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July 14, 2022 8 min read

The brand Nerf has come a long way since the release of its first-ever product called the “Nerf Ball” in 1969. Back then, it was marketed simply as a ball that you can throw around indoors “without damaging lamps, breaking windows, or hurting babies and old people”. 

They used a pretty simple marketing ad strategy which proved to be a success because the Nerf Ball became a big hit among consumers of that era. In the years that followed, the brand Nerf released a bigger version of the Nerf Ball and called it the Super Nerf Ball. Eventually, other versions of the Nerf Ball came out and the brand itself went through a series of structural changes including a merger with Kenner Products, which, later on, was also bought by Hasbro. 

Finally, out of these structural changes, came a maneuver that in a way, became the turning point for the Nerf brand. We’re talking about Hasbro’s move to merge Nerf with the Super Soaker Series, a brand of water blasters. From these developments, came the creation of what we now call the Nerf, which is used in a popular pastime called the Nerf Tag. 

While originally a big hit, the popularity of Nerf suffered a huge decline as more and more patrons began to outgrow the sport. As its popularity plummets further, other competitive team shooting games and toy weaponry sprang into the market. 

In this article, you’ll find out what other Nerf alternatives are in the market as of today. But first, let us get a better grasp of what Nerf are, just so we can understand the need for alternatives. 

What Is Nerf?

Nerf is a toy brand formerly owned by Parker Brothers and now owned by Hasbro. While Nerf started out as a ball (in fact some of their products nowadays still include balls for various sports such as basketball, football, and baseball), these days Nerf produces a variety of toys that are mostly foam-based weaponry. And these foam-based weaponry are what we call Nerf. 

Nerf are synthetic toy guns that have foam darts as ammunition. They come in various colors and sizes. A few decades ago, a game of Nerf Tag was perhaps one of the most fun things children and kids at heart could do to pass the time on weekends or during summertime. 

However, along with the changing of times and the advent of more advanced technology, Nerf have become a thing of the past. While a lot of people still enjoy competitive team shooting sports, many tend to search for versions of a previously enjoyed game that somehow fits the new generation’s consumers.

Why People Are Searching For Alternatives To Nerf Guns

Like most things that people come to really enjoy, eventually, even the most avid fans of Nerf got bored and began to look for more exciting alternatives. Other than the dwindling level of fun from a previously beloved pastime and the minor accidents involving Nerf, a few other reasons prompted parents to explore other possible Nerf Alternatives. 

In this section, we will reveal to you what they are. 

Constantly Cleaning Up Nerf Darts

Cleaning your Nerf darts so they would be ready for use the next time you bond with your pals on a game of Nerf Tag sounds like so much work. 

A Nerf ammunition is composed of a large number of darts– picking them up one by one and cleaning them up can sometimes feel like a chore you don’t want to do. 

Nowadays Nerf darts come at a much more affordable price so you might be tempted to just leave your darts on the ground and buy yourself a new set of ammo for every game but you don’t really want to do that. 

Let us tell you why.

Nerf darts are made of materials that harm the environment

Nerf darts are made of this material called “Nerf foam”. Not recycling your Nerf darts means more darts of a similar synthetic material shall be manufactured, while those that are simply thrown away will just be a perpetual presence on the face of the planet. This is not exactly a good thing for the environment, which is why we would still suggest that you recycle your darts by picking them up, cleaning them, and re-using them for the next games. But like we have already explained earlier, cleaning up darts is a lot of work you don’t really want to do. 

Nerf Guns Don’t Have Much Power or Distance (Boring!)

There are actually a lot of varieties of Nerf blasters, you can always pick the one that has the best ammo capacity, highest firing velocity, and better shooting range. But when compared to other competitive team shooting sports, you would be surprised to find out that Nerf blasters don’t have that much power and cannot really boast of their shooting range. 

This questions the enjoyability that the game will offer to those who really are fond of engaging in competitive team shooting sports. 

Can be dangerous

A lot can happen during a game of Nerf Tag. The firing power of the Nerf blaster being notoriously weak when compared to other toy blasters, as well as the soft material Nerf Darts are made of might make you think that Nerf Blaster don’t present that much danger at all, we’d like you to reconsider. 

Nerf blasters have been known to cause eye injuries including corneal abrasion, internal bleeding in and around the eye, pain, blurred vision, and in some cases, even temporary loss of vision. This is according to some reports found on the internet.

Some experts warn that a Nerf gun-related injury can even cause irreversible damage to the eye such as a torn or detached retina and complete loss of vision. Whether this is a risk you want to take is of course, up to you. 

