Airsoft. It’s not the cheapest hobby, is it?

For many new players, the one thing that can put people off is just how much money it can potentially cost to get a decent, competitive loadout.

Guns, gear, ammo…it adds up faster than a buttered bullet.

But STOP right there. Before you think you need to remortgage your house/raid the piggy bank/sell a kidney, we’ve got just the tonic.

Below, you’ll find the very best cheap airsoft guns, so you can get into the game and spend as much or as little as you like on the rest of your kit.

I’ve divided them into sections of under $100, $150, and $200, so you can see that this sport doesn’t have to break the bank.

But why didn’t we just take up origami?

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TOP 12 Best Cheap Airsoft Guns of 2022

The Best Airsoft Guns Under $100

HK Heckler & Koch P30 Airsoft Pistol

There’s a good chance that Elite Force will feature a few times in this review, given that they offer some excellent budget-friendly guns and are one of the best airsoft brands around.

And even by their standards the price point here is ridiculous. This is a fully licensed P30 with Heckler and Koch stamped trademarks, an all-metal slide and 15-round magazine.

Spring powered, it’s a single-shot weapon that doesn’t need any gas or batteries, and will work year round, even in cold temperatures.

Pros

  • Outstanding price.
  • Extended trigger life technology.
  • Accessory rail.
  • Hop up system.
  • BBs included.

Cons

  • It won’t be the most durable weapon out there.
  • Don’t even think about using the BBs that come with it.
  • Single shot pistols aren’t good for competition.

Takeaway

Sure, this gun isn’t going to set the airsoft world on fire regarding longevity, but for a faithful, licensed HK replica at this price?

It’s a great option for a younger player’s first practice gun to get them hooked into the sport.

CYMA Polymer M870 3-Round Airsoft Shotgun

Our first CYMA on the list (and certainly not the last) is this affordable shotgun, based on the iconic Remington 870.

The Chinese copycat airsoft company have faithfully reproduced the look and feel of this devastating weapon, with a tough, durable, and attractive exterior that they’re renowned for.

And the internals are not bad either, with a tri-shot system that fires three BBs every time you pull the trigger, and the ability to load realistic shotgun shells containing 30 rounds for 10 shots per cartridge.

And with a choice of styles and set-ups available, this is a seriously badass range that won’t dent the wallet.

Pros

  • Great price for the quality.
  • Durable polymer body.
  • 306 FPS out of the box.
  • Front and rear sling points.
  • Metal barrel.

Cons

  • Again, it might not be the most durable, long-lasting gun of all time.

Takeaway

This is an awesome entry-level airsoft gun that looks and feels super-cool in the hands, with a realistic chamber slide every time the gun is cocked.

And take a look at this review for more badass airsoft shotguns for intimidating opponents at close quarters.

Wearable4U Elite Force H8R Airsoft Gun

When it comes to the best budget airsoft guns, especially under $100, you will nearly always find the Elite Force H8R close by. The “Hater,” is based loosely on the iconic Magnum platform, this version being a modernized gas BB revolver powered by 12 gram Co2 cartridges.

As such, you get a satisfying look and firing action to make Dirty Harry eat his heart out. Instead of firing six shots (or was it five?), this hand cannon offers ten rounds per magazine, and can fire up to 325 FPS out of the box – making it ideal for CQB in airsoft fields everywhere.

Pros

  • Solid, durable build.
  • Ideal for target shooting/plinking.
  • Realistic, rotary magazine.
  • Accessory rails.

Cons

  • Limited range.

Takeaway

A modern update on a classic, Elite Force has made a quality, entry-level gas pistol with the popular H8R. You might find many seasoned airsoft players are still rocking this in some form or another to this day.

GameFace GF76 Electric Airsoft Rifle

GameFace might not be the name on everyone’s lips when it comes to the very best quality airsoft guns, but it’s really hard to look past this decent AEG, especially as (at the time of writing) it’s coming in at under $100.

Capable of up to 700 rounds per minute firing at 375 FPS, this full-sized carbine based on the AK platform is not a bad first electric rifle at all.

With a folding stock, high-capacity magazine, and a durable, synthetic build, for the price this one of those rare products in the ‘cheap but good’ airsoft gun category. And it even features an adjustable hop-up.

Pros

  • Great price for what you get.
  • Top and bottom Picatinny rails.
  • Battery and charger included.
  • Decent range.

Cons

  • Magazine release isn’t in the best position.
  • Accuracy leaves a lot to be desired.

Takeaway

A great gun for first-timers, it’s not going to break the mold, but for some fast-paced CQB action it’s a solid choice. But check these guns out if you really want to look at the best AEGs on the market.

