Escape From Tarkov: Arena – Hands On Impressions | Gamescom 2023

Escape From Tarkov: Arena is a spin-off game that offers a different experience from the original Escape From Tarkov. The focus of Arena is on intense PvP combat without the survival, exploration, and looting elements. The game features two game modes: Shootout, which is inspired by Call of Duty’s Gulag and allows for spectating 2v2 combat rounds, and Teamfight, a one-life each team deathmatch mode with 5 players on each team. In this article, we will explore how Escape From Tarkov: Arena fits alongside the main game and delve into the exciting gameplay features and mechanics of this new spin-off.

At Gamescom 2023, GameSpot had the opportunity to get their hands on Escape From Tarkov: Arena and experience the Shootout and Teamfight game modes. Shootout mode offers fast-paced, intense 2v2 combat, while Teamfight mode provides a 5v5 one-life deathmatch experience. Unlike the main game, Arena removes the looting system for the most part but still allows players to pick up weapons from fallen enemies. Escape From Tarkov: Arena is designed with esports and tournaments in mind, with plans for player-hosted events. Currently available only on PC, there is no information about a console release.

Escape From Tarkov: Arena - Hands On Impressions | Gamescom 2023


Escape From Tarkov: Arena is an exciting spin-off game that focuses solely on combat, leaving out the survival, exploration, and looting elements that are prominent in the original Escape From Tarkov game. This new spin-off is designed to provide players with intense and thrilling combat experiences, showcasing their skills and tactics in the heat of battle.

Game Modes

Shootout Mode

One of the main game modes in Escape From Tarkov: Arena is the Shootout mode. Inspired by Call of Duty’s Gulag, this mode pits two teams of two players against each other in intense combat rounds. Players must rely on their shooting skills and strategic decision-making to eliminate their opponents and claim victory. Each round in Shootout mode is fast-paced and exhilarating, creating an intense and immersive experience for players.

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One of the unique features of Shootout mode is the spectating feature. After being eliminated, players have the ability to continue watching the match and learn from the remaining players. This allows for continuous engagement and learning, even after being taken out of the action. It also adds an element of excitement as players can cheer on their teammates and analyze the strategies of the opposing team.

Teamfight Mode

Escape From Tarkov: Arena also offers a Teamfight mode, which is a one-life team deathmatch mode. In this mode, players are divided into two teams, with five players on each team. The objective is simple yet challenging: eliminate the entire enemy team without being taken out yourself. This mode emphasizes the importance of teamwork, communication, and coordination, as players must work together to outsmart and overpower the opposing team.

Teamfight mode provides an adrenaline-pumping experience where every move counts. Each player’s life is precious, and the outcome of the entire match can hinge on a single well-executed strategy or a perfectly timed ambush. It encourages players to think tactically and strategize their moves, adding a layer of depth and excitement to the combat experience.

Comparison with Escape From Tarkov

Escape From Tarkov: Arena offers a different gameplay focus compared to the original Escape From Tarkov. While the core mechanics and gunplay may be similar, the spin-off game shifts the focus away from survival, exploration, and looting, placing all the attention on combat. This allows players who prefer pure combat experiences to fully immerse themselves in intense battles without the distractions of other gameplay elements.

Furthermore, Escape From Tarkov: Arena aims to be more accessible to a wider range of players. By removing the survival and looting elements, the spin-off game becomes more streamlined and easier to pick up for those who may find the original game’s complexity overwhelming. This opens up the world of Escape From Tarkov to a larger audience, inviting newcomers and seasoned veterans alike to dive into the heart-pounding action.

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Design for Esports

Escape From Tarkov: Arena has been designed with esports in mind, providing a tournament-ready gameplay experience. The intense and skill-based combat, combined with the focus on teamwork and strategy, creates an ideal environment for competitive play. The game’s mechanics lend themselves well to organized tournaments and competitive events, allowing players to showcase their skills and compete for glory.

In addition to official tournaments, Escape From Tarkov: Arena also supports player-hosted events. This allows the community to organize their own tournaments, fostering a sense of camaraderie and competition among players. It gives aspiring esports players a platform to showcase their talent, while also providing a space for friendly matches and community bonding.

Escape From Tarkov: Arena - Hands On Impressions | Gamescom 2023

Looting System

Unlike the original Escape From Tarkov game, Escape From Tarkov: Arena features a minimal looting system. While looting is a key aspect of the original game and adds depth to the gameplay loop, the spin-off game takes a different approach. In Arena, players do not have the option to scavenge for items or explore the environment for valuable resources. Instead, the focus is solely on combat.

However, the looting system in Escape From Tarkov: Arena does allow players to pick up weapons from fallen enemies. This adds an element of strategy as players can adapt their loadouts and use weapons that may suit their playstyle or the current situation. The ability to acquire weapons from enemies also adds an exciting risk-reward dynamic, where players must decide whether to stick with their current loadout or risk grabbing a potentially more powerful weapon from a defeated opponent.

Teamwork and Strategy

Teamwork plays a crucial role in Escape From Tarkov: Arena. Both in Shootout and Teamfight modes, effective communication and collaboration with teammates can often be the deciding factor between victory and defeat. The game encourages players to work together, coordinate their actions, and develop strategies that capitalize on individual strengths and cover weaknesses.

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In Shootout mode, players must be in constant communication with their partner, sharing information, and making split-second decisions. Teammates who can effectively synchronize their movements and combine their firepower have a higher chance of coming out on top. This mode puts a premium on trust and coordination, fostering a deep bond between partners as they navigate the high-stakes combat arena.

In Teamfight mode, teamwork becomes even more critical as entire teams must work together seamlessly to outmaneuver and overpower their opponents. It requires a combination of individual skill, situational awareness, and tactical decision-making. Teammates must communicate their positions, share vital information, and execute coordinated attacks to secure victory.

Escape From Tarkov: Arena - Hands On Impressions | Gamescom 2023

Platform Availability

Currently, Escape From Tarkov: Arena is only available on the PC platform. The game is specifically designed for the PC experience, taking advantage of the platform’s capabilities to deliver fast-paced, high-fidelity combat. Unfortunately, there is no information available about a potential console release at this time.


Escape From Tarkov: Arena offers a focused and adrenaline-fueled combat experience for players who crave intense battles and strategic teamwork. With game modes like Shootout and Teamfight, it provides a variety of gameplay options to suit different preferences. Whether you’re a fan of the original Escape From Tarkov or someone looking for an accessible and exciting combat game, Escape From Tarkov: Arena delivers on its promise of intense gameplay, designed for both esports competition and cooperative teamwork. So gear up, rally your teammates, and step into the action-packed world of Escape From Tarkov: Arena!

Escape From Tarkov: Arena aims to provide a more accessible experience for players who crave the thrill and intensity of Tarkov’s combat, without the added challenges of survival, exploration, and looting gameplay.

During our time at Gamescom 2023, we had the opportunity to dive into the action-packed Shootout and Teamfight game modes offered by Escape From Tarkov: Arena. In Shootout, which draws inspiration from Call of Duty’s Gulag, you can spectate intense 2v2 battles, while Teamfight puts two teams of five against each other in a thrilling one-life deathmatch. But how does Arena compare to the original Escape From Tarkov experience?

Escape From Tarkov: Arena - Hands On Impressions | Gamescom 2023