KEY POINTS

  • Weapons vary greatly in terms of base performance and mod compatibility
  • Ammunition is more important when looking for an upgrade to lethality
  • Even cheap weapons can be very effective in taking down armored targets

The early game arms race at the beginning of every wipe in “Escape from Tarkov” often sees players scrambling to get their hands on the best guns and gear possible, though the distinct lack of cash and other resources tend to cause problems.

New players who join mid-wipe are usually at a disadvantage in terms of gear. With seemingly weak equipment at their disposal, things can be a bit rough. However, not every weapon at the beginning of the game is as bad as many players think. Consider using these four guns when starting out in “Escape from Tarkov.

PP-91-01 Vityaz

This 9x19mm SMG is a solid and reliable weapon that can carry many players through the early game with relative ease. Like many SMGs, the PP-19-01 Vityaz has very low recoil, decent Ergonomics and access to plenty of ammo.

This weapon is mostly useful against Scavs and players with low-tier armor but it can still be used to great effect when loaded with the right ammo. AP rounds can offer some penetration against some mid-tier vests and HP rounds can yield some good results when aiming for the arms, stomach and legs.

AKM/AK74

The ever-present AK platform is one of the most abundant guns in the game. Despite this, their effectiveness should not be underestimated.

A cheap and effective build for the AK74 in Escape From Tarkov A cheap and effective build for the AK74 in Escape From Tarkov Photo: Escape From Tarkov

A well-built AK can serve players well even until the later stages of the game thanks to their good base stats and high min-max potential. Even the most basic AKM or AK74 can be modded into a late-game powerhouse thanks to the sheer number of aftermarket parts that players can buy.

Good 5.45x39mm ammo is also relatively easy to find, while almost all 7.62x39mm rounds are great for all situations.

SKS

Perhaps the most cost-effective of all early weapons, the SKS can pack a mean punch straight out of the box.

Apart from being cheap at vendors and plentiful in raids, the SKS is also chambered in 7.62x39mm, which is an extremely potent round for close-mid range. High-quality armor-piercing variants of this ammo type can be found almost everywhere, and they’re relatively cheap as well. Despite being a semi-automatic rifle, this weapon can be easily spam-fired for close-range encounters.

This weapon can be modded even further for added handling speed, compatibility with a multitude of scopes and even detachable magazine options to replace the built-in box magazine for faster reloading.