Of all the airsoft weaponry that is available on the market today, it is the Automatic Electronic Gun (AEG) that is the most popular and accessible.
In the airsoft community, AEGs are king, and this is reflected in just how many models and platforms there are for you to choose from.
And as this can be a daunting experience (even if you’ve been airsofting for years) we’ve scoured the internet to come up with a review of the best AEG airsoft guns to make it easy for you.
A buyer’s guide and FAQ section will follow.
It’s time to channel your inner John Wick.
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- The 10 Best Electric Airsoft Guns of 2023
- Tokyo Marui RecoilShock Airsoft M4 AEG Rifle
- Krytac Kriss USA Vector Airsoft AEG SMG Rifle
- Tokyo Marui FN Herstal Airsoft MK16 AEG Rifle
- GameFace GF76 Electric Airsoft Rifle
- ARES Airsoft Full Size L1A1 Battle AEG Rifle
- Elite Force HK Heckler & Koch 416 A5 AEG Rifle
- G&G Combat Machine CM16 SRXL Airsoft AEG Rifle
- Elite Force HK Heckler & Koch UMP Airsoft Rifle
- G&P MOTS Keymod M4 Airsoft AEG Rifle
- Tokyo Marui Sledge Hammer Airsoft Electric Shotgun
- How to Choose the Best AEG for Airsoft
The 10 Best Electric Airsoft Guns of 2023
Tokyo Marui RecoilShock Airsoft M4 AEG Rifle
You want the very best? You’re most likely looking right at it. In the airsoft world, pioneers Tokyo Marui are highly revered, and they manufacture the best replica guns on the planet.
This is arguably not just the number one airsoft M4, but the number one airsoft AEG available today, coveted by old and new players alike.
Using the company’s next generation recoil system, this is an electric airsoft gun that gives you as close to the look and feel of its real life counterpart as possible, without the inconvenience of a gas blowback. Quite possibly the best electric airsoft gun ever made.*
*But we all know how subjective that statement actually is.
- Premium quality materials.
- Fully licensed by Colt.
- Version nine gearbox.
- Adjustable stock.
- Picatinny rails.
- Very expensive.
- Not really suitable for beginners.
- Battery not included.
Beautiful in every way possible, it’s this kind of design and build quality that put Tokyo Marui firmly on the map and allowed them to rise to the lofty heights of market leader when it comes to airsoft tech.
Krytac Kriss USA Vector Airsoft AEG SMG Rifle
Anyone who has spent any length of time around airsofters and playing the game will understand just how desired this beast of an AEG is.
The Krytac Kriss Vector has got to be one of the most wanted airsoft AEGs of all time, and for good reason.
Apart from it looking like an absolute monster, it has a three-position, telescopic, ambidextrous folding stock that can be folded to the left or right side, adjustable hop up, pivoting trigger system, and MIL-STD 1913 Picatinny top and bottom rails. And The eight millimeter Vector gearbox is a powerhouse in the field.
- One of the best airsoft guns ever made.
- Temperature and wear resistant bucking.
- Quick change spring.
- Extended battery housing.
- Highly customizable.
- Very expensive.
- Battery and optics not included.
- Not the most attractive aesthetic (unless you like that sort of thing).
Make a statement at your regular airsoft meet with this animal. Coveted by many old pros, the eye-watering price tag will put many folks off – especially if you’re a noob.
Tokyo Marui FN Herstal Airsoft MK16 AEG Rifle
We certainly couldn’t just leave it at one Tokyo Marui product in a review of the best AEG guns in 2023, (hint – they will probably be more) and this is their take on the hugely popular FN Scar platform.
Fully licensed by Belgium firearm company Herstal, this is a solidly built airsoft counterpart, with a nylon fiber reinforced lower receiver.
Like the TM M4, it features the same recoil technology, and when the compatible NGRS magazine is used, it will lock back after the last round has been fired – just like the real deal.
- Tokyo Marui quality throughout.
- Stamped with Herstal trademarks.
- Flip up sights.
- High-capacity magazine.
- One of the most expensive guns on the market (especially as it’s the body only).
- Battery and optics not included.
Well, they say that good airsoft guns aren’t cheap, and cheap airsoft guns aren’t good. This is well and truly in the former category. As popular as it is pricey – but there’s a good reason for that.
