Escape From Tarkov veterans and new players alike are all trying to get to grips with the game’s new Streets of Tarkov map, which carves out a few city blocks of the fictional city of Tarkov and turns players loose in it.
While Escape From Tarkov has periodically added new maps into the mix, Streets feels like a particularly unusual addition because of the way the flow of it sits. While a lot of Tarkov involves moving from point of interest to point of interest, here you’ll be tearing apart entire city blocks with running firefights that look like something out of Heat.
It’s intense gunplay that rewards fast decision-making and clever positioning, but because it’s such a vast departure from the usual Escape From Tarkov fare, many players are getting caught out and having a rough time.
Luckily, we at NME have died a whole bunch so you don’t have to. With squads of juiced-up chads, brutal sightlines and the hordes of player scavs making survival an unlikely prospect, we can’t guarantee these tips will get you to the extract, but we can promise they’ll give you a fighting chance. The rest is up to you.
Shoot and scoot
Every unsilenced gunshot in Streets is like a dinner bell for hungry enemies, be they juiced-up enemy PMCs, AI scavs or even player scavs – which is the worst of both worlds as they have the intelligence of a human and nothing to lose.
Streets is big but can be quite quickly traversed, meaning if you get bogged down in a firefight it’s likely you’ll encounter all sorts of armed threats within a minute or two after a fight has kicked off. To avoid this, you can have teammates lock down angles, or you can bug out as soon as possible after a fight.
Be warned, several of the buildings and compounds in Streets have very few entrances, and you could be pushed from every angle.
Watch out for the cinema sniper
This one is oddly specific, but it’s caught us out enough times it’s worth mentioning. The cinema area consists of a huge complex surrounded by open fields, and it’s the one place where sniper scavs currently spawn on Streets. He can see all the way from the car dealership and car extract all the way to the courtyard extract and grocery store, which means there’s nearly a third of the map he can shoot unwitting players in.
This is most likely to cause you trouble if you’re heading for the destroyed house or courtyard extracts. You can usually avoid his glare by sticking to the ruined storefronts or by taking him out first, but both options can be risky.
Other sniper scavs are tucked in amongst the rooftops too, and they can quickly ruin your day. Watch for the muzzle flash during night raids, or try to stick to hard cover by day.
Bring more ammo
However many rounds you might take into a firefight, it’s not enough for Streets of Tarkov. Usually a mag in the gun and two mags in a vest is enough for most sustained raids with some ammo stashed in your Secure Container, but in Streets expect to fire nearly double the amount of rounds.
Why? Combat tends to be continual and you’ll engage and disengage continually during fights. You’ll be swarmed, and you have less time to reposition so you’ll be burning through mags without the time to bomb your mags back up.
Most of the maps in Tarkov will have areas of combat and relatively safe areas and it means you can control your engagements a little more. This isn’t the case in Streets, and it’s not uncommon to have a running firefight from when you spawn until you finally make it to extraction.
Pack more magazines and keep rounds to hand for surprise engagements.
Learn the flow of the map
There are five areas to Streets of Tarkov. Knowing which you’re in will help with navigation, but should also give you a sense of which way you need to head if things go sideways. Most of the map is made up of enclosed areas that are more like a rabbit warren than the wide-open sight lines of Woods or Customs, and getting lost or separated from a team is a good way to get killed, sending yourself empty-handed back to the inventory screen.
This map by community member Jindouz does a great job of breaking them down by colour, which is the fastest way to refer to them. Take note of the streets that function like arteries throughout the map: these are the quickest ways to get about but they may not be the safest. Keep your eyes open, the interchanges often have eagle-eyed scavs, and nosy players might be watching over them too.
Take in the nightlife
Streets is a hectic cluster of death during the day but night raids – at least early wipe before everyone is running night vision goggles – are fairly peaceful and a great way to pick up loot. Most of the rooms in Streets are bulging with goodies, so with an empty bag and judicious use of your crouch button, you can make out like a bandit.
Bonus points if you’ve got a silenced rifle and a Vulcan night vision scope, which should turn you into a morally ambiguous Batman as you stalk the streets.
Don’t step onto the sniper road
At the very north of the map sits Klimova Street, which is watched over by AI snipers. These aren’t sniper scavs and they can’t be seen or killed, but if you step out more than a step or two into Klimova street you’ll be killed by the sniper. It’s embarrassing to die like this, and it’s most likely to happen as you fight near Pinewood Hotel and across the street to the green compound from the map above.
The exception to this rule is that if you have a green flare and you fire it into the sky in a “signal area” – which the game will pop up to tell you in the bottom right corner – then you can safely walk out into the road, but this is mostly for extracting using the Klimov Street extraction, instead of something you can use for tactically repositioning. In an emergency, you can survive by running along the Pinewood Hotel and hugging close to the building, but it’s risky business.
Talking of that Klimov Street extract though…
Perhaps the most essential tip of all: how do you get out with your loot? The Streets of Tarkov extracts are all something of a pain in the butt, so it’s worth knowing where they are before you pick up a golden lion and have to face the stress of getting it to safety.
We’ve written a guide detailing every extract in Streets of Tarkov, which you can check out here.