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Best NERF Guns for Kids of 2021

Updated
If your kids love watching darts sail all over their backyard, this NERF gun guide is for you. 

When it comes to NERF guns and kids, bigger isn’t always better. The best NERF guns for kids are not necessarily those that shoot the furthest or have the highest capacity. They are the NERF guns that give your child the most pleasure while being safe for them to use.

NERF guns can be a lifesaver for parents when their kids are getting cabin fever from being cooped up inside for too long.

Taking customer feedback consideration, as well as many years of dodging the NERF projectiles our own kids have fired, these are our recommendations for the best NERF guns for kids.

Our Top Picks

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Image
Model
Product Comparison Table
Features
Product Image of the Evader Modulus Nerf Motorized Light-Up Toy Blaster Includes 12 Official Nerf...
Best Motorized NERF Gun
NERF N-Strike Modulus Ghost Ops Evader
  • Fun & bright
  • Includes plenty of accessories
  • Unique see-through feature
Product Image of the NERF Longstrike Modulus Toy Blaster with Barrel Extension, Bipod, Scopes, 18...
Best NERF Gun for Accuracy
NERF Modulus Longstrike CS 6
  • Comes with 3 cartridges
  • Accurate shot
  • Customizable & easy to use
Product Image of the NERF Modulus Demolisher 2-in-1 Motorized Blaster, Fires Darts and Rockets,...
Best for Beginners
Nerf Elite 2-in-1 Demolisher
  • Two types of ammo
  • Semi-automatic
  • Removable stock
Product Image of the NER Rival Kronos Battle Set AST
Best With Accessories
NERF Rival Kronos Battle Set
  • Has an internal magazine
  • Comes with eye mask for protection
  • Has 10 rounds of ammunition
Product Image of the NERF Ultra One Motorized Blaster -- 25 Ultra Darts -- Farthest Flying Darts Ever...
Best Long-Range NERF Gun
NERF Ultra One Motorized Blaster
  • Fires up to 120 feet
  • Motorized blaster
  • High-capacity drum
Product Image of the NERF Strongarm N-Strike Elite Toy Blaster with Rotating Barrel, Slam Fire, and 6...
Best Budget NERF Gun
NERF Strike Strongarm
  • Rapid-fire shooting
  • No batteries needed
  • Simple to operate
Product Image of the Nerf Rival Prometheus MXVIII-20K
Best High Capacity NERF Gun
Nerf Rival Prometheus MXVIII-20K
  • Easy to load
  • Fast firing rate
  • Includes rechargeable NiMH battery
Product Image of the Nerf Zombie Ripchain Combat Blaster
Best Belt-Fed NERF Gun
Nerf Zombie Ripchain Combat Blaster
  • Quirky styling
  • 25 dart capacity belt
  • Duel fire mechanism
Product Image of the NERF Fortnite TS-R Blaster & Llama Targets -- Pump Action Blaster, 3 Llama...
Best Fortnite NERF Gun
Nerf Fortnite TS-R Blaster and Llama Targets
  • Includes llama targets
  • No batteries required
  • Pump-action blaster
Product Image of the NERF Mega Talon Blaster -- Includes 3 Official Accustrike Mega Darts -- for...
Best Single Shot NERF Gun
NERF Mega Talon Blaster
  • Simple, one-shot gun
  • Easy to use
  • Barrel can store additional darts

What Are NERF Guns?

NERF is a line of products from the toymaker Hasbro. Most of the toys are plastic weapons and their accessories. The majority of the weapons are guns, which are technically called NERF Blasters, but there are also NERF crossbow-type weapons.

Most NERF guns fire blunt-ended cylindrical foam darts, but there are some that fire foam “rockets,” shoot balls, or have foam-ended crossbow bolt style projectiles.

There are several NERF lines, and not all use the same ammunition.

Is NERF Dangerous?

