Tarkov Editions Comparison – Which Version To Buy

Last Updated on May 4, 2024 by Samuel Franklin

This Tarkov editions comparison page clearly summarises the differences between EFT versions to ultimately help gamers decide which to buy. With multiple editions available it can be confusing on where to start your Tarkov journey with each impacting your starting stash space, secure container size, initial equipment and your starting reputation with the game traders. As a Tarkov veteran with thousands of gameplay hours I always recommend that new players start with the Standard Edition given it is the cheapest way to try the game and players can always upgrade edition later for the difference in price.

Table of Contents:
Tarkov Edition Comparison (Summary)
Tarkov Edition Comparison (Detail)
Which Edition To Buy


Escape From Tarkov Edition Comparison (Summary)

Tarkov is currently in Beta development by BattleState Games with different game editions that have increasing purchase prices and benefits as shown in the table below:

Edition ($USD) Starting Stash Secure Container Starting Equipment Trader Reputation Other
Standard ($50) Level 1 (10×28) Alpha (2×2) Small N/A
Left Behind ($82) Level 2 (10×38) Alpha (2×2) Medium N/A
Prepare for Escape ($110) Level 3 (10×48) Beta (3×2) Large Additional 0.2 (all traders)
Edge of Darkness (EoD)

[No longer available from 8th January 2024]

Level 4 (10×68) Gamma (3×3) Large Additional 0.2 (all traders)
  • Access to Co-op practice mode
  • Access to all future DLC
  • Unique game ID (golden crown)
The Unheard ($250) Enhanced (10×72) Gamma (3×3) Huge Increased Fence reputation
  • Access to Co-op practice mode
  • Access to all future DLC
  • Unique game ID (blue)
  • PvE co-op mode
  • Expanded PMC pockets
  • Additional Flea Market slots
  • Increase mail retention time
  • Increased starting level of character skills
  • Unique game armband
  • Mark of The Unheard special item (in raid service discounts, insured return time decrease and reduction in Scav aggression range at 6+ Fence reputation)
  • Unique hideout area (future update)
  • Unique distress signal device to call friends into raid (future update)

Escape From Tarkov Edition Comparison (Detail)

In this detailed section of Tarkov editions I provide further information on the impact to your Tarkov experience given the version differences:

  • Access: All Escape Form Tarkov editions give instant game access to the closed beta of EFT through a digital copy.
  • Starting Stash: The starting stash size increases your ability to store equipment in the safety of your stash which is a useful quality of life enhancement as players will be able to hold larger reserves of gear for raids and store critical quest items. All players can eventually upgrade their stash size to 10×68 through gameplay and all players regardless of game edition can purchase additional stash lines at $3USD each.
  • Secure Container: The most significant Tarkov edition difference is your starting secure container which allows you to keep items after your death. Standard and Left Behind players begin with an Alpha (2×2), Prepare for Escape gets a Beta (2×3) and EoD/Unheard start with a Gamma (3×3). The benefit of this is significant as a bigger secure container allows players to steadily make extra progress despite a failed raid. Similar to stash size though players can eventually earn an Epsilon (4×2) and a Kappa (3×4) secure container through gameplay.
  • Starting Equipment: Higher tier editions give the player significantly more barter and healing items to save Roubles initially. This starting list of items also depends on your selected faction (BEAR or USEC) with faction inspired weapons and ammunition.
  • Trader Reputation: Prepare for Escape and EoD receive “initially good standing with all in-game traders”, this provides a 0.2 reputation boost to all Tarkov traders. This is another early game advantage as your traders will level up faster by reducing the number of quests you need to complete to gain the necessary trader reputation. The Unheard Edition provides initial Fence reputation instead which improves your initial Scav loadouts and allows you to activate the unique Mark of The Unheard earlier.
  • Co-op Practice Mode: Currently only Edge of Darkness owners can play co-operatively in the practice mode that happens outside of the core game servers. Other editions are limited to playing solo offline mode only or can purchase access as an expansion for $10USD.
  • Future DLC: The Edge of Darkness¬† and The Unheard Edition have free access to all subsequent DLC that are released for Escape From Tarkov similar to a Season pass from other games. This included free access to the spin-off title Tarkov Arena.
  • Game ID: Edge of Darkness players unlock a special golden crown next to their in game ID while The Unheard Edition has a unique blue icon which displays in game lobbies and death screens.
  • Other Unheard Edition Benefits: The Unheard edition includes a vast number of boosts to progression that are exclusively available to these players or require significant in game effort for other players to earn which are listed in the table above. Some of these are currently not implemented so there are many unknowns related to how these benefits will operate once added to the game.


Which Tarkov Edition To Buy

If you’re a new player asking yourself what version of Tarkov should I buy? I recommend that all newcomers to Tarkov purchase the Standard edition as I consider this the best Tarkov edition given it allows you to determine if you enjoy EFT first while limiting your initial purchase price. Given you can upgrade your game version at any point by paying the differences in price there is simply no reason to purchase a higher tier edition at first despite the early game advantages it provides.

For those that are looking to upgrade from the Standard edition I would generally recommend the Prepare for Escape edition given Edge of Darkness is no longer available as this offers most available advantages especially secure container space. Alternatively for players that can afford the significant cost The Unheard Edition comes with significant and varied account boosting benefits. There is no requirement to upgrade beyond Standard edition to enjoy Tarkov though and I successfully obtained the Kappa Secure Container from a Standard account.


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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