Best Nerf guns 2022, for all budgets

The best Nerf guns are perfect for blasting around the garden while kids are cooped up – and there are even Nerf Fortnite options

The best Nerf guns: Image depicts yellow Nerf gun on black background
(Image credit: Pixabay )

The best Nerf guns 2022 has to offer will provide hours of endless fun. From the basic pistols to the bigger super-charged guns that have great range and realistic rotating magazines, the best Nerf guns are an amazing toy for both kids and adults alike.

Our round up of the best models include Nerf pistols, Nerf blasters, Nerf rifles and Nerf machine guns – so pick your weapon as you set out to battle. It can be a difficult decision, but we’ve broken down the best of the best and why you should buy. Whether you’re looking for something specific or you’re on a budget and want something affordable to keep the kids happy, we’ve chosen the best Nerf guns for all, taking into consideration things such as battery life, size, cost and performance, to ensure you choose the right Nerf gun for you.

Check out our full list below for more details. And if Nerf guns are not really your thing, perhaps you’d prefer to stay indoors with one of the best Lego sets while the kids battle it out in the garden.

The sheer volume of Nerf weapons available has left many justifiably confused as to which blaster they should add to their arsenal, or trust their children with. This is where we step in: read on for our list of the best Nerf guns right now.

Don't forget to check out our list of the best water guns (opens in new tab) as well, and our guide to the best toys (opens in new tab) overall. And for the more indoors types, we've got the best board games (opens in new tab) and best Lego sets (opens in new tab).

The best Nerf guns 2022

Nerf Elite 2.0 Commander RD-6 on stone floorT3 Best Buy badge

(Image credit: Future)

1. Nerf Elite 2.0 Commander RD-6

The best Nerf gun overall with a big range and small price

Reasons to buy

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Impressive reach when you fire
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Modular add-ons
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No batteries required

Reasons to avoid

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Small magazine
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Unstealthy priming for the shot

For balancing price and foam-shooting power, this can't be beaten. You need to prime your shots using a noisy mechanism that will make stalking hard if you didn't do it in advance, but there's no argument with the results – this fires its six bullets over a great distance with good accuracy.

You can can fire all six darts that it's loaded with in rapid succession, and the only downside here is that limited magazine size. Pay more and you can fire more darts between reloads. Otherwise, there are no complaints here, and Nerf's modular system is supported, so you can add sights or a stock or other upgrades. It's just a huge amount of fun for a low cost, as we explain in our full Nerf Elite 2.0 Commander RD-6 review (opens in new tab).

Nerf Elite 2.0 Shockwave RD-15 on wooden floorT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Future)

2. Nerf Elite 2.0 Shockwave RD-15

The best Nerf gun for bountiful blasting at a great price

Reasons to buy

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15-dart magazine
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Modular expansion options
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No batteries needed

Reasons to avoid

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Can jam when you really go for it

Want more firepower than our first pick? This is the obvious step up, using a similar battery-free firing system, but upping the ante with a 15-bullet drum. That's a lot of firing before you run out, and your opponents will feel the brunt of it. The whole thing is a bit bigger than the model above, but is still pretty handle-able for most kids.

It comes with 30 darts in total, so inevitably losing a few when you're raining them over someone else isn't too much of a worry. You can fire them one at a time, or get some good rapid-fire going – we did experience the darts catching when trying to shoot as fast as possible, though. It wasn't a deal breaker for us, though – we still enjoyed using this massively, as you can read in our full Nerf Elite 2.0 Shockwave RD-15 review (opens in new tab).

Nerf N-Strike Elite Disruptor 2-Pack on white backgroundT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Nerf)

3. Nerf N-Strike Elite Disruptor 2-Pack

The best value Nerf gun pack

Reasons to buy

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Twin guns
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6-dart rotating drum
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Fires up to 27m

Reasons to avoid

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You're gonna need more darts

The thing about Nerf guns is that they're much more fun when there's more than one of you. So this great value twin pack will deliver hours of fun – provided you invest in some extra darts, because the pack only includes 12 darts for the two six-shooters.

The N-Strike Elite range is its of fun, and these two sharp-shooters have rotating drums and slide-release priming for fast and intense action. You can fire one dart at a time or use the slam-and-strike action to fire all six darts in quick succession, making quick work of your enemies. Although these pistols are relatively small compared to the rifle-based models in the same range, they're capable of firing up to 27m (90 feet).

