Essential Guide for New Players in EFT

Escape from Tarkov stands as a formidable challenge, far from catering to beginners and devoid of any semblance of friendliness. If you think you're prepared for a bumpy initiation after perusing a couple of articles or watching some videos, brace yourself – the reality is likely harsher than you imagine. In light of this, we've taken the initiative to gather crucial insights, particularly valuable for those venturing into the game as newcomers. Prepare for an extensive exploration, as there's a wealth of information awaiting absorption and understanding.


In Escape From Tarkov, moving around isn't as simple as just running or strolling. It's not your typical shooter – it aims for realism, mimicking the challenges of a heavily-equipped soldier.

Your movement options range from a painstakingly slow crawl to a full-out sprint, but going too fast might blow your cover.

In Tarkov, how you move is almost an art. It's not just about shooting accurately; it's about being smart with your steps. Each move you make on broken glass or through a bush creates a sound that enemies can use to find you. So, you need to move deliberately, whether you're navigating a quiet street or making a strategic move in a firefight.

Watch out for those high-tech headsets – they make your footsteps super clear. Even the sneakiest players can get caught if they make a tiny misstep.

Now, let's talk about your speed. You've got three types: Sprinting, walking (which is your default), and slow walking. Walking is easy, but sprinting uses up your stamina, a crucial resource in fights. Slow walking is your survival move – quiet, good for bushes, and won't make noise on different surfaces.

And here's some extra info – sidestepping and sliding. Sidestepping lets you move sideways in two ways – a quick step or holding your position. Sliding is a bit risky, though. It can lock you into moving forward and make a unique noise. So, be careful with that move – it's tricky in Tarkov's unpredictable battles!

Movement Speeds:

  • Default walking speed.
  • Sprinting: Press Left Shift, but be aware it depletes your stamina.
  • Slow Walking: Press Caps Lock or use Mousewheel Down for minimal noise and better stealth.

Noise Considerations:

  • Every step on different surfaces (glass, tile, bushes) creates distinct sounds.
  • Headsets amplify your footsteps, making even the stealthiest moves audible.

Additional Techniques:

  • Sidestepping: Press Left Alt + Q / E for lateral movement – quick tap or sustained hold.
  • Sliding: Hold Left Shift and press C, or release Left Shift (caution: may be a bug).

Stamina Management:

  • Sprinting uses stamina; monitor it carefully as it affects your engagements.

Survival Tip:

  • Slow walking minimizes noise, ideal for stealth, bushes, and navigating different surfaces.


In Escape From Tarkov, your stance is just as crucial as your movement when it comes to survival. Knowing when to stand tall, crouch low, or go prone can significantly impact your ability to navigate the intense environment. The game offers three standard stances – Standing, Crouching, and Prone – each with distinct advantages and limitations.


  • Provides the highest movement speed.
  • Increases visibility at a distance.
  • Generates the most noise while moving.


  • Balances a low profile with reasonable movement speed.
  • Excellent for utilizing cover effectively.
  • Produces the lowest amount of sound.


  • Nearly immobile but offers excellent accuracy.
  • Greatly reduces your silhouette.

Moving slowly doesn't decrease noise, and transitioning from prone always makes noise.

Despite these standard stances, you can adopt various postures by pressing C + Mousewheel Up/Mousewheel Down, allowing you to peek over cover that would otherwise obstruct your view or firing line.

Leaning is another critical aspect. It should become second nature as you navigate corners and cover. Leaning minimizes your exposure, making it less risky than fully moving out of cover. Primary leaning is done with Q and E, while a variable lean is achieved by holding Left Alt + A / D. To reset your stance, press either Q or E.

An interesting note is that using Left Alt + Q / E while prone allows you to turn your entire body and weapon sideways, lowering your weapon significantly. While rarely used, this mechanic offers a range of additional tactics, especially since it presents a smaller target for anyone attempting to return fire.

Health, Healing, and Hitpoints

Escape from Tarkov has a nuanced yet comprehensible medical system that sets it apart from other games. Using meds in Tarkov is not instantaneous; it takes time, making you vulnerable and creating noise. Your character's health is divided into hitpoints (HP), with each body part having its own HP value and potential positive or negative status effects. As a player, you start with a total of 440 Health Points distributed among seven body parts: Head, Thorax, Stomach, Legs, and Arms.

