Beginners – here are some suggestions on changes you can make to help improve your experience.

I've seen some posts recently from first wipe players who are struggling. Tarkov is hard, no matter what level you are. It can be especially daunting for people new to the game who haven't found their way yet. I wanted to give some input on a specific way of playing the game that can be adapted immediately, which for myself, has been lucrative and has led to more extracts then not.


1 – Always wear headsets

2 – Never run unless its life or death

3 – Use a gun your comfortable with, preferably semi-auto and preferably suppressed

4 – Reposition and flank

5 – There's always another guy

6 – Patience equals more extracts which means more money

I made a post last wipe that is similar to this post but was coming from the perspective of a player who is mid to late wipe using mid to late wipe gear. If you have a little more money, you may be interested in looking at that post.

On to the juicy stuff. The basic premise is to move slowly from cover to cover understanding that your ears are just important as your eyes for gathering info and only taking high percentage shots. Sometimes, high percentage shots mean literally letting a 3 man run right past you without engaging, waiting for them to put some distance between you. Sometimes it means waiting for an enemy to slow his movements to ensure the hit. Sometimes it means not taking a shot at all.

1 – Always wear headsets, 100% of the time

In my opinion, headsets are more important than helmets, and depending on how slippery you can get, just as important as body armor. This concept was really solidified for me while doing the Decontamination Service quest this wipe. Going into Interchange with shit armor and a giant white target on your face is asking for trouble. However, being able to hear where the enemy is before I see them or they see me provided numerous advantages. While doing this quest, I had multiple raids where I took out multiple squads of PMC's. The nature of this quest forces you to slow your play down a little bit. Couple that with using your ears, I realized that you can be really dangerous without any armor or helmets while lurking in the shadows. I think for new early wipe players, headsets can be seen as an unnecessary expense, but I don't think that could be any further from the truth. I personally prefer the Peltor ComTac2 or the Peltor Tactical Sport. I don't like the early level GSSh-01 but I will absolutely use them until I unlock the ComTac2's. I hate Sordins. Don't have enough experience with Razors to give an opinion. This all boils down to personal preference though. As long as you're wearing one of them, that's all that matters.

2 – Never run unless its life or death

This one is self-explanatory. Never ever run. The same advantage you gain in tip number 1, you lose by running. When you run, you significantly increase the chances of another player hearing you before you hear or see them. This is a worst-case scenario. Information on where the enemy is and getting the first shot off is king in Tarkov. You are doing yourself a great disservice by running everywhere. There are a few exceptions of course. If you're getting shot at or you need to evade an enemy, obviously get out of there as fast as you can. If you're in a wide-open field, it may be worth it to run to an area with coverage. If you need to run across an open field, I recommend scoping out a covered area across the field first to confirm its clear, and then sprint to it in a zig-zag pattern. Lastly, if you have a spawn that is close to a desired location, you may want to sprint right away to get their first to either get the loot first or get in a good position to take on approaching PMC's. Other than that, just try to be quiet, avoid bushes, glass, wood, etc… as to not give away your position. This concept applies to post looting late raid too. Just because you're all looted up and you haven't heard anything in a while doesn't mean you start running. Last thing you want is some bush wookie to hear you running out and kill you.

3 – Use a gun your comfortable with, preferably semi-auto and preferably suppressed

I suspect this section will be the most controversial, but remember this is for a specific playstyle. I will sell-off gear and guns I don't like to use gear and guns I do like. I notice a lot of people keeping everything around in their stash to use in future raids. I much prefer to trade in 2 or 3 guns to build 1 gun that I'm comfortable with. I also recommend that this gun be semi-auto. Not even a full-auto gun in semi-auto mode. I recommend a weapon that can't even go into full auto. Having the option to go full auto, at least for me, has lent itself to being more aggressive than this style of play calls for and leads to more death. When semi-auto is your only option, you're more careful not to run into other players, you keep distance, and you take higher percentage well-placed shots. I also highly recommend you suppress your weapon. The advantages of a suppressed weapon are self-explanatory. If you combine a suppressed weapon with the other tips in this post, it really all melds together well.

Some early wipe guns that could be good for this style are:

  • ADAR
  • Vepr KM / VPO-136
  • OP-SKS
  • Vepr Hunter (Can't suppress this which sucks, but with m80, you can one tap fools and reposition right away)

I have builds for all of these guns that I thoroughly enjoy using, even long into a wipe. There's nothing like taking out a juicy chad with an affordable weapon. Look at the barter lists. 2 rec batteries for an ADAR is a good early game barter. Lastly for this section, find an optic you like. This isn't really a red dot/holo type of playstyle. The Monstrum 2×32 is a great one for early on. My personal favorite is the HAMR scope with the delta point red dot built into it, but that one is a little pricey and is more of a mid to late wipe optic to consistently run.

