If you're just getting started playing airsoft but you're unsure of the costs, we're here to help. Airsoft can be as expensive or inexpensive as you want it to be. If you're just starting out, you'll want to keep costs low until you're sure you enjoy the game.
From buying your first airsoft rifle to gearing up your loadout, we'll walk you through the average cost of becoming an airsoft player in the UK!
Most airsoft sites across the UK charge between £30 and £50 for a full game day. If you've never played before, the chances are you won't yet own a rifle. This means you'll have to use hire weapons on the day.
Depending on the site, hire players are usually given:
Reminder: Always check what's included in your hire packages before turning up on the day.
Aside from additional BBs needed for the day, you won't have any additional mandatory costs. Of course, if you want to make the most of your day, you can buy extras such as:
Game day Extras
£4 each (or 3 for £10)
£5 each (or 3 for £12)
Bag or bottle of BBs
£11/£12 (depending on quality)
‘My first airsoft game was such a rush! All I turned up in was some old jeans, walking boots, a hoodie and some gloves. I think I spent less than £100 for the entire day. Of course, you don't need to rebuy clothing (unless you ruin them very quickly) so your ongoing cost will be ammo and the price of playing!’
- Ryan, First Airsoft
We recommend spending between £150 and £250 on your first airsoft gun. There are plenty of great airsoft brands that offer budget weapons for beginner players just starting out in the sport.
There is no need to spend £500 on your first airsoft weapon. You'll soon realise what type of player you are. You might find that a sniper rifle is better suited to you on game day.
Some of the best entry-level brands for beginner players are:
Remember the price differences often mean either better or worse performance. Depending on your budget, you could go for the higher end of the price range.
You could pick up a very sturdy assault rifle for £250 with a full metal exterior and great internals.
‘My first airsoft gun cost me £170. I bought a G&G M4 variant and it was great. It was shooting at just under 300fps. I play a lot of CQB events and it was perfect for game day. I added a grip, site and flashlight to help me stay accurate but that's completely my own preference.’
- Sam, First Airsoft
Don't worry about your gun when you're just starting out. Just focus on enjoying yourself and getting involved in the action. You'll learn so much at local airsoft sites from more experienced players. Ask questions, find out what gun they have, ask for advice about your setup.
The airsoft community are a nice bunch. Not only that, we all love showing off our gear. In fact, I'd say asking somebody about their loadout because you love it will brighten up their day.
Keep in mind that before you can purchase an airsoft replica, you'll need a UKARA membership or valid defence first.
Aside from buying your first airsoft gun, you'll have to purchase a few extra items to go along with it. Some retailers will include extras. But, if they don't, here are a few things you might need to consider buying.
£11-£15 depending on output.
£13 depending on material and brand
We definitely recommend investing in another battery. You'll soon burn through your battery charge if you're firing off thousands of BBs in the first few hours of your day.
It never hurts to have a spare!
After you've invested in your first airsoft gun of choice, your gear will likely be your next purchase. This is where the fun really begins. It's where you can create your own unique look. Again, don't worry about what other players are wearing.
Go for what you feel comfortable in. Make sure you can move fast, stay low, dodge BBs and look good doing it.
Most players will go with what they've seen in films or video games. Depending on where you're playing and the environment, it should help you decide on what style of clothing you need. You might want to go with the classic army (darker greens and black) or stealth for those darker CQB events (all black everything).
Most popular choices of uniform:
You're likely to see one of the five uniforms at most airsoft sites in the UK. Most airsoft skirmishers try to blend in with the crowd. That's your choice.
Here are the average costs based on a typical MTP outfit:
Item of clothing
Softshell jacket or windbreaker
*prices based on 10 UK airsoft retailers as of 22nd December 2021
Eye protection for airsoft can range between £15 to £150 depending on the quality and overall safety. Out of all the ways to protect yourself, investing in eye pro is worth its weight in gold. Not only that but eye protection is mandatory at every airsoft site in the UK.
When you're on the field enjoying a game of airsoft, the last thing you want is cheap eye protection shattering and causing serious eye damage.
There are a lot of cheap brands but we recommend avoiding them all. We recommend you spend no less than £20 on your eye protection. Whether that's goggles or glasses.
Whichever type of eye protection you choose make sure they offer ballistic protection. This means your little eyes are protected from small projectiles and fragments.
Brands we've used:
Ranging from £30 to £65 in price, a good pair of boots is another important investment. Most airsoft injuries are caused by not wearing the correct footwear. Players often roll their ankles on unstable ground or, in some cases, have broken their toes.
You need a pair of military-style boots (or sturdy walking boots) with ankle support. If you're planning to play airsoft all year, we'd also recommend making sure they're weatherproof.
For us in the UK, rain is almost guaranteed outside of our summer months (and oftentimes during). Make sure your little feet stay warm and dry. Nobody likes having wet socks.
You can buy a decent plate carrier for under £50. If you plan on becoming a regular player, a tactical vest will be essential to your loadout.
You'll be carrying magazines, potentially grenades, extra ammo throughout the day. You don't have enough hands or pockets to make this happen. Plus, you'd look like a fool trying to do so.
Finding an affordable plate carrier is easy. Just make sure it has all of the features and pouches you might need.
Helmets can cost anywhere between £30 to £150. But unless you're playing Milsim (military simulation) games, it's not necessary for your average weekend skirmish.
That's not to say you can't have one. If it goes with your operator look then we salute you. It can also support things like:
A good pair of gloves for airsoft will cost you anywhere from £15 to £30. If you decide not to wear gloves, don't come crying to use when you get shot in the fingertips.
Mid-tier gloves can provide you with enough support and dexterity to make sure handling your weapon is easy.
It also means if you're crawling about on the floor or touching splintered wood frames, that your hands stay protected. We all wear gloves on game day and we rarely come across a single player who doesn't. If you can, get gloves with knuckle protection.
That's a personal tip from us. BBs bouncing off your knuckles at 345fps is enough to make a grown man or woman cry.
There you have it! Your complete guide to airsoft costs. We know there's a lot to consider but we hope this article helps you make better decisions on your airsoft journey. All of us have had help along the way from other more experienced players so, if you have any questions, please let us know in the comments below.