The status of each body part is indicated by three colors: Grey (fine), Red (critically low HP), and Black (destroyed or "Blacked"). When a body part reaches 0 HP, it becomes Blacked and can only be restored with a specialized surgical kit. Further damage to a Blacked part is distributed to other parts. A Blacked body part can have severe consequences, potentially affecting your ability to extract successfully or navigate the map without attracting attention.

Different body parts being Blacked have varying effects. For example, damage to the Thorax or Head results in instant death from any subsequent hits to those areas. In contrast, a Blacked leg significantly reduces movement speed and requires painkillers for sprinting, impacting overall mobility. Blacked Arms affect aiming stability and increase the time for certain actions, while a Blacked Stomach causes rapid Hydration and Energy drain, leading to gradual HP loss until you eat or drink.

Inevitably, you'll take damage during your raids, and that's where meds come in. There are various types of meds, each with a specific purpose and limited charges. Bleeding is a critical status effect, and all medical kits can stop bleeding, including bandages. However, insufficient charges in a medical kit to stop bleeding result in only healing the affected body part.

In dire situations, where body parts are broken or suffering from severe status effects, you can use specific meds like Painkillers, Morphine, or splints to manage the situation temporarily. Moreover, you have the option to restore Blacked body parts using CMS or Surv12 surgical kits, but this only brings the part to 1 HP and decreases its overall maximum HP for the raid. This effect accumulates with repeated use.

Post-raid, your health and status effects persist, offering the choice to pay in-game currency to restore health and remove effects. However, this is generally not recommended due to cost and XP loss. Using found or purchased meds is a more economical solution. Additionally, passive regeneration in your hideout can restore health for free, but it takes time and is influenced by hideout upgrades. Understanding and navigating Tarkov's medical intricacies are key to surviving and thriving in the intense and unforgiving environment.

Eating and Drinking

In Escape from Tarkov, your character's well-being goes beyond just health points and extends to crucial stats: hydration and energy. These two factors directly impact your character's performance, and allowing them to reach zero can lead to significant limitations and even death in the field. 

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When your hydration and energy stats hit zero, your character will exhibit weakened movement and intermittent loss of sight, making you more susceptible to dangers in the environment. Prolonged exposure to this depleted state may result in death. To prevent such dire consequences, it's essential to keep these stats in check.

A strategic approach involves ensuring that you carry at least a bottle of water and some food, such as an Iskra ration, in your equipment. While this may not be critical for quick extractions, it becomes crucial if you anticipate spending an extended period on the battlefield. Standing idle without addressing your hydration and energy needs can have severe consequences.

However, it's important to note that this system introduces an element of realism and planning into the game. You can't frequently enter raids with your PMC without consequences, as your stats won't regenerate immediately. To address this, you either need to allow some time to pass for natural regeneration outside of raids or proactively manage your character's needs by consuming items from your stash.

This feature adds an additional layer of strategic thinking to your gameplay, encouraging players to plan their excursions carefully, considering not only combat scenarios but also the logistical aspects of survival. Keeping a watchful eye on your character's hydration and energy levels becomes a vital aspect of your overall survival strategy in the challenging and immersive world of Escape from Tarkov.

Gear, Stash, and the Hideout

In Escape from Tarkov, managing your inventory is a critical aspect of survival. Your character has a finite capacity to carry items, and your stash, where you store your loot, also comes with size limitations. However, the game provides strategic solutions to overcome these constraints.

Tactical gear, such as vests and backpacks, plays a pivotal role in expanding your carrying capacity. Equipping these items allows you to carry more gear, ammunition, and essentials during raids. The choice of tactical gear becomes a crucial decision, balancing the need for additional storage with considerations like mobility and protection.

Moreover, specialized containers offer a valuable solution to stash limitations. These containers enable you to store more items in your hideout, providing a way to manage your inventory more efficiently. Choosing the right container for your needs becomes a strategic decision, as different containers offer varying sizes and functionalities.

The interplay between your character's loadout and the available storage solutions adds a layer of depth to the gameplay. It encourages players to carefully plan their loadouts, considering the type of tactical gear and containers that best suit their playstyle and objectives.


Escape from Tarkov introduces a comprehensive gear system, where your character has various equipment slots to fill with essential items. Understanding these slots is crucial for creating a functional and effective loadout. Here's a breakdown of the different gear slots:


  • Used for sound-enhancing equipment like military headphones.
  • Hearing is vital in Tarkov, making earpieces a significant gear choice.


  • Mainly for Helmets, but can also include Hats and Night Vision Goggles.
  • Protective helmets are recommended for defense, and some helmets have mounts for Night Vision attachments.

