Invisible players run rampant in Escape from Tarkov—'What an absolute circus'

A view from Escape from Tarkov's new map.
(Image credit: battlestate games)

Battlestate Games' Escape from Tarkov has re-introduced a persistent bug with its latest update, one that players can use to appear invisible to others. In a game that, let's be honest, comes down to hiding out and shooting people when they don't see you, the consequences of this are pretty drastic.

The problem has been the subject of various threads, tweets and forum posts since the latest update. "Every raid coming across invisible teammates & enemies," writes That-Hurry-3318.

The majority of player reports say this is happening with scavs, which is one of the two ways players can enter Tarkov's zones (essentially scavs go in with low-tier gear and try to bump off the PMCs who're doing missions), and plenty have noticed it happening with their teammates too. "Just yesterday I was gonna drop a scav homie a tank batt for the quest," writes LowRezDragon, "and he said 'Lemme heal up my thorax real quick,' started healing and just vanished."

Here's an example of the bug in action, with this player realising he was invisible and testing out whether another could see or hear him.

I especially enjoyed the target player's instant response to the invisibility: "That's fucked." You can find other examples of the glitch all over social media.

"What an absolute circus," writes Comprehensive_Fee_23. "My first raid since the update and my duo can't see me. We end up fighting off spawn on shoreline against another duo and I drop both of them but their bodies are invisible. I spent 25 minutes looking for the bodies knowing 100% that I killed them, nowhere to be found."

This is obviously not great, but developer Battlestate Games has thus far stayed quiet on the issue. It did drop a hotfix four days ago that "fixed the visual bug on Streets of Tarkov," but that doesn't appear to have been the invisibility bug. I've reached out for comment and will update with any response.

Still, at least some PMCs are able to maintain a sense of humour in these trying times. "I haven’t seen any of these 'invisible' Tarkov players," said PistolPetePR. "I’ve died to them, but I’ve never seen ‘em."

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."