Welcome my fellow airsoft rookies (beginners). If your reading this then you have just taken your first step in the right direction. You are generally new to the game of airsoft and you need to know the basics of airsoft as to avoid getting loaded with enemy ammunitions on the field. Well I can’t promise that… but I sure can give you rookies a fighting chance! Here I will show you some typical airsoft tips, tactics , the different types of airsoft guns, and essential airsoft gear to start you off with some simple information every airsoft player should know.
Outfitting. Lets begin by discussing basic airsoft gear. First of all, you’re going to want to suit up properly with some tactical airsoft gear. Most of the suggestions I am about to provide are not required but are very helpful in protecting you, providing additional functionality and giving you a more enjoyable airsoft experience.
Masks – So first, you’re going to want to have some regulation goggles (which are required) and a half mask just to make sure you keep all your teeth intact when a bb comes flying towards that beautiful smile. I would suggest a half mask that provides additional protection over the ears just for that extra safety. Full masks are also a good option and provide full protection to the face. This is essential airsoft gear as facial protection is extremely important in airsoft.
Gloves – Tactical gloves are a very useful addition to your uniform. They provide great protection to your hands for vaulting over obstacles, crawling through brush, and climbing structures as well as basic protection to decrease the pain of a bb jolting full speed into your hand (It can have a bit of a sting, trust me). I would suggest fingerless tactical gloves just so that your gloves don’t affect your firing abilities.
Boots – Although running shoes are still effective and any type of full cover shoes are acceptable for airsoft I would suggest towards some tactical boots. Tactical boots offer much better protection and are far more durable as well as having great traction in almost all environments. Most tactical boots also have a taller cut and higher lacing than normal shoes which helps prevent you from twisting your ankle.
BDUs – Although any type of long sleeve shirt and long pants are totally acceptable for airsoft, having a BDU (Battle Dress Uniform) will definitely provide a better airsoft experience. BDUs typically have a couple of extra pockets on the arm sleeves and a few more on the pant legs for any extra magazines or other equipment you would like to bring onto the battlefield. Aside from being quite functional they also provide just a bit more protection considering the material is thicker and more durable than typical clothing.
Vests – Now getting into the more optional pieces of gear, airsoft tactical vests are definitely very useful. An airsoft tactical vest will allow you to carry extra magazines and other equipment in easily accessible pockets and straps. Airsoft tactical vests also usually come with a holster for your airsoft pistol for quick and easy storing and drawing. Airsoft chest rigs are another option, but I suggest towards an airsoft tactical vest instead considering the chest rigs a much more bulky and don’t provide as much functionality as the tactical vest.
Elbow & Knee Pads – Perfect for the airsoft wild-child! For those of you who are aggressive and enjoy sliding, diving, and getting down and dirty you’re going to want to get yourself a set of elbow and knee pads. Although elbow and knee pads are useful for just a little more protection from those painful bbs, they are great for keeping you safe and comfortable when you’re diving or sliding for cover, kneeling behind cover, and laying and crawling through brush.
Water Pouch – Although a water pouch is most definitely optional, I would urgently suggest that you always have one equipped for airsoft. Airsoft is a very physically draining game and you are going to sweat so you need to make sure you stay hydrated. Dehydration is a very real problem that can definitely happen when playing airsoft so just be safe and have a water pouch that straps to your back and has a tube that allows you to access the water at any time. Flasks and water bottles work just as fine but are clunky and much harder deal with while on the airsoft field.
Arsenal. Now that we’ve gotten the outfitting out of the way we can move on to your arsenal. Next on the list are the proper tools for the job. One of the most exciting parts of airsoft, finding the perfect weapon for you. This topic is a bit more complex so I’m going to first go over the different mechanisms for the propulsion of bbs and then on to different types of airsoft guns you might use in an airsoft game.
Spring – A spring gun essentially uses manual power to draw the spring back by cocking the weapon and pulling the trigger releases the the spring and allows the piston to fire and propel the bbs from the gun. Spring airsoft guns are single fire weapons and are not able to fire in full auto. Spring powered airsoft guns are most commonly sniper rifles, shotguns, and sometimes pistols (although CO2 or gas power is recommended for pistols). These types of guns are going to be the cheapest and will require the least maintenance making it great for rookies that want to try the sport.