GameFace GF76 Electric Airsoft Rifle
Let’s take things in the other direction now just to give your panic attack a bit of a breather. Especially if you happen to be a doting parent tasked with finding a young enthusiast their first airsoft gun.
This compact carbine based on the AK platform can fire up to 375 fps, and it offers a high-capacity magazine of 375 rounds.
The rechargeable battery is included – along with the charger, and the adjustable stock makes it easy to handle and highly maneuverable for CQB.
- Affordable price.
- Ideal for beginners.
- Full and semi auto.
- Picatinny rails top and bottom.
- Needs fps adjusted for airsoft fields.
All-in-all an outstanding option for the money, and one of the best AEG guns for beginners on the market.
ARES Airsoft Full Size L1A1 Battle AEG Rifle
Wow. This is a lot of gun. If you want to own an absolute classic war machine in airsoft form – this is most certainly it.
Dominate your local field with a replica of the gun that won the Falklands War, with this full size L1-A1 from Ares.
Made with the black polymer stock and hand guard to give you the authentic look and feel of the real thing, it offers a muzzle velocity of over 400 fps right out of the box.
With a folding charging handle, front and rear sling mounts, and the full metal L1A1 “inch pattern” receiver, this is a beautifully made, faithful reconstruction of an icon.
- Adjustable hop up.
- Semi auto and safe modes.
- Highly accurate replica.
- 120-round, high-capacity magazine included.
- It might be too long for some – 45 inches to be exact.
- Battery sold separately.
- FPS will need to be adjusted for US fields.
- No railing system.
Having a reputation as the “right arm of the free world,” the L1-A1 could well mean the difference between winning and losing the battle, and this replica is clearly a labor of love that reflects the quality of a legendary firearm.
Elite Force HK Heckler & Koch 416 A5 AEG Rifle
Elite Force are another highly regarded airsoft company notable for giving us this machine to worship.
Fully licensed by Heckler and Koch, this is a stunning recreation of their famous MP5 platform, one of the most widely used sub-machine guns in the world.
Perfect for CQB, this version offers semi auto and full automatic shooting modes, with fully adjustable hop up, and a high capacity 320 round magazine to be sure to put the enemy down and keep them down.
Able to shoot BBs at 370 fps, this gun is highly customizable, and offers plenty of scope for scopes.
- VFC Avalon full metal gearbox.
- Faithful replica to the MP5.
- Removable rear sight.
- Picatinny rails.
- Extending stock.
- Excessive railings might be a bit overkill for some.
If you’re into the popular MP5 platform then you can certainly do much worse than this fully licensed version from Elite Force.
G&G Combat Machine CM16 SRXL Airsoft AEG Rifle
Established and based out of Taiwan, G&G are one of the leading lights when it comes to airsoft weapons, gear, and equipment.
They’re responsible for over 100 different high-quality replica airsoft guns, so it’s no surprise to find at least one of their AEGs on this list.
And, like many airsoft channels and websites, we’ve gone for the “Combat Machine” CM16 SRXL. This highly-rated M4 was one of the first affordable top-draw guns that resulted in the airsoft world saying – “YES! YOU CAN PLAY, TOO!”
Made from lightweight, reinforced polymer – it’s one of the most accessible AEGs on the market. When it’s not sold out, that is.
- Amazing price for the quality.
- Name to trust in the game.
- Ambidextrous magazine release.
- Railing system.
- Ideal for beginners and intermediate players.
- Highly upgradable.
- Often hard to come by.
- FPS rate will need adjustment.
For an affordable stepping stone to quality airsoft weaponry and what this gun did for the game itself, the Combat Machine will go down in history with legendary status. Whenever they’re restocked – you need to snap one up.
Elite Force HK Heckler & Koch UMP Airsoft Rifle
Let’s stay with the super-affordable AEGs for a moment with this excellent Elite Force airsoft gun based on the MP5 platform. Fully licensed by Heckler & Koch and stamped with their trademarks, this is a stunning weapon that will definitely turn heads – or blow them away.
Designed for close quarters, it has a full metal gearbox with lightweight, reinforced ABS body, and a side folding stock for easy carry.
With 20 mm front rails and a top rail for accessories and optics – you have plenty of space to pimp this sub-mg out just like the Special Forces.
- Great price.
- Attractive aesthetic.
