Gray Zone Warfare vs Escape from Tarkov: Differences explained

Lucas Simons
Gray Zone Warfare player aiming down sight screenshot

Gray Zone Warfare has surprised players with an extremely realistic style of play, which immediately led to Escape from Tarkov comparisons. Here are the main differences between Gray Zone Warfare and Escape from Tarkov.

Gray Zone Warfare is a new realistic tactical FPS developed by Madfinger Games, and while many believe this game has many points of comparison with Escape from Tarkov, the games are actually quite different.

Here are the main differences between Escape from Tarkov and Gray Zone Warfare, including gameplay, map, and combat differences.

Gray Zone Warfare & Tarkov gameplay differences

The main gameplay difference between Tarkov & GZW is that Tarkov encourages solo gameplay, scavenging, and base building. GZW is more squad-focused, as the gameplay outcomes depend on team coordination.

In Gray Zone Warfare, players are deployed with a clear mission and a loadout. Players rely heavily on their loadout as they play and loot resources.

Tarkov is more geared to different gameplay styles, be it the lone wolf, sniper, scavenger, or just focusing on PvP engagements in general, the game offers a wide array of options for solo players.

On the other hand, every member of a Gray Zone Warfare squad has to carry their weight and play the role they have chosen for the mission. Your overall health greatly influences your survival rate, and each wound needs to be tended in a particular way.

You also need to procure food and hydration for yourself, or you will start to lose stamina and energy. Tarkov has similar health and survival mechanics, though Gray Zone Warfare is a little more punishing when your character is wounded, and if you don’t take care of said wound fast, then its game over.

The additional element that makes Gray Zone Warfare special is the faction system. Players can choose one of three factions: Lamang Recovery Initiative, Mithras Security Systems, and Crimson Shield International. All three factions have their own agenda, and a storyline integrated with gameplay that evolves as you play through the missions.

Recharge, inventory management, and ammunition economy all work similarly in both games. However, the looting system in Gray Zone Warfare can be a little hard to master at first.

While Tarkov has a similar system, containers in the game are way more obvious, and an experienced Tarkov player would feel somewhat lost in Gray Zone Warfare, where even a duffle bag inconspicuously discarded on the floor might contain loot.

Gray Zone Warfare & Escape from Tarkov map differences

Gray Zone Warfare‘s map is a jungle island with 42km square to explore. Several areas are filled to the brim with dynamic progression interactions. Factions also play a key role in map exploration, as each starting town and base camp is located in different areas.

Tarkov’s map is 16km squared in size, with each area having an average of 1.5km squared range, making it smaller than GZW. In Tarkov, the action is more contained, as you choose a section of the map to explore (Woods, Factory, The Shoreline, and many more). Each of these map areas is generally limited, and like other extraction shooters, they also force player engagements by restricting the “drop zones.”

Tarkov has a “base building” system, The Hideout, that allows you to build certain modules and improve your base. Gray Zone Warfare has a similar mechanic called “deploy base.” Each faction has a ‘deploy base’ and the area surrounding it is protected. Passing the barrier or joining a squad to complete a task means getting out of the fortress, and from that point on, it’s free for all.

Inside the deploy base, players can safely log out, and manage their locker (safe), as well as interact with vendors to request tasks (missions) or sell and buy items.

Gray Zone Warfare
Gray Zone Warfare sees squads of players accomplishing objectives on a perilous island.

Gray Zone Warfare & Tarkov combat differences

The main difference between Gray Zone Warfare & Tarkov combat experiences is that GZW’s consists of Tactical FPS shooting, with skirmishes and guerilla tactics, and Tarkov’s has an all-out combat focus, that rewards solo play and scavenging.

While both games share the extraction shooter feel, the engagement part of the game across each map has a different pacing. In Tarkov, you can choose to engage in PvE/PvP separately, while in Gray Zone Warfare, both PvP and PvE are seamlessly integrated. The game faces 48 real players at once with over 1000 AI enemies, so it’s considerably different in that sense.

Tarkov is particularly focused on PvP and rewards more aggressive players, scavengers who try to avoid engagements are often punished by campers or snipers.

Projectile spread, bullet fall, and recoil certainly feel more realistic in Gray Zone Warfare. However, in Tarkov, you’ll feel more in control the longer you play, as the learning curve is steeper.

Gray Zone Warfare’s PvE is particularly punishing. Every NPC is rigged to kill you on sight, and will shoot to the head if you expose it, so it can be tremendously frustrating and you will be taken down several times before you get the hang of it.

During PvP engagement, Squads play a critical role in Gray Zone Warfare, whether you play as a tactical strike team, or as a guerilla fighting cell, the game offers ample options for new and advanced extraction shooter players. And that’s the main difference with Tarkov’s free for all combat style.

That’s all you should know about the differences between Gray Zone Warfare and Tarkov. For more information about these games and other interesting launches, you can consult our guide section below:

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