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Best NERF Gun: The 8 best NERF blasters for all budgets

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Whether it’s for office warfare or a family skirmish around the house, you need to be the one with the best NERF blaster. But which NERF should you buy? We've rounded up the finest foam-flingers you can buy right now.

NERF blasters vary in price, size, power, ammo capacity and ammo type. You don't want your eight-year-old struggling to aim a massive fully automatic rifle, and similarly your demanding 12-year-old might not be so impressed by a single-shot pistol.

There’s a massive range of NERF blasters available, though, and the line-up changes regularly. Certain large retailers even have exclusives that you won’t discover unless you shop around.

Here to help clear up the confusion and ensure you're properly armed, we’ve created a definitive list of the best NERFs you can buy.

But let’s quickly clear up a few details first…

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NERF buying tips

Ammunition

Anyone who's ever had a NERF battle knows there aren't enough darts on the face of the planet to get you through without having to scavenge on the floor at least once for a desperate reload.

Trouble is, Hasbro isn't overly generous with the initial supply of darts with most of its NERF blasters, so make sure you factor into your budget that you’ll need an extra pack for each gun. Maybe go for two packs with a higher-capacity full-auto rifle such as the Elite Hyperfire.

Currently there are five different types of official NERF ammo to choose from. The standard NERF dart is a small, rubber-tipped foam cylinder that these days is sold under the Elite, Zombie Strike or Doomlands branding – all identical except for their colours. The newer AccuStrike darts are compatible with all standard NERFs, but promise increased accuracy from an improved tip design.

Then there’s the Mega dart, which is a bit bigger and makes a satisfying whistling noise as it flies through the air. Don’t expect quite the accuracy you get from the standard dart, but Mega weaponry is darn good fun.

The Missile is larger still, but only used as a secondary one-shot ammo type by certain NERF blaster models, such as the Elite Demolisher.

More serious are the foam balls used by NERF’s Rival range, aimed at ages 14 and up. This spherical Rival ammo, which looks like little yellow golf balls, is designed to be fired at higher velocities and with more precision.

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Nerf Modulus

Accessories

There’s also a load of accessories to choose from – including many from third-party manufacturers. Some of them, such as sights, are mainly cosmetic. They look cool, but won’t really help in close-quarters dartplay.

The most useful accessories by far are higher-capacity magazines (or what Hasbro calls "clips"). There are official NERF ones in various shapes and sizes, and there are a few third-party options out there too. They’re interchangeable between models – as long as your model of NERF blaster has a magazine that’s actually removable, that is – so a stock of mags is a worthwhile investment.

The NERF Modulus range includes the most official accessories, including complete upgrade bundles. You can get grips, sights, barrel extensions, bipods and more. Just make sure your blaster is compatible with all the accessories in the bundle, or you could make an expensive mistake. The Modulus Tri-Strike, for instance, has an upper accessory rail, but not a lower one, so it can’t take advantage of a flip-down grip or a bipod.

Hasbro even makes wearable items for NERF warfare. Vests and bandoliers can be bought for holding extra darts, but more worthwhile (and less dorky) are face masks that are a good shout if you’re using the hard-hitting Rival gear.

Lucky NERF warriors in the US can also gain access to a dart-firing tank drone, the Elite TerraScout.

NERF Elite Jolt

1 / 8

Our Score:

9

NERF Elite Jolt

  • Price – £5.99
  • 1-dart capacity
  • 2 Elite darts in the box

Yes, it's a NERF pistol for around a fiver. Don’t be deceived by this single-shot, manual-powered blaster. This is most certainly one for your undercover arsenal, when the ammo in all your bigger blasters has been spent. The Jolt punches well above its weight in both the distance it shoots and in its power.

But it only holds one dart, so you'd better have good aim. For extra fun, go head to head, one dart each, in a Man With The Golden Gun style.

Buy Now at Amazon.co.uk from £6 | Amazon.com from $12

At time of review the NERF Elite Jolt Blaster was available for £5.99.
NERF Elite Disruptor

2 / 8

Our Score:

10

NERF Elite Disruptor

  • Price – £12.99
  • 6-dart capacity
  • 6 Elite darts in the box

A superb six-dart shooter that’s an upgrade to the popular Strongarm model, fully loadable from the front without the need for the Strongarm's swing-out cylinder. Load up with darts, and with the manual, rapid-fire “Slam Fire” action enabler, you can pump up and let rip in seconds. This blaster also features a tactical rail so you can add other items from the NERF range to it.

