One of the best parts about having a nice collection of Nerf blasters is being able to test out their capabilities in competitions. I talk a lot about which blasters are best for Nerf games, but I just realized that rarely have I mentioned what games we actually play. There are always new games popping up, and the rule vary depending on which part of the country or world you are in. Below are my favorite 5 Nerf war games, and the rules we generally play by.

1.       Capture the Flag

Call me old fashioned, but I love the classic. You need two flags and an area of land: it can be a field or a wooded area. The more people there are, the larger the field. There are two teams of at least three people. Each team has a flag and a side of the field. You want to protect your flag, which is positioned on your side of the field, while capturing your opponent’s flag and bringing it back to your side of the field. We play by the rules that you can only shoot your opponents when they are on your side of the field. In one variation, you can shoot opponents anywhere on the field.

2.       Team Elimination

This is the most basic game. There are two teams of at least two people. If you are hit, you lose a life. After losing a pre-agreed upon number of lives (three or so), you are eliminated. If you eliminate everyone on the other team, your team wins. There are endless variations on this common theme. This is the most common form.

3.       Offend the Core

For this game, you will need a field, at least two teams of five or more people, and a large, sturdy container for each team. The goal is to get as much ammunition in the other teams’ containers, or cores, as possible. The team with the least ammo in their core after a set period of time wins.

4.       Freeze Tag

This is played essentially the same as the non-Nerf blaster variety of freeze tag. You need a field and two teams. If you get shot by an opponent, you must freeze in place. Your teammates can unfreeze you by shooting or tagging you. The goal is to freeze everyone on the opposing team.

5.       Meatgrinder

In general, this is kind of a lame game, but it serves its purpose. Invariably, when you schedule a Nerf war with fellow combatants, there are a few stragglers. Rather than just sitting around waiting for them, you can play this free flowing game. The goal is to shoot as many people as possible in a set amount of time. This works with or without teams and with any number of people.

Is your favorite game not on this list? Let me know about it in the comments.