Laser Tag vs. Airsoft: The Differences Compared

A surprising amount of effort goes into event planning. You want to make sure you’ve chosen something that everyone involved will want to do — or at least be willing to pay for. Laser tag and airsoft are popular activities that everyone can enjoy, but how do you know which one you should pick? 

Laser tag is usually a better choice than airsoft. For starters, laser tag is cheaper than airsoft. While airsoft is fun, it can cause injury and hearing damage if proper precautions are absent. Airsoft is also harder for inexperienced people to get into and unplayable year-round. 

Keep reading to learn further on the differences between laser tag and airsoft. By the end of this article, you’ll know how laser tag and airsoft compare and which you should consider for your next event.

Laser Tag/Airsoft Comparison

Although both activities are enjoyable and exciting, there are plenty of differences between the two.

Below is a table that highlights the key differences between laser tag and airsoft:

CategoryLaser TagAirsoft
CostCan be the cheaper optionRequires more equipment, meaning higher costs
SafetyCauses little harm to playersCan potentially wound players 
EaseRules are relatively simple to learnRules are more complicated to grasp
Involves certain types of guns that may be difficult to use
ConvenienceLightweight gear allows easier movements 
Can be played any time of year, except during rainy weather (if outside)
Easier for players to jump into the game due to straightforward rules
Specialized clothing and safety gear makes movement cumbersome
Heavy snow, frost, and rain influence gun effectiveness
Stricter rules for safety reasons and team cohesiveness
EngagementGetting shot has no impact as a result of utilizing lasersSimulates actual combat and BB pellets have an impact

Now that you’ve understood the significant differences between airsoft and laser tag, I’ll move on to discussing them, as well as a few other things I haven’t mentioned yet. 

Laser Tag Is Usually Cheaper Than Airsoft

You can either rent or buy your laser tag gear from an arena. The gear price can get expensive (you need the guns, vests, and other equipment for setup), but laser tag venues offer lower prices depending on events or popularity in the area. That said, you can budget, and laser tag is generally less expensive than airsoft.

Airsoft has the option to buy or rent also. You’ll need a gun, which varies in price depending on the type and specs you want and ammunition. You’ll also need to purchase goggles (or a full mask if the venue requires it), ear protection, clothing, and gas if you’re using a gas-powered gun.

Laser Tag Can Be Safer Than Airsoft

You can play laser tag in a building or outside. Indoors laser tag doesn’t come with the risk of injury, while outdoor laser tag comes with the average risk of just being outdoors — so not much at all. Airsoft, however, has a much higher risk of harm. 

The BB pellets can hit and injure the skin and even burrow underneath if fired fast enough at close range. There’s the risk of eye energy and getting teeth knocked out too. Airsoft guns can also damage hearing. 

Always wear your safety gear while playing airsoft. Goggles, helmets, lower face masks, ear protection, and hard knuckle gloves can mitigate a lot of damage. 

Video: What is laser tag

Airsoft Has More Complex Rules Than Laser Tag

If there are children or impatient people involved, I suggest going for laser tag. There are much fewer rules involved and what little you do have is easier to learn. Newcomers will likely have an easier time with laser tag; you can just point to the detection gear and shoot.

Airsoft has more complex rules, many of which revolve around safety. Some airsoft guns also have the problem of possibly being difficult for some people to use right away. Spring guns are the easiest to use, but other types may take more effort to learn.

You Can Also Play Laser Tag Indoors

Perhaps the most prominent contrast between these two sports is how convenient they are for the players. You can play laser tag indoors or outside, so technically, it’s a year-round sport. Heavy rain would obscure the lasers, so you can’t play in heavy rain, though.

Rainy days aside, you don’t have to worry about wind messing up shots. The equipment isn’t easily damaged by harsher weather like snow, frost, or heat either. Airsoft doesn’t get along so well with the weather. You shouldn’t play in snow, ice, or sweltering weather as it can damage the equipment.

High winds may ruin your shots, too; the pellets can be carried off by strong enough gusts. You have to take weather into account much more if you want to play airsoft. Airsoft also requires bulky equipment, making it harder to move, whereas laser tag doesn’t need specialized clothing or safety gear. 

You have to follow all safety rules for airsoft and whatever team rules are in place. There’s a big emphasis on group cohesiveness with airsoft. You and your squad have to have similar equipment, clothing, and skill sets, or else you’ll be a hindrance at best and flat out not allowed to play at worst. 

Airsoft Has a More Realistic Feel Than Laser Tag

Airsoft is a military combat simulation, so it has a more realistic feel than laser tag and requires a lot of strategies to play effectively. Laser tag also requires careful thought, but there’s less structure and fanfare involved. There’s less concern for realism, and unlike airsoft, you can’t feel the “bullet” hit you.

All this being said I love airsoft, and so do the many others, which speaks a lot about its popularity.


Both of these sports are fun, but there are significant differences. Laser tag can get pricey, but you still won’t spend as much as with airsoft. You’re less likely to get hurt playing laser tag, too. You can avoid injury with airsoft, but there’s a higher chance of getting hurt. 

Airsoft rules are more of a challenge to learn, and some guns can be trickier to master. With airsoft, there are no complex rules. There’s little weather interference if you choose to play laser tag also. Airsoft is probably best left for days with mild, low wind weather.