2021 Complete Escape from Tarkov Beginner’s Guide

Tarkov is a FPS type game that is no stranger to FPS games. It has been around for a while and has a pretty solid reputation. It is a game that is quite similar to other FPS games like Arma, or DayZ or Escape from Tarkov. The game has great potential although it doesn’t have the best graphics. It’s actually a pretty nice game with a lot of potential. There’s a lot of improvements that should be made. Below is a quick guide for newbies to Tarkov.

I started playing the game Escape from Tarkov when it was released, and I loved it. But, like all good things, it came to an end. It’s been over three years since I finished the game, and I’m still playing it. So I decided it was time to write a guide to help new players catch up.

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Escape from Tarkov, also known as EFT, is a hardcore first-person shooter with RPG elements (levels and passive skills) and an incredibly complex loot system. In this game, your main goal is to equip your PMC, get into the raid – kill other PMCs/scavengers, loot and do quests, and then try to get out of the raid. This will be a challenge for most new players due to the huge learning curve (since there is no tutorial in the game). This beginner’s guide to Escape from Tarkov contains a lot of useful information that any new player will be looking for during their first 100+ hours of playing EFT. Table of contents

  1. The sign
  2. Hideaway
  3. Insurance
  4. Dealers
  5. Flea market
  6. Maps
  7. Hosting
  8. Conclusion


Difference between PMC and Scav

In Escape from Tarkov, there are two types of characters you can play: PMC and Scav. The CMP is the main player. By default, there is no equipment on the PMC (other than a melee weapon and a protected container). You have to equip a PMC depending on a few things: Budget, map and quests, and don’t forget that any gear you put on the PMC is lost forever in case of death unless insured/stored in a secure container. Scav – short for Scavenger – is an armed civilian who always carries random equipment. Scavengers can be other players or A.I.’s, generally scavenger A.I.’s spam the vocal lines and don’t shoot at you (unless you shoot at them first, whether it’s a boss guard, or you’re a PMC). You can join a raid every ~20 minutes (some pavilion upgrades shorten the time), and your loot goes into your stash where it can be sold, used to complete quests, or used to recharge PMCs.

PMC – Bear or USEC?

Starting in 2021, if you just bought the game and downloaded it for the first time (or if there was a patch), you will have two faction options for your CMP: Bear (Russian) and USEC (American). Previously these factions were purely cosmetic, but now the starting equipment you have in your stash depends on the faction you choose. Overall, the starting material for both factions is very similar, but if I were a new EFT player, I would choose USEC. The main USEC M4A1 weapon has much less recoil and will be much easier to use than its BEAR counterpart, the AK-74M. However, in the hands of an experienced player, the BEAR is a much better choice, as the BP ammo is much better than the M855.

Spreading attacks

Every time you have access to Skav, you raid it. I cannot stress enough how important this is to you as a new player. At least scavengers always have a weapon with some ammo, so you can transfer that gear to a naked PMC and get a free PMC raid – as long as you survive the scavenger raid first. You can also get armor, helmets, headphones, and other expensive items like LABS cards and keys. LABS cards usually cost around 150-200 thousand rubles, which can be enough for two or three sets of PMC budget, so if you ever spawn with one, run for it. Other valuables are more likely to have a purple background. So, if you find such an item, I suggest you hide it and check the price on a market price checker site to see if you should go to the mining site. When I was a beginner, I mined when my scav inventory was worth at least 150,000 rubles, because that was enough for two PMC runs. When you play as Scav, you have to do exactly what the name says: collect trash.

Find and loot dead PMCs all over the map and play without fearing for your equipment, because every ~20 minutes you can get a new scav for free. Note that you cannot do quests as a scavenger, but you can mine items needed to complete quests. So playing the role of scavenger can be extremely helpful in making your CMP’s life easier. If you don’t know what you’re doing, avoid fighting other CMPs as a Scavenger, as you’ll usually lose the fight and be better off staying safe, scavenging, and leaving with loot to improve your cover and get CMP gear.

