One of the more upsetting changes for a lot of people in Tarkov was the adjustment to what the painkiller effect looks like in game. Before, the increase of sharpness while annoying to look at if you were watching Tarkov, was tolerable and some people genuinely liked the effect it had on their game. People would just pop painkillers at the start of every raid because it was so tame and the benefits of being on PKs were so strong. But with the most recent wipe, they changed what the game looks like on PKs, and a lot of people are not happy with it. And I think that was the point. Always being on this effect was too strong, so losing limbs or getting fractures had fewer negative consequences. That tense and stressful moment where you get a blacked-out limb and can’t move so you scramble to get out some form of a Painkiller is something that can make Tarkov either intense and exciting, or dumb and frustrating depending on how you ask. So, it made sense that BSG wanted to combat that by changing the PK effect. Now, your screen will become severely desaturated. Which, by itself I don’t think people would’ve had a problem with. But the other effect is that it makes the edges of your screen blurry to the point where it’s difficult to see what's on your peripheral vision. Your vision and ability to see people goes way down when you are any form of painkiller now. Which obviously is BSG’s way of saying hey stop using PKs all the time. Even I find myself using them less than before. Which was already pretty low to begin with. Because I tried to avoid them as much as possible, so the bitrate of these videos didn’t completely tank and ruin the quality. But now I basically don’t use them unless I am about to die. And with so many ways to get the PK effect, things like morphine and propital feel kind of yucky to use because the PK lasts for so long. But what if there was a stim in the game that was largely overlooked because the effect was tolerable before? What if it was a short-term PK that got you moving, healed you and even made your recoil better? Well, luckily it exists. And it’s been in the game for quite some time. So, stick around if you’d like to hear how everyone should start using Adrenaline as their stimulant of choice, and subscribe for more videos showcasing things in the game that are underutilized.
Before we talk about adrenaline, I quickly want to go over why people use painkillers so much. Beforehand, it was so you were never caught out where you couldn’t move. Even if you have zero stamina from getting shot or just using all your leg meter, even if you get blacked limbs, you can still walk at full speed and not limp from being shot. Because being shot in the leg is the fastest way to get taken out because mobility is so important to the game and fighting people. So not having to worry about that angle of PvP engagements can take some of the stress away when you get ambushed up close or someone spots you from a distance. The problem nowadays is that the effect is so severe that many see it as a downgrade from what we previously had. People have kind of accepted it at this point begrudgingly and deal with the effect, but they’d rather have the old one back. And personally, my only gripe with it are the blurry edges of your screen. I think the lack of color looks kind of cool and is a better visual indicator that you are on a stimulant of some sort in Tarkov. And again, it also doesn’t destroy the bit rate of videos and streams of the game which is a plus for everyone watching. BSG has also at one point made propital not give the painkiller effect, but that was reverted because that was half the reason why it was so popular. A two second application time, with the added benefit of 1hp per second. But this is where the adrenaline stim comes into play.
The adrenaline stim has been in the game for a long time now. Not since the 2017 days, because that accolade goes to morphine. But long enough that I feel as though people might have forgotten it’s even in the game. It’s been out classed by tons of other medical items that were much more favorable to have and use pretty much at nauseum because the PK effect was so mild compared to what it is now. Since that change however, there is room for adrenaline to become kind of the new go-to stim to hit when the situation becomes dire. The painkiller effect only lasts 65 seconds, which compared to morphine and other stims isn’t a long time. But that’s the point: you don’t always want to be on the effect. This is just enough time to start a fight and finish it before the effect wears off. If you don’t want to always deal with the effect on your screen, but still want to have something fast to pop when you need it the most, adrenaline should be your new stimulant of choice.
