Escape from Tarkov Arena will be a new 'standalone' FPS

Escape from Tarkov developer Battlestate Games announced on Friday that the arena mode players have been expecting is a "standalone game project."

Called Escape from Tarkov Arena, the spin-off will play like the existing Escape from Tarkov game, says the studio, but rather than high-stakes looting and extraction, it will center on "gladiatorial" combat in arenas situated throughout the city of Tarkov.

It's easy enough to grok the concept: People like Escape from Tarkov, so let's see if its shooting works in a different, more condensed format.

It's not just a deathmatch game, though. Battlestate says that Arena will include both PvP and PvE modes, a progression system with "weapon and gear unlocks," and the option for owners of Escape from Tarkov to play as their main profile characters.

New and existing owners of Escape from Tarkov's $140 Edge of Darkness pack are promised free access to all future DLC, and this will count, so they'll get it at no additional charge. For owners of the other Escape from Tarkov editions, Arena will be paid DLC. It will also be available as a standalone game, Battlestate says.

"Escape from Tarkov Arena is a standalone game project," the studio wrote, "a session-based multiplayer first-person shooter for PC with all the known and beloved hardcore game mechanics of Escape from Tarkov."

The distinction is somewhat muddy, especially when you take into account that Escape From Tarkov technically hasn't "released" yet, and so Edge of Darkness and the other editions are still advertised as "preorders." So, you can "preorder" a game (which you can play now), and with your preorder get an upcoming spin-off of that game as DLC (but it's a standalone game), likely before the original game has technically released. That's just videogames in 2022. It's best to just accept it and carry on. The point here is that it's clearly more than just a new mode.

Battlestate hasn't said how much Escape from Tarkov Arena will cost if purchased as DLC or a standalone game, but it won't be out for a little while yet. Closed beta testing is scheduled to start this fall.

Tyler Wilde
Executive Editor

Tyler grew up in Silicon Valley during the '80s and '90s, playing games like Zork and Arkanoid on early PCs. He was later captivated by Myst, SimCity, Civilization, Command & Conquer, all the shooters they call "boomer shooters" now, and PS1 classic Bushido Blade (that's right: he had Bleem!). Tyler joined PC Gamer in 2011, and today he's focused on the site's news coverage. His hobbies include amateur boxing and adding to his 1,200-plus hours in Rocket League.