Best Nerf Guns

Best Nerf Guns

Nerf. The very word has become synonymous with ‘fun’ for both kids and adults alike. Ever since their launch way back in 1969 with the simple ‘Nerf Ball’, the brand has grown enormously. Now the product categories are so wide and varied that there is something of interest for all age groups. But the most interesting releases from Nerf are their blasters. These foam slinging toys that mimic cool real-life weapons are now in the hands of kids all around the world. Dart firing Nerf blasters were introduced in the early Nineties and since the brand has evolved exponentially. So when you purchase a Nerf gun you have several factors that have to be taken into account to choose the right blaster for you.

Factors to consider

Age

Standard Nerf series like Elite, Modulus, Zombie Strike, Ultra, Mega, and Alpha Strike is rated 8+ years. So kids eight and above can comfortably carry (some blasters are quite heavy) and fire the blasters. Adults are welcome to use them as well.

There is another recently released series – Rival. This lineup is specifically meant and rated 14+ years. It’s suited for teens and adults interested in having some Nerfin fun at home or in the office.

Caliber

Nerf ammo comes in different shapes and sizes depending on the blaster series they are released with. Elite ammo is the most common design and is packaged with Elite blasters. Multiple other series use the physically similar but different colored ammo based on their respective themes. For example, the Zombie Strike series uses the same darts that are colored in two shades of green.

Ultra series guns use unique ultra-darts that are shorter than Elite darts with aerodynamic fins at the rear. Mega darts are the high caliber version compatible only with Mega Nerf guns. Then there are the Accustrike darts that are more accurate than regular darts and come in both Elite and Mega variants. Rival Nerf blasters are entirely different in this aspect and take in only ‘High Impact rounds’, which are just like little soft foam golf balls.

Series

Over the years Nerf has introduced and scraped multiple series of blasters. Each series has its own theme, story, purpose, and individually unique designs. For example, the Zombie Strike series has a post-apocalyptic theme with predominant Green and Orange painted blasters. While the Rival is more attractive to older players and promptly adheres to a more mature design language.

Firing Mode

If you’re familiar with the Nerf ecosystem or guns in general, you know firing mode is a big differentiating factor when it comes to the shooting experience. For the uninitiated, Nerf blasters also have firing modes similar to their real-world counterparts. Some blasters are fully automatic, firing round after round automatically as long as you press and hold the trigger until the magazine runs out. Some blasters are semi-automatic. They automatically load the dart in the chamber but requires you to pull the trigger each time one round has to be fired. Both these types operate with flywheels that are activated by a separate rev trigger, usually present beneath the actual trigger. The third firing mode is the manual, single fire mode. A priming handle lets you load the dart, which is then fired by pressing the trigger. Some manual mode blasters also support slam-fire. This lets players keep the trigger pressed and fire consecutive shots by simply priming the blaster.

Batteries

This aspect concerns a lot of people we understand. The auto and semi-auto flywheel based blasters both operate using batteries. The manual mode nerf guns don’t need them. They work using spring action mechanisms. So if you’re not okay with the hassle of replacing batteries now and then or worried it may run out during crucial game time, then manual blasters may be your way to go.

Budget

Nerf blasters come in all shapes, colors, and sizes. So their prices vary widely too. You could purchase Micro-shots for as low as six dollars. Or you might want to splurge and get the massive Nerf Rival Nemesis for upwards of 150 USD. So yes, the cost is definitely a key factor while making a purchase decision when it comes to Nerf. If you do not want to spend more than 10 USD for a toy then you can check our ‘Cheap Nerf Guns’ page. The blasters we suggest in this article are the creme de la creme and bound to be on the higher end of price charts.

So once you have narrowed down on the above factors choosing your next Nerf blaster should be a no-brainer. For the sake of easing your purchase decision, we have split the entire list of best Nerf guns into their respective series. The reason for choosing the following blasters is a combination of cool looks, massive and intimidating physical presence, a smooth no-hassle shooting experience, supplementary features, and powerful performance.

Rival

Best suited for teens and adults, there are several Rival blasters that can contend to be on this list. But this blaster absolutely deserves the top spot.

Prometheus MXVIII-20K

Nerf Rival Prometheus

Why? Released in 2018, this blaster technically has the best performance and specifications in this entire lineup. Probably even all of Nerf combined. It spews ammo at the highest rate of fire with eight rounds per second.

