Airsoft is a sport or hobby for lovers of adventure, adrenaline, and assault battle.
It is one of the hottest new interactive adventure pastimes of recent times with new players flocking to the battlefield every week.
Airsoft can be exhilarating but, unless you know what you’re doing, it can also be frustrating – and painful.
We’ll cover such topics as how to train shooting with an airsoft rifle, what is the optimal range, and how to improve movement on the airsoft field.
Once you’ve digested – and applied – this information, you will have it within your power to become an unstoppable force on the airsoft battlefield!
Airsoft is a battlefield simulation that attempts to replicate the real battle experience as closely as possible.
As a result, the qualities needed to be successful are the same ones that a soldier requires in war. These are:
- Physical strength
- Tactical skill
- Great hand/eye coordination
Tip #1: Get Physically Fitness for Airsoft
Airsoft is a physical game.
So, just as a soldier in real battle needs to maintain a top level of physical fitness, in order to get good at airsoft you, too, have to be physically fit.
The game involves constant ducking, jumping, lunging and sprinting.
You don’t necessarily have to join a gym to get fit (though it would be a good idea) but you should be following some type of fitness program.
The best thing you can do to prepare for airsoft is to find a good obstacle course (or create one yourself) that involves lots of crawling, diving and sprinting.
Practice going through the course 5X in a row, 3 times per week.
To improve your physical fitness focus on three movements:
- Body Weight Squats
You should create a circuit involving these three movements. Here’s how to do it:
Set your timer for 4 minutes. Now do 15 bodyweight squats. Then immediately drop down and do 15 push-ups. As soon as you’re done, jump up and do 10 (or as many as you can) pull-ups. Continue without rest until your 4 minutes is up.
Do this strength workout 3X per week. Every 2 weeks add 30 seconds to your timer!
Tip #2: Know the Game
There are many variations of airsoft, and each one suits different skill sets.
It pays to know what they are and selects the one that is going to best gel with the qualities that you bring to the party.
So, let’s consider the options:
- Bounty Hunters – each of the teams is given tokens or money with which to pay for a bounty hunter to take out opponents.
- Team Skirmishes – this is the most common form of airsoft, involving two teams on an open battlefield (may be indoors or outdoors), with no objective other than taking out every member of the opposing team.
- Capture the Flag – each team has a flag displayed at their base, which is at one end of the field. The objective of the game is to capture the other team’s flag and defend your own flag. The game ends when a flag is captured.
- Free for All – in this scenario, there are no teams. Everyone is out for themselves and it’s the last man (or woman) standing who is the winner!
- Scenario Game – the game is closely modeled off a real-life battle or one that has appeared in a movie. For example, the game may simulate the fallen helicopter battle in ‘Black Hawk Down’.
Tip #3: Pick Your Rank
Unless you match your skills and body type to your rank, you will struggle to find success at airsoft.
Let’s take a look at the different ranks:
- Scout – As an infantry scout you will be moving around a lot. You will need to be fast, agile and have great peripheral vision.
- Sniper – As a sniper, you will remain in a single hidden position for most of the battle. You need to be extremely patient and have a great ability to blend into the natural environment. A sniper will also be called upon to support their team when they stage an assault movement upon an enemy position.
- Medic – As a medic, your role is to rush out and take care of a team member who has been hit. You will carry a roll of gauze and help the team member get back to cover. You will need to be fast, agile and strong.
- Weapon Specialist – the weapons specialist is highly skilled at handling both heavy and light weapons, including handguns and grenades.
- Warrior – the warrior is the equivalent of the army grunt. You are part of the infantry ranks who will make a massed assault upon the enemy position. You need to be a good team player who knows how to follow commands.
Tip #4: Be a Team Player
Unless you are playing a Free For All games, you will be part of a team.
Whatever, rank you take, you need to be all in as a team player. Your team will formulate strategy prior to gameplay and you may or may not be able to give your input, depending on your rank.
But once the strategy is finalized you do not have the freedom to deviate from it. If you do, you will inevitably cause confusion and dissension in the ranks.
If you have a hard time following orders or always have to have the last word, then you are probably better suited for Free For All play.
A good team player is also an honest player. Airsoft depends on honesty, especially when you get hit.
The rules require you to inform the umpire and head back to the command post for a set period of time when you are hit.
When you are returning to base, walk slowly with your weapon held high in the air to let everyone know that you are not to be shot again.
