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What Is An Extraction Shooter? Games Genre Explained

Here’s everything you need to know before dipping your toes in the extraction games genre.

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escape from tarkov extraction shooter

Extraction Shooters are quite popular among gamers, with a well-known name like Escape from Tarkov coming to mind when you think of the genre. It’s a thrilling and high-octane experience that combines various aspects of shooting games like traditional FPS, looting, survival but also adds another aspect to completes the objective.

In this article, we will dive into the core gameplay mechanics of the Extraction games genre and look into what makes it different from others.

What are Extraction Shooters?

In a nutshell, Extraction shooters are PvPvE multiplayer games or modes where you must complete objectives and reach an extraction point to escape with the loot you have collected. It’s a high-risk-high-reward gameplay loop which makes it engaging, compelling and addictive.

Here’s the process that an extraction game may follow:

  • Deploying to the map with basic or limited gear.
  • Scavenging for weapons, armor, other items and resources while also being strategic in shooting enemy players/AI and protecting your teammates.
  • Escaping via the designated extraction point before time runs out. If you don’t make it, there will be penalties based on how much loot you lose and more.

This loop gives you a high-stakes experience, packed with tactical gameplay, difficult progression, and unique maps that encourage exploration and replayability.

Which Games are called Extraction Shooters?

Escape from Tarkov

what is an extraction shooter game

Source: EFT

EFT is the juggernaut in the genre. It’s a realistic and hardcore game that takes inspiration from MMO games and can be called an evolution of Battle Royale. You can either play solo or in groups and once you have survived the ordeal, you can store your loot in stash to use in future rounds or you can sell it in a virtual flea market.

When players die in a raid, they lose everything. This makes the game unforgiving, however, there’s an option to insure weapons and equipment they brought in, which allows the gear to be given back to them (if it’s not stolen by other players or AI).

There are many more aspects to Escape from Tarkov that you can check out on the official EFT page and try the game out for yourself!

Hunt: Showdown

hunt showdown steam

Source: Steam

In this game by Crytek, the player is a bounty hunter who needs to kill bosses to claim a bounty, survive against other bounty hunters and reach an extraction point. When you have collected a bounty, you have the limited ability to see the approximate location of nearby enemy players. But of course, it also puts you in danger because it reveals your location to other players on the map. Other players can steal the bounty by killing you.

The Cycle: Frontier

the cycle frontier steam

Source: Steam

The Cycle: Frontier was a title from Yager Development that shut down on September 27, 2023 but gained popularity while it was live. Its playstyle was compared to Escape from Tarkov but with a sci-fi twist. Unfortunately, the lack of content updates and other technical issues forced an early closure.

Yager announced that continued support for this title was “unfortunately not financially viable”, and that it would not be playable offline or in private servers due to its “dedicated backend system, which doesn’t allow keeping the game somewhat available after being shut down.”

Marauders

marauders extraction game

Source: Steam

Speaking of sci-fi, Marauders is another gritty FPS multiplayer extraction looter shooter set in industrialized deep-space. You play as space pirates going on raids to collect loot, steal from other ships and escaping with your resources. As you navigate the hostile world, you will be able to craft and upgrade your gear on the go. At the time of writing, Marauders is still in early access on Steam.

So, there you have it. This is what extraction shooter games are and if you’d like an extra challenge in your FPS games, try them out! Innovation in this genre is growing with every new title and with procedurally generated elements and dynamic maps, there’s no dull moment in these games. There’s great potential for growth in the coming years¬† and with new mechanics, features, settings and themes, the extraction shooter genre might just become one of the major ones in the gaming landscape.

Nikita has switched multiple career paths but one thing has remained constant - her love for digital content and writing. Having dabbled in creative storytelling, songwriting and long-form content, writing about video games is when she has the most fun. She's a hardcore fan of the Forza franchise, Overwatch 2, Diablo and currently playing Super Mario Bros. Wonder!

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