In the fast-paced, adrenaline fueled, extreme thrill sport of airsoft, there are a number of different types of game play.

From military simulation (MilSim), to close quarter battles, skirmishes, and more, there’s something for everyone in this action-packed tactical combat simulator.

In this article, we take a look at one of the newest and fastest types of game play, and ask the question – what is Speedsoft?

Hopefully, there will be plenty of answers, too.

Read on to discover if this exciting airsoft variant is right for you.

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What is Speedsoft? Too Long, Didn’t Read

Let’s face it, if you’re interested in speedsoft, you most likely don’t have the best patience, and prefer doing things in a timely manner. With that in mind, let’s just tell you the answer right off the bat.

Speedsoft is a superfast, aggressive, competitive version of airsoft, where rounds only last a few minutes.

It’s not too dissimilar to speedball and tournament play in paintball, in the sense that players move quickly to eliminate the opposing team and achieve their objective, in a more compact arena.

That arena is most commonly an indoor, close quarters-style field, rather than a more expansive outdoor environment. Speedsoft can still be played outdoors, but it’s not as popular.

There’s very little downtime, heavy tactics, or stealth, while incorporating a lot of running, diving, dodging, cat-like reflexes, and accurate, fast-paced shooting.

Not without its controversy, speedsoft is relatively new in the airsoft world, but is gaining popularity. It’s not for everyone, however, and you should read on as we explore the sport in more detail, before charging in.

man armed with airsoft pistol ready to attack during speedsoft game

Speedsoft Objectives and Rules

The most common set up for speedsoft, is a five versus five situation. Two teams face off, with the simple objective of eliminating all your opponents.

No flags, no hostage situations, no storming bases, no zombies, no presidential runs – just kill or be killed.

That said, there are variations within this variation, and other objectives and rules might come into play – depending on the field, or the players you’re rolling with.

Rules?! What rules?!

While two teams battle it out over rounds that only last between four and five minutes, other players and teams will be waiting in the wings for their chance to enter the arena.

This staging area is commonly known as ‘the pit,’ and it’s where excited speedsofters get their game-faces on, adrenaline builds, and teams may or may not come up with some strategy.

Although speedsoft generally doesn’t employ the same depth of tactics as a MilSim game, the very best teams and players will be highly coordinated, and will have some game plan worked out rather than going in blind.

Like all other types of airsoft, the honor system is in play when it comes to taking hits – raising your hand and calling out when you’ve been shot.

Although, as you’ll discover in the section below, this isn’t always so successful in speedsoft.

airsoft rifle and airsoft safety equipment

History and Controversy

This face-paced version of airsoft was born out of skirmish games, and it is believed to have started to take shape sometime around 2016.

One of the first groups responsible for this shift, is a now famous brand in the industry – SpeedQB.

After establishing speedsoft as a competitive airsoft format with official teams and leagues, SpeedQB soon branched out into making their own dedicated merch, gear, and equipment for the sport.

Airsoft players, hungry for faster gameplay, flocked to this fledgling variant, and the speedsoft boom erupted.

However, it’s not without its controversy – particularly among die-hard MilSim and paintball players.

One common complaint is that speedsofters don’t call out their hits. This might be understandable considering the fervor and tempo that the game is played at.

Perhaps they don’t feel them in the heat of battle, and it just doesn’t register when you’re running and gunning at pace? But perhaps it’s something more…nefarious?


Either way, airsoft stands or falls on the honor system – if you get hit, you acknowledge it. Yet, there are hundreds of speedsoft players out there who seemingly forget this very important rule.

That’s not to say such gamesmanship and shithouserry doesn’t exist in MilSim – it most certainly does. It’s often a case of pot-kettle-black.

As briefly mentioned above, speedsoft players tend to operate with stacked weaponry. Hi-cap mags and high-powered guns are generally okay, but when using HPA (high-pressure-air), the odds are overwhelmingly (and unfairly – some argue) in their favor.

Not all players can afford to run this loadout, and going into the game, you’re already at a massive disadvantage. Whoever shoots the most, and the fastest, is often the one left standing.

Within the more traditional airsoft community, “mag dumping” is frowned upon – but speedsofters live for it. This is the process of firing your gun so rapidly it empties the magazine capacity in a matter of seconds.

And due to the aggressive, competitive nature of the sport, players are often accused of overshooting – continuing to pepper a player full of pellets even after a hit has been called.

This quick play often leads to quick tempers, and scuffles with the odd fist being thrown are not unheard of.

It’s all fun and games, though, isn’t it?

airsoft soldier with a rifle playing strikeball

Typical Loadouts and Gear

While MilSim players are passionate about obtaining a look and loadout that’s as close to military accuracy as possible, speedsofters are more concerned with whatever will keep them on their toes.

As such, typical loadouts are lightweight, with high-powered gas guns backed with extended magazines, to blitz the opposition with as much ammo as is necessary to eliminate everyone in your line of fire.

