Nerf wars are a fun way to enjoy the entire line of Nerf weapons. The foam darts, discs, and balls mean there is little risk of injury, while the variety and versatility of the games make them ideal for groups of all sizes. While these battles can spring up spontaneously, they are also often carefully organized and bound by certain sets of rules. Because there are so many variations of Nerf war games, participants can choose whatever game structure is most suited to their tastes and group size. Following is an overview of the basic nerf war rules and the ways in which the rules can be tweaked.
There are a number of rules that tend to be the same across most Nerf wars. These rules dictate how players interact, and promote good sportsmanship in order to minimize injury, cheating, and argumentation. Following is a list of some of these basic rules.
This rule states that no one is to complain or argue about the game. This means that if someone claims to have hit another player, they are to be taken at their word. It also means that no one is to complain about being hit. The goal is to minimize arguments and ill will that can make the game less fun for participants. Sometimes, points are given for good behavior or removed for bad behavior, or particularly disruptive participants are removed from the game.
Nerf Gun Types
Another basic rule of the Nerf war is to limit the type of guns allowed during the game. Typically, the guns are limited to blasters, though other types of Nerf guns are sometimes allowed.
In addition, the Nerf war may limit the capabilities of the guns allowed during the game in order to keep some participants from having an unfair advantage over others. For instance, the guns may be limited to a certain number of dart mags or limited to certain modifications.
Although Nerf wars use foam Nerf guns, there is still the possibility of injury if participants play unfairly or too rough. As a result, there are often rules that are designed to maximize the safety of participants. Following are a few of the most common safety rules required during Nerf wars:
- No hitting, punching, kicking, or other physical altercations
- No intentional shots to the head
- Eye protection requirements
Finally, each Nerf war generally has a list of rules that governs how hits are counted and the effect the hits have on the player who receives them. In general, the word of the shooter is taken regarding whether or not their target was actually hit (see: Honor Rule). While all of the rules of Nerf wars can be customized and changed from game to game, the rules governing hits are usually the most fluid. Following are a few of the areas addressed by the hit rules:
- How many hits are required to “kill” a target
- Where the target must be hit to be declared “dead”
- What happens to players who have been hit.
- How players who have been hit can be “healed” or “brought back to life”
Perhaps the number one rule in Nerf wars is that all of the rules can be changed to suit the preferences of the group playing the game. As a result, every Nerf war looks a little different because it is governed by a slightly different set of rules. Following are just a few of the areas in which you may see variations on the rules:
- Existence and location of respawn points (the places where “dead” participants can go to respawn and rejoin the game)
- Whether the respawned participant rejoins their team or the opposing team
- How many hits are required to “injure” or “kill” a participant
- Whether modified Nerf guns are allowed (and which modifications are allowed)
- How participants can be healed or brought back to life
- Sizes of teams
- Length of the game
- Goal of the game
- Boundaries of the battlefield
- Whether looting of guns is allowed
- Discipline for poor sportsmanship
- And much more