Escape From Tarkov players will be recruited as testers for the extraction battle royale game‘s upcoming spinoff Escape From Tarkov Arena. Speaking on Battlestate Games’ Twitch channel (and handily summarised on the EFT subreddit) studio COO Nikita Buyanov explains that the “most active” players on Tarkov’s early test service, and a selection of general players (so, anybody) will be chosen for the opportunity to try the game’s first live test later this year.
Similar to the main Escape From Tarkov experience, Arena will feature custom game modes, and challenge players to complete in-game objectives. Alhough these will serve as optional tasks rather than full quests, they will crossover with the main game and help build your character’s progress.
If you’re already an Escape From Tarkov player, you will also be able to use your character, plus any presets and gear you have in your stash, in Arena. If not – if you’ve never played EFT before, and Arena is your first foray this brutal battle royale – you will nevertheless still be able to play in the same games and servers as everybody else.
In PvP mode, Arena pitches two teams against each other in a standard fight to the death. But there’s a twist: if you try to survive by hiding and not participating, the game’s host will be alerted. They can then choose to assign a ‘killing squad’ to hunt you down and ‘punish’ you for your cowardice.
PvE is positioned more as a training mode, for players to test their skills in wave defence before heading into combat proper. Escape From Tarkov bosses — high-powered, AI, enemies that stalk the map — will also appear in Arena’s PvE mode, though it is unclear if any new versions will be designed for the game specifically.
Buyanov says that when Arena launches, it will have “five or six” small maps and either one or two “medium arenas”. Nighttime maps will also be available, and players will be able to customise their servers and adjust their matchmaking settings based on a range of different presets.
So, if you want to test Arena, keep putting those hours into Escape From Tarkov – you just might get drafted. As for Tarkov’s next patch, Buyanov states that it’s “almost ready”, and will bring several new weapons including a flare gun for calling supply drops.