Gear Fear: What it is and how to get over it

Gear fear. Players of PvP-based looting games all know the feeling. Originating from the DayZ community, gear fear is the phobia of leaving the safety of your secure inventory slots – be that your Escape from Tarkov stash or your Minecraft Factions base – while equipped with high-tier gear. This fear stems from the nature of these games’ “die and lose it all” mechanics. Take, for example, Rust: often, the guns you’re likely to encounter aimed at you from the safety of a base’s roof are far higher tier than if you encountered those same players on a roam outside of their base. It’s far easier for human beings to reconcile with the loss of something if they know that they can easily get it back. If a Rust player loses a gun while on top of their own roof, it’s far easier to recover that gun than if they were roaming the wilderness. This phenomenon takes on its own form in any game where the permanent loss of your items is a possibility. The way to beat it? Know you can get more.

In Tarkov, gear fear often manifests as guns sitting in your stash because they’re too expensive to replace if you lose them. The way those guns end up out of your stash and in your hands in a firefight is by learning how to make enough money to buy a new gun for the next raid. In Tarkov, this looks like learning how to make money reliably. In Rust, this means securing a safe place to farm comps or learning the blueprint to a weapon that you haven’t crafted before. In DayZ, this often looks like building up enough guns in your base to replace the ones you lose or learning the skills necessary to reliably loot replacement equipment on respawn. 

It’s important to overcome issues of gear in order to maximize your enjoyment of these games; survival PVP games want you to experience gear fear as it makes death meaningful in those games, however, this gear fear shouldn’t prevent you from actually playing the game.


Words by Nathan Burke

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