Playing with airsoft weapons and gear can be a lot of fun, as it’s a step up from the toy guns you used to play with as a kid. But how much does it cost to play airsoft?
The answer, of course, is—it depends.
It depends on whether you’re renting the equipment, or buying your own gear.
When you buy your own equipment, it depends on the quality of the airsoft equipment you’re getting.
However, you have to accept the fact that it’s not really a cheap hobby. In fact, the more you take it seriously, the more serious the costs can get.
Once you become a real fanatic about airsoft, the cost can be exorbitant. But then again, for many it’s still worth spending their money on.
Renting Pros and Cons
Plenty of vets recommend that you rent your equipment the very first time you try airsoft battles. It’s much more economical, especially if you end up not liking it all that much.
Of course, the main problem with renting is that you don’t have much of a say about the quality of the equipment. Since these airsoft weapons and gear are generic and may not suit your taste, it can be argued that renting makes it less likely for you to enjoy the whole airsoft experience.
Here’s a breakdown of the rental prices for the various airsoft items:
Standard Airsoft Admission Fees
This will set you back about $10 to $20 an hour. With the playing time of most newbie players, the admission cost tallies to around $15 to $25.
However, some of these places offer all-day passes. That’ll cost you anywhere from $30 to $50.
These include the mask, gloves, and eye protection. Sometimes you can even rent pads for your elbows and knees.
Usually, it’ll cost you about $5 to $10 per protective equipment piece.
Since wouldn’t really feel good about renting used protective gear (not with the ever-present threat of pandemic viruses), you’re better off buying these things on your own even if you just want to use it once.
The good news here is that you can be very sure that the airsoft gun your rent is legal to use in that particular airsoft battlefield. You won’t have to worry about whether you’re exceeding fps limits.
But these things are invariably cheap and low-quality. It’s like using the stock cue sticks in pool and billiard halls, or the generic bowling balls in bowling alleys.
For the airsoft rifle rental, figure on renting for about $20 (if you’re very lucky, or if the rifle isn’t all that good) to $50.
BBs and Battery
For these things, figure on spending about $30 each time.
In general, you can expect to spend about $100 each time you rent your equipment to play airsoft.
Buying Your Own Equipment
It’s true that buying your own airsoft equipment is a more expensive proposition. If you don’t like it after the first time you play, then you’re set to lose more of your money.
But you can rent your airsoft equipment once, and then buy your own equipment afterwards. You’ll then realize that it’s so much better (and a lot more fun) to use your own equipment.
After all, you’re able to get the style of airsoft gun that really fits your fancy. Your gear can fit your body size and playing style.
If you plan on playing several times with airsoft to get a good feel on whether airsoft is for you, then you should really just buy your own gear.
In fact, planning and picking your own equipment is part of the fun!
Essentials for Absolute Newbies
Some say that you can go with about $100 worth of gear to start with. While that’s technically true, you’ll end up with substandard equipment that make it more likely that you won’t have as much fun as with better gear.
So even as a newbie, you may want to spend just a little bit more. You’ll end up enjoying your airsoft experience a lot more in return.
Everything in airsoft starts with the weapon, and by that we mean a rifle. While you can cheap weapons that cost substantially less than $100, you’re better off with a rifle costing within a range of $150 to $200.
The most often recommended rifle for newbies is an automatic electric gun, or AEG. These are generally more affordable, while it offers excellent reliability.
Your purchase tends to include a magazine, along with your basic battery and charger set. A full charge should give you enough hours of playing time.
You may want to go with an AEG that’s a replica of either an M4 or an M16. These are popular because their magazines can fit a lot of other airsoft weapons out there.
When you become more serious in your airsoft interest and upgrade your weapon, the magazine you already have should still fit your new weapon.
AEGs are also simple to recharge. Just plug them in a wall socket while you sleep, and you should have a full charge for the next day.
You won’t have to spend more buying extra CO2 cartridges.
Plenty of brands have established their reputations on manufacturing affordable airsoft guns for newbies, offering terrific reliability and features for a low price.
Try the AEGs from brands such as Elite Force, G&G, and Lancer Tactical, and you’re likely to get more than your money’s worth. Many of these AEGs are certainly better than what you can rent in an airsoft club.
Even as a newbie, you’ll want a good magazine you can rely on to feed ammo into your rifle.
Go with a high-capacity mag that can give you hundreds of rounds per clip, so you don’t have to count each shot. If you’re a newbie, just spray the general area of your target to make sure you hit it.
An all-metal mag is crucial, because plastic mags tend to have unacceptable failure rates. Try to go with a drop-free mag as well, so that you can hold the rifle with one hand, get the spare mag with the other hand, while the spent mag drops freely to the floor.
This isn’t all that expensive, either. A good full-metal high-capacity mag can cost only about $30 or so.
Cheap BBs can go at $15 for a few thousand rounds, but you may want to spend a few dollars more to get higher-quality BBs and pellets.
