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Video Game / Escape from Tarkov

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Escape from Tarkov is a hardcore and realistic online first-person action RPG/Simulator with MMO features and a story-driven walkthrough, set in the same universe as Contract Wars.

The video game is set in the fictional Norvinsk region in north-western Russia, around a "Special economic zone" that served as a gateway between Russia and Europe. However, this attracted corporations with dubious intent, and the city of Tarkov became the center of a major political scandal involving corrupt corporations in the Norvinsk region. Six months later the situation erupted into an armed conflict involving the Internal Troops of Russia, United Nations peacekeepers, and two private military companies: United Security (USEC) and the Battle Encounter Assault Regiment (BEAR). The Norvinsk region's borders were sealed off, and those trapped in the middle of the local warfare were isolated from the outside world. USEC was hired by the Terra Group, one of the corrupt corporations involved in the scandal, to hinder investigations during the conflict, while BEAR was covertly hired by the Russian Government to uncover evidence about Terra Group.


The game is currently in beta-testing with one current gamemode; Raid, where the player(s) has the titular objective of escaping the city of Tarkov by working for one of these private military companies, or through the viewpoint of a Scavenger. Players spawn in on one end of the map and must make it to the other side, gathering loot along the way. However, the rest of the map also contains other players and Scavengers, both of whom will try and kill the player on sight. The unique gimmick of Raids is that whatever is brought into a Raid has the capacity to be taken and sold for profit by the other players, adding a unique macrogame level on top of the basic moment-to-moment gunplay. Adding on to this are complex gun-construction, ammo, and healing mechanics, all designed to give Tarkov a high level of tension and realism.


In 2019, Battlestate Games released the first episode of a live-action web series based on the game, Escape from Tarkov: The Raid, that follows the story of a BEAR trooper named Skif.

Escape from Tarkov provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Abandoned Laboratory: "The Lab", featuring the research complex which is the centerpiece of the game's conflict.
  • Abandoned Warehouse: "Factory", one of the maps featured in the game where PMC's were initially sent there to investigate illegal activities committed by Terra Group. It is the smallest map in the game so far filled with extremely claustrophobic corridors, a maze of underground access routes and service catwalks dominating the upper floors.
  • A.K.A.-47: Defied. All of the firearms featured in the game have their real names and trademarks, mostly since they are sponsored by the actual firearms companies themselves.
    • It should be noted, however, that a few weapon names do not exactly correspond to the specific variant they are based on. The FN GL40 Mk.2 grenade launcher is actually modelled after FN's earlier Mk 13 grenade launcher instead of a true FN40GL Mk 2 model, and the HK416 A5 more closely resembles the French Army's HK416F. The NSV "Utes" heavy machine gun found in the Reserve map is actually based on the Kord, a successor to the real-life NSV. Still, these minor mishaps can be excused considering the astonishing level of detail and realism the game has to offer.
  • All There in the Manual: Being set in the same universe as Contract Wars, Tarkov shares the same elaborate backstory as seen here.
  • All-or-Nothing Reloads: Averted. All characters carry individual magazines with individually tracked ammo counts somewhere on their person. When reloading weapons with detachable magazines, the old magazine is retained by default regardless of how much ammo is left, also averting One Bullet Clips. Dropping the removed magazine on reload to speed up the process can be done manually by double-tapping the reload key, but will also be done automatically in the event the player has no space on their person to store the removed magazine or is rendered blind by a Zvezda shell fired by the KS-23 shotgun or a Zarya flashbang grenade going off next to them. In both cases, dropped magazines can be picked up off the ground later.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Secure Containers gives your PMC a permanently safe inventory space that can protect your most important loot if they die during a raid.
    • AI Scavs constantly make noise to alert the player to their presence, to compensate for their absurdly fast reaction times.
    • The Scav character can provide a risk-free alternative game mode for players low on equipment or the means to buy them. The Scav player is always provided with random set of equipment and firearms to survive with. In addition, Scav players are ideally put into the halfway point of an ongoing match where most PMC players would have either been killed or are well on their way to their extraction points, leaving behind plenty of bodies and often-missed loot to scavenge. All loot acquired during a successful raid can be transferred into the PMC player's main inventory.
