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The Nerf Rival series is one of the most popular and diverse. You can get all kinds of guns – often named after powerful mythical figures – designed to take out the opposition with ease. The Rival approach is all about competition rather than unstructured playtime. Strategy and skill are essential in Red V Blue. So, kids need the very best Nerf Rival guns to help their teammates.
In this guide, I will introduce some of the best Nerf weaponry in the Rival series to help you find the right option. There are guns from different ends of the scale in terms of their power and purpose. I have also selected three stand-out models for consideration. Before that, let’s look at some important considerations for buying a Nerf Rival gun.
Things to consider when choosing a Nerf Rival gun
1) Which team is your child on? Red or Blue?
Design is always important with Nerf Guns. The way that a weapon looks can have as much influence on a child’s enjoyment as the way it works. There are two factors to consider with these Rival guns. The most important is whether you get a red or blue model.
If they play with Nerf guns regularly in competitive games, they may have a preferred side. If all their friends have red weaponry to club together against the blue enemy, it makes sense to get them a red model. Many of the options in my list below are available in either red or blue. The difference in color should have no bearing on the action of the gun. Just make sure that you know which one you have on order.
Aside from this Red V Blue situation, you can also find models with different patterns and designs, such as Camo effects or special Rival models related to other franchises. These can be a great gift for kids that want something that stands out from the crowd.
2) The style of gun.
It is also important to think about the action of the gun and its purpose in the fight. Different models have different features and attributions. There are some that are single-shot or close-range weapons for deadly sneak attacks. Others offer covering fire or rapid responses to take out larger numbers of enemies at a time. Each option has its benefits for a group activity. You can choose a gun for your child based on what you know they don’t have, or perhaps they have not-so-casually hinted about needing something.
The style of the gun and its firing mechanism can also have an impact on the accuracy and range. There should be some indication of average velocity and range on these weapons in the product descriptions. Also, check to see if there is a hand-pump primer or motorized action. The former can be frustrating for small kids while the latter relies on battery power.
3) The amount of ammo included.
You can’t use any of these top Nerf Rival weapons without the right ammunition. Again, there are various approaches here. Typically, you get small round shots when shooting anything in the Rival range. This is a lot different from the longer Nerf Elite bullets and they can pack a punch too.
Some guns use magazines, where kids can insert a specific number of shots with ease and then offload them. Other options have large hoppers at the top, which are really spacious and easy to fill.
This can lead to a big difference in the amount of Nerf Rival bullets provided. You could get as many as 50 for the intense rapid-fire options or as few as 2 in little shooters. There is always the option to purchase spares separately.
4) The ease of use.
Finally, it is important to be sure that these Nerf Rival guns are suitable for your child’s age group. It is always surprising to see reports of children as young as five trying to fire some of these massive guns. Larger blasters and heavy artillery are better off in the hands of older children and teens. A simple shooter with basic mechanisms should be OK for younger kids. In the end, it really is down to your judgment.
My top picks:
The following choice is three of my favorite models in key categories. They are sure to be a hit because of their clever designs and impact.
If your kids need something to terrify the enemy and really suppress them in large battles, you can’t go much more extreme than the Nerf Rival Prometheus. This gun is insanely big – to the point where smaller children will struggle to use it. But, it will also be the envy of other teams because of its size and the fact that it has a 200 round hopper on the top. It is a ridiculous piece of kit, but one that will make a lot of players very happy.
If your kids would prefer something compact and considered for stealthy gameplay, they don’t get much smaller than the Nerf Rival Knockout. This tiny hand-powered gun is perfect for sneaking up on people and getting in that perfect kill-shot. There may only be two rounds in the pack, but kids won’t lose them thanks to the integrated storage. It is a clever design that works as a nice alternative to intense weapons like the Prometheus.
3) The top pick for kids that want to immerse themselves in the gameplay. Nerf Rival Zeus MXV-1200 Blaster
There are lots of Nerf Rival guns that provide the same standard features so kids can help each other out in battle. The Nerf Rival Zeus goes a little further than that by adding in additional features for creative
gameplay. This includes the flip-up sight for authenticity, the high-impact system, and the customizable rails. The gun is also easy to use, making it a nice upgrade from some of the more standard models out there.
The 15 best Nerf Rival guns.
Let’s start with something fairly straight forward. The design of this gun is similar to other weapons with rotating chambers. This system is great for those that want to fire off lots of rounds, but also want some control over where and when they should. There is a spring-action mechanism here, along with a helpful trigger lock to prevent any accidental firing. Pick between red or blue with the guarantee of a clear rotating chamber for a great view of those integrated magazines.
This next option is one that I know many kids will ask for because it is so impressive on first impressions alone. This is a beast compared to some of the other options in this guide, with a massive high capacity hopper that holds up to 200 Nerf Rival rounds. If this sounds excessive then that is sort of the point.
This is obnoxious and for big kids only, which also explains the use of the rechargeable NiMh battery for the Advanced Acceleration System. This one doesn’t have the same red or blue color choice, but there are straps that kids can use instead.
