Tarkov Training Day13: Stacking Them Up

I finished the three days for my first week, went on a short trip (there are fewer and fewer Spring Break trips with my kids these days, so I will take what I can get), and then started up week two of training. Without any confidence, I decided instead of moving to Medium AI, to spend another day on Easy. The only thing I got from that was confidence that everything I had learned was sticking, because I racked up the nearly the same number of headshots and kills in two raids on that fourth night as I had in all the previous matches.

The weapon of choice for low level plebs like myself…

But Medium…that was the real revelation. The first match wasn’t bad. Riding high on confidence, I motored around the map doing fairly well for myself. And then the confidence got a little too high. In the next three matches I 1) died to the first person I saw, 2) got blasted right off the bat, swarmed, and killed, and finally I 3) grenaded myself missing a doorway bounce.


Thoroughly disgusted, I took a break and gathered my composure for one last attempt. I did better, though I extract earlier than I should have and lazily body sprayed more than a few baddies with multi-clicking.

I decided to change things up by doing an Offline Customs raid, which I had been doing as training previously, to see if my success in the Factory arena was paying any dividends in the larger game. The answer was – not really. I still had a bit of time left so I did a Scav run and got pretty much nothing for my troubles.

Last night, I decided to make one change. While Factory is mostly small and tight, the two big rooms is where I’ve been trying to fight, so I can learn movement and medium ranges. And the truth is, at that range, in the murky low light arena Factory is I died to someone I couldn’t even see to shoot back at, and my attempt at moving and hiding failed because, again, I couldn’t see them. So I made the decision that going forward, I would use a sight of some sort on my weapon. I tried my Spector variable but it was too scoped. So I’m sticking with Holosights from now on. That and my previous night’s learning, brought me some peace of mind, and a much better tally:

I ended the night with a Scav run where I had some fun VOIP interaction with another player doing his Scav run as well. I will say for as brutal and cut-throat as the game is, the player base has far fewer jerks than I’m used to from other PvP experiences. Ultimately, Tarkov can quickly humble even the best player.

So that’s technically it for Week 2, since I only committed to three nights a week. But I technically still have two nights left in week two, so I wouldn’t be surprised if I squeezed in more action before the real challenge hits next week – tackling Hard AI!

Tarkov Day 2: What a difference a day makes…

Two things happened in last night’s rounds. The first is that a basic layout of the map clicked in my head. I went from never having played on the map to knowing the two always open extracts. Its incredible but matching map to visual instead of the other way around really is the way to go.

And secondly, while my total kills didn’t go up all that much, I got way more comfortable. Maybe that’s because of the repetition, or maybe its because I immediately embarrassed myself when I first logged in, and pushed myself to make up for it.

You can tell that, either way, I’m worn down by match number four. My accuracy dips, I forget to loot, and I miss visual/audio cues. I noticed the same thing in World of Tanks years ago, and I locked myself into 10 battles per night and then worked my way up to feeling good about 20. Here, it explains why just dipping into some ratting feels good after the intensity of being chased around a small map for an hour.


I oopsed the first two matches because I forgot to pull the holo-sight off of the AK-104. As I learned, I didn’t really need it, because I was able to duplicate the results from E2 in E3 without it. But I did feel more comfortable with the AK and its bigger round. Or maybe just more confident. Either way, it was a win. I’ll keep changing guns each night, which should be fun.


I’m making a few small changes to account for things I’ve encountered. The first is I’m not going to play by match necessarily. I took a 5m break after match 3 last night, because that was the one that put me over the 20m mark . I’m sure eventually I will play and survive a single match for 20m, but until then, or if I get smoked early like last night, I’m going to just push on immediately. Because its offline raids and the loadout is restored after the match, I can just dive right back in without having to kit up.

I have a feeling that’s a good learning for real matches as well. Spend less time worrying about the kit and more time in the game. Which has also forced me to clean up my inventory. If things really go out the window after 2 matches or so, there is no reason to keep guns I don’t have ammo for, or parts for guns I haven’t yet grabbed.


For tonight, I’m committing to playing through on my PMC. I need to be grinding the XP and the experieinces, and most of the daily XP comes from scav kills and successful extractions – and those can really only be done on your PMC.

After that, I’ll probably be out a few days. It’s Spring Break around these parts, and I need to get these restless kids out of the house for a few days. 😄

Tarkov Training Day 1

You know how the phrase is “ready, aim, fire?” Well, I have learned in my life that I am a “fire, aim, ready” person. Which is why I dove directly into the post yesterday and Day 1 of training last night. After my last meeting. Which ended at 9:30pm. And ran directly into some issues. First, lets look at results, then we can talk about what went wrong…and right.

Day #1 Results

As you can see, I started strong. I have been playing the game for a month, and I felt confident that easy AI was easy, when I had taken on both hard AI and real players before. But I still died, in part because I ran out of medical supplies and ran out of ammo. So that was my first learning – the little first aid kids I’ve been carrying into raids aren’t really enough to survive if things go sideways.

