Airsoft is incredibly fun, but getting started with all the gear right off the bat may cost you slightly more than you may be able to spend. You should probably start with your Airsoft gun and eye protection.
While these are essentially all you need to play a good game of Airsoft, in this post, we’ll answer the question:
“What are the best Airsoft accessories and which accessories should a beginner buy first?”
Know What Gear To Start With
There are a lot of airsoft accessories that you can get. Some are incredibly useful and some just look cool. So what Airsoft accessories should you start with?
When shopping for Airsoft accessories, you want to start with:
- Gears that enhance your safety then,
- Items that can help improve your gameplay then finally,
- Go for accessories that improve your aesthetics.
In this post, we will divide the accessories into three categories and further into the ones that give you the best bang for your buck.
The reason this is first and prioritized is both for safety and aesthetic reasons. Good safety gear will both protect you from injury and should also look cool.
The first and most essential gear you need to have is a good pair of airsoft glasses. These need to be impact rated and tested for Airsoft.
When choosing good airsoft goggles considered the following things:
- Strap – Look for those that have a strap that goes around your head. So that the glasses don’t drop in the middle of a game and risk your eyes getting injured.
- Full Closure – Get Airsoft goggles that have full closure or goggles that have no gaps on the side to avoid BBs entering and potentially damaging your eyes.
- Fog Resistance – Most goggles fog at some point, however, there are a few brands that do well at keeping the fog down.
Looking at the most recommended in multiple forum threads, Valken Zulu takes the top spot. Airsoft megastore is also offering the same brand if you want to check it out.
There are a lot of gruesome photos of bleeding faces on different airsoft websites and it would be a great idea to get good protection for your face. So what makes good face protection when playing airsoft?
- Compatibility – Get face protection that works well with your eye protection. This will help reduce any discomfort as you play.
- Cover – The face protection needs sufficient covering on your face that leaves as little space unprotected as possible.
- Breathability – You will get hot when playing and you need to get face protection that breathes well to help you reduce the sweating, especially on hot days.
- Straps – Get face protection that will securely fit on your head and remain fixed during gameplay.
- Looks – The looks and design are important factors to consider and will vary depending on your personal preference. Look through different designs before making your choice.
Check out the One Tigris Mask as this seems to be a good choice that fits the checklist above.
Getting shot in the ear is painful. The probability of being shot in the ear depends on what kind of game you play.
If you are a CQB player, ensure that your ears are well protected since you will be shot from close distances. BBs are likely to get to your ears more easily this way.
Howard Leight works well in covering up your ears. But there are problems:
- Uncomfortable – It starts to feel uncomfortable after using them for long periods.
- Price – They are expensive.
It would be best to get a mask that protects both your ears and your face. A mesh mask that goes all the way around to your ears will help protect them without you having to buy something specifically for the ears.
One Tigris Mask is sufficient to help you protect your ears while not covering them up completely. You may also want to check out this video by BrainExploder on a DIY kit that looks awesome and does a good job of protecting your ears in CQB.
If you are playing out in the field, it’s less likely that you will get shot in the ears and your protection can be much lighter than in CQB. This tactical hood by Under Armour works well to provide a bit of cover from oncoming BBs. It also breaths well and can be a good way of covering up your skin before putting on the masks and headgear.
There are a lot of helmets and different styles of headgear in Airsoft out there. The kind of headgear you choose will depend on your preference and gameplay. Here are a few things that you need to look out for when choosing your headgear:
- Mounting Gear – Helmets that have velcro and arc rails already installed will help you mount extra gear easily.
- Good Fit – Find a helmet that easily adjusts to your head. You are going to be wearing the helmet for hours and you do not want it digging into your skin.
- Managing Heat – The helmet needs to breathe well to stay comfortable in the heat.
- Weight – Small unnecessary weights become unbearable when carried for a long time. Getting a light headgear will help avoid that hassle.
- Compatibility With Other Gear – Find out if the headgear works well with your goggles, face protection, and ear protection.
Helmets are a great choice for many and you will have many types to choose from. Lancer Tactical fits all the requirements above and it’s priced reasonably. It easily mounts a GoPro and works well with most brands of goggles.
You might also want to check out the price on Amazon and see if you will get a great deal there instead.