NERF blasters are not inherently dangerous. But there are guns that fire much harder than other ones do, so matching up a slower-firing gun with younger children can eliminate a lot of the issues.

As with many toys, there is the danger of injury if they are misused. This can be avoided by teaching your child never to fire their NERF gun at someone’s face or from a close range.

For anyone concerned about the potential for eye injuries, a pair of safety goggles or a visor will be plenty of protection.

What Age Is Appropriate For NERF Guns?

The majority of NERF guns are rated for children 8 years and over, but the more powerful weapons have a recommended minimum age of 14.

If you choose to give your child a NERF blaster before they are 8, then ensure they can use the weapon responsibly and that they are closely supervised. Also, it’s a good idea to invest in the face shield or goggles we mentioned earlier.

Benefits of NERF Guns for Kids

Many people are surprised to know there are benefits to playing with NERF guns.

  • NERF promotes activity: NERF blasters are an ideal way for children to be physically active. Kids who play with NERF guns will be running, crouching, bending, twisting, and jumping, all of which are beneficial.
  • It helps with hand-eye coordination: Playing with NERF guns promotes hand-eye coordination. Even loading darts into the chamber can be beneficial for kids.
  • It gets your mind moving, too: Typical NERF play requires planning, forward-thinking, and a degree of strategizing, all of which are valuable skills.
  • NERF fosters creativity: NERF weapons can help to promote imagination and creativity, which are all critical for your child’s development (1). Kids may play games involving aliens, zombies, or other fanciful situations.
  • It helps a child’s social game: Although it may feel counter-intuitive, NERF guns can improve social skills. Kids learn to lose, put themselves in the position of others, take turns, and consider other people’s feelings.

The Best Kids NERF Guns of 2021

Here are 15 excellent NERF guns to consider.

1. NERF N-Strike Modulus Ghost Ops Evader

Best Motorized NERF Gun for Kids

Our favorite NERF blaster, the Ghost Ops Evader, is lightweight, easy to use, and a great size for almost any NERF warrior.

The clear plastic allows you to see the inner workings of your NERF gun as well as how many darts you have left. This is a wonderful perk for kids who are curious about how things work.

The entire thing lights up and is visible, even in low light, or you can use stealth mode and leave the lights off. A barrel extension is included, and this too lights up when connected to the gun.

The Evader is good to go as is, but there are also many accessories available to customize your NERF and make it unique to you.

Pros

  • Fun and bright.
  • Easy to use.
  • Plenty of accessories available.
  • The see-through feature is unique.

Cons

  • Requires batteries.

Additional Specs

Age Range 8 years and older
Weight 3.2 pounds
Capacity 12 Elite dart magazine, expandable
Prime style Acceleration trigger
What’s in the box NERF blaster, 12 Elite darts, 1 x 12 Elite dart capacity magazine, barrel extension

2. NERF Modulus Longstrike CS 6

Best NERF Gun For Accuracy

Another NERF Modulus line weapon, the Longstrike is accurate up to about 30 feet, although it does shoot much further. It fires at a velocity of approximately 70 feet per second.

There are three cartridges, and while one is in use, the other two can be stored in the stock. Having the magazines close at hand and having the ambidextrous clip release make this an extremely easy NERF blaster to use.

As with all Modulus weapons, this one can be customized. But unlike others, there are plenty of custom possibilities straight out of the box, so there’s no need to go out and buy more NERF gear immediately.

Pros

  • Flexible.
  • Accurate.
  • Easy to use.

Cons

  • An Amazon exclusive, not available in stores.

Additional Specs

Age Range 8 years and older
Weight 2.2 pounds
Capacity 3 x 6 NERF Elite dart clips included. Other clips available can hold up to 24 darts.
Prime style Bolt action
What’s in the box NERF blaster, 3 x 6 Elite dart capacity magazines, 18 Elite darts, barrel extension, bipod, scope

3. Nerf Elite 2-in-1 Demolisher

Best NERF Gun For Beginners

New for 2020 and exclusive to Amazon is the updated NERF Elite 2-in-1 Demolisher.

