Ballistics are an important part of Escape from Tarkov. They play a big role in firefights and often determine the outcomes. Choosing the right weapon, ammo and gear is one of the most important parts in coming out on top of fighting.
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Flight Ballistics[edit | edit source]
Bullet flight is simulated realistically in Escape from Tarkov. Bullets have speed, are affected by gravity and air friction and can penetrate or ricochet when hitting objects, and even fragment when doing so. The specific flight characteristics of a bullet is determined by the ammo type, and the chance of a bullet penetrating or ricocheting off of an object is determined by the material of the object and the type of bullet. Bullets also lose both damage and penetration power as they lose speed from air friction over long distances.
Terminal Ballistics[edit | edit source]
Escape from Tarkov also simulates damage to the body and body armor. Damage is dealt to a human body at the point of impact, damaging that limb or body part. Bullets are capable of penetrating walls or even limbs and hitting multiple body parts that way. Bullets can also fragment when penetrating a player's body, dealing 50% bonus damage to that limb, and more if those fragments continue through and hit other body parts. The damage dealt by a bullet is based only on the bullet itself, and not by the gun it was fired from. Armor protection is also simulated realistically, stopping bullets entirely instead of providing a damage reduction like in most games.
Armor and Penetration[edit | edit source]
Armor provides protection to entire body parts even if it doesn't look like it covers them. You can see what parts of the body are protected when you inspect the armor. When a bullet hits an armored body part, it either stops the bullet completely or the bullet penetrates the armor and does damage to the player. If a bullet is stopped by the armor, a % of the bullet's damage is dealt to that body part, known as "blunt damage", the % is based on the armor. The penetration chance is dependent on the armor's level and remaining durability %, and the ammo's penetration value. In most scenarios bullets will either have no chance to penetrate armor or will penetrate it almost every hit. This means choosing the highest penetration ammo is extremely important for dealing with heavily armored players. Whenever armor is hit it loses durability, which lowers its ability to protect you from bullets, eventually breaking and losing all protective ability. While the angle of impact has no effect on body armor, bullets can ricochet off of helmets depending on the angle and the helmet used.
Armor stacking[edit | edit source]
You can stack up two pieces of armor if you're wearing an armored chest rig. In which case the bullet tries to penetrate the rig first, then the armor if it penetrates. However, the bullet does not lose much of its penetrating ability going through a chest rig, so chest rigs are a good and more cost effective way to protect yourself against scavs and lightly geared players who use low penetration rounds such as 12x70 Buckshot or 9x18mm Makarov, which doesn't damage your expensive pieces of armor, but aren't good against high penetration ammo.
You can read a even more in-depth summary of all armor-related mechanics here.