PMC Basic load


Don’t go to a raid unarmed. Don’t go. Always carry at least one weapon. Escape from Tarkov is incredibly realistic, even a single headshot will destroy a fully equipped PMC unless he has a good shield. I’ve killed several PMCs with 500k+ gear with a lucky shot to the head and was killed the exact same way. These are the most popular weapons for beginners, which are very cheap/easy to get and don’t need any extra parts to be decent :

  • Grach, Colt, Glock and Beretta pistols.
  • SKS
  • PP-91 Cedar
  • The hunter, the hunter
  • ADAR

I would say SCS is the favorite on this list. It’s incredibly cheap, uses incredibly good (but cheap) ammo, and comes with a decent scope. Although it is a mid-range pistol, it is a semi-auto and the hip shot is surprisingly good. If you’re in a fight, instead of aiming the sights, you just shoot with the SKS from the hip, charge a full clip at the enemy, and he’s dead, regardless of his armor. At level 1 Prapor sells SKS for 22k and 7.62×39 ammo for 91/hr, meaning you don’t even need to have cleared the flea market to start this build.


Double click on the weapon to see all the parts and mods. All weapon parts can be replaced in your stash outside of the raid, but some, like sights, can be replaced during the raid. I wouldn’t bother with weapon parts as they are very expensive and not available to new players, although a simple reflex sight would make targeting the SKS, Vepr Hunter and ADAR much easier.


Ammunition can become very expensive very quickly (in elite stores it is about 60 thousand rubles for 30 cartridges), so you should first focus on selling all the expensive cartridges you find and buy PST Gzh for pistols and Kedr, 7.62×39 PS for SKS, M855 for ADAR, 5.45×39 PS for AK and M80 for hunters Vepreys.


Even the simplest and cheapest armor can save your life against enemies who use low penetration bullets, so it is always recommended to wear some kind of armor. For example, a helmet with a high bounce rate can save your life many times over, so it’s worth the investment. The best armor option on a budget would be PACA soft armor and a SSh-68 helmet. The SSh-68 in particular is the cheapest helmet you can get in the near future, it beats all helmets in the ~70,000 range. Note that if you have PACA soft armor, you’ll also need a cheap gun pocket accessory if you don’t use SKS (just put the PS SKS ammo in the pockets and you’re good to go). If you prefer to run with body armor, try the 6B5-16 Zh-86 Uley body armor with a SSh-68 helmet.


Sound is perhaps the most important thing in Escape from Tarkov, and choosing the right gaming headset will be crucial to your survival. If your opponent is crouching or sneaking around, even the smallest shard of glass on the floor can give away his position. So test carefully and find the right headset for you. The best cheap headsets currently available are the Peltor Comtac 2 and the Gssh-01.


There are different types of drugs: Injectors, trauma care, first aid kits and pills. There are many different elements in each of these categories, and I will briefly discuss what each of them does. As a beginner, avoid using injectables (stimulants), they are expensive and have side effects, so it is better not to use them. Injectors increase a character’s stats, give a buff against whitening, passive regeneration, and increase payload by x number of time. The articles on wound care are very important and include: Surgical kits, splints, bandages, hemostats and balms. Surgical kits like CMS and SURV12 are useful because you can use them to repair dead body parts. I recommend that you always have one of these two sets in your trusted container. Splints are used for broken bones, bandages for minor bleeding, hemostats for major bleeding, and balms as pain relievers that work longer than tablets. There is a wide selection in the first aid department. Each of the first aid kits offers different levels of treatment and has superior durability. Salewa is most commonly used because it can heal up to 400 hit points, as well as mild to severe bleeding. So there’s no need to bring a hemostat if you’re on such a tight budget. The pill offers three options to choose from: Analgin painkillers, Augmentin tablets and Ibuprofen painkillers. After a thousand hours in Tarkov I never went on a rampage with Augmentin or Ibuprofen, they are very expensive and I always preferred to sell them rather than use them. Analgin painkillers are more than enough: for only 5000 rubles you get 4 doses of painkillers. Then just use balm or vaseline, and keep the analgin on hand.

How do I add medicine/nutrition to the quick start bar?

Many new players don’t know this, which saves them a lot of time. Instead of opening your inventory every time you want to upgrade or eat/drink something, open it once, hover over the item you want to grab quickly, and press the numbers 4-9 on your keyboard. Allows you to select the desired item, e.g. B. Salewa, add to the quick slot. If you click on a number (without the inventory open), the item will be used in that fast lock.

Hydration and energy

Hydration and energy are the most common causes of death in new players. Always bring food and water to the raid if hydration and energy are not at their highest in the CMP, and use them there instead of in the cache (this way your metabolism is balanced). If you are running out of fluids and energy, but you are going on a raid, I still recommend taking something like pineapple juice or milk as a cheap back-up meal in case you have nothing to eat during the raid. A good tip I learned in Pestily is to always drink all the food and water you don’t want to pick up during a raid, as this replenishes hydration and energy levels for free (always keep extra food in your inventory).


