Close Quarters Combat: A Beginner’s Guide to CQB in Airsoft

One of the most fast-paced, action-packed game types in airsoft is close-quarters combat (CQB), where players engage in battles in tight, confined spaces such as buildings, rooms, or tunnels. CQB is a high-stakes game that demands quick thinking and fast reflexes, making it a favorite.

In this beginner’s guide to CQB in airsoft, we will take you through the basics of close-quarters combat, including the tactics, techniques, and gear you need to succeed. 

Whether you’re a seasoned airsoft player looking to take your skills to the next level or a beginner just starting out, this guide will give you the knowledge and confidence you need to dominate in CQB. So let’s get started!

What is CQB and What Does it Stand For?

CQB stands for Close Quarters Battle, which is a type of airsoft game that is played in a confined space, such as a building or a room. The objective of CQB games is usually to eliminate all members of the opposing team or to capture a specific objective.

CQB games require players to use different tactics and strategies than outdoor games because of the close proximity of the opposing team. Players often use short-barreled rifles or submachine guns, as these weapons are easier to maneuver in tight spaces. Shotguns and pistols are also popular choices for CQB games.

Want to learn more about the most popular game modes in Airsoft? Check out: The Ultimate Guide to Airsoft Game Modes

Due to the nature of CQB games, safety is of utmost importance, and players are required to wear protective gear. Sometimes more than just eye protection is required such as face masks, and gloves. The use of minimum engagement distances and other safety rules are used more than outdoors to ensure the safety of all players involved.

Overall, CQB games provide a fast-paced, adrenaline-filled airsoft experience that requires quick reflexes, effective communication, and precise teamwork to succeed.

Benefits of Mastering CQB in Airsoft

Mastering close-quarters combat in airsoft can provide a wide range of benefits and advantages for players.

Firstly, it allows players to become more versatile and flexible in their gameplay. With the ability to maneuver effectively in tight spaces, players can become more efficient in handling different situations on the field.

Moreover, this skill can help players gain more control over the battlefield, especially in scenarios where the opposition has the advantage of higher ground or better cover.

Additionally, mastering CQB can improve a player’s reaction time and decision-making skills, which can be invaluable in other aspects of the game. Overall, mastering CQB provides a significant edge for airsoft players and can make them more well-rounded and formidable on the field.

Essential Gear and Equipment for CQB

Having the right gear and equipment is crucial for success in CQB. The following are the essential gear and equipment that players should consider for CQB:

Protective Gear

CQB can be a high-risk game, and it is essential to have the proper protective gear. This includes eye protection, a face mask, and gloves. Knee pads and elbow pads can be very useful as the ground is usually concrete so crawling around can be quite painful, especially when your knee lands on a BB!


Choosing the right weapon is crucial for success in CQB. Players should opt for a compact and lightweight gun with a high rate of fire. A submachine gun (SMG) or a pistol is an ideal choice for CQB, as they are easy to maneuver in tight spaces. Players should also consider attaching a flashlight or laser sight to their weapon for better visibility in low-light environments.


Players should carry enough ammunition to last through the entire game. It is recommended to carry at least three to four magazines, depending on the player’s playing style and the length of the game.

Tactical Gear

Players should consider wearing tactical gear such as a plate carrier or chest rig to carry their ammunition and other essentials. A good quality tactical vest can also provide additional protection and storage options. The plate carrier will also lessen the blow the BBs make in the body!


Communication is key in CQB (and outdoor too), and players should learn to call out where people are. Using a reliable communication system such as a two-way radio or headset can be very useful. This allows players to communicate effectively with their teammates and coordinate their movements in real time.

Basic CQB Techniques and Tactics

Before diving into advanced CQB techniques, players should first master the basics. The following are some basic techniques and tactics that players should keep in mind when engaging in CQB:

Clearing Rooms

Clearing rooms is a fundamental aspect of CQB. Players should approach the room cautiously and listen for any sounds inside. Once inside, players should scan the room from left to right, moving slowly and carefully. Players should also check under furniture and behind doors to ensure that the room is clear.

Cover and Concealment

In CQB, cover and concealment are critical. Players should seek cover behind solid objects such as walls or furniture to protect themselves from incoming fire. Concealment, on the other hand, is anything that can obscure a player’s position, such as smoke or darkness.


Movement is crucial in CQB, and players should use it to their advantage. Players should move quickly and efficiently, using short bursts of speed to maneuver around obstacles or engage the enemy. Players should also avoid moving in straight lines and instead use cover to conceal their movements.