This 2-in-1 NERF holds 10 darts, which are fired from the upper barrel via the semi-automatic, motorized acceleration trigger. The pump-action, lower barrel fires a NERF rocket.

We particularly like that it is easy to fire and light enough for smaller NERFers while being beefy enough for older kids. The stock can be removed to make the gun more compact or left on for greater stability and accuracy.

Pros

  • Two types of ammo.
  • Semi-automatic.
  • Removable stock.

Cons

  • Requires batteries.

Additional Specs

Age Range 8 years and older
Weight 3 pounds
Capacity 10 Elite darts in an external magazine, and 1 NERF Rocket
Prime style Acceleration trigger for dart firing, pump-action for rocket firing
What’s in the box NERF blaster, 10 Elite darts, 1 x 10 Elite dart capacity banana magazine, 2 rockets

4. NERF Rival Kronos Battle Set

Best NERF Gun with Accessories

The NERF Rival Kronos comes with the blaster, eye-mask, and ten rounds of ammunition. This makes it both a well-equipped and safe option for older or more responsible NERF fans.

An internal magazine holds five rounds at once, so there’s no need to reload after every shot, while at the same time requiring your child to slow down a little and consider how to use their ammo.

The eye-mask has an adjustable elastic strap, so it is both snug and comfortable. It also has a color indicator at the top so you can change between red, blue, or white, which is an excellent feature for teams.

Pros

  • No need for additional items.
  • Internal magazine.
  • Two colors available.
  • It comes with an eye mask for protection.

Cons

  • More powerful than you may want for younger children.

Additional Specs

Age Range 14 years and older
Weight 1.95 pounds
Capacity 5 Kronos rounds in an internal magazine
Prime style Slide action
What’s in the box NERF blaster, safety goggles, 10 balls

5. NERF Ultra One Motorized Blaster

Best Long-Range NERF Gun For Kids

For high-octane craziness, nothing can beat the Ultra One motorized blaster. You can load the drum with 25 darts and let the powered acceleration trigger do all of the work.

With an advertised range of 120 feet, the Ultra One takes Ultra darts, which are made of a different foam than the regular orange NERF ammunition. This lightweight foam, combined with the fins, makes these the furthest flying darts, but the Ultra ammo is not compatible with other non-Ultra NERF weapons.

Pros

  • Fires up to 120 feet.
  • Motorized.
  • High capacity.

Cons

  • Requires four C batteries.
  • Requires a special dart that only works with Ultras.

Additional Specs

Age Range 8 years and older
Weight 4.1 pounds
Capacity 25 NERF Ultra darts
Prime style Acceleration trigger
What’s in the box NERF blaster, 25 Ultra darts

6. NERF Strike Strongarm

Best Budget NERF Gun for Kids

The NERF Strongarm ships in a basic brown cardboard box, which keeps costs down and means you get more NERF bang for your buck than you might otherwise.

The slide action priming mechanism does not require any tremendous amount of strength, and the rotating 6 dart capacity barrel flips open for easy reloading.

With a range of up to 90 feet, this is easily good enough for basic NERF shenanigans in the yard while still being suitable for shooting at friends and siblings from further away.

Pros

  • Excellent value.
  • Rapid-fire.
  • No batteries.
  • Highly affordable.
  • Simple to operate.

Cons

  • It only holds six darts.

Additional Specs

Age Range 8 years and older
Weight 0.6 pounds
Capacity 6 NERF Elite Darts
Prime style Slide action
What’s in the box NERF blaster, 6 NERF Elite darts

7. Nerf Rival Prometheus MXVIII-20K

Best High Capacity NERF Gun For Kids

The Prometheus is loaded via an easy-to-use port on the top of the weapon, which is a good thing because this monster holds a whopping 200 Rival rounds.