The main reason for this is that cheap-quality BBs can break down inside your weapon. That ends up ruining your airsoft rifle, so you risk losing more money as a result.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt that higher quality BBs tend to offer greater range and accuracy, and these qualities make airsoft a lot more enjoyable.
There’s also the fact that some airsoft clubs don’t allow the use of cheap-quality BBs, since they can be dangerous in the field.
There are several pieces of protective equipment you need to consider getting:
Just about every airsoft club out there won’t let you play without goggles. After all, it’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye.
The goggles do need antifogging features, or else you won’t airsoft as much. How can you enjoy yourself when you can barely see what’s going on?
Invest in anti-fogging goggles that can also withstand close range shots. What you don’t want is a pair of goggles that you need to replace because it gets scratched up whenever it gets hit.
Besides, these things can be useful if you take up other “manly” hobbies like woodshop and working with power tools.
You can get one of these for about $20 to $30.
Full Face Mask
This is actually essential for newbies, even if they’re not mandatory for some airsoft clubs.
Getting hit right on your face won’t be pleasant, especially at close range.
Even if you’re playing airsoft just once, it’s a good investment.
Besides, a full-face mask doesn’t add much to the cost, as you can spend $30 and get a nice set with adequate goggles.
Nice Airsoft Gear for Casual Players
Even if you only play airsoft every now and then, you’ll realize that you get a lot more enjoyment out of airsoft by investing a few dollars into certain pieces of airsoft equipment.
Here are some items that should complement your basic essential gear for newbies:
Just as soldiers have sidearms as backup when they go into combat, so should you.
A pistol offers fewer rounds and a closer range, but at least you have something easy to carry if ever your main weapon runs out of ammo or fails to work properly.
Also, in some CQB cases, the pistol may actually work much better than a larger rifle.
This may set you back only $50 or so for an entry-level piece.
Even as a newbie, you’ll eventually realize that you get hit in the chest more often. That’s because it’s an easier target, as it’s larger than your head.
That’s why even soldiers and cops are trained to aim at center mass. It also doesn’t move a lot, unlike heads or limbs.
Since your opponents are targeting your chest, it makes perfect sense to protect it from the sting of BBs and pellets.
Also, the vest can have pockets where you can store your extra magazines, and maybe even an airsoft radio.
These vests can cost anywhere from $25 to $50, depending on the durability and the number of pouches.
Tactical gloves are often considered optional gear, until you’re hit with a pellet at the top of your hand.
You can go with half gloves, which don’t cover your fingertips so you’re still able to get a proper feel for your weapons.
But some full gloves offer a barehand feel, and even let you use it with touchscreens.
These full gloves can cost anywhere from $30 to $60, but the half-gloves are more affordable.
Elbow Pads and Knee Pads
These things don’t have to be expensive at all. You can these for $10 a set.
Some sets contain a complete complement of gear, including elbow pads, knee pads, wrist guards, and even a helmet.
These are meant for roller skating, but you can use them for airsoft. A good set for this can cost about $80.
Helmets have historically been the most important piece of armor for war.
With a helmet, you can accommodate flashlights or even a mounted camera.
For airsoft, you can get a good one for about $50.
Some facemasks even come complete with a helmet, and they can cost about $80.
Extra Battery and Smart Charger
It’s often a good idea to have an extra battery on you when you’re using AEGs in airsoft combat.
That’s so if your rifle battery runs out of power, you can simply put in a new one.
The cost depends on the type of battery you get (which is a whole ‘nother discussion). Just make sure you get the right type of battery for your airsoft rifle.
Some of these batteries can cost less than $20, but better batteries can go for about $50.
You may want to get a smart charger too for your AEG battery. This device makes sure you don’t overcharge (and therefore damage) your battery.
A good smart charger can cost about $20.
Pro Airsoft Gear
A pro who takes airsoft very seriously may go for the following types of equipment:
That means the weapons are more efficient and more reliable. You can get greater range and accuracy.
With some pros, it’s all about the realism of the airsoft replica. So, it should look exactly like the real thing for display.
Or it can feel and function much like the real thing. This is great for training for the real weapon.
Figure on spending a bit more, though you can get a fine weapon for only $300. But other pros may wish to spend $500 on just the weapon.
Some pros can play with large teams, and members can get separated on their own missions. In these situations, reliable communications between teammates must be maintained.
An affordable radio for airsoft can go for just $25 these days.
These include flashlights and scopes. A tactical flashlight can cost just $25, but others can go for $65. Scopes can go for just $30, but the premium scopes can cost as much as $150.
These can go for $50 to $100, though of course you can use it for other occasions as well.
Here’s a quick glance at what it will cost you to buy airsoft equipment:
Yes, it’s expensive as a pro. And it’s not’s cheap even for newbies or casual players.
But the fun you get sure is worth it.
Of course, you can just get an affordable airsoft pistol and have fun with backyard plinking.
How much does it cost to play airsoft with just a simple pistol? It’s less than $50!