One of the many ways in which Escape From Tarkov keeps its meta-game relatively balanced between veteran players and newbies, as well as keeping just about everyone on their toes, are its so-called wipe events. In effect, a “wipe” is precisely what it sounds like: a total server reset that removes any and all player progression and forces everyone to start anew.
Though recurrent wipes do mean that most of Escape From Tarkov‘s progression is relatively transient in the grand scheme of things, they do offer an exciting period of time during which anything goes, and when players get to burn through all of their rare loot without worrying about it. In fact, loot may be even less rare at this time, as EFT‘s latest pre-wipe period has just kicked off with a huge number of airdrops.
EFT‘s previous server wipes have traditionally featured various special events to mark the occasion. Sometimes, this meant bosses spawning where they otherwise do not, the Lab being accessible for all players to explore, and the appearance of powerful Raider NPCs. Airdrops, however, are a relatively novel feature, and players can now collect a veritable wealth of loot if they’re clever about prowling through the levels. This means that, though Tarkov is otherwise one of the most brutal survival games on the market, its ongoing pre-wipe event may effectively nullify its rare item economy for the time being.
In effect, players now have way better odds of getting their hands on Escape From Tarkov‘s best armor pieces and armaments, side-stepping the otherwise long and strenuous process of unlocking, stealing and/or purchasing a better kit for their PMC character. The beginning of the pre-wipe event usually means that the wipe itself will take place in about a week or so, which means that the developer can allow players significantly easier access to some of the rarest items in the game during this period.
Battlestate Games hasn’t yet announced when, exactly, the wipe itself will take place. This is usually kept secret to surprise the players with a complete server reset and, sometimes, a significant new content drop. Once the wipe takes place, however, Tarkov will once again revert to its default state as one of the hardest competitive multiplayer games for newcomers, and its item economy will return to its relatively stable equilibrium.
With the standalone Escape From Tarkov: Arena game on the way, Battlestate Games’ approach to its own separate progression systems will be interesting to keep track of. There’s been no telling yet if Arena, too, will have its own wipe events. Since it’s effectively a testbed for a different Tarkov experience, BSG may opt for a permanent progression system instead, though it remains to be seen if that ends up being the case.
Escape From Tarkov is available on PC.