Airsoft Grenades: What You Need to Know

One essential aspect of Airsoft is the use of airsoft grenades, which add an extra layer of excitement and strategy to the gameplay.

There are 5 main types of grenades used in airsoft: sound, gas, mechanical, blanks, and smoke grenades. Grenades offer a wide range of utilities which include area damage, room clearing, distractions, cover, etc.. Grenades can quickly change the course of battle and even just buying one mechanical grenade is well worth the investment!

In this article, we will explore everything you need to know about airsoft grenades, from their types and functions to their safety considerations.

Basic Grenade Mechanics Within Airsoft

Grenades in Airsoft will all have a set of rules for using them:

  • No overhand throws: Overhand throws are dangerous as you’re typically throwing the grenade at a higher velocity, higher elevation, and potentially in an unknown section of the field.
  • No Sounds Grenades indoors: Sound grenades are loud and many fields do not allow the use of them indoors due to damaging decibel levels.
  • The Grenade must detonate to count as a hit: If the grenade doesn’t explode in some way (sound/spray BBs) then it doesn’t kill the enemies.
  • Friendly Fire With Grenades: Whether it’s your own grenade or allies, if it detonates and you or an ally are in its kill radius it still counts as a hit!

Impact (‘exploding’) grenades, whether they explode BBs or create a sound, will have a kill radius when they impact and detonate. The kill radius is typically 10-15 feet and will not kill players that are behind solid cover – like behind a shelf or tipped-over desk.

Smoke Grenades will not count as a hit when landing or releasing smoke around a player as they are purely for the smoke effect. Some Airsoft fields will designate certain colors as poisonous gas which causes any players hit by the smoke to be called a hit.

Flash/Light Grenades act as disorientation devices and do not count as a hit when landing near a player. They are just used for a distraction or blinding effect.

Types of Airsoft Grenades

Airsoft grenades come in various types, each serving a unique purpose and offering different gameplay advantages. Here are the most common types of airsoft grenades:

1. Sound Grenades

Sound grenades, also known as noise grenades, thunder grenades, or pyrotechnic grenades, are designed to simulate the auditory effect of a real explosive. They produce a loud bang. Sound grenades are typically small, handheld devices that use compressed air or a pyrotechnic charge to create the noise.

Sound grenades are highly effective for clearing areas, creating distractions, and adding confusion on the battlefield. The loud noise they generate can momentarily disorient opponents, giving you a tactical advantage. They can also be used strategically to divert the attention of enemy players, allowing you to flank or reposition yourself.

Some key points to consider about sound grenades:

  • They are compact and easy to carry, making them suitable for quick deployment.
  • Sound grenades are often reusable, allowing you to use them multiple times during a game.
  • They can be used both indoors and outdoors; however, many fields may not allow them to be used indoors due to how loud they are.

2. Gas Grenades

Gas grenades utilize pressurized gas to propel BBs or other projectiles toward opponents. These grenades are often powered by green gas or CO2 cartridges, which provide the necessary force to expel the projectiles. Gas grenades can have different dispersal patterns, such as a wide burst or a more focused direction.

Gas grenades are highly versatile and can be used for various purposes on the battlefield. Not only does the 10-15 foot radius apply, but they also shoot BBs. So even if an opponent is out of the 10-15 foot radius, they may still get hit by the BBs that shoot out!

Here are some key functions and advantages of gas grenades:

  • They can cover a larger area with projectiles, making them effective for suppressing multiple opponents.
  • Gas grenades can be used to clear rooms by saturating the area with BBs, forcing opponents to take cover or retreat.
  • They can provide a visual deterrent, as the release of gas and projectiles can intimidate opponents and discourage them from advancing.

3. Blank-Firing Grenades

Blank-firing grenades mimic the appearance and function of real grenades by projecting a loud noise and a flash of light. However, they do not release any projectiles or shrapnel, making them safe for airsoft gameplay. Blank-firing grenades use a blank cartridge to create the noise and flash effect.

This grenade uses 9mm blanks for its explosions!

Blank-firing grenades are primarily used for their psychological impact on opponents. The loud noise and flash of light can startle and momentarily distract enemy players, allowing you to gain an advantage. Here are some key points about blank-firing grenades:

  • They are safe to use in close-quarters situations where the risk of injury from projectiles is high.
  • Blank-firing grenades can create a diversion, allowing you to maneuver or flank opponents.
  • They are often reusable, providing cost-effective options for players who want to incorporate a psychological element into their gameplay.

4. Mechanical Impact Grenades

Burst impact grenades are designed to release multiple BBs in all directions upon impact. They feature a spring-loaded mechanism that triggers the BB explosion when the grenade hits a surface or an opponent. Burst impact grenades can be thrown or launched from a dedicated grenade launcher.

The 6mm Pro Shop mechanical grenade is my favorite grenade to use – it’s the one I’d recommend over any other!

Here are some key functions and advantages of burst impact grenades:

  • They can disperse BBs in all directions, increasing the chances of hitting opponents within a wide radius.
  • Burst impact grenades can be used to flush out opponents from behind cover or force them to retreat.
  • They are versatile and can be employed in various game scenarios, including both indoor and outdoor environments.

To maximize the effectiveness of burst impact grenades, players should consider the trajectory and timing of their throws or launches. Proper positioning and coordination with teammates can enhance the overall strategy.

