As an Airsoft beginner maybe you’ve wondering for a long time on how to get into Airsoft. Every Airsofter has been asking these question before they really started out.
How do I start? Where do I go to play? What do I need to kick off right away? How does it work when I finally get there? How much is it going to cost me? these are some of the most asked questions around Airsoft beginners and I will discuss them all in this article.
So let’s move on and find and answer to all those question so you can start right away without making those common beginner mistakes….. Let’s get started!
the first and most logic question is….
1. Where can I go to play?
Well, that question is as simple as it can be. You have literally 2 options: find a local (Airsoft) field or play the game in your backyard. As most of you/us have a backyard like 25 square meters you probably have already chosen to play at a local field or arena. therefore let’s first go ahead and talk about playing Airsoft at an Airsoft field or Arena.
Why would you choose for a local field or arena? well, that is for a multitude of reasons:
- Local fields are like a community where lots of Airsofters come together to meet and play.
- The locations have really cool layouts and obstacles built into them where you can play just like in a real war environment.
- There also even may be vendors so you can buy stuff like BB’s equipment, guns etc or you can look over and judge for yourself if you only want to look and not even buy at all.
All these details ultimately add up to make it a great Airsoft experience overall while playing in your backyard seems to be nice but you have to be aware of your neighbors and other people walking by your home.
I know many of you first got into Airsoft by playing in the backyard. That’s how most of us has learned it; at least how to hold a gun properly and how to operate it. But by playing in the backyard you can cause nuisance unintentionally when you have neighbors living close to your backyard. Some of your neighbors, but also a passerby could think that you are playing with real guns because most Airsoft guns look like real. The other thing is that someone possibly could have gotten seriously injured, maybe even worse. You could really hurt someone – when they have no protection – shooting a BB with 400 Feet Per Second. So playing in the backyard all boils down to just safety! So before playing in your backyard please inform your neighbors and others involved or at least tell them what you are going to do.
Besides taking your gun into the backyard, you probably sometimes will take your gun to friends or whatever. Be aware that if someone sees you in public (backyard or streetwise) with an Airsoft gun there is a high likelihood that they may will mistake it for a real firearm and maybe even potentially call the police. that is actually the main reason why I don’t recommend carrying a gun in public or playing backyard Airsoft.
Some of you guys live in a secluded area with a lot of space to play on and having no neighbors who can disturb you from Airsofting 😉 Backyard Airsofting can then be a very viable option for you. As long as you be aware of brandishing your guns and you have been talking to your nearest neighbors that you are going to play Airsoft and that the guns you will use are not real…
So, if you have the space and you informed your neighbors and you think nobody is going to be hit accidentally then go and play! The advantages of playing backyard Airsoft include playing anytime of the day on your own terms, you don’t have to pay before entering a field, and you can make up your own game types with your friends, things like that. But again, whatever you do, be cautious of brandishing Airsoft guns in the view of the public.
Now that we’ve gone through where to play you would probably know where you actually can find places to go to play. So, let’s find out and read further.
2. How can I find an Airosft field?
To find a local area and meet other Airsofters is an important thing in the Airsoft world. Of course you can do backyard Airsofting with friends you already have but it’s nice to go out as a team and go to a field with really cool layout and obstacles built in. It’s like a community where you can exchange experience et..
Where to find good places to go? Firstly check www.airosftC3.com. This is a really great site to find fields and to learn more about Airsoft in general. This website will list all known Airsoft fields, stores and teams in the US State-by-State. So when clicking on a specific State you will find fields, shops, teams, advocates and organizers. It’s actually all the information you need so with this everything has just been consolidated into one convenient place.
Airsofters in Europe need to go to another website. That website is www.airsoftmap.fr and www.airsoftmap.net. With this you have enough information to find a local field or gather more information. These sites let you search up in your area where exactly you can find places to go in Airsoft. Most countries allow Airsofting in some form or another. As far as I know Australia is an exception to that. These sites also where allow people to contact them in advance and rent and book gear for their first Airsoft Experience. They made no exception of who to allow; you can just show up and rent or buy some gear when this is your first time. So don’t think that way, don’t be ashamed but go if you like this sport!
