An Escape From Tarkov Guide, Part 7: Advanced Tactics, Looting and Movement
We’re now delving into the more advanced tactics associated with playing Tarvok to a higher level. I had hoped to do this in one piece, but as ever my ambition was outdone by my need to write too much… so it’s now being split into two pieces, the first of which will cover Looting and Movement.
The previous piece on the Meta game can be found here and the first piece with the links to all the others can be found here.
Another long post this folks, so get comfortable.
So, what are advanced tactics?
Well, they’re grouped into 3 main areas for me:
Looting, Movement and Combat.
This is quite a simple one, and does touch on some of the earlier pieces (which of course you’ve already read…..) and basically comes down to one simple principle: Loot often, but loot smart.
You are going to want to pick up pretty much everything you see (except in very specific circumstances). You can always drop inferior loot quickly should you find something better by hovering over it in your inventory and pressing ‘Del’. You gain experience for doing so, you level a number of key skills (including strength) so there’s literally no excuse not to do it. The trick comes from being able to identify the value of something to know what is worth replacing or not. For this, at least until you become more experienced, I’d use the Tarkov Market on a second monitor.
This allows you to quickly search what you’ve found and whether it’s worth keeping or not. Typically, anything that’s 1×1 is worth the slot. it doesn’t take up much room and you’re getting some cash for it. Some of the weapon mods can take 1×4 or even 1×5 and you’re going to want to check their price. If it’s only 30k for one of them, and you’re throwing away that amount in 1×1’s, then it’s not a good return.
Some of the larger 2×2 items are also not worth it in a purely space vs profit sense. Keep this in mind.
And Keys. Priorities keys and keycards as they make you the most money for only a 1×1 item. Make searching coats a priority.
This is less easy to describe, but i’m going to give it a go nonetheless.
You want to ensure you’re moving from cover to cover. You can literally be ambushed at any point, and knowing where your nearest ‘safe’ point is is critical. Reducing the time to that safe point is even better. If it’s longer to go from cover to cover- do it. Unless you’re already under fire, then normal rules of engagement apply (which we’ll cover in a bit).
When moving, you want to be constantly looking around (use the middle mouse wheel to free look as you travel), and ideally moving while facing what you deem to be the biggest area of threat. Allow me to illustrate what I mean.
This (and the subsequent examples) were all taken from a ‘live’ raid that can be found here. Playing on Customs we’d spawned at A, and after a quick dalliance into old gas station (blue Arrow) we’d headed back across to point B. Our intention was to head through to Scav Checkpoint, out the back of Military Checkpoint to take the long-route to Dorms. Now, the purple lines indicate our lines of sight, with the hashed-areas showing potential danger zones with no visibility. We’re planning to follow the dotted route to the warehouse, but there is a LOT of open ground to cover and it opens our flank to a LOT of potential trouble. The grey area to the north of our warehouse for example is chock-full of cover and hosts potential danger.
Red points 1 and 2 are the immediate threat as we start to move to point purple B1, so as we move we face that way- effectively strafing towards B1/B2. Quick glance to the right and behind ZB-012 before carrying on to B2. At B2 the angle opens up to allow us to see down the side of the warehouse and behind the first piece of piping. Even then- being able to see into that wide area doesn’t eliminate the threat as there is still plenty of room for enemies to be hiding, but, we’ve at least got them covered.
Once at point C outside the warehouse (and we’ll cover room clearance in a minute) our immediate threats are left short, right short, and then left long (3’s). We check these before we move through the gate, then immediately cut hard right and run down the side of the train towards point D.
Now the points listed are the threat zones I’m aware of through previous encounters here over the years. Those of more experience will be aware of the snipers on the hills by antenna tower as well as a host of other places with sight-lines in here. So don’t take these as absolutes, but just as a way of thinking. Look at point D; there are at least 5 primary threat locations (marked with a red 4). All potentially holding hostiles and a quick death. Do we wait until we hit point D to start covering them? Or can you see a better, safer way? The two left-hand 4’s can be covered as we move up the side of the train- before we even have eyes on the others, then it’s all about managing angles.
When you’re moving you want to be thinking, could there be someone behind that? Could people be moving through there? Is there high-value loot or a mission location nearby that I need to be wary of? These all need to be conscious thoughts. It’ll become second nature after a while but I’ve lost count of how many times this procedure has saved my (finely sculpted) ass.
