The main road in Streets of Tarkov
Image via Battlestate Games

Escape from Tarkov: Best Ways to Make Money

Getting money fast in Escape from Tarkov makes the hardcore experience much more comfortable.

The saying goes that making money is easy in Escape from Tarkov, but losing it is easier. Knowing how to make money efficiently will ensure your PMC is always geared to the gills, and dying a few times doesn’t completely empty your wallet.

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The Best Ways to Make More Money in Escape from Tarkov

Scav selection menu in Escape from Tarkov
Screenshot by GameSkinny

In my experience, there are five main ways to make money easily in Tarkov. However, there are two schools of thought when it comes to actually doing so. The first is to learn a money-making route you can do consistently and survive. The second is to fill your backpack with everything you can find that has a single-cell value of around 10,000 rubles and then put it all on the Flea Market.

Both of these methods are predicated on surviving your raids. And while that’s the first and most important thing to do no matter how you play Tarkov, they aren’t the only ones.

Scav Early, Scav Often

Playing as your Scav, a separate character not tied to PMC and quest progression that starts with random gear, is the best way to make money in Escape from Tarkov, bar none. You lose nothing but time if they die, and everything they take out of a raid is pure profit. Even if all you do is spawn in with your Scav and immediately leave, you’ll come out with more than you had previously.

However, to get the most out of a Scav run, there are two important things you need to do:

  • Stick to nighttime raids. Nighttime raids are a looting Scav’s paradise. There are often fewer PMCs to threaten you. In my experience, this also means there’s more loot to go around. You don’t have to stick to the high-traffic areas, though you certainly can, as they’re likely less contested when it’s dark out. The best Scav maps are Streets of Tarkov (provided you can run it), Lighthouse (whether you farm the Rogues or not), and Reserve. However, Interchange can also be a good money maker if you don’t mind leaving with a grocery store in your pack.
  • Loot everything, especially filing cabinets. Filing cabinets are the hidden treasure of Tarkov loot runs. They have a fantastic loot pool, offering the possibility of high-value keys and barter items, and are almost never looted, even by other Scavs. On maps like Streets and Reserve, where there are literally dozens of cabinets to search, you can easily fill even the biggest backpacks in just a few minutes without contesting more dangerous areas.

Always Check a Loot Location

I can’t stress enough how important it is to always, always check loot location even if it looks like someone’s already been through. If I had a dime for every time I’ve gone through somewhere that looks like it’s been picked clean only to come out way ahead, I’d have a lot of actual dimes. You do need to temper your expectations if you’re arriving late in a raid, though. Player Scavs will likely have already picked through the best stuff. But even then, I’ve almost always managed to find something worthwhile in the barest apparent loot desert.

Learn the High-Traffic Areas and Avoid Them

To make money, you need to survive. Unless you’re confident in your PvP abilities, it’s always safer to loot everywhere where other players aren’t. The best loot maps have so much on them that even the out-of-the-way spots are liable to have at least a few dozen items of value. Sure, they aren’t going to make you instantly rich, but with a bit of patience, care, and luck, you can easily fill your backpack with more than enough to pay for several PMC loadouts.

The biggest catch to this strategy is the learning process. True to Tarkov form, the curve here is steep. The best way to learn maps is by running them on your Scav and seeing where many of the AI Scavs congregate. Listen for the sounds of gunfire and head over to the are where it seems to come from. If you’ve spawned in early, say 10 to 15 minutes after the raid starts (press “O” by default to check the time), odds are those shots are somewhere you can find some good loot.

Prioritize Looting Over Questing and Vice Versa

Unless you’re a W-key chad who can quest and loot at the same time, one of the best pieces of advice I can give to making money in Escape from Tarkov is to split your raids into two types: questing and money-making. For questing, you bring your best gear and play primarily for quest items and objectives. For loot runs, your goal is simple: ignore any tasks you have and focus on gathering as much loot as you can carry.

The hardest part of separating the two types of raids comes if your looting route overlaps with a quest item or objective. Some of that will depend on the spawn you get, but I highly recommend isolating yourself mentally between the two types of raids. Going out of your way to complete a quest step and dying with a bag full of profits is the worst feeling. So, you know, don’t do it.

Play with a Group

While I know playing with teammates isn’t possible for everyone, it’s invaluable if making money is your goal. Sure, playing with others effectively splits the loot, but if one of you survives and carries out your teammate’s weapon, armor, and rig, that’s likely hundreds of thousands of rubles you don’t need to spend. The same is true if they ditch your stuff for you so you can get it back in insurance.

While this method doesn’t necessarily make you any money, it’s a cost-saving measure. Put another way, one of the best ways to always have money is to not spend it. You’re bound to survive at least a few raids if you have one or two extra sets of eyes and ears to help you play. If you aren’t spending 500k or more to regear with every death, you’ve essentially made most of your investment back.

The last big tip I have for making money in Tarkov is a simple one that doesn’t take much explanation. If it’s worth something, sell it. Keep selling until you’re comfortable with the size of your bank account. Hoarding items you say you’ll have a use for someday is just money burning a hole in your stash. Odds are, unless you’re holding onto an incredibly valuable item (say, 100,000+ on the Flea Market), you’re probably going to find another several dozen as long as you raid consistently. So, if something is worth 10,000 rubles and you don’t have an immediate use for it, sell it. You’ll be glad you did.

Those are my five (plus a little extra) best tips for making money fast in Escape from Tarkov. As with anything in the game, you need to survive, but that almost goes without saying. We’ve covered other EFT topics in our guides hub.

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John Schutt
John Schutt has been playing games for almost 25 years, starting with Super Mario 64 and progressing to every genre under the sun. He spent almost 4 years writing for strategy and satire site TopTierTactics under the moniker Xiant, and somehow managed to find time to get an MFA in Creative Writing in between all the gaming. His specialty is action games, but his first love will always be the RPG. Oh, and his avatar is, was, and will always be a squirrel, a trend he's carried as long as he's had a Steam account, and for some time before that.