Escape From Tarkov airdrop event kickstarts the wipe countdown

The countdown to the next Escape From Tarkov wipe has begun with this new pre-wipe event, which will drop dozens of airdrops over the game's many maps

Escape From Tarkov airdrop pre-wipe event: 16 planes are identified on a flight radar

We’re well overdue an Escape From Tarkov wipe now, and while Battlestate Games’ Nikita Buyanov said it will happen soon in the last  Tarkov TV stream, he told impatient fans to hold tight and wait for the pre-wipe events to start. Now, a week on from the stream, it looks like the first event is imminent.

A new image, which appears to show a flight radar, was posted on social media by Battlestate Games today (June 20). In it, 16 planes are seen flying above a set location, although just one – an Ilyushin II-76 – is being tracked.

An IL-76 is a real life transport plane which is traditionally used to carry cargo or humanitarian aid and disaster relief. In-game, the plane can be spotted littering airdrops containing high-tier loot across one of the many Escape From Tarkov maps. However, these airdrops are infrequent at best and are usually spotted once per raid.

This new teaser suggests we’ll be seeing a lot more than that though in the coming days. With 16 planes all floating over one location, there’ll be less fights over an airdrop but more fully-geared gigachad players holding key locations.

It’s not quite clear where the planes are flying over – yet, at least. Some on social media believe it to be Customs and others believe it’ll be on every map except Labs and Factory, but if there’s one thing about Escape From Tarkov events, it’s that you expect the unexpected.

What is clear, though, is that this is the first pre-wipe event, meaning the much awaited reset – and the Lighthouse patch – is well on its way.