Why play a simple nerf game, when you can engage in a full-out nerf war?
It’s time to start taking nerf games to the next level.
This article will show you everything you need to know about Nerf wars, battles, and team skirmishes.
Grab your most decked-out Nerf gun, a handful of your most skilled bros, and hit the battle field.
What is a Nerf War?
A Nerf war is any type of battle between two or more players, typically in teams, where the goal is to defeat the other team in a game of points or resources. Common battle scenes include backyards, urban areas, wooded forests, playgrounds, and even indoor arenas.
It is important to note that there are no officially sanctioned or hard rules that must be followed. As we explain more about the different types of game matches that can be used to form your perfect Nerf war, keep in mind that the guidelines are only put in place for balance and clarity. Ultimately, you can decide on whichever rules you and your buddies decide on.
What are the Rules?
As we stated earlier, there are no officially sanctioned rules published in a guidebook somewhere. One of the most beautiful things about a Nerf battle is that you can pick and choose your own guidelines as you please. These rules have been written, polished, tested, and re-written by Nerf lovers and players such as yourself, and are constantly evolving. We’ll give a run-down of the basic Nerf rules to help you get started.
- Only blasters are allowed. In any basic Nerf war, it is usually established beforehand that only ranged weapons, specifically blasters, are allowed to be used in battle. There are some groups that will allow melee weapons, but this must be specified beforehand.
- No punching, kicking, or physical aggression is allowed. Nerf wars are for fun, not for hospital trips. This is a friendly game for you and your buddies to enjoy, so treat it like a classic shoot-out and not a melee brawl.
- Nerf blasters and other allowed items can be hidden by a non-player. Before the game begins, a non-player can help make the war environment more dynamic and interactive by hiding Nerf blasters and other items around the battlefield. That way, players can have the fortune of stumbling upon one of them during a match, which might give them an advantage over the enemy team.
- Players decide how many hits to take before being declared as “out”. In a typical Nerf war, players are only allowed to become hit once before they are out. Once a player is out, they must return to the base to respawn, or they can like on the ground and wait until a teammate revives them by tapping on their body with their hand. A player’s ability to respawn or become revived by a teammate depends on the amount of lives they have. The amount of lives is typically established before the game begins.
- Other rules can be established. Before the battle begins, your team and the enemy team can discuss a custom set of rules to put in place. If you want, you can allow players to use customized Nerf weapons, melee weapons, or more. Or, you can severely limit the weapon choices to make it a much more challenging battle.
- Teams can be uneven. Typically, the number of people on each team is equal; however, teams can be uneven due to skill. Most Nerf battlers like to balance teams based on ability and player skill rather than just sheer numbers.
There are an endless amount of ways to customize and create a Nerf war, so have fun and come up with crazy ideas that will satisfy you and your whole team! Just make sure that all players agree with the rules before starting your epic battle. May the best Nerf battler win!
Nerf War Game Ideas
Most of these game types are balanced towards the war including two teams. You can always add more teams for a diverse and challenging addition to the battle. Rules can be tweaked as you practice and gain experience using your favorite Nerf products.
- Attack and defend. This simple match mode requires one group of players to defend a pre-specified base or point, while the other team tries to capture it. Usually, this game type comes with a time limit, giving an added thrill to players who are required to rush to the finish. If the defending team continues to defend the point until the time runs out, they win. If the attacking team captures the point and is holding it while time expires, they win.
- Capture the flag. Capture the flag gives an extra goal for players. Each team is given a colored flag, which is placed on their side of the field. The goal is to defend their own flag while also attempting to capture and steal the enemy’s flag. The first team to capture the other team’s flag a certain number of times (typically once) is the team to win.
- Hostage. This is an extremely thrilling match option for those who want to take their Nerf wars to the next level. Each team is given an unarmed player to play the hostage, who will be hidden at the enemy’s base. The opposing team must successfully rescue their hostage within a certain time limit in order to win. The hostage cannot move until one of the friendly players taps them with their hand.
- Team Deathmatch. Deathmatch is one of the most popular – if not the most popular – forms of Nerf wars. This is a standard combat match, where players must simply tag out the enemy team and take them down before they are taken down themselves. Each team has a certain amount of tags, or “deaths”, until they are out for good. The last team to have any remaining players wins the match.
- Hide and seek. This is another popular Nerf war variant. In hide and seek, one team is given a head-start to go and hide. This match is best achieved in an urban or wooded area. The opposing team, also known as the “seekers”, must find all of the enemy team members and tag them in order to get them out. The hiding team also has the opportunity to tag out the seeking team as well. The team with the last untagged person remaining wins the match.
