Best Nerf guns 2020: 12 top picks to entertain all the family this autumn

Our best Nerf guns are guaranteed to provide hours of fun in the garden, whatever the weather

Best nerf guns
(Image credit: Future)

You would think finding the best Nerf guns would be a pretty easy task. How hard can it be, just google 'Nerf gun', click and order, job done. But if you have entered the realm of Nerf guns before, you will know it is not that easy. You will in fact be met with page after page of foam blasting guns – different colours, different prices, different cartoon characters printed on the side!  Where do you even start?

Well might we suggest right here. We’ve rounded up the best Nerf guns to suit all budgets and all requirements –ranging from the simple, cheaper models that require no batteries, to those at the higher end of the price scale offering features such as semi-automatic fire. We’ve compared weights, sizes and firing distances to help you choose the best Nerf gun for you. So, turn off the TVs and tablets and get outside for some Nerf gun fun. 

Want even more ideas for outdoor fun once you've chosen your new Nerf guns? Head to our pick of the best trampolines and give the kids hours of entertainment (and exercise) with our favourite buys. 

The best Nerf guns 2020

Nerf gun strong-arm blaster

(Image credit: Nerf)

1. Nerf N-Strike Elite Strongarm Blaster

Best sensibly priced design: perfect for quick draw, fast-firing fun

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, so easy to wield for even younger children.

Design features 

Another bonus of this model is that no batteries are required. It's worth buying plenty of spare bullets to go with this one as its impressive firing range can mean a fair few lost bullets.

Firing range

Its rotating barrel holds six darts — 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 Nemesis

(Image credit: Nerf)

2. Nerf Rival Nemesis MXVII-10K Gun

Best design for Nerf gun addicts: the perfect choice for hardcore fans

Specifications
Size: 12.1x31.1x74.1cm
Weight: 2.27kg
Recommended age: 14+
Batteries required?: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Fires 100 rounds without needing to reload+Fires rounds of 100ft per second+Fully motorised+Foam bullets that are soft on impact
Reasons to avoid
-Heavy-Expensive

One to keep the teens happy, the Nerf Rival Nemesis MXVII-10K Gun is bound to attract gasps of envy from far and wide. 

Design features

It has a fully-motorised blaster and a hopper capable of holding up to 100 high-impact rounds. Although it comes with a hefty price tag, this would make the ideal gift, and comes in blue or red — perfect for team games.

Firing range 

There is literally no escape from this Nerf gun as it can pepper out foam bullets at a speed of 100 feet per second.

Nerf N-Strike Jolt Blaster

(Image credit: Nerf)

3. Nerf N-Strike Elite Jolt Blaster

Best compact size: a neat little pocket Nerf gun that no-one will see coming

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

Proof, if ever it was needed, that bigger is not always better — we give you the Nerf N-Strike Elite Jolt Blaster. 

Design features

Its compact proportions and easy operation makes it easy to launch an unexpected attack — this small Nerf gun is easy to hide in your pocket and this cute shooter is quick to reload one-handed too.

Colour choice

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

Nerf Magalodon N-strike blaster

(Image credit: Nerf)

4. Nerf COS1221792 Megalodon N-Strike Blaster

Best for sound effects: big, battery-free, super noisy fun

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 with this design. To use, 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. 

Firing range 

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

Nerf N-Strike Elite Rhino-Fire Blaster

(Image credit: Nerf)

5. Nerf N-Strike Elite Rhino-Fire Blaster

Best double barrel design: two barrels mean double the fun

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 are 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

Best for Star Wars fans: this special edition lets you battle like a Mandalorian

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 Zombie Strike Crossfire Bow

(Image credit: Nerf)

7. Nerf Zombie Strike Crossfire Bow

Best crossbow style Nerf gun: send those Zombies packing with this bright design

Specifications
Size: 6.4x41.9x30.5cm
Weight: 875g
Recommended age: 8+
Batteries required?: No
Reasons to buy
+Easy to load +Super bright, fun design+Great for imaginative play+Impressive firing speed
Reasons to avoid
-Only comes with four darts included-High firing speed can result in breakages if used indoors – and could be painful in the hands of younger children

Suspect a zombie apocalypse might be on the cards? Fear not — the Nerf Zombie Strike Crossfire Bow has your back.

Design features

The crossbow design is not only a nice change from the other Nerf guns on the market, but it also makes for a very pleasing pull-back firing action. Up to four bullets can be loaded at a time – simply pull back the string to load and fire the trigger to release. 

Firing range

Bullets are a zingy bright green and accuracy is good, plus this gun fires bullets with quite some oomph – a plus or a minus depending on how you look at it. On the downside, only four darts are included.

Nerf Super Soaker Soakzooka

(Image credit: Nerf)

8. Nerf Super Soaker Soakzooka Multicolour

Best water gun: just the ticket for fun water fights in the garden

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)

9. Nerf Fortnite AR-L Elite Dart Blaster

Best motorised blaster: the ideal Nerf gun for Fortnite fans

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)

10. Nerf N-Strike Mega Magnus

Best budget-friendly Nerf gun: a great toy that won't break the bank

Specifications
Size:
Weight:
Recommended age:
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)

11. Nerf Alphastrike Fang QS-4

Best value design: a compact Nerf gun that's only a fiver!

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! Perfect stocking filler too!

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)

12. Nerf Elite 2.0 Phoenix CS-6 Motorised Blaster

Best for quick firing: this motorised Nerf gun is perfect for quick fire games that need some extra power

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. 

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. 

How to buy the best Nerf guns

When it comes to choosing the right Nerf gun for your children, first pay attention to the recommended age guide, although use a degree of common sense too.

Space considerations

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 neighbour'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 upwards of six C or D batteries which can prove very expensive to maintain.

Younger children

Think about size and weight too – a gun with a recommended age of 8+ might 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. 

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