    • Insurance allows players to pay fees to either Prapor or Therapist to protect your gear, and allows it to be returned after a certain period of time, provided no one loots it.
    • If your total value of your stash drops below a certain value, Prapor will gift you guns, ammo and magazines to help you on your way.
      Prapor: Seeing as you're in dire financial straits, I've decided to send you a little care package, an investment into our common bright future.
    • On the eve of a major content update, the developers "wipe" every stash and reset player progression back to zero. While this might seem like the opposite of something designed to mitigate frustration, in turn this actually makes the game a lot easier to play. Not only does it prevent the highest-level players from continually stomping on everyone else with their stockpiles of superior gear, but it also gives new players a time to get into the game when everyone is running around with significantly worse gear. It's widely agreed that while wipes are a big hit to deal with, they happen infrequently enough that gathering up a sizeable stash isn't too hard, and happen often enough that the most dedicated players don't pull too far ahead of anyone else, which is a common problem in games like these.
    • You can now pay the Therapist a flat fee after a raid to instantly heal your PMC back up to full, including injuries. This makes it much easier to do repeated PMC runs without having to either wait for your health to return back to full while in the hideout, or buying a bunch of the lowest tier health items and spamming them. You can also reject the healing and wait it out, which is useful if it was your last run of the day and don't wanna fork over the cash to heal a character who will fix themselves anyways.
    • Surviving in a raid that lasts longer than 10 minutes automatically gives you the "Survived" status, which allows you to get some experience without dealing with the "Run-Through" status, which cuts your total XP by half.
  • Arbitrary Gun Power: Despite aim at realism, weapons damage is still somewhat "balanced". While rifle ammunition have better anti-armor cpabilities, than pistol rounds, 9x19mm ammo can inflict from 52 to 102 points of damage, which is higher than 5.56mm abilities and on par with 7.62x51mm.
  • Armor Is Useless: Zigzagged. Low-tier armor realistically protects from the weakest pistol rounds, but will do a little against shotguns and basic rifles. High-tier armor, however, will protect from majority of common ammo.
    • After introduction of tungsten-core rifle ammo and .338 Lapua Magnum weapons even the high-tier armor lost some of its appeal, as no new items were introduced to counter new threats.
  • Arms Dealer: Most of the market vendors are pretty much these, with unique catalogues and missions that they often give to PMC players. Gaining loyalty levels will give player more access to better gear and wares to help their future raids.
    • Prapor is a GRU logistics warrant officer, providing Warsaw Pact-era arms and ammunition. A rare twist to this trope is that he comes off more benign than most depictions of former Reds with Rockets arms dealers, as he most of his missions involve thinning out the lawless Scavengers, collecting personal trinkets for people he had promised to help and even frequently collaborates with Therapist.
    • Skier is more or less the ideal local Gangland Gun Runner type, using his position as a port customs employee to form direct connections to most of the Scavengers that roam Tarkov, and a disturbing amount of his missions involve offing PMCs and marking possible valuable cargo. He mostly provides uncommon weapons along with the appropriate accessories.
    • Peacekeeper is a corrupt UN logistics officer who provides NATO-based weapons and attachments while keeping close ties to the likes of Skier.
    • Mechanic is a professional weapons engineer whose missions focus on acquiring tools and electrical appliances or modifying weapons to his specifications. Gaining his loyalty and trust will give you access to extremely high-tech weapons and attachments that no other vendor can even dream of selling.
    • Jaeger is a park ranger who stayed in Tarkov (his home city) to try and stop the conflict. He sells civilian hunting gear and rifles/shotguns and their respective accessories.
  • Artistic License – Military: Several civilian guns, like the TOZ-106 shotgun, and the Saiga-9 carbine can be fired when the stock is folded. In real life, due to the way Russian gun laws worknote , it is mechanically impossible to fire these guns when folded.
  • An Axe to Grind: Hatchets are the most powerful melee weapon in the game, currently.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Some of the cooler weapons you can customize fall into this category. As amazing as their stats can be, losing an expensive weapon in a raid almost guarantees it'll be taken apart and sold by its new owner.
