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Will Tarkov DLC be free? A Detailed Guide

Hey there! As a huge Escape from Tarkov fan, I totally get why you‘re wondering if the upcoming DLC will be free. Let me walk you through everything we know so far about EFT‘s DLC plans and pricing details.

The short answer: Major expansions like new maps will almost certainly be free updates, while smaller optional game modes may cost extra. The upcoming Arena DLC will be 100% free for existing players, which is awesome!

Now let me break it down for you with all the juicy details…

EFT DLCs in Development

Battlestate Games has teased a bunch of new DLC content for EFT down the road. This includes:

  • Arena – a competitive team deathmatch mode
  • Scav Life – play as non-PMC characters
  • Streets of Tarkov – massive new city map expansion
  • Winter Tarkov – cold weather seasonal version
  • UN Patrol – play as UN forces

They‘ve confirmed that Streets of Tarkov will be part of the core game, not paid DLC. The details are still fuzzy on the other modes though.

Escape from Tarkov Arena WILL Be Free

Okay, time for some great news! Battlestate has officially stated that the upcoming Arena DLC will be 100%, completely FREE for all current EFT players.

It doesn‘t matter if you have the Standard, Left Behind, Prepare for Escape, or Edge of Darkness edition. If you own any version of EFT right now, you‘ll get Arena as a free update down the road.

Obviously this is amazing for existing players who get a whole new mode at no added cost. Well played Battlestate!

For anyone who doesn‘t already own EFT, they will have to purchase Arena separately. The devs said it will be priced lower than the full EFT editions.

They will also sell Arena as a standalone purchase, so you can get it even if you don‘t have the main EFT game. A smart way to give it broader appeal.

Will Other DLCs Be Free Too?

So we know Arena will be gratis for existing players, but what about those other DLCs?

Well, Battlestate hasn‘t stated if modes like Scav Life or Winter Tarkov will also be free updates. But looking at their Arena plans gives us clues about their strategy:

  • Big expansions like new maps will likely be free core updates.
  • Smaller optional modes may cost extra as paid DLC.
  • Special editions like EoD could continue including DLC access.

It makes sense that major content like Streets of Tarkov will be for all players. But adding whole new side modes like Scav Life takes extra resources, so a small price would help fund that development.

The Arena announcement also reminded players that EFT won‘t have any icky microtransactions. So paid DLC seems more likely than "pay-to-win" rubbish.

Basically, major stuff free for all, smaller bonus experiences may cost a few bucks. But we‘ll have to wait for their official word to know for absolute certain.

Past Sales and Free Trials

Escape from Tarkov is still in early access beta, so they haven‘t had as many sales and deals yet. But here‘s a quick history:

  • Free Weekends – EFT has been temporarily free-to-play a few times, like in 2020 and 2021.
  • Holiday Sales – Discounts around Russian holidays and Christmas up to 30% off.
  • Twitch Drops – Free in-game items for watching streams in 2020.

The key thing is that EFT has never been permanently free-to-play or on a deep, permanent sale. The developers have been clear that it won‘t suddenly become free one day.

Once it hits full launch out of beta, I really don‘t expect to see huge discounts very often. But for now, sales and free trials are great ways to draw in new players to test.

Will Arena Stay Free Forever?

Battlestate hasn‘t said yet if Arena will be permanently free for EFT players, or just free for a limited time.

My guess is they‘ll keep it free indefinitely rather than bait-and-switch players with a temporary promotion. Removing free content is an easy way to frustrate fans.

But down the road, I could see them charging for new Arena DLC or seasonal battle passes (more on that later). Optional paid extras alongside a free core experience seems like a smart middle ground.

We‘ll have to wait and see, but permanently removing Arena access would be a PR nightmare. I expect free for life, with optional paid extras on top later.

Forget Microtransactions, But Maybe Battle Passes

The developers have sworn up and down that EFT will never include gross microtransactions or "pay-to-win" nonsense. No loot boxes, bonus currencies, or gameplay boosts for sale. Hallelujah!

