What Is Escape From Tarkov? Tarkov Genres Overview

Last Updated on September 30, 2023 by Samuel Franklin

What Is Escape From Tarkov? Tarkov Genres Overview

What is Tarkov? What are the Escape From Tarkov genres you can expect to encounter this online game with a growing player count? If you’ve been wondering what Escape From Tarkov is this general game overview will answer your basic questions and give you insight into the game experience prior to purchasing the game. With Tarkov reporting concurrent player counts over 200k in early 2020 and likely much higher now after a number of successful Twitch streamer events there are a steady influx of gamers considering if Tarkov is right for them.

It is this question that this article intends to answer and while it won’t provide a beginner’s guide to your first few raids you can be confident in deciding if Tarkov is the right game for you or not by answering common pre purchase questions and explaining what do you do in Escape From Tarkov. Our full game review of Escape From Tarkov may also assist with your purchase decision. Once you’ve made the decision to buy we also have a handy guide on choosing the correct Tarkov game edition.

For those that want a “what is Tarkov?” and beginner guide in one video our favourite 2021 option comes from Boomstick Gaming below:

What Kind Of Game Is Escape From Tarkov? (Escape Form Tarkov Genres)

It is hard to define Tarkov, Escape From Tarkov offers a unique mixture of genres that makes it hard to create a direct comparison, in short it is a brutal loot and survival first person shooter with a number of different mechanics, genres and elements:

  • tarkov-realistic-weaponsRealistic Military First Person Shooter: The core of the Tarkov experience is a realistic FPS game similar to the likes of ARMA, Squad, Insurgency or Hell Let Loose. Realistic means you can expect things such as weapons, weapon customisation, ballistics, injuries and character control to mimic real life as close as practical. This also means no indicators of who is your friend and 100% friendly fire.
  • Survival: Tarkov is set in a deadly economic zone that is closed off to the outside due to a political scandal in the region. Playing as one of those stuck in the zone you’ll have to scavenge for resources. This includes food, water, fuel, ammo, weapons and a large number of barter items (like toilet paper) that can be bartered for items or sold to accumulate Roubles, USD and Euro to purchase items directly from players or NPC traders. This gives Escape From Tarkov elements of popular survival titles like Rust.
  • Loot: Given these survival elements loot and looting are a consistent game mechanic that you’ll encounter. Walking around the derelict and cut off zone there are countless containers such as duffel bags, toolboxes, crates and bodies for you to loot. Tarkov uses random mechanics here by providing a potential loot pool for different game areas and containers that creates a level of rarity of items and support the in game flea market economy.
  • PvPvE: Games with PvPvE are still rare in the game industry when it comes to core game modes but that doesn’t stop Tarkov building its experience around this concept. For those unfamiliar with the term this means you’ll encounter other Players and AI (Environment) within the same game space and have to battle them equally.
  • Quests/Tasks: Underneath all of the above mechanics is a trader quest system that gives you a consistent goal to strive for and has the side benefit of allowing you to purchase more from traders overtime as you build reputation with them alongside various quest rewards. These range from visiting key locations on the maps of Tarkov, killing AI or other players under particular circumstances and scavenging for particular items.
  • Skills: Tarkov has a basic skill system to improve their ability to complete tasks from controlling certain guns, healing to noise reduction and many others. These skills level slowly overtime as players engage in the related activity. For example taking damage will improve your vitality skill that reduces the chance of bleeding when damaged. These are further supported with a detailed statistic screen and survivor class that provides insight on player playstyles.
  • Instanced: Games in Tarkov are currently individually instanced (referred to as Raids) which means you enter into one of the games available maps with a time limit and a certain number of players. Once those players leave or are killed the cannot re-enter that instance although Scavs (which can be AI or players) will continue to spawn.
  • Difficulty: When you combine all of the above and layer it with death in Tarkov meaning that you lose all of your currently equipped (and looted) gear you get the extreme difficulty scale of Tarkov that you’ve likely heard about. While there are some game mechanics (secure containers and insurance) to counter this difficulty the need to learn maps and mechanics while having other experienced players roaming the same maps means you are in for a tough Tarkov start although the included offline mode allows you to safely practice the game.

What Is The Point Of Escape From Tarkov?

After considering all of the Escape From Tarkov mechanics above you might be thinking what exactly is the point or ultimate goal of Tarkov that you’ll be striving for? Currently in its Beta state Tarkov does not clearly define this for the player but there are a number of end game goals that the community generally aims for (presented in order for easiest to hardest):

  • tarkov-hideoutHideout Fully Upgraded: Something that will also make your Tarkov life easier is your own personal hideout that lets you craft useful game items and gives a fantastic sense of progression. Growing from a concrete bomb shelter home with few amenities players can upgrade the lighting, lavatory, bitcoin farm, improve stash space and even build a library for an experience boost. There are currently a total of 20 hideout modules with the majority having multiple upgrade levels that require you to obtain specific items from raids, reach certain trader levels, improve your character skills or unlock prerequisite modules.
  • Kappa Secure Container: Probably the most common goal amongst the community is to unlock the Kappa Secure Container which is an item rewarded for completing the majority of game quests and allows you to safely secure more loot in raids even if you die making it an extremely valuable item.
  • Complete All Quests: For the truly committed Tarkov player there are a number of stretch quests that aren’t required for the Kappa container above but provide bragging rights. These quests usually involve killing the game bosses a large number of times for cosmetic items or extremely deadly weapons.

In addition to the above other players in the community might play to rack up the PvP kills, grow their in game wealth, reach insane player levels or hunt down the game bosses who provide a higher AI challenge.

Escape From Tarkov Download and File Size (GB)

If you’re wondering how much space does Escape From Tarkov take due to your own file size limits the final install on your computer will be approximately 30GB. Given the high number of game assets that are required to load before and during each raid it is strongly recommended that this is installed on a SSD when possible.


Escape From Tarkov Player Count and Concurrent Players

With the last official Escape From Tarkov player count from BattleState Games provided in December 2020 announcing 200k concurrent players it can be difficult to determine the player count and concurrent players that the Tarkov servers are currently seeing.

However, there are some other public data points that we can use to infer the potential size of the playerbase currently:

  • Twitch viewership
  • Followers on official BattleStateGames channels (e.g. Twitter)
  • Size of unofficial communities (e.g. reddit)

Based on these metrics we can determine that from December 2020 to August 2021:

  • Twitch average viewership has nearly doubled from around 10-15k to 30-35k and peaked at 150k on 1 July 2021 when the Tarkov servers were reset.
  • Twitter followers for BSG have increased from 280k to 380k.
  • The Tarkov subreddit has grown from 450k to 650k subscribers.

Based on the above it’s reasonable to conclude that the current Tarkov concurrent player count at peak is around 300 to 400k players.


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) has over 1,000 hours, 1,000 raids, 2,000 kills and 50% survival rate in Escape From Tarkov (EFT) over multiple wipes and has achieved the elusive Kappa secure container in the process. He loves the Tarkov experience and seeks to share his insights and expertise with new players to the game.


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