Customs Map Guide (New Players Guide) – Escape From Tarkov

Welcome to our Customs Map Guide for Escape From Tarkov.

Many new players find the maps to be large and daunting, and learning their ins and outs can be very difficult when you already have food, water, and stray bullets to worry about.

Overview

Customs is a fairly large map with a mix of both very open and very tight environments. There are only a few high-value locations but plenty of locations that see much less competition. Customs is also a map full of bottlenecks and chokepoints. This is not a map for the impatient, although the aggressive close-quarters types may find themselves at home in both the dorms and the gas stations.

Primary Locations

The entirety of Customs can be split up pretty evenly from left to right. For the purposes of this breakdown, I’m going to talk about each section separately and list each of their key locations.

The west most portion of Customs is actually fairly large for what it holds, but can still be broken down into three major are as.

Big Red

Big Red is the primary Warehouse on the west side of customs, you can see it from basically anywhere else on the west side and it’s a great reference point. Looting in the area is pretty sparse except for three points.

  • There’s a medical container and filing cabinet located within a blue shed just to the north of big red.
  • There’s another filing cabinet and a pair of loose loot spawns in a bag and jacket on the south side.
  • If you have the Customs Office Key, the upper floor office inside Big Red contains a safe, a couple computers, and a number of loose loot spawns.

Approaching Big Red should be done cautiously, not only is the entire area littered with both player and AI spawns, but the walled courtyard around the warehouse actually has a number of entrances from all sorts of angles.

However, Big Red itself only has two ways in and out, so ambushes can be pretty common. If you have a fire fight in the area, it’s a good idea to prepare for somebody else trying to home in on the noise.

Storage

Storage is Big Red’s equally dangerous and much less popular little cousin. Just like Big Red, the entirety of storage is not only littered with player spawns but also usually crawling with AI as well. Luckily, most of the players will quickly move on to other portions of the map since there’s no quest activity here and many players don’t think there’s anything to loot.

While there isn’t a lot of big ticket spawns here, there’s still no less than ten loose loot spawns, as well as a medical container. That coupled with a number of roaming scavs makes Storage a fairly safe place to roll the dice and possibly get some decent trading or crafting items.

The River

The last portion of the west end of Customs is the river. The river serves as a major bottleneck for traffic coming in or out of the west end. If you spawn on the east side, you likely have west side extractions, if you spawn on the west side you will have eastside extractions. Crossing the river is inevitable in most games but its lack of loot means it’s usually fairly safe.

There are a pair of stashes on the south-east bank of the river that can make for some easy loot if you happen to pass by early, but scavs spawn and patrol all along the road just up the bank.

Crossing the primary bridge should also be done cautiously, you’ll have to be very careful not to expose yourself on all sides and will likely be greeted by scavs on the other side. Here’s a few notes about each crossing.

  • The makeshift bridge to the north is loud, but very short, and has visual cover from most angles.

Overall, the west side of Customs is pretty straight forward, and many people run past it all together. There is plenty of opportunity for scav fights and very little in the way of guaranteed loot.

This entire region should only really be appealing to players on scav runs and new players looking to practice some PvE fights and grab some easy trading items and medical supplies; just don’t expect to get rich running on the west side.

The middle portion of the customs map features 3 locations but only one of them is really high-traffic. Construction, which runs along the southern edge of the map, contains almost no loot spawns at all and has a chance for scavs to be patrolling, as well as a pair of sniper scavs watching from overhead.

The bus terminal acts as a middle point between construction and the dorms buildings, but it also contains almost no loot and leaves anyone in the area fairly exposed.

Dorms is the big ticket location, not just for this portion of the map but for the map as a whole. The dorms are loaded with loot, and have a chance for a scav boss to spawn as well as normal AI enemies. The dorms are usually very active, and fighting in the dorms is much more close quarters than any other part of Customs.

Construction

Big, grey, and empty. Construction tends to serve as little more than a passageway from the southern crossings of the river into the east side of Customs. The lack of loot doesn’t mean the area is safe, nowhere in Tarkov is.

Scavs can spawn in and around the partially constructed building and a sniper scav can spawn on a rooftop overlooking the whole area. In addition, a second sniper scav can spawn on one of the two towers in between construction and the factory zone.

Overall Construction is of little value and is usually empty of players. But that fact makes it a great way to get yourself killed, cross it carefully and quickly because the longer you’re there the more likely you are to bump into someone.

