Updated: January 2020.
A loadout is essentially a technical term for your airsoft attire, consisting of the head and body protection and tactical gear. The loadout can copy a real-life military loadout or can be customised to suit your approach to a game.
Of course, the loadout in airsoft is important to the individual player and the game. This means that the loadout can often vary, especially between players in different roles and based on the type of game being played (e.g. capture the flag, death match), or the setting of it.
We have looked at a few steps below that you should consider when designing your airsoft loadout.
Decide on the unique style you will bring to the game. Do you want an impression loadout where you imitate real-life military outfits, or do you want to run around in all black gear wearing a Boba Fett helmet?
To help make your decision, take a look through various gameplay videos on YouTube or research military uniforms of various eras. Alternatively, read a couple of airsoft blogs on the topic. Looking at other peoples’ approaches to their loadouts will help you decide on what direction to go with your own, taking your favourite elements of others and combining it into one epic loadout.
Airsoft can be a costly sport to get into, especially starting from scratch. There some things that you shouldn't scrimp on, but with your clothing it's possible to save some pennies here and there. Try looking for second hand equipment of reputable brands, especially protective gear such as knee and elbow pads or outer jackets. For more 'intimate' clothing such as base layers, gloves and the like, brand new is always better.
With anything, you should set yourself a budget – especially if you are new to the game – as it can be all too easy to get carried away with spending. Of course, you should buy the very best you can afford to ensure the gear’s longevity, especially as cheap kit almost certainly equals questionable quality that could let you down during a game.
Spend as much as you are comfortable spending and remember that you can always upgrade as you become more involved with airsoft. As a general rule of thumb, impression outfits are often cheaper, with competitive loadouts often racking up higher bills, however, they are known to be more useful out on the field.
If you want any advice on what you can and should get for your money, please feel free to contact us, and we can help you find the perfect loadout to meet your budget.
Now for the fun; decide what your primary weapon will be. For any newbies reading this guide, we would recommend a standard electric rifle such as an M4. However, don’t discount the humble AK47 or other unique airsoft guns that can make you stand out from the crowd. Consider using a hire gun the first couple times you head on a skirmish, as this can start you off in the right direction and allow you to get a feel of what you do and don't like.
The primary weapon of choice should also be based upon the role you will be taking within your airsoft team. To summarise, a person in an auxiliary role will want something automatic that has accurate and rapid fire. Look towards the assault rifles.
Snipers will need something with sharp precision. Luckily, it’s easy to spot the perfect rifle as they look almost identical to their real-life counterparts. While a support gunner will want something that can hold a lot of ammo especially when they’re using a “spray and pray” tactic. Recommendations include miniguns or SAW style guns, but essentially cover anything that has a decent rate of fire.
Most people will assign around a 1/3 of their start-up budget for their primary weapon.
As you progress, you should consider modifying your gun with some extras that will suit your style of play. This is also a great way to reinvent your gun if you are not ready to purchase another airsoft gun. This could include changing the gearbox or installing a brand new Gate MOSFET to modify the way your gun performs, such as changing burst fire settings or adjusting trigger sensitivity.
Always follow the latest legislation regarding airsoft guns to ensure that you are following the letter of the law. You can find more information about the legal classification for airsoft guns at the bottom of this post. Additionally, you can speak to one of our advisors for more information.
A sidearm is not always necessary, but it can help you out in a tight situation when there’s no time to reload! It's also worth noting that in some scenarios, sites prohibit close up shooting of rifles, requiring any engagement under a certain distance (often 10 to 20 feet) to be done with a lower powered gun. Opt for a semi-automatic pistol if you’re a beginner; they will surely bail you out when needed. We can help you pick the perfect choice.
Next, choose your outfit. This decision will be influenced by many factors, including where you will be playing. If you are going to be playing in outdoor arenas such as woodland, choose similar camouflage to help you move undetected. You’ll be a sitting (or running) duck in neon colours!
As well as colours, the design should also account for durability and breath-ability. The footwear should also be comfortable and reliable as you will be doing a lot of running, and there’s nothing worse than having to stop because you are suffering from painful blisters. Although trainers can seem like a good choice, we'd suggest opting for a military-style combat boot with ankle support.
We must also stress, do not skimp on your eye protection! Make sure what you do pick is comfortable and still offers you a clear line of sight. Bad vision is not something you want to be dealing with mid-game. Additionally, cheap eye protection could shatter if hit by a BB, definitely not what you want. Consider product from the Wiley X range as these are extremely well built and will last you for countless skirmishes.
Again, not always required but very practical. You’ll be thankful for having one when the time comes for its use. Choosing a decent vest can offer you protection as well as practicality because they contain a lot of pockets that are perfect for carrying extra magazines, grenades and even a Mars bar if you get a bit peckish!
Choosing the same colour as the rest of your uniform may be preferred, but it is up to personal tastes.
Extra mags, additional sidearm, gloves, radio, night vision goggles, knives and whatever you might want (within the rules!) should now be selected. And as we mentioned above, the extra pockets in the vest can be used to store all of this!
Customise your loadout with patches or emblems that may relate to your team or anything else that makes your loadout unique and shows some individuality! As anyone who has visited us in store, you know we love this part of the loadout.
You can do as much or as little as you want when it comes to personalisation. Loadouts vary from a rifle with a couple of mags stashed in your pockets right up to full British Army rig with L85, authentic Osprey plate carrier and Kevlar helmet.
If you don’t have a specific impression in mind, always remember that the whole point of airsoft is to have fun, so don’t miss out on games just because your tertiary pistol’s spare mag pouches haven’t arrived! As long as you have the basics (eye protection, rifle, decent boots and outdoor clothing), you can game and add what you need as you go along!
You will be able to find everything you need to build your kit up in our airsoft shop, so why not take a look at making yours today? We would love to help you create your ideal airsoft loadout and can advise you in store or online.
This blog has been updated following the 2017 Policing and Crime Act. Confused by what that means to you? Check out our video about it below and take a look at the rundown of it here.