All Arena Maps In Escape From Tarkov, Ranked

Highlights

  • Maps in Escape From Tarkov: Arena are crucial for creating varied encounters and allowing players to perform. Some maps succeed better than others in terms of balance and gameplay.
  • “Air Pit” is a map that looks great but falls short in execution. The control of the airplane in the middle is a miserable experience, and the map fails to properly utilize its design elements.
  • “Bay 5” is the best map in terms of being a playground for all classes. It offers verticality, varied line-of-sights, and a good mix of cover and concrete, making it fun for both close-quarters combat and marksman gameplay.

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Maps are a crucial part of any competitive shooter. They are the playgrounds where all the fun happens, so they have to be built to last, to create varied encounters and to be the ideal stage for players to perform on. This is no exception in Escape From Tarkov: Arena, despite the game having a unique design structure.

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Some of the maps succeed better than others at being fun to play, balanced or a good match for the gameplay itself, which can lead to quite varied experiences depending on which class you play on which map. A couple of them, though, will almost always be a fun time.

5 Air Pit

A Good Concept Poorly Executed

Air Pit Map in Escape From Tarkov: Arena.

Due to a bug that was around in the first days of the Arena beta, this is probably the map that most people are familiar with. It looks great, gives off vibes of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2’s Terminal and has a true Tarkov look to it. Unfortunately, that’s where most of the positives end for us.

Air Pit follows a design that is constant in Arena:

  • You have the edges of the map, often chokepoints with a lot of cover and tight spaces.
  • In the middle, there is some kind of area or structure to control. If you do so, you’ll likely have a direct line of sight to both objective points.
  • A mostly mirrored design for both sides.

The issue is, it executes most of these extremely poorly. You’ll want to take control of the airplane that sits in the middle of the map, but this will likely be a miserable experience. You’ve been warned.

4 Bowl

The Two Towers

The Bowl Map in Escape From Tarkov: Arena.

Bowl is the most similar map to Air Pit in Arena, but it suffers from a completely different issue. This map actually executes most of the things that failed with Air Pit’s design. Controlling the chopper in the middle of the map is hard, but rewarding. There is a great mix of close, medium and long range engagements with a lot of visual variety on display. Unfortunately, the two sniper towers at the edges of the map absolutely ruin it. This map looks great on paper, but the way the preset system works just doesn’t allow it to function correctly.

Arena does not let you swap presets during a match or check what your teammates are using before you are locked-in. This is a problem in general, but it becomes tenfold in Bowl. If you are not in a five-stack, you will have to gamble between choosing a Marksman preset or hoping someone else did.

If you have too many Marksman in one team, you will probably get demolished because, ideally, only one sits in the tower, or you will lose control of the objectives. If no one picked a a Marksman preset and your enemy team has at least one, you’ve probably lost too, because no one will be able to contest the enemy sniper sitting comfortably in a massive tower with plenty of cover available.

3 Sawmill

A Great Map With A Great Problem

Sawmill Map in Escape From Tarkov: Arena.

This is the unique map in Arena. It’s a forest that looks like a slice of Woods in the classic Escape From Tarkov mode, a sight for sore eyes when all other maps have a very industrial, concrete or metallic look to them. You have a lot of long-range engagements, much fewer chokepoints, but still a central area with close-range engagements for a bit of variety. The sniper rifles that are lying around on both sides of the map give players a way to succeed even with a class that doesn’t excel at longer ranges, which is a very good touch.

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Sawmill has a serious problem though, that will likely plague you every time you don’t finish a round by killing everyone on the enemy team before the objectives become available. Points A and B on this map are ridiculously far away from each other. With a seven-second timer to control a point, this means that there literally isn’t enough time to run from one to the other before the round ends. If that wasn’t enough of an issue, the middle of the map doesn’t give you sight lines for both points, so there really is no way to control them simultaneously, unless you expose yourself to the entire map.

This map is an inch away from being excellent, but they either have to change the objective positions or considerably extend the time it takes to control a point.

2 Equator

Just Non-Stop Action

Equator Map in Escape From Tarkov: Arena.

This is an excellent Arena map. It makes things simpler to design by having a single objective point instead of two, which makes sense because it is the smallest map in the pool. It is neatly divided in five sections:

  • Two corridors along the edge of the map.
  • Two wider, more diverse chokepoints between the middle and the edges.
  • The center of the map is where the objective is, with cover from both sides.

Equator is just constant. It is the best map if you want to engage in close quarters combat and, since it just goes all-in on that premise, it just works wonderfully. With that said, the smaller size and the initial chokepoints give us two problems. Grenades are extremely overpowered in this map. If you are going against a team with a lot of Assault presets, you’re probably going to get killed by a grenade at the beginning of the round at least once. As you might imagine, this is not fun at all.

Additionally, the map is so small that you’ll rarely ever get to a point where you have to control the objective. Nine out of ten times, the round will be over before the objective even becomes available, so we don’t really get a chance to see how only having one point changes the way Arena is played. This problem could be fixed by having dynamic round timers, depending on the map. For example, on smaller maps like Equator, the time between the start of the round and the objective becoming capturable should probably be much shorter.

1 Bay 5

The Ideal Stage

Bay 5 Map in Escape From Tarkov: Arena.

Bay 5 is the best map in Escape From Tarkov: Arena. This is the one that gets closer to the ideal of being a playground that is fun for everyone, no matter the class or preset. You can have fun playing this map whether you are playing CQB or Marksman, and you’ll fill useful in both cases.

There is verticality, line-sights of all ranges, a good mix of concrete and shipping containers (which helps a lot with the audio) and much fewer chances of being blown up by grenades as you are running out of the spawn.

Just like in Equator, Bay 5 only has a single objective point. But in this case, you will be fighting for it a lot. The map is much bigger and has a lot more cover. It is virtually impossible to capture it without getting peeked and there are a million angles to watch out for. This serves the purpose of the objective perfectly: forcing duels to close the rounds out. Gameplay in this map is quite varied, from lightning fast rounds where everyone dies in a heartbeat because the two entire teams rushed to the middle, from rounds focused on the edges to ones that only end when the clean-up crew comes in because no one is comfortable peeking the objective.

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