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Escape from Tarkov Arena is now open, but there’s a catch

After its invite-based beta, Escape from Tarkov has opened its doors to one and all. But if you're about to arm up, there's a catch.

Several armed people running through a forest-style gate, into a wooded area.

Escape from Tarkov: Arena developer Battlestate has announced that it’s finished with its invite-only closed beta testing and that it’s now open to everyone. The snag is that whether you’re an existing Escape from Tarkov player or not, you’ll have to pay for access.

After a brief invite-only period, Escape from Tarkov: Arena is now open to all comers – for a price. A squad-based spin-off from online FPS game Escape from Tarkov, this new release is designed for shorter, session-based battles. Progress is shared between the two games, and the skills you hone in Arena should help you conquer its parent game.

But, despite the connection between the two, there’s a catch. Now that there are no more beta invites on the way, and Escape from Tarkov: Edge of Darkness is no longer available, you’ll now have to buy Arena if you want to play it. How much? Escape from Tarkov: Arena will set you back $35, while the main game is $50.

The decision to charge has caused a bit of a stir, not least because Escape from Tarkov itself is essentially in early access. And yet, instead of the main game getting an arena mode, players are being asked to purchase it separately.

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Opinions on the Escape from Tarkov Reddit forum range from ‘no-one is forcing you to buy it’ to ‘this should have been free.’ It’s true, however, that developer Battlestate never promised a free arena mode.

If you want to dive into Escape from Tarkov: Arena or Escape from Tarkov, they’re not available on Steam, unfortunately, so you’ll have to buy them directly through Battlestate’s website. To get you started with the latter, check out our Escape from Tarkov tips and our Escape from Tarkov Interchange map guide.

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