The multiplayer FPS Escape from Tarkov went into alpha testing in 2016, and moved into beta—which is still ongoing—a year later. And now, six years after that, developer Battlestate Games is working on a new feature that has the community a-tingle with excitement: vaulting.
Vaulting in videogames is simply the act of quickly clambering over low-lying obstacles in a videogame: A fence, a table, a gate, or whatever. So, y'know, vaulting over things. Hence the name. It enables players to get around objects quickly and maintain forward momentum even in cluttered areas, and importantly it also looks cool. It's a common traversal method in games, but not universal: Some games support it and some do not.
Tarkov is one that does not, but that's changing. In a livestream earlier today, Battlestate Games revealed that vaulting in Escape from Tarkov is now in playtesting and showed off some gameplay clips demonstrating the new move in action. There's no indication as to when the feature will be rolled out, but to my eye it looks pretty well along already.
"This is HUGE," Dmitri Ogorodnikov, Battlestate's public relations head, tweeted.
Vaulting#EscapefromTarkov pic.twitter.com/cmJr0AOstKNovember 14, 2023
My initial reaction to Ogorodnikov's tweet was dubious, to say the least. It's nice, sure, but huge? Seems like something of an oversell to me. A couple of early responses made me wonder if maybe it was all an in-joke, and that Ogorodnikov were just having a little fun with it. Does this sound like a genuine compliment to you?
And yet the further I read, the more convinced I became that people are indeed fired up for the new move. Battlestate's tweet about it has racked up more than 5,000 likes—far more than any other tweet to emerge from today's livestream—and while there are specific criticisms of the vaulting implementation, players are legitimately excited for its arrival.
There's a similar response on Reddit. The conversation there is deeper and more critical of specific elements of the new move, and yes, there is sarcasm to be seen, but people are talking about it with real enthusiasm.
"Not gonna lie, this is one of the things I've been looking forward to most on the roadmap, even if it's relatively simplistic seeming," kentrak wrote. "It just makes things feel so much smoother when it works.
"Depending on how it works out in practice, I wouldn't mind them reducing jump height quite a bit, or making weight play a much bigger factor in how high you can jump. If vaulting/climbing works for 90+% of the situations you would need to jump, then there's not really a huge loss IMO."
As someone who doesn't play Escape from Tarkov, I'm in a position where I can enjoy both reactions to the news: The zings are fun, but I also like the fact the Tarkov community is so sincerely engaged with confirmation that vaulting is on the way. I'm still not entirely convinced that it's "huge," but for players, it's clearly a pretty big deal.