Nerf Elite Retaliator on white backgroundT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Nerf)

4. Nerf Elite Retaliator

A modular blaster that comes with tons of shooting potential

Reasons to buy

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Plus Pack comes with lots of darts
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Four different configurations
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Impressive accuracy

Reasons to avoid

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Spring can occasionally cause it to jam

The Nerf Elite Retaliator (brilliant Nerf name, first of all) modular blaster can go from a single-handed pistol to a long-range two-handed weapon of foamy destruction once you add on the stock and barrel. It can fire darts up to 27 metres with impressive accuracy, and it shoots rapidly from a drum that contains 25 darts. Oh, and this special set comes with a second drum so you can continue firing right away (and it has 50 darts to fill them both, naturally).

Nerf Nitro Motofury Rapid Rally on white backgroundT3 Approved badge

5. Nerf Nitro Motofury Rapid Rally

Table and floor-based chaos with this car spewing system

Reasons to buy

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A genuinely innovative new way to play
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Expandable with other sets in the range
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Comes with a huge amount of extras and accessories

Reasons to avoid

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Not suitable for all floor surfaces

There are a number of sets in the Nerf Nitro range; they must have named the Nitro Motofury Rapid Rally though whilst the over-enthusiastic Nerf naming team were on an away day. Aimed at extending the appeal of the brand, this new foam-car-launching-system uses the motorised air-chamber to hurl out the cars at a decent speed from the blasters ramp. The cars are equipped with more sturdy and speed worthy plastic wheels and achieve decent distances - wood and lino is best, short office style carpet is fine, anything else will chafe the low-clearance chassis slowing it significantly.

This top-of-the range Nerf gun set comes with nine cars, ramps and a bunch of obstacles for you to line-up and smash up. There are smaller sets in the series with shrunken down blasters and a few different accessories including the rings of fire. Introduce household items to extend your targets further upwards for more satisfying collapses.

Nerf Accustrike Falconfire on white backgroundT3 Approved badge

6. Nerf Accustrike Falconfire

Phil ”The Power” Taylor's choice of Nerf gun blaster

Reasons to buy

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Increased accuracy
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Simple design
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Superior darts

Reasons to avoid

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Slow to load

The more sniper-like look of the Accustrike range is no mistake, as it has been developed for those on your crack squad who like to sit in secret and take pin-point pot shots at opponents fairing far too well in the field. If not for this reason, you should own an Accustrike FalconFire Nerf gun, as with a modicum of practice, you should well be able to win target based bets as the darts are most certainly superior. Designers spent over two years on the dart design and, as a direct result, they’re better balanced with a redesign that gives improved airflow and aerodynamics. The result = increased accuracy.

Nerf Fortnite TS Blaster on white backgroundT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Nerf)

7. Nerf Fortnite TS Blaster

You can't go wrong with Fortnite (or Mega-sized darts)

Reasons to buy

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Extremely popular game
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Chunky Mega darts are great fun
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4-dart blasting action

Reasons to avoid

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Bullets can jam occasionally

If you're trying to tear kids away from playing Fortnite on their screens, why not try… Fortnite! But in real life. This blaster doesn't take the standard small Nerf darts – it takes the beefier Mega darts, giving it more impact (and making it easier to hit things). The styling and design are great for that cartoony action look and you can also find a super soaker water option too for even more fun and outdoor play.

Nerf Zombie Outbreaker BowT3 Approved badge

8. Nerf Zombie Outbreaker Bow

When the walking dead do appear, wave this Nerf gun at them

Reasons to buy

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Quirky styling
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Reliable rotating blast action
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Impressive bow design

Reasons to avoid

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Ergonomically average

The faux bandaging, plier-shaped handle and the goalkeeper hues combine together to create a cracking looking blaster. The Zombie Outbreaker Bow is a five-barrel rotating action number, powered manually by pulling back on the scissor-styled handles on top. Added quirk comes in the form of the bow appearing to unleash the darts each time, this isn’t the case though and you can take this piece off. If it is a cylinder style action you’re after, then the Nerf Strongarm (see below) has a superior action, but brand awareness amongst zombies of this particular range of Nerf gun blasters might be less likely to take you seriously if you’re not brandishing one in these colours.