- Control points. Similar to “attack and defend”, the control points Nerf war match adds a dynamic challenge to the game. There are a pre-determined amount of points set out among the field, and the teams must fight each other to take control of these points. In order to capture a point, a player must stand next to the point and count to a certain number, typically 10 or 15, in order to capture it. If the player counts to the number without being attacked or tagged, they are then able to switch the control point’s colors with their own team’s colors. The first team to capture the other team’s home base wins the challenge.
- Assasin. In an assassin game, each team designates one player as the “target”, who is only allowed to carry a single shot blaster. That player’s team acts as the guards, with the other team becoming the assassins. Guards can take hits for the target as the assassins attempt to destroy them. After a certain amount of time, the target can escape, thus ending the game.
- Hunger Games. Much like the best-selling book, this tame has players split into two teams. All weapons and ammo must go in a pile in the center of the playing field. Everyone starts out standing an equal distance away from each other and from the pile. When the game signals its start, players must rush to collect their weapons in this all-out brawl.
- Civil War. In a Civil War, only single-shot blasters are allowed. Both teams start out in a position that faces each other when the game starts. They must stand in a straight line as they face each other. When the game begins, they must fight Civil War-style. If a player is hit in the arm, they cannot use that arm. If they lose both of their arms or legs, they must move on their knees, or they “die” for the remainder of the game.
- Humans vs. Zombies. In a humans vs. zombies match, one team becomes the humans, who are armed with Nerf weapons, while the other team becomes the zombies, who are not allowed to wield any weapons at all. Humans who are touched by zombies become zombies. The humans win if all zombies are destroyed, and the zombies win if all humans are turned into zombies.
- Anarchy. Anarchy is one of the oldest Nerf war game types still in play. The game is played with multiple teams of two people each, who fight to determine the last team standing. Players die with a single hit in this game.
- Hunter. This is a solo-based Nerf war game. One player becomes the “hunter”, armed with just a blaster. The other players in the game have to avoid being tagged or hit by the hunter. As soon as another player becomes tagged by the hunter, they become the hunter themselves. Whoever can go the longest without being tagged is the winner.
- Regicide. This popular Nerf war game is based off of the match type from the Halo video game series. One player on each side becomes the “king”, who is given a large blaster and a unique identification badge to wear. Whoever tags out the other team’s king first wins.
- Deathmatch. This is another solo-based Nerf game. This is a full-on battle, with no unique rules or specially designated players. The last person standing wins.
- Alliance. In an alliance match, a non-player is responsible for hiding all equipment. Players are then sent to find and pick up the equipment. During the game, players are encouraged to form alliances with each other. These alliances cannot be broken or betrayed, or else the player is out. The maximum amount of players in a single alliance is three players. An alliance can only break if the members are the last one standings. The last player alive wins.
- Standoff. A standoff is a good old-fashioned Western-themed match. Players can only wield single-shot blasters. All players are assigned a spot to stand, and they cannot move from this spot. The blasters start out on empty, and when the game begins, they must do one of three things: “Fire”, which requires taking a single shot at an opponent, “Block”, in which the player crosses their arms over their chest and are protected from hits, or “Reload”, which allows the player to reload after taking a shot. They must reload before taking another shot. Every time a player is eliminated, the players move closer to each other. The last one standing wins.
- Duel. Players are assigned a spot to stand in. After the game begins, the players must remain on their spots. They can duck, jump, and more, but they cannot move from their assigned spot. Once they are hit or run out of ammo, they count as out and must be eliminated. Whoever has the most amount of tags, once all players are out, is the winner.
It’s good to know what types of war classifications exist within the Nerf war world. If you’re serious about Nerf gaming – which we know you are – you’ll want to understand the different types of stock that can help denote some of the basic blaster rules you’ll encounter during your game.
Are you stocked up on your favorite Nerf products? If not, you may want to start thinking about the best way to annihilate your opponents!
- A stock-based Nerf war is typically a war that only allows stock blasters to be used in the duration of the battle. Customized or modified blasters, guns, or other Nerf products are absolutely not allowed. Most players specify that artistic modifications are allowed, such as a unique coat of paint or special designs, but anything that enhances or affects performance or use of the weapon at all is not allowed.
- NIC wars are the way to go for heavily customized and modified blasters. If you’re all about making DIY Nerf modifications, bringing the most power to your weapon, and overall creating a beastly device that your opponents can’t stand a chance against, you’ll definitely want to engage in a NIC war. This game mode allows the use of homemade blasters for ultimate performance.
- Super Stock. Super stock Nerf gun war games gives players the ability to use a more diverse range of Nerf enhancements. Super stock wars are often dubbed as SAMBO, which stands for “stock ammo, modification blasters only”. While this game match only allows plasters, it does allow blasters that have been modified for performance or ability. The one drawback of a SAMBO match, however, is that while the type allows for modified blasters to be used, players must still use stock ammunition. Elite Darts would be allowed, whereas Stefans would not be.