Buy Now at Amazon.co.uk from £9.99 | Amazon.com from $20.98

At time of review the NERF Elite Disruptor was available for £12.99.
NERF Elite Stryfe

3 / 8

Our Score:

10

NERF Elite Stryfe

  • 6-dart capacity (magazine)
  • Semi-automatic
  • Requires 4x AA batteries

The Stryfe has been a long-standing favourite of both casual NERFers and the foam-dart hardcore. Straight from the box you get a compact, submachine-gun-like blaster with semi-automatic dart delivery via a motordrive that takes common (and cheap) AA batteries, and is fed by a six-shot removable magazine.

But it’s the upgrade potential and versatility that have led to the Stryfe gaining its legendary status. There are barrel and butt fittings, so you can choose from the array of aftermarket shoulder-stock and barrel-extension options, plus there are accessory rails top and bottom for fitting grips, sights, lights or whatever else you fancy. And, of course, you can swap out the mag for a higher-capacity version.

Buy Now at Amazon.co.uk for £16.58 | Amazon.com for $42.61

At time of review the NERF Elite Stryfe was available for £19.99
NERF Elite Crossbolt

4 / 8

Our Score:

8

NERF Elite Crossbolt

  • Authentic crossbow action
  • 12-dart capacity (magazine)
  • 12 Elite darts in the box

Let’s get medieval, yo. The Crossbolt doesn’t use the usual NERF method of a spring to compress air for firing; instead it has proper working crossbow arms and an elasticated string to pop the darts up the barrel.

Shooting it out of the Dark Ages, though, is a generous 12-shot magazine, so a new dart gets loaded every time you pull the slide back. Two separate jam doors will make sure you keep the Crossbolt running smoothly in the heat of battle.

Buy Now at Amazon.co.uk from £22.99 | Amazon.com from $25

At time of review the NERF Elite Crossbolt was available for £29.99.
NERF Modulus Tri-Strike 5
  • 10-dart capacity (magazine)
  • 4-dart Mega launcher
  • Single-shot Missile launcher
  • 10 Elite darts, 4 Mega darts and 1 Missile in the box

NERF’s triple-threat has a very cool modular design. At its heart is a standard spring-powered blaster with a 10-shot mag, but you have the choice of bolting on a four-shot, pump-action launcher for the meatier Mega darts. The third element is a Missile launcher that also adds a shoulder stock, but can also be used as a standalone one-shot weapon.

The mag release is a little fiddly, so it’s not ideal for the youngest kids, but otherwise this is a super-fun blaster for every style of NERF battle.

Buy Now at Amazon.co.uk from £34.99 | Amazon.com from $39

At time of review the NERF Modulus Tri-Strike was available for £49.99.
NERF Elite Hyperfire 5
  • 25-dart capacity (drum mag)
  • Fully automatic
  • Requires 4x D batteries
  • 25 Elite darts in the box

Fancy a foam-popping Tommy gun? The Hyperfire is the fastest-firing NERF blaster ever made, with a 25-shot drum magazine feeding into a motordrive that powers standard darts out at a speed of five per second.

The whirr of the motor means this isn’t the stealthiest option, but it’s perfect if you just want to hail foam down upon your enemies.

Buy Now at Amazon.co.uk from £39.99 | Amazon.com from $71.99

At time of review the NERF Elite Hyperfire was available for £49.99.
NERF Rival Zeus MVX-1200
  • 12-shot capacity (magazine)
  • Fully automatic
  • Requires 6x C batteries
  • 12 Rival rounds in the box

The Rival series is aimed at older kids, aged 14 and above, who can handle the foam flying faster and harder. The Zeus sits neatly in the middle of the range, with a 12-shot mag and fully automatic firing.

The only serious drawback is the time it can take to reload. Thankfully, spare magazines are pretty cheap, so make sure you budget for a few.

Buy Now at Amazon.co.uk from £59.99 | Amazon.com from $46


At time of review the NERF Rival Zeus was available for £95.
NERF Mega Mastodon 1
  • 24-Mega-dart capacity
  • Fully automatic
  • Requires 6x D batteries

The biggest NERF blaster that Hasbro has ever built is also one of the most wildly fun. Seriously, this is a proper beast in every way, firing three oversized Mega darts per second from its intimidating frame. It even comes with a shoulder strap so that the littlest NERF warriors can more easily carry it around.

The downsides are its poor range and reliance on six D-type batteries – that’s gonna get expensive real quick.

Buy Now at Amazon.co.uk from £59.99 | Amazon.com from $60


At time of review the NERF Mega Mastodon was available for £79.99.

PACMAC

February 10, 2017, 3:19 am

we have plenty of nerf guns at home, the one that I prefer is the Strongarm, you can place darts on the side of the barrel without having to unload, one dart at a time, if you pick up darts on the ground you can almost be blasting darts all the time...

plus it is super cheap, last time there was a two Strongarm deal for CAD$18.95 at Costco

Nerf Dart Counter

May 8, 2017, 3:21 pm

The HammerShot is an awesome blaster too!

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