What To Consider When Shopping For The Best Nerf Alternatives

So when hunting for the best Nerf alternatives, what exactly must one look out for? We’ll tell you. 


There are a lot of Nerf gun alternatives you can find out there, but your primary consideration should be the level of safety that these alternatives offer. Whether it is for your own use or for gifting to the people you love, you would want something that you know won’t hurt or cause any damage to people or property. 


Of course, the main point of engaging in competitive team shooting sports in the first place is to have fun with your friends. Features such as high firing velocity, a much wider shooting range, and great ammo capacity contribute to the level of fun that you are going to have with your friends. 

The higher the accuracy of the shots and the more amazing the features of the equipment, one’s jaw drops lower into the ground. These factors help you have more fun at the same time. They’re directly proportional. 

Really, the quality of your chosen equipment will shape the quality of the stories you will tell later on. 


Earlier on, we have discussed the environmental issues posed by the Nerf foam, which is the material used for the Nerf gun ammunition called Nerf darts. When you are conducting your research on what may be the best Nerf alternatives, be sure to consider those that can do no harm to the environment. 

After all, you having fun should not mean less concern for the plight of our planet. 

So, What Are The Best Nerf Alternatives Of 2022?

Now, like we have said, we will be sharing with you a list of what we deem to be alternatives to Nerf guns.

Gel Blaster: The Absolute Best Nerf Alternative

As you scour the ads for the best possible Nerf alternatives, you will notice that most of the suggestions you will initially find are lacking in some aspects, the same way Nerf are. However, there is one alternative that is probably the best there is:Gel Blasters.

Gel Blasters are fun, safe, and won’t harm the environment. 

Although relatively new to the toy scene, Gel Blasters can easily convert avid fans of other toy gun products because of their incredible features. 

Gel Blasters make use of a water gel blaster called theGel Blaster Surge that spouts gel rounds calledGellets that are 100% biodegradable, non-toxic, super absorbent polymer water beads. 

They are great for family weekends as they are safe, eco-friendly, and don't require a lot of cleaning up after since these gel rounds don’t leave stains as they evaporate quickly upon impact. 

Paintball: A Less Eco-Friendly, More Painful Alternative

As an alternative to Nerf guns, Paintball might have some edge. After all, it has been around as early as the ‘60s so it is safe to say that it has already been on the scene for a while now and has gathered its own legion of fans. However, though popular and much-loved, Paintball also poses a few problems of its own. In fact, because of these problems, other people are also looking for abetter alternative to Paintball. 

See, Paintball requires a conducive outdoor area for it to be played, at the same time, closer impact results in bruises and possibly, even injuries. 

Paintball is perhaps a better alternative for older kids or older people who can afford to play at a professional arena. 

Airsoft: More Dangerous & Messy

Another popular alternative for the older kids is airsoft. But, it has problems too. 

Airsoft has been the cause of many injuries among young and old people alike. It is a toy, yes, but it basically acts like a real firearm which means that engaging in airsoft games can lead to more severe cuts and bruises and welts that don’t come off for days or weeks. This perhaps is the reason why Airsoft is considered illegal in some countries. 

While extremely fun, especially for blaster enthusiasts, Airsoft is dangerous, messy; and to top it off, the pellets used are non-biodegradable, making them harmful to the environment. Luckily, there are alsoalternatives to airsoft. 

Splatrball: A Cheaper, Less Fun Version Of Gel Blaster

Now we have Splatrball. As an alternative to Nerf guns, it does make sense. However, when you first hear of it and what it does, you won’t help but confuse it for the Gel Blaster. Let us tell you what is thedifference between the Splatrball and the Gel Blaster

Splatrball is similar to Gel Blaster because they both eject bead ball gels and are less messy than other types of toy blasters, however, Splatrball is better suited outdoors so that you could play at a wider space because Splatrball, unlike Gel Blaster, causes bruising. Just think of how much bruising you will get if you are enclosed in smaller indoor spaces.  

Final Thoughts On The Best Nerf Alternatives Of The Year

Competitive team shooting sports have always been a fun way to bond. Especially for young boys, families, neighborhood pals, and co-workers. 

Some even made a tradition out of it. While it is important to maintain the camaraderie and overall enjoyment, neither should be more important than the general safety of participants, as well as the plight of the environment. 

We have given you an ample list of great suggestions. But we’re sure you would agree that the best of all is theGel Ball Blaster. So get your own today and gear up for some backyard fun with your family and friends!

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