it out guerilla-style, this is a complete bummer. The most logical thing would be to disengage entirely, maybe never even come back to the same group if possible. At least not to the same location because you can always set up another ambush down the road if you can see or predict their movement after concealing yourself. It's absolutely acceptable to move to a different side of the map and wait for the same group to come, or to just go for stalk mode after they are oblivious to your new positions. It's absolutely acceptable, but you will have to be on a high alert. Your enemies will probably switch to that mode as well. It is the scenario where the hunter can quickly become the hunted. If you get too reckless, and they happen to look in your direction, you are forced to forfeit your stalking.
You should never get into an open firefight against a group of enemies, but if you manage to do that, and you can't do anything else, you should remember one thing. Even if you are against a group of five players, as long as only one guy has the angle to shoot at you, and you have the angle to shoot at this guy, you put yourself in a series of 1v1 encounters. While unexpectedly isolating and killing an enemy while being in concealment was used so no one can retaliate, isolating enemies during a firefight means - enabling only one guy to be shooting at you at a time. It's a complicated scenario, where you have to react to enemy movement, you can't allow your enemies to surround you, and you have to be really precise with your shots. If you've successfully hunkered down, so only one person can shoot at you, and you don't make your shots count, you are going to lose.
Getting out of that situation by killing your enemies one by one as they come is dependant on time. The more time you give your enemies to come closer or flank you, the harder it will be to survive. In a perfect scenario, you would have some time window to disengage, as killing enemies by successfully isolating each one of them during an open firefight is extremely rare, and almost impossible to pull off consistently. But you can practice that through exposure, you can put yourself in such situations, so when they happen for real - it will enable you to keep your cool so you can murder them cold-blooded. However, there's a long road ahead of you if you want to have a chance of succeeding when your knowledge and skill outweigh your luck in that scenario. In the end, no one can be Rambo. Except for Rambo.
Know Which Ammo Should You Use
There is a plethora of rounds available in this game. It can easily cause a headache for eternity, especially in the beginning, which hopefully will last less than eternity. But ammo is very important in the game. Some even say that it's more important than weapons that grant them some deadly velocity. How much truth is in that? Well, ammo isn't necessarily more important, but having the right ammo against certain types of enemies will be a huge part of your potential success, as the damage that you deal to people depends only on the ammo that your weapon is using.
Escape from Tarkov follows realistic-ish rules of real-world Ballistics. Bullets have a certain speed determined by their max velocity, as well as the velocity that can be provided by the weapon itself. They are affected by the gravity and air friction, they can penetrate objects, and players, they can ricochet, and they can even fragment when they hit something. Bullets will lose velocity the further the round goes, dealing less damage, and being less prone to penetrating through objects. Also, whether the surface will be penetrated, or whether it will split the bullet, is dependant on the material of the surface, and the type of the bullet and its properties.
There's more when it comes to bullets. When bullets are fired at another human-made of bones, and blood, and pixels, they will deal damage at the point of impact. That seems basic. But your bullets can actually penetrate a part of the body, and hit another part of your enemy. So let's say that you are above your enemy, and you see their side. In theory, when you hit them in the shoulder at a specific angle, bullet will penetrate through the arm to hit the thorax, penetrate the thorax to hit the stomach, and finally penetrate the stomach to hit the leg. Wait, there's more.
As you already know, bullets can fragment upon hitting the surface. The same thing can happen when someone else gets hit. At that moment, part of the body that caused the fragmentation of the bullet will receive 50% bonus damage.
So if you want to play seriously, and you are planning to go into the action balls out, you should focus not only on your weapon but on the ammo as well. If you want to tear through the flesh more easily, you will most likely want to go with HP bullets or hunting bullets. And if you're going to go for armor penetration (which you should go for in most cases), you will choose some army, militaristic stuff, or simply BP Bullets. Ah, about armor and penetration…
Armor & Penetration
TTK (time to kill - the time it takes to kill someone) in Escape from Tarkov is really short. Unless you use a bad kind of ammo against an enemy with high-tier body armor. Cause then - you can unleash a whole 30 round mag on an enemy, and they will shoot you down unphased by any bullets that came their way. Your shots will not hurt them a single bit. I've been there, and I was furious. It is because I did not realize how armor and armor penetration actually work in this game.
Armor doesn't reduce the damage taken. It blocks the bullets instead, losing the durability as it takes hits. The rate at which your armor loses the durability will depend on the type of ammo. It doesn't depend on the angle of the bullet in relation to the impacted surface (except for helmets that are more prone to ricochet bullets when hitting at a certain angle). When the durability hits 0, the armor will become useless, and it will not block any shots.
The armor will indeed block some bullets, but you can still receive damage in next two cases, though. It will happen either when the bullet penetrates through your armor, dealing damage to the player's limb directly. The other is when the bullet gets blocked, and you receive something known as "blunt damage" - a tiny percentage of a bullet's damage that will be transferred to your hit limb when armor blocks that bullet. The percentage is really small, so you will receive about 2-3 damage per hit, but it depends on the bullet. So essentially, you can receive a sniper bullet to your chest at some point during your casual raid, and you won't feel a thing as long as you have the proper armor to stop that bullet, and that bullet doesn't penetrate your beautiful parts.
The difference between having armor and not having it is horrendously huge. If you want to go for a serious raid with your best weapons and best ammo, you should also get your best armor. Not only that, it should be your absolute priority. It's a no-brainer.
It is everything that you should know about when you want to get into Escape From Tarkov in the most serious of ways. We hope that the ways that you managed to learn here will launch you to the top of the EFT food chain. May your global inventory always be full. Good luck on your road to might and in escaping from Tarkov!
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