- Two-round, burst mode.
- Adjustable hop up.
- Integrated front and rear iron sights.
- Magazine length is a problem for storage.
- Some issues with mag feed.
A really great gun, that could have been even greater if the large magazine actually had pouches in which they could fit. Still, for the money and for the look – it’s tons of fun that will make you as giddy as a pot-smoking schoolboy on a swing.
G&P MOTS Keymod M4 Airsoft AEG Rifle
With a heavy-duty metal MOTS receiver, barrel assembly, and buffer tube, G&P’s M4 is a solid airsoft AEG option.
Durable, reliable, and designed for Navy SEAL wannabes, the magazine holds 130 rounds, and is capable of 330 fps out of the box – which is perfect for airsoft fields around the US.
With a precision CNC machined MOTS 8-inch Key mod hand guard, full length Picatinny rails, laser-engraved Skull Frog trademarks, and a smart, weather-resistant matte finish, this is a high-quality tactical M4 that will own the competition.
And it’s simply loads of fun to shoot. But remember – “the only easy day was yesterday.”
- Reinforced 8 mm bearing gearbox.
- Satisfying firing experience.
- Textured covers.
- Ambidextrous magazine release.
- Adjustable crane stock.
- Battery sold separately.
This AEG from G&P packs a punch in both its aesthetic and its shooting capabilities. Right out of the box you can feel the quality, and you don’t need to adjust a thing to jump right into combat. Someone get the SEALS on the phone.
Tokyo Marui Sledge Hammer Airsoft Electric Shotgun
I’ll admit that I struggled long and hard with this final inclusion, as it does very much break the mold when it comes to the definition of an AEG.
In the end, I decided that as it’s battery-powered, it most definitely fits in this category. So, without further ado – this is the legendary Tokyo Marui “Sledge Hammer.”
One of the few (if not only – and certainly the first) electric shotguns on the market, and boy is it a beast.
With an injection molded polymer body and integrated metal alloy inner frame it looks as solid as it feels, with a 90-round, drop free magazine, and full auto firing capabilities. This thing will take no prisoners.
- World’s first AES (Automatic Electric Shotgun).
- Trademark Tokyo Marui quality.
- Ingenious individual triple hop up system.
- Highly revered in the community.
- It’s expensive – as are any compatible accessories.
Forever pushing the envelope, Tokyo Marui has uncaged a monster with this AEG. There’s even an option to use a drum magazine with the thing!
But we really should say “AES,” to be honest, and you should check out these awesome airsoft shotguns if this platform appeals to you.
How to Choose the Best AEG for Airsoft
There’s a whole host of features to consider when purchasing an airsoft gun, and with AEGs this is no exception.
Below, you’ll find a handy guide full of tips and tricks to help point you in the right direction.
The Airsoft AEG – What is It?
Airsoft has been around since the 1970s, when enterprising individuals in Japan discovered it was possible to safely fire non-lethal projectiles at your mates – and so a craze was born.
When it comes to airsoft guns, there are three main types. Single-action spring-loaded, gas guns (fired using green gas, Co2, or compressed air), and electric, battery-powered versions.
Battery-powered guns have since become known by the abbreviation AEG, which stands for Automatic Electric Gun.
They use sophisticated battery packs, motors, and gear boxes to propel airsoft ammunition down range.
Today, AEGs have risen to pretty much dominate the battlefield, and for the vast majority of players, this will be their primary weapon platform.
And then backed up with one of these awesome pistol sidearms – the best of which are usually gas blowback replicas.
Experienced airsofters will tell you that they highly recommended that the first gun a beginner purchases is an AEG.
However, if you are new to the sport, you might want to have a look at this article on the best cheap airsoft guns – before the prices of top-of-the-range weapons gives you a heart attack.
For more information, watch this excellent video below on how an AEG works.
Advantages of an AEG
Airsoft AEGs are the preferred platform of choice for the majority of airsoft players around the world, as they have several advantages over gas and spring options.
Perhaps the number one tick in the ‘pro’ box for AEGs, is the fact that they are fully rechargeable. The battery packs can be used over and again, unlike gas guns where you constantly need to purchase new fuel.
Once again, this makes them ideal beginner guns, as not everyone is comfortable using a gas powered gun for the first time – especially for the younger players.
