Escape from Tarkov might be known as a hardcore tactical realism shooter game, but people always forget that it is an RPG first. The game progresses always revolves around the weapons, items, gear, and everything you can think about when going to war.
These can be bought with money or be indirectly involved with money. The faster you can earn money and progress; the more significant your advantage is when you fight against other players.
In this guide, you will learn the fastest way to make money after a wipe in Escape from Tarkov. Since there are a lot of variables involved in progressing, we will focus more on the economy and making money fast rather than rushing reputations and leveling up.
You can use these strategies and tips whether it is a few weeks or months after a Tarkov wipe. The best way to make money in Escape from Tarkov is heavily dependent on the market, which has a ton of variables involved. You will have to adjust to these changes depending on the market so that these money-making tips will be more generalized.
What to Do Before the Flea Market
Since it will take a while before you get to unlock the Flea Market, the only way you can make a profit is by selling items to traders. It does not sound as bad, especially if you gain experience and learn which items are more valuable to traders and not the Flea Market.
The best way to make money before unlocking the Flea Market is to grab every item you see and evaluate each item according to their trader value per slot it takes on the inventory.
For example, if you see a Shus that takes three slots on your inventory and is valued at 22,000 Roubles, it is valued at 7,333 Roubles per slot. Getting a Rechargeable Battery that is worth 10,000 Roubles to traders and only takes up one slot is better.
Most of the streamer items like SurvL, Shroud Mask, Pestily’s Plague Mask, and other items are all worth the inventory slot as they are all valuable to traders.
Your main goal is to sell all the useless items not used for quests and hideout upgrades any time soon. If you find a Military Tank Battery and consistently run Reserve, you might as well sell it first since you get the quest much later in the game. Apply this logic to all the future items, and you will get better with each wipe.
Once you accumulate enough money, buy the Scav Junkbox from Therapist. Continue to hoard useful items and store them inside the Scav Junkbox. When it gets full, buy another one.
If you are insanely efficient with your runs, you should have enough money for 3 to 4 Scav Junkboxes before you unlock the Flea Market. The next step is filling them all up with useful items for quests, hideout upgrades, and any excess items to be sold on the Flea Market.
Unlocking the Flea Market
The only way to unlock the Flea Market is by leveling up. You either do quests or kill raiders, PMCs, and a lot of Scavs. The most efficient way is doing quests while doing as much PvP you can. As long as you are winning the raids, it would be best to unlock the Flea Market insanely fast.
It does not matter if you want to make money first. Unlocking the Flea Market will give you more money than you can ever imagine. But, there is a big “if.”
Once you unlock the Flea Market, there are a few things you should know first. When you have unlocked the Flea Market after a wipe, how long did it take you to reach this point?
Since everyone is looking to upgrade their hideout and finish quests to level up, some items are insanely inflated on the Flea Market. The faster you unlock the Flea Market after a wipe, the bigger your profits.
Unlocking the Flea Market during the first two days of a wipe will give you the maximum profit. You are ahead of the curve, and you can be one of the first suppliers in the Flea Market.
Items like Corrugated Hose, Pack of Nails, Pack of Screws, Wires, and a lot of hideout upgrades will be extremely valuable in the Flea Market. The market is heavily dependent on the supply as the demand is almost constant. Keep track of all the items used on the hideout upgrades and check their prices on the Flea Market.
Sell them once they spike up. This is where your Scav Junkboxes come in handy. You can fill them up before you unlock the Flea Market, and you can stockpile as many hideout upgrade items as you can find.
If you do this, you might be wondering how you will get money to buy the Scav Junkboxes in the first place. You get the money from selling bags, armors, useless items, streamer items, and weapons. The strategies will be talked about later in the guide.
What to Do Before Raiding
Since we will focus more on the money-making aspect of the game, these are the things you should remember before going into a raid.
The timeline after a wipe
As mentioned before, the value of each hideout upgrade item depends on how long it has been after a wipe. During the first month (in general, it could be faster), items like Screws, Nails, White Tape, KEK Tape, Car Batteries, and all the early hideout upgrades have insane prices.
When you go inside a raid, you can take these prices into account and choose the map where you want to farm some money. Places like OLI and tech stores in Interchange, factories and stronghold (Reshala spawn) in Customs, and bunkers and buildings in Reserve.
Ignore Shoreline, Woods, and Labs in the early game for money. Only go there for quests or if you have a valuable key in Shoreline.
In general, you can follow the list of items that are going to be valuable for each timeline during the wipe. You can double-check as the market is always hard to predict every wipe, but these are the items you generally hoard. It will also help to know which items to get for each quest as you progress.
