Escape from Tarkov: Should you choose BEAR or USEC?

Published: 15:42, 14 June 2022
Updated: 15:43, 14 June 2022
Battlestate Games
Which faction should you choose?
Which faction should you choose?

A lot of new players have been asking this question when first starting Escape from Tarkov. Here is what you need to know before deciding.

 Each wipe, every Escape from Tarkov player has to choose between two (PMC) factions for his main player: BEARs or USECs.

BEAR stands for The Battle Encounter Assault Regiment (BEAR), and they are a private military company that is employed by the Norvinsk region officials to uncover any evidence of the Terra Group's illicit activities.

USEC stands for United Security, and they are an offshore-established private military company that is employed by Terra Group Labs as a security subcontractor.

Differences between the two factions are not related to gameplay or skills, so by choosing one or the other, the player will not be better trained, or put an advantage/disadvantage in any way in terms of skills, health, and endurance.

The first obvious difference is in the language your character speaks,  the BEARs speak in Russian while USECs in English. Character voice and language are used in-game when giving commands to your teammates. 

Battlestate Games Bear faction look

Before the introduction of VOIP, using your character's commands in a firefight used to be the only way to communicate with other players on the map, so having English-speaking lines had meaning either for arranging peace or for comedic effects. With VOIP,  the language doesn't matter that much in the end apart from what you yourself like to hear.

As for the starting gear, it differs slightly as Bears get AKs while USECs get stock M4. The differences are not that huge, and you'll probably burn through the starting gear within a couple of raids.

  Reasons to choose the USEC faction

The first and most obvious reason is you will not get attacked by new A.I. enemies: Rogues, as they are ex-USEC themselves. Having safe passage on Lighthouse and in other maps during the Events can benefit players a lot, especially during the first weeks of wipe when you are going against Rogues with inferior weapons.

Rogues will still attack you if you provoke them,  come too close, or if you're running in a squad with 1 or more BEAR players, so keep that in mind.

USECs have better default camouflage, which blends better with the background compared to the BEAR starting outfits that are a bit too dark and stand out on some maps. This is strictly for the beginning of the wipe, as you can unlock similar outfits later as a BEAR.

USECs starting gear usually has a bigger value on the market, although the difference is not something you will benefit greatly from.

  Reasons to choose the BEAR faction

The main reason to choose the BEAR is having a cakewalk for quests and missions that require you to kill the other faction. The current balance of players choosing between factions is heavily on the side of USECs, so when you get a Shooter born in Heaven quest to kill a couple of USECs, it will be a lot easier as most players you encounter will be USECs. 

This was really obvious this wipe when most people chose USEC because of the Rogues, leaving them stuck on certain quests as if took them a long time to find BEARs to kill.

The only downside to being a faction minority is that you can get hunted across the map by USEC players who are doing some kill BEARs quest.

As we mentioned that BEARs speak Russian, just like SCAVs, so you can pass as Scav sometimes and gain an advantage or safe passage by fooling other PMC players. The lines spoken between the two are not the same of course, but to a non-Russian speaker, they will sound similar enough. 

There are countless videos on Youtube of players using Russian lines to fool other players into thinking they are A.I. Scavs.

In the end, the choice is yours. We suggest playing two different wipes with two different factions and see which one suits you better. If were to wage, we would choose BEAR for the sole reason of having more USEC PMCs to kill for certain missions.

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