This is a page discussing Nerf tactics, ranging from advice on how to shoot further, choosing a proper blaster based on needs and how to use surrounding terrain to an advantage.
Do note that, like other projectile-tagged games (paintball, laser tag, airsoft, etc.), many Nerf strategies and actions are decided by the thought of fear. This is why retreating and falling back are common in Nerf offensives. The main things that create the fear are the rate of fire and the amount of ammunition. One of the most important factors in winning a Nerf battle/war is to never let the enemy know how much ammo one has.
If one is playing a game that requires a base, a good tactic is to put all spare ammo/blasters/parts in it. Make sure none of the enemy infiltrate the base or the consequences can be losing - big time. You should usually leave someone there with a Vulcan, Havok Fire, etc.
Moving in groups with one's team since bigger firepower equals bigger results. It is best to know the surroundings where one is fighting (especially indoors); this helps players know hiding spaces and areas with physical advantages. Spots like these include hills, stairs, fences, balconies, etc. It is also useful to get a rapid fire blaster and wait around a corner. When one's opponents come around the corner, they will have the first shot. A small mirror can also be used to check to see if there are opponents around the corner. Dry-firing when one is out of ammo may cause the opponent to flinch, giving one ample time to flee; this is not recommended with modified blasters. This will not work with muzzle loaded blasters.
A place with a narrow path where the enemy has to go to reach their goal is the perfect place for a defensive position. The best of these are narrow stairs where one have the higher ground. If outdoors in a wide area, stick to one's base.
It is best for one to learn to walk quietly since it is very important for stealth. In indoors, wear socks but do not slide across the floor. Also indoors, walking slowly is better than tip-toeing on creaky floors. For stealth outdoors, do not step on twigs, dead leaves, rocks, or woodchips. Step, not slide on grass and pavement. "Strafing" is when a player moves from side to side, facing at the enemy, shooting at him/her. Doing this for a while will make the enemy predict your movement, so don't get carried away!
"Rushing" is a term used to describe a Nerfer or a team of Nerfers running quickly and openly to the opponents position. This can work quite well in one-on-one situations, especially if war allows shields on blasters. When using shields, hold it as far away as possible and towards the barrel of the enemy's blaster.
The best way to defend against a rush is to counter-rush. The enemy will usually only be expecting to let off one shot; approaching them and disabling their ability to get a shot in will often leave them a bit confused on what to do next. Two rushing teams may lead to melee battle, if it is allowed within the war.
Firing longer distances while retaining proper accuracy
Learning to use blasters more effectively is key to these tactics. Knowing how a blaster works, like how to unjam it in the event of a jammed dart, will reduce "down-time" in a Nerf war.
Using both hands on the Nerf blaster is very helpful in any situation. It's best not to try anything fancy like firing while the blaster is sideways, because this will ruin accuracy. Have both elbows locked straight out with the Nerf blaster pointed at the designated target. Keep both feet firmly on the ground to hold a proper stance. Simply standing and firing a blaster is a poor decision, as it can cause one's arms and body to shake. A bipod accessory like the pop-out bipod is recommended to steady one's aim to allow them to hit their target effectively.
Holding one's breath
A basic rule of firing with good accuracy is to control one's breathing, because aim will move up and down as one breathes. When one is preparing to fire, they should look down the iron sights of the blaster, hold their breath, then gently squeeze the trigger. When using an air-powered blaster like the Magstrike AS-10, pull the trigger quickly to avoid losing air. Pulling the trigger too hard will cause the blaster to shake slightly and possibly knock a dart off course. Some people like to fire when they have inhaled and are holding the air in, while others like to fire when they have exhaled and don't have any air left; this is all up to personal choice. Pick one of those two states, then fire.
When firing anything fully automatic, or anything that keeps firing when the trigger is held down, it is best to fire in short bursts of three to four shots. Doing so will make one's aim much more steady. It will also help to prevent from wasting ammo. This tactic can be used with blasters such as the Stampede ECS, Vulcan EBF-25, Magstrike AS-10, RapidStrike CS-18, and the Rapid Fire AS-20.
