5 Things You’ll Need To Play Airsoft (Buyer’s Guide)

Airsoft is fun. To maximize that fun, though, you need to make sure you have all the right gear. You’ll want to make sure you’re protected and that you have everything necessary to beat the competition.

Here are five things you’ll need to play airsoft, and some things that might be nice to have:

  1. Face and Head Protection
  2. Protective Clothing
  3. Airsoft Guns
  4. Ammo
  5. Upgrades
  6. The Nice-to-Haves

Keep reading for a breakdown of each of these things. I’ll also be sure to recommend several high-quality items that will get you to exactly where you need to be to start this thing off right. At end of each section, you can also see a table of the items I recommend.

1. Face and Head Protection

Taking a BB to the face doesn’t feel good. Taking one to the eye… that’s just dangerous. So, let’s talk about protection for your head and face. There are several different ways you could do this, and anything is better than nothing if you’re on a budget. 

I recommend being as safe as possible and getting a full-face helmet. If you don’t like this route, though, keep reading because I’ll give some more recommendations below. A full-face helmet offers a lot of protection from incoming rounds, but they can be quite a bit more expensive than the alternatives.

If you want a full-face helmet, I recommend the Evike WARQ Full Face and Head Protection System from Amazon.com. This helmet offers full eye, face, head, and ear protection. This helmet has an adjustable headband, is vented from all sides, and has padding that makes it as comfortable as can be. It also has brackets that allow for things like lights, cameras, and night vision, making this helmet one for the books.

However, it is quite pricey if you’re on a budget. For a much more affordable option, check out the Senmortar Full Face Tactical Mask from Amazon.com. This mask is good for the price, but there are tradeoffs for cheaper products.

For instance, this mask doesn’t protect the back of the head. It also only protects you from BBs traveling up to 310 feet (94 meter) per second (fps). This means that you won’t be properly protected from BBs traveling faster than that. 

Video: Protect Your Noggin! – Airsoft Helmets

There are still some very affordable and trustworthy options out there, like the ActionUnion Tactical Airsoft Helmet from Amazon.com. You’d still need to find a mask and eye protection (see below) with this helmet, though, but it is a great option, and it has brackets if you want to add accessories. 

If you want to make it as simple and affordable as possible, check out the JFFCESTORE Tactical Helmet. If you’re a minimalist, I recommend the NO B Tactical Mesh Mask with these Evike Tactical Shooting Glasses, all from Amazon.com.

Also, be sure to consider whether or not you’re going to be using two-way radios. If so, you may want to have something like this Retevis Walkie Talkie Noise Cancelling Headset from Amazon.com. This could affect your choice of head protection!

There are more options to cover than are within the scope of this article, but with these recommendations, you’re in a great place to make the best choices for your protective gear.

2. Protective Clothing

Your face isn’t the only thing you’ll want to protect in airsoft. Being repeatedly shot with airsoft BBs can be… uncomfortable, to say the least. So, to reduce pain and increase fun, I recommend you think about getting gear to protect your neck, arms, hands, and torso, too. The goal here is to lessen the sting a bit, so to that end, these recommendations will be simple and inexpensive. 

For your neck, a simple gaiter will do. This Satinior Neck Gaiter pack from Amazon.com should do the trick. I recommend you either wear a hoodie or a long sleeve shirt or pick up these Evike Arm Covers from Amazon.com, too, for your arms. Those are especially good for playing in the heat as they’ll keep you cool and keep the sun off your skin without roasting you as a long sleeve shirt or sweater would do.

Gloves will do wonders in protecting your fingers from that BB bite. Gloves are one of the easiest things to get right when it comes to airsoft. Virtually any padded glove is going to help protect your hands, but if you’re looking for a high-quality brand that’ll do the trick, check out these Evike Padded Gloves

Protecting your torso is simple, too. If it’s cold outside, a good jacket would be fine, in my opinion. You’ll still get stung by the BBs likely, but it’s a decent layer of protection. If you want to make doubly sure you’re protected, pick up an Evike Tactical Vest from Amazon.com. I like that one because it has plenty of magazine pouches and a holster for your airsoft sidearm on the front.

3. Airsoft Guns


The airsoft gun is easy. Many people tend to overcomplicate things, but we won’t do that here. What you need is an airsoft gun that is easy to use, reliable, and that puts rounds on target, right? 

Well, you’re in luck because my recommendation does all of that and more. It’s a little costly out of the gate, but a beginner won’t do much better than the Evike Colt Licensed Full Metal M4A1 Carbine Airsoft AEG Rifle from Amazon.com. Shooting at around 400fps, this airsoft rifle comes pre-loaded with upgraded internals, an adjustable stock, and an adjustable hop-up system.

It isn’t, however, already R-Hopped. If you don’t know what that means, keep reading because I’ll cover that and how it affects your airsoft game below in the “Upgrades” section.

Video: Colt M4A1 Carbine Airsoft Gun Shooting Test

If you’re looking for a realistic airsoft rifle, this one’s for you. Its exterior is simple and clean, and since it’s a Colt licensed, full metal airsoft rifle, it has the look and the feel of an actual rifle. Make sure you leave the orange tip on, though, to avoid any confusion!


