Difference between skirmish, milsim and speedsoft

Difference between skirmish, milsim and speedsoft
Difference between skirmish, milsim and speedsoft

You may be reading this and only recognise one of the following terms; skirmish, milsim or speedsoft or perhaps you started with one and have stuck with it ever since.

These are the three most popular Airsoft games around with their own style of play.

By taking a look at how they differ, you can decide which ones you like or which ones are more suited to you and your weapons or you may find that there are parts of all of them that you like for you to mix up your Airsoft games from time to time.


A skirmish is the most common game type run on Airsoft sites on weekends where two teams are placed on a battlefield (a skirmish site) and generally there is free rein to approach it in any way you want, wear what you want, use any weapon you want.

You may choose to be tactical and use the terrain to your advantage but you also may just go out and start shooting, much like a game of paintball.

There are a number of game modes and objectives to be completed ranging from straight shoot-outs, a team deathmatch, to capturing the flag.

Skirmishes offer short bursts of one hour battles throughout the day with breaks in-between which are needed due to the fast-paced nature of these game modes.


‘Military simulations’ look to replicate the feel of a real military operation with tactics, player roles and patience making up a huge part of the game.

Each player will be assigned a role or position as part of their team’s ‘army’ for both defensive and attacking purposes to protect your own side and weaken the other.

There will often be restrictions on what types of guns or accessories can be used for different milsim modes to put everyone on a level playing field or to reflect what would be available to soldiers in the real life scenario.

This game type can be slower in terms of action depending on which role you hold but you have the satisfaction of being on a winning team if you and your teammates succeed in the roles assigned to you.

The slower pace means the game can last for two days or longer until the battle is won so it will require you to bring plenty of ammunition to see you through.

This will also be suited to those who have a tactical mind, whether or not they are interested in military operations, such as those who like strategy games such as board games or video games.


Speedsoft seemingly changes the rules of most other Airsoft games with options for indoor and outdoor games and not much call for camouflage.

Speedsoft takes away the tactics of milsim and the terrain of skirmishes to provide a stripped back experience where the only goal is to hit others with your gun and has been compared to paintball with Airsoft guns.

The games are short and sweet lasting around five minutes at a time so it requires high energy levels for a small amount of time.

Summary of main differences

Whether you choose one or have a go at all three depends on your preferences for the style of game mode and the physicality of the game mode.

Skirmishes and speedsoft offer a more relaxed option in terms of freedom to do what you like while milsims are treated as realistically as possible in regards to military operations.

Skirmishes and speedsoft run for a fixed amount of time so you have an idea of how much equipment you will need to bring to see you through the day while milsims can last two days or more.

Milsim’s reliance on a tactical approach and assigning specific roles to players can slow the game down so you expend less energy than skirmishes and speedsoft but may stand around without seeing action for a long while.

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