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Escape from Tarkov: What is the hardcore mode and what are the rules?

Published: 12:21, 30 May 2022
Battlestate Games
Players cannot play with non-hardcore players
Players cannot play with non-hardcore players

If you're an experienced Tarkov player and get fed up with doing the same old every wipe, you might want to try this brutal challenge.

Hardcore Tarkov mode is an unofficial self-restricted mode popular among the Tarkov community, played by experienced players and some of the most famous Tarkov streams like Pestily. Hardcore mode rules change with time, as the mode is currently in its fifth season.

It is a brutal and challenging way to play an already difficult enough game. But for players who have done the same quests and run many wipes in a row can be engaging, and at times, a fun experience.

Here is the list of rules from the ongoing Hardcore mode season 5: 

  1. Players cannot do Scav runs.
  2. Flea Market can't be used for anything.
  3. Players cannot purchase equipment from Traders.
  4. Players are however allowed to barter for equipment.
  5. Secure containers can only be used for keys and post-raid money management.
  6. In-raid and task money can be used to purchase armor repairs or any container.
  7. In-raid and task dollars can be used to complete missions.
  8. Mission-specific items can be bought using in-raid money.
  9. Terragroup labs can be entered with the use of a key with no limitations.
  10. Players can only play with other Hardcore players but not regular ones.
  11. You can have no assistance from friends/communities in raids.

Three rules were added later:

  • Money obtained from leveling Dealer Reputations will no longer be deleted. It will now be stored and used for Hideout Upgrades that require money. You can exchange rubles, dollars, or euros however you see fit but you can NOT use the money to purchase items from the Flea market to upgrade your hideout.
  • Items required for hideout upgrades must be either crafted in the hideout or found in the raid. 
  • You can craft in the hideout.

If you're starting the challenge later in the wipe, you must reset your account first and start the challenge with your starter pack.

Have fun but take note that this is an unofficial mode that will not reward the players with achievements, badges, or anything whatsoever. There are however active communities on Reddit, Discord, and the official EFT forum of players who are currently playing the hardcore mode., so you can show off your progress there.

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