Face Cover:

  • Reserved for breathing aids like gas masks, though their functionality is cosmetic at present.
  • Light Armored Masks provide minimal protection; face shields attached to helmets offer better defense.


  • Various-colored armbands for teammate recognition.
  • Relying on voice communication is more effective than solely depending on armband recognition.

Body Armor:

  • Plate Carriers, Soft Armors, and Armor Vests.
  • Different armors offer varying levels of protection for different body parts, with associated movement penalties.


  • Reduces raindrop visibility on the screen.
  • Useful during bad weather conditions.

On Sling and On Back:

  • Primary weapon slots, allowing you to carry two primary weapons.


  • A slot for your sidearm, providing quick access to a secondary weapon.


  • Reserved for carrying melee weapons.

Tactical Rig:

  • Critical equipment slot serving as storage for quick-access items like meds, grenades, and magazines.
  • Some high-tier Tactical Rigs double as Body Armor, reducing the need for additional protection in that slot.


  • Quick-access slots for grenades and smaller medical items.
  • Tactical for immediate use during combat.


  • Main storage for loot and items not needed for quick access.
  • Varies in size, with larger backpacks compromising concealment and making hiding more challenging.


  • Holds the Secure Container, a space where items are retained even if you die in a raid.
  • Put valuable items in the Secure Container to avoid losing them.

Understanding and optimizing your loadout by strategically filling these gear slots is essential for success in Escape from Tarkov. Balancing protection, mobility, and storage needs will contribute to your survival and effectiveness in raids.


Escape from Tarkov's stash is your hub for storing loot, gear, money, and provisions acquired during raids. The initial stash size is determined by your edition, with a Standard Edition offering a 10x28 grid-size stash. While this may seem sufficient early on, it becomes a limiting factor in the end game when players accumulate a significant amount of loot and resources. Here are some hints to optimize your stash and manage space efficiently:

Stack Backpacks: Nest them if inner dimensions are equal or larger, offering more storage in the same space.

Use Containers: Fill non-backpack containers with gear efficiently, maximizing space usage.

Weapon Mods: Attachments on weapons occupy less or no space, letting you store more without extra containers.

Fold Firearms: Fold stocks to reduce firearm size, allowing more to fit in the stash or Weapon Container.

Detach Grips and Magazines: Removing these components reduces each firearm's size, maximizing gun storage efficiency.

Avoid Hoarding: Sell unused items; prioritize practicality over accumulation for better stash organization.

Efficient stash management is crucial in Escape from Tarkov, particularly as your in-game wealth grows. These tips help maximize storage and maintain a well-organized inventory.


The Hideout in Escape from Tarkov is your private haven in the midst of the war-ravaged city. It serves as a secure location for storing loot, tending to wounds, honing combat skills, and crafting essential items. The Hideout comprises various modules, each offering unique effects and bonuses:

Air Filtering Unit: Provides a 40% leveling boost for all Physical Skills.

Bitcoin Farm: Enables the generation of bitcoins using Graphics Cards.

Booze Generator: Allows the brewing of "Fierce Hatchling" Moonshine.

Generator: Powers all modules requiring electricity.

Heating: Increases Energy Regeneration Rate and later removes negative effects when your PMC is in the Hideout.

Illumination: Brightens the underground hideout, essential for visibility.

Intelligence Center: Reduces cooldown for "Svav missions," enhances quest rewards, and produces intelligence-type loot.

Lavatory: Functions as a crafting station for various items, including backpacks, bandages, cleaning agents, containers, and tactical rigs.

Library: Offers a 30% leveling boost for all Practical Skills and a +15% experience bonus.

Medstation: Serves as a crafting station for medical supplies and allows PMC health regeneration in the Hideout.

Nutrition Unit: Acts as a crafting station for provisions and facilitates PMC health, energy, and hydration regeneration in the Hideout.

Rest Space: Removes negative effects, boosts in-Hideout health and energy regeneration rates, and increases max energy by 10 at level 3.

Scav Case: Permits the sending of Scavs on scavenging missions.

Security: Currently has no function.

Shooting Range: Enables testing of weapons within the Hideout.

Solar Power: Reduces fuel consumption by 50%.

Stash: Increases the size of your PMC Stash.

Vents: Currently have no function.

Water Collector: Boosts PMC's Hydration Regeneration Rate and, at level 3, allows the production of Purified Water.

Workbench: Functions as a crafting station for various items, including weapon parts, ammunition, weapons, technical loot items, grenades, and offers off-raid weapon customization.

