I am preparing this beginner’s guide to airsoft as an introduction to those that are new to airsoft and would like to understand how airsoft works. As a beginner, I am doing a great deal of research on what works and what doesn’t. My hours of research will help you save time and money by finding out clever shortcuts that reduce the learning curve.
Beginner’s Guide to Airsoft
If you want to start engaging in airsoft battles, you probably want to understand what airsoft is. In this article, we’ll be talking about airsoft and all you need to know regarding the game.
Let’s start with the basics.
1. What Is Airsoft?
According to a simple explanation in Wikipedia Airsoft is:
A competitive team sport in which participants eliminate opponents by shooting each other with spherical plastic pellets launched via replica weapons called airsoft guns.
Airsoft is a competitive team sport that resembles real military combat where players engage each other with military-style replicas of real firearms. Airsoft Guns shoot plastic BBs that are usually 6mm wide and use either gas, springs, or electricity to propel the BBs.
The sport gained popularity in Japan in the 1970s and spread to the UK in the 80s and early 90s and later spread to the USA as popularity grew.
2. Is Airsoft Legal?
In the USA, the short answer is, yes. However, it depends on the state that you are in. Each state has their own federal airsoft laws. Knowing these laws will help you avoid trouble with the law if you want to own airsoft guns in the US.
However, the long answer is, not really. Due to their uncanny resemblance to real firearms, airsoft is regulated both by federal law and state law. The federal law controls the sale of airsoft guns by requiring that all manufacturers of airsoft guns should place a blaze orange tip at the muzzle of every airsoft gun they sell.
This helps distinguish between real firearms and airsoft guns. In which case, firearms being the deadly guns and airsoft being toy gun replicas.
In addition to this, minors under the age of 18 years are not legally permitted to purchase airsoft guns over the counter. However, federal law does not impose any age restrictions on the use of airsoft guns.
Different states also impose their own state regulations for airsoft and the laws vary depending on which state you are in.
Internationally, most countries have laws that regulate the sale transportation, and use of airsoft guns. The laws differ widely with some countries requiring permits and background checks while others imposing minimum age restrictions for one to purchase and use an airsoft gun.
How Do I Play Airsoft?
Before we talk about the different types of games you can play in airsoft, let’s first get familiar with basic rules. There are varying rules depending on the type of game you are playing. However, most games observe the following rules.
- Goggles and Masks – All players must have goggles and masks during gameplay.
- Gun safeties – Engage your safeties until all players have their masks on to prevent any unintended shots resulting to injury.
- Safe Zone Area– Every game must have a safe zone which is only accessible to players outside of the game including those who’s been shot.
- Safe Zone Rule – Never fire through a safe zone since the people in this zone may not have their masks on.
- Saying Hit – Admit that you’ve been hit by shouting “Hit” to indicate you’ve been shot. Airsoft games operate in Honor policy and players generally don’t take cheating lightly.
- Realistic Hit (Bonus Rule) – Try acting as realistically as possible when hit. This adds fun to the game if you can dramatically fall to the ground.
Here is a short funny video that illustrates these rules:
Types of Airsoft Games
There are several types of games that you can play and they mostly include eliminating the enemy and avoiding being hit. The games listed below are games that can be played by small teams and vary in the average gameplay time.
1. Medic Airsoft Game
The main objective of this game is to be the last team standing. Each team has a medic who is usually unarmed or just armed with an airsoft pistol. Their work is to attend to everyone in the team that has been hit by bandaging them to allow them to get back to the game.
- When someone from the team is shot, the medic would need to bandage the injured player on the forehead. Once the medic attach the bandages, they can get back to the game.
- After being shot, a player can defend himself but shouldn’t be able to walk until the medic arrives.
- If the player is hit again, they are out of the game.
- If the medic is hit, they are considered dead and should leave the game.
- Without the medic, the game is almost over since there will be no one to bandage them back to the game.
The primary objective of the game should be to eliminate the opponent’s medic. At the same time, you need to protect your medic from being hit by the opponents to ensure that your team has the highest chance of survival.
2. Team Deathmatch
This is the most basic gameplay any beginner should look for. The setup involves dividing yourselves into two teams. Each team has the objective of getting the highest number of hits while avoiding getting hit.
Once you have been hit, you would go back to the respawn point for a certain period of time.
3. Capture the Flag
The goal of is to capture the opponent’s flag and carry it to your home base. Each team has the responsibility of protecting its flag from being captured while working to get the opponent’s flag.
There are two variants of this gameplay.
- Live Flag – In Live Flag, once the flag is captured and the person who took it is hit, the next player can proceed with the flag from where they left it.
- Dead Flag – In Dead Flag, on the other hand, forces players to return the flag back to the original position once they have been hit.
This game involves two parties, the sniper and the rest of the team. The sniper is given 2 minutes to hide and after that, the rest of the team should find him and escort him back to the checkpoint.
In the meantime, the sniper’s goal will be to take out as many players as possible without getting caught.
Two teams participate in these games, the escorting team and the attacking team.
- Escorting Team – The escorting team’s responsibility is to escort the unarmed player from point A to a Safezone. The player needs to arrive at the safe zone “unharmed” or without being hit by the attacking team. If the escorting team reaches the safe zone, the game ends and the escorting team wins.
- Attacking Team – The attacking team’s responsibility is to take out the unarmed player before the escorting team reaches the safe zone. When the unarmed player is hit, the game ends and the attacking team wins.
When any of the players are hit, they should be considered dead and would be out of the game until the next round.
Where Can I Go to Play Airsoft?
Now that Airsoft interests you, you must be wondering where to begin right? Well, the first thing you need to do is find yourself an airsoft field.
There are multiple online resources that can help you find an airsoft field near you. A good example is Airsoftc3 which has listings various fields in the USA. Once you find a field, the next thing you need to do is give them a call and find out when they normally organize their events and go try it out.
Most fields charge for events and most of the time they lease out their gears to players. It would be best to first try these rentals first and hold off on buying your own guns. Once you get your feel for the gameplay, you can then get your airsoft gun.
There are many other games that you can play in an airsoft match. You can even make variations in the ones stated above and agree to extra rules that can change the dynamics of the game.
It’s really up to the players how they want to spice up their airsoft games.