Airsoft is a hands-on hobby. The only way a person can know and learn is to get their hands on a replica and try it out. And yes, that’s a HUGE step from watching airsoft videos to actually turning off the computer and going outside. To a field. With other people. It can be wildly scary and mind-numbingly intimidating, and not every field (and players) will be as welcoming as others.
When I first started airsofting, I bought everything that was recommended by players online. I shopped at “Big Airsoft” like the “influencers” kept raving about. I bought the “best out of the box” AEG. I cheaped out on camo, since I already had M81 kicking around for realsteel hunting, and simply wore that. I got a super cheap chest rig from Wish.com, which is now residing at the local dump. Don’t buy important-ish shit from Wish.
I found out the hard (and expensive) way that just because people crow about something, it doesn’t mean it’s anywhere near as good as they say it is. Yes, I get that applies to me when I’m crowing about KWA, but I have more KWA AEGs than most people have AEGs, and I promise you they are put through more hell by rental players than any other AEG out there, and they have been a whole lot less problematic out of the box than any other brand I’ve purchased.
I’m in a number of “airsoft beginner” groups and see the same questions pop up all the time. I also see a lot of subjective information passed around, and that can be super dangerous in respect to the hobby.
So, here’s an article on absolutely everything you need to know about airsoft. Kinda.
Wear some clothes you don’t mind getting dirty (jeans and a hoodie are great), and boots. They don’t have to be camo or tactical – they just have to be not bright colors. Black usually isn’t great either, but it’s better than nothing. Never wear red or blaze orange. Take some water/sports drink with you. Take some snacks.
Go to your local field and let them know you are brand new to airsoft. Get a rental kit (your mask *will* fog), and look for someone you may already know, or hopefully, the field will introduce you to some of the more regular players and you can run with them. Learn how to operate your AEG. Make sure it’s properly hopped. Get a feel for the range and accuracy of it.
Yup. Talk to people. I hate doing it too.
What did you get for a rental? M4? AK? How does it feel? It’s gonna look cool, regardless, but do you like it? When you shoulder it, is it easy for you to ADS (Aim Down Sights)? How does reloading it feel to you? How’s the weight?
Does anyone in your squad/team have something different? Ask them if you can check it out … 9 times out of 10 they will let you. I will always let you, regardless of if I’m at SAASMaine, or any other field. There’s a big difference in the feel between an M4 and AK. And any of the SMGs. And a difference in the feel between a CQB and Carbine-length M4/AK.
These are all questions that only you can answer. Absolutely no one else can tell you any of this.
The only way you can learn any of this is by going to a field and learning for yourself. Be a dry sponge, ready to soak up the experience and knowledge of veteran players at the field, as well as the experience and knowledge you gain from your own time playing.
There really isn’t an airsoft “boot camp”, so if the field has a “newbie game day”, go to it. While you may not be getting as much trigger time as you’d like, you will benefit from learning all the little things that the rest of us take for granted.
We’ve been doing a sort of “Airsoft 101” thing in conjunction with our “Open Farm Day”, the fourth Sunday of July, and this year will be no different. We set up a tent, display a bunch of various AEGs and gear and parts and let people get a feel for the stuff we use. We give people some trigger time on the range. We do quick battles down on the field. It’s a super relaxing, no-pressure day for everyone, to include us.
Go out and play. Seriously. Most of your questions can only be answered by yourself, and not by a jaded toxic online community.