The Best Airsoft Guns Under $150

CYMA VSR-10 Airsoft Sniper Rifle

Moving on up the scale we have another CYMA gun, their hugely popular VSR-10, which is an affordable replica of the Tokyo Marui weapon of the same name, and the JG BAR-10.

Probably the best budget airsoft sniper rifle on the market, you’re getting a lot of gun here for the price.

Featuring a durable, black polymer stock, a heavy-duty metal bolt assembly and trigger box, and a high capacity, 55-round magazine, it’s also fully compatible with high quality parts and components from those aforementioned brands.

And the realistic spring-powered action packs a wallop, capable of 400-450 FPS out of the box.

Pros

  • Top quality copycat gun.
  • Scope and bi-pod ready.
  • Adjustable hop-up.
  • Precision aluminum barrel.
  • Ideal for MilSim games.

Cons

  • Not suitable for CQB airsoft fields.

Takeaway

If you’re looking to get into the sniper role and you don’t want to spend a fortune – then this is it. An outstanding replica that’s worth every penny, CYMA does it again. For more snipe-friendly weapons, have a look at the best airsoft sniper rifles in the game.

Elite Force 1911 Blowback Airsoft Pistol

It seems to me that this 1911 from Elite Force always makes its way onto review lists, regardless of cost, quality, or popularity. That’s because it does extremely well when it comes to all three of those factors.

Very highly rated in the airsoft community, this is the handgun beginners are encouraged to purchase first, and then likely never need another sidearm.

Parts are readily available, – including extended magazine options, and as a replica of one of the most iconic firearms of all time – this really can’t be beat.

Pros

  • All-metal construction.
  • Satisfying gas blowback pistol.
  • Bottom Picatinny rails.
  • Suppressor compatible.
  • Perfect for WWII MilSim.

Cons

  • If you find one – let me know.

Takeaway

Tried and trusted for years, Elite Force’s faithful 1911 replica is a true airsoft legend. You’re going to own one at some point so you might as well get it now.

And have a look at more of the best airsoft pistols by following that link.

CYMA Sport Airsoft AK47 AEG Rifle

There is a massive AK47 choice from CYMA, who are arguably the best brand in the world when it comes to producing this legendary assault rifle.

And as much as this weapon doesn’t hold back on spraying ammo down range, CYMA doesn’t hold back on the quality.

They simply work like they should, with real and simulated wood furniture available, capable of 340-390 FPS.

Reliable and inexpensive, with metal gearbox, outer barrel and receiver, they’re easy to upgrade, and there’s a waiting market out there should you ever decide to sell it on. CYMA’s AKs are almost as iconic as the real steel itself.

Pros

  • Faithful reconstruction.
  • 400 round magazine.
  • Top-quality gearbox.
  • Highly rated in the community.
  • Compatible with high-end brand accessories and components.

Cons

  • Stocks can sometimes be a terrible orange color.

Takeaway

When you’re thinking about spending money on a budget-friendly airsoft gun, make sure that it’s as upgradable as possible – and that is something this CYMA AK47 offers in abundance.

And if you don’t like it for whatever reason, there will be someone out there who does.

Lancer Tactical MK 18 AEG Airsoft Rifle

It wasn’t going to be much of a budget airsoft gun review without at least one Lancer Tactical product, since they pretty much have the market covered for affordable, entry-level gear that are streets ahead of the cheap, knock-off trash you find at a gas station.

And their MK18 is one of the best budget airsoft guns on the immensely popular M4 platform out there.

Made with upgraded nylon reinforced receivers, metal gears, and with the bonus of quick-change springs, this is an upgradable starter weapon that offers a serious amount of bang for your buck.

Pros

  • Great price for a quality AEG.
  • Low resistance wiring improves battery life.
  • 300 round magazine.
  • Picatinny rails.
  • Rotary hop-up.

Cons

  • Airsoft snobs might give you a hard time.

Takeaway

As far as entry-level, first AEGs go – this could well be one of the best. There’s a lot to like about this M4-replica from Lancer Tactical, and the extendable stock and vertical grip are nice touches, too.

The Best Airsoft Guns Under $200

G&G Airsoft Combat Machine M4 Rifle

Moving into the upper tier of budget guns, and we have this beast of an airsoft gun – one of the weapons that put the sport on the map for a great many first-timers.

As a result, G&G became a powerhouse of a manufacturer, forever cemented in the hearts and minds of the community.

The “Combat Machine” series are high-quality airsoft guns right out of the box, but they’re super-easy to upgrade which is the real hallmark of a top-draw product. Probably the best airsoft gun under $200 of all time. As long as it stays there.

