What is Airsoft? A Beginner’s Guide to the Sport

Airsoft is an adrenaline-pumping, team-based sport where players use realistic replica firearms to shoot small, plastic BBs at each other. Unlike paintball, airsoft is all about emulating real-world scenarios – military conflicts, police operations, or even fun, fast-paced, close-quarters action.

Picture this: you’re deep in the Kent countryside, decked out in tactical gear, your heart pounding. You’re working with your squad to storm an enemy base, clear an area, and outsmart the opposing team. It’s exhilarating and requires teamwork, tactics, and a healthy dose of fun-loving sportsmanship!

If that sounds like a blast, keep reading as we break down all the airsoft basics you need to jump into your first match.

Different Types of Airsoft Matches

Airsoft games come in all shapes and sizes, so there’s something for everyone – whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned player looking for a unique challenge.  These are a few popular match types which can be found across the  Kent region and, include:

  • Skirmish site : The bread and butter of airsoft. They’re fast-paced, action-packed games focusing on individual skills and teamwork. These are perfect for getting a taste of airsoft, and for larger groups like birthday parties, stag do’s, or just fun “things to do in Kent”!
  • MilSim (Military Simulation): MilSim takes it to the next level. These games often span across entire weekends and focus on highly realistic combat simulations, complete with squad tactics, role-playing elements, and detailed objectives.
  • Urban/CQB (Close-Quarters Battle): Get ready for close-range engagements and tense tactics! These matches prioritise stealth, manoeuvring skills, and lightning-fast reflexes. Imagine clearing a multi-story building or navigating a dense cityscape.
  • Night Airsoft: Turn up the intensity as darkness descends! These games add another layer of challenge and tactical manoeuvring.
  • Speedsoft: Not for the faint of heart! Speedsoft is all about pure, fast-paced action, requiring incredible trigger discipline and precise shooting.

General Airsoft Rules

Every airsoft field, including those in the Kent area, will have its own specific rules, but a few core concepts hold true across the board:

  • Safety First: Airsoft is designed to be fun, but safety is non-negotiable. Full eye protection is mandatory for all players, and often, additional measures like face masks for newer players and age-appropriate FPS (gun power limits) are used to make matches as fun and as safe as possible.
  • The Honour System: Unlike paintball, you won’t get splattered when hit by a BB. So, the ‘honour system’ reigns supreme. When you feel that unmistakable BB hit, be a good sport and call your hit – raise your hand, shout “Hit!”, and head back to the respawn accordingly. Nobody likes “hit deniers”!
  • Respect: Treat other players and staff with respect at all times. Airsoft is a fun-loving community, and ensuring everybody has a good experience is key to that!

Types of Airsoft Guns

The heart of your airsoft setup is your gun. There are several main types out there, so choosing what’s best for you will depend on your budget and shooting style. Here’s a breakdown:

  • AEGs (Automatic Electric Guns): These are beginner-friendly, battery-powered, and provide excellent value for their versatility. Great if you’re exploring “airsoft guns in Kent”.
  • Gas Airsoft Guns: These use compressed gas for a more realistic kick and cycling action. Some can also be highly reliable, even in extreme weather!
  • Spring-powered Airsoft Guns: Simple, manual airsoft guns ideal for backyard plinking, target practice, or youngsters taking their first tentative steps into airsoft.

Note: It’s always advisable to speak to airsoft shops in Kent or visit one of the well-reputed airsoft fields nearby before investing in your first setup to get hands-on advice tailored to your specific needs and local gameplay variations.

Alerting Other Players

Remember that ‘honour system’ we talked about? Here’s where it comes into play:

Calling Your Hits

  • Direct Hits: If you take a clean shot to your body or gear, hold up your gun or give a clear “Hit!” shout. Depending on the game rules, this might mean a short respawn before getting back into the action.
  • Gun Hits: While being “gun hit” doesn’t always count as an out, acknowledging it in good faith adds to the spirit of the game. Some sites in Kent may have different rules – listen to the marshals.
  • Stealth Kills/Melee Taps: Some matches and locations allow close-quarters melee engagements. This adds an exciting element but always check the rules first and if in doubt, ask!

Essential Protective Gear

Safety is paramount, and this starts with good quality protective gear, especially before hitting the airsoft fields in Kent!

  • Eye Protection: This one is an absolute non-negotiable. Invest in proper, impact-rated goggles or a high-quality full-face mask. Never take a chance with your eyesight!
  • Gloves: Getting hit on bare knuckles stings! A basic pair of tactical gloves goes a long way to prevent those nicks that spoil your airsoft day.
  • Sturdy Boots: Many locations for airsoft in Kent, particularly in woodland areas, include rugged terrain. Good ankle support will prevent those trips and falls and help you remain agile throughout your mission.
  • Optional (but Recommended): Knee pads, elbow pads, helmets, and lower face protection all add an extra level of comfort and can prevent bumps and bruises as you get a feel for the action. Some sites may have restrictions on gear used or even supply this on the day. Be sure to ask first.

Tip: Consider supporting local businesses when finding gear! Do some research to find places selling “airsoft guns in Kent”, protective equipment, and tactical accessories.  We use Platoon stores, Rochester 

Wrapping Up!

We’ve just scratched the surface of this incredibly fun and exhilarating sport. From nail-biting missions in the woodland fields of Kent to epic simulations taking place over entire weekends, there’s an airsoft adventure for everyone. Now that you’ve got the basics down, it’s time to take the next step!

Don’t just settle for researching “things to do in Kent” – take action! Check out local airsoft fields, rent some gear if you’re not ready to buy, and jump into your first skirmish – you won’t regret it!