Few toys rival the foam-tipped firepower of the best Nerf guns when it comes to outdoor fun. Whether played with friends or against friendly foes, Nerf guns let you take up arms and unleash mayhem on the other team, safe in the knowledge that the only thing likely to be hurt in the ensuing fracas is your pride if your aim is off. That’s because Nerf projectiles take the form of foam-tipped darts, balls or discs; harmless missiles that are kind to skin and clothes.
Nerf guns come in all shapes and sizes, with some surprisingly sophisticated designs and components including motors, stocks, speed loaders and even sights. Most of them have cool sci-fi designs too, so your kids can feel like they’re staring in a space movie battling aliens.
The most advanced nerf guns have been fine-tuned over the years to maximize their firing distance and their accuracy, so that they’re not only more reliable in ‘combat’ but can be enjoyed for target practice. Best of all, the best nerf guns can be enjoyed by all ages, with dozens of models and brands offering unique nerf guns to suit any marksman and many can be customized with specialized attachments like extra clips and barrel extensions.
And while their soft-tipped bullets make nerf guns one of the safest types of toy gun to play with, it must be emphasized that protective eyewear is highly recommended to avoid harm to eyes. It’s important, too, to remember that nerf missiles are choke hazards, especially for infants from whom they should be kept out of reach and always supervised.
In this buying guide, we’ll run you through the best nerf guns currently available; their specifications, their pros, cons and usefulness on the battlefield.
Best Nerf Guns
1. Nerf Elite 2.0 Flipshots Flip-32 Blaster – Best Nerf gun
When it comes to sheer firepower, few of the best Nerf guns can touch the Nerf Elite 2.0 Flipshots Flip-32 Blaster. This initimidating blaster can own the battlefield thanks to its 32-dart capacity, letting you fire not one but two fully loaded 16-dart barrels onto your opponents before they ven have time to reload.
Those barrels come in a unique back-to-back configuration, meaning that once you’ve spent one barrel, a quick lever action swings the other barrel to the front of the blaster, ready to unleash another volley. It doesn’t require any batteries for such a unique action while still being relatively powerful and accurate.
It is, however, one of the largest nerf rifles, and will be too heavy and unwieldy for very young children.
2. Nerf Mega Motostryke Motorized 10-Dart Blaster
Stride onto the battlefield with the Nerf Mega Motostryke in hand and watch your opponents cower. Intimidating, powerful and capable of shooting 10 darts per clip, this fearsome foam blaster can pelt foes in seconds.
One of the biggest nerf guns available, its size puts it out of reach of younger children, but makes for a formidable weapon in the hands of everyone else. Unfortunately, the Motostryke includes very few darts in the package, only ten – enough to fill the clip – but does employ Nerf’s mega darts which whistle in flight, further intimidating your dueling partners.
3. NERF Elite 2.0 Commander RD-6 Blaster
Highly customizable, the Nerf Elite 2.0 Commander RD-6 blaster features 3 tactical rails, a barrel attachment point, and stock attachment point to let you tailor your loadout for each battle. The blaster has a rotating barrel drum that can hold 6 darts which you can fire one at a time or pound your foe with the slam-fire action: hold down the fire button and rapidly slide the top grip back and forth to unload all 6 darts.
Customers have reported that loading the drum barrel takes long enough to be a disadvantage in the thick of the fight, but Elite 2.0 Commander RD-6 Blaster requires no batteries to operate. Enthusiasts report that the RD-6 makes a perfect side-arm in support of larger nerf guns.
4. NERF Ultra One Motorized Blaster
Considered the gold standard of nerf guns, the Nerf Ultra One motorized blaster is among the most advanced nerf guns available, built for distance, speed and accuracy. The Ultra One boasts one of the farthest firing distances of any nerf gun – up to 120 feet – and it achieves this with the use of Nerf’s game-changing Nerf Ultra Darts, special projectiles which feature unique flight tips, Ultra foam and Aerofin technology.
The Nerf Ultra One motorized blaster has a 25-dart capacity drum and includes 25 Nerf Ultra darts. There’s also onboard storage for quick reloads. The motor allows for rapidly firing one dart at a time.
Some users have expressed disappointment, however, that the Ultra One is not backward compatible with older Nerf darts, and that extra and replacement Ultra darts are expensive. Some claim that the firing distance rarely achieves the 120 feet that Nerf state. Most customers, though, admire the Ultra One’s large capacity and powerful motor.