Teamwork is essential in CQB, and players should work together to achieve their objectives. Players should communicate effectively and coordinate their movements to avoid confusion and prevent friendly fire. Players should also designate roles and responsibilities to each team member to ensure that everyone knows their tasks.


Ambushes are a common tactic in CQB, and players should be aware of them. Players should use cover and concealment to set up an ambush and wait for the enemy to approach. Once the enemy is in range, players should open fire and eliminate them quickly and efficiently.

Advanced CQB Techniques and Tactics

Once players have mastered the basics, they can move on to more advanced CQB techniques and tactics. The following are some advanced techniques and tactics that players can use to gain an edge on the field:


Breaching is the act of forcefully entering a room or building. Players should use a breaching tool such as a shotgun or battering ram to break down the door quickly and efficiently. Once inside, players should move quickly and clear the room as usual.


Flanking is a tactic that involves attacking the enemy from the side or rear. Players should use cover and concealment to move around the enemy’s position and attack them from an unexpected angle. Flanking can be a highly effective tactic in CQB, as it can catch the enemy off guard and disrupt their defenses.

Suppressing Fire

Suppressing fire is the act of firing at the enemy to keep their heads down and prevent them from returning fire. Players should use this tactic to provide cover for their teammates as they move or to distract the enemy while another teammate flanks them.


Grenades can be a highly effective tool in CQB. Players can use them to clear rooms or to flush out the enemy from behind the cover. Players should always follow proper safety protocols when handling grenades and should not throw them blindly.

There was one game I played where we had to capture a bomb and bring it back to our spawn to win. A guy said he was going to spring to the bomb and try to get it back – I told him I was coming with to cover. When the match started we both sprinted to the bomb and as I saw an enemy start coming around the corner I threw a grenade and eliminated 4 people! This allowed us to get the bomb out of danger and win the game.

Room Clearing Techniques

There are various room-clearing techniques that players can use in CQB, such as the “slice the pie” technique or the “dynamic entry” technique. Players should practice these techniques regularly to become more efficient and effective in clearing rooms.

Communication and Teamwork in CQB

Communication and teamwork are essential in CQB. Players should communicate clearly and effectively with their teammates to coordinate their movements and avoid friendly fire. Players should also designate roles and responsibilities to each team member to ensure that everyone knows their tasks. Additionally, players should practice communication and teamwork drills regularly to become more efficient and effective in CQB.

CQB Drills and Exercises for Practice

Practice makes perfect, and players should regularly practice CQB drills and exercises to improve their skills. The following are some CQB drills and exercises that players can use to hone their skills:

Room Clearing Drills

Players can practice room-clearing drills by setting up a mock room with cardboard boxes or furniture. Players should practice different room-clearing techniques and tactics to become more efficient and effective.

Teamwork Drills

Players can practice teamwork drills by dividing into teams and simulating different CQB scenarios. Players should practice communicating effectively and coordinating their movements to achieve their objectives.

Target Drills

Players can practice target drills by setting up targets in a CQB environment and practicing shooting from different positions and angles. This can help players improve their accuracy and speed.

Movement Drills

Players can practice movement drills by simulating CQB scenarios and practicing different movement techniques. Players should practice moving quickly and efficiently while using cover and concealment to their advantage.

Safety Considerations in CQB

CQB can be a high-risk game, and players should always prioritize safety. The following are some safety considerations that players should keep in mind when engaging in CQB:

Protective Gear

Players should always wear proper protective gear such as a full-face mask, gloves, and knee pads. It is important to invest in high-quality protective gear to ensure maximum protection and comfort.


Communication is crucial in CQB, and players should always communicate effectively with their teammates to avoid confusion and prevent friendly fire.

Safe Shooting

Players should always follow proper shooting protocols and avoid shooting at other players at close range. Players should also avoid shooting blindly and should always be aware of their surroundings.


Players should always follow proper safety protocols when handling grenades and should not throw them blindly. Grenades should only be used in designated areas or with proper supervision.

Always ask if sound grenades are being used. Most indoor fields won’t allow the use of them because they are way too loud for indoors. But, there are some that do allow them to be used. Bring a set of earplugs for those places that do allow sound grenades to be used – you’ll be thankful you did!


Mastering close-quarters combat in airsoft requires dedication, practice, and the right gear and equipment. By following the tips and techniques outlined in this guide, players can improve their CQB skills and gain an edge on the field.

Remember to prioritize safety and communication, and to practice regularly to hone your skills. With patience and perseverance, anyone can become a master of CQB in airsoft.

About the author

Nathan Skoczylas

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