Having released in 2017 as a Counter-Strike-meets-Behind Enemy Lines style expansive and grounded shooter, Escape from Tarkov has enjoyed more than its fair share of attention.
The first, and as of yet only, game from Russian studio Battlestate Games, EFT initially had flown under the radar for quite some time before seeing considerable success as well as a concurrent player base of over 200,000 players in late 2020.
The resurgence of this incredible FPS was also due in part to Australian superstar streamer Pestily, as well as continuous love and support from a hardcore, invested community.
Categorizing EFT as just a survival shooter, however, would be a gross misrepresentation of the game, as well as just a surface-level view of the entire thing.
Tarkov is a hardcore, extremely realistic shooter that invites you to exactly replicate your best idea of how to get out of a concrete hell, with everything from the amount of water you carry to the type of bullet you use for a specific gun being very crucial aspects that will ultimately determine what kind of an experience you will have inside each of the game’s multiple difficulty scalars and maps.
Not only that, mechanical things such as the amount of foliage you are in, or the amount of noise that you make killing either an NPC or another player matters a lot, as any kind of unwanted attention you draw towards yourself could turn into a bullet that has your name on it.
So, how does it work?
Well, since EFT is wildly different and at the same time very similar to other shooters, you get a lot of the best of both worlds.
We need to understand that Tarkov is not a battle royale, and it should absolutely not be treated that way.
The game is for gun purists, hoarders and competitive people alike, but can be enjoyed by a larger audience if expectations are controlled.
That being said, as a new generation of players is getting their hands on the survival shooter, we take a look at one of the most popular maps in the game by the name of Reserve.
What is Reserve?
Reserve is a map in Escape from Tarkov. The official Wiki entry of the map reads, “The secret Federal State Reserve Agency base that, according to urban legend, contains enough supplies to last for years: food, medications and other resources, enough to survive an all-out nuclear war.”
So, first of all, let’s talk about spawns. In total, there are 13 spawns in eft Reserve map. At the beginning of your raid, your PMC/Scav character may enter from any of these spawn points, enabling you to begin taking a look around and exploring the map. Reserve is a 12 player map.
Reserve has a boss character called Glukhar who randomly spawns in one of 5 possible locations inside the map.
Since Glukhar is pretty challenging to deal with along with his minions, you should probably look towards securing some better quality weapons and ammo if in case you want to get done with him as fast as possible.
Getting done with him first is incredibly prudent as well, as that will allow you access to a host of gear that you can use for the rest of the raid.
There is no strategy required here; Glukhar and his men will bull rush you on sight, so just get on a roof and try picking them off one by one.
So, there a lot, and we mean a lot, of keys scattered around Reserve, and before you go hoarding all of them, let’s take a look at some of the better ones that will help you get the most out of your time spent inside a raid and maximize the loot that you get out of the map with, so much so that the game has its own Reserve key map.
At the top of the key chain you’re going to find the RB-VO and the RB-AO keys, which allow you to access rooms on the far west side of the map, opening doors to rooms that contain various valuable weapons and attachments, which are crucial when you begin a raid in order to get an early advantage over other PMCs.
Out of both of these, you primarily want to consider the VO as opening the door to better loot, but since the rooms themselves are located so near each other, it makes sense to bring them as a pair.
Above the first bunker coming towards the east, you are going to want the RB-PS keys.
All of the four rooms in the second bunker leading underground have a high chance of dropping some prime loot, so consider checking them all out to find ration, medical supplies and equipment hidden away in crates.
Take care however that these locations may be swarmed gradually by other PMCs, so it is best to make quick exits after grabbing the necessary loot.
For the next area that you can access, we move up north across and beyond the train station, stopping right after you notice the first building.
Enter, and at the end of the hallway, you will find a room that uses the RB-MP13 key. This opens up to a room that can sometimes spawn Intelligence as well as some scattered loot here and there.
Be sure to check the drawers to make sure you have everything covered. From there, head over to the roof, where you will find a hole to jump back into the building.
The first door that you see is opened with the RB-MP22 key, which again leads to some scattered loot but also some weapon attachments as well as a box of explosives.
There are several ways to extract out from reserve after you’ve had your fill of plundering the place, but it is important to know the ins and outs of extraction before you decide to formulate a plan around how best to quit the scene unnoticed.
Now, while there are 10 extraction points in Reserve, you can only use 6 of them as a PMC; the rest are only accessible to Scavs.
Starting off from the far north, the cliff descent can be used as an extract once you reach the observatory.
Beware that the dome and the upper floors of the surrounding building is a camping hotspot, and can lead to a very swift rage quit if not dealt with carefully.
Otherwise, for a single turn getaway, you can use the Armored Train extraction, which, as you can guess, involves an armored train. The train also contains a weapons case.
Last but not the least, you have the Bunker Hermetic Door, activated on the first bunker. When you come up on the first bunker, you will find a door with a red bulb on top of it.
To activate the door to extraction, you must go to a specific building south of the Cliff Descent observatory and pull a lever that activates the door for 4 minutes.
This is where it gets tricky.
You must make it back to the bunker and through the door for a successful extraction, all the while dealing with a blare that is going to be emitted from the bunker, pulling PMCs and Scavs to the location. Best to extract as quickly as you can.
And here we are. We hope that your experience in Reserve isn’t quite as challenging as ours was with the map and happy raiding!