All, Best and New Rival Nerf Guns in 2019

Designed for Nerfers over the age of 14, the RIVAL series caters to performance minded players seeking competitive play.

  • Fires at 65-70mph (95-102 fps)
  • The diameter of RIVAL ammo is 2x that of a dart
  • Advertised range of 90-100 feet
  • Not available some countries due to safety requirements

They are available in red and blue color schemes, which accentuates the series team-based focus, but have since branched off into other color schemes.

They are magazine and hopper fed, ranging in capacity from 12 to 100 rounds.

Both blasters and accessories are available in color schemes with dominating primary colors of Red or Blue. The styling is somewhat boxy, but that’s not to say any details were left out – upon closer examination you can see subtle dimensional features designed to target an older audience. The target audience is further made clear by the size of the hand grips and length of these blasters.

Apart from the standard accessory rail, these blasters come with some interesting safety features. For one, these will not dry fire,
which means they will not shoot without a ball in the chamber. Secondly, they come with a trigger safety, that the user can switch on to protect from accidental firing.

With an advertised firing velocity of 65mph, and a range of 100 feet, this series is above all others. Another difference is the performance gap between its blasters. The 12 round clips somewhat pale in comparison to the 100 round hopper of the Nemesis -the best blaster in the series.nerf rival blasters tech tree

The RIVAL Blaster Series Tech TreeHere are all the blasters in the series from 2015-2017 (minus the latest Phantom Corps releases) , presented in a tech tree for easy viewing of what level each blaster sits at. This tree can give you an idea of which one you can upgrade to next. Solid arrows represent the next step up, and dashed grey arrows represent a total jumping of class.

NERF Targets Competitive Play

NERF has had its eye on competitive players for a while now. This is evident in past releases.

Two ways they ventured into this

One problem dart wars have always had is the ability to track hits on opponents. This was remedied with the release of the Dart Tag line in 2004, which introduced velcro darts and vests that darts would stick to when hit.

5 years later in 2008, the NDTL came into existence, with its first event launching in 2009. The NDTL was a competitive tournament that prized winners with 10,000 USD.

But, due to what we assume was either a decline in sales or interest, the NDTL faded out of existence, and NERF was once again without a series that targeted competitive play.

Then, in 2015, NERF had the answer, and news of the RIVAL line of ball blasters quickly spread.

The Focus is on Precision Battling

These blasters shoot round, dimpled, foam balls at an astonishing 70 mph (30 metres per second for those overseas). While that may seem incredibly dangerous – it isn’t. And the foam balls, while described as high impact may sound intimidating in the literal sense – are anything but. They are safe and much like the Vortex discs of yesterdays blasters in that they slow down fairly quickly.

But don’t let this turn you away from them, because at closer ranges the RIVAL series of blasters deliver high speed shots that are much harder to dodge than traditional darts.

Simply put, these blasters are great alternatives for older kids.

But, some countries will not be able to indulge in this advanced series. Australians will have to wait for their nanny state to green-light them, but until then they’ve deemed them unfit for their intense safety standards.

Sorry Aussies! You probably won’t be getting your hands on the 100 round, full auto Nemesis anytime soon [wp-svg-icons icon=”enter” wrap=”span”].

Being the combat game fans we are, we know that any country that bans airsoft will likely have problems with similar ball blasters.

Dart Centers

The RIVAL line is becoming a favorite of Dart Tag Centers around the world. Being able to pick up rounds right off the ground into a clip, but not to mention blow them into a corner with a leaf blower is a million times easier than traditional darts.

Moms, dads; parents – take note – if you are tired of darts all over the floor and want something that’s easier to pick up, these are the blasters to get.

One dart tag center in the UK even considers the RIVAL line to be an official bridge between the gap between paintball and NERF. In a country where paintball is firmly planted, and seeing its rise and decline in popularity, they would know a thing or two.

Mega Blaster World describes it as pain and mess free, while offering the arena style setting of paintball.

Age Range

Hasbro, the parent company of NERF, set the age range for this series at 14 and above. Some centers consider 12+ to be satisfactory. Some centers will allow children as young as 5 to operate one, as long as adult supervision is provided.

What’s evident, is this range will cater to the competitive nature of older age groups, even adults looking to enjoy some harmless fun around the house, apartment, or office.

Because of the higher velocity, it is suggested to wear the full face mask that is sold alongside these blasters. These masks can provide protection of the mouth, eyes and nose. Combat game enthusiasts will recognize a strong resemblance to airsoft and paintball masks, with a resemblance to airsoft in how it protects, and colorful resemblance of paintball.

Team Colors

Players get to choose between red or blue, and can use the colors to easily dinstinguish teams. This was an important aspect of this line, in presenting it as the gear of choice for competetive play.

