Throughout a cycle of Tarkov once it wipes, you will notice that Tarkov has kind of these little arch's that players will experience as they play and progress through the game. We can be simple and normally just say early, mid, and end game for Tarkov. But there is room for a little more nuance with what this means, where you will spend your time, and the kind of gear you will be running. And we can even attach level ranges to each of these arches, so you have an idea of where you are at in the game. Also knowing which arch’s in Tarkov are more enjoyable to play when compared to each other. Because this game has plenty of highs and lows when going throughout an entire wipe cycle. From start to finish, there will be points that make you excited to get quests done, level up and improve what is available to use from the traders as well as just in your stash. And there will be moments, maps, and specific quests that no matter what you do will feel impossible to complete. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. So, let’s go over the different stages, or arches of Tarkov’s progression and get into some of the nuance as to why people may or may not enjoy them. If you enjoy this video and all the other ones I’ve made, be sure to subscribe for more.
Early game Tarkov is something I think most of us will agree is the best time for the game. Everyone is reset back to level one, no one has any good gear, and the fights just feel like what Tarkov has always struggled to get right. It’s difficult because people work at different speeds with how fast they can blow through the content of the game and unlock the better items in the game. But the fights have always been something that strikes the perfect balance of janky mess and how low levels should fight with basically no gear, modded weapons or effective armor. They feel scrappy, messy, and everyone uses whatever is at their disposal to win. It’s about playing dirty and not feeling bad about it. The early game tasks can be very simple on paper but completing them can be an entirely different story. Because if everyone needs to get the pocket watch, then that location will become an insanely high traffic choke point for the foreseeable future. The maps you will usually find yourself on if you are trying to get as many quests done as possible are usually Customs, and woods respectively. Obviously not everyone wants to just quest and that’s totally fine. If there is a new map or expansion that will draw attention towards those spots. I remember when Reserve first was added, everyone was just running raids on that map because it was so wild and insanely profitable if you knew where to look. But Pocket watch, delivery from the past, and of course, introduction to unlock access to Jeager are all critical early game quests that can become problematic if not completed in a timely manner. That letter spot on woods is also heavily trafficked area in the early game. So many people are trying to grab it and get out, which creates the opportunity for people to hang around it and strike those who least expect it.
The same could be said for places like the truck with the watch or even something like big red, because those locations are so important at the start of a wipe. And as quests get adjusted and changed, like the very first one going from scavs just on Customs to scavs anywhere in the game, it makes sense that people will want to work at them in their own ways; whether that’s a particular map or time of the day where they will find the most success. But early game sadly isn’t forever, and averages around levels 1-17. Maybe up to a max of level 20, but once you have all your trader's loyalty level 2, that’s when the game opens, more quest locations become available, and the game begins to show some not so pretty colors.
Mid game Tarkov can be interesting, but also at the same time ridiculously frustrating. On the plus you have (hopefully) all your vendors leveled up at least to level two if not some of them level three. That’s when your access to better gear and equipment because apparent, and you can run around with more confidence in the items you are bringing with you helping keep you alive. But it usually doesn’t prepare you for what I have always referred to as simply, the Shoreline Arch and the Interchange Arch of Tarkov. These parts of the game can be rough to say the least. It initially boils down to whether you enjoy those maps. And I can only speak for myself, but for the longest time, I didn’t mind Shoreline up until very recently, and have always kind of hated Interchange, but it has honestly been kind of growing on me a little bit. Let’s start with Shoreline. It can be a fun map in a weird, I don’t see any PMCs and just kill a ton of scavs kind of way. A quiet Shoreline raid allows for some of the most opportunity to just slay as many scavs as you can get your hands on. Streets can certainly provide a similar experience with the 80+ scav kill screenshots I’ve seen online. But that map is also a breeding ground for omega chads to run around and ruin your day. As time goes on and Streets is out for more and more time, I suspect you will see less and less low-level players on the map because it can be so hard. But back to Shoreline, the quests on that map; most of them are reasonable, even if I have to kill over 100 scavs during my time in this Arch of Tarkov. Or if I have to wear blueberry armor for a portion of it. Or if I have to use tons of markers for a variety of vehicles on the map. These are just the motions of Shoreline and any other map. I know Reserve and now Streets have a lot of marker related quests on them. But I think where the problem begins to stem from is the resort.
