Is Escape From Tarkov Worth It? – 500 Hours Later

You may already know the answer judging from the title but a question often asked since Escape From Tarkov’s popularity boom is;

Is Escape From Tarkov worth it?

I have over 500 hours in the game and have covered a wide range of topics on Escape From Tarkov here on GamingGem so this is an honest overview of what the game has to offer.

What Is Escape From Tarkov?

First lets discuss what Escape From Tarkov is all about.  If you already know this then feel free to skip this section.

Before you jump in it is worth understanding how unforgivable and hardcore Escape From Tarkov really is.  This is not a run and gun game, it is a realistic ‘military simulator’ (although not really military). 

The aim of the game in Escape From Tarkov is to GET OUT.  You have a single life and you spawn on a map of your choice where you are assigned random ‘extractions’.  These extractions are locations scattered across the map.  You must loot and shoot your way through the map and extract at one of the locations assigned to you.

If you die in any manner throughout your raid you lose all of your gear that you brought in with you.  This is what makes Escape From Tarkov special.

Sounds easy enough?

Not so much.  There are AI or ‘scavs’ as they are called which are located all across each map.  These are not your typical Call of Duty AI that shoot into thin air.  The scavs are brutal and will mess you up if you are not careful.  They are very fast to lock onto to you and are highly accurate.

Escape-From-Tarkov Example Scav Model
Example Scav In Escape From Tarkov Credit: BattleStateGames

Aside from dealing with the scavs you also have to contend with players.  This is where Escape From Tarkov gets the ‘PvPvE’ name.  Player vs Player vs Environment.  

Depending on the map that you play you will have a different amount of real players to fight off.  The larger the map the more players there are.

Raids in Escape From Tarkov vary in length from around 20-60 minutes.  Throughout the entirety of a maps session player scavs can spawn in at any time.  

Player scavs are real people that have spawned in as a scav.  When you choose to join a raid you can choose to join as your main character and take in your own gear or spawn in as a scav. 

When you spawn in as a scav you are assigned random (usually low quality) gear.  Other AI scavs will not shoot you unless you shoot them but other player scavs will likely still shoot you.  

The aim as a scav is to scavenge (hence the name) around the map and get as much loot as you can and get out.  You can also try to sneak up on unsuspecting players with better gear and make your scav run more lucrative.

Escape From Tarkov Skills
Skills in Escape From Tarkov

There is more to Tarkov than looting however, you are also assigned quests which you have to complete throughout different maps and for different traders.  The traders in Escape From Tarkov is who you buy your gear from.  You must level the traders up in order to unlock better gear.

Your character also levels up and has a variety of different skills that will impact your game.  Some skills include, strength, metabolism, health and more.

Is Escape From Tarkov Really Worth It Then?

After reading that you might be asking yourself, well where is the fun?  That all sounds very difficult and complicated, what makes Escape From Tarkov worth playing?

To a certain degree you are right, Escape From Tarkov has one of the highest learning curves of any game I have played.  The game is so deep and rich it takes hours to understand it all.  But this is part of its beauty.

It isn’t just the intricacies of Tarkov that sells it though, it is the relentless pressure and intensity that comes with the impressively realistic audio, gunfight mechanics and fear of losing everything you have.

If a doctor could monitor my heart rate while playing Escape From Tarkov he would be telling my to Alt F4 & uninstall.

I remember getting into my first few ‘last 3 alive’ situations in PUBG & Fortnite and feeling the euphoria and pressure of the situation.  Pulse racing, hands sweating and feeling the weight of the situation. 

This is what made Battle Royale so popular and Escape From Tarkov brings that very same feeling but to an even higher degree.  The fear of losing your gear or the sound of the crack and pop of gunfire passed your ear.  The sound of a scav shouting blasphemy from around the corner you didn’t know was there.  

All these experiences aren’t exactly unique to Tarkov (apart from scav jump scares) but no other game does it like Tarkov.  And this is what makes it so special, unique and now deservedly popular.

Tarkov is one of the most addictive games once you start to learn the basics.  When you learn where to go for loot or when you extract with your first big money raid you start to get the bug of ‘I want more’.  

Final Word

Escape From Tarkov is not for everyone.  Where it used to be somewhat of a niche game the popularity of realistic survivalist shooters is still very much alive.  

If you like the idea of a single life, hardcore survival, looter shooter then you will absolutely love Tarkov and I can comfortably say it is definitely worth it.

My best advice is to watch a few basic tutorials from Pestily on YouTube to understand a few fundamentals.  Also remember that everything you own will be lost eventually.  Getting over gear fear is important in order to enjoy the game to its full potential.

Before getting stuck into the game I recommend you also check out my guide for the best Escape From Tarkov Settings to get the most FPS out of your rig.

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.

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