Airsoft Rules: A Basic Guide to Getting Started

So, you want to get started in airsoft?

Good choice.

It’s a really great hobby and a lot of fun for people who are at least eight or older.

However, you can’t just buy an airsoft gun and start firing.

There are rules for airsoft, just like there are rules for most other sports and hobbies.

You wouldn’t expect to know how to properly use a hockey stick if you’ve never been trained, so why would you expect to be able to buy a gun and start firing?

Today, I am going to give you a crash course to the airsoft rules of the range and throw in some import tips.

Let’s jump in.

General Airsoft Rules

Now that we have gone over some of the types of airsoft games, it’s time to discuss some basic rules for play, and why they exist.

Please bear in mind these rules may differ from region to region and game to game so the ones which work in one place might not work in others.

However, these are just some common sense things to remember.

Always Wear Eye Protection

You know that movie where the mother keeps telling her son he’ll shoot out his eye? Well, that’s actually true.

You can shoot out an eye with an airsoft gun.

That is why you must wear eye protection at all times when you are on the battlefield.

Eye glasses are not appropriate protection. It is important to choose something that meets appropriate safety standards such as the ANSI Z87.

Also, your safety glasses must wrap around your face. This prevents them from falling off and protects not only your eyes but the sides of your face as well.

The Game Moderator’s Word Goes

The moderator of the day’s events is the person who has the final say in anything that goes wrong.

This includes the calling of games, settlement of conflicts or other issues between players, and responsibility for all safety items or events on the field.

If you have a conflict with another player or team and cannot decide it among yourselves, the game will be stopped.

At this point, the game moderator will make the final decision on the conflict. If you argue with a game moderator, you can expect yourself to be ejected from the day’s events.

This rule exists to keep order and prevent fights from occurring.

Safe Zone

There is an area on any airsoft battlefield called the safe zone. This is the area of the battlefield where no weapons may be fired.

Not complying with this rule can result in your ejection from the day’s events, as it isn’t fair to your fellow participants to fire on them in safe areas.

More About Eye Protection

Sealed ballistic eye protection must also be worn by visitors to the battlefield, and cannot be removed under most circumstances.

In fact, the only time that you are allowed to remove your eye protection is if you are in the safe zone and no game is presently occurring.

Safety Kill

It is possible to obtain a safety kill. The range is twenty feet. To obtain the kill, pull out a sidearm or point your current weapon at a target and shout, “Safety Kill!”

What is a Hit?

A hit is defined as an Airsoft BB hitting any part of a player’s clothing, weapon or body. When you are hit, you must shout “Hit!” and then raise your weapon over your head. After the fact has been proven and the other player has walked away, you may return to the safe zone, keeping your weapon held above your head. You may only remove your eye protection after you are in the safe zone.

Do not forget to call your hits. Failure to call them, or dishonestly, will lead to your ejection from the game events.

Blind Man

Blind Man is the term you use for any real-life injury. If you hear someone shout “Blind Man!” you must holster your weapons and put them on safe. Remain in place till a game moderator says you can move.

Transport

When transporting an airsoft weapon to and from the field, as well as on it, you must use a gun case or in the original factory box.

This way, you do not run the risk of your gun misfiring, and game moderators, who check the guns, can clearly identify that that is your gun.

These are just a few of the rules of airsoft. Be sure to check your field and locale’s rules before playing.

Airsoft Game Types

Before you and I go over the rules of airsoft, I feel it is important to also explain the types of airsoft games there are to play.

I can’t list every single variation, as the sky is literally the limit, but this will be a good selection of the most common games, and some uncommon ones to whet your curiosity.

Rules differ from game to game and place to place.

Team Deathmatch

If you play a lot of video games, you’re likely familiar with this variant of airsoft. Simply put, one team tries to “kill” as many of the other team as possible.

The goal then is to score as many kills as possible.

When you are shot, you must return to the spawn area. In some versions of this game, the players who were “killed” may re-enter the game after waiting a specific length of time.

In other versions, you may re-enter the game when a new round starts.

The advantage of this game is that it is simple and accessible for all.

Capture the Flag

A lot of you probably played this game, without airsoft guns, as children. The objective is simple, to capture the enemy’s flag from their base and bring it back to yours.

However, adding airsoft guns just makes it twice as much fun.