That place is one of the ThunderDome's of Tarkov. If you run up the hill to that place, you are either trying to quest, or trying to kill everything in there that breathes. There isn’t really an in between. Killing while going to retrieving an item from the resort comes with the territory, but it’s not the goal in a lot of cases. Either way, the Shoreline arc can either be a fair breeze to work through, or an absolute slog if you get stuck on Punisher Part 4. And this wipe, you can get access to Peacekeeper's quests earlier than I’m normally used to. And because most of his quests are on that map, once you hit around level 14, you will begin to see them appear. But the Interchange arc is just a tad later than that.
Interchange quests aren’t available until you hit level 17, and get Ragman to level 2, which is easy. Just spend money on him. And then that map really becomes available to play and progress through. Because other than scaving on, there isn’t a good reason to play the map if you aren’t getting quests done. And since Ragman is your main provider of Interchange quests, especially in the early game, it makes sense to wait until you must go there. Because interchange can, like Shoreline, be fun and exciting to engage with. Or a complete mess, of not being able to see in front of you and getting frustrated. For how simple a level Interchange is when you look at it, the map is so difficult to navigate correctly. Even when you know where everything is. People can be in any store, lurking in the darkest corners of the map, or just barreling through the map and running over you to get where they need to go. I’ve always had the mindset that on paper, Interchange is the coolest concept out of all the maps in the game. But in its implementation in the game, it misses the mark. Lighting being the number one issue. Luckily, it has gotten better over the last few months. But the parking garage is still rough, and the extractions are sparce. You have two main extracts, one of which will be unavailable for you to use depending on which side of the map you spawn on as a PMC. And then there’s the no backpack extract, which is convenient in a pinch, but that’s no fun, I can't haul all my loot out. The safe door which I haven’t ever used before so it might as well not exist. And then the coop extract, which I have done once this wipe so far! But yeah, the quests themselves are straight forward across the map, but it’s the period in the game where players might be lower level than you, and not stand a chance. Or more likely feeling that everyone is ahead of you and might be already into the final arch of Tarkov.
Late game Tarkov is probably the arc with the grayest area, because for some people, it might start as soon as they don’t feel the need to quest anymore, it could be once they hit the soft cap of level 42, and for others it might be after they get the kappa container. For myself personally, late game Tarkov starts at 42. That’s when all your traders are maxed out and you can really begin to just do what you want in the game. You want to accrue millions oof rubles? Go for it. You want to just try and PvP and get better? Great idea, you can always improve. Or you can keep up with the questing because it gives raids purpose instead of just running at the first sound of gunshots you hear in your raids. Although, the later game Tarkov quests can be challenging in a league of their own. And now with the addition of the useless Lightkeeper, there is something else to work towards. He still frustrates me personally; enough to where I warrant his inclusion in the game just that, useless. Although BSG did say they added some utility to his existence, but what that is I am unsure of. But again, he is another goal you can work for. Which is lofty and requires quite the demand from a player who is intrigued enough to go after him. But at least it’s gotten a little easier than when it was originally added to the game. But late game Tarkov is ultimately what you make it out to be. And I feel as though there is something special I that. You do as you please, and there is no wrong answer. And to be brutally honest, that motto could be used for all these arcs in the game. There is no wrong way to play Tarkov. Hardcore, ethical; it doesn’t matter if you add an extra layer of challenge to it. The game is open enough to allow for tons of different playstyles. But if you go the traditional way, these are just some of the bumps you will experience during your time.
Tarkov definitely has some ebb and flow to it. The player base will move across it at their own speed, but you will notice some patterns as you work through it. I know calling them arcs probably doesn’t make a ton of sense, but it’s how I have always perceived the different parts of Tarkov that do exist. Most people don’t just go to shoreline or Interchange unless they have something to do there. And when you are forced to go, so are most people on that map as well. But that’s cool. Everyone is going through the motions together; But no matter how fast or slow you play through the quests, each arc in the game is waiting for you, sooner or later. Thank you for taking the time out of you day to watch this video. Let me know your thoughts on the idea of Arcs in Tarkov, whether you agree, what your favorite arc is in the game, and be sure to subscribe for more videos about using strange language to quantify different moments in time within the game. I hope to see you in future ones.