Escape from Tarkov Weapons Guide - Shoot like a sniper!

Escape from Tarkov Weapons Guide
p3ter 31.01.2020 0

Weapons in Escape from Tarkov

In the world of Tarkov, there are multiple weapons to choose from. The Arsenal of Firearms is so broad that players can get lost in weapon choices. Here we are to guide you through this tough topic and show you the way to best weapons, which will give you an unfair advantage in the field of battle. With correct choices in that matter, you will be able to deal more damage, win a higher number of fights, and get a better experience than ever before. See for yourself what you should use to become the most deadly killing machine in Escape from Tarkov.

Table of contents:

Types of Weapons in Escape from Tarkov

Primary Weapons

Secondary Weapons

Stationary Weapons


Effective gun ranges

About gun types


Submachine Guns


Assault Rifles

Sniper Rifles

Best weapons in EfT

Weapons to avoid in EfT


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Types of Weapons in Escape from Tarkov

Primary Weapons

Assault Rifles - Most commonly used weapons in the game. Assault Rifles are characterized by a fully automatic rate of fire and detachable magazine, which can be quickly replaced. They perform well at every distance and have a wide variety of customization options due to their size.

Assault Carabines - A different version of Assault Rifles with decreased barrel length and, therefore, smaller size. They perform considerably worse on longer ranges.


Light Machine Guns - Infantry support weapons. They were designed to be fired from the hip instead of regular shoulder placement allowing users to land more accurate shots on the move.

Submachine Guns - Weapons created in pursuit of lowering the size of Assault Rifles without a loss of firepower. Their fantastic rate of fire lets them pin down enemies on short and medium distances.

Shotguns - Powerful firearms capable of shooting shells filled with smaller pellets that scatter upon explosion covering a wide area on impact. Their destructive force is unmatched in close-quarter combat.

Designated Marksman Rifles - Also known as DMRs. Usually, semi-automatic rifles designed to best perform at a medium to long ranges. A bit less accurate than Sniper Rifles DMRs have higher rates of fire-making them more preferable on rapid engagement and multiple targets.

Sniper Rifles - Highly accurate long-range firearms designed to take down targets without uncovering the shooter’s location. Usually used with telescopic sight and suppressors.

Secondary Weapons

Pistols - Firearms of the smallest size. Handguns are able to shoot multiple bullets with small downtime intervals between them. Their compact size allows users to shoot them with the use of a single hand. Even though they perform considerably worse than other firearms, they are incredibly cheap in production, which made them a common choice.

Stationary Weapons

Heavy Machine Guns - Stationary destruction machines that allow the user to demolish everything on sight with extremely high rates of fire and automatic bullet loading.

Grenade Launchers - Stationary destruction machines shooting explosive grenades at medium to high range allowing users to zone-out opponents from a specific location.

Melee Weapons - Basic tools of various types that can be held to either “chop” or “stab” your opponents from a very close range. In this category, you can find knives, axes, a shovel, and a crowbar. This weapon type is pretty much useless unless you engage in combat against the unarmed enemy, which happens very rarely in EfT.


 Fragmentation Grenades - Throwable weapons that explode upon impact dispersing into multiple chippings able to shred targets in a wide area.

 Smoke Grenades - Backup utility used to cover wide areas in smoke blocking vision.

 Stun Grenades - Also referred to as flash grenades. The non-lethal explosive device used to disorient enemies by emitting high pitched sound and a blinding flash of light.

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Effective gun ranges

By taking into consideration weapon choices, ammunition used, distance to the target, and the probability of hitting it, we can evaluate the effectiveness of gun types compared to the length of the shoot that has to be made. In the chart below, we have marked the most suitable distances of shooting for various firearm types. It doesn't necessarily mean that you cannot kill a target that is beyond marked range, but with every additional meter, the probability of landing a hit will drop.

gun range escape from tarkov

Pistols and Shotguns perform the best in close-quarter combat. The longer distance they have to cover, the more unlikely players will land a hit with them. Submachine Guns are also useful in that environment. However, they can effectively burst down targets on the distance just below 100m. When it comes to ARs, they are the clear favorites in the effective gun ranges - within the short, medium, and long-distance, they are above average, making the most versatile firearms in the game. Last but not least, there are also Sniper Rifles, which can take down foes from hundreds of meters, making them very attractive weapons to pick up. These, however, have a big downside as their single shoot nature punishes players for missed shots and walking up to close-quarter combat.

About gun types


pistols escape from tarkov

Pistols are mostly semi-automatic guns with short rifles and compact sizes, allowing them to be held in a single hand. With every trigger pull, players are able to fire a single shot, so multiple clicks are required for multiple shots. Since after every shot fired mechanism of a pistol has to reset - there is always a downtime between shots. It lowers down damage output of this weapon, making it less viable in suppressing targets with constant bursts.

