In Escape from Tarkov player scavs have the ability to loot while bot scavs do not. When trying engage in PVP the ideal target would be a poorly-armed player scav, as they would have gathered various trinkets which could be looted after they're killed. Bot scavs have nearly nothing, and it is rarely worth the effort to engage them outside of quests.

Is there any way to tell a player from a bot when they both use the same character model? Likewise, when killed by a scav is there a way I can tell if that was a player or a bot?

  • Do the AI scavs sprint these days? Jun 9, 2021 at 16:23
  • 2
    Yes. AI Scavs can have very human behavior now. Bot scavs can sprint, wiggle, perform a brass check, and interact with doors
    – PausePause
    Jun 9, 2021 at 16:42
  • 2
    And dole out [head, eyes]
    – PausePause
    Jun 9, 2021 at 16:54
  • Fair enough - post it as an answer. Do you know if there's a way to tell if the scav who's killed my player is a bot or not? Do player scavs get a report button or something that bots dont?
    – PausePause
    Jun 9, 2021 at 19:11
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    Also "player scavs have the ability to loot while bot scavs do not." is no longer true. AI Scavs do have the ability to loot now and can pick up items from dead bodies (primarily guns) and will use them for themselves. So it's no longer out of the realm of possibility to find a kitted out gun on an AI scav (making it harder to discern AI or not)
    – n_plum
    Jun 10, 2021 at 15:42

3 Answers 3


From what I've seen, the only way to really tell is their movement. The developers of the game made it harder when they added the ability for them to sprint, eat food, lean, etc, but as you play, you'll be able to still tell an AI from a player scav over time. AI scav will still sit in one position for a number of seconds, which could be a giveaway. Most player scavs like to keep moving, but it's not out of the realm of possibilities for a player scav to imitate an AI one.

Probably the biggest give away is their voice lines. Most player scavs don't use voice lines often, while AI ones will periodically say something. Another potential giveaway is if you see scavs fighting a scav (or what you think is a scav if you aren't sure). This usually means that a player scav killed an AI scav around other AI scavs, and now they are hostile towards the player.

You can tell if the scav that killed you was a player or not if the report player icon is present in the "Raid Ended" screen after dying. If it was an AI scav, the icon won't be there:


  • Additional hints: They often shout some voice line when spotting you and begin shooting (or repositioning to shoot). They will walk in paths/patterns and typically won't roam too far from the place they spawned. If you become familiar with the game's maps, there are actually specific location's scavs spawn, so if you're aware you're in an area AI scavs don't spawn, it's likely a player. (There's various maps with details on these, just look up the map you want).
    – n_plum
    Jun 10, 2021 at 15:41

You have to rely on your own experience to discern players from bots. The developers will try to confuse players about this the most they can. For example with a recent update, bots scavs can now pick another weapon on corpses, wiggle back at players. They continuously add AI cases that emules how players scavs routinely behaves.

But after a while, you understand that most players scavs will shoot you on sight.


When someone does this, you are looking at a human player:

  • jumping, alternating between sneak&sprint: bots are more consistent in how they walk, and they always walk around obstacles
  • switching weapons while scouting: players switch to the more appropriate weaponry for the range, bots will just keep firing what they already had in hand
  • cycling through laser designator modes: even if you cannot see the laser dot, the clock-clock-clock sound is fairly unique (fixed as of, bots can trigger that sound when turning off illumination attachments)
  • breaking glass: while NPCs do occasionally bang windows to hit someone, they will never destroy their surroundings just to clear the way to move somewhere
  • light signal: NPCs will never fire flare guns (or their single-use counterparts)

When someone does this, he is likely trying to let you know he is aware you are watching and may want to either cooperate or bait you:

  • toggling flash light repeatedly&rapidly
  • spamming voice lines, talking and laughing without pause
  • pull melee weapon (one boss npc also does this, but you'll know when you see him)

While we can expect some or all of these distinguishing behaviours will be patched in the future, these are currently giveaways you are looking at a bot:

  • sprint + mag check: because the default keybind involves Alt, and Alt+W is bound to blind fire, human players on default settings just cannot do this simultaneously
  • magical knowledge: bots always know and reliably call out when a throw-able (including "flashbang" style devices) fuze triggers. players can issue similar voice lines, but rarely do.
  • the 90° scan: - humans will move their crosshair in a more erratic way, and will never manage to keep their aim steady on the horizon line
  • the skidding stop: when going from sprint to a full stop, there is an extra sound effect bots regularly trigger, but human players almost never cause (depends on whether you first let go of W or Shift) (fixed as of, bots stop movement regularly now)
  • repeating patrol patterns: given enough time, all bots will reveal themselves as such because they walk exactly on the same line or even hold at exactly the same position roughly the same repeating routes while patrolling around
  • boss voices: some NPCs have their very own voice, so having heard them often enough you can tell

I have yet to see an AI Scav pick up & equip up an armband - but lootable armbands are rare and if you see one of those, it is much more likely you are watching a PMC trying to pass as a Scav.

For reference, the following actions are no longer unique to players and are now done by bots as well: lean, sprint, reload, mag check, eat&drink, loot container/body, pick up new weapons, drop rig, fully automatic rifle fire, crouch, lie down, wall-bang, throw flash/frag, carrying secondary weapon on back, turn on/off flash light, the wiggle (leaning left&right in quick succession)

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