Escape From Tarkov Solo Player’s Guide
Today I thought I’d share with you some of my tips and tricks to succeed as a solo player.
Of course there are tons of others that would be as equally important but I thought the below would be a good start for whoever is doing runs alone.
I’d like to say that I’m far from being the best Tarkov player or the most knowledgeable and what follow is simply my humble contribution.
I know, it’s quite lengthy, so if you can’t be arsed to read, that’s cool. I made a YouTube video for you:
I also stream on twitch quite often so if you want to pop by to discuss the upcoming topics that’d be with pleasure. I’m not going to paste the link in here to avoid being told it’s shameless promotion but it’ll be in the description of the video.
If you feel this was useful, feel free to share it to help it gain visibility
This is quite literally the script of my YouTube video so you don’t need to check both. I know some people like to watch some other like to read, so I thought I’d do both.
When playing Tarkov, there are several elements to consider. Both in raid and off raid.
Some are within your control, some are not, and it’s your ability to jiggle with all these variables that will determine either or not you will be successful.
First, let’s have a look at the off-raid variables that will come into play.
Set up your objectives.
Are you going in to quest, to loot or to PVP. Each objective must come with a distinct play style. You have to constantly keep in mind why you’re in for. Going into Shoreline’s resort to pick up a quest item and then hitting 5 locked rooms is probably not the safest way to succeed. Doing a mix of both rarely succeed as the longer you stick around, the more chance you have to get shot.
Especially for the quest element of this tip, the amount of time you stay in hugely impact your chances to success. The more you stay in, the less predictable enemy position is and all the readiness that came with your preparation will inevitable fade away as the minute passes bringing more unknown variables.
Learn the maps intensively, but most importantly, learn the spawn and plan accordingly.
It’s been said over and over, knowing the maps is important and is key to success. To me however, learning the spawns is even more important as it will be decisive in your decision making, the route you’re going to take, the lines you’re going to hold.
It’s very comparable to chess, where knowing the maps would be like knowing how each piece should move on the board. The natural next step would be to work on your openings and it’s kind of like learning the spawns and move according to them.
Plan your route according to all the potential spawns you’ll get before to spawn in.
Looking at all the previous points, the last one would be to plan your route according to your objective and the spawn you got.
If you’re goal is to get a quest item in the Resort. Look at your spawn, try to remember where other people might spawn and ask yourselves the important questions, can they get there before me? Yes or No. In which wing would they be? In which wing my quest item is? In which room, how do I get in? How do I get out? What’s the quickest way to extract from my resort’s exit point?
Adapt your loadout to your objective and to the map.
Picking your weapon and gear before to get in could seem quite an easy task although it is highly recommended to pause a minute and think.
Why am I going in? Where will I be going? Will my quest be taking me to a heavily populated area? Looking at shoreline specifically, you need to keep in mind playing in and out of the resort is drastically different and you should pick up a gun that could do both fairly easily. Short and long range are a necessity for shoreline as even you spawn fairly close to your objective, you’ll still spend a huge amount of time on big opened areas.
Now let’s have a look at the in-raid variables that will come into play. First those that you can control.
The very first thing you need to do is to assess the quality of your spawn compared to your primary objective. Any decision that you will take onward will be based on this very first point. Am I in the first position to get in the resort? Can I get a good line of fire on the closest spawn next to me? Where is the closest POI next to me and which direction would other people be coming from should they also decide to hit this loot spot?
The second thing you need to do is to forecast as accurately as possible enemy’s movement and base your positioning according to that.
To give you an example, if you spawn at the back of the resort, you know that you will be first in East wing, you also know that your closest threat will be arriving by West Wing. Acknowledging that early on will help you to plan accordingly to your objective. Plan an exit route once you got your item or lay an ambush for those coming up in West. This is why, learning the maps and the spawns is important.
Attention to details
When playing Tarkov, every details of your surrounding matters and I invite you to overthink all of them. This comes with experience but trying to give an explanation to everything you see and hear is a good starting point.
