Choosing the right Airsoft gun can be difficult, especially if you aren’t completely familiar with the terms that are thrown around. If you are into Airsoft, you have probably heard the term “FPS” which stands for feet per second: but what is a good FPS for Airsoft? While the importance of this number is often debated, a higher FPS generally means a higher muzzle velocity (AKA more powerful Airsoft gun), which can be beneficial in combat.
What is a good FPS for airsoft? A good FPS (feet per second) in airsoft will be determined by the type of airsoft gun you are using – rifle, pistol, or sniper rifle – but a general rule of thumb is 330-350 fps if you’re indoors and 380-400 for outdoor. Specific airsoft fields and competitions will have limits on the FPS you are allowed.
Now you know what a good FPS is for airsoft battles. Read on to understand the factors that create these numbers!
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What is a Good FPS in Airsoft?
First, FPS stands for feet per second. This is a measurement of velocity, and is therefore a measurement of how fast airsoft pellets (often known as BBs) travel in feet per second.
The higher the FPS, the farther and faster a BB will travel.
This means that the higher your FPS is for one of your airsoft guns, the farther you will be able to shoot and hit a target.
There is a distinct advantage at being able to hit a target at long range.
However, because there are different types of airsoft guns – pistol, rifle, sniper rifle – powered by different types of propellants – spring-loaded, electric, gas – there are many different factors that affect the FPS of your airsoft weapon.
To complicate it, the type of field or environment you are in may change which type of FPS is best. Read on to see how different factors affect which FPS is best for your each circumstance.
Faster Airsoft Guns are Generally Better…
Remember, the higher the FPS, the faster and farther your BB will travel. Therefore, you typically want a higher FPS in most circumstances.
Consider the example of a sniper:
If your target is across a field, maybe 300ft away, you will want a higher FPS to hit that target. An FPS of 500 would be much better than an FPS of 250!
Except when there are Limits!
While it is true that you generally want to increase the FPS of any one of your guns, there are limitations of which you need to be aware.
First, increasing your FPS has the potential of making your weapon more dangerous. Because airsoft is a game played for comradery and competition, the purpose is never to injure other players.
Therefore, increasing your FPS to dangerous levels is never okay. Luckily, airsoft fields and competitions use a device known as a chronograph to check FPS levels of weapons to prevent injury and unfair advantages.
Second, airsoft fields and competitions which limit the FPS of your airsoft weapons do so to create an even battlefield by preventing injury and unfair advantages. These limits are often based on the type of weapon you use, such as pistols, rifles, and sniper rifles.
Here are some example limits, as well as the reasoning, from a real airsoft field:
- 400 fps limit with 0.2g BB for all Full Auto
- 500 fps limit with 0.2 g BB for all semi-auto/bolt action sniper rifles
- 350 fps limit with 0.2g BB for ALL pistols
Indoor/Close Quarter Battle (CQB) Limits
- 350 fps limit with 0.2g BB during indoor CQB style games.
- These are Limits, we suggest a gun shooting 320 to 380 Fps is ideal for most open air events.
So, now that you know what potential limits there are for the types of airsoft guns that exist, what is a good FPS for airsoft?
The last consideration is the type of environment in which you are playing: indoor/close quarters or outdoor.
FPS for Indoor Play
A general rule of thumb for playing indoor is that 350 FPS is best for indoor play or for close quarter battles (CQB). This is because higher FPS at close range can be very dangerous.
Also, there is less chance the wind or other environmental factors will affect the trajectory and speed or your BBs.
In other words, there is simply no need for anything higher than 350 FPS, and it can be quite dangerous to play at higher FPS indoors.
FPS for Outdoor Play
Unless you’re a sniper and are shooting at very long distances, 400 FPS will be sufficient for outdoor battles. This is because there are environmental factors – wind, rain, fog, longer distances – which may affect your shooting.
Higher FPS will help mitigate these factors by allowing the BB to travel faster and farther.
Essentially, you want to aim to be at the highest FPS allowed to be competitive on the battlefield!