This also reduces the need for reloading – which is likely to be instant death in the speedsoft arena. After any decent event, the floor will be littered with pellets.

Take a look at this article for more information about the different types of airsoft guns available – but know that dedicated speedsofters will be using finely tuned, customized models to give them the edge.

The vast majority of these weapons will be powered by either green gas or Co2. Follow that link to find out the differences between the two.

High Pressure Air (HPA) is also prevalent in speedsoft – which is a method of using pressurized air in guns to obtain a ridiculously high rate of fire.

But as I mentioned above, HPA isn’t without its critics in the airsoft world, and many see it as a hugely unfair advantage for people who can afford to run on this kind of platform.

Airsoft sniper rifles have no business being near a speedsoft arena. If that’s what you prefer, follow that link, and stick with the MilSim.

And while airsoft shotguns are useful for CQB (Close Quarters Battles), their slower rate of fire ensures they are also impractical for speedsoft.

Likewise, camouflage isn’t required, so speedsofters tend to go with clothing that’s more typical of paintball. Brightly-colored gear is very popular, and players enjoy customizing their look as much as their loadout.

Aesthetics are just as important as the hardware.

You can take a look at this article on what to wear for paintball for some inspiration, or this piece on what to wear for airsoft if you prefer.

The single most important part of any airsoft player’s gear is the face protection.

And again, this is where speedsoft players prefer going for the full paintball mask, rather than a grill, airsoft goggles, and military-style helmet.

Check out this rundown of the best paintball masks on the market, most of which would be ideal protection for speedsoft.

Footwear is also a key consideration – perhaps even more so than in any other type of airsoft game.

You need to be light on your feet, with good traction – given the floor is usually concrete or rubberized mat.

Where MilSim and outdoor players will likely be wearing rugged boots for external terrain, speedsofters prefer running sneakers, or even climbing shoes. Anything lightweight with excellent grip will do.

Elbow and knee pads are also highly recommended, as speedsofters tend to put their bodies on the line in an effort to avoid enemy fire. Ankle supports are also a good idea, as rolled ankles are one of the most regularly reported injuries – for obvious reasons.

And injuries will be common if you’re not well-prepared.

Experienced speedsofters understand what their body needs in terms of protection and support when playing this high-tempo sport. When in doubt, ask at your local field for more advice.

For the most part, the community is a friendly one (although their choice of music on their YouTube videos is horrendous – IMO).

man holding airsoft pistol in hands

The Speedsoft Player

What makes a good speedsoft player? Who are these guys running and gunning at breakneck speed – and why do they prefer this version of airsoft to any other?

Well, from a physical point of view, speedsofters tend to be more athletic. They’re slimmer, lighter, and more nimble than most of us, some with the flexibility of a gymnast.

That’s not to say larger, heavier dudes and dudettes can’t play – it’s just not as common. Agility is key, and if you have the grace and movement of a potato, you’re probably not going to be a competent speedsofter.

I’m not getting any younger, slightly overweight, and not as fit as I once was. Hand-on-heart, I’m a Milsim/woodsball player over a speedsoft/speedball player.

Speedsoft players want fast, adrenaline fueled games with a quick turnaround time. They want to constantly be in the thick of battle, ducking the endless barrage of fire from opponent positions.

It’s an epic, extreme thrill-ride that outdoor or Milsim airsoft generally can’t replicate, with those slower games, an emphasis on stealth and tactics, and huge playing arenas.

Speedsoft is basically the double espresso version of airsoft, with maybe a Red Bull chaser.

Take a look at the video below that pokes a bit of lighthearted fun at the differences between Milsim and speedball players.

Why Should You Try Speedsoft?

I think if during any point reading this article, your heart began to beat faster – you should try speedsoft.

It’s an addictive, high-adrenaline, superfast sport that can leave you with a real buzz. It’s also a great way to keep fit, as the sheer tempo and relentlessness of games will make you sweat buckets.

If you’re not overly excited about slow airsoft games where you might rarely see the enemy, and you want to get right into the thick of the action as soon as the whistle blows – then speedsoft will be for you.

Additionally, if you’re keen on high rates of fire, customizing weaponry, and can afford a high-performance loadout – then speedsoft is a solid choice.

You’re going to go through A LOT of ammo, so budget is also going to be an important consideration.

For more information, with a visual guide (pictures say a thousand words) take a look at the guide to speedsoft in the video, below.


What is speedsoft? In a nutshell, it’s the most fast-paced, high-tempo, adrenaline fueled airsoft mash up that combat sports enthusiasts can experience.

Haters gonna hate, but it’s a ton of fun, and remember – it’s only a game.

Let me know if you’ve tried speedsoft, or if you’re thinking about giving it a go. Perhaps you’re a dedicated player, and you want to correct this old MilSim dude on any article mistakes? Get in touch!

In the meantime, stay safe out there, call out your hits, and happy speedsofting!