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October 14, 2022  |  Toys & Games

Which Nerf guns are best for beginners?

There are only a few toys as versatile as Nerf’s foam dart blasters. They might look like an average shooting toy, but they represent so much more. Apart from aiming at static targets, these battery-powered plastic weapons have been incorporated into various games and activities.

While colloquially known as Nerf guns, the word “Nerf” is the brand name owned by toy giant Hasbro. It calls the weapons “blasters,” but when people mention Nerf guns, almost everybody knows what that means. 

In this article: Nerf Disruptor Elite Blaster, Nerf Elite 2.0 Shockwave RD-15 and Nerf Fortnite SR Blaster.

Beginner’s guide to nerfing

Before you start your Nerf gun journey, there are a few aspects you must be aware of.

  • The blasters are made from plastic and have bright colors. This is to limit their similarity to real-world weapons.
  • Their ammunition is foam darts with a variety of tips. Some have suckers on the front, so they stick to a target, while others have Velcro.
  • There are several game modes for Nerf warfare. Depending on the arena's setup, game modes include hide-and-seek, Nerf Freeze and team-based Capture the Flag.


You would be wrong if you think Nerf blasters are one kind of standardized weapon. There are several varieties, and your play style can determine which blaster is best for beginners. 

  • N-Strike and Elite: First launched in 2003, these blasters are the most common and include several variations. Their primary appeal is that players can customize the configuration. The N-Strike range includes pistols, battle rifles, hand grenades and a Vulcan machine gun. The N-Strike Elite has better firing distances and a faster rate of fire.
  • N-Strike Mega: These blasters are similar to the original N-Strike but shoot red-colored ammunition that whistle when fired and are larger than most darts. The blaster's range is also much further, reaching 100 feet.
  • AccuStrike: These blasters fire an updated dart for improved accuracy.
  • Vortex: Unique in their design, these blasters don’t fire darts but foam discs. The discs have a longer range and can bounce off walls.

Other blasters include Nerf crossbows, sniper rifles and a grenade launcher. Some blasters tie in with popular video games, having similar designs or skins of titles such as Fortnite, Overwatch and Minecraft.

Choosing a blaster

When choosing a Nerf blaster, you must consider a few things, especially as a beginner. It's best to try out a few blasters, but if you don’t have access to a wide selection, some YouTube videos can help. 

  • Ammo capacity: If you don’t want to reload often, look for a blaster that takes a lot of darts.
  • Power: Kids don’t need a blaster as powerful as adult models. There are plenty of blasters made for kids.
  • Easy to use: It’s best to start with a blaster that's easy to operate. As you become more confident, you can look into more complex weapons.
  • Speed: Are you a player who takes slow, calculated shots, or do you prefer the high-speed spray-and-pray approach? Look for a blaster that fits your attack (or defense) style.

Cost is one of the most significant factors in choosing a Nerf blaster. Set a budget and look for a blaster within that range. There's no point in spending $100 on a blaster you might not enjoy. 

Best Nerf guns for beginners

Nerf Disruptor Elite Blaster 

This blaster is perfect for beginners who want to fire off a quick burst of darts. The rotating drum holds six darts, so you don’t have to reload after each shot. It fires up to 90 feet, and you can choose between firing single shots or using the Slam Action for rapid shooting.

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Nerf Elite 2.0 Shockwave RD-15 Blaster 

Not sure where or what to aim for? This blaster is your best choice. It features a generous 15-dart rotating drum magazine that fires two kinds of darts up to 90 feet. You can customize and upgrade the blaster, as it has three tactical rails, a barrel attachment point and a stock attachment point. It comes with 30 darts.

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Nerf Fortnite SR Blaster 

A handgun is an excellent option for a beginner, and this blaster is a good choice. Inspired by the Fortnite video game, it features a hammer priming action that fires one dart at a time. It comes with eight Elite darts and a removable scope.

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Nerf Elite 2.0 Echo CS-10 Blaster 

If you enjoy being in the thick of the action, this battle rifle is an excellent choice. It features five tactical rails for additional accessories and a removable stock and barrel extension. It comes with 24 darts, and the magazine can hold 10 at a time. The blaster can fire one dart at a time, or it can fire the entire magazine in rapid succession.

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Nerf Ultra Pharaoh Blaster with Premium Gold Accents 

If you want to make a statement as a beginner, this sniper rifle-inspired rifle blaster is the perfect tool. It features a bolt-action lever you must pull after each shot to chamber the next special edition gold Nerf Ultra dart. These foam rounds are specially made for Ultra blasters and feature an innovative flight tip and Aerofin technology to reach targets up to 125 feet away. The removable magazine clip holds 10 darts.

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Charlie Fripp writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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