I forgot to mention that each country has of course their own rules as far as it comes to the possession of a gun. Therefore each country, like the Netherlands for example, has a centralized organization that is competent to give you some sort of license which says that you are allowed to transport a gun to a local field and that you are playing Airosft. Check out www.nabv.nl and see for yourself.
3. How old do you have to be to play Airsoft?
That is actually one of the most asked questions before someone is getting started playing Airosft.
Well, the unexpected answer to this question is that there really is not a set age to be able to play Airsoft. But this is the situation in the US. In other (European) countries – almost every other country – you will likely have to be over the age of 18 in a lot of cases.
Maybe that’s hard to understand but were dealing with guns that look very real and therefore you need to take some responsibility to the environment as well as knowing what you’re doing when carrying the gun with you to a local field. In that case it has to be unloaded, safely stored in a suitcase etc… In some countries you even obtain a license in order to play. That’s the case here in the Netherlands….
In the United States it mainly depends on the rules, case-by-case of each field you go to… So it very depends on where you live, how easy it is to start and how old you need to be in order to play. but more often than not you will see the age of 12 as a commonly accepted minimal age requirement at most places you go to. If you want to be sure then check the rules of the field you plan on attending.
4. How do you join a local Airsoft field?
This is another typical Airsoft beginner question. Also a logic one because when you sign up to a sportclub you also need to register, pay contribution and buy gear before attending the sportclub. So how does this work in Airosfting?
All you need to do for picking up Airsoft games is to go to the fields website and check out what days there hosting Airsoft games. I mentioned the websites to search for a field earlier in this article. Then show up on game day, pay the fee in order to play there and of you go! Well, that’s not the whole truth but it can be as simple as that! Of course you need some equipment – you probably were wondering when I come up with that 😉 – in order to play but it’s not necessary to buy equipment by yourself because more often than not it will be available to you at the field!
5. Do you need to be part of an Airsoft team?
I think most of you go to an Airsoft field with friend to have a good time there. But in order to play missions you need more teams to accomplish goals. In all cases you can get there on you own if you want. You can simply show up and play. Of course it’s a lot more fun to play with friends but it is in general accepted to play by yourself. Actually this will not be the case because when you go out there and play you automatically will work together with other people and link up with other players. As said before, it’s more important to show up the rest is easy. You automatically have contacted a organizer before and when showing up you will meet the organizer and he/she will explain what to do.
So, if you like this sport, show up and get ready to play! Have fun!
6. What do you need to play Airsoft?
Now that we’ve gone over where to play and how to find, your age and how to join, let’s dive in to how you actually can get involved in Airsoft and the minimum requirements to play Airsoft. There is a big misconception that you do need a whole bunch of gear and tactical equipment in order to play Airsoft. That is actually not the case at all. You can actually play airsoft with a bare minimum amount of gear and equipment.
In most cases you simply show up with some rigid shoes, a basic stretch jeans, a long-sleeve shirt and some trousers that take a bit out those shots. That basically is all you need to start with! On most fields in order to play you have to pay a fee and if you don’t have bought any gear you can rent it on the field. On the field they will help you get everything needed to start and enjoy your first day. And that is all you need as far as face protection (!), everything you need as far as weapons concerned and maybe some clothes but that’s it.
Actually that is where I recommend you to start with. Go to a field, rent some gear and play! Dont’t be selfish and buy all this stuff before you have actually played a single time. It’s all wasted money and maybe – after a day full of playing – you didn’t like it or even worse you did enjoy it but you didn’t bought the right stuff because you didn’t know really what to do and what you going to enjoy.
A lot of sites have the opportunity to attend a forum where you can find other Airsofters to talk with and talk to people who want to go there so that you don’t have to go there on your own but have somebody going to and try out with.
Now what do you need to absolutely start with?
What are they giving you in a rental package or what do you at least – as a bare minimum – need to buy to protect yourself to go out and play? If you already know that you like this sport then think about buying protection gear first.
6.1 Face Protection
The main thing, and this is really important, is face protection. So many people do not pay enough attention to this side of Airsoft that I want to emphasize it here.
The most important part of face protection is the goggle or some glasses. Unfortunately there is a huge difference in quality and price among protection glasses. The cheapest ones are made out plastic and has a mesh material in front and just give you some basis protection, which they do.
Unfortunately they have got some really big downsides and therefore I have reasons to avoid these things.
