Tarkov Best Early Game Guns: Budget Builds For Early Wipe

Last Updated on January 16, 2024 by Samuel Franklin

This guide to Tarkov budget guns is ideal for early game and beyond for players seeking a powerful weapon without spending significant Roubles. With different ammo types, fire rates and effective ranges choosing the right option from dozens of base guns and hundreds of attachments is an incredibly tough task in EFT.

To simplify the process this page details the best early wipe guns which can also serve as the best budget guns for PMCs that want to use them beyond the early game rush. Focusing on the base weapon and where to buy them and recommendations for attachments players will be able to cater each option to their own preferences and trader levels. These recommendations draw from the wealth of community resources and my own experience in 1,000+ raids acquiring the Kappa Secure Container which required success in a significant number of PvP and PvE firefights.

Table of Contents:
What Is An Effective Budget Gun?
Best Early Wipe & Budget Guns

What Is An Effective Budget Gun?

When selecting either a budget gun or weapon for the early game these are the considerations that I have made for this list. With this knowledge players will better understand the power of these weapons and can also test other guns against this criteria as you unlock new weapons.

  • Base Stats: Base weapon statistics are important for cheap guns as we don’t want to add significant cost through attachments to make them usable. Weapons with strong stats for ergonomics, recoil (for full auto) and accuracy values that don’t rely on attachments will be of particular interest for budget builds and are the best guns for beginners.
  • Ammo: Ammunition is critical to your weapon choice as we need something with both availability and power so that we can be effective in combat against PMCs and Scavs. This means favouring ammo types in Tarkov that have a mid tier ammo option that we can currently access based on Flea Market or traders.
  • Weapon Availability and Price: Early wipe or low level builds are limited by both cost and availability so we will want to favour weapons that are readily available from low level traders or cheap on the Flea Market.
  • Attachment and Magazine Availability: Similar to the weapon we need to ensure that critical attachments (sight and any required sight mount) are available to purchase at a reasonable cost and that we have suitable magazine access. Magazine size is also important as there are many great weapons that do not achieve their potential until you have access to or can afford the larger magazines.

Best Early Wipe & Budget Guns

The below Tarkov weapon recommendations up to trader level 2 include a diverse roster of weapon types to cater to all playstyles and maps with information on ammo type, availability and notes on optimising its effectiveness. To ensure these weapons stay budget friendly your attachments should focus on adding a sight of your preference first and you can incrementally add extra cost through other attachments as your budget dictates.


Weapon Ammo Type Availability Notes
tarkov-pp19PP-19-01 “Vityaz” 9×19 Prapor Level 1 A single fire and full auto weapon which players can easily obtain ammunition and 30 round magazines for. With low recoil this weapon is primarily for headshots that are effective against Scavs and PMCs.

The Axion Kobra EKP-8-02 reflex sight (Dovetail) also fits directly on this gun which is similarly readily available and an effective basic red dot sight.

tarkov-aks-74uKalashnikov AKS-74U 5.45×39 Prapor & Mechanic Level 1 The most basic of the AK variants you’ll find in Tarkov this small and short weapon is surprisingly effective with a sight attached and has no problem fighting indoors with the smaller barrel size. It’s also one of the cheaper options for silenced weapons early on if you want to stay silent.
tarkov-vpo136Molot VPO-136 “Vepr-KM” 7.62×39 Skier Level 1 One of the larger budget rifles the Vepr allows players to bring a little more firepower and comes with a 30 round magazine when purchased. The easiest way to add a sight for this weapon is to purchase the AK AKademia Bastion dust cover (also from Skier 2) that provides a top rail for most sights to go directly on the gun.

This is a single fire only rifle and in time players can upgrade to the AKM which has a number of similarities but also gives players the option of full auto fire mode.

tarkov-ppsh41PPSh-41 7.62×25 Prapor Level 1 An aggressive option compared to the other best budget options this is a gun that seeks to overwhelm enemies with sheer fire rate and magazine size. While the ammunition and modding opportunities are lacking your goal is to spray and pray when using this budget weapon.
tarkov-vpo215Molot VPO-215 “Gornostay” .366 TKM Jaeger Level 1 An affordable bolt action sniper rifle which can be used alongside the Mosin for longer ranged maps like Woods where players want extra distance to attack Scavs safely and can be paired with a pistol for extra safety.
tarkov-mp153MP-153 12×70 Jaeger Level 2 Readily available from Scavs the shotgun is a simple but effective weapon for Scav hunting and with some luck on your pellets can still bring down a PMC. While I recommend the MP-153 here given its base statistics essentially any shotgun you have access to can serve as a budget weapon on maps that you can avoid long range combat.
tarkov-umpUMP .45 ACP Peacekeeper Level 2 The UMP is another submachine gun option for players that you will want to focus on headshots with given the ammunition will not be able to consistently penetrate player armour plates. With the in built rails it is easy for players to add a sight and foregrip depending on overall weapon budget.


Written by
Samuel Franklin
Samuel Franklin is the founder and lead editor of the Games Finder team and enjoys video games across all genres and platforms.

Sam (Seelyon) is a seasoned Escape From Tarkov player with over 1,000 raids across multiple Tarkov patches while accumulating thousands of player kills and maintaining a 50% survival rate who favours a calculated playstyle. During these wipes he has earned the coveted Kappa secure container, proving his determination in the unforgiving world of Tarkov. His passion for the punishing game goes beyond personal accomplishment and he is driven by a desire to guide new players on their own Escape From Tarkov journey one raid at a time.

Through countless firefights, strategic flanks and exhilarating boss encounters, he has accumulated a deep understanding of the game’s mechanics and nuances that allows him to offer valuable insights and strategies to those seeking to navigate the complexities of Tarkov.

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