Since pistol has a short rifle and small size, this kind of weapon is not fit to fire the most powerful bullets in the game. On top of that, gravitation and wind affect projectile trajectory and speed much harder than with other firearms with longer rifles. Because of that, pistols aren't fit for long-range fights - shooting targets from a high distance would be affected more by luck than by the skill of a player. However, the compact size of the pistols also has some advantages. They are one of the quickest weapons to withdraw and to raise into aiming position, making them the best choice for self-defense when you don't have anything in your hands in the moment of ambush.

Submachine Guns

smgs escape from tarkov

Submachine Guns were created in pursuit of lowering firearm size without the removal of automatic rifle systems. They were designed as revolutionary weapons, which could be easier to handle without a loss of firepower. Since ammunition for automatic rifles was still too powerful for this size of the gun - pistol ammunition was the natural choice for Submachine Guns. Even though there was a small loss on armor penetration because of that, SMGs high fire rate proved that they are capable of similar destruction as Assault Rifles.

The key features of this firearm type are small recoil, compact size (although not as little as with pistols), very high rate of fire, and decent accuracy (lower than AR and better than pistols). Furthermore, they are capable of switching efficiently between the fully automatic rate of fire and semi-automatic bursts that provide higher accuracy. Similarly to pistols, they are capable of fast withdrawal, and they can be quickly raised into aiming.

SMG's are used mainly in urban combat where they shine as best weapons. High accuracy at a medium distance is just what's needed in these areas. On top of that, a high rate of fire lets users overpower enemies waiting just around the corner. The superiority of fire rate lets SMGs land even up to 5 bullets more in the time of other weapons shooting one. Even armor won't stand a chance against that much damage.


shotguns escape from tarkov

As a close-range weapon, shotguns are superior in narrow corridors and small buildings. Even though they were made for self-defense, Shotguns have found a use in military combat. Instead of regular ammunition, they base on shells filled with smaller pellets that explode upon being shot. Instead of one projectile, pellets disperse in random directions in front of the gun, covering a large area with chippings. Because of that, damage output on a short-range is unmatched if the enemy doesn't have any armor. Pellets lack the force to penetrate through tougher objects, which means that they won't be able to shred through armor. However, aiming for legs and arms on armored targets is always an option.

Most shotguns don't have extended rifles since they are using ammunition mentioned before. However, there are few that can shoot a single but highly destructive projectile called "Slug." This shell type lacks the spin that lets rifle bullet travel high distances without a loss height, and because of that, they aren't capable of being shot far away. Slugs are incredibly destructive since they possess the power of regular shotgun shell compressed into one bullet that doesn't explode upon firing.

As you can see from the example above, the spread of shell depends on the length of the rifle, making bullets shot from short barrels land on the wider area, and shots made from longer barrels more accurate. It happens because travel time in the rifle lets the bullet stabilize better the longer they are inside the gun.

Assault Rifles

assault rifles escape from tarkov

The most versatile and common of all firearms. Assault Rifles were made to reach targets beyond 500m with fully automatic suppressive fire. It puts them above pistols, shotguns, and submachine guns in the range of firing, but below full-sized sniper rifles. The downside to extreme firepower and great range is that Assault Rifles are tough to handle. High recoil of this gun-type makes its accuracy lower with every second of constant shooting. However, in short bursts, the shots land on target even from a very high distance.

Longer barrel of AR's allows them to create more force than Pistols, Shotguns, or SMGs, which resulted in higher armor penetration and better range. The spinning nature of bullets leaving these guns made them travel higher distances with a very minimal loss of height and force. Because of that, Assault Rifles can shoot hundreds of meters accurately.

This type of weapon is unmatched in terms of versatility - they are great at all ranges. Countless modifications allow them to opt into any combat style effectively. The automatic fire rate does not only excellent flesh damage but also shreds through armor. They can switch between full automatic mode and burst fire. There are no real downsides for using AR's besides size, weight, and recoil, which can affect accuracy on some guns considerably.

Sniper Rifles

snipers rifles escape from tarkov

In the first half of the 20th century, bolt action rifles were a standard issue weapon for soldiers. They were predecessors to what we can call Sniper Rifles now. This firearm type was designed to take down enemies from large distances without being noticed. Snipers specialize in patience, which allows them to wait for a perfect opportunity and take down the target in the most suitable moment. 

With very long barrels of Sniper Rifles, its users are able to shoot very accurately even at extremely high distances. Optical Scopes provide a vision beyond the human eye, making a good sniper barely noticeable during the encounter. It is furthermore enhanced by suppressors, which lower down the sound of an explosion inside the gun. The downside to the use of sniper rifles, however, is great - at close quarters, these weapons are pretty much useless, so ambushed snipers will most likely reach for the pistol or SMG.

