How Old Do You Have to Be to Play Airsoft in the UK? Everything You Need to Know

How Old Do You Have to Be to Play Airsoft in the UK

When it comes to airsoft games, one of the most frequently asked questions is: how old do you have to be to play airsoft? If you’ve been wondering if you or your children can play airsoft in the UK, we’ve got the answer for you.

In this helpful guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know, including the required legal age to play airsoft and at what age you can purchase a weapon so your first foray into the world of airsoft is a legal and happy one.

So, let’s get into it!

UK Airsoft RegulationLegal Age
To play airsoft18+ to play without the permission of an adult.Under 18 – typically need signed permission from an adult.Under 16 – typically need to be accompanied by an adult to the site.Minimum age to play will depend on the airsoft site
To purchase an airsoft gunTwo-tone: 18+RIF: 18+ years with a valid UKARA license or be a member of an insured airsoft site
Can under 18s play airsoft in the UK
How Old Do You Have to Be to Play Airsoft in the UK? Everything You Need to Know

Image by cicerocastro via

Legal Age Limitations for Airsoft in the UK

In the UK, you must be 18 or over to play airsoft – without the permission of an adult. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t play airsoft if you’re younger than 18. 

Many airsoft venues may set their own age limitations. Typically, though, anyone between the ages of 16 and 18 years old will need signed permission from an adult, and anyone under 16 will need to be accompanied by an adult to the game.

As far as the minimum age limit, this is usually 12 years old, but you can check with the individual airsoft site to determine what this is (either on their website or by directly contacting them).

Can Under 18’s Play at Airsoft Shooting Ranges?

Again, the same rules apply to airsoft shooting ranges as they do airsoft sites. Anyone over the age of 18 can use or play at a shooting range, anyone under 18 will need permission from an adult, and anyone under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. 

Airsoft gun ranges will set their own age limits on how old you can be to attend – some may choose not to allow anyone under 16 for safety reasons, so be sure to check before booking.

At Socom Tactical, we welcome players of all ages and abilities, including first-timers! We have a minimum age requirement of 18 years old.

Minimum Age for Purchasing Airsoft Weapons

Purchasing an airsoft gun (also referred to as a Realistic Imitation Firearm or RIF) does have a strict age restriction. 

In the United Kingdom, the minimum age for purchasing airsoft weapons differs based on the type of weapon. As per the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006, anyone aged 18 and above can purchase a two-toned airsoft gun, i.e., it does not resemble a real firearm. A two-toned gun is painted in two bright colours to distinguish the weapon from a RIF – we offer a two-tone service with our airsoft guns, so it’s really easy to make sure you’re compliant with the law.

For buying Realistic Imitation Firearms (RIF), which look similar to a real gun, the buyer must be at least 18 years old and possess a valid defence, such as being a registered member of an insured airsoft site or holding a UKARA

What Types of Airsoft Guns Can Under 18s Use
How Old Do You Have to Be to Play Airsoft in the UK? Everything You Need to Know

Image by Ton Photograph via

What Types of Airsoft Guns Can Under 18’s Use?

Under 18’s are legally allowed to use both Realistic Imitation Firearms (RIFs) and two-tone airsoft guns in the UK. However, they are not permitted to purchase them

Most airsoft sites have airsoft guns available for hire, enabling those under 18 to participate in the sport under responsible adult supervision. 

Are There FPS Limits for Under-18s?

Yes, there are usually FPS limits for under-18s in the UK, but these are not legally imposed. Rather, they’re typically set by individual airsoft sites for safety reasons and may vary from site to site. There are also limits for all airsoft players, not just under 18s.

Standard FPS limits for AEGs (Automatic Electric Guns) often range between 320 and 350 FPS, while for sniper rifles, the limit might be around 500 FPS.

These limits are set to ensure a safe environment, particularly for younger players. It’s always best to check with the specific venue or airsoft site you’re planning to attend to learn about their FPS restrictions.

What is Junior Airsoft
How Old Do You Have to Be to Play Airsoft in the UK? Everything You Need to Know

Image by GMB Visuals via

What is Junior Airsoft?

Junior airsoft is a provision made for younger players to engage in the sport of airsoft. It’s an excellent way for individuals under the age of 18 to get involved in the airsoft community and participate in games.

Junior airsoft games are structured in the same way as standard games but with additional safety measures and considerations in place.

It’s mandatory for younger players to have adult supervision, and the games are often adjusted to suit the age and experience level of the players. This includes potential modifications to game rules, the use of low-powered airsoft guns, and strict enforcement of safety clothing and gear usage.

Also, it might be challenging for younger airsoft players when attending regular games, so junior airsoft provides a more level playing field.

The goal is to create a safe, enjoyable, and age-appropriate environment for young airsoft enthusiasts.

Summary: How Old Do You Have to Be to Play Airsoft?

So, to summarise, you must be 18 years old in the UK to play airsoft without permission from an adult or parent, and anyone under 18 must either be accompanied by or have permission from a legal adult to play at a site.

The minimum age that you can be to play airsoft will be up to the individual airsoft site, but this is typically 12 years old.

Always remember, while age is a factor in airsoft participation, understanding the rules, respecting fellow players, and prioritising safety is paramount.

If you’re ready to embark on your airsoft adventure, why not take a look at our extensive range of airsoft gear and weapons today?


About Laurence Kay

Laurence is a keen airsoft player and has been the owner of SoCom Tactical for over 10 years. He’s played airsoft all over the country solo and as part of teams and is an expert on all things airsoft, like tactics, airsoft guns and gameplay equipment. As one of the UK’s leading airsoft suppliers and retailers, Laurence is the go-to source for airsoft knowledge.