  • Doom and gloom aside, there is one benefit of Construction. The unfinished building can give you a great vantage point to ambush other players. If you’re on the top of the building, you can see straight out to the bridge and even see Big Red in the distance. That in mind, you should always be on the lookout for someone already up there.

Bus Terminal

Terminal is also fairly empty, there are a set of hidden stashes near the terminal but aside from that the terminal is nothing more than navigation aid. If you don’t want to fight over Dorms, hitting the stashes on your way past Terminal will still be a shot at some solid loot.

Dorms

Dorms is one of the biggest hotspots in all of EFT. The dorms are made of two buildings, one two-stories tall and the other three-stories tall.

  • Keys are needed to make the most of each location, with a lot of high-value rooms being locked off. Seeing as you’d need 10 keys to access every useful room in both buildings, I’ll have to leave the details to finding them in our key guide.
  • the first floor of the two-story building, and the second floor of the three-story building are loaded with loot. Even without locked rooms, each building still offers plenty of loot spawns
  • If you do have keys, or want to know which to find, Rooms 204, 203, 218, and 220 in the second floor of the three-storied building are all high value.
  • Rooms 104 and 105 in the first floor of the two-storied building are also extremely valuable.
  • Dorms offers the chance to fight both normal AI enemies and the Scav boss Reshala. If you’re geared up and ready for a hard fight, Reshala is loaded with quality gear and his signature golden TT pistol. He has four heavily armed guards with him as well, each of which is carrying just as much equipment as Reshala. For new players the fight is often impossible, and unbelievably brutal for those who pull it off, but the loot is arguably the best option on the map. Not only is Reshala’s crew heavily armored, but the ammo they use is also very effective at penetrating armor and is very valuable on the flea market.
  • Each building can be accessed from the ground floor entrances, and from the doors along the fire escape that runs up the sides of the buildings.
  • Finally, there’s a weapon case on the roof of the three-storied building that has a chance of dropping some high quality weapons.

Notes: The central third of Customs is dangerous, scavs spawn on both the north and southern halves, and the street is a completely exposed path down the middle of the entire map. Construction funnels into a chokepoint on the road and the dorms are always alive with both players and AI.

That being said, this is the tax we pay for playing on Customs. There is plenty of loot to be had, in each end of the map, but crossing Construction and Terminal, or risking a stray bullet from Dorms, is the cost that even cautious players must pay. Also, Finally, I left the red overlay on the maps for this section because it’s the only way to convey just how aggressively the scavs patrol this area.

The Eastside of Customs is very cleanly split in two, but one side has a lot more loot and a lot more risk. To the north is a densely wooded area surrounding a single communications tower that has loot littered around its base.

To the south is the Factory Zone (or just Factory, or just Zone) containing a number of large warehouses, an old gas station, and a lot of scattered loot. In between the two is the New Gas Station, and the Military Checkpoint, both of which are fairly valuable looting spots that both see Scav activity.

Comms Tower

This tower is located in the northern half of the east end of Customs. It’s surrounded by fairly dense trees and sits on a ridge on one side, along with various scattered containers and fencing makes the comms tower fairly safe to loot.

  • Fairly light loot, but a medical bag, some loose loot spawns, and a stash both in and around the comms tower’s fence mean the value can vary dramatically from raid to raid. Loose items and even weapons parts will spawn on some of the crates in this area.
  • Reshala, the Customs scav boss, can spawn at this location. As mentioned before, approaching his posse is not advised for new players.
  • The northernmost portion of this map actually has a cleared path riding along the wall and covered by bushes. Angled just right, you can peak out from this path to get the drop on someone searching the comms tower.
  • Stashes riddle the area to the east and northeast of this tower, stealthy players can often make a great profit just hitting stashes along this area.

New Gas Station

Just to clear up some confusion, this location is sometimes referred to as new, or just “the gas station” with the “old gas station” always being called old.

  • Scavs spawn here, almost always. Be cautious when crossing near or around the gas station.
  • There are several cash registers inside offering easy cash loot, and a number of loose item drops. If you have the storage room key, there’s couple of equipment cases available as well.
  • This area largely serves as a choke point. In order to access the Factory Zone, you need to cross in front of the gas station. This is a common location for players AI to start fights.

Military Checkpoint

This location ALSO has a high chance of spawning AI scavs. These scavs usually spawn as a pair on the ground floor with the occasional third spawned on the second floor. If you wait long enough in a game, this location will spawn more scavs. The checkpoint isn’t really worth it on most runs. This is probably the single highest risk to the lowest reward in Tarkov, and the fact that it’s exposed on all sides to be shot at by players makes it even worse.