    • The Hera Arms CQR Grip. It has the highest ergonomics boost (at 11) and second highest recoil reduction (at 4%), meaning any gun that can take it will get a massive boost to ADS and recoil management. The impractical part is that only the AR and M700 rifles can take it, as it is too big for the other guns. Even then, only a select few handguards and rails can take it, severely limiting your modding potential for these weapons.
  • Bigger on the Inside:
    • Weapon, Item and Pistol Cases typically contain more space than they would have taken up in your main inventory giving you a chance to widen your inventory space in the long run. Smaller cases like Wallets, Document Bags, Money Cases and Keytools also helps save space for the... substantial amount of keys and currency your player would have collected in his entire PMC career.
    • Some rigs have more slots than what they originally take up. Two of these rigs have double the storage space of their original size.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Scavs and BEAR operators speak in unsubtitled Russian, with the Scavs adopting more informal, prison jargon in their various voice lines.
  • Black Market: All of the market vendors with varying degrees of morality, each having personal agendas and specific trading specialities, such as the Soviet-bloc weaponry of Prapor, medical supplies from Therapist or the opportunistic Skier. "Fence" currently fills in as one as he buys and sells pretty much anything and everything players are willing to deal with, but a fully player-controlled market is in place, and an auction house is currently in development.
  • Bland-Name Product: Plenty, thanks to heaps of barter items and electronics you would have to collect in your entire PMC career. Suspiciously similar-sounding brands like, 'Zibbo' lighters, 'Paid' pesticide, 'GPhones', 'Roler' gold watches, and even cigarette brands like 'Malboro', 'Wilston', 'Strike' and 'Apollon Soyuz'. The Graphics Card is also modelled after an ASUS GeForce GTX 750 Ti. The Interchange map also features a familiar blue-and-yellow-themed furniture megastore named 'IDEA'.
    • Averted for certain items like Ibuprofen painkillers, Grizzly First Aid Kit and the Powerbank, which is clearly modelled after a Xiaomi Mi 10400mah Power Bank with the Xiaomi logo visibly unaltered.
    • The aversion is justified in case of medical items, as many of them are used as generic names in Russia.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Headshots do realistically powerful damage, often killing in one shot. Helmets can help to mitigate damage to the head.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • The Mosin is relatively cheap from Prapor, found on almost every Scav, sells for a decent bit (but isn't expensive enough that losing it is a big deal) and can fire some of the best rounds in the game. It's effective at any range, easy to use, and can make the early game much easier.
    • Most of the Eastern Bloc rifles Prapor sells are cheap (compared to the NATO ones at least), easy to use, have accessible and useful attachments, are easy to maintain, and have ammo readily available from Prapor to maintain them.
  • Boss in Mook's Clothing: Reshala a.k.a the "Dealmaker", the first Scav boss character introduced in the 0.9 build. While he has a unique appearance, he is essentially as durable as the regular unarmored Scavs but is constantly guarded by his loyal entourage. He also usually runs away from a fight, but killing, then looting his guards or himself will reward you with rare loot, physical Bitcoins or even his exclusive gold-plated TT-33 pistol.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: The game editions start at $50 all the way up to Edge of Darkness at $150. Each successive tier gives you better starting gear, a larger stash, and better starting reputation with traders for an easier start. You can pay to upgrade between tiers, and the frequent wipes mean that starting gear doesn't mean much in the long term.
  • Bulletproof Vest: Game features a vast array of the armours, helmets, even armoured chest rigs! Their implementation, however...
    • Generally speaking, the vests are played... Reasonably realistically. Basic soft vests will stop pistols, but fold like paper against rifle fire.
    • In-game armor classification is more of a notional system, rather than accurate representation of GOST body armor standards. IE, even in pre-2017 revision, Class 3 armor was required to protect from assault rifle ball rounds, while in-game 7.62mm PS will chew through it without much problem. Also, even in pre-2017 revision Class 6A will be able to protect from battle rifle API rounds, while in-game it can barely stop basic ball ammo and protect from hunting bullets. It gets worse with armor, that doesn't really fit in GOST ratings. US IOTV armor vest is labaled as Class 5 (protection from assault and battle rifle ball ammo), that would barely match its capabilities with older SAPI plates installed. In-game is can be defeated by said battle rifle ball ammo. It has been said, that armor capabilities has been neutered to preserve playability.
