Escape from Tarkov Players are having problems with the game’s sound

Battlestate Games’ new update for Escape From Tarkov introduces an unintended issue with the game’s audio quality, and players aren’t happy.

Fans of Battlestate Games’ extraction shooter, Escape from Tarkov, have taken to the internet to express their concerns over the game’s subpar audio. With the introduction of patch 0.13, what should have shown marked improvement is instead in an arguably worse state than it has ever been. Escape from Tarkov.

December 28, 2022, was the date Battlestate Games surprised fans by dropping its long-awaited patch 0.13 for Escape from Tarkov. Introducing the Streets of Tarkov map, its most ambitious playable space to date, the patch was almost guaranteed to be a hit. To sweeten the pot, Escape from Tarkov 0.13 also included several new weapons, items, a restructured quest system, hiding improvements, bug fixes, and the forgoing of Steam audio in favor of Oculus audio. The patch also meant a wipeout of the game, reset player inventories and progression, and provided a much-needed update to the in-game economy.


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Unfortunately, the change from Steam audio to Oculus audio is in Escape from Tarkov seems to have caused far more problems than it solved. Player reports of inconsistent and downright poor directional audio are widespread. Vertical sound, which has always been a sore spot in the game, is reportedly even worse now. Players don’t know if the footsteps they hear are two meters away or twenty, if the shuffling sound is coming from upstairs or the basement, and if the shots that ring are distant or close. It seems that the implementation of Oculus audio was a big mistake.

Escape from Tarkov fans are understandably distraught. Some have taken to the Battlestate forums and Reddit to share their concerns and provide input on potential fixes. One tip, which doesn’t do much to alleviate the audio-related issues, but does help with performance, is to turn off binaural audio in the game’s settings. The audio recording method, which is supposed to replicate 3D sound in an immersive and believable way, reportedly doesn’t work at all in Escape from Tarkovs current construction. The other leading suggestion players give out is to strap on a highly armored, sound deadening helmet, put on some music and throw caution to the wind.

What should be a time to rejoice Escape from Tarkov fans are instead an eye-rolling exercise in continued frustration. The hardcore extraction shooter, unrivaled in its ability to create tense, occasionally terrifying gameplay from moment to moment, is once again bogged down by bugs and poor design decisions.

Escape from Tarkov is available for PC.

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