5. Smoke Grenades

Smoke grenades are designed to reduce visibility, create distractions, and can also act as (fake) poisonous gas in airsoft scenarios. They work by pulling a pin which starts the reaction and causes smoke to pour out for about a minute.

Although they won’t count as hits on an enemy, smoke grenades are great for flushing players out of rooms, providing cover/hiding movement between locations, or causing distractions.

At some airsoft events, certain colors of smoke are designated to act as poisonous gas, and any player that is caught within the gas is eliminated.

Here are some key functions and advantages of smoke grenades:

  • Reduces visibility which can allow safer movement and reduce incoming suppressive fire.
  • Creates distractions where enemies may start to focus on where the smoke is originating from.
  • Smoke grenades indoors can quickly flush enemies out of rooms as it is not pleasant to stand in!

Functions and Gameplay Applications

Airsoft grenades serve various functions and offer strategic advantages during gameplay. Understanding these functions can help you determine which type of grenade is best suited for your playstyle. Here are some common functions and applications of airsoft grenades:

Area Denial

Grenades can deny opponents access to specific areas of the playing field. By deploying a grenade in a strategic location, such as a narrow corridor or an entrance, you can force your opponents to rethink their approach or risk being hit by the grenade’s effect.

Area denial can be achieved using different types of grenades, depending on the desired outcome. For example, smoke grenades can create a temporary barrier, while burst impact grenades can physically suppress opponents by releasing a burst of BBs.

Clearing Rooms

When engaging in close-quarters combat, clearing rooms can be particularly challenging. Airsoft grenades can be thrown into rooms to create a distraction, disorient opponents, force them to take cover, or even clear the room entirely by hitting everyone inside.

To effectively clear a room using grenades, it is important to consider the type of grenade, its dispersal pattern, the size of the area, and the cover available in the area.

Disruption and Suppression

Airsoft grenades can disrupt and suppress enemy movements and offensive actions. For example, sound grenades can startle opponents and temporarily inhibit their decision-making capabilities. Gas grenades, on the other hand, can create a cloud of gas that forces opponents to take cover or leave an area, providing you with an opportunity to advance or reposition.

Disruption and suppression tactics can be crucial in gaining the upper hand during intense firefights or when facing a heavily fortified position. By effectively deploying grenades, you can create chaos among your opponents, making it easier for your team to maneuver and engage.

Objective Completion

In certain game scenarios, airsoft grenades may be required to complete specific objectives. For instance, a game mode may require players to capture a designated area by successfully deploying a grenade within that area. Understanding the rules and objectives of the game you are participating in will help you employ grenades strategically to achieve victory.

Objective completion using grenades often requires precise timing and coordination with teammates. It is important to communicate and plan your actions to ensure that the grenade is deployed at the right moment and in the right location.

Safety Considerations

While airsoft grenades can enhance gameplay, it is crucial to prioritize safety at all times. Here are some important safety considerations to keep in mind:

Eye Protection

Just like with any airsoft activity, wearing proper eye protection is essential when using airsoft grenades. The explosion or release of projectiles can pose a risk of eye injury, so ensure you have suitable goggles or a full-face mask that meets the necessary safety standards.

In addition to eye protection, it is recommended to wear appropriate protective gear, such as gloves and clothing that covers exposed skin. This will minimize the risk of injuries from fragments or direct hits.

Distance and Aim

Always be mindful of the appropriate distance and aim when deploying a grenade. Try to ensure that you are not throwing the grenade directly at someone’s face or sensitive areas.

Also, before using a specific type of grenade, familiarize yourself with its effective range and dispersal pattern. This will help you make accurate judgments when deciding the distance and aim during gameplay.

Respecting the boundaries and rules set by the game organizers is crucial to maintaining a safe environment for all participants.

Training and Familiarization

Before using airsoft grenades, it is advisable to undergo proper training and familiarization with the specific type of grenade you intend to use. Understanding its functions, safety features, and proper handling will minimize the risk of accidents and ensure that you get the most out of your grenade during gameplay.

For example: Most sound grenades detonate after a few seconds while mechanical grenades detonate on impact. Each grenade also has its loading and arming system. Learning how it all works before the game is highly recommended to use them safely.

Training can include practicing grenade throws, familiarizing yourself with the safety mechanisms, and understanding the maintenance requirements of the grenades. Regular training sessions will help you become more proficient and confident in using airsoft grenades.


Maintaining clear communication with fellow players is vital when using airsoft grenades. Informing your teammates about your intentions to use a grenade and coordinating your actions will help avoid confusion or accidental injuries. Always prioritize effective communication to enhance teamwork and prevent any unnecessary risks.

Clear communication includes using specific hand signals or verbal cues to indicate your intentions. Establishing a common understanding among your teammates is important to ensure a smooth and safe gameplay experience.


Airsoft grenades add an exciting and strategic element to the game, enhancing gameplay and providing various tactical advantages. By understanding the different types of grenades, their functions, and safety considerations, you can make informed decisions on how and when to use them during airsoft matches.

They are one of my favorite aspects of Airsoft and they can quickly turn the tides of battle when used properly!

Remember to prioritize safety at all times and enjoy the exhilarating experience that airsoft grenades can bring to your gameplay.

About the author

Nathan Skoczylas

When I'm not playing Airsoft I enjoy working out, training BJJ, mountain biking, and making music!