On top of the 65s stim, it also provides some very nice skill boosts. A solid +10 to your endurance, strength, and even recoil control for the same duration is extremely powerful. While having more STR can be nice if you have a lot of loot on you and you can’t find an opening to drop your backpack, it’s the recoil control we are most interested in here. This skill boost alone can single handedly turn a fight around in your favor, by allowing you to land a critical shot. You might already have a gun with solid recoil numbers, but what’s the harm in the game giving you an extra hand at that too? +10 isn’t a ton, but anything is better than nothing in the heat of a player fight. And if that wasn’t enough, for that same minute as well, you get +4hp per second, which when strictly comparing numbers to the propital, is a 400% increase in hp. Not as long, mind you, so it doesn’t feel as consistent. But the tiny sliver of extra health might be the deal breaker in whether you come out of a fight on top.
Now, adrenaline does have some downsides when the stim wears off. -10 to your stress resistance is kind of a big deal, because this is the skill that reduces the chances of getting the normal pain effect, as well as how badly your hands oscillate when you aim down your weapon. So, your hands become much shakier, and you have a higher chance of getting blurry vision should you take any more damage when coming off the stimulant. These alone are certainly rough downside, but manageable if you’re able to just quietly work your way to extract. But there is a much bigger problem that occurs when it wears off. A heavy hit to both your energy and hydration makes it so that you always need to have food and water immediately available to you when adrenaline wears off. Otherwise, you will easily be down to single digits for both if not completely out and you begin hemorrhaging HP. So, if you do decide to take adrenaline with you and want to use that as your primary painkiller, be sure to have some food and water on you, to help mitigate how low those values might get once the dust settles.
There is another reason that isn’t related to stats that I think is a great incentive to start using adrenaline. It’s the change in mindset you will start to have while carrying one with you. Let’s say you’re on Customs at Stronghold (or fortress). You go to do some looting and hear some other feet enter, you can tell they are players, and a fight is about to start. Popping the adrenaline right here forces you to be aggressive and engage in this fight. Because remember, you only have just over a minute with this PK before it goes away. That’s not a lot of time to wait for the perfect moment to strike. And even if you do wait until the middle of the fight after each of you exchange some gunfire and take some damage. It’s still not a ton of time. This stim is the “Go!” button. Like every other stimulant, but with a heavier focus on going now and not in 10-15 seconds. Using adrenaline is going to adjust your mindset to make the plays happen under your terms. You are on a time crunch and people might not be expecting you to make the first move, considering where we are currently with how some people engage with the game. Which I think is a good mindset to have in general. I struggle to take intuitive all the time in this game, but in the short term that I have been using adrenaline because I have a bunch sitting in my stash, I find myself playing more with the mindset of getting things done quickly. Not recklessly, but always moving, trying to basically push forward constantly. It doesn’t always work out, especially if it is a squad I am dealing with. But I've noticed I can get multiple members even if I die in the process, instead of trying to be quiet, and then missing the moment and dying because of it.
The shift+W mentality is something I have never subscribed to personally, because I just dislike that playstyle in general. Tarkov has always been kind of a slower game, at least during the in between parts when you’re not fighting. Range has always felt more enjoyable. But sometimes, you need to get up close and get the job done. And I know in the long run it is going to get harder a BSG makes more changes to the game. But adrenaline is that extra little kick I need to maybe make the first move, swing that corner, and get up in their face before they do the same to me. I even find myself counting in my head how much longer I have before it wears off. Considering I only need to start from 65, it’s kind of easy.
Adrenaline has definitely been a stimulant that is overlooked by a lot of players, myself included. But for about a week or so I decided to take one with me on most raids and every time it has pulled its weight, I have had to resort to using it. I wasn’t popping it like candy or just to have the pk effect, but only when it felt like a last resort that might get me out of the situation I was in. Sometimes it did, and it felt amazing. And other times it still wasn’t enough. But it gave me the short-term confidence to make a play and just see what happens. So, for anyone who doesn’t like the new visual effect painkillers give you, I would highly suggest bringing adrenaline into your raids with you. It lasts long enough that you can outflank or maneuver around your opponents, with some strong buffs to your soft skills to boot. This might quickly become my favorite stim and will have multiple with me in my injector case for the foreseeable future. Thank you for taking the time out of your day to watch this video. Let me know in the comments if you have used the adrenaline stim and if it was able to get you out of a sticky situation and subscribe for more videos about the forgotten items in the game that still have a niche use. I hope to see you in future ones.