Airsoft for Beginners – What You Need to Know Before Your First GameGeorge Driscoll
How airsoft games work
What are the airsoft rules?
The most important thing to find out about any sport or game is the rules. The main rules of airsoft skirmishes come from being honest and enjoying the experience.
Skirmish games will be split into two or more teams and there will be a set of objectives for each game, that will be discussed later. The ultimate objective is to shoot enemies which will make them dead or injured and unable to play the game. In different game modes, the respawn rate will be longer, or medics may not be used, or you may be out for the rest of the game, it is definitely something worth enquiring about with your local airsoft site.
If you are hit you must raise your hand and shout ‘HIT’ this will indicate to everyone around you, including marshals, that you are out of the game, and people should stop firing at you. The hit must be a direct shot to any part of your body. A hit to the gun or one that ricochets off nearby objects does not count. Grenades may be used in some games, and these will explode with a loud blank. Each game will designate a kill radius, this is typically around 3 metres. If a grenade goes off in an enclosed space, like a small shelter or room of a building, it is often accepted that everyone in the room would be hit and out of the game. These rules will be stated at the start of the game day so pay attention to the marshals!
A marshal is there to keep everyone safe and ensure rules are followed, should you have any issues with other players, if they are playing unfairly, for example, raise it with your marshal and they will investigate the issue further. They are there to ensure everyone has a good time and if they tell you to do something, they usually have a good reasoning for doing so.
What are the airsoft game modes?
Airsoft games vary by site and what the selected game mode is for the day. Some games can be about capturing and defending objectives, others may be about just killing the enemy in a team deathmatch style game, others may be defending against an entire zombie horde!
As always, contacting the site will reveal all information you will need, but if you know you particularly want to play a bank heist game, search around to see what site offers this experience. Military simulation (Milsim) is a popular mode offered by many sites and has strict rules to replicate true military combat and tactics, so check what you are signing up for beforehand!
Types of airsoft gun
You can buy three main types of airsoft guns; spring loaded, electric (AEG) and gas powered. Our range of guns offers all types of these guns as well as conversions and professional attachments. For new players, most airsoft community members recommend an AEG or Automatic Electric Gun to make the games easier and more fun to play. Regardless of gun type, it is important to use approved pellets. Pellets will break your gun if they are cheap or found on the floor due to being cheaply made. As for the pellet weight, aim for around 0.2g and this should see your shots flying straight and not being too light or weighty.
Airsoft first time – What to wear?
To play airsoft first time round you’ll need some decent footwear, like walking boots or something you don’t mind getting muddy. Goggles are essential and may be available for hire alongside your gun from the site you are playing at. As for what to wear in airsoft, some old jeans and a hoodie with t-shirt will be fine. Try and keep clothes dark, or if you have any old camouflage clothes get them out too! Just beware that some sites operate certain clothing policies, so always get in touch beforehand. It’s important to note that some sites will offer rental options for the gear, including camouflage overalls and goggles, for example, so pop your local skirmish site an email to find out more.
How to get into airsoft UK?
Find your nearest airsoft site using our map and get in touch with them. Airsoft sites and players love beginners because it’s someone new to teach things and you might even bring some new ideas they haven’t yet thought of. Whether you are on your own or with some mates, getting into UK airsoft is easier than ever as its popularity is growing all the time. You don’t need your own firearms to join your local skirmish, just have a read of our airsoft rules and with a bit of enthusiasm, you will be able to get into UK airsoft no problem.
How much does airsoft cost?
For airsoft beginners, you can hire all your gear at your skirmish sites to avoid spending hundreds on top of the range equipment. For enough 6mm BB pellets for a day’s worth of airsoft games, it should average out around £10 for the ammunition. For kit rental, see your local site as they will offer deals and may be able to offer a starter kit for a reduced cost. Admission to these sites varies but should be around £20, depending on the extravagance of the site, and what’s included in the price. Some sites will supply food, others will advise bringing a packed lunch. If you are thinking about buying new rifles, pistols or indulging your inner sniper fantasy, check out your local skirmish site beforehand and speak to some other airsoft players as they will have equipment recommendations and cost advice.
What is skirmish?
The technical definition for what is skirmish, refers to the term used meaning a battle in airsoft. The term is used interchangeably with ‘airsoft battle’ for example, but it isn’t as complicated as you might think. There are certain regulations, however, to becoming a ‘skirmisher’, especially under the law when applying to purchase replica firearms.
In 2007 the Violent Crimes Reduction Act (VCRA) came into play and made it harder to buy Realistic Imitation Firearms (RIFs) which are crucial to airsoft skirmishers. The law allowed skirmishers to purchase RIFs, but there is still no certain document stating what a skirmisher is. One definition accepted by the community is an individual who has played 3 games at 1 site across a period longer than 2 months, so 3 games at the same site over 3 months would be fine. If the games are played at a UKARA site, you can then buy from UKARA official sellers. Keeping this documentation trail is ideal if you ever intend to purchase your own RIFs, from the UK or abroad. For example, border control can also check the database to see if you are classed as a skirmisher, before they allow your firearm purchases into the country, so it is serious business.
For non-skirmishers the advice is to keep a log of the sites you play at, with records and signatures, even photos of you at events. You are then allowed access to Imitation Firearms (IFs) which are two-tone guns compliant with uk law.
Obviously, there are other laws like not shooting at others, out of airsoft games, and animals ever, but we hope these go without saying. 330fps is the legal limit in Northern Ireland for guns and is a safe speed limit for BB guns in the UK, it is against the law for your gun to exceed 519fps on 0.2g pellets in a single shot rifle, and 394fps in a fully automatic gun. They are not acceptable to be carried in public and it is advised that you have a gun case to hide and protect your investment.
For airsoft laws surrounding props for filming read our article on airsoft guns for films.