Electric – The most common style of airsoft gun is the electric airsoft gun, otherwise known as an AEG (automatic electric gun). They are a motorized airsoft gun powered by a removable and rechargeable airsoft battery. The electric airsoft gun uses that battery to power a motor that operates a gear box/gear set that in turn fires a piston as its form of propulsion to fire the bbs. Electric airsoft guns are most commonly assault rifles, sub machine guns, AEPs (automatic electric pistols), and light machine guns. These types of airsoft guns are one of the more expensive types of guns and do require a bit more maintenance than a spring gun.
Gas – CO² or green gas airsoft guns are airsoft guns that use compressed CO² or green gas as a propellent for firing bbs from an airsoft gun. CO² and gas are very similar but have certain important differences so we will go over them separately. So starting with CO² powered airsoft guns, a small compressed tank of CO² is equipped to the weapon (most commonly within the mag). CO² also provides higher pressure than green gas therefore providing more power to propel your bbs and reaches a higher FPS. Now with green gas, the gas tank is much larger and is not inserted into the gun. Instead the gas is inserted into the mag through a small nozzle. In this case i would suggest CO² over gas simply because of its higher performance and cartridge size making it very portable without the need to buy multiple magazines. CO²/gas powered airsoft guns are most commonly pistols but can also be found in assault rifles and submachine guns. These types of airsoft guns are probably the most expensive and require the most maintenance, but do tend to perform very well.
Sniper Rifles – Sniper rifles as you probably know are meant for long range and accuracy. These weapons are normally high power, lingering just under the FPS caps of your field. Very useful for engaging enemies from a distance and staying hidden on the battlefield. These weapons also have a slow rate of fire considering most fields do not allow semi automatic airsoft sniper rifles to be used on the field so you would be limited to a bolt action airsoft sniper rifle. Nonetheless bolt action airsoft sniper rifles are still very useful and can be paired with an airsoft pistol to provide the option of close range combat and mobility. Airsoft sniper rifles also typically use magazines with around 20-30 rounds.
ARs – The most common type of airsoft gun used in the game. An AR (assault rifle) is a very functional and well rounded weapon. These weapons can be used in close range engagements as well as medium and long range, medium range being its specialty. Airsoft assault rifles can also be quite mobile depending on its size and offer multiple selections of fire rate such as semi-automatic, full-automatic, and in some cases burst fire. These weapons also have fantastic options for magazine sizes ranging from 30-100 rounds for stock magazines and typically 150-400 rounds in high capacity magazine options.
SMGs – SMGs (sub machine guns) are a very mobile and light weight airsoft gun that are also very common in airsoft. They provide great value to close range engagements and are still effective in medium range. These types of weapons typically have a higher rate of fire and less accuracy. These weapons also offer multiple selections in rate of fire such as full-automatic and semi-automatic and magazine sizes from about 30-100 rounds.
LMGs – Not very common but always a load of fun are the LMGs (light machine guns). These weapons are full-automatic with very large magazine sizes to lay down heaps of fire. These weapons are also quite large and are going to be one of heaviest airsoft guns. This type of weapon is very useful for laying down cover fire at medium and long range. Its large reservoir of ammunition makes up for its lack of accuracy. magazine sizes for this type of weapon range from about 100-250 rounds in stock magazines and a whopping 500-3000 in larger magazine options.
Shotguns – Another one of the less common choices of weapon in airsoft is the shotgun. This weapon is fairly mobile and dominates in close range engagements while being quite ineffective in medium and long range. This weapon type is definitely not a big fan of accuracy but with triple chambers (firing 3 bbs per shot) and multi chambers (firing anywhere between 5-20 bbs per shot) this gun makes up for its inaccuracy with a widespread radius of fire. Magazines for this weapon are quite unique, because not only do they use spring loaded magazines, but some of them are loaded with shotgun shells containing bbs. Each shell is reusable and typically stores between 3-30 rounds per shell which are fired simultaneously from the shell. Magazine capacity for shotguns hold around 15-50 rounds but these only shoot at a single fire rate.
