Tarkov Genre: What Kind of Game is Escape From Tarkov?

Last Updated on January 20, 2024 by Samuel Franklin

What Kind of Game is Escape From Tarkov? This is a common curiosity question of prospective EFT players given the unique combination of game mechanics. With this making it difficult to determine if you want to start playing this guide to the Tarkov genre mix will help you decide if it’s the right game for you. In this guide I detail the genres, objective, player count, file size, system requirements and other questions you might have before purchasing the game.

I would describe the game elements as realistic military shooter, survival, loot, PvPvE, quests, skills, raid-based and loss of equipment on death with each being discussed in detail below based on my thousands of gameplay hours solo and with friends. Having reached the pinnacle of Tarkov challenges that requires players to complete all quests I’ve experienced everything that Escape From Tarkov has to offer.

Table of Contents:
What Genre Is Escape From Tarkov
What Is The Objective of Tarkov?
Escape From Tarkov Player Count
How Big Is Escape From Tarkov (File Size)?
Tarkov System Requirements

For those that want a “what type of game is Tarkov?” and beginner guide in one video my favourite is from Boomstick Gaming below:

What Genre Is Escape From Tarkov

It is hard to define Escape From Tarkov (Tarkov or EFT) as it offers a unique mixture of genres that makes it hard to create a direct Tarkov comparison. The core gameplay loop revolves around scavenging, looting, crafting and fighting for survival in a harsh environment while progressing through a series of challenging tasks. The genre elements of Tarkov in my opinion are:

  • Realistic 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 diverse weapons, detailed weapon customisation, ballistics, injuries and character controls that seek to mimic real life as close as practical. This also means no indicators of who is your friend, 100% friendly fire and realistic injuries that players need to overcome in a firefight.
  • Survival: Tarkov is set in a deadly economic zone that is closed off to the outside world due to a political scandal in the region. Playing as one of those stuck in the zone you’ll have to scavenge for resources which includes food, water, fuel, ammo, weapons and a large number of barter items (like toilet paper). These can in turn be bartered for equipment or sold to accumulate Roubles, USD and Euro to purchase items directly from other players on the Flea Market or NPC traders.
  • Loot: Given these survival elements items and looting are a central game mechanic to your survival. Walking around the derelict and cut off zone there are countless containers such as duffle bags, toolboxes, crates and bodies for you to search for valuable 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 tosupport the in game flea market economy.
  • PvPvE: Games with PvPvE are still rare in the video 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 additional benefit of allowing you to purchase stronger equipment from traders overtime as you build reputation. These quests 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 for players to improve their ability to control weapons, heal wounds, sneak, sprint across the map 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 bleeds forming.
  • 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 they cannot re-enter that instance although Scavs (which can be AI or players) will continue to spawn that are the basic enemy of Tarkov. When players spawn in as a Scav they are given a random weak equipment set to scavenge any leftover loot.
  • 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 along with a beginner map.

What Is The Objective of Tarkov?

After considering all of the Escape From Tarkov mechanics above you might be thinking what exactly is the 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). In the fully released game the developer (BattleState Games) intends to have your objective to escape from the area known as Tarkov.


  • Hideout Fully Upgraded: Something that will also make your Tarkov life easier is your own personal hideout that unlocks useful crafts for game items and gives a fantastic sense of progression. Growing from a concrete bomb shelter 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 to create your own home amongst the chaos.
  • 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 that are a tier above anything else that is available.

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 that provide a higher AI challenge. With the release of Tarkov Arena in late 2023 players can also play to progress their rank in the PvP focused mode as they would in any other competitive online shooter.


Escape From Tarkov Player Count

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 exact player count and concurrent players on the Tarkov servers.

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 January 2024:

  • Twitch average viewership has nearly doubled from around 10-15k to 55k and peaked at 566k on 7 January 2024 (according to TwitchTracker).
  • Twitter followers for BSG have increased from 280k to 573k.
  • The Tarkov subreddit has grown from 450k to 870k subscribers.

Based on the above it’s reasonable to conclude that the current Tarkov concurrent player count at peak is around 400k to 500k players.

How Big Is Escape From Tarkov (File Size)?

The Tarkov game size has varied slightly as new content is added with the current final install on your computer approximately 30GB. Given the high number of game assets that are required to load before and during each raid it is strongly recommended by the community that this is installed on a SSD when possible and I personally saw a significant performance increase after swapping to a SSD.


Tarkov System Requirements

The requirements to play Escape From Tarkov are included on the official knowledgebase article and summarised in the table below. Having played Tarkov initially on a computer that met the minimum requirements I would not recommend players purchase the game if this is your situation as the larger game maps that have been introduced do struggle with performance and I noticed a significant improvement in quality of gameplay at 16GB of RAM in particular.

Requirement Minimum Recommended
OS Windows 7/8/10 (64 Bit) Windows 7/8/10 (64 Bit)
Processor dual-core processor 2.4 GHz (Intel Core 2 Duo, i3), 2.6 GHz (AMD Athlon, Phenom II) quad-core processor 3.2 GHz (Intel i5, i7), от 3.6 GHz (AMD FX, Athlon)
RAM 8 GB 16 GB
Graphics Card DX11 compatible graphics card with 1 GB memory DX11 compatible graphics card with 2 GB or more of memory


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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