One of the first things you learn playing Escape From Tarkov is just how brutal of a game it can be. Even once I had put 20 hours into it, I still felt pretty lost. That’s due to just how complex of a game Tarkov is – and that’s a good thing! Learning Tarkov‘s complex array of mechanics is very satisfying, and the best way I learned as a beginner was from listening to tips from other players. So, I want to share with you this list of 10 tips that I think are very useful to learn in Escape From Tarkov.
And once you’re finished with this list, be sure to check out these guides for beginners in Escape From Tarkov:
1. Stick to One Map
One of the biggest mistakes beginners make in Tarkov is bouncing around to the different maps and never taking the time to learn any of them. Map knowledge is your greatest tool in Tarkov. Learning a map’s PMC and scav spawns, extracts, loot locations, stashes, etc., is the best way to improve your chances of survival in EFT. If you’re a beginner, check out my guide on the two best maps when starting out in Tarkov.
Once, you’ve learned the basics of the map, you can focus on improving other aspects of your gameplay, like gunfighting and looting efficiency. Basically, learning one map and sticking to it is one of the best tips I can give to improve in Tarkov.
2. Do Scav Runs
Using scav runs is a great way to save money, especially when starting out in Tarkov. Since you are not risking any of your gear, whatever you make it out of the raid with is pure profit. You can even see some of the gear that your scav will have while in the main menu, and sometimes that gear can be pretty valuable!
Subtip: As a scav, AI scavs will not shoot at you as long as you do not fire at any other scavs. I will always avoid killing scavs during my scav runs, unless the scav looks to have great gear or I’m near my extract.
3. Use Insurance
The next tip for Tarkov beginners is to use insurance. When I started out, I thought that insurance was something only rich players used. On the contrary, insurance is actually best utilized by newer players for a couple of reasons.
First, it’s cheap. Insuring all of your gear usually only takes around 10k rubles, and you’ll make most of that back with insurance returns. On top of that, once you insure an item, it will stay insured until you die with it.
And second, insurance is much more effective when you aren’t using top-dollar gear. That’s because if you die, other players will be much less likely to take your gear because it isn’t as valuable, or they may just have something better already. And if your gear isn’t taken, then you’ll get it back in insurance returns. Win-win.
4. Maximize Profit
There’s a few different things to keep in mind when looting. First, you want to consider what is in your safe container. Often, players will keep medical supplies in their safe container and never take them out. But most medical supplies are very cheap, and it’s much more profitable to only put your most valuable loot in the container to ensure a better net in case you die. Always be mindful of what is in your safe container when looting and replace less valuable loot when you can. Here is a handy website that lets you search for loot and see how much it’s worth.
Also, keep in mind an object’s value-per-slot. For example, a power supply may seem like a valuable, rare item. It’s worth about 23k rubles, so it’s worth grabbing if you have the space. However, condensed milk is worth almost the same amount (18-19k) and only takes up one slot, compared to four from the PSU.
5. Ammo is King
The most important tip to know about Tarkov as a beginner is that ammo is what deals damage, not the weapons themselves. Ballistics in EFT can be complex, so I won’t get into the nitty-gritty, but I will share one of the most important tools for improving in EFT. This guide was created by reddit user and Tarkov player r/NoFoodAfterMidnight, and it summarizes every ammo type in the game and what kind of penetration and damage values they have.
I still reference this guide a lot when I’m playing, and you should too.
6. Bind Meds to Hotkeys
This is a short tip, but a valuable one for beginners improving in Tarkov. For a long time in the game, I didn’t realize that you can bind meds to hotkeys. By doing this, you remove the need to open your inventory in order to use meds. Keep in my that you can only bind items if they’re in your vest or pockets. I’ll always bind a medkit and painkillers, as those are the two most frequently used medical items.
This tip can save you crucial seconds when in firefights, often meaning the difference in life or death.
7. Use Offline Mode
The next tip for beginners improving in Tarkov is to use offline mode. Offline mode is a great tool for a couple of different reasons.
First, you can try out your weapons and practice your aim on scavs. Since offline mode doesn’t record anything that happens, you can shoot as much as you want and you won’t lose any of it when you go back to the main menu. You can even die or disconnect and everything will be just like it was before you went in.
Next, you can use offline mode to learn maps. I would highly recommend doing this before going into a map for the first time. It’s hands-down the best and fastest way to learn maps, as you can go at your own pace and not have to worry about any players interrupting you.
8. Use Ctrl+Click
One neat tip that Tarkov doesn’t teach you as a beginner is that you can hold control and click on an item to instantly move it. Doing so on an item in your stash will move it to the first open slot on your character, and vice-versa. You can also use this to speed up your looting in raid, as ctrl+clicking on lootable items will instantly move them to your character.
Also, you can alt+click on equipable items (guns, armor, backpacks, etc.) to automatically equip them to your character.
9. Identify Player Scavs by Their Pouch
This tip isn’t quite as practical as others for beginners, but many times you’ll kill a scav in Tarkov and wonder, “Was that a player or AI?” Since scavs don’t have dogtags, it’s tricky to tell. But, there is a way to check. When you go to loot their body, at the bottom of their inventory there will be “pouch” slot if they are a player. If they are AI, they won’t have this slot. Ego +1.
10. Get a Keytool
Just as many things in life, having a long term goal makes accomplishing short term goals much easier. And your first long term goal in Tarkov should be this: get a keytool. Keytools are one of the most valuable items in Tarkov for good reason, as they drastically alter how you can play the game once you have one. Keytools take up only one space, and hold up to 16 keys. Therefore, you can take nearly every key for a map and it only costs you one space in your safe container. And as you’ll quickly learn, keys are your gateway to better loot.
So, make it a goal to save up around 600k rubles and get yourself a keytool. It will be one of the best decisions you make in Escape From Tarkov.