When you get hit, yell out ‘HIT.’
Tip #4: Move Without Being Seen
If your enemy cannot see you, you will never be hit.
That means that you will be able to stay in the entire game to inflict as much damage as possible upon the opposition.
In order to move without being seen, you need to be wearing the right type of camo gear.
Wear a ghillie suit in order to blend into nature. This is essentially a piece of canvas with a hole for your head to go through (like a poncho).
It’s what Rambo slips into in ‘First Blood’ in order to be unseen in the forest.
You should also camouflage your weapon’s barrel.
Be aware of nature and blend yourself into it. Take notice of which way the wind is blowing according to grass movement and move in that same direction.
When approaching a position, do the unexpected. The enemy will expect you to take the easiest and fastest route, so take the hardest and longest route.
Tip #5: Outsmart the Sniper
Make sure that a member of your team is exclusively assigned as a spotter.
That person’s only job is to spot the opposition’s sniper. It is usual for a team’s sniper to be positioned behind the rest of their team.
The sniper will also normally be located from a high vantage point.
Your spotter should train himself to be able to see the shots coming from behind the enemy line and trace them back to a source.
The sniper will almost certainly be wearing a ghillie suit.
Your spotter should train himself to be able to spot it is a bush setting. It will generally be darker than the natural terrain.
The spotter should be especially on the lookout for the sniper’s scope. He should look for light reflecting off the scope – it’s a dead giveaway.
Tip #6: Have Plenty of Ammo
The last thing you want during the middle of the action is to run out of ammo.
So, be well stocked up before you head out. You should bring a couple of canisters that are filled with BBs as well as having two full magazine clips.
Remember that you do not have the freedom to go back and restock on ammo once the game begins.
You have to carry everything out with you. You should be wearing a webbing vest that enables you to securely hold your spare magazines.
Tip #7: Practice Shooting
At the end of the day, airsoft is about shooting the enemy.
To do that you have got to be a good shot. Get out in the backyard at least a couple of times per week and set up some plastic water bottles as targets.
As you improve your strike rate, move further back from the target. You should also shoot from a range of angles and heights.
Then get used to shooting on the run. Be sure to account for the natural BB drop over distances that occurs when you shoot an airsoft gun.
Tip #8: Play Often
The best way to get good at playing airsoft is to play airsoft often.
All of the other tips are great but unless you actually do it and do it often, it will be like trying to learn to swim without getting into the water!
The best way to play airsoft regularly is to join an airsoft team.
Be prepared to try out different roles and ranks until you find the one that you are best suited towards. Every time you play, you will pick up extra tips and skills.
Tip #9: Engage the Enemy with the Minimum of Movement
The more you travel through the bush, the easier you will be to locate and take out the opposition.
If you see an offense-oriented opponent coming at you, find a good piece of cover and wait.
Scan the area around the player to see if he is alone. If so, take him out. If not wait for both to pass and then take them both out from behind.
What is the optimal airsoft range?
The maximum effective range with an airsoft sniper rifle is around 110 yards (100 meters). General use airsoft rifles have an effective range of between 4 and 67 meters (47-73 yards).
What should I wear for airsoft?
The essential requirements are:
- Eye goggles – never take them off when you are on the field of battle.
- Helmet / Face Mask – you need to ensure that you have a full face and head protection, including your ears.
- Cap – a cap will perfectly complement your full face mask to protect the top of your forehead.
- Gloves – look for gloves that are made of molded plastic cushioning. They should allow half of your fingers to be free to work your weapon.
- Protective Vest – this will serve a dual purpose: to protect your torso from BB shots and to provide storage for your spare magazines and speed loader.
- Knee and Elbow Pads – there’s no fun in skinned elbows and knees at the end of the day and pads will prevent it!
- A ghillie – this will help you to blend into the environment
What is the attraction of playing airsoft?
Airsoft is a great deal of fun.
We all wonder how we would get on in a real combat situation and airsoft allows you to find out without any real risk.
As such it provides a great adrenaline rush. It is also not as messy as paintball.
Airsoft allows you to develop critical thinking skills.
It will also allow you to develop strength, improve your physical fitness and stamina and relieve stress.
As a team member, you will also develop your sportsmanship and make new friends.
In this article, we’ve provided nine key hacks to help you to get better at airsoft. Apply them consistently and you will soon become an airsoft aficionado.