Escape from Tarkov can be a daunting, challenging game, and it only gets worse if you aren’t sure what you should be using to gear up. We will explore a few different builds that I use, and have seen used, for the early levels of the game. These builds can be budget built as well for those without a lot of in-game currency. *note that these are currently mid-wipe builds and a clean wipe guide will be made when one occurs*
The Quick Run Build
The first build is a very basic setup that I use for marked room/ money runs, and it is very simple. We will call this the Quick Run build.
A quick run build is just that, you are taking a limited amount of gear into a raid expecting to find at least one scavenger to loot a rig from, and then move on to your primary objective. I start by grabbing an M9A3 pistol with at least 3 ammo mags, one in the pistol and two in my pockets. Carrying a grenade or flash grenade will allow you a way to distract, or take out, an enemy that happens to get in your way.
You want to have a mask on your character at all times due to how the game engine renders skin as easier to see, and you will want to bring a scav backpack as well. The scav backpack is one of the bigger backpacks in the game, and some items, such as the weapons case, can spawn into marked rooms and you can pick them up, however, if you do not have at least a scav bp or Berkut then you will be unable to claim this prize.
In all, the M9A3 costs around 11,000 rubles on the flea market, or around 115 dollars at Peacekeeper, the scav backpack can be purchased from the flea market for around 15,000 rubles, and each magazine costs around 19 dollars from Peacekeeper or 2,100 rubles on the flea market. Add in the cost of a Zarya of around 7,000 rubles, the ammo I use is AP 6.3 at around 778 rubles per round at about sixty rounds per buy. Add in some medicine if you want and then head into your raid.
This build doesn’t provide you any protection, and it is something that is meant to be used with the expectation that you will find armor and a vest on enemy players or scavs that you are able to take out.
The Paca-Attaca Build
The next build I will label as the Paca-Attaca build and it is good for basic protection against scavs while out on raids.
This build is similar in nature to the quick run build as far as overall weapon and mags are concerned, the difference is the addition of the Paca Armor and the SSh-68 helmet. The armor will protect you from some pistol damage and shotgun blasts for a shot or two and the helmet has a high ricochet chance to allow bullets to deflect off with limited damage.
The Paca armor can be purchased for 20,384 rubles and the helmet for 17,850 rubles. These are the cheapest low-level armor that can be obtained from Ragman and work well enough for just starting out in the game. You can also add a rig such as a W-Trig to this build for extra storage space if you feel the need, and you are not restricted to a pistol either. You can purchase an SKS, which is able to be loaded without switching magazines, and saves a little bit of time while in combat. An SKS can be purchased from Prapor level 1 and costs 22,630 rubles.
The Rig Runner
The final build that I will talk about today will be known as the Rig Runner.
This is a build I have just started using myself recently where you still utilize the SSh-68 helmet and you have the option to use the scav bp still but it isn’t required if you aren’t running marked rooms. This build also utilizes an AKS-74U which can be purchased from Prapor Level 1 or generally can be obtained through scav runs. If you want to go a different route it is 14,500 rubles on the flea market. The TV-110 Plate Carrier rig can be purchased off of the flea market for 35,000 rubles and you can trade items for it with Ragman level 3 when you open it up based on level and money spent. This rig has 23 slots with two 2×2 slots that can hold folded small weapons or helmets and makes up for not running with a backpack. If you can find one that is in 100% condition it will have 85 hit points and can take quite a beating.
I use this build when I am running interchange, woods, and shoreline. It helps to keep your weight down until you are able to find a backpack elsewhere during a raid.
These are personal builds that I have been using myself and are in no way set in stone. Everything you gear yourself with is based on your budget. If you have no money a pistol run is the cheapest option to get some gear for selling, and if you have some money then the Rig Runner is the best way to quickly carry the gear you find while still protecting yourself. I hope that these loadouts work well for you and I will see you for my next Escape from Tarkov article.