How To Make Airsoft BBs Hurt Less (11 Effective Ways)

Despite being a fun, highly engaging team shooting sport, airsoft can lead to injuries, specifically when launched BBs land on exposed skin. And while most injuries are usually minor, they can still hurt and leave nursing welts and bruises, depending on the impact. So how can you make airsoft BBs hurt less? 

Here are 11 effective ways to make airsoft BBs hurt less:

  1. Wear an airsoft vest.
  2. Put on an airsoft helmet.
  3. Wear airsoft goggles.
  4. Put on an airsoft mask.
  5. Wear airsoft gloves.
  6. Wear airsoft boots.
  7. Use light airsoft BBs.
  8. Avoid the pros until you’re ready.
  9. Practice your craft.
  10. Observe airsoft rules.
  11. Only use airsoft guns when playing.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the ways to reduce the impact of Airsoft BBs and minimize the chances of injury. Ready? Then let’s get straight to business. 

Do Airsoft BBs Really Hurt? 

Airsoft BBs can really hurt when they land on exposed skin. While it might be easy to undermine the impact of airsoft BBs, since, after all, they’re ejected from low-power guns, these tiny pellets can pack a punch and leave you in pain if you’re not well protected. 

However, the extent of pain resulting from airsoft BBs depends on several factors, as discussed below. 

Video: Does Getting Shot Hurt? | Airsoft FAQ

It Hurts More When You’re Shot at a Close Range 

You’re more likely to get hurt when shot by a close opponent than one who shoots from range. And since airsoft is a team shooting sport, you’ll need to be extra careful to ensure you don’t expose yourself to opponents in hiding, as they won’t hesitate to take you down when the opportunity presents itself. 

The Heavier the BB Weight, the More Painful the Impact

The weight of the BB used also plays a massive role in the level of pain you’ll feel upon impact.

Getting hit by a .22g BB won’t be as painful as when a .33g BB lands on exposed skin. This explains why some fields have regulations on the maximum weight allowed for airsoft BBs.

And although heavier BBs have great flight stability and can manage longer ranges, they’re usually a lot deadlier on exposed skin, making them less ideal for beginner players wanting to reduce injury risks.

Some Airsoft Guns Are Stronger Than Others

There are 3 main types of airsoft guns, electric, gas, and spring-powered guns, all of which come with their pros and cons. Spring models are usually the weakest of these types and release BBs at relatively slow speeds, making them ideal for close-quarters battles. 

Gas airsoft guns and electric airsoft guns are more powerful and can spray several pellets simultaneously, thus increasing the chances of injury, especially when opponents attack from close range. Generally, a high muzzle velocity gun will hurt more than one with an average muzzle velocity. 

Airsoft BBs Hurt More if You Lack Protection

The safety gear you have on will also determine whether or not you get hurt during an airsoft game. Playing without the necessary gear increases the chances of injury, especially if you play without a helmet or safety goggles.

If you’re not well-protected and an airsoft BB lands on an exposed body part, you’re likely to feel a pinch depending on the weight of the BB and shooting distance. Areas like legs and hands might also develop bruises, and getting hit in the eye can lead to potentially serious injuries like temporary blindness. 

11 Effective Ways To Make Airsoft BBs Hurt Less

Airsoft should be fun and rewarding, so you shouldn’t let certain risks destroy the fun. Even though there are injury risks with airsoft BBs, you can mitigate them. Below are 11 effective ways to make airsoft BBs hurt less:

1. Wear an Airsoft Vest

Even the most experienced pros get shot, meaning you’re also likely to get a couple of airsoft BBs sent your way during a match. To be on the safe side, it’s best to wear a safety vest, which covers your chest, stomach, and back, allowing you to take in those bullets like an experienced airsofter. 

It doesn’t matter whether you’re playing indoors or outdoors; you’ll still need to gear up accordingly if you’re to reduce the chances of injury. Getting a high-quality vest like the YAKEDA Outdoor Tactical Airsoft Vest (available on, made of high-density PVC-lined nylon, will keep you safe throughout an airsoft match. 

When getting airsoft vests, it’s highly advisable to settle for versatile products with removable bags like magazine pouches, communication pouches, and even flashlight porches. Such features allow you to put the vest to multiple uses. You’ll also get an added layer of security due to the thickness of the pouches once packed with magazines and other airsoft equipment.  

2. Put On an Airsoft Helmet

Playing airsoft without a helmet is akin to doing construction work without headgear- a sure recipe for disaster! Don’t be fooled by the tiny sizes of airsoft BBs, as they can deliver an unforgettable sting if they land on your head. 

And although good airsoft helmets should be made of high-quality material, they need to be lightweight enough to allow for fluid movements and escapes. It also shouldn’t be too bulky to the extent it interferes without your in-game tactics. 

An example of a high-quality, durable helmet is the OneTigris Airsoft Paintball Tactical Helmet (available on that comes with a night vision goggles mount and several panels for additional customization. 

You can also go for the ATAIRSOFT Tactical Helmet (available on that features sliding goggles and various side rails that can fit several accessories. 

When choosing airsoft helmets, it’s advisable to settle for products with adjustable neck and chin bands. Always check on the head circumference and total weight before choosing a particular product.

3. Wear Airsoft Goggles

The first rule of airsoft is to ditch glasses if you wear them, lest you end up with several tiny glasses lodged in your eyeballs. As a rule, you should never play, let alone practice airsoft with opponents without putting on high-quality goggles. 

And with several airsoft goggles in the market, choosing a product with several features is highly advisable. For instance, you can go for airsoft goggles with different colored lenses to suit different weather and gaming situations. 

