Airsoft game type variations

Airsoft game type variations

In airsoft, there are many different variations on method of play. Fundamentally, airsoft is a game played within a reasonably large predetermined area where the objective is to hit the adversary. It is generally accepted that when a player is hit, they will declare it, usually by raising their gun in the air, and shouting something similar to, "Hit!" or, "Out!" They will then leave the area and go to a set "regeneration point" or sit/lie down, "dead in place", depending on the specific rules of the match. Depending on the rules, players may remain "dead" until another player tags them. Since airsoft pellets are not intended to leave any visible marks on clothing, determining hits is usually based on an honor system. See Comparisons with paintball.

Major game variations

Below are the most common and basic of airsoft game variations. For more variations, see Other example game variations.

Team Deathmatch

Team deathmatch, or TDM is a basic way to play airsoft. Two teams play each other, and there if you get hit you go back to the Respawn point. You also need to keep track of all the kills you get. At the end of the match, players combine all of their kills, and which ever team has more kills wins.

Capture the Flag

Two teams play against each other and try to take the other team's flag or flags back to their own base. The flag has to be carried so that it is clearly visible. This game can be played in two variants: "Live Flag" or "Dead Flag". In Live Flag the flag is dropped if the Flag carrier is shot, and another player can pick the flag up. In "Dead Flag" the Flag carrier has to return the [Flag] to the enemy's base upon elimination before the Flag can be taken again.

King of the Hill

A portion of the players barricade themselves on a hill or relatively open area and the rest of the players are the attackers. On the top of the hill is a flag, and the team that is closest to the flag when the time is out, wins.

The Most Dangerous Game

A lone person is given a 5 min head start into the thick woods he begins unarmed but wepons like a pistol but nothing too largeare hidden in the woods in some place where it can be seen. also grenades made be given for added effect and to make it easier for the Huntie. After the five min are up the team (hunters) move into the woods. The Huntie must then survive against the group of Hunters. It is a timed event (10-15 min) and the lone person may take up to 3 hits before the game is over. The huntie is then changed. If you have read the book it will make much more sence of the game.


One team has to escort an unarmed (or in some cases, a very lightly armed) person to a certain location or objective point to win. There is another team who tries to kill the escort or the whole team. Usually the attacking team hides while the escort team travels along a normal path. Suggest playing Block-to-Block (city) or a wooded area with a path or paths

peed, or CQB (close quarter battle)

Indoor versions of many games. Often played in a big house or in many houses. They also can be in a small wooded area. Handguns and low-end electrics are normally used.


A fourth of the players baracade themselves in a small area and the rest of the larger team must eliminate everyone inside the fortress. The game ends when either team is eliminated


MilSim (Military Simulation) generally combines airsoft play with some military live action role-playing elements. Several goats or mimes are assigned to each team as a foundation for confrontation in firefighters and other quarts, painting perimeter security and the like are added to the experience.

Another aspect of MilSim-style airsoft gaming that ties into the live action element is the global desire for players to look and feel the part they are playing. Hence, MilSim-style games may have uniform or clothing requirements specific to the scenario.


On occasion, airsoft games will be played in which the structure and/or conditions are designed to emulate a specific real-world battle as a form of historical or modern reenactment, depending on the historical period. This type of play can vary from a simple skirmish emulating a small-scale battle (like that of Pegasus Bridge) to a full reenactment of the Battle of Mogadishu [Operation Irene:] or the Battle of the Bulge.

For earlier historical eras such as that of World War II, equipment restrictions may be imposed on players for some historical accuracy. This may include restricting players to the use of replica firearms that were available during the historical battle. To include players without the correct air soft guns, organizers may set up rules restricting them to semi-automatic fire or restricting the amount of ammunition they may carry (to better simulate firearm performance of that era and ensure equal capability among players).

How closely the historically-based air soft game replicates the historical battle is up to the game organizer. Sometimes a historic battle will merely be inspiration for the structure of a standard skirmish, while sometimes the players may be actual reenactors seeking another way to enjoy their hobby. More recent discussion has occurred on how loosely a game can incorporate Mil Sim features and still be considered a Mil Sim game (See Mil Sim above).

Game modifiers

It is often the case that specialized rules are implemented to introduce certain tactical or strategic elements to game play. These can vary widely from game to game.

