Escape from Tarkov works a little differently than most first-person shooters. Unlike other FPS titles, where the gun itself is the determining factor on the damage the player can inflict, in Escape from Tarkov, the ammunition a gun uses is the determining factor on the damage.
The right kind of ammo can easily penetrate certain types of body armor, so outfitting your soldier with the right kind of armor is crucial to staying alive – and keeping your items. As with everything else in this game, body armor isn’t as simple as in other FPS games, where the player simply looks for the armor with the best rating.
One of the most important factors to take into account when deciding on armor is the cost. This is especially true for beginning players. One false move or wrong turn can be disastrous for a player; when you get killed you lose the items you were carrying. For this reason alone it’s unwise for a beginning player to spend a lot on armor, or wear their best armor to a fight that has unfavorable odds of survival. When starting, only wear armor that you won’t mind losing – because you probably will. Save the more expensive armor for when you have better weapons and more experience.
There are multiple forms of body armor to consider. In Escape from Tarkov there are vests for the torso, and then there are armor rigs. These are equipped via different slots in your inventory. Rigs are good for multiple reasons. For starters, many rigs provide better protection than vests. Second, rigs are not quick and easy to equip. The cumbersome process of equipping a rig makes it less likely to be looted of your dead body by an opponent because they will be prone for a while. Lastly, rigs allow a player to carry more spare magazines.
In Escape from Tarkov armor is given a numeric value from two to six. The higher the number, the stronger the armor is going to be; however, a higher number also (usually) means the armor will be more cumbersome and hinder your mobility. Level 3 armor offers a good combination of protection and mobility. As with most equipment in this game it comes down to cost versus risk.
New players will want to spend everything they have to get the best armor they can afford in order to have a better chance at survival. Just remember that heavier armor is no guarantee of survival, and when you get killed that expensive armor is probably going to go bye-bye.
Helmets have the same numerical values as the body armor, and are just as important. Helmets have a ricochet value in addition to the other armor ratings. This indicates the chance of the helmet causing a bullet to deflect, rather than penetrate, the helmet. Many Escape from Tarkov players claim that helmets are more of an affectation than anything else. The reason for this attitude is simple. Helmets are weaker than body armor – even if they have the same armor value. Secondly, experienced players have learned to aim for the legs if they spot an opponent wearing one of the better helmets.
One mistake new players can make is spending too much on armor, only to not have enough resources to repair the armor after a match. Something else to keep in mind about repairing is that it’s a practice in attrition. Players pay to restore a piece of armor’s lost durability, but this lowers the armor’s maximum durability. Different materials also lose more maximum durability than others when being repaired; also, some materials are cheaper to repair than others. Ceramic plates, for example, lose durability very quickly and cannot be repaired. Keep these factors in mind when purchasing new armor.
The armor pieces and helmets in Escape from Tarkov have various attributes with which players should become familiar. Armor points are an indicator of the armor’s durability – or how much damage the armor can take before it is no longer offering protection for the wearer.
Armor class, numbered from two to six, reflects how resistant the armor is to being penetrated. Then there are the negative attributes; such as how much slower the wearer will move and turn, and how much the armor lowers the wearer’s ergonomic score. One attribute that doesn’t have a numeric value is from what material the armor is made.
Areas Of Coverage
Not all armors protect the same parts of the body in Escape from Tarkov. There are three areas of the body a piece of armor can protect. The most common area to be protected is the thorax. All armor vests and rigs protect the thorax; which is the front and back of the torso, but not the sides of the torso. Some armor wraps around the torso, giving protection to the stomach as well. Some vests and rigs also give some protection to the player’s arms. Lastly, helmets do not necessarily cover the entire head; all helmets have areas that leave the wearer’s head unprotected.
There are many different materials from which armor can be made in Escape from Tarkov. Each of these materials provide certain benefits to the armor, but these materials all also suffer from various penalties as well. Ceramic plating is great for stopping the more powerful ammunition; however, as mentioned above, ceramic armor is also not possible to repair. Steel and polymer are the easiest to repair; followed by aluminum, titan, and aramid armors. The worst materials in terms of repairing are combined, ceramic, and glass. Softer material is less likely to stop high powered ammunition, but will offer more mobility and a lower ergonomic penalty.
A lot of beginning players will want to get a heavy metal rig (at some point) thinking that it will turn their soldier into a tank, and it will for a while (provided you stay alive). Be careful about how much your armor lowers your ergonomic rating. A lower ergonomic rating means a slower aim-down-sights time. This means when encountering a more lightly armored opponent they will probably get a shot off before you – which somewhat negates the benefit of stronger armor. This is especially true considering some of the ammunition types can punch through even the toughest armors, and helmets have unprotected areas.
You should be a lot more familiar with how armor works in Escape from Tarkov, and be able to make a more educated decision when choosing your armor. Here are some recommendations, just in case. Beginning players should definitely refrain from buying the more expensive armor pieces, and just hope they can scavenge them on the battlefield. A good piece of armor for new players is the 6B2 Armor. It’s only armor level 2, but it has a lot of durability, covers the thorax and stomach, is not too expensive to repair, and does not hinder mobility much. Players with the resources will probably want to try FORT armor with some ceramic plates; this level of protection will increase survivability quite a bit.
Next: Escape From Tarkov: Top Ten Weapons Ranked
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Graduate of Sam Houston State University — Class of 2011
B.A. in History, minored in Political Science
I have lived in the Houston TX area my whole life; love the winters…hate the summers. I have conducted scholarly research on, and written about, the use of ballooning for reconnaissance purposes during the U.S. Civil War, tort reform, voter initiatives and referendums, the formation of civilization, Ancient Rome, Mesopotamia, and the major religions. I am also an avid gamer and have researched the history of electronic entertainment extensively.
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