The glasses should also be soft and comfortable on the eye and have side vents for increased airflow. A scratch-resistant pair of glasses should also boost your performance, especially if it has an anti-fog coating. 

An example of a top-drawer pair of airsoft goggles is the XAegis Tactical Airsoft Goggles (available on that features an adjustable headband and 3 color lenses (clear, smoke, and yellow).

4. Put On an Airsoft Mask 

If the goal is to reduce the pain resulting from the impact of airsoft BBs, then you’ll have to cover as much skin as possible, especially in the head area. 

A good airsoft mask should be lightweight and well-ventilated so that it can be used for extended periods. You should also wear masks that have been tested for impact resistance at standard temperatures. 

The OneTigris Foldable Airsoft Mask (available on is an example of a quality protective mask that’s both dirt- and water-resistant. The mask is made of soft padded fabric with additional protection (and comfort) for the nose bridge, ensuring that your entire lower face is fully protected.

5. Wear Airsoft Gloves 

 Although not considered mandatory by most airsofters, airsoft gloves can help increase your comfort and reduce chances of painful hits, more so during close-range battles. 

Besides protecting against airsoft pellets, airsoft gloves can also enhance your safety and overall comfort when playing in potentially tricky terrain like forests.

Whether you’re running, grabbing on a branch, or recovering from a fall during an escape, airsoft gloves will add a protective layer to your hands, which should give you that extra edge over competitors without gloves. 

The Kemimoto Tactical Gloves (available on is an example of durable, multi-purpose gloves that can add the much-needed comfort and extra layer of security during an airsoft game. The gloves are available in various sizes and are made of faux leather and rubber material. You needn’t worry about internal sweating as the gloves boast a breathable design, courtesy of their strategically located ventilation holes.

6. Wear Airsoft Boots

While airsoft boots can be considered a sporting luxury, they can help reduce the impact of airsoft BBs, especially when playing with seasoned pros with great aim. 

Remember, you’ll be doing a lot of attacking and defending when playing airsoft. And although your feet might not come off as a target area, they might be targeted if you’re hiding and they’re the only exposed part. 

Having a good pair of boots to give you the extra layer of protection is a good idea if you want to reduce the impact of airsoft BBs. You can choose to keep things simple by going for the Under Armour Military and Tactical Boot (available on that’s lightweight and easy to move around with. 

When choosing airsoft boots, it’s crucial to select lightweight boots that allow for smooth running. Wearing extra heavy boots might give you military-grade protection but will almost certainly take away from your performance, especially if you’ve never used them before.

7. Use Light Airsoft BBs

The most commonly used airsoft BB weights are 0.12 g (0.004 oz) and 0.20 g (0.007 oz), while 0.25 g (0.008 oz), 0.30 g (0.01 oz), and 0.40 g (0.014 oz) are also used by airsofters. Heavier airsoft BBs will need more force to be propelled from a gun after firing, translating to a heavier impact on opponents. 

Therefore, if you’re just getting started in airsoft and want to practice with some friends at home, it’s advisable to use low-weighted BBs as they hurt less and are a lot more beginner-friendly. 

8. Avoid the Pros Until You’re Ready

If you’re an intermediate airsofter, don’t try proving your worth by jumping straight to the deep end and battling with seasoned pros. These guys will eat you alive! 

Try as much as possible to play with opponents on the same level as you. Most experts have impeccable aims and won’t hesitate to shoot and eliminate you when the opportunity arises. 

Therefore, consider playing with fellow novices first until you’re well prepared to dine with the big boys to reduce the chances of being hurt by accurate BB shots. 

9. Practice Your Craft 

Practicing airsoft is more than just improving your aim. You’d need to work on your awareness, balance, and game-reading ability if you were to reduce the chances of getting shot. Knowing when to attack and defend is as important as making a sniper-like shot from a distance. 

Therefore, try as much as possible to understand the indoor or outdoor field before the actual game starts. Playing in an unfamiliar ground means you’ll be more likely to be shot than a ground where you know the ins and outs. 

Regularly practicing airsoft improves your ability to take advantage of obstacles and trenches in an airsoft field, which should go a long way in improving both your attack and defense. 

10. Observe Airsoft Rules

Obvious as it may sound, observing airsoft rules is a sure-fire way to make BBs hurt less. Most airsoft rules prohibit opponents from using primary weapons at close range. This means that as long as all players observe rules, guns with high muzzle velocity won’t be used in close-range battles, thus reducing the chances of injury for everyone in the field. 

Some people might break the rules in pursuit of ‘real-life scenario‘ fun, but you shouldn’t follow that route if you don’t want to get injured by airsoft BBs. 

11. Use Only Airsoft Guns When Playing

It might be tempting to walk around spraying airsoft pellets everywhere in your compound in the name of practice. And while doing so might be harmless if you’re alone, reckless behavior with a loaded airsoft gun can hurt neighbors, family members, and even yourself if the launched pellets land on exposed skin. 

Therefore, another way to make airsoft BBs hurt less is by respecting airsoft guns and using them only when practicing or in real-life gaming situations. Try as much as possible to store airsoft guns safely, as you don’t want your children playing around with these potentially dangerous real-gun replicas. 

Wrapping Up 

The best way to make airsoft BBs hurt less is to invest in high-quality safety gear. While wearing all gears like gloves and boots isn’t mandatory, you should never attempt to play without goggles to protect your eyes.

An airsoft helmet will provide extra protection, keeping your ears and foreheads safe. You should also wear a protective vest during an airsoft game. Another way to make airsoft BBs hurt less is by observing game rules and practicing your attacks and defenses long before a game to improve your reflexes and overall awareness.