Performance: Ammo velocities are well over 90 feet per second. Above par with other Rival products.

Specifications:

Age: 14+ years

Firing Mode: Full Auto

Ammo: High Impact Rounds. Capacity: 200 rounds hopper (super easy reloading)

Battery: Works only with an included rechargeable battery.

Price: Launch price was 199 USD. The current price would be far lesser based on discounts. Check price at Amazon.

Design: Prometheus is an exclusive release in the ‘Phantom Corps’ sub-series of Nerf. So it follows the overall white color theme with orange accents. It is meant to be fired from the hip like a Mini-Gun, unlike most other Nerf rifles.

Additional Features: Sports two tactical rails, bottom guards, a carry handle, should strap and mount points, and a very useful battery life indicator.

We have discussed in extensive detail about this blaster and the entire Rival lineup in ‘Nerf Rival‘ article.

Elite

The Nerf N-Strike Elite is the standard when it comes to Nerf guns for kids 8 years and above. Most other series except maybe the Mega, are derived from the Elite series design and internals. Again among so many different options, we have chosen the top spot to be taken up by the Nerf Elite Hyperfire. It isn’t exactly the latest in the long line of Elite blasters. Released way back in 2016, there have been so many more blasters released after it.

HyperFire

Nerf Elite HyperFire

Why? Key reasons that this blaster is perched here are its cool design, smooth operation, and high rate of fire. Due to the new conveyor system, the HyperFire firing experience is really smooth and fire at a rate of six rounds per second.

Performance: The HyperFire performances well above the Elite standard, and launches darts at speeds of over 74 feet per second.

Specifications:

Age: 8+ years

Firing Mode: Full Auto

Ammo: Elite/Compatible Accustrike darts Capacity: 25 round drum

Battery: Four ‘D’ Batteries

Price: Launch price was 49.99 USD. Check the current price at Amazon.

Design: This is the most interesting factor with this blaster. It’s designed to look like a futuristic weapon right out of a sci-fi movie. Cosplayers can surely have a lot of fun coloring/modifying this blaster to suit their needs.

Additional Features: One tactical rail, sling mount points, and built-in stock.

To understand the Elite series in further detail see ‘Nerf Elite Series‘.

Mega

N-Strike Mega series is the bigger caliber version of Elite. They fire bigger foam darts named ‘Mega Darts’ that are almost twice the size of regular Elite darts. So consequentially the blasters in this series are considerably larger than their elite counterparts. You can find a complete discussion about this series Mega series Despite the larger projectile, muzzle velocities are maintained around the Elite average of 70fps. If we have to choose the best among them it would be the Mega Mastodon.

Mastodon

The Nerf Mega Mastodon

Why? The Mastodon is a massive Nerf automatic machine gun with a huge ammo capacity, great performance, and an absolute beast that can dominate any Nerf game.

Performance: Muzzle velocities reach up to 80fps which is considerably higher than the 70fps Elite average.

Specifications:

Age: 8+ years

Firing Mode: Full Auto

Ammo: Mega Darts/ Mega Accustrike Darts. Capacity: 24 round drum (highest in the Mega Series)

Battery: Six ‘D’ batteries

Price: Check the latest price.

Design: The Mastodon is intimidating, colored in classic Mega deep red, and looks huge even in the hands of an adult.

Additional Features: Shoulder strap, sling mount points, three tactical rails, an ammo drum guard.

We have a comprehensive review of the Mastodon here. Learn about this entire lineup at the ‘Nerf Mega Series‘ page.

Zombie Strike

An interesting series of blasters, all based around the fight against zombies. Each gun in this category is unique and intricately detailed with objects that resonate with the apocalyptic theme. If you’re intending to play some Hvz (Humans vs Zombies) games, then the Zombie Strike Nerf guns would fit the criteria perfectly. Our choice for the number one spot in this series – The Revoltinator.

Revoltinator

Nerf ZombieStrike Revoltinator

Why? A motorized blaster with excellent performance and jazzy LEDs and sound effects that align with the Zombie vibe.

