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What is HPA Airsoft?

Military toy hpa airsoft rifleIf you’re doing research on the various ways of powering an airsoft weapon, you may have eventually wondered: what is HPA airsoft? or What is an HPA airsoft gun?

These are questions that you may ask when you’ve delved into the various options when it comes to gas-powered airsoft weapons.

A Closer Look at HPA

Man with airsoft wear and air riflHPA means “high pressure air” systems used to power the airsoft guns. Most of the gas-powered airsoft weapons use internal gas cartridges or canisters, but with HPA the gun uses an external tank.

The tank can be made of aluminum, which is durable but heavy. Carbon fiber tanks are lighter, but they’re more expensive.

You then have a line connecting the tank to the airsoft gun, so you have your gas source maintained.

Inside the gun, you have the pneumatic motor connecting to the air tank. This is generally referred to as the “engine” of the gun, and you’ll find it where the gearbox would be in a more standard gas-powered airsoft weapon.

The engine has a battery-powered FCU (fire control unit) which lets you adjust the rate of fire. You’re also able to control how much air you release for each shot.

HPA Pros

People who prefer HPAs often cite the following reasons:

  • The fps is adjustable. You can then just adjust the fps to comply with the fps limits in your local airsoft field.
  • The rate of fire is adjustable as well. The trigger response can also become highly effective in battle.
  • You get consistent fps. In other systems, the fps can vary wildly.
  • The internal design is simpler, so fewer things can go wrong.
  • You can use the same tank for your many HPA guns.
  • HPA guns are quieter, so you don’t reveal your position if you’re a sniper.

HPA Cons

However, there are some issues you need to consider.

  • These are expensive systems, as you can buy a lot of AEGs just for the price of a single engine. The engine can cost anywhere from $250 to $500, and the tank and regulator can add another $100 (at least).
  • You’ll have to carry a tank with you while you play, and that’s much heavier than CO2 cartridges or the battery of an AEG.
  • You need to make sure that your engine is properly aligned inside. If it isn’t, the gun wont work reliably.
  • It’s a more complicated system, especially when compared to AEGs.
  • Some local airsoft fields may not allow HPA guns at all.


It all depends on your personal preferences if an HPA airsoft gun is right for you. You need to deal with the extra weight of the tank, and your local airsoft field may not let you enjoy the extra fps and rate of fire you’re getting in exchange.

But if your local airsoft guns allow for HPA airsoft guns (especially for sniper roles), then why not try it? The fps and rate of fire will be outstanding, and you can rule the battlefield. Hopefully, you get your money’s worth!

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