Escape From Tarkov has alienated its entire community over broken promises and new pay-to-win mechanics (UPDATE)

Dollar sign imposed on Tarkov title screen
(Image credit: Battlestate Games edited by Michael Hoglund)

What you need to know

  • Created by Battlestate Games, Escape from Tarkov is a tactical first-person shooter that popularized the extraction shooter game mode.
  • After removing the Edge of Darkness edition in early 2024, Battlestate has added the Unheard Edition.
  • This edition costs an additional $100, for a total of $250, and includes more pay-to-win mechanics than the previous editions.
  • It also includes an exclusive DLC. All future DLC was originally promised to Edge of Darkness Edition owners.
  • Edge of Darkness owners do not have access to this DLC.

Update, 1:53 PM EST: 

Earlier this morning, in response to the player outcry against the Unheard Edition and the lack of DLC for Edge of Darkness Edition owners, Battlestate Games made a Reddit post detailing a list of added features coming to EoD:

Hello, Tarkov citizens!

To honor the owners of the EOD version and their indelible importance and role in the EFT universe, we plan to add the following new unique features to the EOD edition:

  • Faster return of insured items.
  • Increased personal trader buying limits by 20%.
  • Increased basic PMC karma (when it's be implemented).
  • Access to unique hideout craft.
  • Increased basic charisma skill.
  • A special quest line with increased pockets side as a reward.
  • Ability to skip two daily quests per day free of charge.
  • Unique dog tag.
  • Unique armband.
  • Unique set of clothing.
  • Unique "Legacy" device.
  • High-priority matching for EOD owners for 6 months.
  • Access to offline PVE for EOD owners for 6 months.

We will provide those changes and additions as fast as possible.

Temporary access to PVE will be provided as soon as we will reinforce server infrastructure of that particular gamemode for a wider audience, because we use totally different servers for that and now there is a really limited amount of them.

Have you ever heard of "stirring up the hornet's nest"? The community is even more upset over this, and rightfully so. The update doesn't address the original issue, and it hits three significant grievances in total.

First, they're only adding a time-limited mode for the DLC, which needs to address the permanent access that was initially promised to the Edge of Darkness Edition owner. Second, they're adding more pay-to-win features to the game with daily quest skips, bonus skill boosts, etc. Third, this almost all but confirms that streamers have been using a special limited queue to load into games. Something the community has theorized and been upset about for quite some time.

Escape from Tarkov players can't catch a break. In response to this post, thousands of comments have been made calling out the update. 

Dude. Wdym "6 months," are you joking? Give us PERMANENT access to the DLC you PROMISED us you would.


This is just more pay-to-win stuff, not what we wanted; stop adding random pay-to-win features, and monetize your game cosmetically if you're bleeding funds. Your game is great; stop ruining it.


We'll keep the situation updated as it unfolds. So far, it looks like I called it below when I mentioned things would get worse before they got better. At this point, I'm questioning if they will get better at all.

Original story:

Escape from Tarkov is a tactical first-person shooter, the original pioneer of the ever-popular extraction game mode, and original tester of PCs. Players risk their hard-earned loot every time they choose to load into a map. Die, lose it all. Survive, and you might make out like a king. Even Call of Duty has tried to capture some of its magic with their DMZ mode.

This high-risk, high-reward game style made Escape from Tarkov ever-popular in 2017 and beyond. Since its inception, Tarkov has garnered a massive following of fans, both giga-chads and casuals alike. It's one of the top games streamed on Twitch annually, too.

Now, the Tarkov community is ticked off, and rightfully so. After removing their previous highest tier, the Edge of Darkness Edition, in January, Battlestate Games has added a new tier that costs $100 more. In its place, the Unheard Edition, launched on April 24, is available on the Escape from Tarkov website. For $250, players get access to the following features:

I wish I never heard of the Unheard Edition. (Image credit: Battlestate Games)
  • Guaranteed instant access to closed beta
  • Digital copy preload
  • Access to PvE co-op mode with persistent progression. Progression will not be reset with wipes.
  • Enhanced stash size (10x72)
  • Unique in-game ID
  • Expanded PMC pockets
  • Increased Fence standing
  • More slots on the Flea Market
  • Unique in-game melee weapon
  • Increased mail retention time
  • Additional background screen option
  • Free access to all subsequent DLCs (Season pass)
  • Access to the Early Test Server (ETS)

I miss the original Tarkov already. (Image credit: Battlestate Games)

Now, Tarkov is no stranger to pay-to-win mechanics. The more you pay, the more access you have to starting gear, a larger stash, and bigger gamma containers. On top of everything I listed, they're adding even more content that's locked behind this oh-so-cheap $250 edition.

  • The item is equipped in a special slot.
  • The item gives a 50% discount when using cash services in raids.
  • Insured equipment returns 30% faster.
  • With 6+ Fence reputation, Scavs won't shoot first at ranges over 60 meters away.
  • Unique item "Distress signal device":
    • When the item is activated, it produces a bright flash as well as a loud sound signal.
    • Once activated, all players on your friends list will receive a notification that they can join your raid to help you.

I'm physically laughing while reading this. Not only are Battlestate Games adding an item that grants cheaper services and disables enemy combat over 60 meters, but they've also added a distress beacon to call for help. That's right, for a few hundred dollars, players get the added advantage of being able to literally phone a friend for assistance. It's Who Wants to be a Millionaire, but you have to start as one first.

You'd think that alone would be enough to warrant players' outrage, but that's not even the worst part. Well, not for me, at least. As someone who bought the now-defunct Edge of Darkness Edition in 2015, years before the Alpha launched, I'm outraged over something else.

You probably already noticed the added game mode I listed, "Access to PvE co-op mode with persistent progression. Progression will not be reset with wipes." There's a problem; The Edge of Darkness Edition was promised all future DLC. Guess who's not getting this DLC? 

Toward the bottom you can see the statement regarding all future DLC for the Edge of Darkness Edition. (Image credit: Battlestate Games)

It's a complete fumble by Battlestate Games. Edge of Darkness owners, who were promised all future DLC, are now being denied access to this new mode. This is beyond understanding. If you're an Edge of Darkness Edition owner like myself, you're being forced to spend an additional $100 to upgrade to the Unheard Edition just to gain access. This needs to be resolved.

Here are some comments from Reddit over the issue:

I personally bought it in 2017, with many others, of course. But I have a feeling that I have helped the devs to make the game where it is and gained huge masses of new players due to our early support. [The] game was nothing like it is today back then. I feel totally cheated on.


EOD was advertised for years to include all subsequent DLC and updates. Removing this feature of EoD is false advertisement, and illegal in US, UK, and Canada.. I'd imagine BSG is working on back walking this already, when they started receiving legal notices...


This is where I make a claim against their company for false advertising. I want my 140 back. I don't want this for free.


You'd think that would be the end of the rage, but it's not. Battlestate Games, in the pinnacle of disdain against them, advertised a competing game. Reddit has even caught them changing their pages retroactively in an attempt to cover their tracks. This whole situation is going to get so much worse before it gets better.

How do you feel about all this? Let us know below or somewhere on social media. If you want an alternative game, keep an eye on Grey Zone Warfare and Arena Breakout: Infinite. I know I will be.

Michael Hoglund

Michael has been gaming since he was five when his mother first bought a Super Nintendo from Blockbuster. Having written for a now-defunct website in the past, he's joined Windows Central as a contributor to spreading his 30+ years of love for gaming with everyone he can. His favorites include Red Dead Redemption, all the way to the controversial Dark Souls 2.