Learning things like where to find a Gas Analyzer can alter your routes so you can make money while doing a quest at the same time. These items usually go big on the Flea Market if it does not need to be tagged as “found in raid.”
Literally after a wipe (week 1 and 2)
- Pack of Screws
- Pack of Nails
- Hunting Matches
- Dry Fuel
- Light Bulb
- Corrugated Hoses
- KEKTAPE Duct Tape
- Medical Tools
- TP-200 TNT Brick
- WD-40 40ml
- Pliers Elite
Early wipe (week 3 and 4)
- Electric Drills
- Electric Motor
- Corrugated Hoses
- Light Bulbs
- CPU Fans
- Printed Circuit Boards
- Power Supply Units
- Silicone Tubes
- Spark Plugs
- Radiator Helix
- VPX Module
- Folder with Intelligence
- Bronze Lion
Mid wipe (2-3 months)
- Any late gunsmith weapon attachment not purchasable through traders
- Military Power Filter
- Military Corrugated Tube
- Military COFDM Wireless Signal Transmitter
- Bronze Lion
- Gold Skull Ring
- Roler Submariner Gold Wrist Watch
- Graphics Cards (GPU)
- Folder with Intelligence
- Double-check items listed in early wipe
- Phased Array Element
- Water Filters
- FP-100 Filter Absorber
- Meta attachment weapons
- Meta Weapons
Late wipe (3 months and beyond)
- Graphics Cards
- Folder with Intelligence
- Meta attachment weapons
- Meta Weapons
These items are all highly volatile depending on the market. I suggest checking them first on the Flea Market before figuring out which raid you should go to.
Late game wipe items are usually items or barter items that help you manage your stash better or get you the best weapons and armor for PvP.
For items such as Folder with Intelligence and Moonshines, they are mainly used for people gambling on Scav Cases in their hideout.
If the items listed in weeks 1-4 are still not spiking in prices, you can wait for a little bit until they go up in value. Players need time to unlock the Flea Market to spike the demand for the items.
Tracking valuable keys or items you own
When you enter a raid, you always look for the best items the map can spawn. Some maps have a lot of high-value loot areas, while some are underwhelming. In most cases, valuable keys that cost a ton of money contain high-value loot.
Keys like the Marked Room Custom Key, Ultra Medical Storage Key, KIBA Keys, Reserve Marked Keys, RB-ST Key, Key with Tape, East Wing Room 310 Key, and a ton of other useful keys give a ton of valuable loot.
If ever you find any of these keys, you can run the map that uses the key and do loot runs with it. It really depends on what you want. Acquiring any of the keys mentioned will fetch you a ton of money if you sell them.
You can proceed to buy the key you want and run it until you are either rich or bored.
Browse the Flea Market
Always check the changes on the Flea Market. When items spike in price, they usually sell in seconds. For example, the price of a Pack of Screws can change from 35,000 Roubles to 25,000 Roubles in a second. It can also go from 25,000 to 35,000.
Make sure to check how volatile the item is and you can set your price higher and wait for it to sell. This strategy is useful for the first few weeks of a Tarkov wipe.
Minimizing the value of your loadouts
When you are going for purely money runs, minimize your risk by reducing the cost of your loadouts. Running an MP5, PACA, headset, Rig, MBSS bag, meds, and food during the early wipe is still costly.
You can reduce this even more by using weapons from your Scav runs or a cheap pistol. The ideal cheap loadout for purely looting is running with a headset, pistol, and healing. For your tactical rig and bag, you can take them from killing Scavs.
For food and water, you can loot them while roaming around. You are putting more risk by weakening your loadout. In the end, this is much more efficient if you are a bad, average, or above-average player. You are running raids in quantity and not quality.
Ever heard of the saying “zero to hero runs”? It all comes from here. You can literally run a game with literally just a pistol and end up extracting with 3,000,000 Roubles worth in your inventory. If you min-max all your runs, you should always be profiting.
Day or nighttime raiding
The game does not always fill the servers up when there aren’t that many players playing. If you are looking for loot and have the tools and map knowledge to play in the nighttime, you will encounter fewer players.
Depending on your region, you can also avoid playing during peak hours to reduce competition. If you play around 3 am to 6 am, you might encounter “ghost” servers where there are only two PMCs inside the match.
Eventually, you can familiarize yourself with your region’s perfect time to farm for loot without much PvP going. If you have no choice but to play during peak hours, try nighttime raiding.
