An Escape From Tarkov Guide, Part 8: Advanced Tactics; Combat
You’ve made it folks, well done! This is the final part of our Escape from Tarkov guide where we delve into some of the advanced tactics I use and which i’ve had great success with to ‘up’ my survival and kill rate in Tarkov.
The previous piece on looting and movement can be found here, and the first piece with links to all the others is here.
Movement in combat is even more important. Building on the information from the previous piece (which if you haven’t read, you’ll need to for the following to make sense) I’m going to use an actual example of a combat situation Imhotep and I experienced on Customs last week to illustrate my points. The Highlight video for which is shown below:
So what exactly happened in that video and what was I thinking/planning? Well, brace yourself for some more expertly crafted graphics, and let’s find out.
Now Imhotep and I are moving from RedRebel building, planning to skirt around The Silo’s and out through Scav Checkpoint. We’re going to skirt around the right edge and progress parallel to the far wall.
We round the corner though and I immediately spot a corpse. We pause, and Imhotep increases the gap by strafing left before I move further around the silo- this time following the curve into the central space. I spot another 2 bodies, and just as I realise one of them isn’t dead, only looting, Imhotep shouts ‘contact rear’.
I ‘deal’ with the prone figure and turn to help Imhotep.
I pull Back around, strafing across to point 1 when i see the contact and exchange some shots. It’s only as they disappear into the bush (marked by the ‘?’) that I realise Imhotep is telling me he’s dead.
So what happened here? Well we had scanned the area as we’d moved through, but the person had clearly been hiding, possibly attempting to cover his looting friend (though, not very effectively) and we’d just not seen him. It’s also just as likely likely they were healing or re-loading a magazine, either way, we missed him. That meant we weren’t engaged until I was around the corner and therefore unable to help Imhotep in time. This though gives me a problem. I know there’s an enemy here, but I don’t know exactly where he is. He however knows where I am.
So, rule number 1- if possible, relocate. I move around the center of the silo, through the building to my point 2 and attempt to get a new angle on the attacker. Forcing him to look for me as I’m looking for him. This evens the odds and removes his existing advantage.
I catch sight of him again, fire a shot and relocate again to my new point 2. Where I fire another few shots. I want his attention here while I attempt the flank. And that’s rule 2- always flank if you can. My issue is he could be anywhere in this red area. If he’s sensible he’s likely to be pushing one of the 3 routes, so any move I make needs to take this into account. Remember, he knows as well as I do that flanking is the best way to get a kill, so from here, we’re proceeding with caution.
This ones a little bit more complicated, but bear with me. We’re starting at 1, with the enemy last seen at red A. We don’t know where he is, or where he’s going so as we flank, I need to be aware of that. We move to position 2, and then we’re back to the ‘movement’ rules (only with the added benefit of knowing that someones there). We therefore look towards the bottom of the map, with our vision cone shown in purple, off mark 2. Moving forward, using the cover of the top left silo, we then move to position 3- checking in between and at the far wall. Again, we have to assume that our enemy has moved and could be anywhere.
Note– there’s a curious psychology here with mid-level players where they may be reluctant to leave a friends corpse, at least without trying to hide some of their gear (so they stand a better chance of getting it back through the insurance). This is something you can, and should exploit.
We move to point 4, and after a quick scan to the left of the map through the buildings, we’re now mostly focusing on the far end of the map. Following the curve of the bottom-left silo to point 5 allows us to cover a lot of ground with our weapon and this is where I make a decision:
I can either attempt to push through towards A, with the (growing) risk that i’m being outmaneuvered, OR I can try to tip the odds further in my favour.
If we go back to this image;
We now know he hasn’t pushed red B, as we covered that flank. It’s unlikely that he’s pushed directly towards purple 2, given the bushes allow him free shots at us if we move, so that leaves red A or C. So I decide to go for the long flank; to try to come at him from an angle he shouldn’t even be considering.
This was the play. From point 5, I break through the buildings to my left, right around RedRebel building to point 6. From there I push to point 7 and then to point 8. Remember here, the last place he saw us was point 1. No one in their right mind would expect point 7, especially with all that lovely loot on those 4 bodies.
And that right there is why this tactic usually works. I push down the road, and identify some movement at the far wall by the red dot just as i reach point 8. I push to the back wall, (point 9) with a view to getting behind him, and I’m able to drop him as he decides to pull out back the way we’d just come.
It was a good kill and a brilliant example of how you can manage the available information to come out on top. Hopefully that makes it clear why movement is SO important. Staying still in an engagement just gives your enemy more information and allows them time to do what I just did to our unlucky friend. Don’t give them that option.
When it comes to the actual mechanics of combat themselves, there are a few basic rules to remember:
1- Don’t stop shooting until they’re dead. Seriously, that gets so many people it’s not funny. You don’t want to give them a chance to respond. In the example above, I’d positioned myself in such a way that he had no sight on me, I fired one or two shots to quickly assess the recoil and then just held that button down until he fell over. In the end i’d fired 21 bullets. He was probably dead after the first 10-15, but I kept going until he’d hit the dirt. Also remember, some players go prone when attacked to make you think you’ve killed them. It’s surprising how often that works; so don’t be afraid to put in a few extra shots into the body for good measure.
2- Don’t stand still. Especially true if you’re being shot at. Seriously, even if it’s a slow strafe, it makes it that much harder for them to attack.
3- Use grenades. In the room clearing example in the previous piece, had we identified someone at position 3 or 4 in the back office the safest bet would be to withdraw slightly and then ping a grenade in. They stay in, they’re dead, they come out, they’re dead. Always have a few for these situations. Incidentally, in the combat situation above, when Imhotep was shot if i’d have had a grenade I would have thrown it in the bush right then, to either flush him out (thus ending the encounter there) or killing him where he hid (same effect). Grenades are ridiculously useful. So use them.
4- Aim center mass. Unless you’re a great shot, center mass is where to go, especially on full-auto as the kick will pull your shots to the head before it corrects down. That way you can go full auto without wasting all your ammo or time (thus preventing them from free shots back). This rule always applies, unless….
5- If they’re in the open and you have range- hit the legs. Obviously if you can guarantee a head-shot kill, do it. But if you hit and they don’t die, or gods forbid you miss- then they’re gonna leg-it to cover. Or come AT you. Taking their legs out increases the time they’re exposed, makes it easier to hit them, and if you’re lucky, you’ll do enough damage to blur their vision making them an easy kill.
6- Assume you’re facing others. The minute you’ve killed that person, assume more are coming. As we said earlier, if you see one, assume there’s two. Two, then three, and so on. Even when you know how many there are, gunfire will attract other people, So before you loot, take a moment to secure the area.
Other than that, general common sense will help you. If your instincts are warning you something isn’t right, then it probably isn’t. Remember, the primary goal of this game is to get in and get out alive. Don’t put that at risk with a bad decision, and you’ll find your survival rates increase dramatically. There’s also a singular thrill in knowing you’ve thoroughly outmaneuvered someone. It’s worth the extra effort.
And that’s it folks; that’s all the useful tips I can give you, at least for now. You’ve earned a drink, and I hope you managed to learn some stuff along the way. Remember this guide is aimed at those who are just trying to break into the mid-game, so if you know someone who’s struggling to find their feet then feel free to pass it along.
Got any tips of your own? Then drop them in the comments below.
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.
Otherwise, that’s me, and that was The Reticule’s Escape From Tarkov Guide.