To me, these two are the most important.
- Original state of the map versus anomalies. Throughout the raid, I will pay attention to all the anomalies I can see, doors that shouldn’t be open, sniper scav taken down, containers being looted… Then I will try and think about the next POI and make my way there to investigate.
To give you a more concrete example, let’s say I’m moving north to south and mid map I see a spot that was looted. I know that it mostly like done so by the closest spawn, keeping that in mind, I would think about the trajectory these plays would take to make their way to the next POI.
- Listen to firefights. How many different guns can you hear, are they silenced, do you hear grenades, are they regular, scripted burst or not, would these guys be fighting scavs?
Once the firefights is over, think. It means somebody won, which also mean that the natural next step would be loot. Are you close enough to lay an ambush, if not, are these shots likely made by the closest spawn which would then give you an idea of where they’ll be heading?
- A contrario, if you do not hear any firefights in the first minutes, this might mean different things which you will need to consider. No firefight doesn’t mean no enemy, It most likely mean 5 MAN SQUAD. It can also mean loot run, which then takes me back to the previous points about knowing where the POIs are. It could also mean be careful players because trust me if you’re in presence of Chads, you will hear within the very first minutes of your raid. So again, think about all the possibilities and plan ahead.
- Finally, keep an eye on the body count you bump into. Know the max players count for each maps and count how many PMC bodies you see.
Pick up your fights
Unless you’ve got an unlimited cash flow, I would advise to pick only the fight you’re sure to win. Of course, things can get out of hands and the upcoming uncontrollable variables that we are going to discuss can impact that but overall, I’ve come to learn that Tarkov player tend to be reasonable in the way they approach firefights. So, if you think you can win, it means you probably can and keep this mindset. If your first thought on spotting two players moving ahead of you is “I’m going to die” then you should probably stick with this taught and bail. There are no such things as “maybe who knows if he does this and that…” in Tarkov and I’m sure already got that by know. So, to sum it up, more things can go wrong than right in this game and you have to keep this in mind.
In a firefight – that you started
If you do decide to pick up a fight. I’d like to take you back to your initial loadout. Plan according to that first. Long range, keep your distances, short range, get closer, shootie, aim for the legs.
Assess the situation. Where are they going, moving towards or away from you? Are you close or far away from? What’s their spacing? Could a nade do the job? What’s their surroundings, could they quickly get in cover? Where are they likely to go? Hit the villas? Would it be better for me to wait and camp the door?
Take a good look at your opponent, gear and behaviours. From gear I mean, do they outgear you? Which would hence give you an idea of their level. Could your ammo go through their armors? Who’s the most geared? Which you should take first. But also try to get into their head, who’s running first, which depending of where they’re going can mean two things. Either he’s the most chaddy of the group, or he’s the most eager to get out which also means: Loot. Who’s running head first and who’s looking around? Meaning who’s the chad and who’s the most “worried” player. Have they been running since a while? Meaning would they run out of stamina soon?
Think about all that and then think again, should I start up this fight?
Know, I know, I know, it’s a lot of questions to ask yourself but eventually, it’ll come automatically.
In a firefight – that you did not start.
First thing first, you need to acknowledge that starting a fight and not starting a fight comes with different odds. I know it’s obvious it worth being mentioned.
While, when you start a fight you usually have time to plan ahead and ask yourself the previous questions, in this specific case you do not have this luxury.
Therefore, I’d advise to plan as if you’d lose. Here, you got only couples of questions that can race in your heads before the inevitable death.
Many would say, get into cover as fast I you can. My advice to you instead and is to quickly analyze where you’ve been hit. If you’re leg’s gone or broken don’t even try. Rotate to where the shot comes from and shoot back. Your best bet would be to force your opponents to get into cover so you can pop the painkiller and then run.