Pistols – Another one of the most popular guns in airsoft is the pistol. These weapons are the absolute best in terms of mobility and are an incredibly useful addition to your load-out. Although pistols can be used as your primary weapon it is most effective as a sidearm, secondary to your primary weapon. Airsoft pistols are especially great when accompanied with a holster for quick and easy storing and drawing. This is great for when you run out of ammo in your primary but don’t have time to reload, or if your primary weapon is to bulky or heavy to make quick and precise maneuvers. These weapons typically have small magazine sizes even with high capacity magazines and range between 15-30 rounds.
Please Note: FPS for all these types of weapons vary, but to give you an idea of typical FPS ranges for each weapon type I will leave a list below. Also note that these airsoft guns are customizable and can be upgraded to greatly increase their FPS. A gas pistol could easily reach up to 500 FPS with the right upgrades.
Sniper Rifles: 400-550 FPS
ARs: 300-400 FPS
SMGs: 250-350 FPS
LMGs: 300-450 FPS
Pistols: 150-300 FPS
|Rookie Airsoft Tactics|
Now that we’ve finished your tactical outfitting and loaded your arsenal, It’s time to put those tools to work. Lets get you out on the field ready to kick some a** and take some names. Here we are going to learn some basic strategy and tips for airsoft to keep you in the game and out of your enemies sights.
Taking Cover – One of the most essential things in airsoft is cover. It keeps you safe from enemy fire, it keeps you out of sight, and it is going to be your best friend out on the battlefield. Cover is basically anything that stands between you and your enemies bbs. Trees, walls, crates, barrels, large rocks, and a lot more can be used as cover and there will be an abundance of those in almost every airsoft field you play in. You can use cover to quickly peek and fire at your enemies, you can use cover to reload safely when low on ammo, you can use cover to hide and pick off enemies from a distance, you can even use cover to advance on your enemies. Which brings me to maneuvering between cover. If you want to close some distance or get a better angle to give yourself a clean shot on your enemies you can maneuver yourself from one cover to the next, slowly closing the gap.
Cover Fire – Another useful tip is learning to provide cover fire. Cover fire is used to suppress the enemy so that they are less likely to fire at you. Cover fire can be used in situations where a teammate is trying to move from cover to cover or needs to reload. Utilizing cover fire will give you and your teammates the ability to make moves on the battlefield while lowering your chances of being shot at, as well as decreasing the chances of enemies advancing towards you.
Communication – Communicating with your team members is a vital part of success in airsoft. Being able to give and receive information on the enemies location is a huge advantage seeing as you cant know exactly what is happening everywhere on the field. You can communicate with team members by asking them to cover an area you don’t have a visual on or ask them to provide cover fire while you make a move on the field. You can even communicate and organize a strategic attack on the enemies if you want to get fancy. There is just so much communication can be used for on the field and it is an incredibly invaluable asset in airsoft.
Situational Awareness – The ability to identify, process, and comprehend the critical elements of information about what is happening to you and the team with regards to the mission. More simply it is being aware of what is going on around you. When you are on the battlefield you should be aware of where the enemies are, where your teammates are, your different cover options, exit routes, blind spots, how much ammunition you have left, and so much more. Anything on the battlefield that stands to help or hinder you is something you should be aware of. The more you know the better.
Shoot & Scoot – Shoot and scoot is originally a military tactic used for artillery units, but in this case I am applying it to one individual. The basic idea is that after you have fired at your enemy, whether you have hit them or not, you are to switch your position so that nearby enemies do not stay aware of your location. This is a useful airsoft tactic for players who tend to play at a closer range therefore being much more visible to enemies. Be sure to lay down some cover fire if you are attempting to move to a location across open field.
Flanks – Good old-fashioned flanking. If you don’t already know, the act of flanking is when you are able to make your way behind enemy lines and take out the unsuspecting enemies. This is a dangerous strategy ,but if you are successful in infiltrating enemy lines, it will be epic! Typically you would make your way to the boundaries of the field and travel along the boundaries to get to the enemy side. It is likely you may encounter some enemies along the way, but if you are careful and patient enough you can make it there with a couple kills under your belt. Once you’re there It’s easy pickings, just choose your kills carefully and try to retain the element of surprise.
Now that you’ve got a handle on these basic tips and tactics you are ready to get out on the field and hit ’em with some heat! If you think you’re ready to improve your skills a bit more then go check out the “Dominate the Game” page of the website where I’ll be posting all kinds of great airsoft information like advanced tactics, group tactics, team positions, different game types paired with strategies to give you the edge in these diverse game types and more.