Fitted with NERF’s advanced acceleration system, this weapon fires up to eight rounds a second. Even if you fill it up to the brim with rounds, it can be emptied in just 25 seconds. To achieve this rate of fire, the blaster is powered by a rechargeable NiMH battery, which is included.

Each of those rounds has a velocity of 100 feet per second, and you’ll need two hands to hold, fire, and control the gun.

Pros

  • High capacity.
  • Fast firing rate.
  • Battery level indicator light.

Cons

  • Large and weighty.
  • 200 balls to pick up when you’re done.

Additional Specs

Age Range 14 years and older
Weight 4.5 pounds
Capacity 200 NERF Rival rounds
Prime style Acceleration trigger
What’s in the box NERF blaster, 200 Rival rounds, battery, charger, sling, two flags

8. Nerf Zombie Ripchain Combat Blaster

Best Belt-Fed NERF Gun For Kids

The Ripchain Combat Blaster has a 25-dart capacity belt, which is loaded onto the gun via a simple to use flip-up hatch.

The duel fire mechanism allows you to shoot a single dart at a time or “slam-fire” up to 25 darts in rapid succession. Slam-fire requires you to pump the prime mechanism and pull the trigger, which takes a little getting used to. But once you get the knack, it’s easy.

Some owners have complained that the belt jams during slam-fire, but we’ve had many hours of use out of a few of these blasters and never had an issue.

Pros

  • Quirky styling.
  • 25 dart capacity.
  • The belt-fed loader might look cool to some kids.

Cons

  • NERF doesn’t make spare belts.
  • Slam-fire mode can, occasionally, skip darts.

Additional Specs

Age Range 8 years and older
Weight 3 pounds
Capacity 25 Zombie Strike Darts
Prime style Pump action
What’s in the box NERF blaster, 25 Zombie Strike, Elite darts, 1 x 25 capacity Zombie Strike Elite dart feeder belt

9. Nerf Fortnite TS-R Blaster and Llama Targets

Best Fortnite NERF Gun

There’s an extensive array of NERF and Fortnite crossover weapons showcasing a variety of styles and capacities. But the TS-R Blaster is the cream of the crop for its broad appeal and cool accessories.

Made in the style of the Fortnite heavy shotgun, the TS-R can be loaded with four NERF Mega darts at once, and there’s space in the stock to hold four more. This is useful because you can fire several shots at the included llama targets before having to go and retrieve your darts.

The blaster is pump-action and does not require a great deal of strength to use, making it especially suitable for kids at the younger end of the age spectrum.

Pros

  • Includes targets.
  • No batteries are required.
  • Reasonably light.

Cons

  • Sometimes it can jam.
  • Relatively low capacity for a large gun.

Additional Specs

Age Range 8 years and older
Weight 2.6 pounds
Capacity 4 NERF Mega darts
Prime style Slide action
What’s in the box NERF blaster, 8 Mega darts, 3 plastic llama targets

10. NERF Mega Talon Blaster

Best Single Shot NERF Gun For Kids

Do you have a younger child who wants a NERF gun because the older kids have one? Or if you’ve been asked for a NERF gun and don’t think your child will really use it, then this is the blaster for you.

This simple, one-shot NERF gun is loaded by poking the Mega dart into the barrel. You prime by pulling down on the plunger at the base of the grip. There’s also room to store an additional dart on the top of the barrel and another in a slot on the handle.

Pros

  • No batteries.
  • Simple to use.
  • Inexpensive.

Cons

  • Single capacity.
  • Slow reload.

Additional Specs

Age Range 8 years and older
Weight 1.6 ounces
Capacity 1 NERF Mega dart
Prime style Slide action
What’s in the box NERF blaster, 3 Mega darts

11. Nerf Rival Roundhouse XX-1500

Best Ball Firing NERF Gun

The Rival Roundhouse features a fun, clear chamber that allows you to see exactly how many rounds you have left. This is especially useful in the heat of battle when you forget to count how many shots you fire.