The less said about the next two matches the better. I learned that “high amount” means just that, and that gunfights in the big open room bring a lot of friends to the party. I died to 5 scavs shotgunning me at point blank range as I dodged around machinery trying to reload. It was kinda like that opening scene from Robocop, And the third one was even worse. By this point, whatever confidence I had started the night with was gone, and I was getting tired, fast.

At least I looked cool while dying…

But training is training, so I rallied for one last run and managed to do decently. I’m not sure how I got away with that many non-headshot kills though. I ran with a scavenged STM-9 the entire time because the 9mm ammo is trash at dealing with armor unless burst out in high quantities, and the STM, by the training rules, is capable of semi-auto fire only (ie, 1 trigger pull = 1 bullet).

I did all this, I should point out, having never been on the Factory map before. I hadn’t even looked at a map online. This was another part of the video, which noted that map knowledge seems to come faster if you play, take note of surroundings, and then try to line it up with a map, rather than starting with a map and hoping you can put that visual aid to your surroundings while under pressure.

So, what did I learn?

The loadout for the night…

Well, I learned that some people call Tarkov a “horror survival” game rather than a “shooter survival” game because of the sound. In Factory, everything echoes, and enemies can sound like they are next door, even if you are in no immediate danger. So this is working as a kind of exposure therapy for jump scares as well – in game and probably in real life too.

Second, I learned a lot about how mobility functions as a critical aspect of fighting. Its something it took me a long time to appreciate in World of Tanks. And if you re-peek the same corner, even an Easy AI can headshot you, so don’t try that against real players.

Speaking of, my night ended on a less exciting note. Tired and spent, I took the easy way out and ran one and then another Scav raid to look for quest items. Reminder to self to save the stats for those going forward as well.

We’ll see how tomorrow goes. The one bugaboo is my potato. I can’t just log out and chill for 30m or I will have to restart the computer to clear the memory (Tarkov is a hog in that department), and the raids don’t actually take 20 minutes yet – or at least, I’m not surviving that long (that’s the practice time goal for the regimen). So I will have to make some adjustments there.

But hey, we’re off and running!

Veritas Tarkov Training Regimen

Yes, I haven’t posted anything in nearly four years. But we can talk about that later.

I have recently gotten into Escape from Tarkov, and I watched probably the best “real talk” beginner advice video yesterday. And believe me, I’ve watched a lot of them, because I’m bad at this game. I’m going to show you the TL;DR version below the link, along with a schedule I’ve ironed out that I will be following over the next advice to put this training to the test to see if it really, actually works.

Now, to break it down briefly for everyone (though I recommend checking out the entire thing at some point), here are the basics:

To Get Gud: Play Factory Offline, with a High amount of Easy Bots

Use These Training Rules:

                              1) Single fire only, iron sights first

                              2) Headshots only

                              3) Timing – 20m, 5m, 20m.  Rinse and repeat, then 30m break, and then do a real Raid.

Next Add Variation:

               AI Difficulty

               Gun Game – kill each Scav with a gun looted from the Scav before.   Survival is still priority though, so don’t stop and loot if it means you will die to an incoming or still active Scav.

               Start doing this more times a day.

               Start doing this in Online Raids

Add in Some Advanced Learning:

               Active vs Passive Engagements (when to push and when to ambush)

               This set up acts as Exposure Therapy for Gear Fear, but if you want to push it, consider using gear for only two raids anyway, whether you come out with it or not.

Record yourself with OBS/ShadowPlay to see your mistakes.

Now, with all of that in mind, and a few things I wanted to work on for myself, I came up with this training regimen, that I intend to follow for the next five weeks. The only part I can’t follow is the recording. I play on a potato (GTX 1650, 8 Gb RAM, external SSD), so recording while playing is not going to happen.Now, there may be some variation as I discover things while playing – like I may need to tweak difficulty or what have you, but here it is.

Oh wait, almost forgot, I’m committing to this 3x a week minimum, with more if possible:

Tarkov Training Schedule

(3 Nights Minimum)

Week 1:  4 reps Offline Factory (Easy, High) with 5min breaks between. (Last one Tagged/Cursed)

                  30m break

                 1 rep Online Raid (Goal:  Dailies)

Week 2:  4 reps Offline Factory (Medium, High) with 5min breaks between. (Last one Tagged/Cursed)

                  30m break

                 1 rep Online Raid (Goal: Quest advancement)

Week 3: 4 reps Offline Factory (Hard, High) with 5min breaks between. (Last one Tagged/Cursed)

                  30m break

                 1 rep Online Raid (Goal: Level 15)

Week 4: 8 reps Offline Factory (Hard, High) with 5min breaks between. (Last with Bosses)

                  30m break

                 1 rep Online Raid (Goal: Hideout Advancement)

Week 5: 4 reps Online Factory with 5min breaks between.

                  30m break

                 1 rep Online Raid (Goal: Team Play)

I’ll do check ins every couple of days to let you know how things are going. Last but not least, I’m the best person to test out this training advice on, because I am a rat who spends more time playing inventory tetris than raiding, and because I’m now residing in the 40+ age category of life. So, if this can make me a better player, it definitely has merit for the general Tarkov population. So, embarrassing as it is, here are my starting stats. Check back later and we’ll see how I’m doing ::gulp::