It’s a minefield out there.

The airsoft market is filled with so much stuff and so many options – it can be a challenge to figure out the good from the bad.

Not least in the sheer number of airsoft companies all vying for your hard-earned cash, with the quality of products varying wildly.

And if you’re new to the game – this can really make your head spin.

That’s why we’ve put together this at-a-glance list of the 11 best airsoft brands in 2022.

But before anyone gets their knickers in a twist about who or who is not included – it’s the companies that we feel are best representing the sport.

And it’s our list – so there.

Sample product reviews have been included for each, and they’re in no particular order.

Let’s get stuck in.

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The 11 Best Airsoft Gun Brands in 2022

Tokyo Marui

The title of this article refers to the best airsoft brands in 2022, but with Tokyo Marui, it should just be – the best airsoft brand, ever. Of all time. Period.

It was the Japanese company who pioneered the first airsoft guns back in the 1970s (inventors of the hop-up system, no less) and they have been the market leader ever since, at the forefront of airsoft innovation and technology without ever letting their foot off the pedal.

However, apart from being pricey, their stock can sometimes be challenging to get hold of outside of Japan, and only more recent models have started to be made out of metal.

Why Tokyo Marui: The granddaddy of airsoft. Pioneering, world-class quality.

Evike Tokyo Marui Airsoft M4 AEG Rifle

You’ll find TK’s fully Colt licensed M4 gracing many airsoft “best of” reviews, as it’s regarded as one of the best guns ever made.

That’s largely thanks to its immaculate design that’s faithful to the real steel, and the next generation recoil system – which allows AEG users to have the same satisfaction and realism of gas blowback versions.

Additionally, the electronic bolt-back technology will lock the bolt in place when the last BB is fired – so it feels just like the real thing. Tokyo Marui knocked it out of the park with this one.

Pros
  • Highly realistic look and feel.
  • Metal receiver.
  • Semi and full auto fire rate.
  • Fully adjustable hop up.
Cons
  • Battery sold separately.
  • FPS a little on the low side out of the box.
Takeaway

A world-class AEG that marries the feel of a gas blowback recoil with the convenience of battery-power. This is an airsoft gun for the ages, from a manufacturer still at the top of its game.

Check out this review of the best airsoft rifles for their gas version, and much more.

G&G

G&G have forever etched themselves onto the stone of legendary airsoft gun manufacturers, thanks to their range of “Combat Machines,” such as the example in the review below.

The Taiwanese company (the abbreviation stands for Guay Guay) has been on the scene since 1986, producing top-quality products that are highly accessible for beginners.

As such, they are responsible for a resurgence in airsoft popularity, when it first appeared as if only the super-rich could afford it. Durable reliability right out of the box, at prices that won’t break the bank – a G&G weapon is the first gun of many new players.

Why G&G: G&G blew the game wide open with highly accessible guns for the rest of us.

G&G CM18 MOD1 Combat AEG Airsoft Gun

As promised, it would be remiss if we were to talk about G&G without using one of their famous Combat Machines as a review example. Because it’s this platform that put them on the map – and airsoft on the map for a great many new players.

This AEG is reliable, with a nylon-reinforced polymer receiver, retractable crane stock, and eight millimeter bushing gearbox that – like much of the weapon – is highly upgradable.

Shooting 350-370 fps out of the box, there’s a host of accessories available to mod the gun however you want, and the price point for the CM range is outstanding for what you get.

Pros
  • Picatinny rail system.
  • AEG metal gears.
  • Adjustable hop up.
  • Excellent price for what you get.
Cons
  • It’s often sold out – grab one when you can.
Takeaway

Unbeatable quality, accessibility, and upgradability from one of airsoft’s shining lights – this is the gun you get when you know that this hobby is going to be for you.

KWA

Known for their outstanding quality, KWA are a leading supplier of airsoft and tactical weapons used by law enforcement and the military for training simulations. And if that doesn’t impress you, then nothing will.

Another company with roots in Taiwan, they set up shop in 1988, and since then have developed a reputation for high-end airsoft guns and equipment that you’ll be hard-pressed to find the equal to.

AEGs and gas blowbacks are their specialty, with top-drawer internals that are built to last, and a wide fan base the world over.

Why KWA: They’re the go-to training brand for the professionals – and the internal build quality is sublime.

KWA Ronin VM4 X-Series Airsoft Gun

KWA’s Ronin series is a highly popular and successful range of airsoft weaponry, perhaps none more so than this VM4.