Firstly when put it on your head half of your vision is covered by the grid it self. So it can be quite difficult to see sharp with these goggles on. Another major reason is that these glasses fail on the wholes themselves because for a BB it is possible to chatter and get some fragments of the BB in you eye. A lot of fields have already ban the use of mesh goggles.
Besides that sight is important in Airsoft so you maybe agree with me that such a goggle is not suited for a dark environment or playing in the woods. A small advantage is that they never going to steam up on you.
So because of safety reasons and for the fact that you won’t be able to use them at most fields I would not recommend these mesh goggles. Instead I would prefer something like an ESS goggle.
Then take also into account buying a mask in the future. You get then something like the picture on the right. Be sure that these glasses have a High-impact protection certified to ANSI Z87.1 and Military Requirement and are fully seal. The ANZI rating assures that even if you are hitting in the lens with a really high FPS gun they will not shatter or break. So that seems very important doesn’t it?
Full seal means that you have a protective lining in your goggles or facemask that lines all away around your face. That protective line basically assures that no BB’s coming in from the side or potentially sneak through the side and get into your eye.
So just to reiterate, when you are renting or purchasing eye protection be sure that they are fully sealed and ANSI rated.
6.2 Lower Face Protection
Most sites don’t require you to use lower face protection but this is as important as eye protection. Maybe CQB sites are a bit different but I would highly recommend use one of these masks because a BB with 400 FPS can cause a lot of damage to your face. I’ve seen pictures on the internet with people missing teeth because they didn’t carry a mask while playing Airsoft.
On the picture above you see a lower protection mask with mesh. You know got the idea that this will chatter to but he it’s not your eye and the mask will give you the protection needed. There are versions with metal and plastic mesh.These masks come in all sort of different colors and patterns and are very breathable. The main problem that everyone has with these masks is that these are hard to make fit with different types of goggles. Some Airsofters will odd their mask and others go out and find specific goggles that work with different types of masks.
The other route you can go is that from a full face protection like a paintball mask. These are a little more expensive but gives a great protection overall. A disadvantage is that they are little more obnoxious because of the reason that they heavier and larger that only a mask.
In conclusion I would recommend as a beginner just going the route of a paintball mask. The reason for that is that you have to figure out some type or system where the goggles and the mask fit. But in the end it’s up to you whether you choose a paintball mask or go for a lower mask and a goggle separately.
You don’t need to spend a whole bunch on gear and equipment in order to play Airsoft. You can play Airsoft with a very minimum amount of gear and equipment. Most fields allow playing with regular attire. With a normal jeans and a jacket or long-sleeve both of them need to cover your arms and legs and that is enough to play. Some fields will have apparel for rent but that isn’t very common.
If you want to buy some apparel on your own then check an army-navy store. They often have good quality that is extremely affordable. There you can have some kind of feeling on what you really want. Another options is to go online and find a online store.
uniform and camouflage
If you are searching for a BDU (battle dress uniform) then think about the kind of terrain you are playing at. You would get something that blends in with your terrain. Choose a pattern that is adapted to the environment and terrain your playing at. I can imagine that for instance you have another BDU for CQB area than for outdoor games. On I found a really helpful site about camouflage patterns. Click here to follow the link to Wikipedia. Maybe you get some idea on what camouflage to buy. Woodland is a very known and used camouflage pattern that is used in the US and Europe and you will find in navy stores.
Second main thing with camouflage is about forming a team. On most fields camouflage is in important factor to split up teams and sort out players. Mostly this will be done depending on camouflage pattern.
So keep in mind what kind of terrain you will be playing and choose that camouflage pattern that will blend in the best and give you the most advantage possible.
Boots or shoes?
The most common injury in Airsofting is ankles. Therefore it’s very important to have something with big ankle support. That could be shoes with ankle support or boots with ankle support. Actually any set of hiking / work boots/shoes will do as long as you’ve got that ankle support. Ankle support is really important especially in woodland environments where you a lot of time run an tripping over logs trees and stuff like that.
Chest rig / vest
The chest rig responsible for basically manage your gear. In order to play Airsoft you don’t need a full set of tactical gear but if you are playing more regularly it is very handy to have one. Imagine that an Airsoft game will only last around 30 minutes. What do you actually need during that time? Well, if you have 2 high capacity magazine with over 300 rounds than it will be more than enough to get you through the entire round. So as a beginner you don’t need to have a lot of tactical gear but having some equipment does definitely help you out and provide an extra level of protection. Let’s start with a rig.