The tactical rails give you the option to add any accessories you may need, although this blaster is an excellent weapon as is.

With a projectile velocity of 90 feet per second, it’s at the more powerful end of the range, so eye protection is especially important with this blaster.

Pros

  • Safety switch.
  • Two tactical rails.
  • No batteries are required.

Cons

  • Takes some strength to prime.
  • Ammunition is more expensive than darts.

Additional Specs

Age Range 14 years and older
Weight 2 pounds
Capacity 15 NERF Rival rounds in an internal magazine
Firing style Slide action
What’s in the box NERF blaster, 15 Rival rounds

12. NERF SuperSoaker Scatterblast

Best Super Soaker NERF Water Gun

If you want to avoid toy guns with ammunition, NERF makes an entire line of water guns called SuperSoakers.

The pump-action Scatterblast is easy for kids as young as 6 to use and fires five water streams at once. Don’t ask me why, but somehow this seems more fun than the same amount of water in a single stream.

There’s a flip-up sight if you want to aim, or it can be used with the sight down when you don’t mind who or what you hit.

Pros

  • No ammunition to lose.
  • Less risk of injury.
  • No batteries are required.

Cons

  • Outdoor use only.

Additional Specs

Age Range 6 years and older
Weight 12.9 ounces
Capacity Almost 3 cups of water.
Prime style Pump action
What’s in the box NERF blaster

13. Nerf Rival Nemesis MXVII-10K

Best Automatic NERF Gun for Kids

The fully automatic NERF Rival Nemesis has a hopper system that’s easily refilled via the large opening on the top surface. Then simply flip a switch to power up, and you can rapid-fire up to 100 balls with a single squeeze on the trigger.

The rounds are fired at roughly 100 feet per second, and with six D cell batteries, the gun will be empty in under 45 seconds. If you pick up a rechargeable battery pack, the fire rate goes up, and the Nemesis will empty in about 30 seconds.

Pros

  • Removable hopper.
  • Fully automatic.
  • Trigger lock.

Cons

  • Requires six D batteries or rechargeable battery pack.
  • Heavier than most.

Additional Specs

Age Range 14 years and older
Weight 5 pounds
Capacity 100 NERF Rival balls
Firing style Acceleration trigger
What’s in the box NERF blaster, 100 Rival balls

14. NERF Star Wars Bounty Hunter Blaster

Best NERF Star Wars Blaster For Kids

This fun little Star Wars-themed blaster from NERF comes with special Star Wars Glowstrike ammunition, which glows in the dark. Refills for the ammunition are available, and this blaster can also fire the standard NERF Elite brand darts.

Once primed, the inside of the Bounty Hunter Blaster lights up and charges the glowing ammo, and although it has two barrels, the intelligent airflow system will only allow one barrel at a time to fire.

Pros

  • Compatible with NERF Elite darts.
  • Sound effects.
  • Glow-in-the-dark darts.
  • Requires just one AA battery.

Cons

  • Slow “gameplay.”

Additional Specs

Age Range 6 years and older
Weight 1.8 pounds
Capacity 2 NERF Glowstrike darts
Prime style Slide action
What’s in the box NERF blaster, 4 NERF Glowstrike darts

15. Nerf Zombie Strike Wrathbolt

Best NERF Crossbow For Kids

The Wrathbolt works like a real crossbow. You draw back the elastic string and hook it into place. Then, load one of the Zombie Strike arrows into the barrel, aim, and pull the trigger to fire.

The Zombie Strike arrows have coordinating green flights, and the tips are large, rounded, and made of foam. What is incredibly fun is that they are designed to make a whistling noise as they fly, which adds a unique element to your NERF war.

Pros

  • Built-in arrow storage.
  • The range is approximately 50 feet.
  • It’s a cool twist on the usual NERF blasters.

Cons

  • Extra ammunition is less affordable.
  • It requires some strength to load.

