Airsoft as a sport has increased in popularity and new players emerge with every passing year. As I sit outside BBQ-ing, I began to reflect back to a time when I was new to Airsoft. I realized that there are plenty of new players out there breaking into the hobby themselves. Everyone starting out asks themselves one question, “How much does Airsoft cost?”
On average, an Airsoft Beginner can expect to spend between $250 – $300 USD to get started with the basic gear. This will cover an Airsoft gun, battery, and face protection. Expect to have an additional $20-30 for extra BB’s and any field fees.
Initially, Airsoft can be expensive if you go crazy buying a lot of unnecessary accessories and extras right out of the gate. If you purchase some basic gear first and then later build upon that, then Airsoft can be pretty affordable by the standards of most hobbies out their today. First, take into account that the word “expensive” is a relative term. As with most things in life, if you have no budget for a particular hobby or sport, then any cost to participate may see high or “expensive”. Recreational activities like hobbies and sports, all come with a price tag in the beginning. Many with ongoing expenses. However, does not mean you should exclude yourself from experiencing them. It may just mean that you need to buy the bare basics at first. One reason you may do this is to see if you even like or would continue to engage in the activity. Another reason might be that your budget is small. Let’s start by looking at some of the basic item you will need.
Every sport or hobby has items which are necessary to get started. While it would be nice to have everything in your loadout, your budget really will dictate what you will be able to start with. First, decide what budget you are comfortable with and go from there. When you are just getting into Airsoft, there is some basic equipment and accessories you will need to get started. This equipment is the very minimum to get started in Airsoft. Keep in mind that upgrades and additional accessories can be bought over time as you build up your loadout.
This is a no-brainer. You won’t get very far without a weapon. Beginners starting out will do best with an AEG (Automatic Electronic Gun). AEG’s are a more affordable type of Airsoft gun and are incredibly reliable. They are also easily upgradeable. For a beginner, it would be suggested to stick with AEG replica within the $150.00 to $200.00 dollar range. Many beginners start with an M4 or M16 AEG’s. Consider that the M4/M16 magazines will fit a wide variety of Airsoft replicas and if you purchase a new weapon later on that accepts the same style magazine, then you are not stuck purchasing additional mags. This price range is a good range when you are just starting out and getting familiar with how you want to play and a role you would like to select. Some respected brands I have experience with are:
- Classic Army
- Elite Force
- Lancer Tactical
Depending on what Airsoft replica you end up purchasing, you will want to pair a high-quality Airsoft BB’s to your weapon. For this, you will want to look at the FPS of your replica. Matching the BB weight to the weapon based upon its FPS (feet per second) will greatly improve how your weapon performs. If the weapon you choose starting out is 300-400 FPS, then a .20-.25 high-quality Airsoft BB would be a great choice. Do not buy cheap BB’s! You will regret it. Cheap BB’s have imperfections that can mess up your gun. Cheaper or poorly made BB’s can break inside your weapon and cause a lot of damage. Even if you unsure if this sport is for you and you start out with a cheaper weapon, I would still recommend getting better bb’s and not going with the cheap ones. Some trusted brands I have used are:
- Elite Force
Airsoft Protective Gear
Just as an Airsoft weapon is a must have, safety gear is also something you cannot do without. Protecting your eyes is the number one concern you should have in regards to safety. A good pair of impact resistant goggles is a must and is the very minimum required safety gear. Other gear to consider is a good pair of protective gloves. Getting hit in the knuckles or on tendons in the top of the hand can be quite painful. A helmet is nice, but can be considered optional. Knee pads and elbow pads are optional as well. While camouflage is awesome, a black long sleeve shirt, pants and shoes/boots can suffice during your first few games.
There are some accessory items you will need in the beginning. A lot of items Airsoft accessories available are discretionary. However, to get the most out of gameplay, you will want a couple of extra magazines. This will minimize reload time. Also, if the weapon you purchased is an AEG and it may not have come with a battery or charger. If this is the case, you will need to buy a good battery and smart charger for your weapon.
To give you an idea of what to expect, I’ve thoroughly researched pricing for some of the basic items above. As a disclaimer, the basic equipment needed to break into Airsoft are all new and pricing is from 2018 (unless otherwise indicated), so do keep in mind that used or refurbished items may cost less. Prices may also fluctuate. Consider that this is the absolute, barebones minimum amount of gear to get started. If cost is a major factor for you, it may be better to save up and buy not only the minimum items above and additional items like camoflauge, etc.
Beginners starting out will do best with an AEG (Automatic Electronic Gun). AEG’s are a more affordable type of Airsoft gun and are incredibly reliable. These are some reliable guns that fall within the $150-$200 price point. They all included a magazine and a basic battery/charger.
G&G Combat Machine GC16 Raider-L ~ $170.00
- Muzzle Velocity: 330-350 FPS
- Magazine Capacity: 300 round Hi-Cap Magazine
Classic Army CA614 Sportline ~ $150.00
- Muzzle Velocity: 380-400 FPS
- Magazine Capacity: 450 rounds
Lancer Tactical Generation 2 M4 Carbine ~ $130.00
- Muzzle Velocity: 370-390 FPS
- Magazine Capacity: 300 rounds
G&G Competition Grade .25g 5600 ct. BBs ~ $13.00
- BB Weight: .25g
- Quantity: 5600 rounds
Elite Force Premium .25g 5000 ct. BBs ~ $13.00
- BB Weight: .25g
- Quantity: 5000 rounds
Airsoft Safety Gear
Valken V-TAC Sierra Airsoft Goggles ~ $30.00
- Excessive Glare Protection
- Meets ANSI/ISEA Z87.1
- Meets MCEPS Class 1 Military Standards.
- Meets CAN/CSA Z94.3-07 Standards.
- CE EN166 Certified.
- Dual Pane Lens
- Removable Back Strap
Valken V-Tac Half Finger Gloves ~ $10.00
- Flexible plastic armor
- Breathable mesh back
- Abrasion resistant padded palm
- Velcro wrist strap
G&G M4/M16 450 round High Capacity AEG Magazine ~ $29.00
Classic Army M4/M16 470 round High Capacity AEG Magazine ~ $23.00
Lancer Tactical 300 round High Capacity AEG Gen 2 Magazine ~ $10.00
Based on the above items the total cost for an Airsoft weapon(with magazine and battery/charger), BB’s, Goggles, gloves and a couple extra magazines, you can expect to spend around $300 to start.
If you’ve been thinking about getting into the exciting sport of Airsoft, knowing how much cash you need to get started is a great starting point itself. Remember, what you choose to purchase, and any additional accessories will all influence the cost either plus or minus.
The prices for Airsoft items included in this article are a good starting point. You should use this data to start budgeting for your gear. if you are looking for some solid recommendations, just check out our Recommended Gear page located here.
See you out on the battlefield!