There's no better time to make the most of your garden than the summertime - and what could be better than a thrilling Nerf gun war? Whether you've never picked up a Nerf gun before or you're looking for the next addition to your collection, we're here to match the right Nerf gun to your playing personality.

Each Nerf gun is designed to safely shoot their specific ammunition, whether that be soft arrows, darts, missiles, discs, IR laser beams or even streams of water. All these various kinds of Nerf guns share the aim of defeating your opponents and becoming the victor.

Perfect for kids and adults alike, you're guaranteed to be racing to pick up the most efficient and powerful Nerf gun there is - but what makes the ideal NERF gun? After all, every player has their individual strengths and weaknesses.

Not to mention, the extensive variety of Nerf guns is truly astounding! Some are manual and need reloading with each soft foam dart you fire, while others have the benefit of battery power for automatic loading and firing.

With so many to choose from, you might feel initially overwhelmed with the plethora of confusing product names such as "AccuStrike', "AR-L' and "Surgefire' but we're here to help.


What is the best Nerf gun to buy?

We'll take you through the main kinds of Nerf guns to help you find the perfect weapon suited to your preferences and style of play. From children to teens and even adults, choosing the right Nerf gun could be your ticket to victory.

For the perfectionist: Nerf AccuStrike Mega Bulldog

nerf bulldog

Key Features

Manual, incredibly accurate, low dart storage capacity

With a name like "Bulldog', you'd expect a certain amount of ferocity and power, and that's exactly what you'd be getting with this Mega Nerf gun. This handheld gun can accommodate six bullets at once and above all, values accuracy for those people who can't stand missing their target.

Three bullets can be loaded directly into the barrel of the Nerf Mega gun and fired successively while the other three can be securely stored at the front for easy access. It comes complete with a handy grip that can be easily swung down for a steadier shot at your opponent.

As the grip swings down, it automatically extends the stock and raises the sight for a better shot with your accurate darts. If you're using this Nerf Mega gun in a compact area, simply retract the stock for more efficient use.

As with all the Nerf guns, we recommend donning a pair of safety googles just to keep your eyes safely protected from any stray dart bullets. While they're designed to be soft and foamy to avoid hurting you, the accuracy of this Mega Nerf gun might cause them to get a little too close for comfort. With the appropriate safety googles, it's good to know that your eyes won't be in the direct firing line.

For the gaming fanatic: Fortnite AR-L Nerf Elite Dart Blaster

fortnite-ar-l-nerf

Key Features

Battery-operated, Fortnite replica, high dart storage capacity

Inspired by the blaster used in the hugely popular online video game, Fortnite, if you want to feel like a real part of the game, this Elite blaster might just be the Nerf gun for you.

Frequent Fortnite gamers will notice the Nerf Fortnite gun has been designed to look and feel exactly like the featured weapon in the video game. With its bright yellow colouring and motorised firing, you'll feel like you're really in the game!

Simply pop in the batteries and load up the 10-dart clip with the official Nerf Elite darts for uninterrupted shooting. Hit the acceleration button to power up the motor and destroy your enemies with a shower of Elite ammo.

The flexible Elite darts have been specifically designed to be used in conjunction with this Fortnite Nerf gun as they can travel great distances with ease. With two useful sights located at the top of this Nerf Fortnite gun, simply flick them up for a more precise shot and conquer your enemies.

For the unconventional shooter: Nerf Zombie Strike Outbreaker Bow

nerf-zombie-crossbow

Key Features

Manual, crossbow release action, ideal for zombie attacks

Break from traditional handheld and automatic Nerf guns with this eye-catching Nerf crossbow inspired by an invasion of zombies. Experience real crossbow action as you pull back the string using the comfortable handle and release your darts upon the approaching zombies.

The rotating drum can easily handle five darts and automatically rotates as you fire each one. With no need to manually reload, you can focus on getting away from your opponents.

The fun, eclectic design of this NERF crossbow brilliantly mimics the scavenger atmosphere that you can imagine a zombie apocalypse might encourage. You'll have to keep your wits about you if you want to hold on to this attractive crossbow.