    • It is possible to kill enemy in Tarkov with non-penetrating hits. In Real Life, the FBI’s statistics confirms, that there has never been a single recorded death due to body armor backface deformation.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: The skills in Tarkov are a clear case of this trope. Repeat a certain action numerous times, and you can gain bonus from boosts to passive stats, to extra boosts like an ammo counter.
  • Chess Motifs: Several buildings at Reserve are marked with images of chess pieces of both black and white colours.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Everyone in Tarkov really. Especially Scavs who are not afraid to unleash their entire Slavic prison lexicon at their enemies, especially this particular thirty-seconds long rant.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Sometimes, Scavs aim so unrealistically well that players do not have a chance to fight back.
  • Cool Mask: Some of the accessories you can wear are skull-themed faceplates and rubber masks of horror characters.
  • Cool Train: An improvised armoured train serves as an extraction zone for PMCs and Scavs alike in the Reserve map. It signals its arrival near the end of a match via a loud horn, which will attract the attention of every surviving PMC (as it is the only extraction spot with no pre-requisite cost in the map), as well as Glukhar and co. if they they are still alive.
  • Critical Hit: If a projectile splits into fragments upon hitting a body part, it deals 50% bonus flesh damage on the body part that was hit.
  • Developers' Foresight: You can press alt+R to check your ammo. On most guns, this causes your character to pull the mag out and weigh it in their hands, guessing how much is left. On the P90, where the mag is both loaded on the top of the gun and is clear, the PMC simply shifts the gun from side to side to get a better view of the ammo count.
  • Early Game Hell: Due to the enormous player-to-player learning curve, coupled with highly challenging AI, inexperienced players tend to suffer. Once a player manages to unlock the Flea Market, they can easily obtain the resources necessary to hook themselves up and can begin making decent profits off of what they find.
  • Elite Mooks: Scav Raiders that appear in the Labs and Reserve maps are truly a step above the regular Scavs from previous maps. They patrol in tight-knit groups, upon contact they will perform squad tactics by suppressing players and flanking maneuvers. Not to mention the decent amount of gear and weapons they have on their person making them very durable.
  • Enemy Mine: It is not uncommon for PMC players or even player Scavs to team up, or otherwise not attack each other, especially when there are threats of Scav bosses still running about or other greater player threats.
    • The cinematic announcement trailer climaxes with this; a surviving BEAR and USEC trooper whom only minutes ago were trying to kill each other end up putting aside their factional differences to team up against the marauding Scavs attracted to the earlier firefight.
    • Episode 3 of the live-action Raid mini-series see BEAR operator Skif and USEC trooper Mike (He was initially unnamed in Episodes 3 and 4) in a similar situation, after Skif's squad's attack on Mike's USEC squad camping at a factory (implied to be the exact location featured in the in-game "Factory" map that was featured in the above cinematic trailer) goes pear-shaped and leaves the aforementioned two men as the sole survivor from each side, with Scavs waiting to, at least attempt to, pick them off, forcing the two men into an uneasy alliance to survive.
    • Reserve has a unique extraction point (Scav Lands) that requires a PMC and at least one player-Scav present to be able to leave. Fence will reward the PMC players with a random assortment of goods for playing nice with one of his men.
  • Excuse Plot: There is no actual investigation or cover-up of Terra Group's crimes and the players' only objective is to kill and loot. The factions their characters join only affect their voice lines and players are free to kill anyone they see, even from the same PMC.
  • Fackler Scale of FPS Realism: The game is realistic in its portrayal of gun handling, ammo/inventory management, and external ballistics. However, terminal ballistics and body armor perfomance are "balanced" for sake of playability, some quests will require you to fight "completely dehydrated" or with broken limbs, and gameplay itself is rather simple player-versus-player action.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: Hit detection and rate of fire are tied directly to frame-rate. Players with low frame-rate will find themselves struggling to both put enough lead downrange and hit whatever they're shooting at. In extreme instances, players with low frame-rate may find themselves UNABLE TO DAMAGE any high-FPS players they land hits on.
