Escape from Tarkov has plenty of heavily geared players, high and mighty scav bosses, and unforgiving terrains. Battlestate Games have not failed to create a title that is both unforgiving and incredibly immersive. So many factions and features within Escape from Tarkov drive the game forward, one factor being the Cultist Faction.
The Cultists within Escape from Tarkov are an interesting talking point due to their low profile. Most newer players don't even know the cultists exist because nobody encounters them often. Their absence is ironic due to their unforgiving and abnormal nature. The Cultist faction on Escape from Tarkov lurk in the shadows, often in groups of 3-5, waiting for players to approach their location.
They will silently approach their enemies (PMCS) and stab them with their knives, or the priest (Cultist Boss) will stab you with his poisoned knife, where you need an injector to prevent you from being killed by the poison. If this information seems incredibly abnormal and strange for you on Escape from Tarkov, it's because you haven't encountered them.
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Escape from Tarkov: Cultist Details
Cultists have a very low spawn chance on Escape from Tarkov, often ranging around ten percent per map, and that's only on night raids. Cultist spawn chances in the daytime are minimal unless an ongoing pre-wipe event exists. This is why most players who want to face off against cultists must head into night raids, already deterring the larger portion of the Escape from the Tarkov community.
Cultists will spawn between 10:00 PM and 7:00 AM, meaning it will be dark, and you'll need some flashlight or night vision goggles. Here are the maps and places the Cultists can spawn:
- Night time Factory (2%)
- Customs (7%)
- Woods (5%)
- Shoreline (5%)
As the video above shows, Cultists will often be prone and next to impossible to find. This is because they mainly desire to stab you, fitting with their "mugger" aesthetic. However, if a Cultist feels threatened by you before you've seen them, they can open fire upon you. They will likely kill you, so it's incredibly important to enter night raids with caution and some level of visibility. If you've ever died unexpectedly to a weirdly named AI, it was probably a Cultist.
Here is a list of equipment the Cultists can use:
- CMMG Mk47 Mutant 7.62x39 assault rifle
- TDI KRISS Vector Gen.2 .45 ACP submachine gun
- Serdyukov SR-1MP Gyurza 9x21 pistol
- Lebedev PL-15 9x19 pistol
- SAG AK-545 Short 5.45x39 carbine
- Soyuz-TM STM-9 Gen.2 9x19 carbine
- SVDS 7.62x54R sniper rifle
- Simonov SKS 7.62x39 carbine
- RPK-16 5.45x39 light machine gun
As you can see, the Cultists aren't messing around, so it's best to act with caution when running into them. Often, more times than most, Cultists will pretend to run away before trying to kill you and hide.
Once they've made themselves seen and know you've seen them, you should try to kill them rapidly while they flee or find a nice spot to camp. These Cultists are known to be incredibly deadly and will not fail to execute you within a moment's notice. All Cultist weapons, including suppressors, are incredibly modified and highly caliber.
Escape from Tarkov: How to Kill Cultists
Escape from Tarkov Cultists are irritating bosses. They come in prepared with intricate weapons and ready to prey on weaker links (you), stalking, and overall being weird. However, there is a very easy couple of tips and tricks you can use to locate and destroy cultists.
Escape from Tarkov is filled with different weapon attachments and tools you can use to spot hiding enemies, and most people think of "thermals" or expensive attachments. Before discussing weapons and attachments, we'll talk a little about the Cultist-specific locations.
Escape from Tarkov: Cultist Locations
Firstly, head into either Shoreline or Customs nighttime to have a higher chance of locating the enemies. Shoreline and Customs are a good introduction to Cultists because there is enough cover and environmental aid to help you kill them once they reveal themselves. The image above shows the spawn locations of the Cultists, being wooded or green areas where they can hide and stay out of sight.
On Customs, the Cultists spawn outside the Crack Den and can sometimes migrate to the Fortress on the North side of the map. On Shoreline, however, the Cultists can spawn southwest of the water treatment plant or north of the abandoned village near the priest's house and church.
Escape from Tarkov: Anti-Cultist Weapons and Attachments
The best weapons on Escape from Tarkov to kill Cultists are general loadouts. They don't require any larger or more overtly damaging weapons. Despite appearing incredibly confrontational and difficult to kill, they drop like flies once you start loading a few rounds into them. The problem is largely finding them, which is why I recommend this scope:
- Torrey Pines Logic T12W 30Hz thermal reflex sight
This scope acts as a thermal and can be attached to a side mount of most assault rifles. It will pick up any movement and detect heat signatures through bushes and vegetation. It will cost you approximately thirty thousand roubles on the Flea market or can be bought from Mechanic level three.
Additionally, I would recommend using F-1 hand grenades, simply throwing them around the known spawn areas. This will startle them and cause them to stand up and begin running. Please ensure you're in cover before doing so because the moment you inflict danger upon them, they can begin to open fire. So don't just stand there and play hide and seek with grenades.
Escape from Tarkov: Cultist Group Size and Behaviour
Cultists range between groups of three and five, including the boss, "Cultist Priest," it has been mentioned that their behavior varies between:
- If fired upon, the Cultists will return fire using firearms and grenades.
- Some Cultists have been seen to prone in the grass or hide in bushes while their companions engage the players.
- Cultist warriors will ignore scavs, scav guards, bosses, and scav players but may shoot scav players on sight if aggravated.
- Cultists have been seen to stalk players and open fire on them unprovoked.
- Cultists use ammo with high-penetrative power and rarely spawn with grenades.
- Cultists may spawn with various armor, ranging from no protection to class 6 armor.
If you get stabbed by any of the Cultists and become poisoned, you can use the "xTG-12" or "Perfotoran" injectors to heal yourself from the wounds and stop yourself from slowly dying. These injectors can be found on the Cultist Priest or The Lab.
Ultimately, the Cultists are very unpredictable, leading to quite a stressful atmosphere when facing off against them. Either some of them will be chill, and others quite aggravated. Sometimes, they'll just sit in a bush and watch you pass; I guess it just adds to the atmosphere of night raids.
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