Customs is one of Escape from Tarkov's most popular maps played, and for good reason. Customs is a very easy map to learn and master, up to 13 players can be in a game at once together making it a high PvP map, but most importantly, Customs is very rewarding when it comes to looting. In this guide we will focus on the main looting area of Customs and will include useful keys as well at the end. If you are not familiar with the Customs map, you can use this map for a guide. The map shows where to use each key listed in this guide as well.
The best keys to take into customs with you are:
- Three story dorms: Marked Key, Room 214, Room 204. Honorable mentions: Room 303, Room 218
- Two story dorms: Room 105, Room 110, Room 114, Guard Desk Key.
- Other keys: Factory Exit Key, the key to the gas station storage room, Cabinet Key, Customs Office Key, Military Base Checkpoint Key
The Dorms are located at the upper middle area of the map. Here you will find two separate dorm buildings, one is a three-story building, the other is only a two-story building. These are commonly referred to as "dorms 3" and "dorms 2 respectively." This area was the main hotspot for the map before the Customs map expansion that happened in patch 0.12.7.8334. Not long before the expansion, they nerfed the "marked room" loot which caused some people to stray away from the area as well. However, the nerf was not enough to give up on dorms completely, and in my opinion these two buildings still yield high loot, with a quick extract if Dorms Vehicle Exit is available.
There are two spawns you will be looking for when you load into Customs. One on the east side of the map, and one on the west side of the river that runs north and south. Take note of these pictures that display the spawns. If you get one of these spawns, it would be in your best interest to rush the dorm buildings as soon as you spawn in, as you will likely be the first one there.
(Map courtesy of Reddit user MONKIMONKIMONK)
The picture above is the best dorms spawn you can get. The path to dorms is drawn on the map in red. This spawn is the closest, and as long as you don't get a late spawn into the game, you will be the first to reach the dorm buildings.
This is the second-best dorms spawn you can get. The path to dorms is drawn on the map in red. There is still a high chance you will reach dorms first with this spawn, as the other spawn is never guaranteed to anyone. If you notice you have one of these two spawns, rushing dorms should be your top priority.
When you reach the dorm buildings, you want to begin by entering the three-story building. There will be staircases on the north and south side of the buildings that will allow you to enter at different levels. On the north side of the three-story building you will only be able to open the second floor door, while on the south side you will be able to enter all three floors. If you spawn on the west side of the river, you will want to run to the south side of the three-story dorm and continue up the stairs to the third floor. If you spawn on the east side, you will want to enter through the front entrance and go up to the third floor using the main staircase. Always enter either dorms building with caution as the scav boss Reshala and his guards have a chance of spawning here.
Three-Story Dorms Building
Room 314 - Marked Room Key (Key has 25 uses)
The marked room is the main room that will be contested in this building. This should be the first room you run to and unlock because if you receive high value loot you can quickly put it in your secure container before moving on or being contested. While the loot for this room was nerfed earlier this year, it still will provide a great ROI for the price of the key. Items you can find include Keytool, Medical Case, Money Case, Dog Tag Case, different weapons, and other rare items.
Room 214 Key
Room 214 is the furthest north room on the second floor of the three-story dorms building. Quick access to this room is achievable by entering the second floor using the stairs on the outside of the northern part of the building. You will only be able to open the second floor door. Once inside, the door is located directly to your right. Inside the room, you will find a safe, loose loot, and a possible key spawn in the red mug for dorms room 203. When I loot this room, I typically only loot the safe for the money and possible rare items. There is no need to look for the key in the red mug as it has a very low value and is not worth it.
Room 204 Key
Room 204 is located on the opposite side of the building from room 214. In this room you will find a blue weapon locker and safe combo. The bottom part of the locker is the weapon locker where you will have a low chance of finding a high value weapon. On top of the weapon locker is a small safe where you can find cash and other rare items. This room is always worth checking in my opinion because many people will only loot the bottom portion of the weapon locker and forget/not know about the safe portion on top. While this room may not make you rich quick, it's always fun finding a high tier weapon.
Room 303 Key
Room 303 is on the third floor of the three-story dorms, and the room is located on the south end of the building. Behind this door you will find a wooden crate that can spawn ammo, weapons, weapon mods, and grenades inside. There is also a rare weapon spawn on the desk next to the wooden crate. In my opinion this key is not worth taking into Customs with you. You can make money from the weapons and modifications found; however the expensive items have a very rare chance of spawning.
Room 218 Key
Room 218 is on the second floor of the three-story dorms, and the room is in the north-east area through the lobby of the second floor. Behind this door there is a possible weapon spawn in the back left corner of the room, and weapon modification spawns on the floor. Like room 303, I do not believe that this key is worth bringing into your raid on Customs, however you can make money from the weapon spawn, and modifications found.
