What is the Story of Escape From Tarkov? Full Lore and Story Explained

What was once a bustling city is now roamed by rivaling scavenger gangs, former private military forces, and black ops units...

by Matthew Kevin Mitchell

Are you wondering what the story of Escape from Tarkov is? We don’t blame you because once you are dropped into the streets of Tarkov and begin completing faction quests, you realize there is more to the game than its shooter looter tag. If you are like us, you want to know why you are completing these missions and the overarching story but have no idea where to start. Don’t worry, though. We have compiled all of the information you will need to have the full lore and story of Escape from Tarkov explained, plus how you can dig even deeper into it.

What is the Story of Escape From Tarkov? Full Lore and Story Explained


Escape from Tarkov takes place in the fictional city of Tarkov, the capital of the Norvinsk Special Economic Zone in Northwestern Russia. The Special Economic Zone of Norvinsk acts as the economic bridge between Europe and Russia. The game’s events occur between 2015 and 2016 and show the collapse of society and the rise of warring factions in Tarkov.

You can choose from two primary factions, or private military companies, in the game: the United Security (USEC) and the Battle Encounter Assault Regiment (BEAR). The USEC is a Western company employed by an international corporation called TerraGroup to help cover up their illegal activities in Tarkov. BEAR is an organization created by the Russian government to investigate the activities of the USEC and TerraGroup. A third faction, Scavs, are the AI-controlled locals of Tarkov that have taken advantage of the downfall of their once beloved city.

Expanded Escape from Tarkov Lore and Story


If you would like to dig even further into the alternate universe that Escape from Tarkov has created, then you should check out their book series. The first book is called Predator and was written by Alexander Kontorovich. In it, we follow the life of a Scav as he sees residents’ lives changing from their normal everyday lives to the biggest beast of the concrete jungle, himself included. You can purchase Predator from the most popular eBook providers.

The beta for Escape from Tarkov is available now only on PC.

- This article was updated on January 9th, 2023

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