The Basics of Laser Tag

Laser Tag is a shooting game like paintball and airsoft. The biggest difference between Laser Tag and other sports, however, is that Laser Tag is safe and clean. You’ll never have to wear safety equipment because players don’t shoot pellets or paint balls. Instead, Laser Tag uses completely safe light beams that will never hurt anyone. Not using pellets or paint balls also means that there won’t be any residue or cleanup involved after playing.

Laser Tag is a fun sport that a person of any age can play. It is perfect for parties, family events, corporate retreats, indoor arenas, paintball or airsoft fields, etc. It can also appeal to any type of player, whether it those looking to have fun, or a competitive group wanting a challenge.

Getting Started

The most important things to understand when playing for the first time are the equipment and the rules you have for your play area. Once you have a good understanding of both, it is important to be able to communicate the same ideas with your players. Players that understand these things will have a much better play experience than those that don’t.

It’s a good idea to include a couple of experienced taggers in any group to:

  • Explain how the equipment you are using works. Guns, Targets, Bases, or any other equipment you’re using.
  • Explain any Safety Rules and Game Mode Rules.
  • Go over play area boundaries, where players start and where players go if they are eliminated or if the game ends.
  • Explain how a player is eliminated. (A player is eliminated when they lose all of their hits. In some game modes players cannot be eliminated.)

Aiming and Target Practice

Aiming is an important skill in Laser Tag. Having a good aim will let you help your team and be a better player. However, shooting a laser tag gun can be strange for newer players. Often, they will struggle to aim and not be able to hit very many people. A great way to help newer players is by having a target set up for players to shoot at before their game starts. This allows them to get used to the gun and have a chance to understand how it works.

Laser Tag guns do not fire a visible shot. In paintball, you can see the ball, where it hits, and adjust your aim to get closer to your target. A Laser Tag shot, however, is invisible. This makes it important to understand how to aim, since you won’t be able to adjust your aim by looking at your shots

The best way to get better is to practice. Here are some things you can do to help yourself improve:

  • Shoot a target at a variety of ranges. This lets you get used to the sights and difference in distance.
  • Shoot from a variety of positions (standing, kneeling, lying down).
  • Shoot while running or leaning around cover.
  • Start with the gun pointed at the ground, and then aim and shoot as quickly as possible.

Teamwork and Tactics

Most laser tag game modes involve two or more teams. While it is possible to play successfully and have fun without teamwork (most groups of young children will have fun just running around and shooting), teams that work together toward their goal will usually win the match.

Help all players on a team understand the goal of the game mode they are playing. The winning condition will often change with the game mode. It may be a good idea to give tips and suggestions to players or teams that aren’t sure what to do.

With different winning conditions, the tactics a team will use will often change. Give players enough time before a round to talk between each other. This will help them to make a plan that they can all agree with and do together.

Have a map of your playing area placed somewhere for all the players to see. Being able to look at a map can help players understand where to go and what to do.

Try assigning or encouraging players to take on different roles. When a player has a specific job or role, they can feel more confident while playing. For example, in Team Elimination, its usually a good idea to have players spread out in the play area to make sure no one can get behind your team. Assign a player to watch the sides or to scout out enemy players.

Try having a player be the leader of a team. If you have enough players, you can also form small groups with leaders. This encourages players to listen and work together, rather than playing by themselves.

If your field is large enough, walkie talkies are a great way for teams to communicate and work together. Having a few players on the team focusing on relaying information to each other will help your team respond to the enemy.

Now that you have learned the basics of a game, the next step is to learn more about the equipment. Check back for future posts where we go over equipment specifications in more detail.

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