Hello! In this Instructable I am going to try to share some experiences and tactics I have found while airsofting and expand on the many beginner guides available on this site . For a beginner's guide, I recommend A Simple Guide to Airsoft by user That Weasel or Airsoft: A rookie's guide based on personal experience by dizzytired. Enjoy! Oh, and thanks to AirsoftUK for the image below.
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Step 1: Disclaimer (Safety)
Ok, here's the inclined disclaimer when writing about airsoft on the interwebs. NO, airsoft is NOT dangerous if you play it properly. A few rules of thumb:
1. Keep your guns under or around 400 FPS (Exceptions: Snipers)
2. Have the judgement not to shoot people point blank or within close range (Ask them to surrender or do courtesy kills.)
3. ALWAYS wear goggles or a paintball facemask. (ANSI certified)
4. Don't take off your mask until the end of the game.
5. Keep the orange tip on.
And, the big one,
6. NEVER AIRSOFT IN A PUBLIC PLACE!
One of my friends has experience on the last rule. He was airsofting in a frog pond, when a paranoid old lady called the cops on him. He was about 9, using cheap clear springers, and practically the whole police force came. Imagine what would happen if you and a half-dozen friends came over dressed in tactical gear and wielding assault rifles?
Step 2: A Brief Introduction to the Different Types of Airsoft Guns
I will not go too far into detail during this section as it has been done a lot elsewhere, however this should help refresh you on the variety of gun types.
Springers- Everybody's first gun. Usually clear and low FPS, however there are some exceptions, as there are some very high-quality spring pistols, shotguns, and sniper rifles.
AEGs- The basic workhorse. Rechargable-battery powered, contains a large variety of rifles.
CO2- The less expensive gas airsoft gun. Almost exclusively used for lesser (although not low) quality pistols.
GBB- Guns powered by green gas or propane that future a slide that moves back (As in a real gun.) Sometimes higher quality then GNB, also sometimes less powerful.
GNB- Guns powered by green gas or propane that do not have a moving slide. These may be slightly lower quality, but also may be more powerful.
Step 3: Buying Airsoft Guns (Online and Offline)
OFFLINE: The sad truth is that guns from your local Big 5 or Dick's Sporting Goods or whatever will probably not have the firepower needed for a more developed and sophisticated airsoft war, buy at your own risk. Also the employees who work there will usually know next to nothing about airsoft. However, keep your eyes out, as there may be airsoft stores or surpluses around you. I can not speak for every single airsoft store/surplus, but in general they are your best possible option. While they may be slightly more expensive then deals you may find elsewhere, you get to try out the guns, get advice on the guns, get a massively better chance of getting your gun returned if it breaks, and support a local business. Plus, it won't show up broken on it's way from Hong Kong or just get lost in the postal service.
ONLINE: The main airsoft retailers my friends and I have experience with are Airsplat, Evike, Airsoft GI, and Airsoft Megastore. Airsplat has generally mixed reviews, but is definitely trying to improve. They carry a pretty good selection, especially for beginners, but I would suggest that if you have more cash then you move up to AGI or Evike. Evike is a good, reliable source with a gigantic selection and decent customer service. Buying from Evike is a good idea, but I think AGI is the same if not even better in, quality, shipping, and customer service. Now, that only leaves Airsoft Megastore. Hmm . . . DO NOT BUY FROM AIRSOFT MEGASTORE! The deals may seem good, but trust me, it's not worth it in the long run. Many of my friends have been duped, ripped off, and sent into customer service limbo with AM. I suggest simply staying away.
Step 4: Tactical Gear and Communication
The main thing that distinguishes the pros from their immature backyard-fighting, sunglasses and shorts-wearing, springer waving counterparts is their gear. While this section is not essential to success, it can often raise your chances of surviving and winning greatly. First off, if you are wielding a secondary (which is recommended) then you should be wearing a holster or vest of sorts, not carrying it in your belt. Trust me- if you do that, you will lose your gun. Vests are also useful for carrying ammunition and, more importantly, communication. If your team is to win, then it needs to be interconnected. This can be as simple as just carrying walkie talkies, it isn't usually necessary to get into elaborate flare gun and hand-motion schemes.