The rig is going to carry magazines around for you and give you a place to put empty magazines. Some of you has a sidearm and a rig has also place for your sidearm. If you are a Sniper then it as got a series of pouches for sniper magazines as well. Last but not least it gives you some protection. We have a lot of types out there and as I said before just try out the game first because some rig are sniper rigs other are better if you have an M4. Choose a rig not where you can only carry magazines and stuff but also your sidegun a bottle of water some grenades etc.. it actually depends on your role in the field and what you like to carry with you.
A better option is going the route of a cross draw vest. These type of vests have all the magazine pouches built into them and some of them have also a pistol holster with pistol pouches. So if you carry a sidearm that that option of a pistol holster with pistol pouches is also available to you. So if you want something like a rig or a vest then choosing a vest is what I would recommend especially for the beginner. Because these are cheap, work well and can be used for different roles/purposes.
If you played Airsoft already you would have experienced that you need something on your head or at least something over your ears. a helmet is actually really helpful when playing CQB but also in woodland. It’s nice to hear some of the BB’s pop on the top of your helmet and you have the idea that you are protected by a helmet. Because it probably would have hurt!
A helmet also protect you from knocking your head into trees, doors, windows etc.. Some quality helmets have the option to put a goggle on it that can flip away to the side.
6.4 Weapon – Magazines – BB’s
Obviously to play Airsoft you need a gun. Before you actually buy a gun I would first check and see if any of your local Airsoft field allow you to rent a gun to play with. Most of the Airsoft field have that option available to you. I think it’s a smart decision to try different guns first before go out and buy a gun for yourself first. This way you can try different guns and models to see which one suits you the best. This way you can also find out what you like or dislike about a gun. Be aware that not every single field will have guns available for rental so when that is the case you need to bring you own gun to the game. For hose of you who will need a gun to play or have made already the decision to buy a gun I wrote an article and going completely in depth about buying your first Airsoft gun. Follow the link to this article by clicking here. This article will covers everything you need to know about purchasing your first Airsoft gun.
If you are going to rent a gun first or have bought already a gun, in both cases you will need some BB’s. If you rent a gun first you don’t need high quality BB’s because these gun you rent is probably not as good as when you bought one so it will not need such good quality BB’s. For my own gun I would probably buy high quality BB’s because obviously there is quite a lot of custom components in there but I’m going to damage the barrel otherwise. So for your first skirm you can buy a bottle of cheap BB’s which is around 10 bucks a bottle.
You don’t have to spent a lot on gear in order to play Airosft. On some fields you can rent gear and otherwise we recommend being conservative with you money. As time progress you will discover what works best for you and what kind of equipment you want. Going this route will prevent you from saving money. I would recommend renting first and trying out before you make a finalized purchase.
7. What to expect when you get there?
How do you actually play Airsoft? What are the rules? Well, it doesn’t matter what objective you’ve got, what goal you have, what your are actually doing, what game you play. The only thing is when you get shot and/or feel the hit you stick you hand in the air and shout HIT!! That indicates to everyone else that you have been hit and you are out of play.
After being hit you fall back behind to re-spawn with you teammates. It also depends on what your role on the field is but for example defenders will have to fall back 30 meters and then re-spawn with the group. You expect everyone is doing the same when hit.
Sometimes you’re being sure that you HIT somebody but that person doesn’t feel that or is cheating a bit. Well, you should know that this game is based on trust and honesty but sometimes you will probably think people are cheating you especially when you they have been fully under fire. Even when you’re so sure, most of the time you didn’t HIT them and that’s were the frustration begins. So be wise and try to get in this sport with an open mind. If you being HIT be honest and shout HIT an fall back and re-spawn with the group. Assume that everyone else will do the same. Then you should have a great time playing Airsoft.
Last but not least I want to mention that Airsofting is very physically demanding so make sure you are fit enough to play Airsoft. Therefore bring plenty of water with you to hydrate throughout the day.
The Airsoft community is a great community with great people who are all nice people and love this sport. So don’t be afraid to go there and all I can say is get involved with the community and have a lot of fun playing Airsoft!
I hope you enjoyed this article!
if you have further information that I did not mention here please make a comment below.