Made with all-metal construction, this customizable AEG features an adjustable FPS system so you can easily keep within field limits, or play at a MilSim game with higher velocity rates.

With ambidextrous controls and an enlarged trigger guard for use with a pair of these tactical shooting gloves, and the same top-quality internals as you would come to expect from a KWA weapon, you can be sure you can get ahead of the game with a Ronin in your corner.

Pros
  • Excellent rotary hop-up system.
  • Adjustable stock.
  • High torque motor.
  • Switch life extender.
  • Picatinny rails.
Cons
  • Adjusting the FPS is fiddly.
Takeaway

What makes this gun a real winner (apart from just about all of it) is that adjustable FPS system. The only downside seems to be having to remove the stock and use a bit of guesswork to get it at the desired velocity. Still, we’re clutching at straws here – it’s awesome and it rocks.

Krytac

Let’s head west now with US company Krytac, the airsoft equivalent of a toddler having been established in 2013.

They’ve not messed their pants in the years since, however, rapidly becoming a force to be reckoned with, as their products shoot with high FPS right out of the box backed by outstanding build quality.

A groundbreaking company, they have also developed their MOSFET system, which succeeds in stabilizing a gun’s rate of fire for improved performance and longevity.

And speaking of, we think that Krytac is going to be around for a while, producing cutting-edge, innovative guns for the baying masses.

Why Krytac: Innovative designs, top quality internals, and readily available. What’s not to like?

Krytac Kriss Vector AEG Airsoft Gun

In the airsoft community, everyone will know about this gun, and there’s little that can be said about it that hasn’t already been said. But, for any noobs, we’ll do our best.

Fully licensed by Swiss-based firearms company Kriss (who have a special partnership with Krytac), this gun is a highly-accurate replica of the Kriss Vector – a firearm only legal for military and law enforcement use.

It gets outstanding reviews across the board, and anyone who is anyone in airsoft has coveted this machine at some stage in their playing lives.

Pros
  • It’s a beast.
Cons
  • Expensive.
Takeaway

We want one. You want one. Let’s just all get one.

UMAREX/Elite Force

Elite Force is a US-based airsoft brand of UMAREX – the German air gun manufacturer, and UMAREX itself has a US subsidiary for product distribution in the US.

There are a lot of quality brands under this umbrella, and years of German engineering know-how goes into their gear. Since 1972 they’ve been making top-drawer stuff for combat sports and target shooters, with a view to offering durable, mid-range products at affordable prices.

And with one of the largest back-catalogs in the industry – you’re going to have a lot of stock to choose from. All-round one of the best airsoft companies working today.

Why Elite Force: A massive, affordable product line that speaks for itself and plays well with others.

Elite Force 1911 Blowback Airsoft Pistol

Of the quite-frankly mind-boggling range of UMAREX/Elite Force products, for nostalgia’s sake, we’ve gone for the classic 1911 pistol replica.

Not least because this is highly recommended by many seasoned airsofters as one of the best Co2 gas blowback pistols for a beginner – and indeed is still the sidearm of choice for more experienced players.

Be the proud owner of the standard issue sidearm of the US military for over 75 years, an iconic handgun that has been faithfully recreated by Elite Force.

Pros
  • Beautifully designed and built.
  • Very satisfying to shoot.
  • Highly rated in the community.
  • Perfect for WW2 MilSim.
Cons
  • If you find one, let us know.
Takeaway

An outstanding, legendary firearm replica for an affordable price – you might well never need another secondary weapon (if only you weren’t so addicted to buying the things).

And speaking of, check out more awesome airsoft pistols to temp you.

G&P

Hong Kong brand G&P are one of the oldest companies in the business, developing weapons and equipment with particular emphasis on military simulation and training.

As you might expect, therefore, their products are highly realistic, as if they’re good enough for use by armed forces around the world, they’re good enough for you down your local airsoft meet.

Devoted to wargaming, they branched out into airsoft and are now the supplier and distributor of many brands and their parts. The leading airsoft company operating out of Hong Kong, G&P offer professional quality and innovation at attractive prices.

Why G&P: Trusted by military and law enforcement personnel, G&P live and breathe wargaming.

G&P T2 170 Lumen Cree LED Flashlight

Since they started life manufacturing tactical, powerful flashlights, we thought we’d include one as homage to their roots – and the fact this review has too many airsoft guns in it already.

