Escape from Tarkov Scav Runs and Everything You Need to Know

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Escape from Tarkov Scav Runs and Everything You Need to Know

We explain Escape from Tarkov Scav Runs. What do they do, what do you get out of them, and most importantly how you can execute them without any hiccups


To many players, Scavs are just soulless AI wandering through the various maps of Escape from Tarkov. They're either barely a threat at all or have the aim and foresight of the Terminator. You never know what you'll get when you go up against them, even worse when you're up against a player Scav.

But if you go out as a Scav yourself, it's a different experience from your PMC adventures. Suddenly most of the map doesn't want to kill you and you can loot what your heart desires. The only downside is you can't complete quests or gain experience points. But it's still pretty good if you're just looking for resources or want to get some other things done.

So without further ado, here is a quick rundown of everything you need to know about Scavs.

Escape from Tarkov Scav Explained

Player Scav runs could be explained as the casual raiding experience. You spawn into an ongoing raid with a random kit and you're left to your own devices. Since you don't have to worry about the AI and most PMCs tend to leave halfway through the raid, you'll have the leftovers for yourself.

Playing as a Scav is a great way to learn maps you haven't explored yet or an easy, noncommittal way to gather some resources. Especially in the early goings of your progressions, they are invaluable if you're looking for resources to build out your hideout or get a kit for the next raid.

Even if you don't think you need them, you should still do them just for the sake of increasing your reputation with Fence which will lead to more opportunities.

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Since the Scav Karma system was implemented, players are now encouraged to team up and leave their fellow Scavs in peace. It's also a great way to raise your reputation with Fence who's notoriously difficulty to get along with.

Scav Karma Explained

Scav Karma can be checked under Fence's reputation and it dictates the way AI Scav's behave around your player Scav. Depending on your level, your fee for car extractions will be greatly reduced, Scav case loot at your hideout might be a lot more profitable and Scavs and bosses might even offer their support when battling PMCs.

The most important rule as a player Scav is, don't kill your fellow Scavs. Doing so will trigger all the others to go after you and your Karma will drop rapidly. But you can also raise it by the same token. Killing PMCs using the co-op extracts and hunting traitors are excellent ways to get your reputation up.

Scav Tasks Explained

Once you've built an Intelligence Center you gain access to Scav Tasks from Fence. These are randomized tasks you have to complete on a player Scav. They usually range from killing PMCs, collecting certain items, or extracting on specific maps. They are a great way to raise both Karma and Reputation and should be done as often as possible.

Scav Run Tips

As a player Scav, you spawn with a random inventory. The first thing you want to do before heading into potential danger is check your pockets. It's a bust most of the time but I've spawned with Lab Keycards, flares, and other goodies more often than I'd like to admit.

You also want to learn the wiggle. An ancient ritual that Scavs use to nonverbally communicate their intentions. Simply press Q and E a bunch of times to indicate you're friendly and you mean no harm. It won't save you from a rogue Scav out for blood, but you get to be extra disappointed in your Scav brethren.

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The next thing you want to master is the Scav mating call. Simply press F1 so your Scav will say something, most likely obscene in Russian. This is a great way to move around the map and inform your fellow player Scavs that there is no imminent danger.

If it isn't a Scav, try talking. Offering PMCs to take them to the Co-op exit can work especially in the early goings of the wipe. Just don't expect them to be friendly. Scav lives go for next to nothing these days and I wouldn't put too much stock in your fellow Tarkovians.

Lastly, you want to think of Scav Runs as if you're going shopping. You're not gonna get any pickings off high loot areas, since you'll spawn in after the PMCs. Your best bet it go after stashes hidden by Jaeger around most maps and pick through the leftovers. Early in the wipe, players tend to ignore these and focus on questing.

There is also the Air drop which will come in at the later part of a raid. By then, most PMCs have already exfiltrated or left the mortal realm, and it's mostly Scavs fighting for scraps. The airdrop will be one of several types and depending on which one drops, you might be able to get something really valuable.

And that's everything we got on Scavs in Escape from Tarkov. Just be kind to your fellow Scavs and believe in the humanity of other players. But you get to shoot these little loot goblins as a PMC so don't get too attached.

For more on Escape from Tarkov, check out our guide to the new Ground Zero map, our interview with lead game developer Nikita, and our guide to the Hideout. And for even more on EFT and the new wipe, stick with us here on ESTNN

Escape from Tarkov Scav Runs and Everything You Need to Know
Timo Reinecke
Has once claimed that FSH is the only job in FFXIV worth playing and stands by that firmly. Top Guy, Smart Guy, Educated Speaker. (sometimes) Writer of all things FFXIV, FGC, News, Reviews and More