A protected container is inserted into the slot of the bag. There are several protected containers in the game, some from the more expensive versions of the game and some from the quests. In the standard (cheapest) version of the game, you get a protected container with 4 slots. Items kept in a secure container are never lost, even if you die! Use it to your advantage, store expensive items like keys or medicine there so they don’t get lost.


You can access your stash by clicking on the Character tab in the game’s main menu. A stash is essentially a free place to store any items you conquer during a raid, both Scav and PMC. Items in your stash are never lost (unless a wipeout occurs), but the stash has limited space. To increase memory, you must upgrade your memory device through the hidden menu or purchase one of the more expensive versions of EFT. You can also buy containers and boxes that serve as mini-storage for certain categories of items. For example, an ammo box can be obtained through a quest or purchased at a flea market or from merchants. It only takes up 4 spots in the stash and you can put 49 ammo packs in it, so you gain 45 spots in the stash.


Insurance is important to reduce losses when you are just starting out. Insuring the item means you get it back after 24 hours if you die with it and no one else in the raid loots it and gets it back. It only costs a small percentage of the item’s value, and many people never loot rookie items like PACA and SKS armor, so you can almost always get them back. To insure a product, right-click on it, click insure, and select Prapor. You can also insure bulk items by simply going to the start of the raid (select your CMP) > Next > Choose a card > Next > On the Insurance tab, click Insure All > Yes > Next to start the raid.


In the game Escape from Tarkov there are eight merchants (some call them Merchants). Each of them acts as an NPC, selling a certain category of items and giving you various assignments. Furthermore, you can sell items to any merchant – but be careful, because some merchants will pay more for a certain item than others!

  • Prapor – Russian firearms, ammunition and mods.
  • Therapist. Drugs, booze, food and cards.
  • Fence – Objects that other players have sold to him at very high prices.
  • Skiers – weapons, ammunition, night vision goggles, silencers and euros.
  • Peacekeeper – Western firearms, ammo, mods and dollars.
  • Mechanics – parts/modifications for weapons, fully debugged swapmeets for weapon creation.
  • Ragman – Gear, helmets, backpacks, clothing and armor.
  • Jaeger – hunting cartridges, scopes, thermos, fuel, rifles.


Once you’ve unlocked them, you need to start the Prapor and Therapist quests. These two traders are very important, and the reward for the quest is very good. For example, if you complete the Punisher Praporceloric quest, you get an Epsilon secure container, which is a significant upgrade from the Alpha container if you’re playing the base edition of EFT. The therapist hands out lots of bottles of water and medicine, which is always handy for a newcomer to Escape from Tarkov. All distributor assignments can be found on the official wiki.

Dealer Orientation

Each merchant, with the exception of Fence, has four loyalty levels. As your loyalty level increases, you will be eligible for many new items that you can purchase from the merchant. At first, all merchants have a loyalty level of 1 (LL1), which means they will only offer you material limited to this level. To upgrade a merchant, you must meet the conditions listed in the upper right corner of the merchant’s menu. These requirements include:

  • PMC level: Rises by collecting XP in raids and missions.
  • Dealer Reputation : Your reputation with the trader is enhanced by executing his orders.
  • Money spent : Purchases from the dealer and sales to the dealer are booked in this counter.

Flea market

To open the flea market, your CMP must be at level 10. Once you’ve unlocked the Flea Market, you can start selling and buying valuable items from other players. I always recommend keeping items found during a raid in a stash until you open the flea market, rather than selling them to merchants, as some flea market items can be incredibly lucrative. For example, a certain weapon may cost 200,000 rubles at a flea market, but the dealer will offer only 80,000 rubles. Only items found during a raid can be sold at the flea market. An item is marked as found in a robbery if:

  • The item was found in a raid and was not brought into that raid by another CMP, and the extraction status is survivor (collect at least 200 EXP (by killing or looting) or be in the raid for at least 7 minutes for extraction).
  • It was made in the Hideout.
  • It was obtained as a reward for the quest.

How can I sell more than 3 products at once?

The flea market works with a call-in system for sellers. Every sale or purchase of 50,000 rubles you make increases your reputation in the flea market. Everyone starts with 0.20 reputation and 3 slots for sale. To expand your sales slots and offer more items for sale, simply sell and buy more items. From 10-30 reputation you have 4 slots for offers, 30-50 you have 5 slots, 50-70 you have 6 slots, 70-100 you have 7 slots and this number keeps increasing, you can read all the reputation values in the wiki.


