Escape From Tarkov Stray Dogs: How To Kill The Goon Squad
The Escape From Tarkov Stray Dogs quest is one of the new tasks that has arrived with patch 12.12.30, and can be one of the trickiest to complete from a combat point of view. After a certain amount of quests in Escape From Tarkov, you start being asked to kill specific scav bosses, but the Stray Dogs quest takes it up another notch. So, if you're wanting to know how to complete the Escape From Tarkov Stray Dogs quest, and some tips on how to kill the Goon Squad, make sure to carry on reading.
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Escape From Tarkov Stray Dogs Quest Details
The Escape From Tarkov Stray Dogs quest requires you to locate and eliminate all three members of the new 'Goon Squad' of USEC rogues. The three members, and their specialisations are:
- Death Knight (Assault)
- Big Pipe (Grenade Launcher)
- Birdeye (Sniper)
Aside from being typically very hard, the other main difficult part of this quest is actually finding them. Unlike any of the other bosses in the game, the Goon Squad do not have a fixed map, let alone a fixed location, and roam between four separate maps:
- Lighthouse (Water Treatment Plant/Chalet)
- Escape From Tarkov Customs (Fortress/Crack House)
- Escape From Tarkov Woods (Scav Bunker/Village)
- Shoreline (Weather Station)
They have between a 5-15% chance of spawning on any of these maps, with Lighthouse being the map they seem to appear on the most. You could easily go for 20 plus raids without seeing them, even if you're explicitly searching for them, and then in the one raid you finally find them, they could just take you out instantly.
The good thing though is that they always move as a group, so if you find one you're very much likely the find them all. The obvious downside to this is that you're more than likely going to have to fight all three at once, unless you integrate some clever planning into your strategy to split them up, which we will thankfully detail later on in this guide.
As a reward for overcoming the Goon Squad, you will be treated to the following from Jaeger:
- 131,625 Roubles
- 12,000 EXP
- One SV-98 7.62x54R bolt-action sniper rifle (variant OV)
- Two SV-98 7.62x54R 10-round magazines
- One Recknagel Era-Tac 30mm ring scope mount
- One Schmidt & Bender PM II 1-8x24 scope
- 30 7.62x54mm R PS gzh rounds
And of course, anything that you managed to take home with you after eliminating the Goon Squad, which you will definitely want to try as they drop some incredibly tasty gear.
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How To Complete The Escape From Tarkov Stray Dogs Quest
The first thing you're going to want to do when attempting to complete the Escape From Tarkov Stray Dogs quest is to decide which map you want to take them down on. The obvious choice is Lighthouse, with the 15% spawn chance, but the answer is a bit less obvious than that.
What Map To Fight The Goon Squad On
For Lighthouse, while you are statistically most likely to see them, you have to contend with the other dangers that the map holds. If you're read our Escape From Tarkov Energy Crisis guide, then you'll know all about the USEC rogues that roam the Water Treatment Plant, but you also have to be very wary of all the PMC operatives roaming the map too.
As Lighthouse has some of the best loot in the game, it is a very attractive option for players to raid into, and thus houses a lot of PvP action with highly geared players. The last thing you'll want is to have to deal with any other PMCs when trying to find or eliminate the Goon Squad.
Next up is Woods at a 15% spawn rate, but if we're being honest, you really, really don't want to try and fight the Goon Squad on this map. The main reason for this comes in the way that Birdeye's AI functions, most notably his ability to spot and shoot you from distances over 100m. With how open the Woods map is, this is an absolute recipe for disaster, and you will often find yourself dying to shots you could not have predicted or dealt with otherwise.
Shoreline has an equal spawn chance of 15%, and is a fairly good option. The Squad only spawn at the Weather Station, which is a fairly isolated location away from the chaos of the Health Resort. This means that you shouldn't have to worry too much about outside influence, but it does still remain fairly open and therefore more difficult to take them down.
Finally, Customs sits rock bottom in terms of spawn chance at 12%, but it is probably the best map to fight them on. They spawn around the Fortress, which provides both adequate surrounding cover, and plenty of buildings to hop into to break up the action. If you can actually encounter them on this map, then this is probably the place to fight them.
What Gear To Bring
The next thing you'll want to consider is the gear that you want to bring with you. Ideally, you're going to want to bring the best gear you can realistically equip, as it will give you the best chance of taking them down if you actually run into them. However, you do need to weigh up how likely you are to die in the raids that you aren't able to find them, and find an optimal price to survivability ratio that you're comfortable with.
