Escape From Tarkov beginner's guide: What is EFT, how to play, more - Dexerto
Escape from Tarkov

Escape From Tarkov beginner’s guide: What is EFT, how to play, more

Published: 23/Sep/2021 17:16

by Lloyd Coombes


Escape from Tarkov is one of the most hardcore shooters around, set in an unforgiving world full of other players on the hunt for loot. Here’s our Escape From Tarkov beginner’s guide.

If you’ve been watching Twitch streams in the last couple of years, you’ll likely have heard of Escape From Tarkov. This hardcore mil-sim is part loot-shooter and part survival game in many ways, and there’s nothing quite like it.

If you’ve been wondering just how to get started now that you’ve picked it up, or are curious as to the minutiae of the gameplay then we’ve got you covered with our Escape From Tarkov beginner’s guide. Here’s all you need to get started in Battlestate Games’ hard-as-nails shooter.



Escape From Tarkov Beginner's Guide
Battlestate Games
Escape From Tarkov will get your blood pumping more than most games.

What is Escape from Tarkov?

Escape From Tarkov is a first-person shooter set in multiplayer maps. Players enter missions, known as Raids, to acquire items, currency, and weapons, before attempting to make it out alive.

Players pick to play as a PMC (Private Military Company) soldier for either the BEAR or USEC factions and will need to avoid (or kill) other players, as well as AI-controlled troops known as Scavs (scavengers).

It’s not for the faint of heart, though – die in a raid and you can lose your gear, and success can come down to making sure you’ve got enough of the right ammo in your spare magazine. Still looking to take on the challenge? Read on.


Escape from Tarkov Beginner's Guide
Battlestate Games
Every Escape from Tarkov map has a series of exits

Is Escape from Tarkov on console?

As of the time of writing, Escape From Tarkov is only available on PC, and you’ll need to buy it directly from Battlestate Games – it’s not found on Steam, Epic Games Store, or any other storefront.

Escape From Tarkov Beginner's Guide
Battlestate Games
Bosses spawn at certain locations, offering great loot but a huge challenge.

How to play Escape from Tarkov

Before heading into your first raid, there are some things you should know about Escape From Tarkov that make it much more than just pulling a virtual trigger.

For one, anything you take into a raid is fair game for other players to steal if they, or a Scav, take you out. That means potentially sought-after weapons should only be taken in if you’re feeling particularly confident, although they can be insured – more on that shortly. With that in mind, you won’t want to take anything more than you need.


One thing you will need, though, is something to heal with. Salewas and painkillers can help you out of a jam, but you’ll need something called a Survivor Kit or a CMS to pick you up if your limbs are broken in-game – lest you find yourself dragging along the floor.

PMC Raids vs Scav Raids

While your main character operates in one of the two factions, Scavs will attack players on sight. The good news is that you can actually jump into a game as a Scav, giving you a randomized loadout to play around with.

Not only does this let you get your hands on more varied weapons, but it also means you don’t have to worry about losing what you have. That lets you get used to Escape From Tarkov’s weighty combat and more realistic movement.


Other Scavs won’t attack, either, letting you ambush unsuspecting players. Get out, and you can take your loot with you for your main character.

Escape from Tarkov Beginner's Guide
Battlestate Games
If you’re sneaky, you can get in, loot, and get out.


It’s literally in the name of the gaming, but getting out of one of Tarkov’s maps isn’t as easy as you’d think. For one, there are multiple exfiltration spots on each map, but not all are available at all times. Some require items, some require cash, but none are actually marked on your map. That means you’ll want to find a map online.

Get yourself to an extraction spot, though, and you’ll need to stay alive for a few seconds to get out. That can be tense, so try not to alert anyone of your presence while you’re there.



Aside from the shooting and looting aspect of Escape from Tarkov, there’s plenty of gameplay meat within its menus, too. Each of the game’s vendors will not only offer players weapons or items, but quests, too.

Completing these isn’t always easy, but you’ll earn cash or items (often both), while also building your relationship with the vendor in question – lowering their prices.

Escape From Tarkov Beginner's Guide
Battlestate Games
The FPS / RPG hybrid is known for its fierce gameplay.

Things to remember when playing Escape From Tarkov

Here are a few handy tips to remember when you’re about to embark on, or are already in, a raid.

What is the Wiggle?

Players aren’t highlighted in Escape From Tarkov, and that also applies to teammates. That means if you turn a corner and see a soldier, there’s no quick way of knowing if they’re friendly.

Not only does that make it incredibly important to keep an eye on the players in your squad and their location relative to you, but it also facilitates Escape From Tarkov’s most enjoyable move – the Wiggle.

If a player in your team tells you to wiggle to confirm your identity, hit the Q and E keys alternately to let players know which is you. Be prepared for sneaky players using it to get on your good side, though.


Before heading into a raid, you can insure the items that you’re taking with you for a fee. This isn’t foolproof, though – if you insure your fancy assault rifle but someone else takes it from your cold, dead hands, you won’t get it back.

This often means that players will throw their gear into a nearby bush or shadowy area if it looks like they’re going to be killed. If no one finds it, it’ll be returned to you after a waiting period.

Offline raids

While they won’t net you any sweet loot, offline raids are a great way to plan farming routes through the game and familiarise yourself with the entrances and exits of each location.

You can play these with or without Scavs, too, so it’s a nice way to improve your weapon skill, too.

Secure container

One of Escape From Tarkov’s most important inventory items is the Secure Container. As the name implies, anything put in here will be safe – even if you’re killed. There’s a limited amount of space, though, so you’ll want to use it wisely, and bigger ones are much more expensive.

With that in mind, if you spot something you simply must keep, put it in your container.

So, there you have it – our Escape From Tarkov Beginner’s Guide. If you’re looking for more on Escape From Tarkov, be sure to check out the following guides.

When is the next server wipe? | How to fix a laggy menu | How to improve FPS