If one has extra time to set up their shot, kneeling instead of standing up can be a great benefit to one's accuracy. Kneeling helps to limit how much one's body shakes. It also helps make one a smaller target. If the blaster has any form of a shoulder stock, detachable or nondetachable, use it. If not, one should stiffen up their arms as if they were standing. Have one hand on the trigger and the other firmly on the barrel or forward handle of the blaster to help support it.
Laying down makes you a smaller target to hit. When laying down, one should support the blaster with their elbows. Again, if the blaster has a form of a shoulder stock, use it. If it has a form of a bipod equipped, like the pop-out bipod, use that instead. A rule of thumb with laying down is that the less contact one has with their Nerf blaster, the less their blaster will shake; the less the blaster shakes, the greater the accuracy it will have.
If a target is moving, one should compensate for the time it takes for the dart to hit its mark. If this is not done, one will surely miss their designated target. This "leading" of the target is best done by aiming slightly in front of where the target is moving to and firing at a precise time. This time depends on how far away one is from their target. Another technique for leading targets is aiming where the target will eventually reach and firing, as if they were almost walking into being shot.
A rule of note for leading targets is that Nerf darts don't easily reach long distances. Aiming up slightly will cause the dart to reach further distances.
Try using a foregrip for enhanced accuracy in a close or tight space. Foregrips are not very effective at aiming over a long distance, as the tight grip will make the blaster shake as the player focuses on a target. In addition, if the blaster (such as a Retaliator, RapidStrike, or Centurion) has a clip that sticks out far below the clip intake, the clip can double as a grip. Placing one's hand on the bottom of the magazine will help steady shots and reduce strain on both arms.
Shoulder stocks are of great use in a Nerf war, as they help steady aim in a similar fashion to a foregrip, the difference being that stocks work best at long range, whilst foregrips assist more in short range.
Users of shoulder stocks tend to press the end of the stock into their shoulders. This presents problems with certain stocks, such as the Recon, Praxis, or Spectre stocks, as their construction is not quite as robust as other stocks. With enough pressure, these stocks may begin to flex, throwing off aim and making the user feel uncomfortable. Applying minimal pressure to the stock when in use alleviates this problem while still steadying the user's shot.
Sights are on the top of the blaster, meant to help the player pinpoint their enemy. They do not work like real sights, so it is best to aim slightly above your opponent to hit them. Pinpoint sights and scopes do not work like on real rifles and are mainly used for looks.
If one finds that an enemy is staring down their scope at them, one can be confident that they will miss, especially at longer ranges.
Using surrounding terrain to an advantage
Putting backs to walls
To use film as an example, gunfighters in old Western movies characteristically sit in the back of a saloon, facing the door and with their back to the wall. This is a prime example of using one's environment to prevent from being shot at, as it would be impossible for one to be sneaked up on from behind. It also helps to keep one alert for opposing forces to walk in on them and be able to fire as soon as they enter the room.
Another example of this is being at the end of a hallway. If one stood at the end of a hallway, their enemies would have to line up in the hallway to be able to fire at them. Nobody would be able to approach them from behind, as there is a wall behind them.
In outdoor wars, it is best to find an area that forces one's opponents to shoot at them from as few directions as possible. Forts and gulleys (a U-shaped rock formation) are very useful for this.
One thing that must be taken into consideration when putting one's back to a wall is an escape route. If one is overwhelmed by enemy Nerfers, it is important to be able to escape without having to go through them. Ideal escape routes are either very hard to reach or spot from the other direction or guarded by teammates.
Other ways to use the environment
Being higher up than one's opponents is also a great advantage. This allows for being able to see much further and being able to fire on opponents from above; towers and trees work well for this. Having a blaster that fires long distances is the key to being up in higher places.
Always take cover behind something, remaining in the open is a bad idea.
Camouflage and hiding are more ways to make the most of ones environment. Hiding in woodland or rocky areas for outside battles, or in closets or bedrooms for indoor battles can be very effective. Wearing dark clothes for nighttime battles can also be a lot more effective than it seems.
