The Best Budget Guns in Escape From Tarkov
Guns can be expensive in Escape From Tarkov, so it’s essential to come up with a few cheap load-outs that you can use early on. Read on to find our Socially Gaming recommendations.
When you first start playing Escape From Tarkov, you’re often too preoccupied with surviving to put much thought into the guns that you’re using. Once you have a few raids under your belt, you may start wondering which guns will give you the best literal bang for your buck. That’s why we’ve put together this guide, so let’s get into it.
The M1A is often overlooked by newer players because it doesn’t spawn on SCAVs, but once you’ve unlocked the flea market, you can get your hands on one of these rifles for a reasonable price.
There are a few great things about the M1A. First off, it fires the 7.62x51mm NATO round, with the M80 being one of the best budget cartridges in the game. The next thing you’ll notice about the M1A is that it doesn’t need too many attachments to shine, being perfectly manageable with just an optic or a red dot sight.
If you like the idea of shooting 7.62 NATO, but you would like to cut back on the price even more, the Vepr Hunter is the perfect choice. This hunting rifle sacrifices the M1A's adaptability through attachments for sheer cost-effectiveness.
You can sometimes find Vepr Hunters available on the flea market for around half the price of an M1A, though keep in mind that prices in Tarkov can fluctuate significantly. Along with poor attachment variety, the Vepr Hunter’s largest magazines can only hold 20 rounds of ammunition, leaving this rifle with a few notable weaknesses.
The Mosin-Nagant has become something of a legend in Escape From Tarkov, with many players likening it to a great equalizer. The trader Prapor offers this weapon relatively early on, allowing you to get your hands on it even if you haven’t unlocked the flea market yet.
The Mosin’s dirt-cheap LPS Gzh ammo is also capable of one-shotting players wearing class-four armor and below with a single thorax hit. Of course, you pay for this utility and accessibility with the Mosin’s bolt action, limiting your rate of fire and making you nearly completely ineffective at close range.
AK-74 (and variants)
The AK-74 is one of the most common assault rifles in Tarkov, and it comes in a range of different variants. These include the AK-74N with a dovetail sight mount, the AKS-74 with a folding stock, and even the modernized AK-74M that combines both of these features.
The AK-74's price is dependent on the variant that you're looking for, but they all share the advantage of being highly modifiable with attachments. We'd recommend focusing on attachments that reduce the weapon's recoil, as AKs in Tarkov have a notoriously harsh kick when firing.
While the short-barrel AKS-74U is technically a variant of the AK-74, we have trouble recommending it due to its worse accuracy and even more challenging recoil pattern. Despite its low price, the AKS-74U is rarely used by anyone except for outright beginners.
PP-91 Kedr and PP-9 Klin
These two weapons have been grouped into the same category because they are nearly identical save for the cartridge that they can fire. The Klin and the Kedr both fire 9x18mm ammo, but the Klin is an updated version that can fire the high-penetration 9x18mm PMM ammo, which is incompatible with the Kedr.
Despite being unable to fire PMM ammo, the Kedr is an excellent choice if you're engaging unarmored foes since it can use 9x18mm SP7 ammo, which has great flesh damage. Both of these weapons have the advantage of being very affordable on the flea market, with the Klin being priced slightly higher than the Kedr.
If you find yourself running out of money and you just want to defend yourself from scavs and other low-level threats, don’t underestimate the effectiveness of a pistol. Even a handgun can get you a lucky head-shot on a geared player that can have you leaving a raid with more loot than you can imagine.
There are plenty of different pistols in Escape From Tarkov, ranging from the lonely PM with its pitiful 8-shot magazine all the way up to the Five-Seven, which rivals the cost of a primary weapon. The top picks for budget pistols include the M9A3 and the P226R. We’d recommend giving them both a try to figure out which of them is to your liking.
There are plenty of other weapons that you can work into a budget load-out when playing Escape From Tarkov, but these are just some of our favorites. Part of the fun in this game is playing around with the weapon modification system and creating a gun that fits your needs perfectly.
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We hope this guide has been able to give you some ideas, and we’ll see you next raid!
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