Escape from Tarkov: How to enable Steam audio; what is MIP Streaming, Hemostatic CAT, Ratchet wrench, & Ghost footsteps

Escape from Tarkov is one of the most unique FPS games one can lay hands on today. The game may roughly be called a battle royale but doesn’t really fit the genre perfectly given its characteristics.

Anyway, the game was initially released back in July 2017 and is still unsurprisingly receiving new updates. The updates aren’t exactly minor in nature either as they have consistently brought about significant improvements and new content.

For example, the current latest patch carries a version number of 0.12.10.0.11565 and brings about plenty of new equipment, guns, and clothing. This is in combination with several bug-fixes and the under-the-hood optimization.

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But perhaps the greatest among the bunch is the improved and corrected option in the mip Streaming setting that claims to do the following:

Significantly optimizes the consumption of video memory (for graphics cards with a large amount of VRAM) and RAM (for systems with a small amount of VRAM) in the game, which provides smoother rendering and reduces the number of micro freezes associated with loading textures.
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A pretty bold claim when put that way but what even is mip-streaming? Well, in short, The mipmap system reduces the total amount of memory the game needs for textures because it only loads the mipmaps needed to render the current camera position in a scene, instead of loading all of them by default.

This should theoretically save a large amount of GPU memory and result in much smoother gameplay by eliminating micro-lags. However, the real-world performance speaks otherwise.

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I have a 1080ti and it made things worse for me so I turned it off.
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Many users have reported negligible improvements in performance, if any, with mipmapping turned on. Some have even reported that their FPS took a hit. In such a case, it turns out that Battlestate Games may have made too tall a claim.

Moreover, if you are not seeing any improvements or getting frame drops with mipmapping turned on, then unfortunately, there isn’t really much that can be done aside from turning the setting off.

Escape from Tarkov Steam audio (Binaural sound) support

We are all aware of how ‘meh’ the default Escape from Takrov audio feels like. Thankfully, the developers have been working hard on improving its current state and have even added an entirely new audio system along the default one.

This is known as Steam audio. This audio system promises a far more sophisticated and detailed sound output. For example, you should now be able to easily tell if your opponent is above, below, or beside you just by the sound, without the need to look around.

Now it is worth mentioning here that Tarkov did have Steam audio a while back. But it was a work in progress and was quite buggy (issues with multi-story builds and stairwell). Hence, it was temporarily removed.

Thankfully, the feature has now made a return with Escape from Tarkov patch 0.12.10.0.11565. The patch notes do claim some fixes but we’ll let you be the judge of that.

But what we do know is that certain stuff has continued to glitch out. For starters, the ghost footsteps issue is back once again. And what’s worse is that it happens more often than before.

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Anyway, if you are interested in enabling Steam audio for the game, then you are free to do so through Settings > Sound > Binaural sound. Just enable it and restart the game and you should be good to go.

Hemostatic tourniquet CAT

The Hemostatic tourniquet CAT is another one of the new additions introduced with patch 0.12.10.0.11565 and is meant to be used in situations of heavy bleeding.

In the words of Gamepedia, it prevents blood loss by blocking the blood outlet by applying pressure to the affected limb. It uses a self-adjusting tensioning system and a tug-resistant buckle.

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Ever since its release, players have been curious about its true utility. Thankfully, the community has provided an insight into that.

Midway from hemostatic syringe and normal tourniquet.
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It’s the same use time as the Hemostatic, but only has 1 use compared to the 3 uses of hemo
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Ratchet wrench

Ratchets are an indispensable tool that every locksmith and mechanic at a service station should have for car maintenance. These allow working in confined spaces and serve pretty well for their purpose.

The latest Escape from Tarkov patch notes now mention a ratchet wrench so there’s that.

“Awaiting session start” loading problem

The “Awaiting session start” loading problem finally gets an acknowledgment from the Tarkov devs who say that they’re working on resolving the issue. Hence, if all goes well, a fix should roll out for the same with the next patch.

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We are aware that during the “Awaiting session start” stage some players may occasionally run into a rare issue, as a result of which loading into the raid will last indefinitely. If you get affected by this please send us a bug report, and then restart the game to fix it. We are working on resolving this issue. Thank you for your understanding.
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Zohaib Ahmed

Simply love being surrounded by technology as it's a constant reminder of how far humans have advanced as a race. Every new development feels exciting, which I convey to others through writing. And after a day's work, gaming just feels therapeutic.