The principles are the same when you’re moving indoors but obviously, the danger increases. So what’s the principal for clearing a room/building? Well there’s one key concept that will help you more than most, and it’s Millers maxim of building clearance; Corners and Doors folks, Corners and Doors. The biggest threats are always going to come from those locations- it’s highly unlikely that you’ll come across anyone stood in the middle of the room. If you do, feel free to put them to sleep.
Watch the guide above on room Clearance for a background. Since taking the learning’s from here I’ve increased my survival (and kill) rate in close quarters combat (CQC) substantially. It’s worth your time if you’re serious about this game.
Now let’s look at a Tarkov-specific example below and try to put that into practice:
So you’re approaching this building from the exterior, and assume you know the location and the interior (kudos if you recognise the location). Whats your strategy? Well, you first need to clear the immediate threat of the door- So let’s do that first.
So far so clear. But, as you can see, there’s a lot of hidden areas (purple hashing) that we can’t see. And well, you know what’s hiding in there now don’t you?
That’s right; every Scav and Scav boss in the game. At least, that is how you should approach it. Approach each corner, each door as if death lies behind it. That way, when (and not if, when) you do find someone there, you’re already about to fire. Let’s reset.
We do have a lot of options here, surprisingly. Following the principals in the excellent video above you can use the threshold to give you more information on what’s inside. Let’s move to point 1. Straight away that gives us sight into the right hand corner, eliminating that threat, but still keeping half an eye on the other doors (Corners and Doors folks). Good. Let’s progress.
Point 2, flush with the right-hand edge of the threshold gives us a look into the left-hand corner of this room (notice the right hand corner is no-longer hashed? We’ve already cleared there). Now you can edge in, use the 45′ rule, or strafe in and out quickly. Personally I wouldn’t, but it’s an option. Remember Room clearance is all about information. What you know, and what the enemy know. And we’re always assuming there’s an enemy, so lets not stick our faces into the room until we need to. Once we’ve covered the angle, and gathered all the information we can from this position, its time to attack the angle (the 90′ point mentioned in the video above), though with a slight modification for this room.
Attack the angle, by moving JUST into the room, facing the left-hand wall (and ready to shoot anything there). Then if safe, move quickly to point 3- covering the whole corner. It’s important to be moving as anyone tucked right in the corner will find it harder to hit you if they’re stationary. Congratulations, you’ve cleared the first room. 3 more to go.
As we’re managing angles and we already know this building, we know it’ll be safer to go through the right hand door and down that wall (if you got left hand door you’d have left and right to cover), so we move from point 3 to 4, covering BOTH doors until we reach the threshold for 4.
Here we attack the angle again as we move to point 5. The end of this row has already been cleared as we approached point 4, so the biggest threats are now IN the room. But remember, Corners and Doors; people are way less likely to be in the middle of the room- so we’ll focus elsewhere (as indicated by the arrows).
We’re now clear to move into the room properly and covering the main door (arrow to the left) we can proceed to point 6, making sure to check the alcove behind us., before stopping at the door to the final offices. Can you see the pattern? We get all the information we can before we cross the threshold, and then cover the areas of likely threat as we move in.
The Rear offices have a door- so we open it and attack the corridor, I want your finger on the button about to fire here. Remember to use the threshold, never stand in front of a door as you open it, and then treat the whole corridor as a 90′ attack. That’s Red 1 covered. You then clear the side room by strafing across. Red 2 will pretty much be visible as you move into the corridor. Red 3 is going to be your next worry, followed by finally attacking red 4. But we’re not done. There’s one very important aspect left, and that’s covering your rear.
You’ve worked really hard to clear the entire building, but can you see the issue now? Well as you’re stood at Red 4, you can no longer see any of the other areas in the building. So, we ‘semi-clear’ again. Moving back to point 6 we re-check the room.
We’re now calling this point 8 as it’s now a new position: here we’re checking red 1- the primary worry (the main entrance to this building) and reds 2 and 3. Then, and only then can we say the building is clear. This extra step is really important, as it is way too easy to let your guard down as you re-enter the main shop. Remember though, someone may have followed you in, in which case you’ll be walking right into their field of fire as you come out of that corridor. They’re unlikely to have had time to hide properly, so a full-check is not required, but knowing the Corners and Doors are clear will give you that extra bit of security.
A lot to think about no? Trust me, it becomes second nature and when it is- you’ll turn a corner in the game and all of a sudden you’re the one hunting people, not the other way around.
Which Segways nicely into the final piece; Advanced Combat, which can be found here.
As ever, you want to see me fail to follow my own advice, then I stream Tuesdays and Thursdays at 21:00 GMT here, I’d love to see you there.