There are, however, a couple of factors that can help inform the specifics of your gear choices, letting you balance your entire setup optimally. Firstly, in terms of ammo, you're going to need to consider that both Big Pipe and Death Knight wear the S&S Precision PlateFrame plate carrier which is a class five armoured rig. If you're not confident enough going for headshots, then bringing in an ammo that can penetrate through class five is an essential - but obviously this can be quite hard to come by, especially early on in the wipe.
If you can manage to farm enough 7.62x39 BP ammo from the rogues, then that could be a really good option. Alternatively, if you're confident going for headshots then really pretty much any ammo with flesh damage over 40 will do for a two shot headshot.
Obviously, your ammo is defined by your gun and vice versa, so choosing the gun to fit your ammo choice, and also the map you're planning on raiding is essential. One look at our Escape From Tarkov best guns list will get you started, but you're really going to want to go for a fully-automatic weapon for the most flexibility. Looking at our ammo choices, the Mutant or RD-704 are prime options due to their ability to use the 7.62x39 BP ammo that you will hopefully have picked up.
However, if you're more comfortable with another automatic that has good enough ammo, then feel free to go for that. Furthermore, if you plan on finding them on one of the longer range maps like Lighthouse or Woods, then a sniper rifle might be a good choice, but do take into consideration that you will need at least two shots, and potentially more to kill each member, so you really do have to be precise.
Finally, in terms of armour, you're really going to want to take something with the highest class you can get your hands on. The three most common ammo types that the Goon Squad will be using are 7.62x51 M61 and .300 AP, which absolutely tear through armour even up to class six. You could argue for a lower armour choice like class four, stating that they're going to penetrate it anyway so why bother, but you want to keep your chances as high as possible. Furthermore, it is a good idea to wield a helmet that covers as much as possible, including a face shield, as it could be the thing that saves your life.
It's also going to be a good idea to take the biggest backpack you can find as well, as you're not going to want to go to all the effort of killing them, and then have to leave all their high tier gear in the raid.
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Escape From Tarkov Goon Squad Strategy
Now that you're all geared up, and have actually managed to find them, you're going to want to know the best strategy for dealing with the Goon Squad to complete the Escape From Tarkov Stray Dogs quest.
Generally, the best place to execute this strategy is on Customs due to the overwhelming amount of cover, but you can technically do it on any of the other three maps if you play your cards right.
You must first understand how the AI of the Goon Squad works, to be able to fully take advantage of this strategy. You are most likely to be spotted first by Birdeye, and he will communicate your location to the other two. Once he spots you, he will move to a location where he has a clear shot, and both Death Knight and Big Pipe will rush to where you were spotted. If you manage to kill both of them, Birdeye has a chance of following behind them, but he could also just remain in his advantageous sniper spot.
Once you know that you've been spotted, you're going to want to immediately head into a nearby building, and preferably into an isolated room with a door. This way, you can create a bottleneck that the two bosses rushing into have to walk through, allowing you to control the situation.
Death Knight will likely get to you first, so either take him out through the door of the room you're sat in, or as he walks through the doorway. Try to use the minimum required bullets to kill him, as you realistically won't have time to reload. Additionally, close the door again after taking him down if you have access to one.
Shortly behind Death Knight should follow Big Pipe, and you're going to want to try and do the exact same thing again. It can be surprising at first how quickly Big Pipe can arrive after Death Knight, so always be sure to remain on alert after killing the first one.
If you're lucky, Birdeye will follow in soon after and let you do the same thing for the third time now, but this is less of a certainty. Sometimes it takes you looting the two bodies to activate this AI command, but it is really just pot luck. If you aren't fortunate enough and Birdeye stays put, you're going to want to try and get as close to him as possible, as at range he has an overwhelming advantage.
Use grenades to pinpoint his location and allow you to move, and also use cover to break up his line of sight. Once you get to him, he should pose a much more minor threat than the other two, and allow you to take him out easily.
While you do not need to extract to complete the Escape From Tarkov Stray Dogs quest, it really would be a waste of all the good gear you've earned to die without extracting, so make sure to be careful and extract as soon as you've hoovered everything up.
So, that's everything you need to know to complete the Escape From Tarkov Stray Dogs quest and kill the Goon Squad. If you want to see some of the items you've now picked up from the bosses, alongside some other high tier gear, make sure to check out the Escape From Tarkov flea market banned items list we have right here.