Escape from Tarkov Wiki

Escape from Tarkov provides several gameplay options to the player to cater to different playstyles or objectives.

Gameplay screen showing an option between PMC and Scav run.

Implemented game modes


In PMC mode, you play as your main character hired by a private military company (either USEC or BEAR). You start by selecting a map and time of day then enter the raid either solo or with team-mates. You can bring in weapons, armor and gear from your own stash. As a PMC operator, you may engage and kill other PMCs, Bosses or Scavs. In order to survive the raid and escape with any items you are carrying, you must locate and move into an extraction zone, of which the list is available in-game by double-tapping the “O” key. If you die during the raid or do not extract in time, all items except your melee weapon, armband and items in your secure container are left behind.

In summary:

  • You have full control over your loadout, configurable in the stash
  • You may engage PMCs and Scavs
  • You must extract to keep any items you earn
  • Upon death or timeout, you will lose everything you brought into the raid except for your melee weapon, your compass, your armband and the contents in your secure container
  • Insurance allows you to retrieve any items that have not been extracted from the raid, after a delay.
  • Experience points you earn in raid will count towards your level progress
  • You may complete quests

Offline mode

Gameplay screen showing an option to toggle and tweak Offline mode.

When preparing to play as a PMC, you will be shown a screen that allows you to enable Offline mode. This gameplay mode is to be used for "...exploration and testing of the location, weapon adjustment, character testing..." meaning that Offline mode is not the main way of playing the game. Offline mode offers further tweaking options, allowing you to enable/disable PvE (AI Scavs), Bosses for each map, weather, time, and more. Any progress, good or bad, will be completely lost upon raid termination. This means that you may disconnect from Offline matches with no penalty whatsoever.

In summary:

  • Core gameplay remains the same as a PMC raid
  • You will not encounter other players (both as PMC operators and Player-controlled Scavs)
  • You have an option to enable spawning of Scav AI enemies
  • Any progress, loot, XP and stats you have gained or extracted with will be lost upon raid termination
  • You may disconnect from Offline raid in any way with no penalty


In Scav mode you play as a member of the Scav faction, a "Player Scav". Player Scavs have randomized gear and equipment, often low quality or unbalanced, and will spawn midway through a raid session. The time remaining when spawned in is a fixed range dependent on the map. However, nearly all of the time Scavs will spawn with less than half of the raid remaining. Unlike PMCs, Player Scavs have the advantage of AI Scavs not being aggressive unless one has done damage to another Scav, AI or Player. An exception is if another Player Scav attacks another Player Scav first, then the second one retaliates. If a Player Scav draws aggression by damaging another Scav, only AI Scavs within a fixed radius will be aggressive with the exception of Factory, where all Scavs will remain aggressive for the rest of the raid. Scavs are also given some additional unique extracts depending on the map. While Player Scav raids have some advantages, you cannot progress your PMC's stats or quests while playing as a Scav with an exception being finding and extracting with non-quest items. This means a Player's Scav character levels their skills independently from their PMC.

In summary:

  • You have randomized gear and loadout, re-rolled for every Scav raid
  • You spawn midway through a raid with limited information around you
  • You may engage PMCs and Scavs, but AI Scavs will not aggress you first
  • You must extract to keep any items you earn
  • Upon death or timeout, you will lose everything you had on your Scav character
  • Experience points you earn in raid only benefit your Scav character
  • You cannot complete any tasks except for finding certain items in raid

Planned game modes

  • Story Mode
  • Open World Mode without time limits wherein all Maps are connected
  • Arena Mode