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Escape From Tarkov makes everything ‘dirt-cheap’ ahead of server wipe

The session-based tactical shooter is prepping for an update and a wipe, so spend your money

A player hunkers down in a filthy room, covered in tactical kit. Battlestate Games
Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Escape From Tarkov, the over-the-top, session-based tactical shooter, has dramatically lowered the price of in-game items for a limited time. Fans are anticipating a new patch — and a complete server wipe — very shortly. But, for now at least, you can get access to some high-end gear for next to nothing. It’s a good way to preview end-game items, and get a feel for what’s waiting for you at the other end of its notorious grind.

The developers say they’ve reduced the prices on everything, from assault rifle optics to body armor. Something like an M4 rifle has been reduced from $750 in in-game currency ... to $8. That change dramatically levels the playing field for newbies and experienced players alike.

Escape From Tarkov is currently in an extended beta period. Once the update goes live, you can be assured that everything you’ve purchased will go away. Past server wipes have returned the entire community to where they started. Nevertheless, it’s a good time to get some repetitions in.

You can get access for as little at $44.99, but you’ll need to make your purchase directly from the developers at Battlestate Games. There’s no word on how long these “dirt cheap” prices will be around.

I had a short-lived love affair with Escape From Tarkov, also known as EFT, earlier this year. In the game’s fiction, two factions are battling it out in a deserted warzone with AI-controlled scavengers caught in between. That’s a pretty standard tactical shooter narrative, I admit. However, EFT is well regarded for its highly detailed movement and ballistics systems. There’s crouching, going prone and leaning of course, but also elaborate animations for opening doors and peeking into rooms while you clear out buildings. Gravity and windage play a role in using firearms, as does bullet penetration. You can even ricochet rounds off the roadway, under cars, and into the enemies on the other side of cover.

What makes the game so exciting is that, while matches are session-based, gear is persistent. Players start out with middling gear, but whatever you carry with you into battle can be looted once you die. Similarly, there’s an entire vendor system that allows you to upgrade your equipment between missions. So there’s an entire range of experience, from single-shot pistols and shotguns to top-of-the-line modern day weapons. There’s even in-game insurance, which will return items to you if those AI-controlled enemies get the jump on you.

Fans of the Arma series might know Andrew “dslyecxi” Gluck as the founder of Shack Tactical. He’s recently started doing occasional livestreams of EFT as well. If you’re new to the game, or just looking for some single-player tactical action to put in the corner of the screen while you wait out the work day, tune in.