When many people play Tarkov, they think that it plays like any other hardcore milsim FPS game. Just purely focusing on raw player skill and tactics. However developing the RPG side is crucial to get an edge over the enemy, those 1% improvements per level are not as negligible as they may seem, and elite level skills might feel like cheating in comparison to normal. Every positive action levels up your skills and character, so with these tricks listed, you can bolster your performance in game by always doing two things at once, and by the passive effects of character skills once developed. So how do we make the most of our time?
We must first bare in mind how you maintain your skills, just so that you don’t waste time and effort. Most people aren’t aware of the skill rollback that happens (Watch your skills and you might just notice it), but levelling up metabolism and/or memory will lower the rollback rate for physical skills and mental skills respectfully, with elite level skill eliminating it all together.
A library is definitely a must-have in your hideout. Aside from the cost of getting to the library, the library is completely free and its bonuses without paying for expensive filters like with the air filter. Most people don’t know how to train skills effectively, so while many say that the air filter is crucial; I myself don’t believe so, as it only takes a few sprints to start getting diminishing returns on strength/endurance.
Due to how quickly you get diminishing returns on strength and endurance, I suggest you try to train both in raid. If you start your raid slightly under being encumbered: in the time you spend moving around and getting your first pieces of loot, you will have already trained endurance to diminishing returns, and from then on you’ll train strength. For this method I recommend just filling some empty space with cheap shotgun shells; cheap and heavy. So cheap that you won’t even care about tossing them when you need to make more space for loot.
While performing animations, some actions will be unavailable from the quick context menu, saying “hands are busy” or things like “Can’t open context menu while searching” But double clicking on the item will bring up a large menu showing the item, where you can click the use button, which will allow you to use the item during animations.
This also can be used mid combat to great effect:
Whenever you search a container, you get XP for the items found inside, but you will also get XP for picking them up. When I loot, I prioritise speed over everything (What good is loot if it’s on your corpse?). So I quickly loot everything from a container (if backpack space is limited, prioritise expensive/quest items) and then drop the unneeded loot while searching the next container (doing a secondary action if possible).
Doing this will help you loot faster, and also gain looting experience towards your attention skill which will result in better loot found in containers.
While you loot you can also repack your magazines or train mag drills by clicking with the middle mouse button to check the fullness of a magazine (Which can also be done with the magazines on your enemies corpse). You can also perform an animation while searching a container: you can med, eat or drink. Although looting any item will cancel your action (with good timing you can save a second).
When passing by any kind of body, it is worth just quickly opening the looting interface. Doing so gives you a chunk of xp without the need to even search the body. Searching the whole corpse does give additional xp but at the cost of time. So pick and choose when you are willing to risk looting that toz scav.
If you have no other actions that need doing, you should always eat and drink. While it is nice to have high energy and hydration in case your stomach gets shot out. The main goal is to improve your metabolism skill, which is vital for effectively making all physical skills like strength or endurance level up faster. Eating and drinking will give you player XP, but bare in mind you only get metabolism xp for each point of hydration recovered. So if you are at 100 you shouldn’t waste your food and water.
While often easier said than done: Try to get a headshot for every kill. The extra XP you get is definitely worth it (Amount varies depending on scav difficulty or PMC). Scavs are the best target as they are predictable in behaviour and especially easy to get headshots on, only if you don’t mind attracting attention or have a silenced gun. Obviously PMC’s are a different story, headshots when possible but always secure the kill.
If you died or left injured from a raid, don’t go for Therapist’s healing service, as you miss out on healing XP. Instead, buy a grizzly kit from the Flea market and use that to heal yourself from your stash. Each individual point of health you heal is one point of XP, not to mention every bleed and fracture giving extra too.
If you’re playing as a team and you’re all full and planning to extract, it’s worth dropping each other’s backpacks on the ground, and then searching and picking them up for the search and looting XP. While doing this, you can also do a ‘Barter trade’ of sorts, and ask to trade something for an item you need (say that you have a quest that is FIR). Be aware of your surroundings while doing so.
There are fixed spawns for mission keys, and they can net a fair bit extra XP. I always collect the “Unknown key” as sometimes I can get up to 200[XP just for doing nothing but collecting one item along the way.
And finally: Live! By dying in a raid you miss out on an extra 50% XP, all the loot you collected and some of the xp for skills you trained. By dying you get a slight roll back to all of your skills (unless you have elite metabolism and/or elite memory), so it’s more than just lost roubles.