Pros

  • Legendary status.
  • Adjustable front & rear sights.
  • Full metal and fully upgradeable reinforced V2 gearbox.
  • Integrated rail system.
  • Highly rated and popular.

Cons

  • Often sold out.

Takeaway

It’s hard to find fault with the G&G Combat Machine range – if you’re looking to get your first airsoft AEG, then this should really be it. The upgradability alone makes this a real winner.

Elite Force Amoeba AS-01 Striker Rifle

A return to Elite Force now with their popular Amoeba AS-01 Striker. This is a single-shot, spring-powered sniper rifle that’s made with a high-strength, durable polymer stock and metal receiver.

Fully compatible with AEG springs, what sets this gun apart is just how upgradable it is. The fluted outer barrel is attractive and cuts down on unnecessary weight, and a direct-feed 55 round magazine keeps you popping off those targets from distance for longer.

And speaking of distance, this has a fully adjustable hop-up and over 400 FPS out of the box – so you can down those Tangos from where they can’t touch you.

Pros

  • Highly rated.
  • Plays well with other brands’ components.
  • Scope ready rails.
  • Ambidextrous magazine release.

Cons

  • Might be a little on the long side – especially for smaller/younger players.

Takeaway

A top-quality sniper rifle that you can mess around with and pimp until your heart’s content. For more excellent airsoft rifle examples follow the link to that in-depth review.

JG Gearbox Desert Tan AEG Airsoft Gun

This AEG M4 platform replica with full metal construction is one of the very best budget-friendly airsoft guns on the market.

JG has scored a home run with this beast, a great beginner option, that’s fully customizable. while still being in use by more experienced players who have modded it to within an inch of its life.

And that’s what makes it so good – compatibility with all kinds of upgrades, so you can buy this and never need another gun on this platform. For under $200 it’s an absolute steal – so get one while you can.

Pros

  • Quality interior and exterior.
  • Metal gearbox.
  • Integrated rail system.
  • Battery and charger included.

Cons

  • None to speak of.

Takeaway

Ready to deal airsoft death as soon as you open the box, this is a dream first gun to get you started in the sport. The fact that it’s at this price point is outstanding and a credit to Chinese company Jing Gong.

Tokyo Marui No.33 FN 5-7 Hand Gun

Want to own a Tokyo Marui for under $200? This is your chance. The revered Japanese giants that started it all offer this gas blowback sidearm that’s a replica of FN Herstal’s 5-7 model.

Capable of consistent muzzle velocity of 230 FPS, it’s incredibly satisfying to shoot with a thumping recoil, and the adjustable hop-up is great for fine-tuning your accuracy and range.

Beautifully designed and put together, the weight is only just shy of the real steel, so you’re getting a solid, high-performance secondary weapon that MilSim players will die for.

Pros

  • It’s a Tokyo Marui.
  • Very highly rated.
  • Picatinny rails for accessories.

Cons

  • Pricey for a pistol.

Takeaway

A sidearm to be proud of, this GBB from Tokyo Marui is well worth the extra money for an airsoft pistol. Particularly cool if you’re rocking it with an FN-Herstal P90 to complete that loadout.

How to Choose the Best Cheap Airsoft Gun

Below you’ll find a handy guide packed with expert tips, tricks, and advice for selecting the right affordable airsoft gun for you.

airsoft military game players with assault rifles

Budget

Although I usually save the cost factor for last when doing reviews, it’s probably worth mentioning right out of the gate here. Why else would you be looking for a cheap airsoft gun?

Usually, when it comes to airsoft weapons, cheap guns aren’t good, and good guns aren’t cheap. However, there are clearly some exceptions, as we have displayed here.

Obviously, how much you can afford is going to be a concern, but rest assured that the items in this review have been hand-picked because they marry quality and affordability – and they won’t let you down.

Top tip – look at your maximum budget for airsoft, and spend as much as you can on your gun. Clothing, equipment, and other gear can be bought on the cheap, or acquired and upgraded further down the line.

Type of Gun

Once you know the ball-park figure of how much you have to play with, the next question you should be asking yourself is – what type of gun should I get?

And this is where the old-age question resurfaces – what’s the best airsoft gun for a beginner?

The answer depends on what you’re looking to use the weapon for.

If it’s backyard games or plinking/target practice, I’d be more than happy with picking up a quality pistol, and almost certainly a gas blowback option.

Should you be keen to get stuck in at a local airsoft field playing CQB (Close Quarter Battle), then a quality AEG is essential.

For MilSim enthusiasts, replica accuracy is important, so licensed copies of real steel firearms are the way to go.

