STALKER 2: Release Date, Gameplay, Pre-Order & More

Everything We Know So Far About Stalker 2

Stalker (S.T.A.L.K.E.R) is a gaming franchise that’s very near and dear to gamers around the world. It’s a first-person shooter game series with RPG mechanics and a touch of horror. The previous entry, STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl released back in 2007. Since then, there’s been no communication from GSC Game World, until 2020. At Xbox E3 Game Showcase, Fans all over the world were surprised to see Stalker 2 getting announced. This article is going to cover Stalker 2 story, gameplay, release date, trailer, NFT additions, multiplayer news, pre-orders, DLC plans, and much more. 

Stalker Game Backstory

First things first, the word “S.T.A.L.K.E.R” is actually an acronym for scavengers, trespassers, adventures, loners, killers, explorers, and robbers. It’s a brilliant way to squeeze in the game’s tone and setting into the name itself.

World of Stalker

Stalker series world is based in an alternate Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. The story starts by explaining how there was a second nuclear explosion after the first (actual) one. According to Stalker’s lore, the 2nd exclusion zone is part of the U.S.S. and home to secret labs conducting shady psionic ability experiments. 

Origins of “The Zone”

So as we know from pop culture, shady Russian experiments tend to go haywire, and this particular one was no exception. In 2006, this scientific experimentation led to a catastrophe that caused a meteorological phenomenon. It also heavily mutated all life around the area i.e. plants, animals, and humans. This heavily radiated area around the explosion was known as “The Zone.” 

The Stalkers

Now The Zone is home to anomalies that create “Artifacts.” These are objects that have psionic powers that Stalkers search for themselves. Now stalkers are either lone wolves or members of a rival faction. Additionally, there’s a Duty Faction that wants to destroy the Zone and a Freedom Faction that wants the zone to be accessible to everyone. 

Stalker 2 Release Date

Originally planned to release on April 28th, 2022, Stalker 2 was eventually delayed to December 8th, 2022.

However, this tweet was way before the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Fans were eager to step back into the world of Stalker since it’s been almost 13 years since the last installment. However, it seems fate has other plans and the game’s release date is the least of developers’ problems.

YouTube video

On February 28th, GSC Game World released a video in response to fans asking if the studio is doing well in current circumstances.

Stalker 2 Won’t Release in Russia

Now the bad news, GSC Game World has cut ties with its Russian audience. This means that Stalker 2 won’t be sold in Russia due to the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. 

According to a post from GSC Game World on Russian social media site VK (Post Taken Down), “The game will no longer launch later this year in Russia as initially planned, however, all digital pre-orders of Stalker 2 throughout the region will still be honored. 

Platforms Stalker 2 Will Release On

Stalker 2: Shadow of Chornobyl is an Xbox console exclusive. The game will launch on Xbox Series X, Series S as well as PC. Xbox Game Pass owners will have access to Stalker 2 on day one which is fantastic news. On PC, the game will initially launch on Microsoft Store and Steam then later come on Epic Store.

So will Stalker 2 launch on PS4 or PS5? As far as PS4 is concerned, Stalker 2 won’t be coming to PS4 as the hardware isn’t capable enough to run the game properly. It’s a true next-gen game from GSC Game World and might come to PS5 after a few months or even a year. 

Stalker 2 Pre-Order

Stalker 2 Preorder Infographics
Preorder for Stalker 2 is Now Open

There are 3 main preorder bundles that you can get your hands on right now. 

Standard Edition

  1. Priced at $59.99 (Prices may vary region-wise)
  2. Access to complete game
  3. Preorder bonus content
  4. Dynamic Theme (Steam)
  5. Animated Avatar (Steam)
  6. Stalker Themed Frame (Steam)

Deluxe Edition

  1. Priced at $79.99 (Prices may vary region-wise)
  2. Access to complete game
  3. All Content from Standard Edition
  4. Exclusive Side Missions and In-Game Content
  5. Digital Artbook (Steam)
  6. Official Soundtrack (Steam)
  7. Exclusive Character
  8. 1 Costume and 3 Weapon Skins (For Single-Player Campaign)
  9.  2 Costumes and 3 Weapon Skins (For Multiplayer)

Ultimate Edition

  1. Priced at $109.99 (Prices may vary region-wise)
  2. All Content from Standard and Deluxe Editions
  3. 1 Costume and 3 Weapon Skins (For Single Player)
  4. 3 Costumes and 7 Weapon Skins (For Multiplayer)
  5. 2 Exclusive Story Expansions Post Launch
  6. Season Pass

Stalker 2 Gameplay

Microsoft Xbox released Stalker 2’s detailed gameplay video on 13th June 2021. The trailer shows Skif, our protagonist, enjoying a comfy campfire with his fellow Stalkers. The comfort of music and chatter soon transitions to showcasing brutal gameplay segments of the Stalker 2 world. 

