Once you’ve chosen your favourite airsoft gun, purchased an abundance of BBs and prepared yourself for battle, you may find yourself asking, what do I actually want to play this weekend?
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The sky really is the limit in terms of what game types (or scenarios) you and your comrades can partake in. Skirmishes can be comprised of small or big teams and can take place in a range of different environments including urban, rural, indoor and more.
We have created this post to help enlighten you on a selection of common (and not-so-common) game type in airsoft.
Before reading this list, be conscious that different matches can feature specific rules and penalties depending on the location and the organisers.
Team Deathmatch (TDM)
Team Deathmatch has been chosen as the first entry in this list as it is one of the most regularly played game types in airsoft.
Fans of video games will surely be familiar with the protocols of Team Deathmatch: two teams of players are pitted against each other and the aim of the game is to simply score more kills than the opposition.
Once a player is hit, they must declare the hit and relocate to the spawn location, at which point they may be able to renter the game after a certain amount of time or wait until the next round depending on the game rules.
Team Deathmatch is an extremely competitive game mode as players only priority is to land successful shots on the enemy team and this simplicity is what makes it so accessible and popular among players.
Capture the Flag (CTF)
Next up is Capture the Flag. This is a more objective focussed scenario in which teams are required to steal the enemy’s flag from their base and return it to theirs.
There are two sub-categories of CTF, ‘Live Flag’ and ‘Dead Flag’.
Live Flag allows the carrier to drop the flag when they have been eliminated and this can then be picked up by other players. Conversely, Dead Flag requires the carrier to return the flag back to the enemy’s base once they have been shot before it can be retrieved again by their team.
Both game modes are exciting, but ‘Dead Flag’ is arguably the more tactical of the two, as players will be required to be more calm and methodical to avoid getting and risk losing progress with the flag.
King of the Hill
Staying on the theme of flags brings us to King of the Hill.
In King of the Hill, one team situates themselves in a specific location and the other team attacks their position. As the name implies, this location can commonly be a hill, but any location where a team can barricade themselves is appropriate.
The winner of the game is whichever team is closest to the flag at the end of the game and teams will rotate at the end of each round in order to provide all players with the chance to both attack and defend.
In some ways, ‘Bomb’ can be considered the opposite of CTF. In this game mode, players are required to take a bomb with a timer on into the enemy’s base and defend it until the timer ends.
Unlike Capture the Flag, there is just one bomb on the map. This is held by one team initially however, as soon as this has been dropped, it becomes available for anyone to collect.
Free for All
If you want all the glory for yourself, this may just be the game mode for you. Unlike Team Deathmatch where players can rely on their squad to a certain extent, players in free for all games must be fully independent in order to win.
Once a player has been shot, they are out until the next round which presents an intense, last man standing situation.
Unlike other team based games, Free for All removes any element of dependence as players can no longer utilise squad orders or recon information and must be incredibly aware of their surroundings at all times to avoid being hit from all angles.
Teams are divided into two in this game mode: ‘Hostages’ and ‘Rescuers’. The hostages have their weapons removed and are placed at the enemy team’s base whilst the other half of the team are tasked with capturing and securing them.
The rescuers are able to carry an excess of guns in order to supply their ill-equipped comrades with arms but they also run the risk of the hostages getting shot during the process.
For a team to win, they must bring back at least half of the hostages to the friendly base without them being hit.
President is an asymmetrical game mode in that neither team has the same structure. One team is comprised of a single ‘President’, with the rest being bodyguards and the other team are formed entirely of assassins.
The assassin team wins only if the president is killed before reaching the objective point – if all members of the team are killed except from the president and they reach the location, the presidential team wins.
Whichever player is chosen to be president will find themselves the primary target of the other team and this make the scenario extremely intense.
MilSim is an altogether separate section of airsoft which encompasses a range of different objectives. These games are typically more serious affairs and strive to achieve the utmost realism whilst stilly employing the use of non-lethal airsoft guns.
Find out more on MilSim here.
Our final choice is a slightly more obscure game type, but one which is becoming increasingly popular. This scenario can be played in a huge number of ways but we’ll just cover one for today.
In Zombies, there are 4 humans for every zombie player and the humans must work to eliminate the undead opposition. Whilst zombies are greatly outnumbered, they are also far more damage resistant than their living opposition.
A zombie can take three regular shots (although still only one headshot) before being incapacitated, at which point they must remain on the ground for 30 seconds before they are allowed to move again.
Zombies are not armed with any weapons but, instead, must touch another player with their hands in order to ‘infect’ (immobilise them for 2 minutes). Humans are simultaneously hunting for objects across the map which can cure the zombie disease.
The criteria for winning is infecting all human players (zombie team) or finding all of the cure items in the map, whilst at least one human player is alive (human team).
To add to the immersion, players are known to dress up and act like zombies which can really add to the fun of the skirmish.