Escape from Tarkov
General Guide
Escape from Tarkov is a hardcore and realistic online first-person action RPG/Simulator with MMO features and a story-driven walkthrough.

This guide talks about all the aspects of the game and covers the basics of combat and survival.
Movement in Escape From Tarkov is more than simply sprinting or walking. It is handled differently than most other first person shooters, with the movement model trying to mimic the actual performance of a soldier encumbered with gear and weapons. It allows you to move at varying speeds, from a snail's pace which generates the least amount of audible noise, to a normal walking pace.
The way you move through a level is just as important as your ability to gun down a target in a single shot. When moving through the terrain of a map, stepping on broken glass and tile, stepping on a pile of metal debris, or walking through a bush, everything generates a different sound cue which your opponent can use to narrow down your position. Slow, steady, and thoughtful movement should be your mainstays. Be it something as simple as moving across an abandoned street, or as complex as repositioning in a firefight to flank your unsuspecting foe. How you move, how you're postured, and when you move are all vital aspects of consideration.

Be warned, Headsets amplify your footsteps in clear, crisp, HD surround sound. They are a powerful tool against even the power of slow walking, and can render even the stealthiest players flatfooted when an errant footstep is heard through them.
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Movement Speed can be broken down into three types: Sprinting, walking, and slow walking.
Slow Walking
can be performed by pressing the Caps Lock or by manually lowering your walk speed to it's lowest, by simply scrolling Mousewheel Down To return to a higher movement speed if you've used the mousewheel, you must use Mousewheel Up to maximize the movement bar in the bottom left portion of the UI.
requires no change or key press, it is by default your main movement speed. It is limited only by the various pieces of body armor you're wearing.
can be performed by pressing Left Shift and depletes your stamina bar. Knowing how far you can travel with one stamina bar's worth of sprinting can be the difference between an engagement being lost or won. Sprinting also generates the highest amount of noise compared to the other methods of moving.
Beyond the standard movement types, there are two additional movement techniques. Sidestepping, and Sliding.
can be done by pressing Left Alt + Q / E Sidestepping does exactly what it sounds like. There are two types of sidestepping, pressing the keys and releasing them immediately will move you one step left or right, and then immediately back to your previous position. Holding the keys will result in your keeping position until released.
a problematic mechanic at best, and at worst it can get you in a precarious situation. Sliding can be initiated by holding Left Shift and pressing C after you pick up enough speed. This mechanic can also be initiated by releasing Left Shift However, this method seems to be an unintended behavior of the Slide mechanic and a bug. Sliding, intentionally or otherwise, locks you into a forward movement and generates a unique noise compared to other methods.
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Just as important as Movement in Escape From Tarkov, how you stand can make a world of difference to your overall ability to survive. Knowing when to duck is just as vital as knowing when to move. The ability to vary your stance, combined with the movement options that the game provides, permits a huge amount of flexibility in terms of tactical agility and how you can engage an opponent.
You have three standard stances to choose from: Standing, Crouching, and Prone, each with a different application, and maximum movement speed
allows you to move the fastest, but also makes you more visible at range and causes you to generate the most noise.
balances a low profile and reasonable movement speed and is excellent for taking advantage of most cover, whilst generating the lowest amount of sound.
makes you almost immobile, but gives you excellent accuracy and greatly reduced silhouette. Paradoxically, whilst being prone, you cannot lower the amount of noise you make by moving slowly. So in most situations, being crouched is far superior to laying prone.
However, whilst the three standard stances are available, you are able to shift between a slew of different postures. By pressing the following keys: C + Mousewheel Up/ Mousewheel Down(Default) Doing such enables you to peek over cover that would otherwise be impossible to see or fire over.
Beyond the stances you have access to, there is also leaning to take into account.
Leaning and peeking should become second nature, around every corner, every edge, every bit of cover. Exposing only a portion of yourself is far less dangerous than moving wholly out of cover. The advantages of doing so should not need to be stated.
The primary method of leaning is done with the Q and E keys. Doing so requires holding down either key, and puts you out at a maximum lean
The secondary method is to hold Left Alt + A / D This secondary method is a variable lean, and doesn't need to be held down when you release the keys. To reset your stance, press either Q or E
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Weaponry and Equipment
Weaponry in Escape From Tarkov is your bread and butter and could have a guide written about it three times the length of this one. Be it a simple sidearm or a lead-throwing M4 with extended magazines. The choice of what you go into a raid with is entirely yours, excluding when one goes in as a Scavenger. Firearm performance will vary wildly depending on what modifications you use, and how you use them. Where-as in most games, the overall statistics of a weapon matter far less than in other games. Learning an individual weapon's handling and kinks, be it modified heavily or a stock variant, is vital to your overall success against other players and AI opposition. The depth of the weapon systems cannot be overstated, or overlooked.
There are a slew of vital considerations when picking a weapon's modifications such as your estimated range you expect your engagement to take place in, what your intended target is going to be and if that target is armored or not, as well as how your playstyle factors into such considerations.

