In Escape from Tarkov, what are the differences in choosing one faction or the other?

I know that the language they speak will be English for USEC and Russian for BEAR, but are there any other differences?

  • 2
    Can you clarify are you looking for what the difference is as far as from a Lore standpoint or from a gameplay point(i.e. starting gear ect ect)
    – Zissouu
    Feb 2, 2018 at 19:22
  • @Zissouu I am mostly looking for gameplay differences, like starting gear, but any lore-based differences that affect gameplay would be nice as well.
    – Mr McClean
    Feb 3, 2018 at 22:46

2 Answers 2


There are actual differences in gameplay apart from Lore.

  • AK systems efficiency (BEAR)
  • AR systems efficiency (USEC)
  • Each PMC has a dogtag, that can be looted on his death.
    • Traders have certain barter items that require BEAR/USEC dogtags (like 5 USEC from players level 10 or above).
    • Some quests also require specific faction tags to be turned in.

Perks that are listed in your Character sheet could have different starting values for different factions, however, they are not active yet (as of 0.12 patch)

Checkout the wiki for more info (https://escapefromtarkov.gamepedia.com/USEC, https://escapefromtarkov.gamepedia.com/BEAR)

  • 1
    One minor difference that is active: some bater trades require Dogtags of USEC or BEAR only - one of which a non-solo player will usually have greater quantities of depending on what his teammates have chosen.
    – chebureki
    Aug 23, 2021 at 13:06
  • @chebureki, thanks, added mention of this
    – Sanctus
    Aug 26, 2021 at 15:54

With the 12.12 update, rogues have been added which are immediately hostile towards BEAR and moderately aggressive towards USEC which get too close. In the future Streets of Tarkov, there will be another faction with the opposite behavior.

For this reason, if you decide to play on Lighthouse it may be preferable to go USEC. This is part of the reason that BEAR are so uncommon currently.

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