Escaping Tarkov is difficult enough, I gather, when you’re fighting against NPCs and other players who’re better geared than you without also competing at a meta level against being mistaken for cheating. That’s just what some Escape From Tarkov players believe is happening to them, getting banned for breaking rules that haven’t been clearly communicated. Players are asking Battlestate Games to lay out the real rules for sharing items with friends.
As online games so often do, Tarkov appears to be waging a war against cheaters. A few months ago, Battlestate posted on Tarkov’s Reddit community attempting to outline their solutions for banning cheaters and those trading in-game items for real-world money—referred to as RMT for real money trading. They followed up in July with a Twitter post warning players against “constant distribution of items in raids to other players.” They say that this behavior would be regarded as boosting—inflating the capabilities of a lower level player with advanced gear—which they say Tarkov prohibits.
Tarkov’s License Agreement does prohibit both “collection of game money, items, materials, resources, etc. for sale outside the Game” and “provision of game services, such as raising the level, in exchange for payment outside the Game.” Both mention the exchange of real world money but don’t specifically prohibit players gifting items to one another as friends.
The line between the bannable offense of boosting and lending a hand to a friend seems unclear to a lot of Tarkov players. “VSS Vintorez” is one of them, posting about how they wanted to gift items to a teammate but were afraid of getting banned for legitimate behavior. “There is no clear line on what amount of items tips the scale from ‘sharing’ to ‘boosting’,” they say.
Other players are asking one another for clarity on how much “sharing the wealth” is too much and the responses are mostly just guesses at best. They’re just a few of the many players asking similar questions about what constitutes boosting in Battlestate’s eyes. The concerns over being banned aren’t just abstract, either. Multiple players say they’ve been banned for trading items between friends. The one thing that’s clear is that nobody is clear on the rules.
Battlestate has set out a goal to get rid of real money traders and cheaters but they’ve been less clear on how legitimate players can avoid being mistaken for them. Players are looking for more clearly-defined line between helping friends and boosting so they can go back to being shot down by other players instead of the game itself.