Airsoft is an outdoor sport that works like paintball. They both have organized indoor activities and rules to follow. The main difference is that Airsofts are more realistic and look like actual firearms.
So how do you get started? If you’re reading this then you must be interested in playing airsoft with your friends or family and possibly even joining a team.
This article will give some advice on how to get into airsoft and everything that you might need as a beginner.
Getting Started in Playing Airsoft
Before starting airsoft, there are a lot of things you should consider. Head down for a complete list of things you have to consider. This is going to be a long ride so you better take notes!
Things to Consider
Let’s start with the basics. A little background, some budgeting, and thinking about how you’ll play in a real airsoft game. After that, let’s fill your backpack and get the important gear.
1. Play Style
Consider the playstyle you want. Just as in any other game, there are playstyles in Airsoft.
- Are you going to be the type of player that likes to go Rambo?
- Are you interested in a more sniper-like role with a long-distance rifle?
- Are you going to play by the rules?
- Or are you one of those people who don’t die after getting shot?
Different guns offer different playstyles and you are free to choose from a variety of different gears and equipment.
When you’re new, try to play as a sniper and join a team. Most new players spend lots of cash on equipment only to realize later that they don’t like it. So, try to know the game as much as you can first before spending too much cash.
Before you get into airsoft, you’ll have to decide how much money you’re willing to spend on your hobby. The cost can vary from $10 for a pair of goggles, all the way up to $3,000 – or even more if you want a custom-built gun.
Generally, most beginners should start with $10 worth of equipment, especially if you are only going to be playing airsoft once a week. Whether you’re on a budget or not, you should always buy quality airsoft guns and accessories if the budget permits.
However, if you already know what you like and if you want to play every weekend then go ahead and get something decent. There are items that you have to purchase at a cost and there are items that can go by being bought from cheap online stores. But, we’ll talk about those later.
It might sound boring but if you read up on the history of airsoft, you can learn a lot of things.
Try the book from the National Airsoft Collectors Association. There are some really fun stories and a lot of facts to learn about airsoft history. You can learn a lot of things and maybe some techniques.
If a book is not for you, you can try looking up the internet and watching videos online. If you have even more of a curiosity to learn about this hobby, you van visit the National Airsoft Festival which is hosted once a year.
If you’re going to play outside then you’re going to need a good quality backpack. The backpack will hold all of your extra gear, ammunition, and water so that you don’t have to carry anything while running around.
You’ll probably want some sort of drone or ghillie suit to help hide you in the field. Get a backpack with a water bladder in the main compartment and the second one with extra BBs in that pocket. That way you can fill up your other pockets with snacks and still have enough room for your rifle and ghillie suit if it’s needed.
1. Jug and Cleaning Gear
You should also be prepared with a large jug of water and a box of cleaning wipes to clean your gear after each game.
You’ll probably want to purchase some cleaning kits as well. However, try to buy from known stores and avoid purchasing online. Most items purchased online are cheap and they don’t have good quality.
Get a good quality pocket knife to help fix your gear on the fly. This is great if you want to:
- Upgrade a part
- Repair your gear or
- Build your accessories faster
Never leave the house without snacks. Usually, a match can end after 30 minutes but that doesn’t mean you won’t be hungry.
There are two types of snacks you should bring; plenty of snacks and snacks you don’t mind sharing with others.
There are some things that you should look for to get started with airsoft. This can help you make a smooth transition from the real world to the airsoft world.
If you’re going to buy something, make sure you know how to use that type of equipment before you spend your money on it. Try researching a piece of equipment first or ask the veterans and shop owners to learn more about certain gears.
Remember, if you don’t know what it is and where it’s legal to use it, hold off buying it for a while.
The first thing you should buy is a pistol. A pistol will work as your main weapon and it’s good for close-range combat. Pistols are a good way to begin because it gives you the opportunity to get used to using your first airsoft gun.
You also learn the basic movements such as aim, fire, reloading, and walking around without getting hurt.
2. Rifle or Sniper Rifle
Next up would be either a .40cal or 5.56mm airsoft rifle for long-range battles with your friends in the woods.
You’ll probably want to get a long barrel rifle if you plan to play outside because it will give you a bit more range and accuracy than a shorter one.
Another thing that is an absolute must is a good pistol holster. The best place to buy one is from an airsoft store for quality products. If you’re really interested in airsoft then consider buying a good quality magazine pouch for holding extra magazines.
4. Gloves and Goggles
If you want to play at a higher level then you’ll need to invest in some safety gear. The goggles protect your eyes from the bullets and also the field while the same goes with the gloves. It’s better to be safe out there.
Some would even cover themselves from head to toe. You have no idea how painful it is to get hit by a BB pellet. Some areas will even hurt more than others so it’s best to cover up.
