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EFT Beginners Guide

Escape From Tarkov Beginners Guide

Players often take games for granted. Modern FPS titles make the game a lot easier. Got shot in the foot? Take some painkillers. But that’s not how it works in real life, and Escape from Tarkov agrees.

eft guide - loginscreen

What is Escape from Tarkov?

Escape from Tarkov is an online shooter but with RPG elements. It’s more akin to an MMO where you load into a map, scavenge for stuff, and “escape” successfully to keep your loot.

The game is unforgiving to new players. It’s fairly easy to understand, but it’s the little things that make th

e difference. For starters, there is no mini-map, you have to learn the terrain.

There is no bullet counter, so you have to keep track of your magazines.

Body parts are damaged individually and have to be healed accordingly. See where this is going?

Escape from Tarkov(EFT) offers an unfiltered and raw survival experience unlike any game in existence. So, here are some key tips that you’ll help you survive the ruthless world.

Know your characters PMC vs SCAV

eft guide - SCAV PMC

In EFT, you can play as a SCAV or a PMC. The PMC is the primary character for your account. Think of its as your one and only avatar. The SCAV is a temporary character that can be used once every 20 minutes.


Playing as a SCAV, you will be dropped on a random location of the map with random gear. SCAVs also have lesser extraction points than PMC. However, there are two advantages of playing as a SCAV:

  1. You don’t lose any gear, since you start the game with a random loadout. So, the items are not taken from your inventory.
  2. If you manage to escape, you get to keep that gear. Some players even escape right away because their SCAVs received a good loadout they want to stockpile for future runs.


Compared to PMCs SCAVs are very weak especially during the early game. As a PMC you have several advantages:

  1. Starting the game with your choice of loadout.
  2. More extraction points.

However, you lose ALL your loot if you die. So if you’re just starting out, play only with SCAVs to get the hang of the game before entering the fray with your main character.

Extraction points

There is no ‘winner’ in EFT. You enter the raid, only to fight while hoping to escape with yourself and your gear intact, and the only way you can do so is via extraction points.

Double-tap ‘O’ at any time to see all available extraction points and how much you have left to reach them. The green text implies that someone has already used the point and is active and the red text means the point is inactive. Extraction points with question marks beside them may or may not be active so keep be wary of those.

Note that active extraction points give off minute visual cues. For instance, glowing light on top of a building, or a running car indicates that the extraction point is active.

No in-game maps

Keeping in line with the theme, there are no in-game mini maps. You have to learn the terrain to navigate it, or you can visit the Wiki and Reddit for community-created maps. These maps also show all of the extraction maps, so you’re better off using them, at least for the first few raids.

eft guide - Maps

Realistic gun mechanics

eft guide - ingame

EFT doesn’t have any ammo indicators. You can press ‘T + Alt’ to check your ammo, but the indicator will only roughly tell how much ammo you got left in the magazine, like ‘Less than half’ or ‘More than half.

If your gun is not reloading on hitting ‘R’ make sure to place your magazines and bullets in your pockets or tactical rigs.

You can reload directly from your bag, but you have to stop, open inventory, eject the mag and insert a new one manually by dragging and dropping it on your gun.

Run through the controls once before starting your first raid because the game lets you micromanage a lot of things such as controlling your walk speed, rough height, and more. Not knowing how to change your sprint speed under enemy fire is truly an unfortunate and pathetic way to die in EFT.

Inventory management

The inventory management alone in EFT is a separate game in and of itself. Here are a few reasons why:

  1. Fold gun stocks and eject magazines reduce a gun’s storage space requirements.
  2. Get an ammo case for bullets, a backpack to store items to save on your inventory space.

You could end up spending an entire hour micromanaging your inventory so keep it sorted every time you return from a raid.


Like any MMO, EFT also has tasks(quests) that you can request from dealers. Make sure to take them before every raid as they are quintessential to your character’s progress. Not only do they grant experience, but they also give you a reputation that unlocks better and cheaper gears as you keep playing.

Parting thoughts

What you see here is just a handful of snow at the tip of the iceberg. EFT is one of those games that can’t be explained in a simple tutorial.

It is the thrill of running through the forest as you’re bleeding out while someone is tailing you. It is the anxious excitement of finding new gear among enemy corpses while fearing the permanent loss of all your equipment.

That’s EFT in its true essence. The tutorial is just training wheels. You won’t learn a thing unless you take it out for a ride. Good luck!

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