Airsoft can be enjoyed at any level no matter how good your skills are, but just like it is with everything in life, the more you do something, the better you become in it and it is normal to expect that with time you should become a better airsoft player.
When you improve your game you will start to enjoy your airsoft games more because you will be doing things that others do not which will eventually also make you a more desired member of a team and your game will become more interesting to observe.
Believe it or not, airsoft has many similarities with chess and sometimes small improvements in your playstyle can mean a big thing, so let me share the best tips that will immediately improve your airsoft game.
1. Stop relying on the team
The team is important because unless you play every man-for-himself, you will have a hard time defeating the enemy team with high team synergy.
Great airsoft players can take entire less-skilled teams on their own, but it comes with practice.
The issue that you may have when playing with the team is that your team is built of guys who are there to enjoy their weekend and get some final stress relief from the painful week behind them which is a good thing because airsoft is not a die-or-try life-serious matter but rather a way to enjoy life.
However, this also means that sometimes you need to get things going and start the initiative contra to expecting the others in the team to do it.
Whenever you feel like you should advance with a move, go for it and do not rely on the guys behind you, they will be thankful that you are calling decisions that they can follow and be part of.
I remember many occasions when I waited for someone to take the initiative, but when everyone thinks the same, nobody goes forward. When I realized that I can make opportunities for myself it also helped my team to advance in their tasks.
Just like in chess, you need an opening move because without it you can’t advance.
Do you think that the building on the west side of the field is the place where you should tabor and wait for the enemies to pass a certain point? Let the team know it and tell them what you are going to do, if they know their roles they will be able to adjust to it and it does not have to be perfect to make an impact.
As long as you are advancing and everyone knows their role, you are in a better position than being passive and letting the enemy team advance instead.
A similar metaphor can be found in boxing, never stop moving no matters what you do!
2. Create opportunities on your own
In theory, some team members such as a sniper, DMR specialist, or a support heavy gunner should cover the rest of the team while they advance, but when the roles are not clearly chosen and when the team does have great synergy, everyone should create small opportunities on their own doing what their assigned role tells them to do.
If you are in any support role, do not only follow your team members but advance to the position where you will be able to support them. Soon, they will realize that there is a new place where they can go because you are already taking care of it.
For example, get to the roof, the tree, or the high-level window and hold your ground.
When you put pressure on the enemy team, the enemies will have to worry about you and they won’t be able to focus on your teammates which will have come with an opportunity to do their plays.
If you are a rifleman, the rusher/breacher, or any other role that goes in front, tell your team what you are going to do and have faith that they will back you up.
Sometimes the pressure won’t allow you to make moves you would want to and if your team does not listen you will have to improvise.
For this reason, it is important to use different tools in your arsenal, so do not delay using those thunder Bs you have around the waist, improve your airsoft gun for higher range and accuracy so you can out gear the enemy team or get to the member of your team and drag them by the hand to go in with you.
3. Study the field map
When we talk about creating opportunities, you should know the field better than the enemy team, so you can take them by surprise or counter their advancing strategy.
Spend some time before the game starts by studying the field, looking for perfect covers, creating plans B, C, and D, and do not be afraid to go the unordinary routes.
I remember being on the local field the first time, and while we were having a launch I realized how I can crawl beneath the branches to get behind the enemy lines and take them by surprise.
It was the first day for us all, and nobody thought of such a route, so everyone took their positions and started to fire from the covers in the middle of the field.
Instead of joining them, I spent full 10 minutes silently crawling without being noticed until I got behind their last guy.
When I got there, I had 6 guys in front of me to choose from whom am I going to take down first.
This was also one of the very first games I ever played and I got quite confused about what to do with such an opportunity so I stood there for some time being afraid to fire because I enjoyed the fact that they had no idea that I was observing them behind their backs.
I finally pulled the trigger and took 2 guys down and demanded surrender from the 3d guy who was lying like a plank on the floor with perfect cover from the fire of my teammates.
This was the moment I will never forget and arguably the biggest mistake I did because he rolled out and shot at me, while I immediately counter fired.
The whole exchange backfired on my behalf because I was taken down and I accidentally hit the guy’s genitals.
Point of the story? Great opportunities demand the courage to pull the trigger and execute the operation, which I terribly failed at, but it was a great decision to study the field and create such an opportunity!
4. Pull the trigger and do not be sorry
The previous story leads us to the simplest but for some reason the hardest thing to do.
How many times have you found yourself in a situation where you have the perfect opportunity to take down the targets in front of you, but you do not want to mess it up and you end up losing the opportunity? Or when you are too close to the people and are afraid to cause them pain?
Do not aim for the head if you are close, but besides that pull the d**n trigger and let your natural reflexes do the job without overthinking it.