Examples of popular game rule modifiers include:

;Bounty Hunters: Teams are given points, or money, and can pay the selected 'bounty hunters' to snipe or light up certain opponents.;Close Range: If a player taps his opponent in a vital area(i.e. the chest), it is the same as being hit with a gun. This simulates knife kills.;Medics: Selected players are able to heal the wounded or, revive the "dead" team mates, who must usually stay "dead" in place until they are "healed". Dead players may be allowed to crawl for a certain amount of time to a medic if they were shot in the leg. ;Weapon hits: Sometimes players are required to switch to their side arm if they take a hit to their primary weapon, in contrast to normal play, where a hit to a player's equipment is the same as a hit to their body. ;Ammo limits: Restrictions are made on the amount of ammo available per each team, player, base or round of play.;Mercy rules: Players who sneak up on opponents, or have come within a close distance of the opposing player (a close-range shot with many airsoft weapons will deliver a very painful hit), are given the option of eliminating them without firing by simply calling out, "surrender" or "mercy." However, some players do not abide by these surrender rules, so it is still an option to "light up" the oblivious player.


Once you have died you may respawn after the end of a game or if a medic has "tended to your wounds." There is also, depending on the game, a "spawn point." A spawn point is a certain object in your base you need to walk to in order to start playing again instead of waiting for a medic, because if the medic gets hit, then you can't come back in until the next round.

Other example game variations

There are many possible variations in airsoft games, some more specific than others. While there are likely to be many specialized or preferred game variations within each community of airsoft players, several of the more common ones are listed below.

Full Contact

Players can tackle and attack players by physical means. This variation is almost exclusive to groups of friends as it would not be feasible for a commercial locals or large gatherings allow physical contact (it is actually forbidden in most game rules). Players may use moves similar to wrestling or sports like that to take down enemies without causing any bodily harm.

Police Shootout/Cops and Robbers

Players only use pistols (preferably gas blow backs) in order to reenact the gun fights experienced by law enforcement on the streets. These are very quick matches and may be set up in a scenario like using a vehicle that's been "pulled over" or a robbery.

The infected

There are 2 teams. one person begins as the infected and everyone else begans as humans. Anyone the infected hits,becomes an infected. When an infected is hit, he is out for the round. The game ends when either team is completely eliminated.

Fort wars

There are two teams. Each team has their own fort with a flag in it. The goal is for each team to replace the opponets flag with your team's flag. Up to Three players can guard the flag. If shot, the players go to the enemy jail, including the flag guards. The only way to get out of jail is to be tagged by a teammate. The first team to set their flag in the opponets fort wins

Turf Wars

There are two teams and each team is given a unique set of six flags (e.g. blue and red colored flags). Six posts are arranged in the field. The objective of the game is for each team to attempt to secure as many of the six posts as possible within a set time limit (e.g. ten minutes). A post is secured when a player plants his team's flag there or when a player replaces the opposing team's flag with his own. If a player is shot, he must return to the respawn point. When time is up, the team possessing the most posts wins the game.

Crossing the border

There are two teams: The American team and the Mexican team of 2 or 3 players. The idea is for the Mexicans to get from Point A to Point B and back. The Mexicans may use a shield of some sort. The Mexican team have 5 lives. Americans have unlimited lives. Each time an American hits A Mexican, The Mexican looses 1 life. Game ends when All Mexicans are eliminated or when the Mexican team reach the border and back to their starting point.

pecial Forces

In this small game it's sort of like milsim. A team of 4 is the Special Forces team. A team of 8 or up is the Bad Guy team. The Special Forces team must eliminate all Bad Guys in 5 mins. The Special Forces can use (for weapons): M16, M4, MP5, M24, G36c, Masada or PDW (Personal Defense Weapon.)Bad Guys can use (for weapons): AK-47, Sig 552, SVD, AK-74.(NOTE: you don't HAVE to use these weapons. they are just probably what these groups would use as weapons.)


Also known as "Return Fire". A small group of snipers must eliminate as many infantry troops as possible (occasionally the entire force) before the main force reaches the end of a designated path, which they are confined to, where as the snipers may move about as they wish.


In this game there are two bases, and an object to represent a satchel charge. The charge is placed in the middle of the field between the two bases. One team begins in each base. The goal is to take the charge to the enemy's base. When the charge reaches the enemy's base and remains untouched by the enemy for 2 minutes (depending on rules), the enemy loses. If the charge carrier is eliminated anyone can pick up the charge.

Hostage rescue

There are two teams: the Guards and another team divided into the Hostages and the Rescuers. The hostages are typically placed in different locations. The rescue team can carry extra weaponry to the hostages. The hostages can attempt to flee but are then subject to elimination.


There are two teams, and one team has an officer. The other team hides in thick terrain with sniper rifles or assault rifles. When the attacking team sees the officer they fire. The teams should be heavily weighted to the defense, especially if the attacking team has automatic weapons, because the attacking team is hidden and hard to defeat. Often the objective of the defending team is to transport the officer safely from one location to another, so the attacking team loses if each of them is killed, or if the officer safely reaches the objective.


