No one starts this hobby as a plastic-slingin’ badass, and we were all new once! The world of airsoft can be daunting if you’re just getting started–but that’s where we come in!
We’ve put together a list of tips and advice for BB babies based on our own experience that’ll help you get the most of the game and avoid mistakes we’ve made along the way.
1. Do your research!
It probably seems obvious, but if you’re looking at picking up your first gun, make sure you read as much about it as you can before pulling the trigger!
There’s nothing that ruins the airsoft experience faster than buyer’s remorse–especially if you had to save up a chunk of change only to spend it on a subpar product.
If you’re looking for where to start, you can check out our (best gun guides) for an idea–and youtube is a great resource as well!
Additionally, beware of paid opinions. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is! There are a lot of folks that make a living by endorsing products that, while maybe not total garbage, aren’t quite right for you.
Do your best to make an informed decision before you buy, and we guarantee you’ll be that much happier when you get out on the field.
2. Don’t know something? Ask!
One of the coolest aspects of airsoft, in our opinion, is the sense of community. If you’re out there for the first time and your gun stops functioning, your hop up isn’t set correctly, or you’re unsure about the rules–ask someone!
The vast majority of players won’t mind that you’re new to the game, and are usually willing to quickly correct whatever problems you might be having or show you how to troubleshoot them.
You might be intimidated at first, but we’ve all been there!
3. Remember–it’s just a game.
It can sometimes be easy to get heated while playing a game that revolves around firing highspeed projectiles into other people’s faces, but remember–it’s a game. We’re all here to have fun!
Cheaters definitely do exist, but don’t let them ruin the game for you. A key thing to remember is that your gun is not a laser rifle, especially when taking shots at long range, and if you think you’re hitting someone… you probably aren’t.
Don’t sweat the small stuff, try never to call another player out, (there’s nothing worse than a chorus of CALL YOUR HITS erupting across the field), and if needs be, escalate any serious problems to your field’s game staff.
But remember! It’s a game, and we’re all very silly for playing army man in our cool army man clothes. Don’t freak out.
4. Master your gun’s hop up.
A hop up is the mechanism that puts a backspin on your BB as it leaves the barrel, stabilizing it in flight.
Optimally, you’ll find the right setting that allows your rounds to travel a more or less flat trajectory the entire way to the target with a gradual drop off. Understanding how your gun’s hop up works and getting it dialed in just right will vastly improve your gun’s range and accuracy!
Almost every gun has a unique way of adjusting the hop up. Spend some time before the game trying to get yours flying as far as possible.
Nothing sucks more than needing to do that while being shot at, or after you’ve installed your battery and made your hop up less accessible (such as on some AK variants). Too much hop is going to send your rounds flying off skyward, and too little will see them impacting the ground much too early.
Fiddle around and figure it out!
5. Avoid sniper rifles… For now.
We get it. Sniping is cool. However, sniping in airsoft isn’t what Hollywood makes it out to be. Hell, sniping in airsoft usually isn’t what airsoft YouTubers make it out to be. If you’re just getting into the game, probably one of the worst routes you could go would be picking up a spring bolt action sniper rifle and thinking you’re going to be out innawoods nailing people in the dome.
Spoiler alert. You ain’t. And that’s okay!
Effective airsoft snipers pour a ton of money into their rifles–making fine adjustments to build the gun up to do exactly what they want it to do. Sniping is also way more about stealth, fieldcraft, and communication than folks probably realise, and one of the best ways to ragequit the game early on is to get stomped on by automatic rifles when all you’ve got is a bolt gun.
Grab an AEG first, get a feel for how the game works, and then if still interested, look into sniping later on down the road. It’ll still be there!
6. Get comfortable with your gun’s maintenance.
Airsoft guns don’t need too much upkeep to keep running reliably, but that being said, you should definitely make sure that you’re comfortable with giving your gun some TLC after you use it.
Most guns are going to be totally fine with just a drop of silicone oil in the hop up chamber. This keeps the rubber hop up bucking lubricated and prevents it from drying out.
Additionally, you should use a cotton gun cleaning patch with some silicone spray to swab the gun’s barrel out–though be careful not to poke too far into the chamber as you could damage the hop up unit! Repeat the process until your cleaning patches start to come out clean, and then run a dry swab down the barrel to pick up any excess lubricant. That’s it!
While you can obviously break down the mechbox and get really into the guts of your gun, this is usually totally unnecessary unless your gun is catastrophically filthy, but beginners should never take apart their mechboxes. Stick to the steps above and you should be golden!
7. You don’t necessarily need to go crazy on upgrades outta the box.
While you’ll likely want to get around to sprucing up the internals of your gun eventually, we see a ton of beginners think that upgrade parts are mandatory straight from the get-go. Upgrades are a can of worms that are much too complicated to cover in the space here, but the short of it is that you certainly don’t need them just to get out and play.
We always advise new folks to get their guns out to a few different matches to really get a feel for their stock performance. Maybe you’re perfectly happy and won’t need to change a thing! Alternatively, actually getting a load of trigger time with the gun will allow you to generate a list of potential weakness or areas that could be improved upon through upgraded internal parts.
Maybe after a few games, you decide that you want a higher rate of fire, or maybe you want to bump your FPS, range, and accuracy. Without using the gun beforehand, you’re kind of diving blind into a very deep pool, so–save some money, and just start playing!
8. Make friends!
Airsoft is absolutely a team-oriented game, and as such, you’re going to have a lot more fun if you get to know a group of like-minded individuals that mesh well with your playstyle.
Some of our closest lifelong friendships, even as adults, came through being dorks and playing BB guns with each other when we were kids.
Put yourself out there and find a fun group to roll with, or get your existing friends to dive down the airsoft hole with you, and we promise it’ll be that much more fun!
9. Airsoft guns aren’t quite toys and require responsibility.
It’s easy to think that airsoft guns are just a bit more painful version of Nerf guns, but that’s certainly not the case.
The guns are absolutely capable of causing catastrophic damage to eyes and teeth if proper face protection isn’t being worn–and you will have a very bad day if you decide to go play at a public park and the cops show up.
These look nearly identical to real firearms, and in our opinion, should be treated as such. Following the 4 fundamental rules of real firearms safety is a great place to start!
Keep your finger off the trigger and the gun on safe unless you’re ready to fire, and be aware of where your muzzle is pointing at all times. Again, we cannot stress enough–do not go play in public.
Developing a healthy respect for the fact that your airsoft gun is going to be indistinguishable from a real firearm for the vast majority of people is going to keep you out of trouble in the long run–and keep unnecessary attention off the community as a whole. Play it safe!
10. It’s all about the honor, bro.
Airsoft is a game of honor. When you’re hit, it’s your responsibility to call yourself out–otherwise, the entire game just falls apart. As such, take it to the next level!
If you’re unsure whether or not you were hit, just take it. You’ll go through respawn and be back in the game soon anyway.
Beyond that–can you imagine how sad and pathetic someone that needs to cheat at a game of BB guns is? Don’t be that guy! Pay it forward, and if you have the opportunity to surrender or ‘bang bang’ another player instead of lighting them up–take it!
They’ll be glad you didn’t destroy them, we promise.
Did we miss anything? What important beginner tips do you have for new airsofters? Post yours below! Want to learn more? Start with our guide on getting into airsoft.