5. Nerf Halo Bulldog SG Dart Blaster
Inspired by the bestselling videogame, Halo, the Nerf Halo Bulldog SG Dart Blaster is a weapon fit for Master Chief himself. The blaster comes with a code to unlock a digital asset in Halo Infinite, which you’ll have to own along with a valid Microsoft Account and Xbox Live Gold account to activate.
Regardless of its tie-in with that legendary videogame universe, the Halo Bulldog SG Dart Blaster is a fearsome nerf gun in its own right. The blaster uses a pump action to prime the 10-dart drum and fire one dart at a time, which makes it slower than other nerf guns, but super-satisfying to use, according to many customer reviews. The Bulldog SG uses Nerf’s Elite darts for extra accuracy, aided by a flip-up sight.
6. NERF Halo MA40 Motorized Dart Blaster
Another nerf gun for fans of the legendary Halo videogame series, the Nerf Halo MA40 blaster captures the look of the popular blaster found in the latest release, Halo Infinite. The blaster includes a game card that allows you to unlock this blaster’s model skin in the game although you’ll have to own a valid Microsoft Account and Xbox Live Gold account to activate.
The Nerf Halo MA40 is a motorized, clip-fed blaster that can fire 10 darts in a row from a 10-dart clip. Prime the blaster with the pump action Hold down the acceleration button to power up the blaster’s motor, then press the trigger to fire 1 dart and press the trigger again to shoot another dart. The Nerf Halo MA40 can even be customized with Nerf accessories (not included) thanks to a rail riser that attaches to the blaster’s tactical rail.
Customers have been impressed with the looks of this nerf gun, whether they’re Halo fans are not, and particularly love the power and performance of the Nerf Halo MA40 dart blaster.
7. Nerf Alpha Strike Mission Ops Set
This 31-Piece Nerf Alpha Strike Mission Ops Set is a great way to enter the world of thrilling nerf battles, and offers 2 Stinger SD-1 blasters, 1 Cobra RC-6 blaster, 1 Tiger DB-2 blaster, 25 darts and a set of two targets to let you hone your sharp-shooting skills.
With four blasters, this set makes a great present for families to enjoy nerf fun together. Customers have been generally satisfied with the quality of the smaller blasters but a few mentioned that the ‘shotgun’ blaster breaks easily. Also, for a set of 4 blasters, 25 darts is possibly too few. Still, taken as a whole, this set offers great value and hours of fun.
It’s also worth noting that this is a Walmart exclusive in the US, so that’s the only place you’ll be able to pick it up for now.
8. Nerf Fortnite AR-L Elite Dart Blaster
Inspired by the iconic blaster used in the videogame phenomenon Fortnite, this motorized dart blaster brings the game’s furious, frantic fun to life.
The blaster includes 20 Nerf Elite darts and a 10-dart clip, twin flip-up sights. The blaster uses a motor to power up the shots, and an accelerator button to fire darts with great accuracy and distance.
Even the darts bear the Fortnite brand, although the blaster is compatible with all Nerf Elite darts. The NERF Fortnite AR-L Elite is quite expensive when compared to more fully-functioned nerf guns, and some users say that it is less powerful than similar nerf guns. Still, if you love Fortnite, this blaster is a fun way to take your gaming away from the screen and into the real world.
9. NERF DinoSquad Rex-Rampage Motorized Dart Blaster
Harness the primeval fury of the dinosaurs and take your place among Nerf’s elite DinoSquad with this unique Rex-Rampage blaster. This blaster uses the fearsome visage of the might T-Rex factor to great effect, with rows of gleaming teeth surrounding the barrel.
The Rex-Rampage blaster comes with a 10-dart clip and 10 official Nerf Elite darts. You can fire 10 darts in a row at your targets before it’s time to reload. The blaster features onboard 12-dart storage to ensure you’re ready to reload at a moment’s notice.
Despite the fun and unique dino design, reviews for the Rex-Rampage blaster have been mixed, with many saying that the toy breaks easily and isn’t suitable for children under 8, although that is stated on the product info.
10. NERF Rival Curve Shot Sideswipe XXI-1200 Blaster
One of the most unique Nerf guns available thanks to its curve shot mode, the NERF Rival Curve Shot Sideswipe XXI-1200 Blaster lets you get the jump on your opponents by firing around corners and obstacles.
You simply rotate the muzzle to choose whether you want to shoot straight, left, right or down. It features a bolt-action which can be adjusted for right and left-handed players and includes a 12-round side-loading internal magazine and 12 Official Nerf Rival rounds.
Unfortunately, quite a few users report that the unique ‘curve shot’ feature doesn’t work quite as well as claimed, but customers generally like the build quality, design and feel of the Rival Curve Shot Sideswipe blaster.