Best weapons in EfT

Glock - Probably the most versatile pistol in the game that comes with lots of customizations. You can use it with 50 round magazines and provided that optics are installed, they always seem to shoot right on target. You can put lasers onto the Glock, as well as grips, stocks, compensators, suppressors. It is, without a doubt, one of the best pistols in the game and should be your go-to choice for money runs.

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F-1 - Anti-personnel fragmentation grenade has made it into this list due to its defensive purposes. It allows you to take down an opponent without taking a fight or risking your own life. It does high area damage, and its fragments can travel pretty big distances. Because of that fact, it should always be thrown from behind the cover — the best grenade in the game.

AS VAL - Silenced automatic rifle with an integrated suppressor. With BP ammo, it shreds through targets in mid and close-range combat. Its recoil is almost non-existent, and the rate of fire is extremely high. It's one of the best weapons for up to 100 meters. Beyond that distance, bullets drop like bricks making it useless for long-range combat. It as also the downside of the cost that is high for both weapons and ammo.

HK 416A5 - Best gun for mid-range combat, working wonders for players who are opting for mobile game style. It also does well at close and long-range. However, there are better choices for that. It is basically an M4 that has a higher rate of fire and a much lower recoil. Its modifications are also versatile, so all around it is one of the deadliest guns in the game.

PP-9 "Klin" - One of the weapons that might be a surprise on this list. It is an amazing Submachine Gun for loot runs and close quarter combat. Provided with flesh damage rounds, Klin melts through legs of opponents, killing them on sight. It's cheap, lightweight, and fun to use.

M700 - Surely one of the best sniper rifles in the game. It is one of these guns that are incredibly satisfying all around. It produces a gentle and quiet sound upon shooting that is very soothing to hear if you are not the target that receives a bullet to the head.

RSASS - Great looking gun with very satisfying shot effects. RSASS is an incredible universal weapon that does exceptionally well in long-range combat. It is also one of the firearms that rewards players for precision and patience. A reasonable rate of fire, excellent accuracy, considerable damage - what else do you need from a sniper rifle?

TOZ-106 - One of the most customizable and versatile for every situation in the game. The only shotgun worth using and one of the best all-around weapons overall. TOZ shines in close quarter combats and does surprisingly well in mid-range fights.

AK74M - The best of all AK's available in the game that provides a fantastic fire rate. It also uses the most powerful ammunition in the game and has manageable recoil. Costs of this weapon are not that high, and it shines in close and mid-range combat — one of the best guns in the game.

Mosin - Extremely expensive and deadly. The weapon that allows shredding any defense with a single shot. If you manage to land a shot with this thing, your opponent will either run away in fear or drop down in a pool of blood.

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Weapons to avoid in EfT

M67 - American fragmentation hand grenade. Even though it might seem like a basic choice for grenades, it is not a good one. These take a very long time to explode, making them utterly useless in combat. Your opponent has to be both deaf and blind to die.

APB - Terrible pistol - very high recoil and weak ammunition. It doesn't have any practical uses and should be avoided at all times.

APS - Very similar to APB. One of the weakest weapons in the game that barely does any damage.

AK74U - Although it was the best Assault Rifle in the game, the developers decided to Nerf it to the ground. Right now, it is only a decent firearm when fully modded, and why would you bother sinking so much money into it if you can just pick another weapon that will perform better even with stock modifications?

M870 and MP-133 - Pump-action shotguns are among the worst weapons in the game. Nothing more to say about them - when you shoot for the legs of your enemies, they perform decently. However, almost every other weapon is better.

We are sorry if you haven't found your favorite Assault Carbine like AKM, Vepr, AKS-74u, MP5, Bolt-action VSS Vintorez or pistols like TT-33 but there were too many positions to cover. If you want to furthermore improve your weapons knowledge make sure to view on youtube video about that topic. Your gaming experience for FPS titles and other genres that you play will rise quicker if you expand your knowledge with other sources that gameplay itself. Every detail can be important to get better - sounds, animations, hit box, weapon part like scope or anything else so the more you know about every topic - the better you will be in the game. Because of that with more views on videos and articles you will get better in the game.



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What is the best all-around weapon in Escape from Tarkov?

Either AS VAL or HK416A5, but it depends on your personal preference.

What is the best starting weapon for new players?

SKS can be found during SCAV runs or bought for a very low price and will perform decently.

Which ammunition is the best?

Choose high armor penetration vs. heavy armored targets and high flesh damage vs. ungeared looters.

Which Russian Auto Rifle is the best on early level?

It's probably SKS.

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