The Complete Woods Map Guide for Escape from Tarkov
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Welcome to my ultimate Woods map guide for Escape from Tarkov! As one of the most complex and challenging maps in Tarkov, Woods can be extremely difficult to navigate and loot effectively for new players. In this guide, I'll be breaking down everything you need to know about the Woods map including extracts, spawn locations, high tier loot areas, quest item locations, navigation tips, and more.
Whether you're looking to improve your survival rate, farm loot, complete quests, take down the notorious Shturman boss, or just familiarize yourself with this massive map, this guide has you covered. Time to master Woods!
Before we get into the nitty gritty loot spots and quests, let's first get our bearings and go over the overall layout of the Woods map:
- The entire map is centered around a huge rock formation and mountain near the middle known as Sniper Rock. This serves as our central orientation point.
- To the north of Sniper Rock lies the hulking Lumber Mill area - this is another essential reference point for navigation.
- To the east lies a power plant with prominent smokestacks, providing a pointer towards the UN Roadblock spawn.
- A huge lake bordered by a windy river also helps distinguish direction. Use these geographic cues to orient yourself when spawning in.
- Major landmarks also include village areas, USEC camp, technical buildings, bunkers, checkpoints, and more.
Extracting safely from Woods is challenging for new players given the limited options. Here are the main extraction points available:
- Outskirts - Located northwest requiring no key. Available for all spawns.
- UN Roadblock - Located east side, no requirements. Only open if spawned on that side.
- RUAF Roadblock - Located west side, requires green flare/smoke to use. Only open if spawned on that side.
- Factory Gate - In the middle but almost never works. Don't rely on this.
- ZB-014 Bunker - Next to UN Roadblock, normally needs bunker key. Also has green smoke when available sometimes. Decent emergency extract.
- Bridge Car - At the north village, always open but costs 3000 roubles. One of the best extracts.
I cannot recommend enough bringing 3000 roubles into your Woods raids for the Bridge Car extract. It can often be a lifesaver if things go sideways deeper in the map.
I suggest the following general loadout for playing Woods:
- Backpack - Ideally an Attack 2 or better to have space to transport loot to the extract.
- Armor - Level 4 armor minimum. Troopers are affordable and can stop low-tier ammunition.
- Helmet - Use an SSH-68 helmet for ricochet chance. Comtacs are great but avoid NVGs/visors that reduce vision.
- Medicine - Bring an esmarch, hemostat, 2 salewas at minimum.
- Painkillers - Bring an ibuprofen and golden star to deal with fractures/heavy bleeds from landmines!
- Weapon - SKS or Vepr Hunter rifles are cheap, hard hitting choices available at low trader levels. Use PS or M80 ammo. Equip a suppressor if possible.
- Magazines - Pack at least 2 spare magazines in your rig/pockets along with ammo.
- Misc - Compass, Map, 3000 roubles extract money are huge bonuses!
Understanding PMC and SCAV spawn locations is critical for survival and nabbing early kills. Here's an overview:
- PMC Spawns - Spawns clump along map edges. Common spawn zones include Scav House/Outskirts, UN Roadblock, RUAF Roadblock, ZB-014 Tunnel. Can also spawn along lumber mill side in the open.
- Scav Spawns - Scavs mostly spawn 10+ minutes into raids in the Lumber Mill, USEC Camp, Sunken Village Church, and along the Northern UN Road.
- Boss Spawns - The Shturman boss and guards wielding SVDS rifles spawn at either Lumber Mill or the Sunken Village, typically patrolling a set area.
If possible, wait in cover for 10+ minutes before moving to avoid early fights with player scavs or the boss. Learning the outskirt stash and camp locations is great for this.
Arguably the section you actually care about - the best places to farm rare and valuable loot! Here are my top area recommendations, roughly ordered from north to south:
Northern UN Road
- Multiple civilian houses containing rare item spawns like gold chains, corrugated hoses, military cables, and more
- Med/ration supply crates and oil barrels behind houses
- Two easy to access weapons crates
- Multiple medical/ration supply crates
- Duffel bags and loose medical item spawns
- Dead SCAV bodies contain keys/keycards occasionally
- Marked circle containing keycards, keytools, and other rare special loot spawns
- Scav boss patrol route
- Loose medical item spawns
- Multiple jackets with key/keycard spawns including the potential ultra-rare Red Keycard
- Loose technical item spawns like wires and tubes
Farmhouse/Rocks North of Lumber
- Hidden cache locations with rare items
- Buried stash at bunker contains chance for keycards
- Chance for boss patrol here also
- Backs of supply trucks contain loose item spawns
- Ammo boxes with 5.56 and 5.45 rounds
Make sure to check jackets/coats, tables, medical bags, and loose weapon crates for rare key and keycard spawns. Also search all scav bodies before looting exclusively for speed.
Completing quests for traders on Woods provides some of the best XP rewards to swiftly level up. Here are some of the earliest noteworthy quest areas I recommend learning:
- Debut - Requires placing 2 markers in bunker south of Lumber Mill. I highly suggest doing this immediately on night raids before hitting other spots.
- Cult Part 1 - Demands planting markers at the crashed helicopter site and burnt village area to the north.
- Import - Tasks you with stashing a folder in Buried Barrels stash between Scav House and Car Extract. Easy 60K XP reward.
- Nostalgia - Has you locate guitar case in cabin bunker by Outskirts then extract north road.
Make use of online maps and videos detailing exact placement. Use night raids when possible to avoid fights over these objectives.
Navigation & Landmarks
As mentioned earlier, Woods is an extremely tough map to find your bearings or extract on when starting out. To recap, here are some key tips for navigation:
- Learn Major Landmarks - Use the Lumber Mill, Sniper Rock, lakes, villages, etc as reference points rather than relying on extracts alone. This helps tremendously when spawning randomly.
- Avoid Landmines - Mines very liberally dot the west woods section and roads from USEC to bunker. Avoid these areas until you learn safe paths.
- Extract Campers - Be extremely cautious of exit campers at Emercom/Gate 3 extracts north of the map near Road to Customs exit, they are prime spots.
Following roads North/South is often a safer passage route. Avoid cutting straight through forests to objectives if possible. Check landmine maps to learn their common placements. Sound helps detect nearby mines also.
I hope this guide gives you a much better grasp of the intricacies of Woods map geography, loot distribution, extract locations, early quests, and other tips to improve survival and hauls. It's a map that requires patience and sharp game sense but offers great rewards once learned.