A lot of people do tend to put airsoft and nerf in the same boat. They are, after all, both games that involve a gun. However, they are drastically different sports. On this page, we want to compare airsoft vs nerf in a variety of different areas.
This way, you will be able to tell which one is going to be the perfect game for you to play! Although, since they are so different, we are sure you will want to play both at some point.
Is Airsoft or Nerf Safer?
To be honest, when it comes to airsoft vs nerf, both of these sports are pretty safe. As long as you are wearing the right safety equipment (at the minimum eye protection) then both of these sports are not going to seriously injure you. Of course, you could always run around and slip over, but this isn’t the fault of the game, is it?
We find that on the safety level, nerf is a tiny bit safer. This is mostly down to the type of ammunition that you are going to be firing. You will be shooting darts. They are made of foam, albeit with a slightly hardened tip to help them glide through the air. They are not going to be doing much damage, even if you fire them from a close range (please try to avoid doing that). This is because nerf is mostly designed as a toy.
Airsoft, on the other hand, can launch those pellets quite hard. Even if you have a bit of padding on, we wouldn’t be surprised if you ended up with a couple of bruises after a good airsoft game. Those things can get pretty painful, although some places you play the game at will have rules in place to ensure that you are not hit too close. That could really injure you. You will never have to worry about that sort of thing with nerf.
Is Airsoft or Nerf More Realistic?
Airsoft will have guns that look like actual guns. They will feel like actual guns (if you purchase one of the metal options). Nerf is a far cry from this.
Nerf guns will almost always be plastic. They may be brightly colored too. It is very, very rare that you will find one that even comes close to resembling a real gun. They almost always look like toys.
Airsoft guns never really get fancy and look like toys. There will be a few that do, but most airsoft guns closely resemble (but will never completely replicate due to tough laws) real guns on the market.
We also find the way in which the two sports are played can differ on the realism front too. With airsoft, you are going to be firing small pellets that blitz through the air. With nerf, you will be firing slower-moving darts. This means that airsoft can be played at a distance, while nerf wars often take place in closer settings.
We find that the people that play airsoft tend to go for the more tactical approach with their style of play, almost as if they are in a real-world military setting. Nerf? Well, it isn’t going to come close to this. It is for blowing off steam, not for military precision.
Is it Easier to Find Airsoft or Nerf Matches?
Airsoft. By far.
Sadly, nerf hasn’t really taken off outside of children. It is more one of those games that you play in your backyard as opposed to having a serious competition with it. Now, don’t get us wrong, we have no doubt that there are big nerf wars happening all over the country, but we doubt that they are going to be occurring with anywhere near the same frequency that airsoft matches take place.
Of course, you don’t need to find a major competition to play both of these sports. You can put together something with your friends. When it comes to airsoft vs nerf here, you may want to think about the amount of space that you have available, though. Airsoft is going to require a lot more space than nerf will.
If you want to be playing regularly with a more tactical approach to the game, then it is going to be airsoft all the way. You can be tactical with nerf, but pretty much nobody wants to play it like that, sadly. For those people, it is more running around, screaming, and blowing off a bit of energy.
Which is Cheaper, Airsoft, or Nerf?
Nerf wins this category in the Airsoft vs Nerf battle. Nerf is by far a cheaper hobby to get into. The guns tend to be a lot cheaper, mostly because they are made out of plastic while decent airsoft guns can be made out of metal. (This Nerf gun is made out of plastic but looks awesome)
The ‘ammunition’ for Nerf guns are a lot cheaper too. After all, once you have gotten done playing, you can walk around and pick up those darts. In fact, you could probably pick them up as you play. You can’t really do that with airsoft. This means that you will forever be buying more ammo.
Both airsoft and nerf will require some sort of safety equipment. For nerf, you will probably get away with some eye protection. However, for airsoft, you will probably need to spend a bit more on protection. That is just so you don’t get hurt.
Is airsoft or nerf better for children?
Nerf is often the safest bet for children. The darts are a lot softer, and it is far more affordable to get into the hobby. Although, you will be able to find some cheaper airsoft guns on the market too. Remember, adults and children can play both sports! Just one is more preferable for the children out there.
Does being hit with a nerf dart hurt?
Maybe. Decent nerf guns can launch those darts at quite a force. However, it isn’t really going to hurt anywhere near as much as it would being hit by an airsoft pellet. This is why you will need less protection for a nerf gun.
Airsoft vs Nerf Final Thoughts
Airsoft and Nerf are both extremely fun and I’ve had my fair share of playing both. Personally I like airsoft more than Nerf for the simple fact that it’s more realistic, and it’s easier to get people to play with you.
Nerf does have it’s advantages though. It’s a lot cheaper and can be played indoors on a wintery or rainy day. I remember having Nerf wars on the college campus in the dorm rooms, those were some fun times!
Let us know what you think about our airsoft vs nerf comparison. Which do you think is better? Let us know in the comments below and feel free to checkout out latest article here!