It's not much fun playing with your new airsoft gun by yourself. You can learn how to use your new airsoft, set up targets, practice your shooting skills, and dress up in combat gear or your ghillie suit. Sooner or later though, when you feel confident in your skills, you will want to test them in a war style game with other people.
Where To Play
Throughout the world you can find fellow enthusiasts who want to play airsoft. Many companies that offer paintball games also offer opportunities to play airsoft. An excellent way to start out, if you aren't sure if airsoft is for you, is to go to an airsoft field with friends for a fun day out. The company will supply all the equipment and a choice of a number of war-style game zones where you can play. Whether you play outside in a dedicated airsoft setting like a wood or field with a fort to capture, or in an inside airsoft field for close quarter battles (CQB), you can have hours of fun. Depending on your local bylaws, you may be able to play on private land with written permission, but make sure to check first. In most places, playing airsoft on public land or in National or State Parks is against the law and you could end up with a large fine or even in prison.
Airsoft leagues are often looking for new members, so ask at your local venue or look for an online forum. Many airsoft venues offer weekly open games at set times for players, so you don't need to have your own team to play. There are also games for different age groups and some venues allow young people under the age of 14 to play in a properly supervised youth game with written parental or guardian permission. Many teams have members that are ex-army and want members to train for military style games (MilSim), competitions or historical reenactments. Other teams are more low-key and social and just want to play airsoft games like Capture the Flag for fun. So before you join a league, go along to a one-off team game to see if you like the type of game play and the players. Leagues and venues usually offer administrators, marshals or referees for games, together with game briefings before games.
Unlike paintball, airsoft has no visible way to know if you have been hit or not. Game players are therefore on their honor to call their 'hits', including 'friendly fire' and walk off the field of play to the safety zone to wait for the next game. Don't be tempted to cheat as you will soon be found out and then no one will want to play with you. Fighting and abusive language is also not tolerated among airsoft gamers, and will quickly get you banned from the game or the venue. Although there are basic rules of play, each particular game has its own rules, and these will be given in the pre-game briefing. On the field of play, players use hand signals to communicate with other team members.
To avoid injury, wear sweat pants or long pants and long sleeved shirts, gloves and shoes or boots as well as proper protective eye goggles. Many venues also require full-face masks as well, for legal and safety reasons.
Prices for a day out start from around $10+ per person on weekdays, to $20+ at weekends for field entry, and $20+ for equipment hire, depending on the venue.