And if you want to try the challenging role of the sniper, then that’s the platform you should be exploring.

Having said all that, it’s very common within the community that regular players will suggest beginners purchase a decent AEG as their first gun – 99 times out of 100.

And to prove my point – check out this awesome video below for a more in-depth look at this big decision.

Upgradability

Most high-end guns are the prices they are because of the internals.

World-class brands put all their technological know-how into creating some truly awesome airsoft weaponry, with the gearboxes, batteries, motors, and springs being where the money goes.

There’s a rule of thumb that the more you pay up front, the better the gun will perform right out of the box with little to no tinkering required.

This isn’t always the case, but it’s something to bear in mind.

So, down at the lower end of the budget scale, you should be looking for a good, cheap gun that has the capabilities to upgrade it into a great one down the line.

Keep an eye out for products that are compatible with other components and upgrades – especially cross-brand models that can use multiple parts from different companies.

In theory and practice, there’s no reason you can’t buy a sub-$200 gun and convert it into something worth many times what you initially paid for the externals.

airsoft military game players in camouflage uniform

Resalability

On the flip side, you might prefer to have your eyes on simply moving up the ladder of quality, ready-made airsoft guns when you can afford it.

That’s what birthdays and gift-giving holidays are for, after all.

So, instead of getting into the upgrade side of the hobby, you might want to move a cheap airsoft gun on when you’ve outgrown it.

With that in mind, it’s a good idea to look for budget airsoft guns that you can easily sell second hand should you so choose.

Thankfully, all the weapons in this review will attract interest if you want to part ways, but it’s still something else to think about for the future.

What Not to Buy

Finally, a word on what you should be avoiding if you’re looking at picking up a cheap airsoft gun.

Don’t buy anything from places like Walmart, fancy goods stores, or gas stations.

Also, online you will discover an abundance of knock-off, cheap (in the real sense of the word) imitation guns, riddled with inferior parts and suffering from shocking quality control.

Stay away.

Even if it looks like an amazing price – it’s highly likely it’s going to be garbage.

Top tip – do your research well, check that the brand is reputable, and watch videos of the guns actually being tried and tested before you make a decision.

two guys in military equipment with rifle in airsoft shop

FAQs

How much does airsoft cost?

You can spend as much or as little as you like on airsoft. My local field charges $40 for a day of play, with gun, gear, and ammo included. If you bring your own stuff – it’s free.

To get you started, you’re probably looking at somewhere between $200-$300. However, you might find set-ups even cheaper.

Keep an eye on RiflePal, and we will most likely cover a budget airsoft loadout in the future. Have a look at this article on what to wear for airsoft to get you started.

And check out this awesome website to find airsoft fields in your area – if you live in the US. Similar resources are available for other locations around the world.

What’s the best cheap airsoft gun?

A question that is almost impossible to answer, but you have 12 fine examples in the review above so you can pick your poison.

In the end, if there were such a gun, it would come from a respected, reputable company, and offer limitless upgrade potential.

Are cheap airsoft guns good?

It depends. Cheap airsoft guns can be good – so long as they’re not “cheap” airsoft guns – if you catch my drift.

Again, look for budget-friendly guns from decent manufacturers. There’s no reason you can’t find a quality, battle-worthy weapon without having to choose between that and eating.

Can 12-year-olds play airsoft?

Good question. The answer is – it depends on where.

In many/most countries, it’s illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to play. (That doesn’t generally stop them).

In the US, it’s not so much of a problem, although there are restrictions on who can and cannot purchase a gun from a store.

For more information, check local legislation and with a field in your region, and watch the video below.

Is it cheaper to build an airsoft gun?

No. No way.

Well, maybe short term. But when you factor in time and effort….this is a tough question to quantify.

Building your own airsoft gun is a time-consuming, intense, hair-pulling, labor of love. It takes dedication and commitment – and it will suck you dry of a fair bit of coin, too.

Of course, you’re more than welcome to give it a go because it is immensely satisfying, and you only have to look at some of the monsters dedicated, talented airsofters create to understand the sheer joy of it.

But if you’re just starting out (and you have no patience) then it’s not a good idea, and nor will it save you any money in the long run – quite the opposite, in fact.

Where can you find cheap airsoft guns?

Cheap airsoft guns are readily available just about anywhere you look. Cheap GOOD airsoft guns are in the review above.

Summary

Getting started in airsoft doesn’t have to cost the earth, especially if you choose one of the best cheap airsoft guns on the market.

Or, you could always try these cheap paintball guns instead – but that will probably end up costing you even more.

Let me know which gun you prefer and why.

I wish you the best of luck, and welcome to airsoft!