5. Gas and BBs
Be prepared with enough gas and BBs in your backpack. If you want to play longer in the field, getting more ammo is important. You may want to buy more gas and BBs if you get a lot of use out of them.
Try to stick to the cheap stuff because they’re just as good as the more expensive brands. You can get some cheap ammo online from places like Airsoft Surgeon and Airguns World.
6. Extra Magazines
You wouldn’t want to be refilling your magazines on the field, right?
You can find these at an airsoft store. You can also purchase them online but expect lower quality as compared to store-bought magazines.
You can get a good pair of hand grenades. These can be expensive so you have to have enough budget to get these.
Also, try to avoid purchasing online. You would only want a reliable grenade that doesn’t explode prematurely, late, or not at all.
These are very useful when it’s cold or raining outside because they can be used as another type of mask for playing in the woods or fields. They can also be used for other things like tying up your hair or keeping your face dry in the rain.
Now that you’re set, it’s time to get out in the field and fire up those airsoft guns.
What to Expect Out There on the Field?
The field is important as this is where you’ll be playing. You also have to be prepared with who you’ll be playing with. There are different kinds of players, leagues and tournaments you can join.
The game is diverse. Be sure to check your local or national groups and organizations.
Choosing a field
The first thing you’ll have to think about is where you want to play airsoft. The most popular areas are:
- Open fields
- Woods with low-hanging limbs
All of these locations will offer a wide range of terrain and cover in case you get into a fight with someone on the field. You also need to pick a field that has enough cover if you want to play safely and still be able to see your targets.
The airsoft community is very large and you can find a team or even a league to play in. If you want to join the community then you can start with some research on YouTube or Reddit.
You’ll learn about upcoming games and other events that are going on all around the country, and also how to get involved with them.
1. Level of Play
There are a lot of different types of airsoft players, but some are more dedicated than others. This is especially true when it comes to the level that you want to play at.
If you’re a beginner then the best place for you is at a reenactment or MilSim game, short for military simulation. These games usually have very low-leveled rules and survival is quite realistic, which will be fun for new airsoft players.
2. Rambo All the Way Players
Learn how to deal with “Rambo” players. They may talk a big game but in the end, they will do nothing but give up every time you have a bad day.
If you’re new to this sport and can take losses very well then enjoy it because it can happen in most games, especially in your first weeks as you haven’t developed the skills to play the game yet.
Think about playing with other teams. You should join a team if you plan on playing at least once a week and want to get the most enjoyment out of the hobby. A team will also help you find people to play with, and you can even ask your teammates to recommend some good gear that is on sale.
Start with a small team if you’re not yet a part of any group or has never played before. Just as you are, some might find other teams so expect people to drop out after the game or even during the game.
Even though it can be fun to solo play, a big part of airsoft is teamwork. That’s why as a beginner you may want to join a team so that you can learn the ropes.
If you decide to be on your own, then keep in mind that most games are 5v5 or larger which can make it difficult for you on your own. The game can be much more enjoyable if you work together with your team members and not against them.
2. Don’t be afraid to leave your team
If you feel that the team is not playing towards your interests or it doesn’t share the same humor as yours, try moving on. You can find a new team, or try joining another one that may be more receptive to your interests.
This is a hobby and it’s going to involve some risks, so why play with people who are going to hold you back?
3. Unwelcoming Players
If you’re playing with close-minded or uncooperative players, you can change teams. You can change teams until you find the right one for you. No one will be judging you.
But if Airsoft is not for you, there are many other sports and hobbies that you and your family can join. Maybe it’s just not your cup of tea.
Clubs, Leagues, and Associations
Join a club such as the National Airsoft Association or the National Skirmish Association. These associations have their own set of rules. Not following them can send your membership into limbo or have it even removed from you later on down the road. You may also be required to pay an initiation fee.
1. Playing in a League
If you want to play in a league, then start checking out airsoft forums. Not only will these forums give you a wealth of knowledge, but they’ll also probably have a listing of leagues that are going on around the country.
You’ll be able to find information about the places where you can play and how to contact them for an application or get more information about their game schedules.
2. Local League
You can also try reaching out to local leagues near you. If you don’t know where the closest airsoft events are, then use the Internet to search for them, or ask your friends and family if they know of any large fields in the area.
You may even want to check out some Facebook pages that are related to airsoft and military games. You should also reach out to local companies that have teams so that you can join their team, even if it’s just as a backup player.
Now that you know what to expect in an airsoft field, let’s move on to knowing the rules and safety requirements.
Things That You Should Follow When Playing Airsoft
Of course, there are safety precautions and rules that must be followed. If you want to stay safe, there’s just no going around it.
