We briefly covered the different airsoft game roles in our airsoft gun buyer guide. We discussed what they do, as well as their respective airsoft weapons. What we didn’t cover is how to effectively play the role and the strategies for the player to be good at it.
Rules For Airsoft Success
For All Players
Before we dive into individual rules, there is one rule everyone on an airsoft team should follow. That is: play as a team. You and your team need to work together. Even roles like a sniper, where they are typically alone, they need to play as and with the team. Everything is team based. If you don’t work as a team you’ll lose, it’s that simple.
The rifleman and grenadier are largely the same role, with a key difference I’ll mention at the end.
Riflemen typically fall into small teams. As a new player, realize that the experienced players are often de facto team leaders. Listen to their advice, and do what they say. Humble yourself when necessary.
As a rifleman, understand that you are likely to be running a lot, and fighting a lot. This means you need to start learning the essential skills as a rifleman specifically reloading, aiming, and team communication.
Practice reloads while wearing your gear; this is a useful skill in every airsoft role. Since being a rifleman is versatile, accustom yourself to your team’s communication system. Do they use hand signals? Do they have radios? Do you just yell back and forth? Mimic their communication.
One of the most critical skills is learning not to run in front of your teammates while they’re fighting. This sounds obvious but a lot of new players will rush to cover and run right in front of their teammates in mid battle.
As a grenadier you need to remember to save your grenade blast when it actually counts. Don’t waste it on a single guy or position unless it’s a valuable target, IE a sniper or machine gunner. Exercise common sense, and use the grenade launcher when necessary, not when possible.
Assaulters work hand in hand with riflemen, and work as riflemen too. An assaulter is most commonly the point man in a patrol. If you want to be an assaulter, you need to learn how the momentum of an attack works.
Assaulters go in the buildings, trenches, and close quarters areas first. To successfully clear one of these rooms or buildings, you have to keep moving. If you are an assaulter and lose momentum, your whole squad can get bogged down and marked.
As an assaulter, you need to understand the basics of Close Quarters Battle and how to effectively clear rooms. On the field is a poor time to learn, and if you don’t know what you’re doing you aren’t the only team member going down.
A good assaulter needs to move fast, shoot fast, and be excellent at reloading. You always want to be ready to reload and keep moving. The momentum of an attack depends on you, and even slowing to reload may screw you and your team.
Scouts are typically not front line combat troops and rely more on stealth and positioning than rifleman. They often operate in small teams and scout the terrain and objectives for rifleman.
A good scout needs to be confident moving through rough terrain. They also need to understand when and why to break contact and retreat. If you want to play as a scout I suggest being comfortable with a map and compass as well.
A little time spent studying camouflage will be an awesome investment of your skills and time. Scouts need to recognize valuable positions, and be able to communicate this back to the main force. These positions may be perfect for a machine gun or a sniper.
Scouts should also know how to use binoculars, spotting scopes and other surveillance equipment. This will ensure they can see a camouflage enemy or a potential ambush. Speaking of ambushes, scouts should excel at them. This includes getting into position and waiting patiently to spring the trap.
The sniper is a difficult role to play. Sniper as a job sounds exciting and sexy, but it is often not the case.
A sniper must be extremely patient. This means you’ll often have to ignore the sound of combat to cover your area of responsibility. You also have to know to pass information when necessary, part of a sniper’s job is observation.
As a sniper you want to target important enemies. Team leaders, grenadiers, other snipers, and machine gunners are all more important than shooting at will. A sniper needs to be an expert at camouflage – be prepared to make and wear a ghillie suit.
A sniper who does not blend in is terrible. It’s easy to suck as a sniper and in many cases this is not a role for everyone. You also need to be a good shooter, and have an expensive heavily customized firearm.
Machine gunner sounds like a simple job, be a rifleman with a big gun. You can play it that way, but to be effective you need to be a machine gunner not a rifleman.
A machine gunner should be able to carry his weapon during the game. If you get tired and winded from carrying the machine gun halfway through the game, go buy an MP5, because you’re not fit for this role.
Next, do you know what an avenue of approach is? You need to cover them. An avenue of approach is an area where the enemy is likely to move. These are dedicated paths, roads, and open fields. A machine gun is best used to cover these areas.
As a machine gunner you probably have thousands of rounds, but that doesn’t mean you just waste ammo. Learn to conserve ammunition or your gun will go down extremely quickly.
The second universal rule for every role in airsoft is to have fun. Learn from your mistakes and keep improving. Never worry too much about your missed targets and failed missions. Worry just enough about it to learn and progress as a player.