Performance: 70+ fps ammo speed

Specifications:

Age: 8+ years

Firing Mode: Semi-Auto

Ammo: Zombie Darts and other compatible Elite or Accustrike darts. Capacity: 18-dart Magazine

Batteries: Four ‘AA’ batteries

Price: Check the latest price

Design: Classic Green Zombie Strike colors on a sleek assault rifle like body. Feels like a weapon you would want to carry in a dark future with Zombie Hordes everywhere.

Additional Features: Carry handle, solid grip, and built-in stock. LEDs light up as the flywheels are revved up, and top more lights go on as shots are fired. Combined with the integrated sound effects gives a feeling of firing electric jolts.

A comprehensive article about this blaster and Zombie Strike series as a whole can be found here.

Modulus

A series of Nerf blasters purposed for players interested in customizing and building up their blasters as they see fit. Personalization comes in the form of adding various tactical attachments, barrel extensions, scopes, stock, or other innovative Modulus addons. An extensive overview of this series and the available blaster options in this series can be found in the Nerf Modulus Series page. Hasbro has made some unique nerf guns in the Modulus product range. One Nerf gun that really exemplifies the category’s strengths is the Tri-Strike.

Tri-Strike

Nerf Modulus Tri-Strike

Why? Probably the only non-motorized fully manual mode nerf gun in this entire listing. But it truly embodies what the Modulus range is all about. Modularized components coming together to give a unique gameplay experience. As the name suggests its three guns combined into a single package. A Stock/Rocket launcher, Spring-action regular blaster, and a Mega Dart launcher/ Barrel Extension.

Performance: Rocket and the Mega dart launchers both are air-powered and depend on the force applied by the player. The main blaster also fires close to the 70fps Elite par.

Specifications:

Age: 8+ years

Firing Mode: Manual

Ammo: Mega Darts, Nerf Missile, and Modulus/Elite darts. Capacity:

Batteries: None

Price: Released for 49.99 USD back in 2016. Check the current price.

Design: A classic Modulus blaster with a functional design. The central main blaster is a spring action blaster with a stock attachment slot and a barrel extension slot. The given attachment blaster is compatible with other N Strike blasters as well. The priming mechanism is bolt-action.

Additional Features: Three in One blaster experience, with all three types of darts included.

Find the full review of this blaster here.

Ultra

A powerful new series of nerf guns that shoot unique ‘Ultra darts’ released in late 2019. This series is touted to be more powerful than other regular N Strike nerf guns. Read in detail about the Ultra Series Here.

Pharoah

Nerf Ultra Pharoah

Why? A huge bolt-action sniper rifle from the Ultra series that shoots hard and far.

Performance: Consistently more than 100 fps dart velocities

Specifications:

Age: 8+ years

Firing Mode: Manual

Ammo: Ultra Darts Only

Batteries: None

Price: Check the latest price.

Design: A fixed scope at the top, tactical rails at the bottom, and a long stock for stable firing make sure that this blaster is nothing but a sniper.

Additional Features: There is not much possibility of customization here except for adding a tactical rail attachment. A dominating aesthetic and powerful performance are the two factors that make this nerf product a must buy.

Alpha Strike

A new budget range of inexpensive blasters that are great for beginners, or if you’re looking to shave off a few bucks from your next Nerf purchase. Yellow and black is the primary color theme of an Alpha Strike Nerf gun. Its made from plastic that feels quite cheap when compared to other Nerf series. There is also a very little scope for modifications or customizations with these blasters. The major attraction is being good value for money. Learn more about this budget series in the Alpha Strike article.

Flyte CS-10

Nerf Alpha Strike Flyte

Why? The primary reason is the fact that the Flyte is the much cheaper remake of the successful N Strike Elite Stryfe. It features similar externals, is battery powered, and shells out quite the same performance.

Performance: Consistently more than 70 fps dart velocities

Specifications:

Age: 8+ years

Firing Mode: Semi-Automatic Flywheels

Ammo: Alpha Strike, Elite, and compatible darts

Batteries: 4 ‘AA’ Batteries

Price: Check the current price.

Design: The Flyte appears to be a DIY nerf blasters that you might 3d print at your home. There is a front barrel extension slot, a top tactical rail, and sling mounts to carry the blaster.

If you’re in the market for a new Nerf blaster you can’t go wrong with our recommendations here. Feel free to check out our articles on each series to make an informed purchase decision.

Happy Nerfing 🙂