Each module contributes to your overall Hideout functionality, providing a range of benefits to enhance your Tarkov experience. From skill boosts to crafting capabilities, the Hideout becomes a crucial part of your survival strategy in this intense and immersive game.

Weaponry and Equipment

In Escape From Tarkov, your success hinges on your choice of weaponry and equipment. Whether it's a basic sidearm or a fully-loaded M4, the decision of what to take into a raid is entirely yours, except when entering as a Scavenger. Each firearm's performance varies based on modifications and how you use them. Learning the nuances of a weapon, whether heavily modified or stock, is crucial for success against both players and AI opponents.

The depth of the weapon systems in Tarkov is extensive and cannot be overstated. When modifying a weapon, crucial considerations include the expected engagement range, the type of target (armored or not), and how your playstyle factors into these decisions. Optics selection is personal, but factors like time to Aim Down Sights (ADS) and expected engagement distance matter. Surprisingly, point shooting without ADS can be as, if not more, effective in most situations, making it a critical skill to master.

Ammunition choice is nuanced, considering factors like availability, trader stock, and whether you're facing fully geared squads. Magazine selection is crucial too, as reloading in a firefight is perilous. You can use different ammo types in a single magazine.

Choosing a weapon type is personal, but going into a raid unarmed is strongly discouraged. When picking up a weapon in the field, perform a quick magazine check (Left Alt + T) and check the chamber (Left Shift + T) to ensure it's ready for action.

Ammunition takes precedence over weapon modifications, as it determines a bullet's killing ability, while modifications aid in shot placement. Generally, high penetration ammo is advised for center mass shots, but "Leg meta" using high flesh damage rounds is an option.

Equipment in Tarkov spans body armor, backpacks, and more. Knowing what to bring is crucial for financial success and survival. The grade of armor matters, and head protection varies based on helmet choice. When selecting equipment, consider availability, price, and quality. Expensive loadouts offer great protection and storage but can be hard to obtain. Cheap loadouts are readily available but provide limited protection.

In Tarkov, the risk of bringing high-end weaponry with low-end gear is present, as you might lose your valuable gun in a fight. Scavs, easy-to-kill AI characters, can be a source of free loadouts, so looting them is advisable. They sometimes carry useful equipment like Scav backpacks or even the larger Pilgrim Backpack. Understanding the intricacies of weapon and equipment selection is vital for navigating the challenging and dynamic world of Escape From Tarkov.

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Currency, Flea Market, Traders, and Bartering

Escape from Tarkov boasts a dynamic, player-driven economy that mirrors real-life market changes. One fascinating feature is the in-game Physical Bitcoin, its price directly tied to the value of real-world Bitcoin. Beyond this, the game introduces various currencies, each subject to constant fluctuation in exchange rates. This dynamic economic system adds a unique and engaging layer to the online first-person shooter experience.

In Tarkov, your wealth is not solely measured in traditional currency. Traders offer Barter Trades, allowing you to exchange a variety of miscellaneous items found during raids for more valuable and practical ones. This adds an extra dimension to the game's economy, encouraging players to explore and strategize beyond the conventional use of money.


In the complex financial landscape of Tarkov, the primary currency is the Rouble (₽), widely accepted by seven out of eight Traders. Peacekeeper, the eighth Trader, exclusively deals in Dollars ($). Euro (€) serves as the third currency, mainly utilized for transactions with the Mechanic.

You can acquire these currencies through various means. Roubles can be obtained by looting, completing quests, or selling items to most Traders (excluding Peacekeeper). However, there's a limit of 175,000 Roubles that can be held in your PMC inventory at any given time. Dollars can be looted, earned through Peacekeeper's quests, or obtained by selling items to him, with a maximum limit of 3,000 Dollars in your PMC inventory. Euros, on the other hand, can be looted or purchased from LL2 Skier, but no Trader will exchange loot for Euros. The PMC inventory limit for Euros is also set at 3,000.

It's essential to note that Tarkov's currency ratios fluctuate over time, aiming to mirror the real-life foreign exchange market. This dynamic system introduces an element of risk and reward, as the value of your savings in a particular currency can change, potentially leading to financial gain or loss. Understanding and adapting to these currency dynamics is crucial for financial success in the harsh and unpredictable world of Escape from Tarkov.