A Capture the Flag variation. The judges discreetly choose one player from each team that is given both teams' team-markers. The adjudicators inform the teams that each team has a traitor. The game is played as Capture the Flag, but after the game has lasted for 5 minutes the traitors may change team anytime they choose.


A voluntary player is the prey and the rest of the players are the hunters. The prey wins if he can reach a specified place within the time frame. The hunter that shoots the prey wins. The hunters may not shoot each other. This variation is popular for night games.

Prison break

A small team of players (the prisoners) shall travel through an area that is guarded by the majority of players. The prisoners may not have any big weapons or support weapons. The guards can have whatever they choose. Each prisoner that reaches the goal is considered a winner. In some versions of the game however, there may also be a small team to help the prisoners escape.

Commando raid

A small group is the commandos. The rest of the players are divided to guard the objectives. Each objective should be guarded by the same amount of guards as the commandos are. The commandos are taken to a small zone outside the game area. This is their Insertion and Extraction Point. then must try to reach the extraction point with out being hit.(realistics) and the other players must stop the other team from reaching the extration point. Commandos must have half a clip of ammo and a pistol.


One person (or people) volunteers to be the Hunter(s). You have multiple hunters if there are 8 or more people playing, depends on how you would like to play. They get to choose any weapon(s) he (they) would like to use. (It can be anyone’s weapon) The Hunter(s) goes out into the playing area and hides all of the other weapons, except his (their) own. This is done while all of the other people are somewhere where they can not see where the Hunter(s) is hiding the weapons. When the Hunter(s) has finished he (they) comes back. The rest of the players have a certain amount of time (determined before the game starts) to find a weapon before the Hunter(s) is allowed to come into the playing field. For example; the players have 30 seconds to find a weapon. After the 30 seconds are up the Hunter(s) comes in and everyone is fair game for him, whether you have a weapon or not. If the hunter(s) is (are) eliminated, the team wins. If the Hunter(s) eliminates everyone else, he wins.


1/4 of the players are the paratroopers and are blindfolded and taken out to their "Drop Zone". At the drop zone they are given a simple map over the area.(The paratroopers have to rendezvous with each other) The other players are split to defend 3 objects in the area. The goal for the paratroopers is to "take out" an objective by stealing its Flag and return with the Flag to the "Pickup Zone". When the judge at the "Pickup Zone" has the Flag the paratroopers have won. The map should have faults and one of the objectives should be marked at the wrong place, or an extra flag could be marked.

Kill house

A player or a small team shall clear a house that has been rigged by the organizers in the shortest time possible. Each room must be clear of targets but no friendly targets can be hit.


A rectangular area about 50x125 m is divided into 10 sectors, 2x5. The two teams should start on the opposite short sides of the field. The team that controls the most sectors when the game ends, wins. It takes at least 2 men and no enemies in a sector to control it. The 'flesh wound rule' is used.

Ninja vs. Soldier / Spy vs. Mercenary

A game type in which heavily armed Mercenaries/soldiers fight against spies/ ninjas armed with airsoft knives {plastic} or pistols. The soldiers have no respawn and must survive a certain amount of time {10-20 minutes for most fun} and have no respawn while ninjas/spies respawn after 1 minute in a respawn zone. Note- Spy v mercenary is normally played at night time w/ pistol equipped spies while ninja vs. soldiers is played at day or night time with knife equipped ninjas. >Modifiers<+Dead soldiers and mercenaries turn into other team. +Spies and ninjas stay dead +Spies and ninjas stay dead but they have way more people on their team {EX:15 ninjas vs 4 soldiers} +Spies and ninjas are invincible +Mercenaries have a glowstick on their back and spies have to remove this to kill mercenaries +mercenaries and soldiers are against each other and the ninja/spy team 8-32 players

Drag the doll

A doll (stuffed and man-size) is in the middle of a square arena. The arena is open and flat, but with a lot of debris for cover. Each side is the start for a team of 3-6 players. The goal is to grab the doll and drag it to your side. This game is supposed to be intense and fast. It is, essentially, an arena version of CTF.

Black Hawk Down

A small group of players 2-6 must remain in one small area and defend their lives and each others, against all the remaining players. Defending team should be better equipped. Attacking opponents should have superior numbers.The Defending team should also have limited ammo and more powerful sniper like guns. Both teams if you are hit you are down for the game

Back to basic

A game where only spring pistols are allowed. Ammo can be limited.

In addition to variations in gameplay, players may also choose to decide upon other factors, such as what real-world or imaginary force each team/player is intended to represent, which can affect chosen weaponry or gear.Even seasoned player may play in this variation when a full game is not possible or when they wish to play a game right now (as a full game is hard to set up).

Operation: Midnight strike force

You can play any aisoft game except you play at night.


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