If you’ve not been hit or not to a point where you can’t run, this is where you get into cover and then quickly think. Do I know exactly where this guy is or do I roughly know where this guy is? Which are two different things, to top it up, how many are they? Is alone or not? And finally, what are my objective in this raid, throwing you back at the beginning of the video. If you’ve been grinding your way through the resort to pick up 3 quest items, then bails. If you’re here to PVP and you think you’ve got good chances to win, then go ahead.
To Finish off with the in-raid variable that you control, my last advice would be.
Take your time.
On most of the map you’ve got more than 30 minutes to completes your objectives. If you don’t have the best spawn for what you intend to do, then you might as well take your time. And by best spawn, I mean it, not the second or third best. I mean, the best.
Throughout the map you will stubble into endless clues that will give you an idea on how the raid is unfolding for the other players. Make sure you analyze them all. Do not run if you don’t have to. Take a step back and loop around if necessary. If you think you heard something, you probably did and act as such. Pause, listen for a couple of seconds more, get ready and clear. If you want to take this to the next level, pop a painkiller before to clear so if it turns out that they were more than your thoughts, you can quickly go back to cover.
Do that every time you’re unsure and act just as if you knew somebody was around. Never think as in Hopefully there is nobody camping on top of the tunnel. No, you go there and check before to proceed forward.
Finally, as you move along the map and to keep you on edge, I would advise to periodically ask yourself. What would I do If was getting shot from this cliff, or this house or whatever? Keep asking you that and plan accordingly.
Right, so that was both in and off raid variables you have control off. Now to finish up. Let’s have a look at the in-raid variable you have no control of but still weighs into your decision-making process.
The level, the gear and the behaviors of the opponents that will be against you in this raid.
Your best bet for this point is to carefully pay attention to what’s going on, the type of guns you hear but also where the shots are being heard. For instance, if you hear a first heavy firefight in construction and few minutes later to dorm, you know these guys move fast and they’re here to PVP. In addition to that, if you hear an M4, you know that your opponents will at the very least have a class 4 Armor. Take a step back and think about your own loadout. Would it make it through?
Plan accordingly to that and your personal objective for the raid.
That’s another thing that is outside of your control. Why is your opponent in the raid? This, just like you, will impact tremendously his decision making and the trajectory he will be taking which will then impact your own raid. Keep thinking, if these guys come here to PVP, they’ll go there and therefore passing through here. Which means I should do this, this and that.
These guys are much difficult to anticipate. The longer you stay in the raid, the more chances you get to bump into them to places you were not expecting. Although you don’t know where they spawn, you do know two things. They are here to loot and make the most profit from their standard scav and also that they most likely don’t care to die. Acknowledge this and plan accordingly.
Overall bad luck and game limitation
It is something that should be noted. Getting tarkoved is an actual thing and it might very well happen that for one reason or another, the kill shot you were working on so hard didn’t happen. This is difficult to assess, and it will sometimes result in death. Keep this in mind.
On another note, try to remember all the bugs and limitation you’ve encountered while playing and try to position yourself accordingly. For instance, the Custom’s marked room window that do now render on the hill behind two story or Some fences that do not render in Interchange. Also, the audio system being funny when you’re in a staircase. All these little bugs that can drag the odds of winning towards one way or another.
First bonus tip.
Reflect. When you die, reflect, do not jump straight back into another raid. Take 2 minute to pause and think. Why did I die, what could I have done better? Was my positioning optimal? Did I bring the right gun for the map?
Overall just try to breakdown the firefights into several pieces and analyze them differently from the opening shot, to the mid fight, and the end that resulted in your death.
Use the range and practice the hip fire.
That one is self-explanatory but go on, do it. Trust me you will win more fact If, when surprised, managed to land accurate hip firing into your opponent’s rather than having to aim and loose to precious seconds. I cannot count how many players I’ve managed to kill while hip firing.
So that’s it for my list of tips for solo player. My advise would be to take the above as a checklist before and as you progress in your raid. Keep the above in mind.