Combat has always been at the core of Tarkov’s gameplay loop. You go into raids to complete quests, collect gear and loot, and partake in combat against AI and other players. And while it might not be your main objective in every single raid you enter, you will get into situations where you need to fight your way out. Whether you want to or not. And combat can look simple from an outside perspective; just aim your gun at the other guy and hit them. But getting into gunfights in Tarkov is probably the most mechanically deep part of the entire game, next to movement. There are tons of weapons, ammos, attachments that will drastically affect how you engage others and where the best and worst places will be to do so. And one of those that can be fitted onto weapons are flashlights and lasers. These are interesting additions to your weapon because whether it's for illumination, or having a general idea of where the barrel of your weapon is always aiming, can be useful in situations where you get surprised by a player and don’t have time to aim down your weapons optic for more accurate fire. Over the years, point fire as it is properly called, has become a powerful method of engaging in PvP. So much so, that it is entirely possible to not aim down your weapon and kill other players from a surprisingly far distance. Granted, we are still talking about close quarters combat in general, but you would be surprised at being able to take enemies out with point fire from easily 20 meters. Point fire is already accurate enough, but when you add either a flashlight or laser on top of that, and you have a mechanic in the game that is severely over tuned for how simple it can make many engagements in the game. Which is a shame, because it honestly never feels that good to just spray in someone’s direction and watch them fall. But, before we talk about how it makes us feel, we need to go over what makes point fire so strong, how lasers make it better, and what can be done to maybe adjust this way of fighting. So, whether you agree or not I’d ask you to share your thoughts in the comment section and subscribe if you’d like to see more videos talking about potentially controversial topics in Tarkov.
Point fire is the simple act of shouldering your weapon and firing at whatever is in front of you. Now naturally, in Tarkov we don’t have any other stance than our weapons being at the ready all the time. There is no low ready or high ready in the game. Our guns are constantly pointed towards one another. Even our teammates. Which sucks because having the ability to lower weapons towards those we don’t want to shoot would make VOIP interactions much more interesting and less stressful because you're not worried someone is going to tap you in the head whilst you’re looting. Would people use this mechanic that much in the grand scheme of things? No, probably not if I’m being honest. But I know I would at least try. But regardless, because our guns are always pointed forward, shooting without aiming down your sights is instant. Which brings us to the first problem with point fire in Tarkov: there is little to no dead zone for your weapon.
What I mean by this is if you are looking at the horizon, flat at the X axis which is the horizontal line on your screen. If you wag your weapon around, it doesn’t move very much. It stays pretty much in the center of your screen. Now there are some factors that can change the weapon's behavior; whether or not you have blacked out arms or any arm fractures will change the behavior of how your PMC handles the weapon. Whenever you have arm problems, obviously it takes longer to aim your weapons. But it also makes your gun tend to droop down towards the ground when just walking around. And while this is mainly used as a visual indicator to let the player know the arms have issues that need to be addressed, it also makes firing without aiming, that specific recoil regardless of how low that weapons stat is, much more difficult to land accurate shows without aiming. Alongside any arm issues, leg problems that cause your PMC to limp can also make aiming significantly harder to land shots because the limp animation is so aggressive. That was quite the side tangent to explain dead zone, so let me just show some footage from Battlebit Remastered. Should make it easier to explain.
Look at how the gun sways back and forth. The barrel isn’t always pointing directly at the center of your screen. Depending on your movement, altitude, and stance, your gun is going to behave differently than if you are just standing still not moving your screen. Now, if we switch back to Tarkov, under the same conditions, the gun is much more stable and doesn’t move nearly as much. The barrel is mostly flat across the screen, and unless the gun has no attachments on it, the benefits from any additions will make point-firing that much easier. But there is one type of attachment in particular that takes this boost to another level.
Flashlights, lasers, any combo of the two; these attachments are meant to illuminate and give you a better visual indicator as to where your muzzle is pointing. But what these attachments also do and have done for many years, is that when they are toggled on while attached to your weapon, you get a significant boost to the accuracy of your point-fire. Here is a comparison between the tactical device being off and on. It may not look like a significant difference, but remember, not only does the game make it literally easier to hit people while point-firing, but you can have a rough visual indicator as to where your bullets are going. There are some that can only be seen with night vision because they are infrared lasers or lights. Being able to have the boost to your point-firing and now having a laser beam does not give away your location is powerful. And there was a point in time, many years ago, where lasers didn’t give an accuracy bonus. Then that got reverted and it’s been the same ever since. But these attachments can make such a difference when it comes down to narrowly taking out another player.
I personally have been trying to use point-fire more often in situations where it may not be the best option because of location or distance, but I don’t have the time to aim and get accurate shots on the target. And there have been times where I absolutely didn’t deserve the kill for how far away I was to my opponent but got an insanely lucky face shot. And then there h ave been times where I can clearly see their character model reel back from the damage I am hitting them with, can see the hose of blood coming out of their neck and face, but then I just fall over dead first. So, as much as I personally disagree with the notion of “coin flips” in Tarkov and we might talk about that in the future, there are some moments where it really feels like you just give the wheel to Jesus and see what he does with it. And it’s a shame that close ranged gunfights can devolve so much in Tarkov under the right, or I guess in this instance, wrong circumstances. It kind of reminds me how in PUBG, that game’s ranged fights were very fun and interesting, but when in the same room as someone else, it felt like such a mess. Although, to a lesser extent, because while we might have gripes with Tarkov, it isn’t nearly to the same level of Jank that PUBG was (and arguably still is).
Point fire in Tarkov has some layers to it that makes it more complicated than just aim and shoot. There are several factors that can decide whether you earn a kill without aiming or not. And sometimes, these may not be in your direct control. It can be frustrating to die to someone when you know they didn’t have the time to aim, and it can feel like the fight ended before it even began. Which is why my hope is that some mechanics are adjusted in Tarkov to make point fire a little less consistent against people who basically aren’t within touching distance. It doesn’t have to be a straight nerf to point fire, but something like a larger dead zone for your weapon based on its ergonomics has been an idea floating around in the community for years now. It probably won’t happen, so I guess my advice would be since it’s so strong in the game, practice becoming more confident with point fire. You'd be surprised who you can take out. Thank you very much for taking the time out of your day to watch this video. Let me know your thoughts on point fire in the comment section below and subscribe for more videos about the things in Tarkov being too good for too long. I hope to see you in future ones.