    • Ammunition with a penetration value below 20 is subject to a bug that prevents the projectile from fragmenting on impact, regardless of the projectile's listed fragmentation chance. Notably, this includes Radically Invasive Projectile (RIP) ammunition in every caliber it's available in within Tarkov, which are designed to, upon impact, split into shaped fragments for maximum damage on unarmored targets, and are thus listed with a 100% chance to fragment, but they effectively have a ZERO percent to fragment because they all have penetration values below 20.
    • The 12.6.7865 patch seemingly introduced a bug that affects certain armor-piercing variants of certain calibers, which include but are not limited to: BS and 7N39 for 5.45x39mm and M61 for 7.62x51mm. This bug causes the affected projectiles, if they penetrate armor or encounter no armor, to register damage twice on whatever they hit, with the second hit dealing anywhere between 70% to 90% of however much flesh damage that the first hit dealt.
  • Gangsta Style: Small offset sights exist that can be mounted to a player's gun, which causes it to be tilted 45 degrees when aiming with it. While the idea is to allow a gun to accommodate a second sight system in case the primary one is a magnified scope, they can still be mounted standalone, meaning players could — and have — run around with guns they have to tilt to aim, just because.
  • Good Is Not Soft: While Therapist comes off as one of the most benevolent Traders, working to save innocent lives from the Crapsack World that is Tarkov, she is not above sending players to kill Scavs in some of her missions. She still does voice out her displeasure at giving the players such a task.
  • Grid Inventory: Combined with Inventory Management Puzzle, both in and out of raids.
    • In and out of a raid, your character has space for two primary weapons, a sidearm, four slots of 1x1 grids representing his pockets and wearable equipment. Load bearing vests can typically carry standard magazines (usually 2x1) and 1x1 boxes for loose ammo or compact magazines. Bags have varying sizes that allow for more objects to be placed inside and finally, the Secure Container that while limited in capacity, guarantees items stored in it to be brought back should the operator die during the raid.
    • The home stash is pretty large, but as you progress and horde all those shiny new AKs, spare M4 carbines and shotguns, many players would find out how quickly those empty slots can run out, especially those with the Standard editions of the game. Currently, the endgame meta seemingly points to the levelling up of the market vendors in order to buy item or weapon containers that holds more space to ease the collective inventory space that the players were initially provided at the start.
  • Guide Dang It!: Most of the game can revolve around this, especially since the in-game maps do not mark important extraction zones or even specific landmarks. Looting can also be challenging to some if they don't know where to look or even what can be looted (e.g. one type of lootable green wooden ammo crate vs the static unlootable bundled stack of similar-looking green wooden crates, etc.). Finding keys to certain areas or questline objectives will be frustrating to newbies and veterans alike, especially since most of these key spawns are still at the mercy of the random number generator.
  • Gun Accessories: Each firearm in the game can be customized to truly impressive levels. Beyond the typical selection of electronic sights and optics, firearms can be customized with various stocks, grips, magazines, silencers, muzzle brakes, flashlights, underbarrel launchers, receivers, shotgun chokes, charging handles, gas tubes, gas blocks, and different types of ammunition.
  • Gun Porn: One of the main selling points of the game is the extensive arsenal of real-life firearms. Each one is modeled with significant detail and attention paid to its real operation.
  • Guns Do Not Work That Way: Few liberties were taken here and there, for example:
    • RIP rounds, introduced for some pistol calibers, inflicts as much damage, as rifle hunting rounds. In Real Life, terminal effects of said rounds were questioned and criticized more than once.
    • Tungsten-core M993 armor-piercing rounds are treated as only marginally better than older steel-core M61. German VPAM body armor standard put M993 in 10 threat level, two tiers above M61. Not to mention that M61 is rated to penetrate 7mm of steel armor, unlike 18mm for M993.