For the hidden, long-range shooter: Nerf N-Strike Elite Stockade Blaster

nerf-nstrike-stockade

Key Features

Battery-operated, long-range ability, instant fire capacity

Join the N-Strike Elite squadron with this semi-automatic blaster. The best feature of this blaster is just how far your darts can reach: they can fly through the air up to 75 feet before raining down on your opponents!

This powerful blaster was simply built for battle, featuring a tactical rail and a removable stock to give you everything you could need for a long war. You can find a safe hiding spot far away from the chaos of the battleground and set up your gun to take out your foes from afar, so they'll never know what hit ‘em.

The battery-powered machine doesn't even need to be cocked before you pull the trigger, providing you with instant firing capabilities. Complete with 10 elite darts and a revolving barrel, you'll be ready for anything.

For the battle-loving maniac: Nerf N-Strike Elite Surgefire

nerf-surgefire

Key Features

Manual, pump-action blaster, perfect for children

Now, this Nerf gun comes complete with all the bells and whistles that only a hardcore Nerf gun fan could handle. Guaranteed to make your opponents back away slowly, you'll feel unbeatable with this Nerf gun in your arms.

Featuring a 15-dart rotating drum and slam-fire action, you won't want to be on the receiving end of this war machine. Boasting a pump-action blaster, you can either fire one dart at a time or opt for the thrilling release of 15 darts at once.

The easy-to-use pump action makes this toy great for kids who might struggle to quickly reload their Nerf gun; they can simply slide the pump up and down for an instant dart release.

The drum barrel on this Surgefire gun not only looks fantastic but is also incredibly easy to reload. Without the need for batteries, you can keep playing and plotting while your adversaries recharge.

For the tactical edge: Nerf N-Strike Dual-Strike Blaster

nerf-dual-strike

Key Features

Manual, compatible with Elite and Mega darts, low dart storage capacity

Firing just one dart at a time, you might think this Nerf gun isn't quite as good as the others you've seen, but you'd be wrong. This compact blaster does come with one great tactical advantage: it can fire both Elite and Mega darts.

In the middle of the war, you can pick up either dart from the battleground floor and still be able to use them, giving you a distinct advantage. Just like the Surgefire, this model doesn't require batteries so you can keep on playing even when your enemy's charge is empty.

The convenient size is perfect for hiding and easy to use, especially for smaller children. Just because it doesn't need batteries or accommodate 20 darts doesn't mean this stealthy gun should be overlooked - you might regret it if you do!

For the soaking sniper: Nerf Tornado Scream Super Soaker

nerf-soaker

Key Features

Manual, uses weaponised water, generous 1-litre storage capacity

If you prefer water as your weapon of choice, the Nerf Super Soaker can simultaneously fire two streams of shocking water at your opponent from up to 35 feet away. Simply fill the tank with up to one litre of water for wide-stream water blasting!

It only requires a few pumps to pressurise the tank before you can pull the trigger and hit your target with a wave of water. Unleashing a cyclone of water destruction upon your enemies has never been easier with this H2-Ops soaker as the double helix spinning nozzle ensures they get drenched!

Once full, you won't have to worry about changing batteries or loading this blaster with fiddly darts. This Nerf Tornado Scream Super Soaker is brilliant for outside use in hot weather when everyone needs cooling off.

For the tech wizard: Nerf Laser Ops Pro AlphaPoint

nerf-laser-ops

Key Features

Battery-operated, never runs out of ammo, works with Nerf app

For unlimited ammo and uninterrupted gaming, the only Nerf gun you need is the Nerf Laser Ops Pro AlphaPoint. After popping in some AA batteries, this gun can shoot an IR laser beam up to a staggering 225 feet.

This gun even includes a secure arm band designed to hold your smartphone as you play. When you download the app, you'll be able to easily track your battle performance, detect any enemies and customise your blaster to your personal preferences.

Complete with exciting sound and lighting effects, each shot is as thrilling as the next as you pursue your enemy. The only drawback with this Nerf gun is that it can't play with models that use darts, missiles, water or any other kind of ammo other than IR lasers, so you'll need at least two for a proper game.

For the superhero: Nerf Marvel Avengers Hulk Blaster

nerf-marvel

Key Features

Manual, Hulk-inspired design, customisable with Assembler gear

Become your very own superhero and save the world using the Nerf Hulk Blaster, inspired by the hugely popular Marvel Comics character. The large green fist lets you become the giant superhero as it sits on top of your hand as you fire out your matching darts.