Additional Specs

Age Range 8 years and older
Weight 3.52 ounces
Capacity 1 NERF Zombie Strike Arrow
Prime style Drawback elastic bow
What’s in the box NERF crossbow, 2 NERF Zombie Strike arrows

Nerf Gun Comparison Chart

Product Best Age Range Weight Capacity Prime style
NERF N-Strike Modulus Ghost Ops Evader Motorized 8+ years 3.2 lbs 12 Elite dart magazine, expandable Acceleration trigger
NERF Modulus Longstrike CS 6 Accuracy 8+y ears 2.2 lbs 3 x 6 NERF Elite dart clips Bolt action
Nerf Elite 2-in-1 Demolisher Beginners 8+ years 3 lbs 10 Elite darts in an external magazine, & 1 NERF Rocket Acceleration trigger for dart firing, pump-action for rocket firing
NERF Rival Kronos Battle Set Accessories 14+ years 1.95 lbs 5 Kronos rounds in an internal magazine Slide action
NERF Ultra One Motorized Blaster Long-Range 8+ years 4.1 lbs 25 NERF Ultra darts Acceleration trigger
NERF Strike Strongarm Budget Pick 8+ years 0.6 lbs 6 NERF Elite Darts Slide action
Nerf Rival Prometheus MXVIII-20K High Capacity 14+ years 4.5 lbs 200 NERF Rival rounds Acceleration trigger
Nerf Zombie Ripchain Combat Blaster Belt-Fed 8+ years 3 lbs 25 Zombie Strike Darts Pump action
Nerf Fortnite TS-R Blaster and Llama Targets Fortnite 8+ years 2.6 lbs 4 NERF Mega darts Slide action
NERF Mega Talon Blaster Single Shot 8+ years 1.6 oz 1 NERF Mega dart Slide action
Nerf Rival Roundhouse XX-1500 Ball Firing 14+ years 2 lbs 15 NERF Rival rounds in an internal magazine Slide action
NERF SuperSoaker Scatterblast Super Soaker 6+ years 12.9 oz Almost 3 cups of water Pump action
Nerf Rival Nemesis MXVII-10K Automatic 14+ years 5 lbs 100 NERF Rival balls Acceleration trigger
NERF Star Wars Bounty Hunter Blaster Star Wars Blaster 6+ years 1.8 lbs 2 NERF Glowstrike darts Slide action
Nerf Zombie Strike Wrathbolt Crossbow 8+ years 3.52 oz 1 NERF Zombie Strike Arrow Drawback elastic bow

Tips for Playing Safely with NERF Guns

Here are our top safety tips to ensure a fun and safe play experience while using NERF guns.

  • Set clear safety rules, communicate them clearly, and regularly review them with your child.
  • Only allow your child to play with NERF weapons if they are mature enough to stick to your safety rules.
  • Stick to the safety rules yourself (2).
  • The most common NERF safety issues are eye injuries. A pair of safety goggles or a visor will provide protection.
  • Restrict your child to play NERF in areas you have approved as being safe. Stay away from roads, bodies of water, or uneven surfaces where they can trip and fall.
  • Do not allow your child to modify or use modified NERF weapons or projectiles.
  • If you have younger children in the home, or your child will be playing in a location where younger children may be, ensure all ammunition is picked up, accounted for, and properly stored after use

Ready, Aim, Fire

Just as with almost any toy, there’s the potential for kids to be hurt when playing with NERF weapons.

However, as long as you choose weapons suitable for your child’s age and abilities, and your children stick to the safety rules, there is no reason why they should come to any harm, except for possibly some hurt pride or feelings.

Headshot of Patricia Barnes

About the Author

Patricia Barnes

Patricia Barnes is a homeschooling mom of 5 who has been featured on Global TV, quoted in Parents magazine, and writes for a variety of websites and publications. Doing her best to keep it together in a life of constant chaos, Patti would describe herself as an eclectic mess maker, lousy crafter, book lover, autism mom, and insomniac.

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