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With all of the fantastic gear, guns, and equipment you can get for airsoft, it can be difficult to figure out what a good budget is for your level of airsoft experience. There are a lot of things out there that the beginner or casual player doesn’t need to consider purchasing because they won’t be necessary for the average amount of time they play. In this post, we are going to dive into some easy breakdowns of what a good budget looks like and what you need to buy, no matter how often you play airsoft.
Beginner Airsoft Budget:
Beginner airsoft players are players who have almost no time invested in the sport of airsoft yet. They may have played in a few games and borrowed gear from friends for those games. When beginner players decide they want to start playing more regularly, there are some basic items they are going to need. Most of the items listed below are the bare minimum you need in order to figure out if you actually like the sport while also having a safe, fun time on the field.
Paintball Full Face Mask ($20-$30)
Quality BBs (4000 rounds for $15-$20)
Total = $55-$100
For a gun, just a basic springer or CO2 pistol will be fine. No need to spend any more money than you have to at this stage. I recommend a Crosman P311 or Air Mag C11. If you want to spend a little extra, check out the Umarex H&K USP. Keep in mind that I recommend investing in the metal mag for it due to the plastic ones having a high failure rate (You can see my review for the H&K USP HERE). If you want to see more reviews on some of the best airsoft guns, no matter your budget, check out Outdoor Empire’s post on finding the best airsoft gun HERE.
A paintball mask is easy to find and will give you the protection you need to keep your eyes, teeth, and face safe in battle. For BBs, I recommend finding some quality ones at an official airsoft shop, or buying them online. Cheap BBs are known to shatter on impact, creating plastic shrapnel that can be dangerous. Also, many fields have rules preventing you from playing if you use cheap BBs. I use inexpensive, quality Lancer Tactical 0.20g Bio BBs and they work great!
You may notice that I did not list any specific kind of clothing. As a beginner airsofter, there is no need to play dress up on the field (not yet anyway 😉 ). I use a uniform for blending into my environment and for team recognition. If you have some good pants, boots or light hiking shoes for stability and protection, and a shirt that isn’t neon yellow, you can play airsoft just fine. There is no need to invest in a set of BDUs at this stage. Save your money for when you know you really enjoy airsoft and want to play more.
Casual Airsoft Budget:
At this point in your airsoft career, you know you enjoy the sport and want to play it more often. Maybe you host games for your friends on a regular basis and want to start playing at official fields. In addition to the beginner airsofter budget, here is what I recommend you invest in:
Good Primary Weapon ($100-$150)
Extra Battery for Primary Weapon ($20)
Smart Charger for Battery ($20)
Set of BDUs (Pants and Top for $50-$75)
Cyclone Mike Fan ($35)
Half Finger Gloves ($15)
Total = $240-$265
Since you are playing airsoft more often, you will need a gun that not only performs better, but will last longer. Guns like the CYMA AK47 and G&G Combat Machine have excellent durability and performance for this budget level and can last for 2+ years of regular games with no problem. They perform well in CQB (Close Quarters Battles) and outdoor fields, and will keep you effective in battle. When shopping around, keep in mind that many of the fancy cosmetic features like intricate rail systems, and blow back slides will just cost you more and have almost no positive effect on performance.
At this stage, I recommend getting some form of BDUs (Battle Dress Uniform) for games. Most fields will have a tan and green camo system for teams, and a set of BDUs will allow you to be easily identified so you don’t get shot at by your own team. The half finger gloves will provide you with additional protection, especially at CQB games. Half finger gloves are also allow you to have full dexterity compared to full finger.
I recommend the Cyclone Mike for a casual airsofter’s budget because it does a fantastic job of keeping your goggles or facemask from fogging during a game. Nothing is worse in airsoft than not being able to see what is going on because your goggles are fogged over. The Cyclone Mike is super versatile and works with almost any eye protection system you can buy (You can see my full review of the Cyclone Mike HERE).
Pro Airsoft Budget:
By the time you reach this point in airsoft, you probably don’t need a whole lot of help deciding what you need to add to your airsoft loadout. You have been in many battles, tested out gear, and probably even know a bit about upgrading your own airsoft guns. Here are a few things I would recommend for your budget if you don’t have them already:
Helmet or Other System for Protection and Camera Mounting ($50-$75)
Action Camera ($100-$400)
High Quality Primary and Backup Gun ($500+)
Extra Batteries and Tactical Accessories for Guns ($100+)
MOLLE Chest Harness or Plate Carrier ($100-$200)
Gear to Complete Your Loadout’s “Look” ($100+)
At this stage, you treat airsoft as a hobby or sport and you should want to invest in it. The items on this list do not need to be acquired all at once, and cost will change based on your personal airsoft style and gear needs.
I recommend getting some kind of system for recording your games. Even if you don’t post footage to YouTube, the ability to see how you play is invaluable in making you a better player. By watching footage after a game, you can figure out exactly what went right or wrong, and use that to become a better player. If you are unsure of which camera to get, I recommend the SJ4000. It is budget friendly and one of the best in its price range. Make sure you check out my review, and do your research so you don’t get one of the low quality knockoffs.
A backup gun is a great idea just in case your primary malfunctions. Having an extra gun also allows you to loan it out to friends so they can come to games and play with you. There are so many great brands and weapons out there in the $250+ range that will serve you well and are great for competitive gameplay.
At the pro level, you’ll need a way to carry extra mags, airsoft grenades, and other necessary items for long airsoft games. A good harness or plate carrier with customized MOLLE pouches will allow you to create a system that fits your needs.
You may also want to complete a certain “look” for a loadout. Maybe you are into a “blackout” look and need all black gear. Perhaps you want to replicate a specific military unit or country with your gear. Make sure to budget in the funds to make that a reality so you can look the part on the field.
A special thank you to OutdoorEmpire.com for collaborating with me to produce today’s post. Be sure to check out their website for posts with tips and information on airsoft and outdoor gear. They have a great, in-depth article on how to pick a quality airsoft gun that will fit your needs and combat style that I recommend checking out HERE. If you have any questions about airsoft budgets or recommendations for gear that really helped you in your airsoft career, post them down in the comments!
Thank you for this accurate and wonderful list, Blake! For pro airsofters, don’t forget to check out Magpul accessories as well Propper new-spec military uniforms!