The Interchange map on Escape from Tarkov offers the most lucrative loot in the game, with the widest variety of tech stores, pharmacies, weapon shops, and hidden caches. With multi-level shopping complexes and adjacent outdoor areas housing valuable supplies, Interchange offers incredible profit potential for daring PMCs.
However, successfully extracting with stuffed backpacks requires mastering complex navigation across interchange's labyrinthine floors and avoiding other players and AI scavs aiming to steal your loot. This extensive guide provides blueprints to mapping interchange’s layout, locating essential keys, understanding AI patterns, and most importantly, extracting with your hard-earned prize.
Shaped akin to a misshapen rectangle, Interchange mixes indoor shopping complexes with outdoor loading bays and derelict construction zones. Upon first glance, the jumbled floors may seem confusing, but several distinguishing landmarks serve as beacons when learning the terrain.
The main indoor complex features three anchor department stores, Idea, Goshen, and Oli, which stock common barter items and food. The central common area links these stores via a main hallway and four wings filled with equipment shops, tech stores, and additional outlet stores. Clothing shops dominate the second level.
When venturing outdoors, you may emerge into trash-filled loading bays behind the main stores or into construction areas. Wrapping around the exterior lies a network of railroad tracks, derailed train cars, collapsed scaffolding, and debris-laden highways. At the backside you'll also find the integral power station that controls lighting and other key functions inside Interchange.
With dozens of stores and over 100 rental spaces inside the main shopping complexes alone, Interchange offers seemingly endless looting opportunities. Focus first on mapping the central landmarked areas mentioned earlier rather than memorizing each individual shop.
Landmarks to Commit to Memory:
While you can stumble upon generic loot anywhere inside Interchange, the most valuable supplies lie behind locked doors. Certain keys grant access to specialized medical, tech, and armament stores far outpacing any wayward cash or items found out in the open.
Prioritize securing keys like KIBA store, Ultra Medical, Idea cash registers, and Pharmacy early on for access to:
KIBA Store Keys - Unlock shelving and cases full of modded AK assault rifles, body armor, ammunition, and weapon modifications inside the eponymous shop. Also spawns rare boss Killa.
Ultra Medical Storage Key - Gives access to medical storage room with LEDX skin transplants, ophthalmoscopes, defibrillators and other valuable medical supplies with Therapist barters
Idea Register Key - Cash registers and coat racks with potential for currency
Pharmacy Key - Medical storage room inside Mantra store containing salewas, morphine, antibiotics and other quest items
You can obtain these keys by looting jackets, bags, and file cabinets across all Tarkov maps. Purchasing them from Flea Market is another option, albeit costlier. With the best keys in your Secure Container though, you’ll recoup the investment many times over.
Other keys providing additional value include Goshen register, Logistics office, and the Various utility room keys. Know as well that some keys are single use like KIBA Part 1.
With keys in hand, prioritize hitting these rooms first upon spawning for immediate profit potential:
Tech Stores (Texho, Techlight, Rasmussen)
Medical Stores (Mantra, Medzone, Pharmacies)
In addition to keys, learn loose loot spawns for supplementary income sources, mainly items used to trade for other goods via dealers like Therapist, Prapor, and Ragman. This includes smaller items like cigarettes, coffee, alcohol, as well items needed in larger quantities like car batteries, corrugated hoses, bolts, and propane tanks.
The warehouses, loading docks, and storage bays behind the main stores Goshen and Idea in particular house these high-demand trader staples. Prioritize checking:
While fulfilling loot dreams, don't become careless. AI-controlled scavs spawn frequently on interchange, typically in groups of 2-4. Learn their behavior to master traversing and looting safely.
Groups of 2-3 scavs congregate and patrol among the exterior power station, identifiable from bright flood lights and transformers. The sheltered shop corridors also provide dangerous hideouts for ambushes, so toss a grenade first if rushing the station.
Interior Second Level
More scavs roam the second level equipment and clothing stores in 2-4 man teams. When heading upstairs, constantly check stairs and hallways intersections by pieing corners slowly. Overhead catwalks also give scavs a deadly height advantage.
Killa – Scav Boss
Notoriously dangerous boss Killa inhabits Interchange’s first level main corridor around the center shops. Clad in body armor and wielding his iconic RPK machine gun, Killa attacks rapidly with grenades and spray fire. Learn his potential spawn locations and listen for the garbled English through voicelines to avoid ambushes in close quarters. With good ammo Killa dies faster than expected, especially attacking first from behind.
Entering Interchange brimming with confidence armed with keys and loot locations is half the battle - successfully extracting with your haul is the true test while avoiding other players camping exits.
Two reliable PMC extracts exist on opposite corners:
Railway Exfil – Northwestern corner among railcars and tents. Safer bet to avoid exit campers, with some cover leading to extract.
Emercom Checkpoint – Southeastern corner checkpoint guarded by roaming scavs. More dangerous than train extracts due to lack of cover from numerous sniping spots aimed at bottleneck leading to exit.
Regardless of choice, approach extracts extremely cautiously, clearing bushes, buildings, and railcars for exit campers. Consider using large caches as alternative escape routes. If overloaded with loot, hitting a no backpack needed extraction mid-raid like heating pipe, zb-011 bunker, or scav camp can save everything in your secure container.
While mastering any map on Escape from Tarkov takes significant time and experience, comprehending Interchange's underlying structure and layout accelerates the learning curve tremendously. Reference this guide frequently to understand the overarching locations of high-traffic areas rather than individual store names. Memorize safe routes between loot hotspots bisecting scav locations. And most critically, slowly sweep towards extract, sticking to cover to avoid losing your hard fought gear to an exit camping rat.
The ticket to succeeding on Interchange involves planning profitable routes accruing keys and barter items, while avoiding hotzones. Persevere by learning from lost raids and soon enough you’ll be steadily filling your stash value with Interchange's wealth of amenities.