Second, the rate of fire with an AEG simply destroys all other competing platforms. If you’re going into a firefight with a single shot rifle against an auto or semi auto AEG – unless you’re a pro marksman – you’re going to lose.
That being said, if you want to try, you can check out these awesome airsoft sniper rifles and give that coveted role a go during your next game.
If you’re playing in colder temperatures, AEGs are much better options than gas, although they’re not as good as spring powered rifles.
However, AEGs don’t require as much maintenance as gas or spring powered guns, and they are designed to be fully customizable with upgrades, making them the PCs of the airsoft world.
For support, AEGs are easily the most covered, with knowledgeable players and airsoft staff ready to solve your electric gun problem readily available across the globe. Parts and service options are in abundance.
Finally, as we will discuss below, AEGs have the market covered with style and platform choice – so you can be sure to find the weapon that’s right for you in this class.
Now, this is the real beauty of airsoft – and one of the main reasons why so many people get into the sport who want a cheaper, non-lethal variation of real firearms.
The accuracy and attention to detail of airsoft weapons is outstanding – and perhaps no more so than on the AEG platform.
If you can think of a real gun, there’s a very strong chance that its faithful replica exists in airsoft – even to the point of being fully licensed by the original firearm company.
As such, you have a huge choice and a big decision ahead of you. Are you into assault rifles or submachine guns? Bullpups or folding stocks? Shotguns or carbines?
And then there’s an abundance of iconic weaponry to choose from once you’ve settled on a class. AK47s, AR15s, M4s, MP5s, FN SCARS, M14s…the list is seemingly endless.
Not to mention the wide selection of historically accurate firearms, such as the Thompson M1, L1-A1, M3 “grease gun”, and MP40. Weapons in this class are ideal if you want to do MilSim re-enactments, one for World War II aficionados.
And all are available in some form or another on the AEG platform. To quote the great Han Solo – “this is where the fun begins.”
Top tip – if you’re struggling to decide which model is right for you, note that the M4 platform is most widely used in the airsoft community. Although some say there’s an over-abundance of these guns in play, they still make a great choice for beginners.
Battery, Motor, and Gear Box
Beginners need not worry too much about the inner workings of their first AEG, but to seasoned pros and as you get more into the sport – it’s the plumbing that is the most important part of the house.
When you first come to airsoft, you will likely notice that while guns often look the same, (particularly if they’re the same model), there will be a huge difference in price.
That’s because you’re paying for the quality of the internal components, which is the main difference between a cheap airsoft gun and a super-expensive one.
And it is in the battery, motor, and gear box as to where this money is going.
Still, even in less expensive models, it is these components that can be fully upgradable on the AEG platform, and you can spend as much or as little as you like pimping out your primary weapon.
For more information, with particular focus on the complexities of the gearbox, check out the video below.
Out of the box, most AEGs should offer a muzzle velocity of somewhere between 200-350 fps, depending on the quality of the gun.
Top tip – Some manufacturers vastly inflate these figures to sell guns. Do your research well, and check YouTube or online videos for someone actually testing the FPS of the product you’re interested in.
Remember, airsoft fields around the world will have house rules in place and only allow players to compete if their gun comes under a fixed firing speed. In the US, this is 350 fps.
The very best electric airsoft guns should come under that figure without the need for adjustment.
When it comes to accuracy – so long as the weapon shoots straight, it’s less about the gun and more about the shooter.
Look for rifles that have an adjustable hop-up, so you can fine tune your settings to achieve maximum range, utilizing something called the “Magnus Effect.”
Check out this short video for a basic explanation of how a hop-up works and what it does.
Size and Weight
When selecting the size of your airsoft AEG, you should consider the type of game you will be playing, and the role you want to fulfill in that game.
Many airsoft fields play CQB (Close Quarter Battle) scenarios, which means you’re going to be up close and personal with your opponents. So, perhaps a weapon that is the length of an L1-M1 (45-inches) isn’t your best bet.
Weight is also very important, especially for younger players and beginners. Even lighter guns can take a toll when it comes to carrying them for a full day on the field.
And it’s highly recommended you use a sling for your AEG anyway – it’ll take the weight off, and prevent you from accidentally dropping it.
Rails and Accessories
As well as being highly accurate to their real firearm counterparts, airsoft rifles don’t just stop there when it comes to realism.
