Escape from Tarkov beginner’s guide – Top 5 tips for new players

Tips for jumping into the deep end.

When is the next wipe in Escape From Tarkov

Image via Battle State Games

If you’ve decided to jump into Escape from Tarkov for the first time, you’re diving into an incredibly deep pool filled with complex interactions, massive amounts of customization, and an unforgiving experience just waiting to laugh as you die. It’s also one of the most rewarding PvPvE experiences on the market, with every success providing a considerable rush and every failure crushing your soul. Here are five of the most important tips any beginner can take to heart in Escape from Tarkov.

Related: How to break the defective wall in Escape from Tarkov, and what’s behind it

Don’t be afraid of dying

Death is a constant in Escape from Tarkov, but it’s not just a punishment. Every time you die, there’s a very good reason. While you might not know at first what killed you, take a little time after you bite it to analyze where you were, how many sightlines could see you, and what (if anything) you could have done differently. This is especially true for new players who have no context or experience to guide them. Your failure is not the end, just an invitation to the next raid.

Do all the quests

As tempting as it might be to jump straight into hunting other players, without questing, you’ll not have easy access to the gear you’ll need to take on better-equipped enemies. Quests, or Tasks as they’re called here, are also a reliable source of experience, and let you level not only your character but your reputation with the vendors called Traders. Having a higher trader rep and character level means easier access to better loot, giving you a greater chance against any opponents you encounter. You’ll also eventually unlock Daily and Weekly quests, which you should pick up whenever you have the chance.

Use your Scav to learn the maps and make extra cash

Tarkov’s maps aren’t the biggest around, but they’re complicated, multi-layered, and require significant effort to catalog in your head. Using Scav, a separate low-risk character whose death costs you nothing, you can more freely explore the maps, learn loot spawns and traffic patterns, and generally get a feel for how the game plays without putting your hard-won gear on the line. Though Scavs are on a 25-minute cooldown, use them every time they’re available to build out your inventory and earn a bit of extra cash.

Maximize your stash space

No matter which size stash you have, even if you got one of the more expensive editions, you’re likely to run out of space faster than you’d like. However, there are a few things you can do to get more out of less.

  1. Buy the Lucky Scav Junk Box. This box only occupies a 4×4 grid in your Stash and provides a whopping 14×14 grid. Does it make sense from a physics point of view? No, but you’ll appreciate the extra space nonetheless.
  2. Organize your Stash regularly. As you collect new loot, it will start to clutter up your Stash. Take some time every so often to organize where all your gear is. Set areas for specific loot types: food, ammo, weapons, etc.
  3. Get backpacks and rigs that are bigger on the inside. You won’t find these just lying around, but like the Lucky Scav Junk Box, certain backpacks and Tactical Rigs have more space inside than they take up in the Stash. Use these to hold more loot.

Go for headshots

Going for headshots is by far the best strategy, no matter what engagement you’re in, even if your enemy is wearing a helmet. Not only can you kill things quicker, but there’s also an experience incentive for doing so. Every headshot kill you get awards an extra 100 XP at the end of a raid, whether you died or extracted. It doesn’t matter whether you were fighting Scavs or players — the reward is the same.