I remember when Fortnite and PUBG were really picking up steam, everyone and their grandma suddenly wanted on board the battle royale train. If devs weren’t making entirely new battle royale games, they were implementing battle royale modes into their existing games. That’s the industry for you, I guess; everyone’s always chasing trends. Thankfully, the battle royale fever has died down a bit, but there are still a few games that can be a smidge difficult to place. Case in point: is Escape From Tarkov a battle royale game?
At a casual glance, one could be forgiven for assuming that Escape From Tarkov was a battle royale game. It’s a team shooter with large-scale maps, an emphasis on collecting loot along the way, and a generally-competitive nature. However, while there are surface level similarities, Escape From Tarkov isn’t really a battle royale game, at least not by the typical definition.
Is Escape From Tarkov a Battle Royale?
In most battle royale games, for example, the express goal is to kill every other player on the map and be the last one standing, all while the map gradually shrinks to force people out of hiding. Not only does Escape From Tarkov not have any kind of shrinking boundary mechanic, but the goal isn’t to kill every other player. Rather, the goal of a typical round is to make your way across the map and escape via a designated exfiltration point, all while trying to fight past and sneak around other players and teams trying to get to their own exfiltration points.
Technically speaking, it is possible to survive a round without actually killing another player. Well, it’s possible to survive without killing a player trying to escape; there are player-controlled bandits who are only there to shoot you down, and you will more than likely have to fight back, but again, not required.
Escape From Tarkov is also different from battle royales in that the equipment isn’t OSP (or “on-site procurement,” if you haven’t played a Metal Gear game lately). You can store guns and items in your personal stash and carry them over between matches. Of course, bullets aren’t unlimited, so you still need to do your fair share of scavenging, but the point is that you’re not dropping into a game naked and afraid.