  • Picking your weapon's optics is very much a personal preference, but time to ADS (Aim Down Sights), and the distance you expect to have to engage from are important. Contrary to most other games, point shooting (Firing without aiming down your weapon's sights) is just as, if not more effective, than ADS in most situations. Learning how to effectively point shoot is critical to surviving engagements.
  • What ammunition you use isn't as cut and dry as the "best" statistic that a given ammo type has. Availability, if that ammunition is sold out in the traders or not, or if you've unlocked it all are further considerations. If you figure you're not going to be going up against fully geared squads of five, then you may settle on something that doesn't have as high of an armor piercing value, and instead does more overall damage to flesh. The type and quantity of magazines that you take into a raid is of similar concern, as reloading ammo into empty magazines is a dangerous proposition, and a virtually impossible feat to pull off whilst engaged in a firefight. It is also of note, you are not limited to using only a single ammunition type per each magazine.
  • What weapon type you decide upon, much like optics, and ammo, is further personal preference. However, It is highly recommended that you never go into a raid unarmed, as doing so will render you mostly harmless, making you an object for criticism and scorn.
  • When picking up a weapon in the field, it's always wise to do a quick magazine check, using Left Alt + T to ensure that the weapon has ammo. After doing so, checking the weapon's chamber, using Left Shift + T will ensure that you've got a round in the chamber.
    Equipment in Escape From Tarkov covers a breadth of items, from body armor to backpacks. Knowing what to bring along with you on a raid is critical to ensuring your success financially, and overall survival. Things like Comtacs, backpacks, vests, and body armor, are everywhere.
    What grade of armor you're wearing matters significantly, as Class II protection will do you no good against a rifle round. Just as Class VI protection will stop everything but large caliber armor piercing ammo. One important consideration is head protection. The head hitbox in Escape from Tarkov is divided into 5 segments: Top, Nape, Ears, Eyes and Jaws. Different helmets will cover different segments.

    To choose your equipment, you are faced with three factors : Availability, Price, and Quality. An expensive loadout like the following: SSO "Attack 2" raid backpack + 6B43 Zabralo-Sh 6A Armor + ANA Tactical M2 armored rig can hold a lot of magazines, meds, loot and will protect you from a great variety of threats, but is going to be hard to come by if you don't have much money and high trader loyalty levels. On the other hand, a cheap loadout like the Scav Vest + MBSS Backpack is not going to protect you and won't let you take a lot of loot on the way back, but is way cheaper and available at an early stage of the game. Also, bringing high end weaponry alongside low end gear is a risk, of course. You could lose the fight easily and thus lose your gun. You can find this type of gear on Scavs, so don't hesitate looting the ones you kill for easy and free loadouts: Scavs sometimes are found with a Scav Backpack or possibly even, the Pilgrim Backpack, which is even bigger, alongside many other pieces of equipment.
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    Insurance allows you to retrieve any items that have not been extracted from the raid, after a delay.

