What is an Airsoft Tracer Unit and How Do They Work?

What is an Airsoft Tracer Unit?

Most of us know that tracer rounds exist with real world weapons. A quick Youtube search will pull up hundreds of tracer videos that are pretty amazing to watch. Wouldn’t that be cool if they could do that with airsoft? Well boy do I have good news for you!

Airsoft tracer units are not heavily talked about in the airsoft community, but they do exist and have benefits that many people enjoy. There is also a few shortfalls that you need to know about.

If this interests you keep reading because we are about to get into the benefits of airsoft tracers, how airsoft tracers work and much more.

What is An Airsoft Tracer?

61KmCSpEicL. AC SL1500

Airsoft tracers are small units that attach to the end of your airsoft guns barrel (see picture above) These tracers allow an airsoft BB to pass through it, which is where the magic happens. Inside each tracer is a motion sensor that when triggered by an airsoft BB, emits a quick burst of ultraviolet light. This list causes the BB to glow for as long as 10 seconds.

Types of Airsoft Tracers and Styles

There is not much variety when it comes to airsoft tracers. However you do have a few options to choose from. It can get a little confusing, so read the following section below carefully and pick the type of airsoft tracer that fits your airsoft gun and budget.

Mock Silencer Tracer Unit


By far the most popular, a mock silencer tracer unit fits on the end of the barrel of your airsoft gun. It mimics the look of a real life silencer but instead of silencing the sound of gun fire, it emits light to make your BBs glow.

  • More Variations and Styles Than Other Tracer Units
  • Look Very Cool And Simulates the Look Of A AReal Silencer
  • Lots Of Options & Variations
  • Very Sturdy And Made Of High Quality Materials
  • Battery Life Is
  • Some Can Only Scan 30 BBs Per Second

Hop Up Tracer Unit

jag 33569

Tracers are the least popular and might be hard to find but they do exist. Basically a hop-up tracer replaces your normal hopup thats already installed in your gun. The newly installed hop up tracer works the same way as a mock silencer tracer, in which it emits ultraviolet light to make the BBs glow.

  • No External Parts
  • Keeps Your Airsoft Gun Barrel Short
  • Has Chamber Lock Which Keeps BBS From Spilling Out Of The Barrel When Exchanging Magazines.
  • Diassembly and Reassembly of your airsoft gun is required.
  • Time consuming to install and parts breaking is a possibility.

Tracer Magazine Unit

kingarms 94407 6

A Tracer is the newest and in my opinion most interesting tracers on the market today. It’s an airsoft magazine that has an illumination device built into the magazine. When switched on, the LED light which is inside the feeding tube lights up, causing each BB to glow when leaving the barrel of the gun.

  • Easier to carry.
  • Does not change the general look of your gun.
  • Save much more battery power.
  • You can switch between this mag and regular mag (I tag my tracer mag with colored electric tape or different color magpul)
  • Much cheaper.
  • You can still use your mock silencer.
  • Not as bright as the tracer unit

How Do Airsoft Tracers Work?

Airsoft tracers work with special airsoft BBs that are coated in phosphor. These BB then pass through a tracer unit that quickly emits a light that charges the phosphors on the BBs, causing them to glow. This allows the airsoft shooter to see exactly where the projectiles are going in low light situations.

Benefits Of Using Airsoft Tracer Unit

  • Looks Cool– Probably the most obvious benefit of airsoft tracers is that they make your airsoft gun look badass. Putting a sweet looking mock silencer tracer on the end of your airsoft sniper rifle will instantly increase the look of your gun
  • Improves Communication– Communication on the battlefield is important, and surprisingly a tracer unit can help you with that. Have an enemy that’s hiding that only you can see? No problem, shoot a few tracer rounds in that direction and everyone on your team will know exactly where that enemy player is hiding.
  • Effective Suppressive Fire Tool – Suppressing fire is another common benefit of using airsoft tracer rounds. If the enemy is closing in and you need covering fire, tracers rounds ripping by the enemies head will indeed deter them from popping their head up. This gives you the opportunity to move from cover to cover and quite potentially win matches.
  • Ensures The Honor System- Airsoft has always had its troubles when it comes to people abusing the honor system and not calling out when they get hit. A tracer BB helps with this by allowing the shooting player to see exactly where the BB is hitting. Thus making it really hard for an enemy player to deny when he or she was hit.

Regular BBs vs Tracer BBs

emg 69349a 2

There isn’t many differences between regular BBs and tracer BBs when it comes to the shape and size. Literally the only difference between the two is that tracer BBs are coated with a special phosphor coating that glows when it comes in contact with ultraviolet light.

A regular Airsoft BB does not glow when it comes into contact with a UV light. In short, a tracer BB glows in the dark and a regular BB does not.

Are Tracer BBs Biodegradable?

Tracer BBs come in both biodegradable and non biodegradable options. However, the biodegradable BBs are much more expensive than the non biodegradable counterparts.

Keep in mind that biodegradable BBs have been dropping in price so by the time you read the two might be close to the same price.

Recommended Airsoft Tracers

We’ve talked a lot about airsoft tracer units and almost everything there is to know about them. Except we haven’t yet talked about what airsoft tracers you should consider buying. So lets get right to that. Here are some airsoft tracer units I would recommend.

Airsoft Tracer Unit Final Thoughts

Airsoft tracers units are a must have for anyone who plays during twilight hours. You can see where your shots are going which is very important in knowing if you hit your opponent.

With the 3 different types of airsoft tracer units, my favorite and the one i would recommend the most is the mock silencer tracer. I typically play with an airsoft sniper rifle and putting my mock silencer on the barrel looks really cool and I feel like it improves my accuracy a bit (might just be in my head). I also like the magazine tracer units but the BBs aren’t as bright as my mock silencer tracer. My eye sight isn’t the greatest to that’s a big deal for me.

All in all I think whichever airsoft tracer type you pick you’ll be happy with. It’s so cool to see the glowing BBs launching out of your barrel. I’m not a night owl, but it makes me want to be one.

I hope you enjoyed our Airsoft Tracer article. Have you ever used an airsoft tracer unit? Which type can you see yourself getting? Let us know in the comments below and fee free to checkout our latest airsoft article here

Recent Posts

What is an Airsoft Tracer Unit and How Do They Work?

Most of us know that tracer rounds exist with real world weapons. A quick Youtube search will pull up hundreds of tracer videos that are pretty amazing to watch. Wouldn’t
Send this to a friend