All of the Escape from Tarkov Traders have been removed from the game for 5 days, making this looter shooter even more challenging than before.
Escape from Tarkov challenges players to survive in a lawless region and make it out of a raid alive with as much valuable loot as they can carry. An update earlier this month added new items like Repair Kits, and now it looks like you're really going to need them -- all of the Traders have disappeared.
Why the Escape from Tarkov Traders Were Removed
At first glance, a tweet from Battlestate Games' Nikita Buyanov looks like it was the reason behind the removal of Escape from Tarkov Traders from the game.
30000 likes and i will remove all traders for 5 days 😮— Nikita Buyanov (@nikgeneburn) April 26, 2022
However, a comment in a Reddit discussion on this event has some interesting speculation as to the reason behind the removal -- the tweet may have actually just been a fun joke to work with the planned addition of the in-raid Trader Lightkeeper.
*Update. Papa Nikita said this was planned on twitter, maybe I'm not crazy!
You know what I'm thinking? Might have a tinfoil hat on here (sons of soon unite!) But follow my logic for a moment...
-Twitter post was almost guaranteed to get the 30k likes
-New Escape from Tarkov Twitter post says it's because of Lightkeeper.
-Lightkeeper is our first confirmed in-raid trader.
-Art of the door and sailboat has the door room number as 428, april 28th is tomorrow.
-I'm more than willing to bet that we DO get lighthouse expansion tomorrow, and the ONLY trader that will be up is Lightkeeper. It will then force people to funnel to lighthouse to test the in raid trading and report bugs
-Community realizes this was all a 5000iq play by papa Nikita
Or I could be horribly wrong
As the quoted Reddit comment notes, this was indeed a planned event as evidenced by subsequent commentary from Nikita Buyanov.
"relax," read a follow-up tweet from Buyanov. "it was planned from a start. more to come! love ya"
This is supplemented by a tweet on the official account that gives a story explanation for the removal of Escape from Tarkov Traders:
April 27, 2022
From: Tadeusz Pilsudski
All these threats from the lightkeeper force us to go into hiding until better times. Apparently he's got everyone by the balls, and not just us. Perhaps even the Ragman will have to close up his place.
With Traders gone, players will have a much more difficult time resupplying and healing between raids. Quite a few people in the Reddit comments and Twitter replies have voiced their intention to simply sit out this event entirely.
On the other hand, the inability to access Traders adds a unique challenge to a game that's already pretty damn difficult. You can explore the intense combat of the game by pre-ordering Escape from Tarkov starting at $44.99 or your regional equivalent -- it will grant you instant access to the closed beta. If Tarkov is not your jam, you could always check out the Marauders Closed Alpha when it launches in early May 2022 instead.