There are currently seven cards available in the game Escape from Tarkov: Factory, Customs, Forest, Crossing, Reserve, Coast and Laboratories. The first six are available to both Scavens and PMCs, while the Labs card is only available to PMCs and you must have a Labs card to become a member. The laboratory card will be used upon entry. Labs is the ultimate map where all high level and trained players go to gain experience and equipment by killing Scav-Raiders. In addition, on the laboratory card there are parts locked by other key cards of the laboratory, which cost several million rubles (they are not disposable).

Hidden Geocaches – Goldmines for new players

Customs, Forest, Junction and Shoreline have geocaches scattered throughout the map. Each of these caches contains randomly generated items – it could be anything! Resources, food, weapons… nothing. Going through customs and checking all the geocaches hidden along the way is my favorite way to get a full inventory quickly. This is especially useful in the early stages of Vypse development, as caches can contain items needed for quests and are rarely looted. They are really well hidden, so you have to use the map to find your way to the geocaches. You can find the custom geocaches in the video below.

Map annexes

In Escape from Tarkov, there are several bosses that can appear on a given map. Bosses don’t always show up, so you’re not guaranteed to run into them in every raid. A list of bosses and their locations:

  • Resolve – appears on the Customs map in the dormitory, at the new gas station and in the scavenger’s lair.
  • Navigator – Appears on the forest map near the sawmill, very popular for farming because of the ice rebel’s pick.
  • Grouse – appears on the reserve map, in and around certain buildings. He uses Ash-12 and has six heavily armed guards.
  • Killa – appears on the Interchange map and patrols the first floor of the mall. Its extraction is very popular and expensive.
  • Orderly – appears on the Shoreline map, guards the sanatorium wings, the cottage and the pier.


Prey is the only way to successfully escape a raid and keep all items and loot. To find out which extraction points you have, double click on Z. Try to find the exact name of the extraction point on the wiki map (or on the maps linked below) and go to that point. Once you have found the desired location, a green extraction time countdown timer is displayed. When the counter reaches 0, you will be removed from the rain. Note that if you are killed while the counter is active, you are not removed from the raid! Always make sure you call at a safe time, as some players like to call others.

The best cards for beginners


Customs is my favorite card, and many people really like it since it was recently redesigned. It is very easy to find your way around here if you have an open map, as all the buildings are easily identifiable. The map offers some great loot, and most of the paths you take to get there have stashes that allow you to get more valuable loot along the way. The only difficulty at customs is the proximity of the spawn points, usually a person or team spawns very close to you at customs. Learning spawn points really helps to gain an advantage over your opponent and win battles. Most Prapor and Therapist quests from the beginning of the game can be found in the Customs House, some require you to go to the dorm. A few keys in a document/key box can be a good way to make money in the dorms. Customs card


Woods has also recently been remodeled and is much larger than before. During the initial runs, the wipe forest can be an excellent area for loot, as there are many uncontested loot boxes. In the sawmill there is a chest, in the car you can get a very rare and expensive lab key card, and you can also find the Navigator there. After you loot the Navigator, get the key to the Navigator’s lair, which you can use to open his lair in the middle of the sawmill. He can also drop the Red Rebel, which is the most expensive melee weapon in the game. It allows players to REALLY easily mine the map for reserves, which allows insane ways of making money. Forestry map


Factory is a great card if you have a few friends to work with. Since only 5 PMCs are allowed on the map, a raid with 3 friends will only have one enemy PMC on the map. Kill him, and then your team can easily gain HP by killing Scavens. As of minute 18-10, A.I. scavengers can still join a raid, and sometimes A.I. scavengers appear in packs. The plant is not really known for its good production, but the xp gains can be incredible. Plan of the factory


Each EFT player has a personal home of modules that provide your CMP with various benefits and services. For example, you can restore your health, energy and hydration faster. Use the game’s bitcoins for passive income, send scavengers in search of items, and much more. By building a remote module, weapons can also be tested in the shelters. I don’t recommend spending all the first rubles of your new account to improve your reserve. Instead, before spending money on the hideout, you should stock up on at least 1 million rubles, otherwise you will be ruined and have to live off the scavengers for a while.


As you may have noticed from the length of this Escape from Tarkov beginner’s guide, this game is incredibly difficult and there are many things you need to learn to get better. My main advice is don’t worry about deaths and don’t worry about gear, even streamers with a few thousand hours of play can die 10 times in a row, that’s the Tarkov way. This article contains the most important information that every player should know. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for more detailed information, such as weapon construction and map guides.

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