The Cycle Frontier: Best Faction to Level Up First

The Cycle Frontier is growing in popularity due to the game being picked up by many of the main Escape From Tarkov streamers.  One of the core parts of the game is to level up your factions.  The higher your level with each faction the better gear you can buy and the more upgrades in your quarters you can complete.

In this guide I am going to walk you through each faction to explain which faction is best to level up in The Cycle Frontier.

Best Cycle Frontier Faction To Level Up

There are three factions in The Cycle Frontier, Korolev (orange), ICA (blue) and Osiris (green).  Each faction plays a role depending on what you want to upgrade in your quarters and what guns you want to unlock.  

Korolev (Orange)

Cycle Frontier Korolev
Korolev Faction

Korolev is arguably the most important faction to do contracts for first since the tokens or ‘scrips’ as they are called, allow you to upgrade your safe pockets and stash.  This allows you to extract with more ‘safe’ loot which is particularly useful for contract items you need. 

The first upgrade allows you to store up to 10 weight in your safe pockets which unlocks the ability to save high value items.  You can find the Korolev faction on the far left side of the station as you come out of your quarters.

Korolev Weapons

Korolev has the smallest selection of weapons out of the three factions.  I haven’t had the chance to test every gun but the initial unlock of the ‘KM-9 Scrapper’ absolutely shreds early on compared to the other starter weapons in the other factions.  It has a small clip so you need to be accurate but up close it will kill most players with basic or rare armor in a single clip.

I would focus on unlocking this first in terms of guns.  A Scrapper plus bolt action rifle is a good loadout early on as you have the damage via your sniper for long range engagements followed by the Scrapper up close.  

The second gun for the Korolev faction, the ‘PKR Maelstrom’ is not very cost efficient since it is a shotgun.  It does massive damage up close but 80% of my engagements were not close enough to take advantage of its damage.  I would rather spend the same amount of K-MARKs on the Manticore (Osiris weapon) instead.

Osiris (Green)

Cycle Frontier Osiris
Osiris Faction

Osiris scrips are used for a lot of upgrades under the generator tab in your quarters.  The generators allow you to create K-MARKS (currency) and Aurum (cosmetic currency).  The higher level your generators are, the speed and amount of currency you create will increase.  This means you can generate free currency faster and more efficiently.  Completing Osiris contracts sooner rather than later will pay off more as you will be generating more currency sooner.

Osiris Weapons

From my limited testing Korolev seems to have the best set of weapons, particularly early on.  The Scarab is a better pistol (burst fire)  than the basic one.  The Manticore is a cost efficient assault rifle which is an upgrade over the basic quick shop AR.  The fourth unlock at faction level 12 the ‘ASP Flechette Gun’ is straight up busted

I will be very surprised if it isn’t nerfed come the next beta. This is your go to goal in terms of faction levels for weapons.  This is why I suggest focusing on Osiris alongside Korolev.  The ASP Flechette and inventory upgrades offer the best investment for your time.

ICA (Blue)

Cycle Frontier ICA
ICA Faction

The ICA faction is the weaker of the three factions from my testing so far.  For upgrades the ICA scrips allow you to upgrade your Prospector quarter upgrade times.  Early on this isn’t very useful because the upgrade times are very short (1-5 minutes) unless you are extremely impatient of course.  

However, you can pay to have the upgrade finished instantly so the reduced time isn’t really worthwhile.  As you progress through the game the later upgrades require much more time to complete therefore the upgrade time reduction becomes more valuable.  I suggest not wasting your tokens on this early on.

Instead of using your ICA scrips on this you should put them towards your supply crate upgrade.  Every 24hr you can request a supply crate which will contain a random set of loot.  The loot you can get depends on the quality of your supply crate loot table.  By using your ICA tokens you can upgrade this allowing you to redeem better loot every day.

ICA Weapons

The ICA has the worst starter weapon to unlock, the ‘Bulldog‘.  Shotguns are very situational which is another reason not to focus on levelling ICA early.  The second gun, the ‘ICA Guarantee‘ is a decent LMG but its not efficient for its cost.  There are better alternatives in other factions for weapons.  This is another reason I suggest not to focus on levelling ICA.  Complete contracts if you happen to have the materials but continue to focus on Korolev and Osiris.


That is my guide on the best faction to level up in The Cycle Frontier.  The core takeaway here is to focus on Korolev to get the Scrapper and inventory upgrades while also completing Osiris contracts to gradually get the APS Flechette.

I will look to update this as the game changes and progresses.  If you have any further tips that I can add to the guide please leave a comment below.

Barry H

Barry H

Barry is the sole writer here at GamingGem. Having played games since the age of 7 he is a gamer at heart. His mission is to make GamingGem the primary resource for gamers to find accurate and unbiased reviews on the latest gaming and tech gear.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.