A tactical boonie hat is a great alternative to the helmet especially if you do not plan on mounting any gear. The downside is that you can still get hit in the head. However, it’s not as bad as being hit on your bare skin. Generally, there’s not a lot to worry about in this regard.
- More breathable
- Less expensive
With a fraction of the price and less weight, boonies are great alternatives to helmets.
3. Playing Without Head Protection
You can still play without any head protection and a few people do. This may not be a great idea since playing without any headgear will expose you to BB hits which may be quite unpleasant.
But if this is what you prefer, unleash the Rambo!
This can be easily achieved with a simple scarf that breathes well. Something light that will not make you unnecessarily hot will be the best choice.
This Lightweight Shemagh Scarf on Airsoft Megastore works well for this purpose.
Avoiding Rolling Your Ankles
When out on the field, you will be running around and jumping over logs and rocks. There is a high likelihood that you will roll your ankles when your feet land the wrong way.
A good way of avoiding this is wearing boots that have good ankle support. This means that when your foot lands on an uneven spot, your ankles will be a bit more rigid and you are less likely to roll them.
A good pair of shoes when playing airsoft need to meet the following criteria:
- Good ankle support
- Breathes well and can manage sweat
- Good sole that will not easily get penetrated by sharp objects
- Tactical and cool for the field
If you do not have a budget to get a pair of boots specifically used out on the field, a good pair of sneakers should do the job. However, if you will be playing on uneven terrain, getting a good pair of hiking boots with ankle support would be better for you.
Most good quality hiking boots are designed with great grip, good airflow, comfortable internal padding, and most essentially, good ankle support. The Keen Hiking boots are a great option that fulfills these things and can be used outside an airsoft field.
Protecting Your Hands
Getting shot on your hands is likely to happen in an airsoft game since your gun is the only visible thing from around the corner. If you get shot on your hands without them having any covering, you will definitely feel it.
Here are the things you need to look out for when looking for a good pair of airsoft gloves.
- Enough padding to protect your hands from feeling a shot.
- Should allow your trigger finger enough room to move unobstructed.
- Shouldn’t restrict your fingers and the rest of your hand from moving naturally.
A great pair that fit the requirements above would be the Mechanix M-Pact Tactical Gloves. You can also check out the price on Amazon here for the price comparison.
Game Enhancing Accessories
After fulfilling the purchases on what’s important, it’s time to look for gears that enhances your gameplay. These little trinkets may allow you to perform easier but it will still boil down to your skills.
Let’s take a look at what accessories can enhance your overall gameplay.
One of the fastest ways of improving your airsoft game is getting good optics. If you want to look for the best optics, try considering the following:
- Engagement Distances – Are you playing CQB or out in the field? If you’re doing CQB, maybe optics are not that important for you.
- Type of gun – If you are using a sniper rifle, you will need a good scope with great magnification that allows you to shoot targets from afar.
- Red Dot – Consider the level of the intensity of the dot.
- Compatibility – Check for compatibility before purchasing to avoid getting a sight that you will never use.
- Quality – To avoid being disappointed and wasting your money, opt for real steel sights that are more accurate and better made than cheap ones.
- Glare – Some sights have glare issues and may be troublesome to use, especially on bright days.
Red dot sights are sufficient for most AEGs. There’s no need to get very high magnification since most AEGs won’t be able to reach it anyway. Getting a 1.5x or 2x magnification is enough for most AEGs.
Speed is sometimes essential when playing airsoft. Slacking for a few seconds may leave you exposed and out of the game sooner than you would want. This is where a speed loader becomes quite handy.
A speed loader will help you reduce the amount of time that you would take to reload your mags with BBs. They can help you reduce the reload time to seconds instead of minutes and this may be crucial in a high-speed game.
There are a lot of speed loaders out there and it would be important to confirm that the speed loader you’re considering works well with the gun that you have.
Having extra mags is crucial if you do not want to get delayed after your mag runs out. Carrying extra mags removes the restriction of having to reload your magazine when still in gameplay.
On average, a Mid Cap magazine will hold around 100-150 rounds. Depending on your style of play, you will need around 600 rounds in a game and this means that you will need around 4 mags per game.