Now, for your airsoft sidearm. I recommend you get the Walther P99 Airsoft Gun from Amazon.com. It’s affordable, simple, and shoots Bbs up to 320fps, which is not bad for an airsoft handgun. There are better options, and there are worse options. 

This is a good middle-of-the-road airsoft pistol for those of you who are just getting started and don’t want to drop hundreds of dollars on a secondary airsoft weapon right away.

We can’t, of course, forget a good gun bag. At the end of this article, I’ll recommend a really good bag that will allow you to carry both your airsoft rifle and your sidearm, as well as plenty of other things.

4. Ammo

Standard airsoft ammunition is 6mm BBs. These BBs are easy to find and relatively inexpensive. The important thing to keep in mind is the weight of the BBs you choose to use. 

For indoor games, I recommend shooting .20g BBs. These are lighter weight but will be unaffected by the wind in an indoor environment. Outdoor games are another story. You might be fine with the .20g BBs, but it never hurts to make sure you’re prepared. That’s why I recommend upping the weight to at least .25g BBs when playing outside.

After all, you don’t want your BBs drifting off into targetless space every time you shoot just because of a breeze, do you? I know I don’t. The heavier BBs have some drawbacks, but that .25g weight is a good place to be as it’s not too heavy and not too light. It’s the Goldilocks BB for outdoor games. 

If you’re looking to pick up .20g BBs, check out the Match Grade .20g BBs. For .25g BBs, I recommend the MetalTac .25g BBs. Both are from Amazon.com.

Now seems like a good time to mention the utility of a BB speed loader. A speed loader isn’t necessary, but it can save you valuable time on the field if you find yourself out of ammo and still in the game. It also makes loading up before the game less of a headache. I recommend checking out the MetalTac Airsoft Speed Loader from Amazon.com, which is inexpensive and easy to use.

5. Upgrades

Upgrading your airsoft gun is not necessary, but it will improve your gameplay by allowing you to shoot further, faster, and more accurately. The major upgrade I want to share here is the R-Hop.

Now, often R-Hopping your airsoft rifle can be a major headache, but if you’re willing to spend a little time and money, you can make your airsoft games more fun and give yourself an advantage that other players may not have.

Basically, R-Hopping your airsoft rifle involves upgrading the bucking, a small piece of rubber in the weapon’s inner barrel that makes contact with the BB and gives it a backspin. This backspin ultimately gives the BB more lift once it leaves the barrel, increasing your range and accuracy. 

To make this as simple as possible, I recommend checking out the Elvish Tac R-Hopped Tightbore Barrel from Amazon.com. This item is a tightbore inner barrel that is already R-Hopped. The rubber bucking is already upgraded in this barrel, so you don’t have to do anything but swap out the inner barrels.

There’s another benefit to swapping out the entire inner barrel, though, and that’s that most stock inner barrels are made of brass or aluminum, which vibrates quite a lot when the airsoft gun is fired. This vibration will cause the ammunition to bounce in the inner barrel more, reducing its speed, range, and effectiveness. Oh, and I almost forgot: it’s also a tightbore barrel, meaning it’s more narrow than stock inner barrels. 

This inner barrel is steel, which vibrates much less, is already R-Hopped, meaning the bucking will give the BB more backspin allowing it more range and accuracy, and it’s a smaller-than-stock 6.03mm (0.24in) in diameter, which means there’s less room for the BB to move around inside the inner barrel itself. All these things make this particular upgrade a no-brainer; if you’re looking to upgrade at all, that is.

For a more in-depth look at the best upgrades for accuracy, check out our article on the 3 Best Airsoft Upgrades for Accuracy (Buyer’s Guide). In this article, I discuss the benefits of upgrading your inner barrel, hop-up unit, and bucking and give a detailed look into why each of these upgrades is useful and how they’ll affect your game.

Video: The Elvish Tac R-hop || Gameplay and Impressions

6. The Nice-to-Haves

You may want to bring along a few other things: drinks, food, extra magazines, extra ammunition, camouflage, and kill rags. Of course, you’ll also want a decent, sturdy bag to carry all of this in. 

You can check out Amazon products, like if you’re looking to stay hidden, consider this DoCred Ghillie Suit. Kill Rags? Well, if you want to get serious, check out this Social Airsoft Dead Rag. If you want a more affordable kill rag that accomplishes the same thing, check out these Simpli-Magic Shop Towels.

Now, bags are an important thing to consider in airsoft. A good backpack will go a long way in this game. I recommend the R.SASR Upgrade Tactical Backpack from Amazon.com. It’s a good choice if you’re looking for a sturdy back to carry all of your extras.

Finally, the Savior Equipment Rifle Bag from Amazon.com is going to be a must-have for carrying your airsoft weapons. It’s got space for two airsoft rifles and two sidearms, as well as plenty of room for ammunition and magazines. It’s also got a molle grid, so you can add more pouches if you desire and backpack straps if you prefer carrying it that way.


Ultimately, it’s important to make sure that you have all the necessary gear that makes for a good airsoft game. By now, you should be able to see how missing any one of these pieces could change the game and make it far less fun. 

Not only that, but with all the proper gear, you can turn your mind to learning and getting better rather than having to constantly mentally compensate for whatever piece you are missing. So, get your gear, get out on the field, and decimate the competition!

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