This is a super-compact, palm-sized torch, lightweight at only 270 grams, and capable of being attached to a flashlight mount for gun railing systems.

Made with aircraft-grade aluminum, the anodized body offers maximum durability, with a dual level of brightness for being constantly on or slowly dimming.

An SOS strobe function is also built in, and it provides 170 lumen ultra bright power from an energy-efficient CREE LED bulb.

Pros
  • Premium materials throughout.
  • Memory function.
  • Smart, tactical metal finish.
Cons
  • None to speak of.
Takeaway

A quality tactical airsoft accessory that will look sharp and perform well on the end of any rifle or pistol with compatible hardware. Or, for just searching for your keys down the back of the couch.

Fit it to the end of one of these airsoft shotguns and go clean some rooms.

CYMA

Operating since the mid 2000s, CYMA have developed a reputation for being one of the best mid-range brands out there – with an extensive back catalog that offers a mind-blowing amount of choice.

One of the many “copycat” manufacturers on the market, they make clones of high-end weapons (most notably TM guns), ensuring a quality that is accessible to anyone without a fat wallet.

Based out of China, they produce a nice range of AEGs that will suit most players right out of the box, and they’re also the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) of a vast amount of airsoft components, parts, and gear.

Why CYMA: One of the unsung heroes of the airsoft world, CYMA offers a way in to the sport – with a huge choice of quality products.

CYMA Sport Airsoft AK47 AEG Rifle

Known for their attractive and realistic AK47 range, as well as some nice spring, single-shot guns (check out this review on the best airsoft sniper rifles for examples) it was a tough decision what to include for their sample review.

In the end, we’ve gone for the ionic firearm of rebel armies everywhere – only because we haven’t had one yet. And this is a beautiful reconstruction, with simulation wood furniture, metal barrel and receiver, and a 400 round high-capacity magazine.

Pick one up and kill everyone in the motherf*cking room. Not literally.

Pros
  • Great price.
  • Faithful replica.
  • 340-390 FPS out of the box.
  • Metal gearbox.
  • Ideal for beginners.
Cons
  • Gun only – battery sold separately.
Takeaway

Highly rated, this is one of the best AK47 replicas you can buy – especially at this price point. CYMA doing what CYMA does – which makes them one of the best airsoft gun brands around.

ARES

Named after the Roman God of War, Ares are not quite as old, having been producing mid-range airsoft guns and equipment since 2010.

That makes them one of the babies of this group, but they have no less risen to take a place in the Olympus of airsoft manufacturers – mostly because of their “out-of-the-box” quality.

They have a unique business model of catering for the current market’s best interests, but alas, they’re guns are known for being tricky to customize and mod, so more experienced players often look elsewhere.

Why ARES: Always moving with the times, Ares are a great mid-range airsoft brand to help you go from box to battle in as fast as possible.

ARES Amoeba M4/M16 Airsoft AEG Rifle

Since the M4/M16 platform is the most popular of all airsoft AEGs, Ares have quite rightly jumped on that bandwagon to offer a quality mid-capacity magazine that is compatible with the likes of Tokyo Marui, Elite Force, and G&P models.

With a solid, heavy-duty build quality, these clips feel weighty in the hands, with textured sides for a no-slip grip. The high-strength polymer construction will last, and the 140-round capacity is enjoyed by MilSim players who want a more realistic wargaming experience.

And they have the added bonus of not rattling nearly as much as a high-cap clip – so you can engage in those covert, stealth operations without fear of detection. Until your mom calls on your cell.

Pros
  • Great realistic aesthetic.
  • Durable construction.
  • Mock bullet window.
  • Built-in flip-out magazine pull tab.
  • Easy to maintain.
Cons
  • Many players prefer metal magazines.
  • Some questions over the internal components.
Takeaway

Since huge capacity magazines don’t actually exist in the real world, players looking for a more authentic and challenging experience turn to products like this one from Ares.

ICS

Innovation, Completion, Satisfaction. The Taiwanese company’s name might not be all that surprising, given the fact that they’ve been at the cutting edge of airsoft since the mid 1980s.

ICS are responsible for the first airsoft weapons out of Taiwan, made with premium materials and nearly always full metal counterparts – to give you that all-important real-steel-feels.

They’re regarded as AEG experts, with innovative designs at the forefront of the sport’s technology. However, it’s well known that their components and internals aren’t compatible with other brands, but their dedicated fan base is so extensive nobody is really that bothered.