Stash management is always important. You would want enough space to fill your stash with everything you need for loadouts. You can actually run maps that may spawn cases like the marked room in Customs.
It is incredibly rare, but you can alter your raids and mix in your loot runs with areas that can spawn cases. Even LEDX loot runs will help you get those THICC cases for better stash management.
Hideout upgrades are almost mandatory in this game. You can easily sustain yourself without buying anything from the Flea Market by crafting everything you need.
You will need to keep track of your upgrades and make sure you are investing in your hideout. Keep track of all the items you need to upgrade each area in your hideout.
Keep crafting bullets and farm the materials you need to keep crafting what you need. You can self-sustain yourself without buying anything overpriced in the Flea Market.
You can alter your runs to farm these items used for crafting. Places like Interchange, Customs, and Reserve can spawn a lot of gunpowders used for ammo crafting.
If you need Graphics Cards for your Bitcoin Farm, you can purely go for GPU runs and go to Interchange.
Best Strategy to Make Money Fast
There are a few types of runs you can do and it depends on what you need, what the Flea Market dictates, and which runs are safer to increase your survival rate.
Mixed PMC and Scav Runs
For the start of the wipe, the best thing to do is to always play PMC. You need to play on your PMC to gain experience points to level up. It will take a while, but your main goal is to unlock the Flea Market as fast as you can.
Unlocking the Flea Market fast cannot be emphasized enough. You will make more money if you are one of the first ones to unlock it. However, you would want to stockpile items mentioned earlier in the guide while maximizing your Scav cooldown as well.
As you might already know, your Scav’s loadout and inventory are completely random. You can literally spawn anything with your Scav. If you check your inventory after spawning in as a Scav, you might even have an Ultra medical storage key or GPU in your inventory.
While you always need to play PMC, your Scav runs should only be limited to Factory. During the early wipe, run your Scav on cooldown in Factory. Once you spawn in, extract as soon as possible in the nearest extraction. Each run, including the loading times, should take less than 3 minutes.
The longer you play on your Scav, the slower your PMC leveling will be. Maximize PMC leveling to get the Flea Market while using Scav runs on cooldown just to get a chance at getting a luxurious item. Even if your Scav does not have anything, you can still extract and sell everything to the vendor.
Remember that your Scav often spawns with broken weapons. You can only sell this to Fence. Once you increase your reputation with Fence later in the game, you will spawn better loadouts and items more frequently as a Scav.
You can even find more common keys that have a ton of value because they are used for quests in the early levels. Keys like Dorm Room 220 Customs, 112W Shoreline key, OLI key, and a ton of common keys all have great value if they are tied to a quest.
Every PMC loot/quest runs you do; your Scav will finish its cooldown. Run Factory and extract. Play PMC and rinse and repeat the whole process.
Early wipe Shoreline jacket runs
There is a popular run in Shorelines where you go and loot all the jackets in the village. Some houses contain three jackets, and the run should total to about more than 25 jackets looted. It is one of the best ways to make money after a wipe, but there is a time limit for this strategy.
The spawns are sometimes unfavorable, but they should be relatively safe since the hotspot is in the middle of the resort. In the early wipe, this can make you extremely rich, but it is somehow based on how lucky you are.
This might only be profitable early in the wipe since some common keys have insane value. Once players start reaching above level 30, the only valuable keys will be the ones that contain the late wipe items mentioned before in the guide.
These jacket runs are profitable even up to the end, but it is one of the most boring runs from experience. You are running for hours and hours going to the villa and extracting. SJ6 should maximize your efficiency if you only have a couple of hours to play.
Quantity over quality
Another good strategy is to play multiple raids and finish it insanely fast. By quantity over quality, it just means that you aren’t looking for the best value per slot in your inventory. You just go inside and loot until your bag is full and extract out.
You will be saving a lot of time from choosing which is the better loot and throwing some items out. Here is a sample scenario.
Set up for an Interchange raid with an Alpha Rig, M32 Headset, and your favorite pistol. You can use any tactical rig with a ton of slots, preferably with two-slot or four-slot spaces.
Go to Interchange and loot places like German, Texho, Techlight, TT, IDEA, OLI, and Goshan. Loot until you fill up your Alpha Rig. Kill a scav with a headshot and extract through the hole in the fence. You can be in and out in under five minutes per run.
Lighthouse can also be great when you use the close extraction points in Path to Shoreline or Mountain Pass (Red Rebel and Paracord required for this). For Lighthouse, you can bring a big and a tactical rig and fill both of them. The survival rate should be much worse compared to Interchange, but there is more loot.