The masks come in red or blue, and are worn to protect the face. The mouth grill is similar to that found on a paintball and airsoft mask, and comes vented to allow air to flow to the wearers mouth while playing. The band is adjustable to fit different sizes of heads. They retail for 14.99 USD.


The ammo for this series is specifically designed to mimic the aerodynamic design of a golf ball, allowing it to fly further than a normal ball. The dimples allow them to cut more easily through the air and break through wind resistance. They are 1 inch in diameter, or 2.5cm.

Recent years we have seen a surge of aftermarket ammo filling the entire spectrum of foam ammo types – everything from MEGA, vortex discs, to RIVAL high impact rounds. They can be denser than the authentic balls, but in turn may fire further. This isn’t ideal for all situations, as a denser round will increase the feeling of impact.

Available ammo colors:

  • Red
  • Green
  • Blue
  • White
  • Yellow
  • Yellow/Red
  • Blue/White
  • Orange
  • Purple
  • Glow


  • HeadShot
  • NERF

Compared to Other Series (vs elite)

PRO: Fire faster and therefore harder to dodge than darts at closer ranges.[/one_half_first]

CON: More expensive than traditional darts.

CON: Ammo is more expensive than traditional darts.

Comparing Ammo & Velocities

1 fps = 0.681 mph

  • Darts – 40mph 1.0 grams
  • RIVAL – 65mph 1.75 grams
  • Airsoft – 100mph (145fps), .20 gram bbs
  • Reball – 220fps 2.6 grams
  • Paintball – 200mph (300fps), 3 grams

More on the density of and finer details can be found in BlasterLabs post on reddit:

Nerf RIVAL foam rounds measurements: small, dense, and full of potential! from Nerf

Concerns about the weight variance between ammo came about when a group started weighing them. One source found round to weigh as much as .53 grams different. This has given some room for concern, because inconsistency in weight of rounds can create inconsistency in shots.

Nerf RIVAL ammo weight consistency concern: VERIFIED from Nerf

But, this level of inconsistency won’t be a problem for most. On a bigger scale, it’s something you’d also find in paintball and airsoft ammo, and not unique to dart tag. Dart tag is also the cheapest alternative, which often can be an indicator of quality.


The tactical rail is different than the rail on your other blasters. So, only Rival attachments will fit. You can however buy attachment adapters, or even 3d print your own picatany rail adapter. Picatany is the standard rail you find on other blasters. You could attach scopes, reddots, and action cameras like the gopro.

Coop772, an internet famous NERF-millionaire-vlogging-superstar covered the differences between the rails on this series and others. Here’s his video:

One Zeus owner did find that his Modulus accessory did fit the rail on his Zeus, which hints that Modulus accessories are compatible.


With the availability of aftermarket rounds in different colors, you can load your magazines with different colored rounds towards the end to let you know its almost time to reload.

You can dual wield apollos for extra firepower, and cock both hands free by latching the top cocking mechanisms together in opposing directions, as shown by NerfGunAttachments. All it takes is a simple mod. Here’s his demonstration video:

You can trick shot your opponents by bouncing shots off walls and around corners. This is one of the fun benefits to using ball ammo over darts. Rival rounds are especially springy in bounce and make bank shots a blast. It takes much more skill to bounce a dart than a ball.

Where to Buy:

  • ebay
  • amazon
  • target
  • walmart
  • toysrus

Rival Nerf Gun FAQ

What if you order off Ebay and try to ship to Australia?

You wouldn’t be the first to try it, or think of it, and what can happen is your order will be sent right back where it came from, with a nice little notice sent to your address.

Can it shoot other darts?

The Zeus is capable of firing Mega darts, as demonstrated in a video on youtube. This isn’t ideal though. You are better off sticking to RIVAL rounds.

What do the Roman Numerals mean?

The roman numerals in each blasters name indicate the year the blaster was released. So for instance the Nemesis XVII, was released in 2017, which the roman numeral XVII translates to. The X stands for 10, and the VII stands for 7. 10+7 = 17! Hurray for math!

What do the numbers mean?

The numbers in each blasters name indicates its magazine capacity. More specifically, the 100 stands

What do the other letters stand for?

You may have noticed the letter M in the Nemesis MXVII doesn’t follow the above naming conventions. It is likely it stands for Motorized, which is what the Nemesis is – a motorized, fully automatic blaster.

Are darts dead?

One of the biggest concerns about the release of this series, is that it will replace darts forever, and that all blasters before it are now defunct and outclassed. This is far from reality, and something the community worried about when the Vortex line was released, with the news of discs being able to fly further than darts began to circulate. While they could fly further, they weren’t as accurate, and tended to hook more aggressively than traditional darts. The RIVAL line sees similar effects over distance, so don’t worry – you don’t have to throw out those other blasters, because darts are not dead, and still have a place on the battlefield.