10 Essential Airsoft Tips for Beginners [So You’ll Be the Best]
Airsoft is an incredibly fun game, but it only becomes so when you play as part of a team. After all, let’s be honest, when you play by yourself it’s just plinking!
However, any team member must bring value, so it’s not exactly easy to find a welcoming team as a beginner. On the other hand, it’s difficult to learn any strategy or how to be helpful in the game if no one is willing to take you under their wing.
And, since I know how it feels to be a rookie, I decided to put together a list of tips that will help any beginner graduate summa cum laude from their first stages of airsoft and become solid players in standard games.
#1: Do Your Research!
Before you start looking for the best cheap airsoft guns online, why not take a look at your local rules and regulations involving the use of replica weapons? The situation is different from country to country, and in the US, things differ from state to state.
Also, make sure you are old enough to make such a purchase by yourself (I have a great guide here).
Lastly, check the rules and regulations of your local airsoft fields. This way, you can make sure your airsoft gun will be accepted on the field without further alterations (usually if the airsoft gun is too powerful, you’ll have to change the spring, which can be quite a bothersome thing to do as a beginner).
#2: Protective Gear is a Must-Have
I will not lecture you on how to get the best airsoft gun as a beginner (you can read all about it and my reviews in this well-detailed article). However, I will stress the need for proper protective gear (especially as a newb)!
Plastic BBs that travel at 300+FPS hurt and can blow up a tooth or hurt the back of your hands. So, unless you are really interested in learning how this feels, make sure you buy the right gear before even considering stepping on a field.
For this, read my guide on tactical gear essentials
#3: The Correct Stance
Whether you fire a real gun or a replica, it’s important to have the correct stance.
For instance, when you hold a rifle, you need to make sure your elbows don’t flail out (like chicken wings). You want them closer to the body and tucked down towards the stomach. Not only will this help you keep a smaller profile (making yourself a more difficult target), but it’s also a way to improve stability and reduce fatigue.
Furthermore, you need to practice trigger discipline. This means you shouldn’t keep your finger directly on the trigger unless you really want to squeeze it. Your finger should be near the trigger and ready for action but never wrapped around it. Otherwise, you are prone to accidental fire, which usually translates into shooting your teammates by mistake. Believe me, no one likes that!
In addition, pay attention to where you point the barrel. If it happens and you shoot an accidental BB, it’s best to shoot it in the ground and not in your friend’s or teammate’s eye.
#4: Be Patient & Stay Open to New Experiences
Unless you are/were in the military or police force, you won’t be able to get everything right from the start. You first need to get used to your airsoft guns (shooting, aiming, cleaning, changing various parts, and more).
Also, I recommend trying different airsoft styles and roles. For instance, if you get too used to playing just CQB (mostly played indoors), it will be difficult to adapt to outdoor fields. Each new airsoft environment has something to teach you about strategy, and each role (sniper, rifleman, grenadier, and more) has its own challenges.
#5: Crouch – Prone – Stand
Believe men when I tell you that airsoft will test your endurance and physical fitness (especially cardio)! One game can last for hours, and if you really want to go big, you may be at it for days at a time. And most big games are not indoors!
So yeah, you should get used to the idea of crouching and crawling on the ground. Also, moving from crouching to crawling to standing is quite difficult if you have to do it constantly since it involves a lot of muscles.
When you can change your position, you can also increase your ability to infiltrate the enemy area without being spotted or hit. When you are in the prone position, you lower your profile, but you can also get some rest while waiting for your target to show up. On the other hand, if you become a master at crouching, it will be easier to use various obstacles placed on the field and avoid detection.
#6: Take Care of your Magazines
Most beginner players are extremely diligent about cleaning their airsoft guns and making sure all the parts work, but they forget about the magazine. However, if the magazine doesn’t work properly, your replica will become useless (unless you decide to use it as a club, which I don’t recommend).
As such, after each game, make sure to empty your magazine. If you keep your mags loaded all the time, the feeding system (based on a spring) will weaken. This can lead to miss feeding and jams, which can damage the barrel and other inner mechanisms.
And, while we’re at it, never, ever, ever reuse BBs! This goes for both shot BBs and BBs that fell on the ground. These BBs can have tiny cracks (so small you can’t see them) and they get dirt and dust on them. So, if you reuse them, you’ll get the dirt inside the barrel and the replica’s mechanism. Also, due to the cracks and deformation of the BB (the shot ones), you risk jamming or damaging your barrel.
Check my guide on the best BBs for your airsoft gun!
#7: Get a Good Pair of Boots
If you plan on playing airsoft in sneakers, you’re off to a bad start!
Whether you play indoors or outdoors (but especially if you play outdoors), there will be a lot of back and forth running, crouching, and crawling. This puts a strain on your joints, but the ankles are the most affected. As such, without proper support, you’ll end up with sore ankles at the end of the day and you risk injuring yourself (it’s easy to slip or rotate your ankle mid-battle).
Now, if you play outdoors, you will need proper traction and protection against the elements. So, to make sure you’ll be safe, I recommend investing in a good pair of boots – you’ll feel the difference right away!
Check my guide for the best tactical boots for airsoft!
#8: Pay Attention
A good game involves a lot of factors and unpredictable situations, so you need to master the basics in order to come out victorious. But you also need information and attention to detail.
The information comes from the initial game briefing (there’s usually one at the beginning of each game), where the leaders present the objective of the game (capture the flag or take over the enemy headquarters).
In addition, there is valuable information in the rules of the field (most fields have different ones), so it’s important to know those as well. For instance, one especially important rule is about the engagement distance (in most cases, the minimum engagement distance is about 10 feet or more).
Lastly, attention to detail allows you to spot various cover locations and paths that may be secluded or may require a bit of ingeniosity. Let’s say you find a wooden pallet against a tree – you could use it as cover for yourself or you could be smart about it and work with a teammate while using the pallet as a shield and advance further into enemy lines.
#9: Find your Tribe
Airsoft offers you a chance to play with cool-looking replicas while also meeting new people and making new connections. Regardless of age, airsoft is a team game, which means you’ll have to learn to trust each other in order to cooperate. As such, there’s a high chance you’ll make some amazing friends on the way.
Still, it may take a while to find the perfect team (especially if you live in a location where the game is not very popular). Luckily, you can find lots of online airsoft communities you can join and connect with. So, don’t get discouraged if you don’t find the right people from the first try!
#10: Practice, Practice, Practice
This rule is not specific to airsoft, but it definitely applies. If you want to get better, there’s no other way but through practice.
Try to find a spot where you can do some plinking and imagine various shooting scenarios like from behind a cover, CQB, or from a high or low position. As you experiment more, you’ll become a better shooter and a more valuable team member.
Also, don’t forget to keep up with your fitness practice as well. When you’re not playing you still need to train your body for future sessions.