I have seen quite a few people facing the endless frustration of bankruptcy in Tarkov, only to be met with "Here's where the best loot is, go get it" and "[Link to stash guide]." While these methods are perfectly acceptable, I've come to understand that some players are not as adept as others in PVP. Often times, these guides are oversaturated by the community and result in PVP conflict in areas that would be otherwise low-risk. This is evident in how often I come across a dead body in front of an open stash.
I have a method that has continually made me excessive rubles (anywhere from 200k up to 2M per run) and funded my escape from Tarkov. You see, I am a slut for anything that works. If I find something that shows a reliable result, I will use the method religiously. This method I am referring to is what I like to call "End-Gaming."
The "End-Gaming" concept is simple: Find a spot in a low-risk area, tucked away from any PVP, and wait until the last third/quarter of the match (while you watch videos on YouTube/Netflix) to loot. Yes this method requires patience. Most people don't have this patience in my experience which is why it works. Remember: the early bird may get the worm.. But the second rat gets the cheese.
My thought process when trying to find a money making method was that dying in PVP is detrimental to the goal of making money, and most PMC PVP happens within the first 15 minutes of the match.
- Most PMC's that are armed-to-the-teeth are heading for either the best loot on the map or for player kills and generally wont stick around too long to be picked off by a player scav.
- PMC's with little to no gear/experience are going to make a bee-line for the nearest exfiltration, grabbing whatever loot and scav trash they can along the way.
- Player Scav's spawn in, generally, around the 40 to 25 minute mark and either go straight for the exit to sell their gear, or straight to the high-risk areas given that they don't lose anything upon death.
- Exit campers likely aren't going to wait until the ass-end of the match for a possible kill. That is a whole new level of patience that very few cock-goblin's possess.
There are exceptions, granted. Though, it is safe to say that around 10-15 minutes left on the map, there is a drastically reduced player population than the first 20 minutes. Thus reducing the risk.
Assuming you're on board and I haven't lost you yet… What to do with 10 minutes left on the map? It would be reasonable to assume that all of the good loot is gone by then and it very well could be! Though, in hundreds of End-Game runs, I have only fallen short of a 200k profit about a half dozen times.
Which brings me to the steps involved with this plan:
STEP 1: Know the map. Do some research and pull up a map on Google. Get familiar with all of the possible PMC spawns upon the start and know your possible exfiltration zones. If you aren't terribly familiar with any of the maps, pick the one you have played the most so you have SOME idea of where you're going. (When I started Tarkov I had a 10% survival rate because I did not look at a map. I just ran around and looted and pulled up a map at the end of the game, trying to navigate to salvation.) I would highly suggest Customs as your starter map. Shoreline works, too. Woods is easy to get turned around and not know where the fuck you are. Reserve has a high concentration of geared players that hang out later in the match. Factory is a free-for-all wildcard. Interchange can be a chore at times, but isn't the worst option.
STEP 2. Know your route! So, you have spawned. Now what? Knowing your personal route is nearly as important as knowing the map in general. Play the map a bit, get a feel for the hot zones, the relatively safe zones and generate your personal route accordingly. This route isn't so much about loot as it is about survival.
STEP 3. Know where the loot is in relation to your route. This is a vital component to making money. You can only make so much off of busted AK's and 10-round mags that scav's drop. Loot isn't always in boxes or on bodies. There is plenty of loose loot around the map to generate a solid foundation of income. Knowing where to look is vital. So do an offline run, search around a bit. For example, a graphics card spawns upside down on the floor in the breach room of Big Red's upstairs office. Who knew? One time I searched in that location (even though the door was already unlocked and every computer looted) to find the aforementioned graphics card chilling on the floor. Easiest Mil I ever made! That guy wasn't aware. This is where stash guides come into play!
STEP 4. BE PREPARED! Food and water, keys, bags, and armor!
Food and water is essential if you are waiting until the end of the match. If you are a hatchling at 100% hydration and energy, be aware that you will be at roughly 0 upon the end of the match. Take a can of Sprats and a Hot Rod or consume whatever you can find along the way. If you aren't upon 100% hydration or energy nearing the end of the match and you need more loot space, eat items in your inventory. It carries over to the next match!
Keys. Obviously, as a hatchling, your aren't able to use the keys you don't find. So, this section is more for if you have found keys already, relevant to your route, or if you are already level 10 and have access to the Flea Market. Keys are always worth it. Keeping a Keytool in your secure container with all of the keys for rooms along your route is by far the best method for making money in my experience. When I pass by dorms, I always sprint up the staircase to the third floor and straight through to the marked room at the end of the hall on the right. If the door is undisturbed, there's a reasonable chance that you walk out with 100-200k worth of items to sell on the Flea Market. If you're lucky, much more. On my route in Customs for instance (from Trailer Park spawn to ZB exit near Factory Far Corner), I use the following keys nearly every match; Custom's Office, Marked Room Key, Dorm's room 110 and 114 keys, and possibly the USEC Stash Key if I have time. Though, half the time one or two of these are already open.
Bags. Don't join a match with an Army Bag and Bankrobber Rig. Just don't do it. Scav BP or MBSS at the minimum and a Tarzan rig is not expensive. My fat-boy run composition is a Belt-A + Belt-B Rig and a Terminator BP. If you run with an inventory of this size, however, it would behoove you to invest in a M.U.L.E Stimulator Injector to increase your carrying capacity and not fall victim to being winded like a fat-boy while trying to run to the exit with all of the loot you have gathered.
Armor. Always wear something. Given that at the later point of the game there is a great probability you will run into a scav or 3 at some point. Don't get one-tapped by one! Body armor and a helmet is your greatest asset against the scavs if you aren't quite up to speed on your aim. Also, a headset is strongly preferred for me. In rat-mode, hearing them before they hear you is vital in the event that an enemy player is lurking around.
STEP 5. Be efficient. Since you have very little time, once you have established your route, own it. There isn't time for creeping in bushes when you start at one end of the map with 12 minutes to spare. Stick to your route and loot your heart out, picking off scavs along the way. Know how much time it takes to get from point A to point B. For instance, I know running straight from dorms to crossroads takes approximately 2 1/2 minutes. If I am looting dorms with the crossroads extraction, I can loot up until 2:30 left on the clock and high-tail it out of there without worrying about making my exfil.
Please note, that as I stated before: THERE ARE EXCEPTIONS! I have been killed by players in the last 3 minutes of the game or walked out with only 50k worth of items. These instances are very few and far between.
Hope that this helps someone in need, who would otherwise give up in Tarkov.