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Seven Games like Escape From Tarkov

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Escape From Tarkov is the hardcore session-based shooter which made sure that the gear you use matters. It is a game which brings with it incredible frustration, yet incredible reward and dopamine hit when you get that sweet kill, along with extracting some incredible loot.

With its explosive rise in 2020, many gamers discovered they have an appetite for the high-risk high-reward gameplay. So much so that there are now more and more games on their way with the hardcore session-based game design in mind. If you want to try more games like Escape from Tarkov, and don’t know where to start, we shall guide you to those games.

Games like Escape From Tarkov

The first few games on this list are going to be games that focused on the session-based and high-stakes gameplay that you know from EFT. There are quite a few games like this released to the public or are on their way to being launched. After that, we list some games that have features that are like Escape From Tarkov but have different gameplay mechanics.

Hunt: Showdown

Image via Crytek.

Hunt Showdown sits at the top of the list as it’s the only other game released before the massive explosion of Escape From Tarkov. The game itself takes you to the swamps of Louisiana, with some cowboys on the hunt against PvPvE elements.

The thing that makes Hunt: Showdown a game like EFT is that both your weapons and your characters are on the line. As you go into games, you have your characters that have their own quirks. But if they die out there in the bayou, then they are gone for good. Part of the game is that the character you work hard on will eventually die, along with any interesting weapons you have stumbled across. In some ways, it’s even more hardcore than Escape From Tarkov.

It also has a greater focus on PvE gameplay too. There are bosses that you can take out to complete the mission. But taking out a boss and then trying to get the rewards from it will let other players know what you are up to. The reality of the situation so that you will have to experience the PvPvE element to get the most out of the game and all the stories that come from it.


How to play Marauders beginners guide
Image via Team 17.

Marauders is the most recent addition to the list thanks to its very clear EFT gameplay, perhaps one of the games most closely suited to the Escape From Tarkov vibe. This is 100% a PvEvP hardcore shooter; However, you forfeit the forests and coastal towns of Russia for the dark corners of Eath’s solar system.

The game itself is set in the 1980’s except the second world war was waged too hard and killed the planet. Now those left are fighting in a dieselpunk era of space, filled with World War 2 era weaponry, alongside some rust bucket space ships and stations.

In Marauders, you will breach space stations, and enemy space ships, and even pilot your own spacecraft and navigate them in session-based games. Feel free to shoot down other players, bored bases or ships and fight and scavenge for your loot as you would in Escape From Tarkov. It’s certainly an interesting take on the Games like Tarkov list, and one players should check out.

At the time of writing, it has only recently left closed bet attesting. So, keep your eyes peeled for more information as the game gets more beta tests and steers course to its release date.

The Cycle

the cycle gamescom
Image via YAGER.

The Cycle is another space version of the session-based PvP games, which recently launched its full game as a free-to-play game. However, it varies greatly, as The Cycle promises much more open instances, which can remain open for hours, rather than the small sessions you see in Tarekov. Here, players can repeatedly head into the same mission area, offering them the chance to get their revenge on them or complete the mission they set off to do in the first place.

More so, the game has a roguelike aspect to it. Extracting your resources from the planet’s surface offers players the opportunity to upgrade their character and account. It offers players some form of rogue-lite experience in that regard, giving players the chance to progress even when the games are going a little badly for them. It means there is a better safety set if you have a bad luck spree while you’re deeper into progression, rather than feeling like you have to go back to the start.


Image via Improbable Worlds Limited.

Scavengers is the first game on the list that steers further away from the Escape from Tarkov formulae but retains enough to warrant a mention. The game plays more like a Battle Royale, with a frost storm that forces players to move more and more toward a central location with an extraction point, But doesn’t be fooled by that, as the meta progression is very much akin to a Tarkov like the progression system.

Rather than losing your account-wide items as you would in a typical Tarkov-like experience, you will find that there are things you want to collect in games. There are a variety of resources and items you want to take from the session you play. Successfully extracting them from a game will then add them to your account balance. It means you can upgrade your weapons, armors and more with them, allowing you to progress up the tech tree and empower the class you want to play.

Therefore, there is still that instance-based risk that comes with Escape from Tarkov-like games. It is just not as hardcore of an inventory loss as others. You will still need to take risks and fight players for more resources and the usual theory that goes into the Tarkov session, albeit with a skin more akin to a battle royale game.

Sadly, the game is a little dead right now. But, it’s’ worth mentioning, so others know for the future this is another game that tried the session-based gameplay with hardcore rules behind it.


DayZ 1.18 Update
Image via Bohemia Interactive.

DayZ is perhaps the first hardcore game that inspired the hardcore persistent loot genre and brought the more extreme version of survival games on the market. There’s no doubt that this will have some inspiration for the Tarkov-like genre, and here’s why.

The DayZ game is all bout playing a character on a server. That character will then be your character that your journey around the server will. You will use the loot you get access to on that server. It is then your duty to make sure you lose that gear, as you do not have any non-session-based stash to default on. Instead, you will need to make bases and store your gear where other players will not find it. As they can then steal your loot if they can get their hands on I, or take it out if they so wanted to,

There is also a PvE element in the game, which is very familiar to those who play EFT-like games. In DayZ, the world is filled with zombies around lootable areas, regardless if they are military sites, dynamic events or residential parts of the map. The hordes in the area may come to get you if they catch on that you are making a racket. This adds to player intrigue as they can work out where players are based on the PvE activity. It certainly got the high-risk, high reward of Tarkov, albeit plays slightly differently.

It is also worth mentioning that Bohemia Interactive is actively working on DayZ standalone like with the recent explosive update, and then there are the mod versions for Arma. Overall, there’s plenty to stick your teeth into.


Image via RocketWerkz.

Icarus is the most unlikely addition to the list because the game is not a hardcore PvP game. Instead, this game is a PvE session-based survival game which has its bases and inventory get wiped after every mission in a great reversal of the session-based gameplay.

However, layers will find themselves getting better gear that persists over time, while the thing they make in session be the short-term gains and losses. You will naturally level up as you play through the game or complete missions, and then use your unlocks through your RPG character level to get more goodies through talents, blueprints and mission competition rewards. It allows you to enter sessions deeper into the game with better items to then take on the threats that come with it. In one way or another, it is like progressing into labs, knowing you now have the items you have invested in the long term to handle that scenario.

If you’re looking for something a little more chill with some Tarkov-like experience, Icarus might be the play for you.

The Day Before

The Day Before

The Day Before is an upcoming hardcore survival game, set in a zombie-infested world. The game is due to release on March 1, 2023, and will allow players to jump into an MMO-like world, similar to the likes of DayZ.

The aim of the game is for players to play on these servers and try to rebuild the collapsed world. However, the game is hardcore and will experience heavy loot emphasis from both areas in the game, other players and the infected themselves. It has all the hardcore scavenging elements of the games like Tarkov franchise.

The only thing that makes it different is that there is no session-based main menu that you return to. Instead, there is a survivor colony that serves as the main player hub of the game. Here, you will be able to trade items with players and NPCs and get other goodies we do not yet know about. So, there is an MMO-like feature that is akin to the Tarkov traders feature, alongside being able to see other players outside of the session-based gameplay.

So, there are certainly plenty of experiences that link with the EFT and DayZ genres, perhaps serving as one of the best bridges between both genres through social features. Once the game is fully out, we will know more about it and how EFT it is. 

Have you got any more games like Escape From Tarkov you think are worth mentioning? Let us know in the comments below!

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