Why ICS: World-class airsoft guns with premium internals and a dedicated, die-hard following. ICS are a force to be reckoned with.

Sig Sauer ICS 551 AEG Airsoft Rifle

This is a fully licensed Sig Sauer 551 carbine that has been faithfully copied into a metal AEG by ICS. They’ve been making this gun for a while and it shows in the quality and longevity of the weapon.

With a high-strength polymer stock, motor grip and handguard, the 551 looks and feels satisfying in the hands. A 470 round high-capacity magazine is included, and the body of the gun is attractively finished with SIG trademarks.

If you want to rock the Special Forces aesthetic, then this gun is for you.

Pros
  • Outstanding build quality.
  • Full and semi auto.
  • Battery and charger included.
  • Railed hand guard.
Cons
  • Will need FPS adjustment out of the box.
Takeaway

This ICS/Sig Sauer combo just drips quality. Or maybe that’s just us here at RiflePal collectively drooling over it. Arguably the leading AEG company in the world, and this is one of the world’s best AEGs.

Lancer Tactical

Airsoft snobs might well turn their noses up at the inclusion of Lancer Tactical, but the Californian-based company deserves a mention as a budget-friendly brand that offers many people a way into the sport.

Sure, they might not make the best, most durable guns on the market compared to premium brands, but what they do – they do well.

Operating since 2012, they specialize in the AEG platform, with an excellent selection of guns that are highly accessible in the market.

LT is an ideal choice if you’re wanting to step up from the abundance of cheap, gas-station crap out there, but not quite ready to go full performance.

Why Lancer Tactical: Noobs on a budget have never had it so good. Great entry-level guns and gear from a well known and trusted source.

Lancer Tactical Ca-221B Airsoft Goggles

It’s not all about the guns, and Lancer Tactical also does a mean line in airsoft goggles. This version is their clear-lens, vented eye protection that has been manufactured with a high-strength polyurethane thermoplastic frame.

Designed to allow airflow and to prevent fogging (the true enemy of the airsofter), the side vents are angled to stop BBs getting through. The clear, polycarbonate lenses offer a good field of view, and the foam padding keeps things snug and comfortable around the face.

Pros
  • Full eye seal.
  • Stylish design.
  • Can be worn with glasses (if they’re not too large).
Cons
  • Single pane.
  • Large profile won’t be for everyone.
Takeaway

Lancer Tactical offers a great selection of affordable guns and goggles, perfect for anyone ready to step up in the sport. For more eye protection optic options, check out this review of the best airsoft goggles available.

VFC

Regarded by many players as the current best airsoft gun brand in the world, Vega Force Company are regularly the name on everyone’s lips if you were to delve into the vast realms of airsoft community YouTube videos.

Founded in 2004, they have cemented their reputation by manufacturing high-quality, super-realistic replica weapons, with sexy internal components and durable operating systems.

Their externals are some of the finest in the world, and as such an understandably dedicated following has been the result.

Why VFC: Because we’d probably be lynched if they weren’t.

VFC Avalon Gen 2 Saber M4 AEG Rifle

You can’t talk about VFC without mentioning their outstanding Avalon Saber line, which many players regard as the greatest “out-of-the-box” airsoft gun ever made.

This is a premium-quality airsoft weapon, a highly-accurate and faithful M4 replica with full metal receiver and M-LOK carbine length handguard. This railing system is very lightweight, with plenty of space for accessories.

With an ambidextrous fire selector, aggressive polymer grip and trigger guard with finger rest, and mock bolt catch for easy hop-up adjustment – there isn’t enough space to go into all the reasons why this gun is so good.

Pros
  • Just about everything.
Cons
  • Quality this good don’t come cheap.
Takeaway

With premium materials, a super-smooth action, and totally badass look – this could well be the best AEG ever made. But we’re sure we’ve already said that about several other guns, too. Now, do you see the problem?

Summary

Yes, yes, we get that we’ve left off “XYZ,” but if we’d covered all the best airsoft brands in the world we’d be here all day – and everyone has homes to go to.

(And actual games of airsoft to play.)

If you’re still feeling aggrieved, leave us a comment below on anyone we missed and why you think they deserve to be included.

Maybe we’ll give ourselves a big slap on the wrist and promise it won’t happen again.

Until next time – stay safe out there, and remember to call your hits.