Escape From Tarkov: Beginners Guide, Tips & Tricks

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A player on the Woods map in Escape From Tarkov.

Escape From Tarkov is a hardcore PvE shooter with some MMO and RPG elements. It's incredibly difficult to get to grips with as other players ruthlessly track down loot around the map or from the bodies of fellow players. For those who are new to Tarkov, we have some tips and tricks to help you with the beginning of your journey.

In this guide, we explain some beginners tips and tricks for playing Escape From Tarkov.

The title is still in beta testing, meaning that your experiences (and our tips) may not be representative of the final product.

Read More: Escape From Tarkov: Weapons Guide – Which Guns Suit Your Playstyle?

Practice Offline

When starting a raid, offline mode can be selected in Escape From Tarkov.
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As you get used to the general gameplay of Escape From Tarkov, it's likely worth playing offline for a few raids before jumping into online games. By doing this, you can become used to one or two maps at a time, and see which weapons you like using.

It can be tempting to jump into online gameplay. Yet, taking the time to practice offline with NPC's at a difficulty of your choosing is a great way of easing yourself into what can be deemed to be a very hard shooter for newcomers.

Play In Daylight Hours

The map selection area in Escape From Tarkov, where day or night can be chosen for each raid.
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While stealth is all important in Escape From Tarkov, your first priorities will likely lie with getting to know the maps and the game's mechanics. With this in mind, it's essential to select which hours you want your specific raid to be set in.

You choose this when you're selecting which map you want to play on, and can decide to play in daylight or at night time. Taking cover in the darkness of the night is a great way to attempt to have the upper ground as a skilled player, but for those starting out, we recommend selecting daylight to begin with. With the sun being up, you'll be able to get used to the layout of the maps and navigating them will feel much easier.

Place Ammo In The Right Place

The gear section of the character menu in Escape From Tarkov, where ammo can be placed into pockets or the tactical rig to be easily accessed.
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If you store ammo in your backpack in Escape From Tarkov, reloading will take a while longer than if you store it in the appropriate place. In the gear section of your character menu, you can place your ammo or magazines within your pockets or tactical rig.

With your ammo placed into either of these areas, you'll be able to reload using 'R', rather than having to manually go into your menu to reload. This saves a significant amount of time in combat.

Optimise Your Stash Storage

The stash in the gear section of the character menu in Escape From Tarkov.
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The stash storage in Escape From Tarkov is made up of various small squares, and can become messy rather quick. To keep on top of this, you can sort all of your equipment and items from the gear section of the character menu.

To the lower left of your stash, there are two buttons to click. One of them will automatically sort your stash for you based on the item, as shown above, The second provides you a sorting box, also made up of multiple squares. This box can be used as a little extra space to drag and drop items while you manually sort out your own stash.

Checking Ammo Compatibility

The gear section of the character menu, with an ammo compatibility check being carried out, in Escape From Tarkov.
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In Escape From Tarkov, checking ammo compatibility is very easy. Until you're accustomed to what ammo or magazines fit which weapons, you can simply hold the ammo and whatever weapon it is compatible with will be highlighted green.

We've shown this above, and this is by far the simplest and fastest way of checking compatibility, so you know what to take with you on each raid.

Complete Tasks From Dealers

The Traders (Dealers) menu in Escape From Tarkov.
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In Escape From Tarkov, Dealers are also known as Traders, and will be shown under the Traders area of your menu. Each Trader takes the form of an NPC whom you can buy items from. You can also sell your items to them, but each Trader will offer a different price for your items, so be sure to check that.

As well as being vendors, Traders will have tasks for you to complete, too. For example, Prapor's first quest asks that you kill five Scavs on the Customs map, and bring him two pistols. As you'd expect, you'll be rewarded for completing these quests.

You can also work on increasing your loyalty levels which each Trader to unlock better items for sale from them. Loyalty level is increased by completing their tasks, buying and selling items with that Trader, and by generally increasing your PMC level.


Use the Alpha Container

The gear section of the character menu, with the Alpha Container highlighted in Escape From Tarkov.
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In Escape From Tarkov, you lose all of your items when you die, as you may have already learnt. This is exactly why both looting and surviving are core components of the tactical title. There is one small exception, however, and that comes in the form of the Alpha Container.

The Alpha Container is a small, four-square container. All items placed into it prior to a raid will be protected even if you die. You have the opportunity to earn improved containers too, such as the Secure Container Epsilon, which is a reward for completing all of Prapor's tasks.

On this note, remember that you can ensure any items you take into a raid with you that you do not want to lose. This will cost a fee, with the cost depending on how valuable the item itself is. There will also be a waiting time until the item is returned to you, and this is disclosed when insuring them as you go into a raid.

That's enough to get you started in Escape From Tarkov. Good luck taking on raids and looting all that you can. For more on Tarkov, check out our guide to the Customs map, and our guide to all ammo available in the hardcore shooter title.

For more articles like this, take a look at our Escape From Tarkov and Guides page.