However, they have hinted at possibly adding battle passes down the road. These provide optional cosmetic rewards and progression by completing in-game challenges daily/weekly.

Popular games like Fortnite and CoD use the battle pass model paired with microtransactions – but EFT could reasonably offer passes bought with in-game money rather than real cash.

For the main EFT mode, major gameplay boosts in a pass would undermine the fairness and flow. But cosmetic enhancements could add cool optional goals to work towards.

Arena seems tailor-made for battle pass seasons that offer tiered cosmetic rewards. Dressing up your PMC operator or customizing weapons would be big for bragging rights.

If they avoid pay-to-win advantages, I think battle passes could work well as an optional cosmetic system alongside the core gameplay loop.

But again, we‘ll have to wait for them to announce specifics before getting too excited or outraged. Personally though, I trust they‘ll handle passes reasonably based on their anti-microtransaction values.

Beware Black Market RWT Sellers

While EFT itself is microtransaction-free, some sketchy players engage in "real-money trading" (aka RWT). They sell in-game items, rubles, boosting services etc. for real cash against the game‘s Terms of Service.

RWT could get your account permanently banned by Battlestate, losing all your progression and purchases. Plus you support shady black market practices.

Avoid the temptation – your pride and accomplishments playing EFT fairly are way more valuable than any temporary unfair advantage bought from cheaters. Don‘t risk the ban!

What About NFTs and Crypto?

With all the rage around NFTs and crypto in gaming lately, could EFT adopt blockchain-based cosmetics or assets?

Based on Battlestate‘s statements, I‘d be shocked if EFT integrated NFTs or crypto ties. They‘re clearly focused on core gameplay over gimmicky crypto cash grabs.

Plus NFT speculation totally clashes with EFT‘s gritty, authentic vibe. Can you imagine a PMC operator bragging about their rare Pepe meme Tarkov trading card? Hard pass…

While some publishers are pushing studios to chase blockchain trends, I expect EFT to continue ignoring hype in favor of substantive gaming experiences.

Is EFT Worth Buying Now or Waiting?

Okay, decision time: should you buy EFT now, or wait until it hits Steam?

Honestly, it makes little difference right now either way. Buying directly gets you access immediately, while waiting for Steam could allow using your Steam Wallet funds.

But the gameplay experience will be the same regardless. So if you‘re hyped to dive in, I‘d say grab it directly and start enjoying ASAP!

Or if you prefer to wishlist on Steam first, you aren‘t missing much by waiting. Just comes down to your purchasing preferences.

Some Tips for New Players

Learning EFT takes a lot of patience. But trust me, once it clicks you‘ll be hooked! Here are some quick tips:

  • Study maps and ammo charts religiously.
  • Use your free Scav runs to practice while on PMC cooldown.
  • Play slowly and smartly, don‘t just rush in.
  • Sound is critical – invest in good headphones.
  • Insure your gear, you‘ll often get it back after dying.
  • Expect a steep learning curve, but stick with it!

It takes time to git gud, but the demanding gameplay makes success extremely rewarding.

The Verdict?

Let‘s recap everything we covered about EFT‘s future DLC plans:

  • Major expansions will likely be free content updates.
  • Optional side modes may cost a small fee.
  • Arena DLC will be 100% free for current owners.
  • No icky microtransactions or NFTs planned.
  • Possible battle passes for cosmetics down the road.

Considering the developers‘ passion and transparency, I‘d be surprised if they pulled any excessive monetization nonsense.

Newcomers can buy EFT now with reasonable confidence of getting future content access too. But waiting to see how launch goes is also understandable.

No matter what though, Escape from Tarkov remains one of the most intense and dedicated FPS experiences out there. The raids are harsh but surviving against the odds makes victory so much sweeter.

Hope this inside scoop helps you decide if Tarkov is right for you! Let me know if you have any other questions.

Stay cheeki breeki out there!