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Flea Market

The Flea Market in Tarkov acts as a dynamic auction house where both AI Traders and players can create exchange offers for money or items. However, to maintain balance and fairness, certain rules and restrictions are imposed on the Flea Market system:

Unlocking Requirement: The Flea Market becomes available only after achieving PMC level 15.

"Found in Raid" Status: Only items with the "Found in Raid" status can be sold on the Flea Market. This status is granted to items found during a raid if you successfully extract, with certain restrictions. Extraction must occur after the 10-minute mark, and you need to earn at least 600 experience for the items to be labeled as "Found in Raid."

Tax System: A tax is collected for each created offer, calculated using a specific formula that considers the total offer value and other factors.

Offer Limitations:

  • You can offer only one item at a time.
  • You can ask for up to three items in return.
  • The number of offer slots is limited, but your "Merchant Reputation" affects this limit. Starting with one slot, it can increase to a maximum of 18 with a higher Reputation.
  • Offer Duration Extension: You can extend the duration of your offer by clicking on the small up arrow next to the remaining time.

Delivery Mechanism: Goods acquired through successful auctions are sent to you via Ragman, one of the in-game Traders.

In addition, it's crucial to understand the concepts of "Found in Raid" status and "Merchant Reputation":

  • "Found in Raid" status is granted to items you extract from a raid successfully after the 10-minute mark, with a minimum experience requirement.
  • "Merchant Reputation" is affected by your performance on the Flea Market. Each completed deal and every 50,000 Roubles gained increase your Reputation, while expired or removed deals decrease it. Managing your Reputation is key to unlocking more offer slots and maximizing your trading potential on the Flea Market.

Traders and Bartering

Traders play a fundamental role in the economy of Tarkov, serving as more than just merchants. They are also quest providers, handymen, and medics. Each Trader specializes in a particular field, buying and selling specific goods, and their quests are centered around various aspects of life (and survival) in Tarkov. As you complete their tasks and advance your PMC levels, you unlock access to the Traders' inventories, granting you the ability to purchase increasingly powerful weapons, equipment, and consumables.

While some items are available for purchase with standard currency, not everything can be bought outright. Traders also offer deals that require you to procure specific goods, which are particularly sought after by them. These barter trades provide a way to obtain access to more potent items and gear earlier in the game. However, they come with an added challenge, as they often require you to gather specific items rather than relying solely on currency. Successfully navigating these barter trades can give you a strategic advantage in obtaining desirable gear and items in Escape from Tarkov.

Getting Ready for Your First Raid

Surviving in Escape from Tarkov can be a challenging endeavor, especially for newcomers. However, there are several strategies and tips that can help you prepare and expedite the learning process:

Learn Controls: Familiarize yourself with the controls to avoid fumbling during stressful situations. Practice in offline mode to build muscle memory and confidence.

Focus on Tasks: Completing tasks is the most efficient way to gain experience, level up quickly, and enhance your Trader's reputation. Prioritize maps with active objectives.

Use External Maps: Keep external maps open during raids. There are detailed maps available on the official wiki for each Tarkov area. Having them accessible on a second monitor, phone, tablet, or browser can significantly aid navigation.

Avoid Over-Equipping: Don't bring gear that you can't afford to replace. Prioritize budget loadouts and sell valuable loot to fund multiple equipment sets.

Expect Death: Acknowledge that survival rates can be low, especially for new players. Expecting death and understanding that you might lose your gear will help you approach each raid with a more practical mindset.

Master One Map: Choose a map to prioritize and perfect your loot runs. Knowing a map inside out allows you to make money quickly and access the best loot before others. Customs is often considered a more beginner-friendly map.

Aim Strategically: Tailor your aiming strategy to the ammunition you're using. If your ammo has low penetration and high damage, aim for the legs, as there is no armor protecting the legs in Tarkov.

Memorize Penetration Values: Understand the penetration values of different ammo types. This knowledge becomes crucial when using looted weapons with unfamiliar ammunition.

Scav Runs: While Scav runs can help you build your economy, don't prioritize them too much, as they don't contribute to PMC character development (no experience or skill increases).

Offline Mode: Before venturing into live raids, spend time in offline mode to familiarize yourself with the maps. Learn key locations, loot spawns, and extraction points. This practice will enhance your overall map knowledge.

By implementing these tips, you can improve your survival chances, gain valuable experience, and gradually become more adept at navigating the challenging world of Escape from Tarkov. Annd if you still find playing Tarkov challenging but highly interesting for you, we recommend purchasing coaching services. We will personally teach you all the intricacies of Tarkov and help you overcome various challenges.

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