    • SP-6 rounds have better penetration than most of 5.45mm rounds. However, it is rated to penetrate only 8mm of steel armor or pistol-rated Class 2 body armor, while supposedly inferior 5.45mm 7N22 BP is able to defeat rifle-rated Class 4 armor.
  • Heavily Armored Mook: Some Scavs spawn with body armor and helmets, which greatly increase their resistance to damage. The Dealmaker's goons are armed to the teeth, rocking mid-level body armor and helmets while packing tacticool assault rifles and grenades; a first for Scav AI. The 0.11 patch introduces Killa, a boss that patrols the central area of Interchange mall. His personalized Class 5 6B13 body armour and Class 4 Maska 1Sch steel helmet with a Class 6 faceplate, combined with his usual penchant for More Dakka makes him a durably fierce foe to contend within the confined spaces of the mall.
  • Locked Door: The maps feature tons of these, and always require the correct keys in order to open them. Some doors do give way to a good ol' fashioned door-kicking, but it's the sturdily locked ones that usually contains good loot behind them. But also, have fun trying to find the specific key to a door, or better yet, managing the space for the amount of keys you wish to bring along with you to the raid.
  • The Mall: "Interchange", the fifth location to be added to the game. Originally used as an EMERCOM evacuation site, the mall remains abandoned and ripe for looting by PMC's and Scavs alike.
  • Mass Monster Slaughter Sidequest: Some quests given out by traders involve killing Scavs, PMCs or both on certain maps, with certain weapons, wearing certain gear, and at certain ranges. Why or how they know is unexplained.
  • Mêlée à Trois: Technically, the game's plot hinges on the two PMC factions, BEAR and USEC duking it out within one another while Scavengers target anyone outside of their cliques. In practice, it's you (and your team, if you're rolling with one) fighting other PMCs, loyalties be damned, as well as Scavs, both AI and player controlled.
  • Men Are the Expendable Gender: Currently, all players and Scavs are male.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The "P90 SOPMOD" as it originally appeared in Contract Wars, right down to the exact mods on the gun, can be obtained in this game, using physical representations of the aforementioned game's microtransaction currency (GP Coins).
    • The last episode of The Raid live-action mini-series re-introduces the previous game's Black Division faction.
  • Mystery Cult: An unknown cult operating within the Norvinsk region that has their presence felt in the form of strange ritualistic circles and markings in several obscure locations. Peacekeeper has a set of missions attempting to uncover their motives, although he has a theory that they might be of the Apocalypse Cult variety going by the fact that Human Sacrifice is involved. Developer plans for the future involves integrating the cult and its members properly into the game as a hostile faction.
  • Nintendo Hard: Make no mistake, this is a tough game. It is not uncommon to be instantly killed by one well-placed shot to the skull from across a huge distance, and basically the entirety of the game world is hostile, especially if you're a PMC. Stuff from the stores is expensive, your perfectly kitted gun can be swiped from your corpse, and the only way to absolutely, 100-percent-sure secure your loot is to place it in your secure container (either Alpha with a 2x2 space, Beta with a 2x3 space, or Gamma with a 3x3) - which cannot hold certain types of items like weapons, rigs, and armor, so you'll lose equipment regardless if you go down. Healing and damage have complex subsystems attached to them, gear management is a huge hurdle, and guns are dangerous at any range. On top of this the game has a huge amount of Guide Dang It! problems, such as not informing new players the location of extraction points and providing a complex and challenging experience to get into. This game is not for the faint of heart, though most will attest that this gives the game an exceptional amount of intensity, and the other Anti Frustration Features in place can ease most of the difficulty.
  • Perpetual Beta: The game has been out for three years, is priced like a released game, and is a popular game for streaming. However, the game itself is still officially in Beta with lots of content still planned and bugs ever-present.
  • Private Military Contractor: This is pretty much what the players are, the scavs being the exception. The background info mentions how a pharmaceutical company was alleged to be involved in shady business, so BEAR was sent in by Russia to investigate it, while USEC was hired by Terragroup to cover up their deals.