    Except for raids on Labs, make sure to always insure the gear you go out with using the Insurance Screen, just before entering the lobby. You can click on the "Insure All" button to make sure that you select all of your belongings. To confirm, press the "Insure" button just above "Ready"
    You can choose to insure with Prapor or Therapist:
    is cheaper, but returns your insured items after 24-36 hours.
    is roughly 1.5x more expensive, returns your items after 12-24 hours. You also have 7 days to collect the insured items instead of the 2 that Prapor offers.
    Use the insurance system, even at a low level: There's always the chance that your killer won't loot you, or leave it behind as they find better gear. And if a scav kills you, there's a high chance you'll get everything back.

    Your insurer will contact you a few hours/days later to let you know what came back. You can then claim it from the messenger tab. If you do not claim it in 72 hours, the insured items will be lost.
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    Health, healing and hitpoints
    You start the raid with 435 Health Points, set across 7 body parts: Head, Thorax, Stomach, and both Legs and Arms. If you are hurt, the body part that is damaged will lose HP.
    There are three colors indicating the state of each body part: Grey, Red and Black. Grey means your limb is fine, or maybe a bit damaged. Red means that limb is hurt, and you need to treat it. Black means your limb is gone, shredded, kaput. On top of those three states are the different kind of wounds you'll encounter.
    A blacked out limb will seriously hinder your progress for the rest of the raid. In order to avoid the loss of your limbs, there are meds present in the game, each with a different use. To avoid getting a blacked out limb, you'll have to heal them.
    However, you won't always be able to avoid getting a body part blacked, so be careful:
    If your legs are blacked out, you'll have trouble walking, running and aiming when moving.
    If your arms are gone, you'll have trouble aiming and looting. Your weapon will sway a lot more, which will hinder your accuracy.
    If your stomach is black, you're going to dehydrate a lot faster, and cough, which can draw nearby enemies to your position.
    Bandages will stop a bloodloss, but will not heal a body part.
    For that, you need a Medkit. Those will give back health to your limbs, and at the same time may stop a bloodloss, or a fracture. Careful! The AI-2 medikit you get at the beginning doesn't stop bloodloss, so you might want to consider bringing along bandages. However, if your limb is black, you can't add health points to it anymore. This is where Painkillers, Morphine and other meds come in place. These will allow you to keep running even if your legs are blacked, stop coughing if your stomach is dead... They are super useful, but a bit expensive at the beginning. You can find a lot of them in Med Bags along the map. Consider picking them up, you'll need them.
    Destroyed body parts (except head and thorax) can be restored thanks to the CMS kit or the Surv12 field surgical kit, surgical kits restore a destroyed part to 1 HP, so their use needs to be combined with medkits to be effective. Destroyed parts that are restored with a surgical kit only have 55% to 70% (CMS) or 80 to 90% (Surv12) of their max HP for the duration of the raid unless surgery is performed again on that body part, lowering it further.
    Each map has multiple extraction points where you can leave the raid after a certain amount of time. To see the available extractions, double tap O. The extractions will be different for each raid depending on your spawn point and if you play as PMC (USEC/BEAR) or Scav.
    Some exits are open all the time while other ones are only occasionally open (indicated by question marks). You can check if certain exits are open from afar by looking for active lamps/spotlights or green smoke. Some extractions may also require a certain amount of Roubles per person.
    On maps like The Lab, Reserve and Interchange special actions are needed in order to use some extraction points.
    Sometimes the name of an extract is shown in green or red. Red means that one or multiple players already left the map through that extract. Green means you are close to an extract, but not close enough to extract yourself. When you are inside an extraction zone, a timer will appear in the top right corner and you will leave the map as soon as it hits zero. Extraction times can be between few seconds and a couple of minutes.
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