Complete with an adjustable blaster section, you can experiment with the different positions until you find the right composition. The pieces easily click in and out of place for quick repositioning during a raging Nerf gun battle.

Ideal for children as young as five years old, this Hulk Blaster can even be combined with other Nerf Assembler gear to create over 100 increasingly daring and impressive weapons. Imagine your little ones taking down the bad guys as they customise and develop their own blaster.

For the people who think bigger is better: Nerf N-Strike Mega AccuStrike Thunderhawk

nerf-mega-thunderhawk

Key Features

Manual, extends up to one metre in length, features foldable tripod

The longest Nerf gun available, the Thunderhawk will instil terror into the hearts of your adversaries as they witness this dart gun extend up to an entire metre in length. The barrel can be easily slid up and down to adjust the length of the Thunderhawk at your convenience.

Keep it short and compact when you're out on the battlefield, then when you require stability in the midst of the war, simply pull down the foldable tripod for an instant prop and take your shot.

This Nerf AccuStrike blaster comes complete with 10 Mega AccuStrike darts that give you precise shots every time. Bolt-action blasting lets you confidently enter the battleground and dramatically increases your chances of leaving it as the winner!


Important features to consider

We've given you just a small taste of the types of Nerf guns that are currently available, however, there are so many more that we could go on forever. Ultimately, there are a few things you should always consider when buying a Nerf gun either for yourself or a child.

This includes the size and weight of the gun, the type of ammunition and accessories, as well as the reloading time and range. Each one of these factors could be the difference between comfortable and easy victories or an awful defeat.

Size and weight

While it might seem easy and obvious to always opt for the biggest Nerf gun with all the bells and whistles, smaller players might find them difficult to hold or use, or they might even see them as intimidating.

If you're buying for an adult or a teen (or yourself!), more advanced Nerf gun participants may be more willing to try out complex or larger models. However, always remember that in the world of thrilling Nerf gun battles, bigger doesn't necessarily mean better!

Ammunition

From streams of water to darts, IR laser beams and crossbow arrows, there's a variety of ammunition Nerf gun models can utilise. Darts are the most common choice and the larger proportion of models will use these standard soft and foamy Nerf gun darts.

Although, as you can see from the list of Nerf blasters that we've explored, they certainly aren't the only choice. When opting for the type of ammunition you want, always check that the model is compatible and if you think you'll need more, booster packs of ammunition are available to keep the fun going.

Accessories

Perfect for younger children, themed Nerf guns (such as the Nerf Marvel Avengers Hulk Blaster) are great for customising and getting creative. The Assemblers gear, for example, can be mixed and matched in over 100 different combinations for endless innovation.

If your little ones are really keen on their Nerf gun wars, we suggest letting them choose from a Nerf gun series that comes complete with more complex, removable additions. Not only does it add a personalised touch, but this also allows you to customise the toy to suit their skill level and age as they develop.

Reloading time

Loading your ammunition quickly and easily is a vital aspect of Nerf gun wars. After all, no one wants to be cornered with no ammo left! Nerf guns with a higher dart storage capacity are often best for games that you want to last and great for children who want to spend more time shooting and less time picking up!

Nerf guns that only accommodate a few darts are much better for strategic games where ammunition is used sparingly. They lend themselves perfectly to calculated one-on-one attacks and competitions inside your home.

Range

If you have a large outside area, considering the range of these Nerf guns is vital. We recommend taking advantage of the great open garden spaces and opting for a blaster that can send your bullets whizzing across considerable distances.

If you're more likely to take your Nerf gun battles inside your home, opting for shorter distance models instantly reduces the time spent picking up stray darts as they won't accidentally travel into other rooms.


Final considerations

Always take into account who you're buying your Nerf gun for, make sure they can easily use it and it's age-appropriate too! Once you're happy that the size and power is suitable, you can explore the many exciting styles and colours for a personal feel that matches the Nerf gun recipient. Now, where did we put ours – we feel a battle coming on!

Unsure if Nerf guns are for you? Not to worry we also have a fantastic activity guide for you and the whole family!