Escape from Tarkov is in shambles, but it’s still worth saving

Now everyone is wiggling.

Image via Battlestate Games

Sometimes, being blunt is the best form of mercy — Escape from Tarkov is in dire straits. The recent shift from Steam Audio to Oculus Audio has been frustrating, with audio cues coming from the wrong direction, if it triggers at all. Attempts to limit real-money transactions (RMTs) have only managed to hinder authentic players, forcing specific playstyles that revolve around tedious quest lines and hoping rare items spawn in a raid, rather than enjoy the MilSim sandbox that Battlestate Games created. There’s also rampant cheating, coming to a head after a video went viral, which seemingly forced the hand of Battlestate Games.

Related: How to Check Escape from Tarkov Server Status, Matching Time, and Ping

Tense games make tense players

Escape from Tarkov is one of the most tense games available today. With every corner, behind every tree, there is always the possibility that you’ll simply lose hours of work with little to no recourse. A sudden crack of a rifle, and you’re looking at the KIA screen, lucky if you happened to identify where you were engaged from. This is an acceptable premise for many — the tension makes the title brilliant. Every engagement comes down to preparation, experience, and skill, with the superior foe taking the spoils of battle.

This makes people rather tense when Escape from Tarkov is discussed at length, simply because the game itself is a white-knuckle ride. When you can permanently lose your entire liquid net worth in the span of a second, fans begin to take things seriously, especially when that net worth was a week of grinding. So when players are attempting to discuss the likelihood of being killed by another player cheating, accusations would fly with the inevitable ‘git gud’ being dropped. This led to the rise of streamer success with Escape from Tarkov — watching someone else deal with the gray hairs of the game was simply brilliant.

The Wiggling 60%

Content creator G0at created a video where he installed cheats, and attempted to use the cheats to verify how many players are cheating in any given Escape from Tarkov match. He found that cheaters, with the ability to see enemies through walls, would wiggle at each other to verify that they were both cheating. His findings from the experiment were that 60% of the raids that you’ll load into have at least one cheating player. After years of frustration from many players, dismissed concerns about instant head-eyes and raids devoid of loot, this video was the catalyst that ignited the fanbase, with many veteran players simply uninstalling the title. If over half of your raids are at the mercy of a cheater, then what’s the entire point of playing the game?

Many players have felt that Battlestate Games simply lost interest in what the players were requesting, instead trodding down their own path in a cash-infused stupor while posting various luxury purchases on social media. Streamers that voiced community concerns and frustrations were black-listed by Battlestate Games, being removed from the ‘favored streamers’ list. Concerns that the community held closely, such as Captcha and FiR status gating, were outright ignored. Players that were recorded boasting of their cheats in-game went unpunished. The community heavily suspects some popular streamers of the title to be cheating, snapping their aim through walls onto enemies, while Battlestate Games looks the other way. And the fury of the community grew.

Screenshot by Gamepur

The Tarkov Watershed

These recent developments have increased the online outcry of Escape from Tarkov fans to a deafening roar, a straw that has broken the back of the community. In response, Battlestate Games took to Twitter to publish the names of 4,000 players it banned during a single weekend — which anecdotally did not manage to stop the massive number of cheaters the following Monday, nor was it a long-term solution to the issue. In an ironic turn, the very players that have been striving to escape from Tarkov for years through multiple wipes and egregious bugs are now threatening to walk out for good.

Escape from Tarkov brought a new genre to existence, mirrored and mimicked in titles such as The Cycle: Frontier and Dark and Darker, and it’s wild to think that it may all be for naught due to a brutal, if not disrespectful, disconnect between developer and community. There simply is no equal to Tarkov, proven time and again as we all reconnect for one more raid in the hopes of finding a fair fight through bugs, teleporting players, and countless wipes. If there’s a chance that Battlestate Games is ready to step into action, bringing fair fights to players in any way they deem necessary to stem the cheating, Escape from Tarkov deserves that chance. If not, show mercy — be blunt and let us know.