Escape from Tarkov bestows players with equality, regardless of their account, status, or wealth, only one feature divides two types of people between one another, their choice between BEAR and USEC. Despite some people believing there is no difference between the factions and it's only aesthetical, it's quite the contrary. Players are given a choice between BEAR operatives, reigning from Russian origination, or USEC operatives, coming from an American background. Ultimately, this all backs into the Escape from Tarkov lore, as seen within the Battlestate Games Escape from Tarkov series, Raid, and The Chronicles of Ryzhy series where we can begin to understand the backstory to the title.
Within this article, we're going to explain the difference between the two factions and how this can change the course of your gameplay. Surprisingly enough, the majority of Escape from Tarkov players are unknowledgeable of these choices and changes, and being aware of them is rather helpful. For example, BEAR players have a higher chance of being attacked by Rouge AI, this is due to the fact raiders are Ex-USEC and therefore are more passive towards the contrasting faction.
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Escape from Tarkov BEAR and USEC Choice Explained
When starting your Escape from Tarkov account and beginning again after a wipe, or after the purchase of the game, players are provided with a choice, one that bounds until death, and not just in Escape from Tarkov. Battlestate Games provides you with two options, BEAR, or USEC, and from that very moment forward, your future is decided for the rest of the wipe whether you chose BEAR or USEC, unless you decide to restart your account and decide again. Once selecting a faction, players are not limited by any means, you're still able to play with friends on opposing factions, play raids and kill your faction. However, your in-game choice will dictate what weapons you spawn with upon starting a fresh wipe, the tasks you're given, and how enemy AI (scavs, raiders, rouges) treats you.
Escape from Tarkov BEAR Faction explained
The BEAR private military company was developed within Russia, having your character speak and communicate in Russian, additionally, after fresh wipe owning Russian-based national weapons, such as the AK-74. BEAR was established to counter-offense the illegal activities of the TerraGroup (Labs Scientists) in the Russian territory of Tarkov.
These facts and backstory explain a lot about the BEAR character, they speak Russian and operate Russian national weapons fresh wipe. Additionally, there are several skills BEAR obtain over the USEC faction, being the following skills:
- BEAR AK systems - Better handling of Avtomat Kalashnikova model weapons
- BEAR Assault Operations - Provides greater handling of combat assaults
- BEAR Authority - Intimidation against AI, Rouges, Raiders, and Cultists
- BEAR Heavy Calibre - Improved handling of Heavy Calibre Weapons (7.62x54)
- BEAR Raw Power - Improved melee weapon damage
Unfortunately, these upgrades haven't been properly released yet, however, you can likely work out the effects of these skills; beside each upgrade above is a prediction of the skill and use.
BEAR operatives are prone to engagement with Rouge AI over USEC players, therefore when operating within the map Lighthouse, BEARs are more likely to be attacked by AI at water treatment. This is again due to the Escape from Tarkov lore, Rouge AIs are Ex-USEC operatives according to backstory, therefore they'll excuse USECs until aggravated, BEARs they'll engage on site.
The current benefit of playing as BEAR operatives is the camouflage is significantly better, the BEAR operatives use darker shades of green in default clothing, causing them to be harder to detect. As mentioned, BEARs are provided with AK variant weapons to begin wipes, AK rifles are far more reliable than NATO weapons, such as the M4A1, typically used by USEC factions.
Escape from Tarkov USEC Faction Explained
USEC operatives are well-known for their use of NATO weaponry, American voice lines, and overly confident plays within the Tarkov region. When selecting USEC after purchasing the game or wipe, players are given a set of beginning ranges of NATO weaponry, including the M4A1. Although arguably having the worst "spawn" items when starting fresh, USEC has separate advantages and disadvantages compared to BEAR operatives.
As a backstory, USEC was formed in 1999 after the merger of two companies: KerniSEC and Safe Sea. In 2004, an agent of Terra Group international holding made contact with SEC, which has consecutively become a private army. USECs prime objective within the Tarkov region was to destroy any evidence of any potentially illegitimate activity by its employer, Terra Group, protecting any evidence from being captured by BEAR.
After that brief explanation, it should be clear why the two factions are oppositions. USEC gains experience over BEAR with the following skills:
- USEC AR Systems - Advanced handling of NATO-origin weapons
- USEC Deep Weapon Modding - Advance weapon modding skills
- USEC Long Range Optics - Improved long-range combat capabilities (with optics)
- USEC Negotiations - Able to negotiate with AI through voice lines
- USEC Tactics - Provides better chances of health, less chance to break bones, etc.
Despite these skills being unreleased, we've placed a prediction of what they might be above. These skills are unreleased, however, they will be in place within upcoming updates. These are all the current skill upgrades available to USEC operatives. However, they also gained passes with Rouge operatives based within the Lighthouse map. These Rouges will not interact with USEC unless agitated or engaged by USEC first, they will combat USEC players if they feel intimidated or go against request or instruction. This gives a huge advantage to USEC players within the Lighthouse map, as BEAR operatives will be brutally ripped apart by heavy machine guns and Grenade launchers whilst USECs are watching at a safe distance.
Upon starting wipe, players apart of the USEC faction wear lighter color camouflage, disadvantaging them slightly due to the brighter color. Additionally, they are given NATO weapons such as the M4A1 at the beginning of wipes/resets, which aren't the most reliable weapons due to their high recoil and difficulty to modify at the early stages of the game, giving BEAR the initial advantage where it matters.
How to Change Escape from Tarkov Faction
The only way to swap your choice from BEAR to USEC or USEC to BEAR is by resetting your Escape from Tarkov account, or by simply waiting for the next wipe. Escape from Tarkov typically wipes between every five to seven months, allowing these changes to occur infrequently. The faction doesn't matter substantially currently, however, the near future will dictate otherwise.
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