There are two variations of carry the flag, live flag and dead flag.

In live flag, the carrier is allowed to simply drop the flag when they are eliminated, allowing someone else to pick it up.

In dead flag, however, the carrier who is eliminated must return the flag to the enemy base before members of their team can go and try to retrieve it.

Both these game modes are exciting. However, dead flag is arguably more tactical, as players will have to stay calm and be methodical in order not to lose progress with the flag.

King of the Hill

King of the Hill is another game which involves a flag. In this game, one team picks a position and the other team attacks.

As the name suggests, a hill is a perfect site for this game. However, it is not the only choice. Any location in which a team can barricade themselves will do nicely.

The winner of the game is the team that is closest to the flag at the end of the game. Teams also tend to rotate between games. That way, all players get a chance to both attack and defend.

Bomb

This game is basically the opposite of Capture the Flag. This time, you are taking a “bomb” with a timer on it into enemy territory.

Your objective is to defend the bomb till the timer ends as the opposing team tries to eliminate you and “disarm the bomb.”

Initially, the bomb is held by one team, and there is only one bomb. However, as soon as the team holding the bomb drops it, it is possible for anyone to collect it and run with it.

Free-For-All

If you just want to pit your wits against all the other players in your game, free-for-all might be the perfect mode for you.

Unlike Team Deathmatch, you can no longer rely on your squad or any reconnaissance information. Every other player wants to eliminate you.

When you are eliminated, you cannot re-enter the game until the next round of play. This can create an intense last-man-standing scenario, perfect for all you glory-hounds.

Unlike other team games, free-for-all players must be incredibly alert and cognizant of their surroundings. If they are not, they run the risk of being hit from all angles.

Hostage Rescue

In this game, teams are divided into two groups, hostages, and rescuers.

The hostages have their weapons removed and are put at the enemy base.

It’s the job of the other half of the team to rescue them. Though the hostages have no arms, the rescuers may carry extras to arm them. However, doing so might get the hostages shot in the process.

The winner of this game is the team who brings back half or more of their hostages to the friendly base.

President

This game variation is a bit asymmetrical. One team is divided into a President and their bodyguards. The other is a team of assassins.

The objective of the President and their bodyguards is to get to an objective point. The assassins’ objective, of course, is to kill the President. In fact, that is the only way they can win.

That’s right. Even if the assassins manage to kill everyone except the President, the presidential team still wins.

The player chosen as President will find themselves to be the prime target and this tends to make the scenario very intense.

Zombies

Zombie media has become really popular and with it the rise of zombie-style airsoft scenarios that can be played a variety of ways.

In Zombies, there are four humans for every zombie. They must work to eliminate their undead opposition.

Even though the zombies are outnumbered, they are far more damage-resistant than the humans.

Zombies are able to take three regular shots before being incapacitated, though they can still take only one headshot.

When they are incapacitated, they must then lie down on the ground for thirty seconds before they are allowed to move again.

Zombies aren’t armed. However, they can touch a player with their hands to infect and immobilize.

There are also a number of items strewn about the map that the human players are searching for that will cure the zombie disease.

It’s for that reason that the objectives are different, depending on what team you’re on.

For the humans, the objective is to find all the healing items spread around the map. The zombie objective is to infect all the humans.

Alien

This game begins with one alien who is opposed by a lot of humans who are trying to kill the alien. However, the alien has the ability to turn other humans into aliens.

To kill an alien, you must shoot them in a designated body part such as the head, arm or leg. Humans, however, can be hit anywhere and die. This adds an element of challenge to the game.

The scenario ends when either all the humans are dead or all the aliens have been killed.

 Search and Destroy

 Search and Destroy is a bit like Bomb. There are two teams. One has two objectives to defend. The other has a bomb or kitchen timer.

The team with the bomb must plant it on one of the objectives the other team is defending.

The defending team must then defuse the bomb by grabbing it and carrying it a couple hundred feet from the objective.

The game is over when the bomb goes off on the objective, one team is eliminated, or the other team defuses the bomb.


Airsoft is a lot of fun. However, it is important to have some basic info before you play. For example, you will need to know what sorts of games there are to play, as well as some general rules of airsoft safety and conduct.

Now that you have read this article, you have all the information you will need to dig into the fascinating world of airsoft, without getting ejected from the game for infractions. Have fun!

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