Nerf Rhino-Fire on white backgroundT3 Approved badge

9. Nerf Rhino-Fire

Massive fire power and a floor mount for accuracy too

Reasons to buy

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Huge 50-dart capacity
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Sturdy and accurate when mounted
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Impressive fire power

Reasons to avoid

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Big and expensive

We would've loved to be in the meeting when they named this number! We're thinking it was late Friday afternoon, sun shining outside, two execs at Hasbro shouted a couple of random words – done deal, packaging sent to printers and its pub o' clock!

This double-barrel Nerf Rhino-Fire blaster can be floor/desk mounted for accuracy or stick the stock into your side and walk directly towards your target with swagger. Both intimidating and impressive the Rhino Fire achieves decent distances, the downside of this is picking up the contents of both 25 dart barrels you've expended. When it comes to shelf candy, the Rhino-Fire is one of the best Nerf guns out there. It's a decent enough looker to keep out on show.

Nerf TriStrike on white backgroundT3 Approved badge

10. Nerf TriStrike

An incredibly customisable weapon

Reasons to buy

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1,000 different loadout combinations
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Multiple rails and accessories
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Can take multiple sizes of Nerf bullets

Reasons to avoid

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30-feet max range

The latest arrival on the Nerf scene is an extension to the Modulus category. Multiple tactical rails and accessory sets you can mix and match these blasters into over 1,000 different combinations. This model is able to blast regular Nerf projectiles plus the MEGA ones and also the missile variant, which, with some practice can travel around 30 feet – and your intended target will definitely feel it!

Nerf Zombie SlingfireT3 Approved badge

11. Nerf Zombie Slingfire

A memorable design with novel loading mechanism

Reasons to buy

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Cowboy underlever loading mechanism
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Can be used one-handed
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Good accuracy and power

Reasons to avoid

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Six-dart capacity

Released about the same time as series two of the Walking Dead (just before its started to get really dull), the Zombie range of blasters was largely average – with this Nerf gun, the Slingfire, a standout success. It may only have a six-dart capacity magazine but it is the way you flick down the lever to load up your air power that impresses. A modicum of practice and you'll be able to perform this one-handed, and then for hours you'll be doing little else.

Nerf Strongarm on white backgroundT3 Approved badge

12. Nerf Strongarm

One of the best manual Nerf guns on the market

Reasons to buy

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Excellent accuracy
+
Cheap
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Impressive distance range

Reasons to avoid

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Six rounds is all you get

It is easy to arm up the air chamber at the rear in super-quick succession on the Strongarm, an often overlooked Nerf gun. This is a superb six-dart shooter that is about one of the best in the manual line-up and unleashes with excellent accuracy and achieves impressive distances. An absolute must have in any Nerf arsenal as a back-up blaster for cover. There are also tactical rails atop this one, should you decide to accessories with other elements.

Nerf Jolt on white backgroundT3 Approved badge

13. Nerf Jolt

A Nerf gun that punches well above its weight

Reasons to buy

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Quick to fire
+
Small and concealable
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Good distance and power for its size

Reasons to avoid

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Single shot only

This deceptive single-shot, manual-powered blaster is one that you really shouldn't travel anywhere without. A superb quick-fix for when you eye a target on your daily grind for a pot shot and one that can be secreted about your person easily when your opponents are acquiring your arsenal, your last-chance-at-the-saloon-shooter. For a blaster that punches above its weight for both distance and power this one is unsurpassed.

Nerf N-Strike Elite HyperfireT3 Approved badge

14. Nerf N-Strike Elite Hyperfire

Simply put, the world's fastest Nerf gun

Reasons to buy

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Fires 5 darts per second
+
Looks dynamite
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Super fast, rapid speed

Reasons to avoid

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You run out quick
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Not cheap

Looking for the world's fastest manufacturer produced foam dart firing machine? Then the best Nerf gun you can buy is the Hyperfire. Unleashing five darts per second from its 25 dart chamber it'll not take any Carol Vorderman scale academics to figure out you'll be spending plenty of time on the Nerf trail picking up so ensure you've a back-up stash. The deluge of darts it rains upon your target is rapid enough to send them into a mild confusion for a while affording you some extra time to reload.

Robert Jones
Robert Jones

Deputy Editor for T3.com, Rob has been writing about computing, gaming, mobile, home entertainment technology, toys (specifically Lego and board games), smart home and more for over 15 years. You can find Rob's work in magazines, bookazines and online, as well as on podcasts and videos, too. Outside of his work Rob is passionate about motorbikes, skiing/snowboarding and team sports, with football and cricket two favourites. Feel free to contact him with any related products, events, and announcements.

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