The Elite Force 5Pack Mag Set is a great choice if you are looking to get a set of extra magazines.
Holsters help keep your airsoft pistol out of the way but still accessible. They also allow you to have two or multiple guns when playing airsoft as you can now get your hand free of a pistol.
Without a holster, you would have to carry your pistol for the whole game. This limits your gun usage. So be sure to add this to your list.
A good airsoft vest will allow you to carry everything you need to play well on the airsoft fields. The primary use of an airsoft Vest is to carry your ammo conveniently without also losing your spent mags. It also allows you to reload quickly as your mags conveniently wait for the time you need them.
Ideally, a good airsoft vest should:
- Have enough room for all the mags you will need.
- It should be designed in a way that will not restrict your movement.
- Help you with camouflage. So choose a vest that suits the field you want to play at.
Your vest should be able to hold about 6 Mags without restricting your movement and without shifting your weight forward or backward. This video by Alecmag111 helps explain this a bit better and he recommends Crye Precision JPC Vest. Be sure to check it out.
Functional Airsoft Accessories for Aesthetics
These items are very useful but they are considered for aesthetic purposes. While having a radio system can help you communicate well with your team, there are still other ways to communicate.
These are fun to have but not a must. It would be still cool to have them though.
GoPro and Mounts
Filming has become an essential part of most airsoft games. A good GoPro mount helps to capture gameplay without you having to think about whether you’re recording or not.
If you do not already have a GoPro, the Hero 6 is a great option but it is a bit pricey. You might want to go for one of the older models like the Hero 4. After you get your GoPro, you will now want to mount it to record footage of your game.
The kind of GoPro mounts you will get will depend on the kind of headgear you have if you have any headgear at all. However, generally here are the things you need to look out for when getting a GoPro mount.
- Secure fit – Given that you will be running around, your mount should securely hold your GoPro. Most fields are large and it would take you hours of finding it if you lose your GoPro.
- Compatibility – Ensure that your mounts match the exact version of your headgear. You can check YouTube tutorials to learn more about which is the best fit.
GoPro Mount Options
Here are a few GoPro mounts for different mounting options.
Try checking out a video on YouTube on how to mount a GoPro on a helmet.
Tactical Radio Systems
Communicating clearly with your team is an important part of winning an airsoft game. Radios will also help you play in a more coordinated way and you definitely need to add them to your list of airsoft accessories wishlist.
The things you need to look out for when getting an airsoft tactical Radio are:
- Range – You should be able to communicate clearly with your team even when they are far away or if you are playing on a large field.
- Battery Life – You don’t want your radio to die on you while on the field.
- Comfortable Headset – Since you will be wearing the radio for the whole game, you need to be sure that it will be comfortable to have it in your ear all day.
- Fits Into the Radio Pouch – Get a pouch that fits the radio comfortably and also allows you to use it without taking it out. Make sure that it’s also compatible with your other gear.
I did some research and found the following setup to be the most popular and effective for Airsoft Tactical radios.
- The Radio – The most popular radio is the Baofeng UV-5R Radio and it’s priced affordably. While there are downsides, these can be fixed by upgrading a few parts.
- Battery Pack – The stock battery has a short life. To solve this, get the ExpertPower Battery pack for the UV5R to double the life of your battery.
- Antenna – The stock antenna is limited. Try getting the Nagoya NA-771 15.6-Inch antenna to increase the range significantly and allow you to communicate at far distances.
- Microphone and Headset – The 1 X Flexible Throat Mic is a great option for you. It fits on your throat and has a small tube earpiece that fits comfortably on your ear. It also has a good com button that can be attached to your vest with velcro for easy reach.
- Pouch – You will need to secure your radio and a great option for this is the Tactical Tailor Pouch. Its size fits the UV5R with the bigger battery and works well with most airsoft vests.
The one thing you will need to get if you are in the USA is a radio license to allow you to legally operate such a radio system. It’s not a complex thing to get but you can get into a bit of trouble if you don’t have it.
The kind of license that you will need is a technician license for you to be able to use a ham radio.
Now that you know which equipment you should buy, it’s time to visit the stores. Remember, if your budget is limited, try focusing on the most important gears that keep you safe first.
Gameplay-enhancing equipment and aesthetic accessories can come slowly in the future.