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How Long Does a Game of Laser Tag Last?

a Game of Laser Tag LastHow many minutes does a game laser tag last? Let’s compare it to basketball, to give you a better idea.

An official game of basketball in the NBA has 4 quarters of 12 minutes each. But in Men’s US NCAA collegiate basketball, you have 2 halves of 20 minutes each. The WNBA has 4 quarters of 10 minutes each, just like in International FIBA games.

Then you have US high school basketball, which usually has 4 quarters of 8 minutes each. But that depends on each state, which may have different rules.

The point here is that if you have different rules for an official game like basketball, then you can expect that you will also have different time rules for laser tag. After all, laser tag isn’t exactly a sport you play at the Olympics—or at least, not yet!

It Depends on the Venue

Multi Player Lazer Tag Set for Kids Toy for Teen Boys & GirlsEach administrator for a local laser tag arena can just simply impose a time limit for games. But it’s very common for these places to let large parties rent the gaming arena for 2 hours. You have 20-gaming periods, with time breaks in between each period.

Many places also let you play for an hour, usually for 2 games or gaming periods inside that hour. It’s a pretty standard time frame.

If you’re new to a local laser tag arena, then you should just find out how long each game lasts, and how long you can rent the place for your party.

It Depends on the Game

There are some games (especially for warmup) that don’t last long at all. Some games only last 3 to 5 minutes, during which it’s a free-for-all “kill everything that moves” scenario.

On the other hand, you can have longer games that last for half an hour or even more. There are large-scale outdoor combat simulations in laser tag that can last for several hours.

It Depends on the Players

A few years ago, there was a comprehensive survey that involved laser tag operators and players in 8 different countries:

  • Australia
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Greece
  • New Zealand
  • Spain
  • UK
  • USA

One of the questions was about how minutes of laser tag were ideal for each player. These are their responses:

  • More than a third of the players (36%) said that about 15 minutes per game was best for them, before they need to take a break.
  • A little less than a quarter of the players (23%) said that they preferred to play for just 10 minutes, before they rest for the next game.
  • About 1 in 6 (17%) wanted longer games, and said that a game that lasts 20 minutes is ideal.

So, that’s 76% of the players who think games should last 10 to 20 minutes. That’s not really surprising, if you think about it. Most basketball quarters actually last that long, when you account for the time stoppages.

Other Time Considerations

When you enter the local laser tag arena, it’s not as if you can just play immediately. You need some time for other activities.

  • You need a few minutes to reserve and pay for the time you want to use the gaming area.
  • Then you need a few minutes to wear the vests and get a briefing. Usually, this will only take 5 minutes or so. But it can take longer to explain a more complicated game for newbies.
  • After the game proper when the buzzer sounds the end of the game, you also need a few minutes to get your breath back. You also need some time to get the score announcements, to see which team won and which players scored the highest.

You should also take into account that during the game, it’s not always continuous combat. There will be some “quiet” times, when you’re slowly moving about each corner, peering around trying to find the enemy. Of course, when the shooting starts, it can get frenetic!


A game of about 15 minutes sounds about right, though it’s not surprising if you prefer a somewhat short or a somewhat longer game. As for how long you can play—that’s always up to you!

Is Laser Tag for Just Children, Or Is It for Adults Too?How much space do you need for laser tag?What are the rules of laser tag? Laser Tag Primer: Learning the RulesThe Difference Between Cheating and Playing Smart in Laser TagWhat is Laser Tag? The Newbie’s Guide to Laser Tag

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