  • Product Placement: Many of the firearm brands (e.g Heckler & Koch, Tula Arms Plant, SIG Sauer, etc) and 3rd-party manufacturers (e.g. Magpul, Daniel Defense, Salient Arms, Lone Star Armory, etc) were included into the game as part of various partnership agreements between them and BSG, thus averting A.K.A.-47 for the most part.
  • Proxy War: The real benefactors behind USEC and BEAR are stated right in the companies' descriptions.
  • Robbing the Dead: As expected, any dead body can be looted for all they are worth.
  • Scavenger World: With the collapse of society in the Norvinsk region, Tarkov is essentially turned into this, both plot-wise and in gameplay terms.
  • Scenery Gorn: All of the game's maps provide absolutely gorgeous views of the outskirts of a recently-abandoned city getting slowly picked apart by looters and skirmishes between PMCs.
  • Short-Range Shotgun: Averted. While all available shotguns are very destructive at point-blank range, they can be used with accuracy for mid-to-long-range work (although they won't be as damaging as a dedicated weapon, such as a sniper rifle).
  • Shout-Out:
    • The Halloween events of 2018 - onwards gave AI Scavs a good chance to spawn wearing various masks resembling Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees and the Slenderman.
    • Many popular Twitch streamers who regularly play EFT have various pieces of Vendor Trash named after their online handles introduced in the 0.11 patch.
    • The description of the Red Hexagon Handguard for AK systems adds the line, "DA RED GOEZ FASTA!" Explanation . Hilariously enough, it indeed has 1 more Ergonomic point than its black variant.
    • The crowbar melee weapon is unsubtly named, 'Freeman Crowbar' with the last bit of the description reading: "Caution! May cause resonance cascade."
  • Shown Their Work:
    • Most of the featured firearms would be commonly encountered within the Eastern-European setting Tarkov is based on, with the rarer NATO or foreign firearms explained with the ever-growing black market and abandoned UN surplus.
    • The weapon customisation and attachments system is incredibly complex and specific; certain pistol grips and integrated rails will only work on a very specific weapon; Soviet-bloc weapons have a easier time attaching Russian-made optics and attachments while NATO weapons would require specially-made adaptors; certain scopes also require their proper mounting brackets and compatible rail dimensions.
    • Multiple types of cartridges are available for every single calibre, each having unique penetration capabilities, damage models and are rather reflective of their real-life ballistic performances. The ubiquitous Russian 5.45x39mm intermediate rifle cartridge alone has about 12 different variants; ranging from varying levels of armour piercing to tracers and even specialist subsonic rounds. In comparison, the puny 9x18mm Makarov rounds usually reserved for often-neglected pistols and submachine-guns has at least 14 different types of cartridges as of the current build.
    • Many variants of a single weapon system exists in-game each providing different attachment possibilities and performances. For example, the ubiquitous 7.62x39mm Kalashnikov assault rifle comes in the form of the standard military-grade full-auto/semi-auto AKM, the side mounting bracket variant (AKMN), a underfolding stock version (AKMS), the underfolding stock version with side mounting bracket (AKMSN), a civilian semi-auto only Vepr-KM / VPO-136 version and even a lesser-known civilian-legal smoothbore shotgun variant (Molot VPO-209) chambered in .336TKM.
    • The reloading operation of a modified, magazine-fed Simonov SKS is faithfully represented; during a match, the operator has to pull the bolt and eject the chambered round first (that can be picked back up later) before they can remove the magazine, then inserts a fresh magazine and then chambering a new round. Chambering the closed-bolt rifle with a full magazine is currently only possible within the main inventory.
  • Subsystem Damage: Each body part significantly limits the player once it is crippled. Broken legs cause the player to limp slowly unless painkillers or morphine is administered. Broken arms cause the player's weapon to sway dramatically. A broken chest or stomach causes the player to emit audible cries of pain and also lose hydration very quickly.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Being the hardcore shooter as advertised by the developers, many of the game's features might take newer players used to standard first-person shooters by surprise.
    • Gunshot wounds are punishing in Escape From Tarkov, no matter the calibre. Headshots are extremely lethal and getting hit in one body part repeatedly will cause permanent damage that requires specific medical applications, such as bandaging severely bleeding wounds, using a splint to set a broken leg straight, and even painkillers to numb the crippling pain temporarily.
