Game updates, especially to things like first-person shooters, usually break a few things along the way, changing the meta in the process. Escape From Tarkov’s latest patch certainly follows that pattern, with players picking up the new shotgun from the flea market in droves.
The TOZ KS-23M shotgun was added to the game in patch 0.12.8 along with 23mm rounds that appear to be devastating up close and at reasonable range. Like many new weapons added to shooters, the new shotgun is pretty overpowered at the moment, leading to many carrying it as their secondary weapon in raids in places like Labs and Interchange.
While the Russian shotgun certainly packs a punch, its 23x75mm Star rounds are what players are going crazy for at the moment. This is because the Star is a flashbang round, allowing you to clear a route through small rooms and go on the offensive.
Like a lot of grenades in Escape From Tarkov, the Star seems to have a long-lasting effect on enemies – especially if multiple are fired into a room in succession. Just look at this clip from popular streamer ‘LVNDMARK’:
The flash effect works so well that squads are now working as a unit to rush enemies, especially Scav bosses, changing up the dynamics of what are often long drawn out affairs. You can even get away with it in solo, just like ‘BuzzaTV’ in this clip here:
Although these types of clips are hitting the front page of Escape From Tarkov’s subreddit at the moment, the shotgun’s power and its pick rate might just mean Battlestate Games will swoop in with a quick nerf soon.
For now though, we’ll just have to enjoy the chaos that the KS-23M and its new Star rounds brings.