Airsoft guns are considered toys compared to real firearms. But this doesn’t exempt these guns from laws.
Read the rules on each field. Different places have their own rule sets for gameplay. Read through each one before playing on a new field.
Some fields may have different rules so don’t go breaking them. Just because something is allowed in one place, doesn’t mean it is allowed in all fields.
If your school allows airsoft, then go ahead and buy a clone of your favorite weapon. Try either a gas blowback pistol or an AEG rifle because they are affordable, quick to reload, and easy to learn.
If they don’t allow airsoft at your school then this won’t be necessary for you.
Another thing to think about is the legalities of airsoft. Make sure that you’re not intending to go into a game with anything that has been banned by the National Firearms Act, or NFA.
Some states, counties, and cities have their own laws as well that may not allow for some items to be used in games, so always know the laws where you live and where you intend to play before you spend your money.
Something else to consider is safety. Most airsoft games have a safety officer on the field. But keep in mind that these safety officers usually only pay attention to the people who violate the weapons handling law. It is always best to be sure you’re playing safe.
- Always make sure that your gear matches your eyes, head, and face mask. Any decent gear should also have orange or bright-colored tape to help you deal with goggles that get knocked off your face.
- A ghillie suit is also recommended if you plan to play in the woods or fields with low-hanging limbs. But you don’t have to have it if you’re playing on an open field.
1. Never Point the Gun at Anyone
This is the most important rule when playing airsoft, and it’s not something that you should ever let your friends forget. Even though they are not real guns, airsoft guns can still hurt. So avoid pointing them to anyone at all costs.
You should also make sure that your gun has a bright orange tip on it so that you don’t confuse people when pointing it at them.
2. Don’t Shoot Anyone Without Their Permission
It’s never fun to get shot even if you’re wearing safety gear. This is why you should never shoot anyone without them giving the OK first. If you get shot, it’s a good idea to run away and tell your friends that somebody else from the other team shot you.
Your goal is to avoid being shot again and not retaliate into a mini-personal war against each other.
3. Get Used to Working as a Team
It’s important to make sure that you’re always working as a team when playing airsoft because it will make it a lot easier for you if something happens. When you’re playing with a team, you can always call for cover fire or signal for a sniper to pick someone off.
But if you’re alone it’s almost impossible to deal with a tough opponent.
4. Always Use Ear Protection
When playing airsoft, you should always wear ear protection to make sure that you don’t damage your hearing.
If you don’t have any earplugs then you should use something like foam plugs to avoid losing them.
5. Be Careful When Carrying Your Stuff Around
It’s a good idea to always wear gloves if it’s hot outside because an airsoft gun can get really hot when it gets shot. This is why it’s best not to hold the gun for long periods unless you’re in an area where the temperature is fairly comfortable.
Always be careful with how you carry your gear around when playing airsoft. It’s extremely important to make sure that you’re able to carry all of your equipment with you on the go. This makes backpacks very handy.
Different Benefits of Playing Airsoft Games
Playing airsoft also brings in a lot of benefits. Aside from being fun, realistic, and exciting, airsoft also gives a few other benefits to its player base.
Something that you’ll notice when you play airsoft games is that it’s great for building teamwork because everyone has to work together to get their opponents. It’s important for players to work together as a team when playing airsoft. After all, it’s much easier for a group of people to conquer an opposing team if they’re together.
Improve Your Shooting Skills
This is something that you will notice if you end up going out there and playing airsoft games. Airsoft is a great way to test your skills.
If you can’t shoot well then it won’t be very good for anyone, which is why you should practice shooting whenever you have time so that you’ll be ready when the game starts.
Great Way to Exercise
Airsoft games are a great way to exercise because they require you to use your entire body every time you play. If you’re not an athlete then it’ll be difficult for you to move around as well as shoot at the same time.
But if you do have some sort of fitness then this will work great for you.
Friends and New Friends
It is a great way of spending time with friends, just hanging out and having fun. You can sit around, talk or play card games which is what most guys would appreciate doing.
Aside from spending time with your friends, you can also find new friends. Airsoft fields have different people from different walks of life. Maybe you’ll get to meet someone you like.
One thing that airsoft allows you to do is be creative. You can build your own airsoft guns and if you’re a gun enthusiast, you’ll have fun with this. You can make all sorts of different designs with just about any material that is available.
Airsoft is a really fun hobby that you should try out if you want to get involved with something new. There are plenty of different airsoft games that you can play, as well as different types of guns and equipment that you can use to help you stay protected.
If you’re looking for something new and exciting to do then airsoft is definitely the way to go. You may not always win as the most experienced will have more advantages. But you’ll surely enjoy your time.