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Drew's Beginner Guide

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Welcome all to the Ultimate Beginner's Beginner Guide to Tarkov!
To start it all off, I am a new player as well who started during this wipe, and have played over 1400 hours and raided over 1700 times!
This guide isn't to help you get better shots, or to get you ready to wiping lobbies BUT it will help in overall survival rate and money generation!

Starting off, Tarkov isn't like other first person shooters! You can have the best aim on the planet and still struggle in this game! The number one thing to doing good in Tarkov is knowledge! This is my personal opinion but I believe that 80% of this game is all knowledge based.
The more knowledge you arm yourself before getting into a fight will allow you to excel your game play in every match. Map knowledge, player spawn, scav spawn, loot spawns, hot spots, loadouts, ammo types, and armor types are the main subjects. We will later on go into more detail on these subjects but at first lets get you ready to rock!

One of the first things I wanted to tell you about is your starter gear. Depending on what edition you buy Standard > Edge of Darkness, EVERYTHING in that stash will be lost! 
Part of this game is knowing the harsh truth of items will come and go. At parts in the game you will have so much things you don't know what to do with it, but at times you have nothing and are barely pushing past "hatchet" runs. 
("Hatchet" run is spawning in with only a knife and looking for a gun in game) Once you learn that, having fear of losing your items is going to be one of the fastest things to render your progression in this game. The "value" you have from the item sitting in your stash is nothing until it is put into play. Hording "good guns" and just running low tier kits will render your survivabilty rate and "time to kill" on players you engage will be a lot worse which renders your chances of survival. So besides being equipped with a knowledge, you still have to be equipped to defend yourself as your travel through Tarkov!

Map Knowledge
You have probably heard it before, "Open a map on your phone or second screen", and orientate yourself through this confusing map. It might seem like a "bad" way to learn the map but with Tarkov's limitation to ingame UIs and map trackers, its almost the only way to learn maps quick and easily. Map Knowledge helps you get the jump on people in certain scenarios and allows you to quickly and safely get to an extraction zone with out being caught in the open.

Player Spawns
This is one of the most important pieces of advice I can give someone. The first 5 minutes of a raid can either make or break you. Players at a start of any match, spawn near your area, while another group of players would spawn on the opposite side of the map. This causes PVP at spawn, mid way through the map, then at extract with people who made it along side you. Knowing the potential spawns around you, and working your way around them will increase your survivabilty rate ten fold if you play it correctly!

Scav Spawns
Scavs normally have predetermined spawn locations, and even so, sniper scavs are normally always around the same location every game! So knowing scavs' "potential" locations will allow you to play more tactically instead of just running through a scav spawn. Also, scavs provide decent early game gear, they all have "cheap" load outs that you can just bring back in and go back at it!

Loot spawns
Even though this game is all dynamic, loot locations are not. So, you will see the same satchel and the same box in the same location every time. Doesn't mean they are going to spawn something in them every time, just means they are always there. Remembering locations where you received "high tier" items will probably give you similar results in the future if you go to that place again. Also, knowing loot spawns will also help with the next subject with is hotspots!

Hot Spots
Hot spots are known locations with the "best" loot in the map. Some hotspots are also locations that the "Boss" of each map spawns. Knowing hotspots, will help you avoid those players who are there just to reap on the player traffic in that area. Avoiding these hot spots will allow you to have a higher survivabilty rate overall! I personally believe a "simple" way to avoid hotspots is just listening for frequent gunfire. If there's a lot of nades/shots going off in a area, normally its a "hotspot" at least for that current raid.

Ammo Types
Overall, ammo is a very tricky subject to get into. Every bullet has its strengths and weakness. One of the basics I would explain about is fragmentation.
Fragmentation is higher in "cheaper" bullets which allows 1 bullet to count as a "crit" and deal 2 hits in one.
So, "cheap" bullets in the leg on a high geared PMC would take them down quickly if the bullet fragmentation compared to aiming for a faceshield/armor that your bullet wouldnt penetrate.
After "cheap" bullets there's two other types of bullets: "Penetration rounds" and "Flesh rounds". 
Penetration rounds normally deal low flesh damage but go through "mostly" all armors depending how good is the penetration value
Flesh rounds normally deal high flesh damage but don't go through "mostly" any armor depending on how good the armor is and its durability.
In-depth ammo chart: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1_l-gYeSt2MqIw62EdMZt_wefG0yO9L7dTaRM74c2J1w/edit#gid=2023683591  / https://escapefromtarkov.gamepedia.com/Ballistics


Armor types
Starting off, armor is one of the most necessary items in the game, to prevent you from getting 1 tapped other than your head. Over this beginners guide we will be going over the  pros of each armor and their cons as well. Keep in mind, that depending on how much weight you are at, and the type of armor you use, they make your turn/movement speed slower!
At level 1 traders, the only armor that is accessible to you to purchase (with out barter trades) is the Paca Soft. The paca, is a level two armor with a 6% movement reduction, 5% turning speed.
It is a level two armor which means its going to cover small caliber bullets an buckshot rounds that hit you, its the ultimate last line of defense against scavs. Other than that, most people mid way through the wipe will be able to easily penetrate to the armor.
I would recommend, (once attainable) level 4 armor + because it protects against most mid tier bullets and most of them don't render your movement much. Even though, during late parts in the patch, most people are using higher caliber bullets to be able to penetrate through it regardless. So, use the armor always as a secondary defense, but always assume that the bullet that's being shot WILL penetrate. 
Another good thing to look out for in armors is material types, each material type either breaks faster or has a higher repair bill so check out this chart for a in depth chart https://escapefromtarkov.gamepedia.com/Ballistics#Armor_and_penetration
List of all armors: https://escapefromtarkov.gamepedia.com/Armor_vests

Level 1 Trader Guns / Load outs
Starting the game off, all your traders will be level 1. There is a max level of 4 for each trader. As you progressively do quests and spend money on the traders, they will trust you more and you will be gaining reputation for them. When you start off, (prior level 10 flea market) you are really limited the guns and ammo you can use. Most ammos have low penetration value, and especially during later points in the wipe, most people will have good armor that will be almost impossible to penetrate. Depending on how good you are starting off, I recommend a couple cheap loadouts that might help you get similar kits to test your aim, and style while using similar kits over and over :)
Rat-tier load out: Sks, ps 762x39, balaclava, bank robber, sling and a dream = total = 38k rubles
Mosin-man load out: Mosin Inf, 762x54R LPS gzh, balaclava, bank robber, sling = total = 60k rubles
low-tier load out: SKS, ps 762x39, balaclava, gssh-01 active, Bank robber, sling = Total = 75k rubles
Mid-tier Load out: SKS, ps 762x39, ssh-68 helmet, balaclava, gssh-01 active, Paca soft, Bank robber, sling = Total = 98k Rubles
High-tier load out: Mosin inf, 762.54R LPS gzh,  ssh-68 helmet, balaclava, gssh-01 active, Paca soft, Bank robber, sling = Total = 138k rubles 
Overall as a newer player, you will be sing these kits to kill scavs and potentially other players for their bigger container vests / bags. From there, its just a snowball effect!
(Always remember to insure your items since these items are so low tier 9/10 people wont grab them)

Thank you so much for taking your time to reading my personal beginners guide! I you have any comments or edits please do so, I want to develop this post even further in the future!

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