4 – Reposition and flank

If you see a team, take one out and reposition. If you know you've been spotted, don't you dare re-peek that corner. Make significant flanks. Walk for 3 to 5 minutes to a completely different spot on the map to get a new surprising angle on the enemy. Lots of people sit still when shit pops off. It's so easy to catch people off guard coming from the complete opposite direction they think you are. The only time you should peek the same corner is if you're confident you haven't been spotted.

5 – There's always another guy

Another self-explanatory tip here. When you kill a PMC, look at your countdown, and give yourself a solid 60 seconds before moving towards the body. Lots of people play in duos, trios, squads. If you happen to catch the first guy coming around a corner, there could be others lurking behind. If you kill a guy in a room or building, there could easily be a buddy in there with him that isn't visible to you. Give yourself some time, and walk from cover to cover, between your current position and the body. Stop and listen at each cover-point trying to see if you can hear another enemy camping the body. When you get to the body, try and do a sweep of any surrounding coverage to confirm he doesn't have a friend nearby. Do this sweep assuming you'll find someone. Do it carefully. If there is a guy sitting still nearby, he's just waiting for the sound of you looting his buddy to come and take you out. The last thing you want to do is take out a guy and immediately sprint to his body and start looting. So many deaths have happened because of this. Loot doesn't matter if you don't make it out of the raid.

6 – Patience equals more extracts which means more money

This way of playing requires patience, but once you get good at it, you are rewarded more than you are not and in my opinion, is the most fun way to play the game. I consistently have raids where I'll take out 8-10 scavs and 4 or 5 pmcs, and the best part is, none of them ever knew what hit them. They're dead before they even have a chance to react, let alone actually acquire me and get a shot off. These are long raids, often extracting with less than 10 minutes left in the game. You're moving from place to place, listening, and repositioning yourself based on your enemy's movements, to set yourself up for the shot, or completely avoiding a confrontation all together if you so desire. But, if you choose to embrace this style, I promise you, as you get better at it, you will extract with more loot and have more money from selling off meta m4's then you ever have had before.

BONUS – Small additional tips and things I do that compliment this playstyle.

  • Wait for the headshot. One tap that chad.
  • Always wear a dark face mask and goggles. Cover up your big bright face.
  • Ammo is huge in this game but it is expensive. If you have a 20 round mag, put in 15 rounds of lower-tier ammo first, and then put in 5 rounds of the good stuff last. The last bullets in the mag are first bullets out of the gun. This way, your first couple shots are doing high pen and damage and you can finish them off with the cheaper stuff if necessary. Honestly, when you get good at this playstyle, you won't even get through those first 5 bullets. Keep 60 rounds of the good stuff in your gamma and top load your mags with it when necessary. If you die, you only lose a handful of the good rounds.
  • You only need 1 or 2 additional mags when playing like this. You don't need a vest full of 3 or 4 30 rounders. 2 or 3 20 rounders including the one in your gun is all you need. You save a lot on ammo playing like this.
  • This playstyle works better when running solo, because you have complete control over how much noise you're making. If you're running with friends, you will need to find ways to adjust your movements to accommodate how they are playing. It can be fun to run with a full-auto friend who handles close-quarter combat while you do the distance and positioning work.
  • Wear all black or darker green as much as possible. Don't use backpacks bigger than the tri-zip or beta. Anything bigger and the backpack sticks outside the frame of your character and makes you physically appear bigger, making you easier to spot. Recently, I've been using the smaller all-black daypack backpack and prioritizing the loot I bring out with me. Honestly, though, I usually kill at least one PMC that has a larger backpack that I can grab and use for the rest of the raid and sell to ragman afterward for a good chunk of change.

The CONS of this playstyle:

The only con I can really think of is the inevitable moments when you turn a corner and there is a full-auto chad sitting there. It's going to happen and you're probably going to die. The idea is to use to the tips mentioned above to minimize these occurrences. Just remember, that audio is huge in this game and that headsets should be the very first thing you equip on your pmc, and hopefully you hear them before they see you.

Final words:

This playstyle isn't for everyone. You won't really see Pestily or Lvndmark playing like this. Pestily often states he doesn't like playing like this. Everyone should play the game in the way they have the most fun. If you're struggling and want to try something different, give it a shot. I love playing like this. I love stalking people and taking out super juicy players with my mediocre gear. And this playstyle isn't just for beginner early wipe players. I'm level 41 with maxed out hideout and something like 15 mil roubles. I could run whatever gear I want and I'm still just running around with an ADAR and an OP-SKS. Its so much fun playing like this, because aside from ammo, you don't really need top tier gear and weapons to be successful. I'll play like this all the way through the end of the wipe. Hope this helps some of those struggling enjoy the Tarkov grind a little more.


leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *