Best Nerf guns: 12 foam-firing toys for endless fun at home and beyond

For wars in the backyard with your kids or make-believe indoors, these are the best Nerf guns out there in 2021

Included in this guide:

Best nerf guns
(Image credit: Future)

Searching for the best Nerf gun? Smart move. You'll be hard-pressed to find any youngster who doesn't love playing with Nerf guns. Providing hours of fun to keep the kids occupied, Nerf guns are usually suitable for indoor and outdoor use. Oh, and there's no shame in admitting it: you probably quite like shooting the blasters yourself. So, whether it's your little one's birthday or you're just a big kid, a quality Nerf blaster is sure to please.

With so many options out there to choose from, it can be a little tricky trying to find the best. To save you time and stress, we've drawn up a roster of the very best Nerf guns out there. From double-barrel blasters and motorized options to water guns and pet-friendly picks, there is something to suit everyone.

When choosing your go-to Nerf gun, be sure to check out some of the specifications, such as size, weight, age recommendation, and battery requirements, as well as our handy advice on which gun suits which function best. Perhaps you're after something that has onboard bullet storage to keep the foam darts safe? Or maybe you are after range? With options firing as far as 120 feet, you're more than covered. 

Seeing as you're here already, why not complete your outdoor play area with some other garden fun essentials? For a start, you can browse our selection of the best trampolines and keep your kids entertained all day long. 

What is the best Nerf gun? 

Overall, we think the best Nerf gun to buy right now is the Nerf N-Strike Elite Strongarm Blaster. Not only do you get a lot of gun for your money, but its impressive firing distance and sturdy appearance will appeal to children of all ages. 

The best Nerf guns

Nerf N-Strike Elite Strongarm Blaster

(Image credit: Nerf)

1. Nerf N-Strike Elite Strongarm Blaster

The best Nerf gun for quick drawing and fast-firing

Specifications
Size: 18.8x32.4x7cm
Weight: 454g
Recommended age: 8+
Batteries required?: No
Reasons to buy
+Easy to load+Holds up to 6 darts+Fires up to 90ft+Good colour range+Accurate aiming
Reasons to avoid
-Can be stiff to pull back and reload

The Nerf N-Strike Elite Strongarm Blaster is a relatively lightweight, compact Nerf gun, making it easy to wield, even for younger children. 

Design features 
With onboard bullet storage and an easy to pull trigger, this small gun is easy to handle and it doesn't require batteries to work. It comes with six bullets included, though it's worth buying plenty of spares as its impressive firing range can make for fair few lost ones. Reviewers have said it's powerful, fast and a good price – we couldn't agree more.

Firing range
Its rotating barrel holds six darts, all of which can be fired up to 90ft away. You can either fire them one at a time or use the Slam Fire function to fire them in super-quick succession. 

Nerf N-Strike Jolt Blaster

(Image credit: Nerf)

2. Nerf N-Strike Elite Jolt Blaster

The best small Nerf gun

Specifications
Size: 16.8x15.8x2.8 cm
Weight: 122g
Recommended age: 3+
Batteries required?: No
Reasons to buy
+Pocket size+Suitable for young kids+Reasonably priced+Low impact+One-handed operation possible
Reasons to avoid
-Range not as impressive as other models-Single shot only-Not great for Nerf wars

Proof, if ever it was needed, that bigger is not always better — we give you the Nerf N-Strike Elite Jolt Blaster. Great for smaller kids who can't yet hold a larger Nerf gun, but still want to join in on the fun.

Design features
With its small size comes a lack of bullet storage – only one can sit inside the gun at any one time. Though the fact it is small means it's easier to store away (it fits in a pocket), and easier for them to operate. And it's quick to reload – you can do this one-handed too.

Colour choice
It comes with two Elite darts and is also available in green and orange. 

Best for Nerf wars: Nerf Ultra One Motorised Blaster

(Image credit: Nerf)

3. Nerf Ultra One Motorised Blaster

The best for Nerf wars

Specifications
Size: H33, W60.96, D8.09cm
Weight: 1.81kg
Recommended age: 8+
Batteries required?: 4 x C
Reasons to buy
+Onboard dart storage+Can be used indoors and out+Comes with 25 Nerf Ultra darts+Darts can fly up to 120 feet away
Reasons to avoid
-Works only with Nerf Ultra darts-Eyeware not included-Expensive

The Nerf Ultra One Motorised Blaster is the king of all Nerf guns. Not only is it motorised, but it can hold a whopping 25 darts at once making it great for use in Nerf wars.

Design features
With a high capacity dart drum that can hold 25 Nerf Ultra darts at once, this Nerf gun allows you to fire and reload fast. Not just that, but it only holds Nerf Ultra darts – the furthest flying Nerf darts ever as they can land up to 36 metres away once fired. Though it should be noted that it's motorized, so it needs batteries to work, and it comes at a high price tag – as expected.

Firing range
As mentioned above, the Nerf Ultra One can only hold Nerf Ultra darts. These darts can fly up to 36 metres away, to take your Nerf games to the next level.

Nerf Magalodon N-strike blaster

(Image credit: Nerf)

4. Nerf COS1221792 Megalodon N-Strike Blaster

The best Nerf gun with sound effects

Specifications
Size: 50.8x73.7x88.9 cm
Weight: 2.5kg
Recommended age: 4+
Batteries required?: No
Reasons to buy
+Long firing range+No batteries required +Reassuringly chunky design
Reasons to avoid
-Could be heavy for younger children-Screeching darts? Not for everyone...

Part of the Nerf Mega series, the Nerf COS1221792 Megalodon N-Strike Blaster comes with 60 Nerf Mega Whistler darts that emit a bonfire night-worthy screech as they fly through the air. 

Design features 
There are no batteries required to use this Nerf gun. Simply crank the impressive-looking handle to send darts whistling towards your target – or hold the trigger down and crank that handle at the same time for slam-fire action. It comes with 60 darts included, too.

Firing range 
This model has a 20-dart rotation drum, and fires darts up to 85 feet. It also has two firing modes. 

Nerf N-Strike Elite Rhino-Fire Blaster

(Image credit: Nerf)

5. Nerf N-Strike Elite Rhino-Fire Blaster

The best double barrel Nerf gun

Specifications
Size:: 14.9x85.9x40.3 cm
Weight: 3.4kg
Recommended age: 8+
Batteries required?: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Tripod allows for steady shots+Holds up to 50 darts
Reasons to avoid
-Six D batteries required-Takes a while to reload

This is definitely a Nerf gun that will draw looks of envy from friends far and wide. The Nerf N-Strike Elite Rhino-Fire Blaster comes complete with 50 darts.  

Design features
This design comes complete with a detachable tripod, allowing for accurate and steady firing from a stationary spot – when required. 

Firing range 
The twin barrels each hold 25 bullets (which come included) and the motorised blasting means you can engulf opponents up to 90ft away with a shower of darts in seconds – no escape from this one.

NERF C2016102 Rival Star Wars Battlefront Apollo XV-700 and Face Mask

(Image credit: Nerf)

6. NERF C2016102 Rival Star Wars Battlefront Apollo XV-700 and Face Mask

The best Nerf gun for Star Wars fans

Specifications
Size: 7.3x67.3x26.7 cm
Weight: 1.36kg
Recommended age: 14+
Batteries required?: No
Reasons to buy
+Easy-to-load magazine+Comes complete with Mandalorian insignia fabric patch+Bullets and breathable face mask included
Reasons to avoid
-Mask may not fit smaller 14 year olds-Only seven rounds included

One of a handful of official licensed Star Wars products from Nerf, the NERF Rival Star Wars Battlefront Apollo XV-700 and Face Mask is the ideal addition to any Star Wars fan’s memorabilia collection.

Design features
Supplied in a reusable display box it could just sit happily in all its glory in a collector’s cabinet – but with so many fun features to get stuck into it would be a real shame…

Firing range 
Along with the breathable face mask and fabric Mandalorian insignia patch it comes with, the blaster also fires at 100 feet per second and has an easy-load magazine, a trigger lock, tactical rail, adjustable strap and a ‘ready indicator.’

Nerf Super Soaker Soakzooka

(Image credit: Nerf)

7. Nerf Super Soaker Soakzooka Multicolour

The best Nerf water gun

Specifications
Size: 6.7x53.5x23.8 cm
Weight: 798g
Recommended age: 7+
Batteries required?: No
Reasons to buy
+Good price+Holds lots of water+Easy to use
Reasons to avoid
-Doesn't have all the bells and whistles of some of the other models 

A bullet-free Nerf gun this time – the Nerf Super Soaker Soakzooka Multicolour is the perfect way to get kids outside in the summer – just make sure you stay locked inside if you want to remain dry.

Design features
Forget the puny water pistols of old, this is one serious soaker. The tank holds 1.6 litres of water and unleashes an awesome blast of water over its victims. 

Firing range
Simply move the handle back and forth to blast jets of water. Invest in a couple of these for soggy fun all summer long. 

Fortnite Nerf gun

(Image credit: Nerf)

8. Nerf Fortnite AR-L Elite Dart Blaster

The best motorised Nerf gun

Specifications
Size: H26 x W76.2 x D6.7cm
Weight: 1.4kg
Recommended age: 8+
Batteries required?: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Capture the look from Fortnite+Motorised to fire darts  faster
Reasons to avoid
-Heavy

For fans of Fortnite, this is the best Nerf gun for you. It replicates the looks and colours of the video game so your kids can feel like they are playing in real life.

Design features
The design is based on the popular video game, and the colours mimic that. There's a stock for when you really get into it and need to brace the gun against your shoulder.

Firing range
Because this Nerf gun is motorised the firing range is even further, you can power up the motor with the acceleration button and pull the trigger to shoot a dart. It comes with a 10-dart clip, plus 20 darts, so you have enough to fully load the clip and give you plenty of backup darts for reloading.

Nerf gun

(Image credit: Nerf)

9. Nerf N-Strike Mega Magnus

The best budget-friendly Nerf gun

Specifications
Size: H22.7x L34.5 x W6.6cm
Weight: 620g
Recommended age: 8+
Batteries required?: No
Reasons to buy
+Great price+Easy to use+Compact
Reasons to avoid
-Only three darts included

If you are after a simple but effective Nerf gun that's going to provide hours of fun but not break the bank, this is a great choice.

Design features
This Nerf gun is super lightweight and designed to be used with one hand so you can run around and not be weighed down. The look is slightly retro, and is really simple to use, just one click and the darts will go flying. 

Firing range
These lightweight darts fly up to 85 feet, which we think from a small toy is pretty epic. They have been redesigned too to be even bigger so they fly further. There is a build it clip so you can reload quickly too.

Nerf Alphastrike Fang QS-4

(Image credit: Argos)

10. Nerf Alphastrike Fang QS-4

The best value Nerf gun

Specifications
Size: H17.8 x W30.5 x D4.4cm
Weight: 0.3kg
Recommended age: 3+
Batteries required?: No
Reasons to buy
+Really compact +Super cheap+Great for travel
Reasons to avoid
-Doesn't have all the features of the more expensive models

If you're new to the Nerf brand, Alpha Strike blasters are the best way to test them out for just a fiver! 

Design features
This Nerf gun is super compact so they are great for taking on holidays or out for the day. Despite them being really tiny you can still fire four darts and reload really quickly with the extra six you get with the gun. You can play one handed, and they are really lightweight so perfect for running around with for hours!

Firing range
For such a small gun this model can still blast out foam darts super quickly and the range is up to 25 metres! Pretty impressive.

Nerf Elite 2.0 Phoenix CS-6 Motorised Blaster

(Image credit: Argos)

11. Nerf Elite 2.0 Phoenix CS-6 Motorised Blaster

The best Nerf gun for quick firing

Specifications
Size: H31.8 x W40.6 x D6.7cm
Weight: 0.8kg
Recommended age: 3+
Batteries required?: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Acceleration button for extra power+Fires six shots at a time+You can store 6 extra darts 
Reasons to avoid
-Batteries required (not included)

This is a motorised Nerf gun so has even more power and can shoot darts even further. It also has space for six back up darts too, so games can last even longer without being interrupted.

Design features
The acceleration button is what makes this model such a great Nerf gun. You can use the motor to power the darts so they go even further. You can fire six shots in a row or, if you are being more tactical, one at a time. There's storage for six extra darts so you can reload quickly too.

Firing range
This Nerf gun fires up to 27 metres, so great for big outdoor games. You get 12 darts with the gun too, so plenty to ensure the game lasts for a whole afternoon. 

Best Nerf gun for pet owners: Nerf Dog Tennis Ball Blaster Dog Toy

(Image credit: Nerf)

12. Nerf Dog Tennis Ball Blaster Dog Toy

The best Nerf gun for pet owners

Specifications
Size: H43 x W23 x D10cm
Weight: 0.89kg
Recommended age: For adults
Batteries required?: Nope
Reasons to buy
+One ball included+Also works with standard tennis balls+Hands-free
Reasons to avoid
-Only for pet owners-No strap

Dog owner? Tired of throwing tennis balls (and not very far, too)? You need the Nerf Dog Tennis Ball Blaster. This is how you play the ultimate game of fetch with your furry friend, without having to do too many steps, too. It also comes with one tennis ball included, and somewhere to store it on board.

Design features
Not only is this Nerf gun easy to use – simply pop a tennis ball in and pull back the orange part of the gun, aim and fire – but it's hands-free, too. When your dog brings back the wet (and probably heavily chewed) ball, just place the barrel on the tennis ball and it will pick it up.

Firing range
This Nerf gun can fire a tennis ball up to 50 feet in the air – your pup will love this! 

How to choose the best Nerf gun

Space considerations
Bear in mind the size of your home when it comes to choosing a Nerf gun, especially if you'll be letting them fire their new Nerf gun indoors as well as in the garden. Also, think about where it'll be stored when not in use. Consider your garden size, too –whilst Nerf guns with long firing ranges might sound impressive, if you have a smaller garden it's likely you'll soon tire of knocking on your neighbor's front door to retrieve lost bullets.

Features
Before buying a Nerf gun do check what is included for the price you are paying – bullets, batteries, targets, etc. are sometimes all part of the package, whilst other times you will need to buy them separately. 

Check how many batteries and what size are required before buying. Some models have upwards of six C or D batteries, which can prove very expensive to maintain.

Age, size, and weight
Think about both size and weight when choosing a Nerf gun – one with a recommended age of eight and over might very well be safe for an eight-year-old to use, but if it is very heavy or large it could be difficult for them to play with. Finally, younger children tend to like Nerf guns that hold lots of foam bullets as they can find frequent reloading frustrating. 

Safety first
One of the most common concerns about Nerf guns is their safety. In short, they are relatively safe, however, there are of course precautions you should take when using them. For example, you should never look down the barrel of the gun, never shoot at the head or face, and definitely consider investing in some safety goggles. Obviously, these are just pointers. For full advice, refer to the official safety guidance.

Do Nerf guns hurt?
Under normal circumstances, the standard Nerf darts should not cause injuries. With that in mind, though, you should always take precautions to avoid accidents.

What is the most powerful Nerf blaster?
Nerf guns vary in terms of how far they can shoot. Some reach up to 120 feet, like our most powerful choice, the Nerf Ultra One Motorised Blaster.



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