The same can be said for situations when you have a target on the scope but you wait for the perfect wind, humidity, or angle, the next thing you see, they are gone and you curse.
Pull the d**n trigger!
5. Do not be focused on the gear and fancy stuff
Upgrading your gun to get the advantage or equipping yourself with lots of grenades, launchers and other useful devices is important and a point of airsoft, but being too focused on every upgrade, fancy gear and device can make your airsoft journey less satisfying and sometimes miserable.
Truth to be told, airsoft can be played in a hoodie with safety eye protection on and a single mediocre gun and I bet that many people who have begun with airsoft that way, which may also be you, enjoyed that silly fun before they started to complicate.
How many times have you found yourself or your friends bringing a whole arsenal to the field and then forgetting to use like 70% of it?
I understand that at the moment you lend your eyes to the airsoft market, the Pandora box will open and you can not unsee what has been seen, but try to focus more on that silly fun that lured you into airsoft at very first time, connect with people, have a beer and save money for other things in life too!
When you realize this, you think more about what you can do with what you have and less about what you could do if you only had better gear, better upgrade, and so on and this exactly will make your airsoft skills better!
6. Invest in good footwear
Perhaps, this is the best advice of them all, but it’s not that exciting unless you recall the days when you finally arrived home after a long day full of airsoft and your feet were killing you.
Well, invest in good boots and you will see improvements not only after games, but good boots will give you better grip and will lock the joints in a right place allowing you to be sneakier, faster, and more grounded.
A man with fresh legs has two fewer things to worry about!
Take a look at an example of excellent boots you can find on Amazon.
Playing in casual shoes or boots is never a smart option and you will know what I mean once you switch them for the tactical ones.
7. Avoid too much unnecessary tactics
Tactics are important, but usually, when you overthink stuff and visualize too much you lose the advantage.
Just as careful you might be to execute everything right, the enemy team may feel the same.
The one that does not overthink and gets in first usually surprises the other side and takes them down.
This might not be a good game style against professional teams, but most people break under pressure and if you are more aggressive you will score more hits than they will.
8. Do not eat too much before the game starts
We need the energy to be good airsoft players, but eating too many calories and rushing into a game before the stomach can absorb the nutrients is counterproductive.
Just as it is not suggested to train 45 minutes to an hour before exercising, the same should be applied to playing airsoft, because after all, airsoft is a physical exercise too.
This also includes eating too much between games, when you are supposed to prepare your gear and hydrate instead.
There is a saying, a hungry wolf is dangerous, a well-fed one is only good for cuddling.
That said, you should still eat before the game but take control of it!
9. Use semi-auto instead of full-auto
Airsoft guns can go full auto, but for a reason, there is a semi-auto mode and you should use it a majority of the time.
Spraying and praying is an awful tactic that wastes BBs and rarely accomplishes anything unless you strategically use it by pressuring the enemy behind the cover to back up your teammates while they advance to another point. (but even then you should not blindly spray because it is against the rules and creates unfairness).
When I see that someone sprays I know their composure is lost and it will be easy to outmaneuver them.
Turn on the semi-auto and make your hits make the point.
10. Practice and train your body
With practice, everything gets better, but you do not have to only practice in the field, if you have a garden or a local wood that is not far from the place you live it can greatly improve your skills.
Training yourself to be quicker at reloading, aiming, and moving with the gun is what you should do.
If you find yourself missing hits in the field due to the wind, poor breathing, or your legs simply can not hold with the long games it is possible to improve it all outside of the field.
Take some cans, bottles, improvise the targets from cardboard and paper or buy some on Amazon and create a training polygon. Take a notebook and at the end of the week or a month score the accuracy of hits, cardio, and anything else that you can think of!
These targets you can find on Amazon are affordable and they will catch the BBs you shoot so you won’t pollute the ground with BBs.
There are also targets that bend when you shoot them and then automatically return to their original position when you score all hits, but in my opinion, they are not worth it because the BBs ricochet, and it’s true pain to collect all the fallen BBs just as it the case when shooting bottles and cans.
Running, calisthenics, improvised weightlifting, or joining the gym can also be a solid way not only to improve the endurance required for long airsoft games but will certainly result in a healthier mind and body!
I like to run from one point to another in the garden, take a few targets down, then make 10 jumping squats, pushups, and chin-ups and add something new from time to time to keep things interesting.
Final take on
Teaching someone how to play airsoft from the internet is neither easy nor do I believe it should be forced upon anyone, but I believe that sharing a few tips such as these you just read through is useful and it will boost your airsoft skills while it will also make airsoft more enjoyable.
I am not a pro airsoft player, but I believe that certain things make sense, remember to share the skills you learn with your friends and get the best out of airsoft!