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Escape From Tarkov has a lot in store for players, such as an offline co-op mode and a standalone shooter.

Things are heating up for Escape From Tarkov. Battlestate Games just announced Escape From Tarkov Arena, a standalone game set to feature more traditional-based multiplayer PvP sessions, and the “hardcore mechanics” players have come to love EFT. This new “standalone game project” will sport a familiar feel to fans. It’ll place players in gladiatorial-like battles organized by a mysterious group of Arena Masters led by the Host.

As if that wasn’t enough content, Battlestate Games will add a more subtle version of co-op, in which you can plan your actions before actually jumping into a live raid. Besides EFT Arena, offline co-op is also coming and will allow players to test the weapons they bought from theTarkov market, experiment, team up, or fight against each other.

How Does EFT Arena Work?

Rather than the raid-based gameplay we’re familiar with in Escape From Tarkov, Arena will be based around more action-packed PvP matches – you’ll recognize this if you’ve played any other FPS games been released in the past decade or so. The setting will still be in the fictional city of Tarkov, but this time a group called “The Arena Master” will organize these battles as a spectator sport.

According to Battlestate Games, EFT Arena will feature Tarkov items (weapon and gear unlocks), PvP and PvE modes, and the ability to play as your character from the main game. Based on the announcement teaser they’ve shown, the arena looks dystopian. There’s a large airport concourse area with combat training structures set up along the hallways and floors, as well as what looks to be heavily modified airliner hulls with plywood and tire barricades to create bits of concealment.

A Standalone Title

Since Arena will be a standalone game, you’re not required to own the original Escape From Tarkov to play it. However, for anyone who already owns EFT’s  $140 Edge of Darkness pack, Arena will be available at no extra cost. The prices haven’t been confirmed yet, but we have news that it’ll begin closed tests in Q3 or Autumn 2022.

The distinction between the two games is somewhat muddy, especially when Escape From Tarkov hasn’t been “released” yet from a technical standpoint. In a way, the Edge of Darkness pack and the other editions available for purchase are stated as “preorders.” You can basically “preorder” a game that you can play now and get an upcoming spin-off of that preordered game as a DLC (despite being a standalone game), likely before the original game has technically been released. Ah yes, video games in 2022 in a nutshell.

Offline Co-Op is Coming

Escape From Tarkov is about to get an offline co-op mode, but there’s a catch: it’ll only be available for those who bought that ludicrously expensive Edge of Darkness pack we were talking about earlier – at least for the time being.

The new feature made its debut on June 9 during the Tarkov TV Twitch stream, where Nikita Buyanov, the COO of Battlestate Games, noted that offline co-op for EFT would be entering its testing phase soon for those who’ve picked up the most expensive edition of the game. EFT’s offline co-op mode will allow dozens or so of players to come together in one server and take on Scavs and their bosses in an offline setting. According to Buyanov, this will help players learn how to play in groups while defeating enemy forces, and there will be options to spawn as groups of 11 people.

Buyanov also noted that while Battlestate will exclusively lock the mode for EoD players, this may change in the future. The offline co-op version might become available for everyone – yes, that includes owners of the other cheaper editions for EFT too. But given that the mode has to undergo various testing iterations, don’t expect that to change anytime soon. Currently, the game mode is only available to solo players, with no option to invite other players.

More Content Incoming

The Tarkov TV Twitch stream on June 9 also highlighted several changes coming to EFT, such as the nightvision rework. Plus, as of the next patch, Fence will start giving player scavs daily tasks to complete on their raids and get Tarkov items unavailable in the Tarkov market.

By Hemant Kumar

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