Most will offer Weaver of Picatinny railing systems along or around the barrel, so you can add your own accessories – just like law enforcement or military around the world.
Attach flashlights, optics, laser systems, imaging devices, and more to your weapon to enhance your gameplay and experience.
Look out for AEGs that come with these options as standard – or that are upgradable at a later date should you so choose.
Sigh…now we come to the (slightly) depressing side of the sport – and AEGs in particular.
Of all the types of airsoft guns, it is the weapons in this class that will make the largest dent in the bank balance – if you want a decent one, of course.
That said, cost-effective AEGs are available, and you can get usable rifles for around $100-$150.
But the big boys on the block – like the majority in this review – are going to set you back a bit of coin.
There is a reason for that (literally being the best AEGs available on the market), so invest wisely – especially if you’re a new player just starting out and getting a feel for the sport.
A noob bringing a top-of-the-range Tokyo Marui to the field is like someone purchasing a Ferrari without a driver’s license.
But if you want to do that – go right ahead – knock yourself out. But if you find that you don’t like the sport and it isn’t for you – you’re left with a very expensive bill.
What does AEG stand for?
AEG stands for Automatic Electric Gun, and refers to a class of airsoft weaponry that utilizes rechargeable battery packs to fire plastic BBs.
Known for their semi auto and/or full automatic rates of fire, they’re also synonymous with high-capacity magazines for superiority on the battlefield.
What is the best airsoft AEG?
An almost impossible question to ask, as there isn’t really a “number one” per se. Besides, it’s all very subjective, and players have their own, deep-rooted, personal opinions.
And woe-betide you if you try to change them.
That being said, you’ll go a long way to beat the first entry in our review, Tokyo Mauri’s M4.
Which is better AEG or GBB?
It depends on what you’re using it for, where, and when.
AEGs are superior when it comes to rate of fire, ease of use, and being cost effective in the long run. However, gas blow backs are more satisfying and realistic to shoot – unless you’re spending big money on comparative AEG tech that can replicate that recoil.
But hey, there’s a whole article on this very subject, so check out gas versus electric airsoft guns, now.
What is the best airsoft gun on the market?
Again, a tough question with no definitive answer. It’s hard to compare guns across platforms, and everyone has their own personal favorites.
How long is a piece of string?
What is the best airsoft M4?
The M4 platform is the most popular class when it comes to airsoft guns. At some point, everyone will have rocked an M4, and millions still do. If it ain’t broke – you don’t fix it.
As such, there are a wealth of M4 options on the market, but to name just two that really stand out – but the much lauded Tokyo Marui version is one of the best there is.
Still, as there are so many M4 options out there, you can easily find the best one for you that’s the right balance of affordability and performance.
How accurate are AEGs?
Providing the weapon shoots straight and the hop-up has been adjusted to optimal settings – it’s not the gun that needs to be accurate – it’s the person pulling the trigger.
However, that said, AEGs have more of a tendency to spray ammo, and you might not be able to hit the same spot each time.
Check out the spring guns in this review of the best airsoft rifles for more pinpoint options.
Alternatively, if it’s more target shooting you’re interested in, read this article on airsoft versus BB guns, because BB rifles are designed to be much more accurate and closer to the real thing without the cost.
Will AEGs work in cold weather?
Yes, but the battery pack will run down much faster than if you were using it in warmer climes.
If you’re looking to play in winter with an AEG, it’s a good idea to have extra batteries on hand when the inevitable happens. Running out of juice in the middle of a firefight isn’t fun.
Have a look at this dedicated article on airsofting in winter for some top expert tips and advice.
What safety gear do I need for using an AEG?
No different from what you would wear for any other airsoft weapon platform. At the very least, you should have a pair of these eye-saving airsoft goggles.
What to wear for airsoft goes into the subject in more detail – so check that out if you’re wondering what else you’ll need before stepping out onto the field.
With the market saturated with replica weaponry, it can be difficult to sift through the bullshit and find the best AEG airsoft guns available in 2023.
And even then, the choices are likely to be highly subjective.
Still, I hope this article has gone some way to helping you find the right electric gun for you.
Let me know which one you’ve gone for and why.
Just one more thing, if you really like airsoft guns, take a moment to read about airsoft guns used in movies. You might find something you like.
Peace out, people. Have fun – and stay safe.