Battlestate Games’ Escape from Tarkov is a rather unique prospect when it comes to games (which does rather hamstring us when it comes to assembling a list of similar games!).
The first-person shooter is an innovative blend of player-versus-player and player-versus-environment combat, with players contending with both bandits roaming the map and fellow players looking to emerge victorious.
As you can imagine, playing Escape from Tarkov is a tense but thrilling experience, and there aren’t too many games that can come close to offering a similar adrenaline rush.
Thankfully, though, you do have options if you want something similar but not identical, so let’s take a look at the best games like Escape from Tarkov to play right now!
A quick note: although Ukraine now prefers the spelling “Chornobyl”, the official name of this game is Shadow of Chernobyl, and that’s why we’re using that spelling.
Shadow of Chernobyl is a single-player shooter created by GSC Game World back in 2007. It’s an intensely atmospheric game based around exploration and resource management.
You won’t get the same multiplayer thrills from this one that you’d get from Tarkov, but if you like the lonely, hostile atmosphere Battlestate has created, this should be your next port of call.
Consider this a blanket recommendation for the Metro series as a whole, which was created by several folks who worked on the aforementioned S.T.A.L.K.E.R.
Metro 2033 is, much like that game, a richly atmospheric narrative shooter. This one is set in the metro tunnels beneath Russia after a devastating nuclear attack, so it’s not exactly a laugh-a-minute experience, especially given current events.
However, its mixture of tense, claustrophobic horror-inflected shooting, richly human characters, and surprisingly absorbing narrative make it well worth a look for Tarkov fans.
Described as a “competitive first-person PvP bounty-hunting game with heavy PvE elements” by developer Crytek, Hunt: Showdown is probably the closest experience to Tarkov out there right now.
Players must take down nightmarish bounties, all while competing with fellow squads to be the first to take the prize. Once you’ve killed a bounty, every other hunter on the map will be hunting you down.
Unlike Tarkov, there’s not much in the way of uneasy co-operation here; while you might team up with those around you to take down bounties, it’s every man for themselves once the monster is felled.
On the surface, DayZ might not bear too much of a resemblance to Tarkov, but there are more similarities between them than many gamers might realise.
Both are games in which players must choose between outright hostility and uneasy collaboration, and in which there are both strong PvP elements and strong PvE elements.
In addition, both are pretty hardcore experiences that revolve around careful resource management, planning, and stealth, with open confrontation usually resulting in quick death for one or both combatants.
For Hell Let Loose, developer Black Matter emphasised realism as much as possible, creating a platoon-centric battle royale shooter in which teams of fifty players apiece take one another on in World War II theatres of war.
Like Escape from Tarkov, Hell Let Loose doesn’t pull its punches; this is not a cartoony experience like Fortnite, but rather a grim, almost apocalyptic evocation of the horrors of war.
If you’re looking for a more lighthearted take on the Tarkov formula, this probably isn’t where you’ll want to go, but if you want more moody, well-crafted, and atmospheric multiplayer gameplay, Hell Let Loose will oblige.
While we’re on the subject of realistic war shooters, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention Arma 3. The Arma series is essentially the grandparent of all war games focused on realism, and it’s still going strong with this third instalment.
In Arma 3, you can choose between single-player and multiplayer gameplay, and there are a variety of modes to choose from, each of which will cater for a different type of gamer.
Naturally, the focus here is heavily skewed towards realism, so you’re probably not going to get much out of this one if you’re looking for something more arcadey or “video game”-y.
You’ve probably heard that Fallout 76 is an abject failure, and in all honesty, it’s difficult to recommend it to fans of traditional sprawling single-player Bethesda RPGs.
Fans of Escape from Tarkov, however, might find a lot to love in Fallout 76, principally thanks to the ambiguous way in which the game facilitates relationships and interactions between players.
When you encounter another player out there in the wasteland, will you immediately open fire on them without bothering to find out what they want, or will you try to communicate? The choice is very much yours.
If you’re hankering for a hardcore shooter that isn’t going to hold your hand or lead you by the nose, then Post Scriptum is definitely a game you’re going to want to check out.
The game’s developers describe it as a game that focuses on “historical accuracy, large scale battles, a difficult learning curve and an intense need for cohesion”.
That should tell you everything you need to know about what Post Scriptum demands from you, but needless to say, it’s incredibly rewarding if you’ve got the skill and concentration necessary to enjoy it.
- What makes Escape from Tarkov unique in the shooter genre?
- Escape from Tarkov offers an innovative blend of player-versus-player and player-versus-environment combat, requiring players to navigate both NPC bandits and real players.
- How is S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Shadow of Chernobyl similar to Tarkov?
- While Shadow of Chernobyl doesn’t offer multiplayer elements, it shares a similarly hostile and lonely atmosphere that can be found in Tarkov.
- Why might fans of Tarkov enjoy Metro 2033 Redux?
- Metro 2033, created by some developers from the S.T.A.L.K.E.R team, offers a similar atmospheric narrative shooter experience, set in post-apocalyptic metro tunnels beneath Russia.
- What gameplay elements make Hunt: Showdown reminiscent of Tarkov?
- Hunt: Showdown is a first-person PvP game with PvE elements, where players hunt nightmarish bounties while competing with other players to claim the prize.
- How does DayZ compare to Tarkov in gameplay dynamics?
- Both games involve careful resource management, planning, stealth, and force players to choose between collaboration and confrontation.
- What sets Hell Let Loose apart from other shooters?
- Hell Let Loose is a battle royale shooter focused on realism, offering gritty and atmospheric multiplayer gameplay set in World War II.
- Why might Arma 3 appeal to Tarkov enthusiasts?
- Arma 3 is known for its emphasis on realism in the war gaming genre, offering both single-player and multiplayer modes that cater to gamers seeking a realistic combat experience.
- Despite criticisms, why might Fallout 76 interest Tarkov players?
- Fallout 76 provides ambiguous player interactions in its wasteland setting, where players must decide between conflict or communication upon meeting others.
- How does Post Scriptum challenge its players?
- Post Scriptum focuses on historical accuracy, large-scale battles, a steep learning curve, and the necessity for team cohesion, demanding skill and concentration from its players.
While Escape from Tarkov offers a distinct experience in the shooter realm, there are several games that either mirror its elements or provide atmospheres and challenges that resonate with Tarkov fans. Whether it’s the atmospheric dread of S.T.A.L.K.E.R or the competitive blend of PvP and PvE in Hunt: Showdown, players have a variety of games to explore that capture Tarkov’s essence in different ways. For those drawn to the tension, realism, and strategic depth of Tarkov, the aforementioned titles present a rich tapestry of alternatives worth diving into.