YouTube video


The trailer also highlights the survival RPG elements of the game with how you have to manage factors like radiation, hunger, and stamina to survive. These mechanics were also in the previous entries but have been improved upon in Stalker 2. 

The map size is also the biggest ever in a Stalker game. It spans across a whopping 24 sq. miles area. It’s almost double the size of Skyrim and a little bigger than Zelda Breath of the Wild. 

Stalker 2 Multiplayer and Co-op

According to GSC Game World, Stalker 2 will have a multiplayer mode post-launch in a deleted Twitter post. The Twitter post highlighted the announcement of NFTs, however, they also unraveled their plans for Stalker 2 multiplayer in that post.

The multiplayer includes a range of cosmetics including gloves and tattoos for players that’ll act like emblems akin to Call of Duty. The multiplayer won’t only be Coop, it’ll also include modes like Team Deathmatch and a possible battle royale mode (rumor). 

Stalker 2 World and Lore

The general story of Stalker 2 is similar to the previous entries. You’re a Stalker and on the hunt for artifacts. These artifacts will grant our protagonist some useful abilities as well as help him seek out the truth behind anomalies.

The best aspect about Stalker 2’s world is that it’s non-linear. The campaign doesn’t follow a go-here and do-this formula. Instead, you’re free to explore the world at your own pace, discover activities and complete them to progress the story. 

What Game Engine Stalker 2 Will Run On?

Stalker 2 will use Unreal Engine 5 according to tweets from GSC Game World. It will be one of the first games to use Epic Game’s immersive engine as the backbone of their game. 

Unreal Engine 5 can really benefit Stalker 2 and add extreme immersion and realism to the game. From the aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster and greenery found on the survive to the dark and dingy tunnels underground, they’ll feel real like never before. 

You can view some of the in-game screenshots posted by the Stalker community manager on Reddit here. 

How Long to Beat Stalker 2

Zakhar Bocharov, the PR manager for GSC Game World has revealed that exploring the world of Stalker 2 and doing every side-quest can take up to hundreds of hours. 

This piece of information comes from an interview conducted by Gaming Bolt. He was asked the question about the length of Stalker 2, to which he replied that the main quest-line is long enough. But players who dedicate themselves to exploring every nook and cranny of the world and focus on completing every side-mission can spend hundred of hours in a single playthrough. 

Stalker 2 Mods Support

GSC Game World has announced that Mods’ support will come to Stalker 2 on day one. According to GSC Game World Statement on mods, ” We’re fully committed to making modding as simple as possible on day one.” So it couldn’t get more official than this. We can expect to see mod communities hard at work on day one of Stalker 2’s release.

Is Stalker 2 Going to Introduce NFT?

Now NFT is the new buzzword in the world, and the gaming industry is trying to find a way to implement it into their games. After failed attempts from a few publishers *Cough* Ubisoft *Cough*, GSC Game World wanted to have a crack at those nifty NFTs themselves. 

On 15th December 2021, GSC Game World announced that they’ll be including NFTs in Stalker 2. This was aimed at providing the players the opportunity to have their images captured and scanned onto NPC’s faces for unique items through a Blockchain Auction.

However, fans instantly backlashed at the slightest smell of including NFTs into Stalker 2 which instantly forced publishers to recoil from their plans. As a result, the Stalker 2 was never tainted by the craze of the non-fungible tokens.

Do I Have to Play Previous Entries in Order to Enjoy Stalker 2?

It’s a yes and a no. 

Stalker 2 itself is a standalone project according to GSC Game World that can be enjoyed on its own. That said…

From the look of the lore and trailers available online, Stalker 2 is a continuation of the previous entries. If you want to get fully immersed in the world of Stalker 2, we & GSC Game World recommend playing previous entries.


And that’s all we have for you today dear readers. We’ve compiled a massive amount of information on Stalker 2: Heart of Chornobyl in this article. But worry not, we’ll keep you posted as more information is available to us.

Considering the current climate of the Ukrain-Russia conflict, there’s a possibility that another delay might be heading our way. However, humanity has come together even after the toughest of crises and there’s still hope for peace to prevail in these challenging times. 

Sulaymaan Ahmad is a Senior Writer on eXputer who covers all the latest and greatest games. He has an engineering background and a knack for decimating players in First-Person Shooter games. He also enjoys narrative-driven games with characters he can emotionally invest in. Sulaymaan's love for gaming has been going strong for several years which is evident on his gaming profiles at Steam and PSN. Experience: 3+ Years || Written 150+ Guides || Mainly Covers Strategy Guides on eXputer

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