According to its About page, Escape from Tarkov is a “hardcore and realistic online first-person action RPG simulator with MMO features and a story-driven walkthrough.” It’s a shooter with persistent character inventory and loadouts, a base-building feature, and tough-as-nails gameplay. Despite having not officially released yet, the game has gained a significant online presence thanks to YouTuber and influencer endorsements, which has many potential players asking the question “how do you play Escape From Tarkov?” This guide will answer that question.
As we said, Escape From Tarkov doesn’t have an official release date. Rather, the game is in beta, and has been for quite some time. Most recently, the developers at Battlestate Games have rolled out patch 0.12, which introduced a robust hideout management feature among other things.
Because Escape From Tarkov is in beta, you might assume there’s a free and easy way to get into the game. That’s not the case, though—it’s not on the Epic Games Store, nor it is available in early access on Steam. Instead, you’ll have to pre-order directly from the official site. The cost is around $45, and you’ll land yourself an invite to the closed beta.
So, what does pre-ordering get you? In addition to beta access, you’ll get a basic starter stash area that’s 10×26 cells. Cells are inventory spaces, and a stash is where you’ll keep your most precious items. You’ll also receive the following in-game items:
- A knife with a bayonet
- Two tactical rigs
- Two backbacks
- A secure container
- Three Grach or P226 pistols
- 18 pistol magazines
- 330 units of pistol ammo
- 3 Makarov pistols
- Four units of canned meat
- Three bottles of water
- Six AI-2 medkits
- Six bandages
- Six splints
- 300,000 roubles
- An AKS74U with two loaded magazines
Escape From Tarkov prides itself on uber-realistic combat simulation gameplay, meaning you’ll have to keep an eye out not only for other enemies, but your character’s hydration, hunger, blood pressure, injuries, and more. You’re also subject to various weapon quirks, such as jamming, overheating, and general wear and use.
Gameplay in Tarkov plays out over a series of matches, where you’ll go up against other players, as well as AI-controlled enemies. The hook is that once you die, you’ll lose all of the inventory you carried with you into battle. The game includes a safehouse with a stash where you can keep you most valuable gear, but you don’t want to enter combat defenseless, either. The in-game economy is completely player-driven, too; the auction house lets you sell and buy items found in the game.
If you’re scared of losing all your loot, you can always play a game as a SCAV, which is what the in-game lore calls scavengers. A SCAV is basically a randomly-generated AI character with different gear from what your main character owns, so there’s no risk of losing your stuff if you die. There is a cooldown timer on how often you can play a SCAV game, though, so you can’t spend all your time in Tarkov playing as one.
In all, the game looks fascinating, even it if is incredibly harsh and unforgiving. Are you looking to get into Escape From Tarkov? Let us know in the comments section!