Escape from Tarkov Wiki

Ballistics are an important part of Escape from Tarkov. They play a big role in firefights and often determine the outcomes. Choosing the right weapon, ammo and gear is one of the most important parts in coming out on top of fighting.

Flight ballistics

Bullet flight is simulated realistically in Escape from Tarkov. Bullets have speed, are affected by gravity and air friction and can penetrate or ricochet when hitting objects, and even fragment when doing so. The specific flight characteristics of a bullet are determined by the ammo type, and the chance of a bullet penetrating or ricocheting off of an object is determined by the material of the object and the type of bullet. Bullets lose both damage and penetration power as they lose speed from air friction over long distances.

Terminal ballistics

Escape from Tarkov simulates damage to the body and body armor. Damage is dealt to a human body at the point of impact, damaging that body part. Bullets are capable of penetrating various surfaces and body parts, enabling the same round to damage multiple parts. The damage dealt by a bullet is based only on the bullet itself, and not by the gun it was fired from. Armor protection is also simulated realistically, stopping bullets entirely instead of providing a damage reduction like in most other games.

Armor and penetration


Armor areas in the inspection screen

Body armor provides protection to specific body areas. Which areas are protected can be seen in the inspection window of every armor item.

The armor items that are currently available in-game can provide protection to the following areas: Face, Head top, Nape, Ears, Eyes, Jaws, Throat, Back neck, Thorax, Stomach, Back, Sides, Shoulders, Groin, Buttocks.

Some body areas, for example the armpit one can currently not be protected by armor and represent a weak point.

The penetration chance of a bullet hitting armor is calculated based on the armor's protection class, the armor's remaining durability % and the ammo's penetration power value. The chance is then rolled to determine whether or not the bullet penetrates. The angle of impact does not influence the penetration chance. With each layer of armor a bullet passes through, it loses some penetration power and damage.

If the bullet penetrates, it deals between 0% and 40% less damage based on an algorithm that uses the bullet's pen value and the armor's class and durability %. There is a strong correlation between the penetration chance of the penetrating round and the damage reduction applied to it: higher penetration chances result in less damage reduction, with high armor classes and high pen values of ammo having lower reductions than others. Most penetrations will be around 20% damage reduction when a bullet starts to penetrate an armor, but armors like a PACA vs. 5.56x45mm M995 will result in 0% reduction.

If the bullet does not penetrate, "blunt damage" is applied, which lets through a % of the base damage of the bullet to the body part hit. This % is based on the specific armor's "blunt throughput" stat, the penetration value of the ammo, and the armor's class and remaining durability %. If there is soft armor between hard armor and the body, the blunt damage gets decreased. Blunt damage is very low and usually not a notable factor in time to kill.


Durability of armor is important, the lower the current % of durability remaining the less protection the armor offers overall. The durability % is calculated by dividing the current durability of the armor by the original maximum durability of the armor. As an example a 45/45 repaired Cult Locust ballistic plate is calculated as 45/60, or 75%.

The durability damage taken from bullets is based on the penetration value of the ammo and the armor level of the armor, multiplied by the ammo's armor damage % and the armor material's destructibility %. The minimum durability damage armor can take from a single hit is 1, including from individual buckshot pellets. Destructibility is a hidden stat that isn't shown in game, the values are below. A penetrating round does a little bit less durability damage to armor than a round that does not penetrate. It varies, but is usually around 10-15% less.

Material Destructibility Explosive Destructibility
Aramid 0.1875 0.15
UHMWPE 0.3375 0.3
Combined Materials 0.375 0.2
Titan 0.4125 0.375
Aluminium 0.45 0.45
Armor steel 0.525 0.45
Ceramic 0.6 0.525
Glass 0.6 0.6

If you want to find the effective durability of different armor to compare how durable different armors are, use the following formula: EffectiveDurability = Durability ÷ Destructibility In the above example EffectiveDurability =0.75/0.6=1.25 which means it can still have more than it's maximum durability (100 hitpoints).

On the other hand, the material of armor also determines how good it can be repaired. While ceramic armor plates like the SPRTN Elaphros and Granit Br5 will be almost broken after 2 repairs, UHMWPE plates like the PRTCTR and GAC 4sss2 can be repaired many times and still retain good defense.

Ammo and penetration chart

How to read

Effectiveness level Average amount of bullets stopped Explanation
0 Pointless 20+ Can't penetrate in any reasonable amount of hits
1 It's possible, but... 13 to 20 Typically doesn't penetrate at all for a large number of hits, or starts with a very low chance and barely increases
2 Magdump only 9 to 13 Has a very low or no penetration chance initially and very slowly gains chance
3 Slightly effective 5 to 9 Has a low penetration chance initially and slowly gains chance, or quickly damages armor until it penetrates
4 Effective 3 to 5 Starts with a low-medium penetration chance but quickly increases
5 Very effective 1 to 3 Penetrates a large percent of the time initially, often quickly going to >90%
6 Usually ignores <1 Initially penetrates >80% of the time.

Caliber quick selection

Pistol Rounds PDW Rounds Rifle Rounds Shotgun Rounds Other

Denotation notes

* Assuming all projectiles hit the target on every shot. Because each projectile causes a minimum of 1 durability loss to armor, it becomes effective at breaking down armor and eventually penetrating.
S Denotes Round is Subsonic
T Denotes Round is a Tracer
E Denotes Round is Explosive
FM Denotes Round cannot be listed for sale on the flea market