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Experience is More Important than Gear in Tarkov

Put the time in, and see the fruits of your labor.

By JirasuPublished 3 months ago 6 min read

There has always been an argument within Tarkov that gear matters the most aside from everything else in the game that is at your disposal. Gear being guns, ammo, armor, meds, etc. These items are the pillars of what can make someone extremely lethal in Tarkov. That is ultimately that argument. And while there is a level of truth to that statement, there is a large aspect that people who tout that have even forgotten or simply ignore altogether. And that is experience, and knowledge. Tarkov is one of many games that if you know what you are doing, you know how to navigate, you know what items are worth what; these fundamentals that have been trained and honed over potentially years hold much more water than a big gun with good ammo. And for many of the veterans of this game, this makes sense. Why would something that can be lost so easily have more impact than your ability to outplay someone with that level of gear who may not know all there is to know. But today, I wanted to kind of explore this philosophy in Tarkov and explain why someone's tenure in the game might matter more than the gun they have in their hands, or the armor they are wearing.

Tarkov is most certainly a complex game. Both regarding its actual mechanics, and the, let’s say, non-intuitive design of said mechanics. Some are better than others, but to say that Tarkov doesn’t have some jank that could be ironed out would be a lie. Regardless, a brand-new player to the game won’t be able to just jump into it as if they were playing something like COD. You pick a class, and you are off to the races. In Tarkov, you need to know guns, ammo types, the medical system, armor; the list is very daunting when you look at it for the first time. Even just the inventory when you load up the game is intimidating. And you can explain these concepts to a new player a thousand times, but it may not ever click for them until they get in the game and experience some raids. Even if the new player has a solid background in FPS games, Tarkov is such its own beast, that even if you can click heads well, the game won’t allow you to get away with that by itself. There are enough elements in the game that you will die eventually and be unsure as to how it happened. Map knowledge, audio understanding (even though it still very much has issues), being able to discern a scav versus an actual player. It’s a herculean task to figure this game out. I feel as though it would take a new player to Tarkov, but is familiar with shooters, roughly two weeks before they start to get comfortable with Tarkov. And that’s if they decide to stick with it and play it consistently. Luckily, Tarkov does have the bug that once you get it, most people kind of become addicted to the game because it is so unique. And after you invest a lot of time into Tarkov, it can be a little difficult to go back to other shooters. Or, at least in my case, take them seriously. These days, any shooter that isn’t Tarkov, I find myself just relaxing with the game. Having fun, not caring if I die; it is honestly very much a relieving feeling, instead of always trying to take everything super serious. Nah man, just have fun. Tarkov got the idea of stakes right; you go in with stuff, and if you die you lose that stuff. And while other games have tried to emulate that tantalizing sensation, no one has gotten it right (at least in the shooter genre).

Regarding the idea that gear is more important than experience or knowledge, there have been many people who echo this sentiment that gear is not as important as understanding the game. If you gave someone the best gear in the game, something like Altyn, Slick, a juicy min/maxed M4 or RD, something along those lines. And that new player might feel powerful, but if they were to try and fight one on one a very experienced player in a location like dorms, or maybe resort, I honestly have doubts that they would be able to take out the veteran. Even if that player had low level gear, like a lightly modified SKS and PS ammo. If you were to run a simulation, I feel as though maybe 2 or 3 times the new player might get the veteran. The number of hours just in the game, walking around, and gaining the knowledge of how to not only move around the map, but also handling situations and knowing how to respond to what’s going on around them, certainly trumps just having good gear. Most new players to Tarkov, the thing that gets them usually is noise; they don’t like to make noise because of how prevalent footsteps and other player made sounds are. So, they usually creep around, very slowly, hoping no one hears them and they can sneak up on someone for a kill. Meanwhile, an experienced player doesn’t mind the noise because they know that movement and proper positioning are critical to success in Tarkov. If you can out flank your opponent, you’re more likely to catch them in a reload, reposition, a heal, or any opportunity where they have their guard down for an easy kill. Experienced players are not afraid to move around. In fact, they arguably do it too much. Sometimes trying to stay too mobile can wind up getting you caught in the crossfire of someone else you weren’t even aware of. But even then, if I may speak from personal experience, nothing hurts more than trying to sneak up on someone who might be busy looting or fighting another player, only to have someone else run into you and kill you. It sucks not being able to fire your gun in those situations and I have had this happen too many times. And while I certainly enjoy playing sneaky and getting the drop on people, dying before the fight even begins is the wors feeling in the world. Which is why people make an effort to move around and get engaged. They want to experience the PvP fights, and they won’t get the chance to if they are skulking around being sneaky waiting for the perfect shot. Newer players haven’t gotten their Tarkov legs so to speak, but if they stick with the game they will. Some faster than others, but hey, we all get there eventually.

Gear can certainly be a deciding factor as to whether you die in some situations. Getting a lucky ricochet, tanking some small caliber damage, having the necessary ammo to punch through some tough armor. These will make a difference in raid. However, you can’t always rely on the gear in game to help. The later we get into a wipe cycle, the less of an effect some of these mechanics have on your survivability. So, what are you left with? Your own wits, and knowledge of the game. Making the correct choices at the right time; knowing when to engage and maybe third party a situation, or when to retreat when a fight is not going in your favor. A lot of the game comes down to your choices in the raid. Followed by your aim. But sometimes, if you make the right choices, position yourself in an advantageous spot, then you might be graced with a juicy, beautiful one-shot headshot, and all the gear your heart desires. But what do you think about gear In Tarkov? Is if the be all end all? Or is it kind of not as important as some make it out to be? Let me know in the comment section down below and be sure to subscribe for more videos about the inner mechanisms and macroeconomics of gear in Tarkov. I hope to see you in future ones.

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About the Creator


Stories about the things I find interesting/personal. Thank you for taking the time out of your day for checking me out.

I do the same thing with videos on my YouTube Channel


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