Escape from Tarkov

Psychological tips to overcoming Tarkov barriers

Content of the article: "Psychological tips to overcoming Tarkov barriers"

Relative Tarkov noob here, started playing ~35-40 days ago and was intrigued by the number of psychological impacts that a game like Tarkov can have on the average player, including the multiple causes of 'gear fear' and choking. I thought I'd pen together some thoughts below regarding overcoming them – hopefully more experienced players can also share their secrets.

Getting over the fear of using expensive gear (that you can afford)

I used to dislike using reflex sights and scopes on my gun because they tend to cost disproportionately more than my gun. It wasn't that I couldn't afford them at that stage in my game, but it was a definite mental block when seeing the ruble price tag. The quick way around that is to use the trick that casinos play on you, which is to add a little mental separation between you and your valuable money through the use of casino chips to gamble with instead of cash.

Take the opportunity to build a stockpile of attachments you want to use whenever there is a dip in the flea market pricing; it's easier to use that sight or scope when you have 10 already sitting in your inventory or attached to your pre-built guns.

Performance anxiety when the stakes are high, most commonly manifested when entering raids fully geared

This is a commonly studied problem in the field of high performance sports, and any answer I give here is going to be too watered down or not scholarly enough. A great introductory layperson book is The Inner Game of Tennis, by Timothy Gallwey.

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The trite answer is when the stakes are high, don't think about it – just focus on the process (with the caveat of not overthinking the process while you are executing it). If you notice in interviews of great tennis pros after they have lost a game, they focus on how they played the game, rather than on the outcome. In such close competition, there is a degree of randomness in life that is outside your control that you have to accept – in Tarkov that randomness is amplified to a ridiculous degree (late spawns, running into 5-man chad teams that decide to venture into low-value routes, etc).

In practical terms, try treating everything you bring into the raid as already lost – that way it will sting less when you get headshot 5 mins into the raid. This is easier said than done because of the way scarcity affects the human mind – when you're taking in your first T5 armor that you get from a quest reward (and have no alternative way to replace it without paying exorbitant flea market markups that you can't afford) it's definitely going to be harder to ignore it mentally.

The scarcity paradox of Tarkov

This is more a musing than a tip, but part of what makes Tarkov so unique is the feeling you get when high stakes are involved due to the scarcity of gear. However, being successful at the game requires you to decrease the stress associated with high stakes, either through building up streams of income so that losing gear becomes meaningless to you, or by psychologically removing the impact of losing such gear. The paradox here is that the more successful you are at this game, the less meaningful it is – and it literally becomes COD with extra steps …

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