Two-Story Dorms Building:
Room 105 Key
Room 105 is located on the first floor of the two-story dorms, and it is behind the fenced off section of the building. Because it is in the fenced off section of the building, you must enter from the southern outside door. Once inside, it is the last door on the left closest to the fence. Inside the room you will find a safe, provisions on the bed, and loose loot on the floor of the room. This key is worth bringing into the raid as the safe has a chance to spawn money and rare items inside.
Room 110 Key
Room 110 is located on the opposite side of the fence as room 105. The easiest way to get to this room is by going through the front entrance of the two-story dorms building and heading left once inside. This door has a piece of paper on it as well, making it easy to locate. Once inside the room you will find a safe, and a possible spawn of Fuel Conditioner, a Secured Flash drive, and a Diary on the bed. This room is always worth checking as you have the safe inside which has a chance to spawn money and rare items. Also with the three additional possible spawns for items on the bed, this room can become a high value room quickly. I always recommend checking this room if nobody else looted it first.
Room 114 Key
Room 114 is conveniently located right across the hall from room 110 in the two-story dorms building. Once inside the room you will find a safe, a medcase, one computer and loose loot. This room is also always worth checking because you can find high value items inside of the safe. You can also find trading items by searching the computer for PC parts. This room also has a medcase and inside you can find painkillers and healing items, which can be beneficial if you are just getting out of a fight, ran out of meds, or forgot to bring meds into raid with you.
Guard Desk Key
The guard desk is located just to the right of the front entrance of the two-story dorm. This is one of the more dangerous rooms to loot in the dorms building as you are highly visible from the outside and inside. Inside the room you will find a weapon rack, a weapon box, a wall key holder, two wooden ammo boxes and weapon mods on the desk. I always bring this key and normally loot it later in the match if I don't go straight to dorms, and it hasn't been looted. You can find expensive higher tier ammo inside the ammo boxes and different weapons and mods inside of the weapons case. The key holder spawns two keys, dorm room 104 and dorm room 105. Dorm room 104 is not worth keeping if you find it, however the dorm room 105 key is.
This key unlocks the last door on the right at the end of the hallway at the gas station on the east side of the map. Inside the room you will find a safe, a pistol spawn on the desk, loose ammo and money, and "The key to the gas station storage room" also spawns under the table. This is a great key to because of the safe in the room has a chance to spawn valuable items and you can find higher end pistols on the desk.
The Key to the Gas Station Storage Room
This key unlocks the storage room right next to the previous room. Inside here you will find two med cases that will spawn different types of healing for you or medical trading items. I always bring this key with me because I am already going to be looting the office next to it, there is no reason to skip it.
Factory Exit Key (key has 50 uses)
This key is a very useful key for more than just the Customs map. This map not only opens doors on Customs, but also Interchange, Factory, and Shoreline. Because this guide is for Customs, we will just focus on the uses on this map. There are currently three doors to use this key on Customs. Before the Customs expansion, this key was very useful, as it was a safer way to cross from one side of the map to the other using the shortcut. You will need to use the key to open either side of these doors.
The last spot to use this key is in a new extraction that came with the Customs map expansion. You will need the key to unlock this door to extract in the ZB-013 exit after turning the power on.
Customs Office Key
The customs office key unlocks this door in the Customs building or also known as "Big Red." The location of this building is on the west side of the map, just east of storage, as its nickname states, it is the "Big Red" building. The office door is on the second level, and the key will grant access to two different rooms. Inside these rooms you will find three computers, a safe, a jacket, a Folder with Intelligence spawn, along with loose loot, a MBSS backpack spawn, and a PACA Soft Amor spawn. The main items you are here for are the computer parts, the safe loot, and if you're lucky, the Folder with Intelligence. However, there can be a price to pay with deciding on looting these rooms. The office is very small and there is only one way in and out, making it very hard to fight your way out and back down to the ground if you are contested here.
Military Base Checkpoint Key
The Military base checkpoint key is another risk/reward key. There are quite a few scavs that spawn around the area and there is a chance for there to be a sniper scav at the top of the guard tower. This area is also a very high traffic area for players due to the holes in the wall nearby. The key unlocks the bottom floor of the guard tower on the eastern side of the map. inside you will find a weapon rack, one grenade box, and two wooden ammo boxes. I recommend having this key as you can make your money back with a lucky weapon spawn, or high tier ammo in the ammo boxes. It is also nice to find a few grenades in the grenade box.
I hope this guide was beneficial for you. Remember that these keys are what I believe to be most important on the map while being efficient. There is nothing wrong with bringing every dorm room key, and at the end of the day, you should bring keys that suit your play style. If you are a newer player and want to stay away from PvP when you start, rushing marked room is not something you should do. I would recommend going into an offline mode and familiarize yourself with the map and the areas you want to loot. Doing this will ensure that you will know where to go, and how to get there quickly before someone else. Good luck out there and see you on Customs!