Airsoft MilSim Ultimate Guide [What It Is & Why We Love It]
What is it that you love most in FPS video games?
Is it the shooting, the general atmosphere, or the sense of community you get with your teammates?
Most gamers love every aspect of it and I understand why. So, what if you could have everything and more in real-life? Would you try it?
If your answer is “Hell yeah!”, you’re in the right place!
Airsoft MilSim is all about providing players with an authentic military experience in various scenarios. Usually, the fight happens outdoors, in open terrain (wooded areas are favorite), and there is a clear objective for everyone involved. To make it more realistic, there is a story in place and every movement you make must follow the scenario.
The action can happen during the day or night, and you must be prepared to reach your goal or die (get eliminated from the game). So, it may take a while, but after a few hours of crawling through the woods (it may even start to rain) with BBs continuously falling around, and grenades exploding in the distance, the simulation slowly starts to fade.
You start to feel tired and hungry and you’re on your last magazine, but the flag is right there (if this is your objective), in your sight. If you could just take it and run, victory would be on your side and you would be the hero of the day …
Now tell me that story didn’t catch your attention. Tell me you didn’t want to, at least, try it.
You can’t because this is the magic of Airsoft MilSim!
What is Airsoft MilSim?
As you probably know (or guessed) MilSim comes from Military Simulator (which is self-explanatory).
Usually, MilSim operations are organized events, with several teams joining in for the ultimate championship. There’s also the option to have a local MilSim at your favorite airsoft field, but it’s less intense and fun. Now, every event has a different story, so it’s best to ask for the storyline before joining in (all events should provide one ahead).
Make sure to check the rules and see that you are comfortable with following them. For the event to go well, it’s crucial that every player complies with the rules.
Also, it’s important to have the correct gear, and this includes your guns and protection gear. The event organizer will specify the maximum and minimum FPS required for rifles and pistols, and you will also be informed about the type of clothing to wear (casual, military, and more).
In short, a MilSim operation is an organized event where you’ll usually get to meet seasoned players and you may see lots of cool-looking airsoft guns. I also have to mention that participation requires a fee, established by each organizer (usually around $100+, but it’s highly dependant on location and requirements).
What’s So Special About MilSim?
The authenticity of the experience.
Let me explain. Most MilSim events (the really interesting ones) take place in remote locations, where the comforts of home are almost inexistent. You may be sleeping in tents or in your car, and there may be no access to showers (if you’re lucky, you may find a lake nearby).
Furthermore, the game can last for days, with intense scenarios and fewer breaks. The atmosphere is intense as it tries to simulate the battlefield to the last detail, and the gamers are experienced, which makes it all a lot more fun.
Usually, the event takes place over one weekend, but it depends on the organizers.
How to Pack for an Airsoft MilSim Event
I’m not going to sugarcoat this – the first airsoft MilSim event can be quite unsettling, especially if you’ve never been in military training or anything similar. Still, it helps to have the right items at your disposal, which is why I’ll talk a bit about how to prepare.
Food & Water
If the event doesn’t offer food and water, it’s best to have some packed in your bags. Sure, you may find something to buy on location, but you won’t be the only one looking so resources may be on the low.
Focus on high caloric foods that provide you with lots of energy in a few bites. I recommend chocolate bars and ration packs. They don’t really have a taste, but they are high in calories and easy to prepare in a few minutes.
Plus, it enhances the military experience!
Also, don’t forget to have water wherever you go. You can have a water bottle in your backpack or, you can get a hydration bladder. This way, you can drink whenever you want, without stopping your chase.
Fill Your Backpack
If you’re used to going in the field with two magazines in your pocket and one in the rifle, things are different this time.
I strongly recommend getting a tactical backpack and packing it with ammo (at least one 400 rd speedloader), loaded magazines (between 5 and 10), batteries (if you’re using AEGs), or gas recipients (for gas-powered weapons). The idea is to think ahead and anticipate all the situations that could put you out of the game ahead of time.
In most cases, your regular gear will need an upgrade. And I recommend you start with the boots.
As I already mentioned, MilSim events happen in wooded areas, outdoors. It could be hot or humid (or both) or you could be forced to walk through streams and/swamps. Furthermore, this is an all-day event, so you don’t get breaks to dry up your socks.
A good pair of tactical boots will keep your feet dry and safe and will protect your ankles. Since you will be walking and running on uneven terrain, there is a strong possibility to roll your ankles, which can lead to a sprain or worse. As such, you’ll need something solid around the ankles, to support your efforts in emerging victorious.
Check my detailed guide on the best tactical boots.
Next, let’s talk about protection gear.
Since the game is played in open space, many players will forgo the protection of a mask for their looks. After all, in the war, no one had access to protection gear!
However, I can tell you from experience that you will face some fierce closed quarters combat situations. Not to mention that you will be playing against other experienced airsofters. In these cases, I would rather have a full-face mask that keeps my teeth, ears, and neck protected from any rogue BBs.
True, it may be a bit uncomfortable to wear a full-face mask in the woods, but it’s worth protecting your face. Also, never go to a MilSim with appropriate eye protection!
Prepare your Rifle
I’m not going to lecture you on the best rifle for a MilSim event. If there are no special requests from the organizers, you should go with your most trusted rifle. After all, you’re the only one who knows which of your airsoft guns performs best.
But I will strongly recommend that you do a full checkup before packing it. If you’re not comfortable opening the body up and cleaning the insides, it’s best to have it serviced by a professional. Still, you should bring some repair tools and replacement parts with you, just in case something goes wrong.
If you have a spare rifle, it’s best to bring it along. You may never use it, but it helps to know you can rely on it if something happens to your first choice.
As a side note, these events are great for grenades and other pyro airsoft equipment, so you can bring up the big guns (if the organizers allow you to bring your own).
Cool MilSim Events
In conclusion, it’s important to take a MilSim event seriously and prepare accordingly. And, just to give you an idea of the atmosphere and overall conditions, here is a video from a MilSim in 2018, organized by MilSim West, one of the best military simulation production companies in the US:
As you can see, players are well-equipped and having tons of fun, but they are also following the storyline and respect the rules put in place. So, if you’re preparing for your first MilSim, I strongly recommend doing some research on the subject first. It also helps to make sure you are in good physical shape (update your cardio exercise routine), as you will have to run, crawl, and hide for two days on end!