  • In addition to scavs, you can loot a weapon case outside of the checkpoint, and a number of cars around it.
  • With a key, you can loot the inside of the checkpoint. An additional weapon case and a grenade case can be found inside.
  • The scavs have very long sight lines from this location, expect to be shot at from as soon as you pass the gas station.
  • On the second floor of the checkpoint building, a scav can spawn with a scoped bolt-action rifle. The rifle fires very poor ammunition, but the scav himself can begin firing on you from a good distance away. Luckily, you can also see him much sooner than the o

Factory Warehouses

The biggest single portion of the east-end. The warehouses of the Factory Zone. Each warehouse has a handful of loose loot locations.

  • The entire area can be patrolled by Scavs, although they often stick to the container yard in front of the western warehouses.
  • Each warehouse has a handful of loose loot spawns
  • Directly outside, or inside the main entrance of most of the warehouses there is usually a weapon case, but the quantity and quality of their spawns vary wildly.

Old Gas Station

The old gas station is also usually full of Scavs, and only has some mild loot. But there’s a peculiar feature of this location that makes it especially worth mentioning.

  • Scavs will spawn around, usually armed with shotguns. This makes them fairly easy to take out from the train tracks.
  • The table to the left immediately after entering the gas station building has a strange spawn table and can spawn a wide variety of items. Players have found everything from Level 6 armors to Night-Vision goggles and thermal scopes. Most of the time this table doesn’t spawn amazing loot, but it’s always worth checking. Most players are convinced this table can spawn anything in the game, but it has a heavy tendency towards high quality gear and parts if not full weapons.

Routes

The route you take in Customs will be dependent on where you spawn and what your goal for the run is. If you spawn on the west side of the map, first do what you want at Storage and Big Red, but then:

  • Down across the southern bank of the river, through construction and then up across gas station and into comms tower, hitting stashes. This route is fairly safe, since construction holds nothing of value for most players, and it avoids both the dorms buildings and minimizes your exposure on the street.

    When taking this route head straight through construction all the way to the bank where you’ll find a stack of blue containers, the container closest to the wall is actually an entrance that allows you to jump through some barbed wire in order to avoid most of the exposed part of the street.
  • Up across the north of the river, then running by Dorms, either hitting the dorms themselves or sliding by to move down into factory, hitting stashes and checking the table in the old gas station.

On the other hand if you spawn on the east side of the map you can’t usually just take the same routes in reverse.

If you spawn in the factory zone and want to avoid all the scavs at the gas station and checkpoint, run to the very easternmost side of the factory. There are several breaks in the wall along the way that lead to the checkpoint, but there is one at the very edge of the factory zone that breaks into an area behind the checkpoint. Scavs can still patrol this area but if you run by you will avoid most of them without issue.

There are plenty of stashes to hit along this area, and you can move all the way to the northernmost border of the map and follow along a dirt passageway that will lead you a wrecked train, and then from there you can follow the map border to dorms or cut down across construction.

If you spawn on the west of the factory zone you can quickly run to the old gas station to check the spawn table. Then, on the westernmost edge of the factory zone you can make a special jump to get over the walls without having to go by the military checkpoint.

There is a blue car with its trunk open next to a pair of porta-toilets. Run and jump onto the car, and walk to the edge of its trunk. Then simply jump up onto the toilets. From here you can jump over the barbed wire and onto the streets. After this jump, you can cut along the walls towards construction and across the southern portion of the river.

There are a few other route options and locations worth mentioning.

  • If you’re crossing into construction, you can actually get on top of the unfinished building and hold sightlines all across the street and bridge leading to the west side of Customs.
  • If you manage to kill the scavs at the checkpoint, you can go upstairs to the second floor balcony and have sightlines across a good portion of the factory.

  • if you’re hunting Reshala, cross from the north bridge to dorms then the tower, then peeking gas station and old gas station. Each of these locations has a chance for Reshala to spawn.

Read Next in Escape From Tarkov Maps

Escape From Tarkov Interchange Map Guide : Including Hidden Stash
Escape From Tarkov Factory Map – Ultimate Guide
Shoreline Map Guide : Escape From Tarkov Beginners Guide

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Ezequiel M.

Ezequiel M.

A life long gamer, a writer by nature, and tinker by habit. I have passion for burning through the night and understanding what makes games tick.

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