Released in 2017, and developed for Microsoft Windows by Battlestate Games, Escape From Tarkov is an online multiplayer first person shooter.
Set in the fictional Norvinsk region of Northwestern Russia, the story centers around two private military companies (United Security, or “USEC”, and Battle Encounter Assault Regiment, or “BEAR”) who are engaged in warfare over the contested region.
Matches are known as “raids”, and players can choose to join either side, fighting and competing for various forms of loot – all of which can be lost upon the player’s death, pitting survival above all else.
With gameplay consistently compared to military training simulations, Escape From Tarkov gives players the ability to not only customize existing weapons with upgrades and modifications, but also to create and build their own from existing components.
There is also a highly tuned movement system that allows players to adjust the height at which they crouch.
The speed at which they move, as well as having to account for the realistic bullet penetration, limb damage, and risk of ricochet during combat.
Ever being developed, and with frequent upgrades, new maps, and new styles of play being added.
Escape From Tarkov currently has an open-world design in development, with the aim to link all of the current areas and maps into one large play area.
Despite being a complex game to master, with the toil of the realistic battle systems and player abilities.
Escape From Tarkov continues to be lauded by critics and fans alike, with many of them praising the difficulty as rewarding, despite the brutality it presents.
Why Is FoV Important?
With regards to FoV, it is important to consider that, especially during first person shooters, it is paramount that the player can see as much of their natural field of view as possible.
If the task is to shoot and eliminate enemies without being killed yourself, then a clear, concise, minimalistic display is needed, as well as minimal blind spots, obstructions, and otherwise cumbersome screen features.
Of course, first person shooters tend to feature the player character’s forearms, hands, and the weapon they’re holding (for better immersion).
But there are ways and means to make this less obstructive for players, and to ensure that maximum enjoyment and usability is achieved.
Simply put, if an object is closer to the player, then they need a larger angle to see the object more clearly, whereas, if the object is further away, then a narrower angle is better suited.
Human beings have their eyes on the front of their head, allowing roughly a 200-220 degree field of view, but this can be affected when technology is introduced.
Binoculars, with their narrow field of view, allows us to see specific objects at greater distances, but decreases our natural human range to around 120 degrees.
When it comes to first person shooters, having the right field of view is the difference between having a clear visual understanding of the situation at hand, or merely having a partial understanding.
For example, if there are several enemies in the distance, but you are only able to clearly see half of them, then you run the risk of injury or death (and the loss of vital loot).
However, there are positives and negatives for each setting. For example, a larger FoV would mean that you have a greater view of the surroundings, making it easier to identify potential enemies sooner than normal, albeit at the detriment of accuracy and aiming.
Whereas under the opposite scenario, a narrower field of view would enable you to more accurately aim at enemies when they appear.
But would ultimately give you less spatial awareness, leaving you more vulnerable to surprise attacks from the enemies you may not have seen.
Another thing to bear in mind, is that all of this information also relates directly to the caliber of equipment you use.
Having a larger field of view can seriously hinder FPS (frames per second), meaning that in gaining a wider visual, you are losing the clarity that might come from a lower one, perhaps even making the overall gaming experience less enjoyable as a result.
If your computer is not quite up to the task, then having a larger field of view might hinder picture quality, and the speed of the game, as the computer has to work harder to render more details on screen.
Similarly, people who use wider monitors for their gaming might have to account for this when choosing the FoV that is best for them.
A 50 degree field of view can feel far too restrictive on larger screens, and can lead to motion sickness during quick play due to the suddenness of turns during combat, and the closeness at which the scenery can appear.
A range of 60-65 is more appropriate, as it allows enough distance so as not to feel like you have tunnel vision, whilst giving enough accuracy to be effective.
Escape From Tarkov (FoV)
To be specific (and somewhat technical), Escape From Tarkov operates using a vertical field of view, which is based upon an aspect ratio of 16:9.
The aspect ratio refers to the proportion between the width and the height of the size of a screen, with the two figures represented beside one another, separated by a colon.
One thing that is apparent from Escape From Tarkov, is that the most popular setting for players seems to be a field of view of 75 degrees.
As an all-rounder figure, this makes a lot of sense for the average player, as it allows maximum spatial awareness, with a decent distance to allow accuracy when targeting enemy players.
As such, a 75 vertical field of view (reportedly the most favored amongst the more casual EFT players) equates to a 91 horizontal field of view with a 4:3 aspect ratio, and to 107 with a 16:9 one.
However, there are a lot of people, particularly within the esports community, who believe a 90 degree field of view is the most suitable, and that setting has since become most associated with top gamers in that field.
Escape From Tarkov players, especially those at higher, more professional levels, are also known to have Fov settings so finely attuned that they bypass the suggested figures (75 or 90 degrees for example) for more specific dimensions, such as 92, 93, or even 94 degrees.
Many think that the results of this speak for themselves, after all, surely gamers who can potentially achieve millions of dollars in live competitions should know what they are talking about?
The most important thing to remember though, is that even with all the criteria and reasoning in the world, what defines the perfect field of view is a player’s personal preferences, and what they deem to be right for them.
Another important factor is whether you as the player prefer a “hip fire” POV, or an ADS (see also ‘What Does ADS Mean In Gaming?’) one.
ADS (meaning aim down sights) involves a somewhat straight ahead view, wherein the barrel of the gun is in the center of the eyeline, with the scope and crosshairs visible without zooming in.
In this style, a field of view of around 60 degrees is perhaps the most appropriate, as it provides the perfect balance between peripheral vision and spatial awareness, whilst also allowing the chance for accuracy whilst aiming.
50 degrees (which is the default setting for Escape From Tarkov) in this style can make the experience feel more claustrophobic, even causing motion sickness, as the field of view seems more like tunnel vision, cutting off all periphery, and only giving the line of sight down the scope.
75 degrees however (reportedly a fan favorite) offers too little focus, providing a wider field of view (to show more scenery and potential enemies) but losing out on accuracy due to being too far away from the scope.
At 75 degrees, it is harder to see anything through the scope, and the crosshairs are not always visible on screen without zooming in.
Hip fire meanwhile, is the more relaxed stance, wherein the player can properly see the forearms, hands and side of the weapon, simulating how a person might normally hold the weapon in a relaxed, at ease state.
Whilst this stance doesn’t allow a view down the scope (unless you are zoomed in), it does allow for more free hand (or hip fire) shooting, something that is suited best for close quarters combat, but is also effective over longer distances (depending on the situation).
In this style, a 50 degree field of view feels too restrictive, removing a lot of the peripheral vision, and making you feel more at risk from surprise attacks.
Similarly, the 60 degree field of view, whilst providing a wider view than the 50, still feels unsuitable for all-round combat, for this same reason.
This style of gameplay might be considered the default, and the way that most players will approach the game, and as such, the above mentioned 75 degree field of view does feel the most appropriate.
It gives enough visual information of your surroundings so as not to feel boxed in, but also provides a shorter distance between the eyeline and the weapon so that accuracy still feels attainable during long distance firing.
One thing that is clear is that, depending on the game, the most minute options make all the difference.
Escape From Tarkov prides itself on the finer details of militaristic gaming, and as such players have to adjust accordingly. And whilst other games might be more forgiving, this one certainly doesn’t take any prisoners.
Going forward, it is important for any interested players to consider their equipment, situation, and what they want from their setup, as this is the only way to adjust their system to the fine tune needed for effective, competitive gameplay.
Regardless, the best way to learn is by experimentation, so why not have a go, and see what works best for you?
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