In outdoor battles, wind can be a great factor in accuracy and distance, since the darts are so light. In these cases, always know where the wind is going and estimate if it will hit your target. The saying "practice makes perfect" makes an excellent suggestion to how to get used to it.
Choosing a suitable blaster
Using real life as an example, soldiers generally do not have many weapons on them at once. They may have a large weapon, such as a rifle, shotgun, or sub-machine gun, and a sidearm, which is usually a pistol. They may carry grenades on them as well. Carrying more than two weapons and a few extra accessories will only slow down a person and will not benefit them. If a player wants more than two blasters, try carrying them in a tactical vest.
Choosing the large weapon depends on how big the Nerfer is. Some blasters are heavier and bulkier than others, making them difficult for smaller people. Larger people will be able to carry a Vulcan EBF-25 with no problem. The Stampede ECS is another choice; it is not as bulky as the Vulcan, so smaller people can use this as well. Other popular choices are the Alpha Trooper CS-18, Longshot CS-6, Longstrike CS-6, Recon CS-6, Spectre REV-5, Praxis, Nitron, Pyragon, Rampage, Retaliator, Hail-Fire, and the Diatron.
As for sidearms, any small blaster can fit this description. The most popular choices for sidearms are the Nite Finder EX-3, Maverick REV-6, Barricade RV-10, Barrel Break, Reflex, Jolt EX-1, Vigilon, Proton, Strongarm, Firestrike, Triad EX-3, and the Strikefire.
The most common primary blaster are the Longshot CS-6, Recon CS-6, Raider CS-35, Hail-Fire, Rampage, and Retaliator. The most common secondary blaster would be the Spectre REV-5, Stryfe, Strongarm, Firestrike, and the Triad. Use different stocks, barrels, and attachment to create the best blaster for one's objective. A small blaster with a reverse tactical rail, such as the Strikefire, is very useful because it can attach to any blaster with a tactical rail.
A melee weapon, such as those from the N-Force series, can be used if the war allows them. These can also be held in the back of a tactical vest.
Using ammunition to maximum potential
This means being able to judge the path of a dart or an XLR disc correctly, and shooting each particular type of ammunition to increase range and accuracy.
Suppressing fire is a strategy in which the user fires multiple darts over the head of a hiding enemy. This way if an enemy is behind a barrier where they cannot get up without getting hit. This strategy works best with old darts that don't work all that well.
For darts, shooting at a slight angle upwards is always beneficial, because it improves range by ten or so feet. Also, if the blaster is thrusted forward slightly as it shoots, it will shoot a bit further. When all this is taken into account, one can shoot a Nerf blaster that would normally fire at thirty feet to almost fifty feet. Also use this tactic when using a sight. Note that if one modifies their darts, they must make sure the host approves of their darts or else they face a potential ban from the war and future wars.
Streamline Darts are notorious for having poor accuracy with almost any blaster.
When using clips and/or drums, always have a back-up (usually a six dart clip) for when one is reloading, in case of enemy attack. Get used to reloading fast for less down-time. Most Nerf starters waste ammo very quickly. Ammo dumps are generally a good idea, as they allow players to get more ammo when they need it. Ammo dumps are best located inside of bases, so that only one team can access it.
For discs, shooting very slightly upward works great but any more than that is a terrible idea, because the discs glide and cut through the air. Shooting up will make the disc suddenly stop once its force can't match the air resistance. Also, when high up with windy weather, shooting a XLR disc is not the best idea, as the disc will immediately fly high into the air and land somewhere random.
With discs, it is better to shoot straight, as all Vortex blasters have a range of at least sixty feet, if not more.
Discs provide a difficult but ingenious strategy of shooting them at an angle, which makes them cut and curve the air. This allows for users to shoot enemies that are hiding behind things and makes it difficult for the enemy to dodge the disc. A second strategy is ricocheting discs against walls and other terrain, because the discs bounce off everything they hit. This allows users to hit people who are hiding behind barricades. Ricocheting will be much more effective if fired sideways.
In the end, blaster choice will not win a Nerf war. What's more important is knowing how to use them effectively in a tough situation.