Escape From Tarkov closed beta testing begins next month

Escape From Tarkov, the Stalker-esque online shooter that we said last year is "taking gun customization to absurd heights," will begin closed beta testing in July, developer Battlestate Games announced today. The beta will be open to anyone who owns a preorder edition of the game, no matter when it was purchased, and will see the rollout of numerous new features, a new location, and "major performance optimizations." 

The closed beta will include four locations—Customs, Woods, Factory, and the new Shoreline—plus a new merchant, Peacemaker, who will offer Western weapons and gear, barter loot, medicine, and other items for players to buy, sell, and trade. New weapon customization parts and ammo types are coming, including the MP5 SMG, and there will also be a new "insurance system" added that, "for a small amount of in-game currency," will give players a chance to retain their gear when they're taken down. 

"The Battlestate team has dedicated a great deal of time to the optimization of animation systems, equipment, and internal system modules—all of which have seen adjustments and improvements," the studio said. "Also in preparation for the closed beta test launch, the game's been updated to make use of the current version of Unity Engine, allowing Escape from Tarkov to take full use of DX11 and other optimizations offered by the engine." 

We got some hands-on time with the Escape From Tarkov Alpha in April, and it sounds like a blast: A harsh, unforgiving, and utterly murderous blast, yes, but if that's what you're after then you'll probably want to give it a look—something you can do more closely at

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.