Airsoft is a fantastic sport. I mean, we would say that, but it’s still true!
It’s a sport which combines high-intensity, kinetic action with methodical, tactical gameplay whilst also requiring players to exude skill, patience and resilience in order to succeed.
However, like most new hobbies, it also requires a bit of preparation to get started properly as there’s quite a lot to consider at first.
And with that, welcome to our guide on how to get into airsoft.
#1 = Find some friends…who also want to play airsoft
Ok we’re not implying you don’t have any mates (we’re also not ruling that out) but airsoft is always going to be more fun if you play with people you know.
You will, of course, make many new companions throughout your time in the sport, but if you can get a squad together before hand, even better.
If your pals haven’t entertained the idea of slinging a gun over their shoulder and donning their favourite pair of camouflaged trousers, fill them in on what airsoft is and why it’s grabbed your attention. You might be the next airsoft evangelist…
#2 = Locate game sites near you
Now you’ve got a team of passionate (but currently wannabe) airsofters together, the next move is to locate the best airsoft sites near you.
Travelling up and down the country can be great fun but it’s always a good idea to have a selection of local sites for when you’re feeling less geographically adventurous.
For UK residents, you can find a huge number of skirmish sites on this interactive map.
Although finding some great places to spend your Sundays is fantastic, it’s also really important to consider the type of games being played, the player count, rules and general layout of the site.
These can vary greatly from location to location and you’ll want to pick a site which appeals to you and your team the most.
#3 = Understand the different types of guns in airsoft
One of airsoft’s largest attractions is the plethora of different guns available to fill your inventory with and customize to your heart’s desire.
From automatic pistols and pump-action shotguns to hyper-realistic replicas of M16 assault rifles and deadly sniper rifles, there’s certainly no shortage of weapons to choose from.
The equipment you choose will not only dictate how effective you are in specific combat scenarios (for instance, shotguns and SMGs will fare much better at close range) but will also gear you more towards specific roles in the game.
And this is where our next point comes in…
#4 = Choose which role you want to play
Nobody wants to play goalie in football (I’m assuming this is true, I’ve never played a game before) but it’s important to make sure every role is filled in order to play effectively as a team.
The same is true for airsoft as having a well-rounded team will ensure all areas of the battlefield are covered as well as help to make it difficult for the enemy team to outmanoeuvre you and your comrades.
If you’ve got a careful eye and the patience of a saint, then you may well enjoy the long distance reconnaissance and engagement which comes with playing as an airsoft sniper.
Or maybe you’re more of an up-close-and-personal type of person? Rifleman, Grenadier and the Designated Marksmen are just a few of the many positions which will take you right onto the frontline to face the action.
Be sure to check out our blog on different airsoft roles by clicking here.
#5 = Familiarise yourself with different game types
Told you there was a lot to take in didn’t I?
Much like the array of guns and positions to choose from, there are also a huge number of different game modes to pick and choose from.
These include classics such as Team Deathmatch and Capture the Flag (Call of Duty anyone?) but there are also a number of less conventional ones waiting to be found such as ‘President’ and ‘Zombies’.
We’ve got a guide to airsoft game types too. Take a peek by clicking here.
#6 = Learn how to buy your first gun
Okay, so one of the slight obstacles you may come across is how you actually go about getting hold of an airsoft gun, often referred to as a Realistic Imitation Firearm (or RIF for short).
The sale of guns, whether they are real steel or imitation, is naturally a sensitive issue and one which has surrounded the sport with considerable problems at times.
Because of this, there are a number of steps you’ll need to take in order to finally get your hands on that coveted assault rifle you’ve been longing after all this time.
You’ll need to obtain a ‘defence’ before being allowed to purchase an airsoft gun and, usually, this will mean meeting a set of criteria such as:
- Being 18 or over
- Play a minimum of three skirmishes within a two month period
- Be a member of UKARA, British Airsoft Club or another highly-regarded airsoft association
This will help to show retailers your intentions are genuine and, whilst it may seem like a nuisance at first, these steps are simply here to protect the sport, the players and the general public.
For a more in-depth explanation, be sure to read our guide on purchasing your first RIF here.