Step 5: Tactics and Battle Ideas- to Kill a Camper
The tactics and battles you have will vary and change based on your environment, and will almost always need to be modified. However, it is good to keep some in mind in case you are stumped on what to do in a situation. This step is methods to kill a camper/sniper. (Yes, I know, staying to one area in moderation is not camping. These are just offensive tactics against defenses based in one strong area.)
1. The ever-present, basic but effective method is to find, flank, and outgun the sniper. This strategy leaves a fairly good chance of success, but also leaves a good possibility of danger, especially since there may be a marker with that sniper or even a whole team.
2. One of the best methods to take down a sniper that I have found is to let him/her (Who am I kidding, him) come to you. During a 5v5 game, my team was down to 3 and low on both health and ammo. On the other team there were 3-4 (We didn't know at the time) experienced players, hiding within a barn. We simply retreated into the woods beyond the barn, planning to take some time to strategize. However, they felt cocky that day, so the whole team pursued us into the woods. By the time they got to us, we had the element of surprise, so we managed to take down one player and then run all the way back to the barn. We won that game.
3. Another tactic needs at least two players for it to work. One player who has a lot of ammo will do support and the other will need to be fast and brave/gutsy. The support player will get into a position where he has a good view of the sniper/camper. Although he may not be able to hit the sniper/camper, he should fire at him every time he pops out. The sniper/camper will be pinned down behind his cover. The other player should stay low and when he gets close enough should make a run for the sniper/camper. The sniper/camper will be stuck and will not know about the charging player. The charging player should then turn around the cover and take the camper/sniper out. This tactic is extremely effective and has never failed me. *NOTE* this tactic works only if the sniper doesn't have nearby teammates giving cover.(A one-man version is where you fire around his cover as you move up. If he pops out you'll hit him if he stays behind cover he'll have to surrender.)
*NOTE* Always remember that if you have an AEG, you outgun the sniper. If you have no cover, run in zig-zags randomly go prone, and be unpredictable. If the sniper fires and misses that is your chance to take him out or find cover.
Step 6: Tactics and Battle Ideas- Simple Plans for XvX Games
When I say XvX as on the title, I mean even teams on even ground. This can vary from 1v1 to 10v10 to how many people you can get. However, I am mainly focusing on 5v5 games, the most players we usually have. Now, for these games it is usually necessary to split up into different squads, especially if you have some form of communication. (Walkie Talkie, Rape Whistle, etc.) These teams may depend on what sort of players you have, but usually it is mainly 3-4 guys with mid-range AEGs and one sniper if you're lucky. (You definitely do not want the reverse of that situation.) Pair the sniper with a guy carrying a lighter, more compact gun (MP5, maybe M4) and give them a walkie talkie, place the players with the best experience:firepower ratio as an assault team, and leave the others as a recon team. This should work with the recon team moving into enemy territory as quietly as possible while reporting back to the assault and sniper teams, the assault team moving up based on the intel provided by the recon team, and the sniper team staying as invisible as possible and giving support to the teams from higher ground while possibly trying to flank the target.
Step 7: Reconnaissance and Surveillance (Big Words, Huh?)
Step 8: Tactics and Battle Ideas- Fun Scenarios
OK, I'm just going to try to give away some entertaining game types I have played in the past.
1. Downed Pilot(s)- Two pilots, carrying compact automatics with little ammo, are sent to hide in opposite corners of the map while the teams patrol and attempt to find them. (No killing pilots, instead each team wants both pilots regardless of team designation.)
2. Protect the President- One team with a designated president must get to a certain point in a certain team while the other team tries to kill most of the team and demobilize (leg/arm shots) the president. Team B loses if they kill the president.
3. One in The Chamber- Don't call me a COD fanboy! It's fun!
4. Juggernaut- Same here! Dress up in 5 ski jackets, duel-wield full auto assault rifles, and have fun!
5. Happy Love Fun Ball- Using cheap springers pistols, shoot everyone.
6. Assassins- Using whatever firepower you prefer (But usually this works best with lower firepowers) find and kill your target while someone else tries to find and kill you.
Step 9: End
Thanks for reading, and at the risk of sounding like a cliche, happy airsofting!