      • Speaking of painkillers, while they can temporarily bring your severely damaged legs back to a normal walking or running condition, it doesn't change the fact those limbs are still crippled, so running for more than a short burst or falling from even a comically short height will still cause injuries that can compound on itself the more you put strain on them.
    • On that note as well, in a later update, there is the addition of Emergency Surgical Kits that can be used in raids to un-blacken a limb... after some time has passed not moving while you tend to the injury at hand. On top of that, while the area will be back to safely running/aiming once again after treatment, it does not change the fact that it was severely injured, reflected by a max health penalty to the area for the rest of the raid. It's better than a splint and guzzling painkillers, but these are surgical kits solely meant to stabilize a patient's condition to get them to a medical facility; it's impossible to fully treat these kind of wounds in the field, and they can't replace proper medical care and rest.
    • Wearing certain headwear will significantly affect your hearing, such as the Kolpak riot helmet which covers your ears, while pulling the faceplate down deafens you even more than usual along with reducing your vision. There are certain hardware like ComTec2 headsets that do amplify certain pitched sounds while dampening other ambient noises, but can only be paired with the helmets that allow space for it.
    • While the game features extensive weapon customization in and out of battle, certain modifications are impossible to do while in the field due to the precision tools that your character would obviously not have access to nor brought out with them.
    • A character's metabolism won't just stop once they extract from the area, and if you want them to recover faster (assuming you don't want to use first aid kits), you'll need to keep some food and water on hand, especially if their stomach was blacked out during the fighting.
    • Ammo calibers are the real line between a strong and weak gun. While each firearm does have their intricacies, what kind of ammo they fire is often the most important part of their design. For example, the Mosin-Nagnant fires powerful 7.62x54mmR rounds that can punch right through armor, making it a dangerous weapon despite its small magazine size.
    • Speaking of the Mosin, as usual with bolt-action rifles in video games, reloading is automatic, as quick as possible, and the player barely losing sight picture when manipulating bolt. Thus, combined with cheap price and powerful ammo, it was a one weapon to be scared of, rather than more of a situational tool.
    • The only issue is that due to balance, said ammunition in basic 7n1 FMJ defeats body armour rated out to three or more hits of 7.62x54mmR API. This is seen elsewhere too, with armour being strangely weak while helmets that would never defeat rifle ammunition in real life being very tough.
  • Tactical Shooter: The game is this as advertised, and is up with ARMA in terms of hardcore simulation, with features such as physical mags with separate ammo counts, extremely detailed subsystem damage, and an absurdly detailed gun customization system. Unlike ARMA, however, Tarkov gameplay mostly consist out of typical Battle Royale-style action with little regard to tactics and teamwork.
  • Trail of Blood: Shooting any character gives the potential to cause heavy bleeding, which in addition to only being healable with special bandages (like the Hemostat), can result in drops of blood appearing on the ground, until the victim uses the above mentioned bandages. This can give the attacker some clues to locate the victim so they can eliminate them.
  • Universal Ammunition: Strongly averted, as you need to use a proper magazine and ammo, and there's no guarantee the looted ammunition will be compatible. Or it could be a fitting magazine loaded with the wrong kind of ammo, resulting in a quiet "click" instead of a shot at the worst possible moment.
  • Vendor Trash: Many items, such as intricate statues or jewellery, have no purpose other than to be sold or traded to market owners.
  • Videogame Cruelty Punishment: As a Scav player, the AI Scavs roaming across the maps are considered your allies, or at least indifferent to your presence which was the developer's intention on giving the Scav player a fighting chance against the usually heavily armed and equipped PMC players. Betraying this trust by killing even one of them will turn all remaining Scavs on the map against you, making your scavenging run much more harder, especially without the insurance of a Secure Container and all the potentially hostile players still running about.
    • A later update furthered this punishment by adding the "Scav Karma" system, where killing fellow Scavs (that haven't shot you first) lowers your reputation with the Fence. Fence's reputation affects many factors like his buying prices and the quality of your Scav's gear, so now it's really in your best interest to be friendly with your fellow Scavs.


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