This next option is interesting for any kids that aren’t quite sure what type of Nerf gun they want. On the one hand, this is a lot like the powerful, over-the-top Prometheus blaster in the sense that it is a battery-operated, rapid-fire solution with a massive hopper on top. That hopper isn’t as spacious this time, with room for just 100 rounds. On the other hand, the design is more familiar, like a lot of other blasters and there is the choice of red or blue.
This is another option that you can get as either a team blue or team red weapon. The difference here is that this is more of a secondary weapon for taking out a few enemies by surprise. There are some helpful features here that kids will appreciate, such as the quick-load magazine with a slide-open door. This should reduce the time between shots. There are 7 Rival rounds included in this pump-action single-shot blaster – so every shot needs to count.
Sometimes it is the little details that make the difference between these guns. One such feature here is the folding stock that creates a compact weapon for close-up action. Therefore, this blaster could be a little more suitable for a wider range of situations. It also helps that there are two 12-round magazines full of high- impact rounds. The storage option of the clips on the tactical rail is nice too. There is the sense that there is more to this gun than meat the eye, as it is more strategic and complex.
This is another great choice if you want a secondary model for use after firing off lots of rounds with a blaster. This one is compact, stealthy, and made for the more patient and experienced player. There are two rounds here, that’s it. They sit on their own little storage area on this tiny spring-action, hand-powered blaster. It is a cute design that works well to balance out the more frantic gameplay. The additional trigger lock to prevent accidental firing helps too.
The standout feature with the Charger is the fact that this is a motorized blaster – which is probably where it got its name from. All kids have to do is rev up the battery-powered system and let it fire off the rounds in quick succession. There is a 12-round Capacity here with the promise of 100 FPS Velocity. While this isn’t a guarantee, and nor is accuracy, it does mean a lot of shots and impact in a short space of time. The gun also includes 24 of those official Nerf Rival rounds so kids can reload with ease.
This is the first option in this guide where there isn’t really that much to say. It ticks a lot of the right boxes in terms of the features included and its impact. This is a spring-action blaster with 7 high-impact rounds and an e-load magazine holds. As with many of the other options here, you can choose between red or blue to match your kid’s team.
There are also the trigger lock and tactical rail to help kids get the most out of the experience. But, that is about it. There isn’t the same sort of unique selling point, so this could be more of an entry-level choice.
Next, we head back to those high capacity blasters that are so popular for suppressive fire and high-octane fun. The Artemis is a little more of a middle-of-the-road choice, which perhaps makes it better suited for younger children that would struggle with the Prometheus or the Nerf Rival Nemesis.
This one holds 30 high-impact rounds with a rotating barrel and slam-fire action. While there is the promise of an easy-load integrated magazine, some ids have had issues reloading it.
The design of this weapon is a little bit different. Some kids will love it because of the more grown-up Phantom Corp look. There are still red and blue flags to show allegiance with teams, but there isn’t the same level of Rival branding. The gun has loads of helpful features, such as the easy-load magazine, the same safe trigger lock, and a tactical rail for any necessary modifications. There are 7 high-impact rounds with the promise of an impact of 100 feet per second.
While some of the options above can seem a little like simplistic options for standard gameplay, the Zeus does something a little different. There are lots of interesting features here for players that want to play around with different ideas and get into the story of their battle. There are 12 high-impact Nerf Rival rounds within an easy-load magazine that is also ambidextrous. There are also some helpful features like the jam clearing door, 2 tactical rails, and the flip-up sights.
This next option is one that has niche appeal because of the branding. Unlike the typical red or blue models, this Rival Kronos model takes inspiration from Deadpool. There is a good chance that your kids are too young to have seen the movie. But, older players may appreciate this design. You get two pistols here with 5 impact rounds each. There isn’t that much going on functionality, but it is something to show off when players know how to make the most of them.
There are some impressive claims surrounding this motorized model. At the time of creation at least, this was the fastest Nerf Rival system with 8 rounds at a velocity of up 100 feet per second. It might not be alone in this feat anymore, but it is still powerful thanks to the acceleration button on the motor. The weapon comes with 50 official Nerf rival rounds and has some other helpful features like the loading mechanism and the trigger lock.
The Helios is another model that is quite unassuming when comparing all these options together like this. Some weapons stand out for their design or clever features. Others are more basic and crowd-pleasing to make more sales. This one is practical with a nice look. The bolt-action sends 7 rounds out at 100ft per second and there is another ambidextrous magazine. There is nothing too special here, but that might be good for new players.
Choosing the right Nerf Rival gun for your child.
There are lots of different weapons here under the Rival banner. You can find some impressive battery-operated system with lots of firepowers that will scare the enemy, compact and stealthy shooters, standard blasters, and even a Nerf rival sniper gun.
Once you get an idea of the style of gun your kids will prefer, you can then start to compare the designs, specifications, and other details. There is a wide selection and while some are more simplistic, you can’t go too wrong. If you are worried about getting something age-appropriate, think about the size and power of these guns.
Not all of them are over-sized monsters and many have helpful features for younger players. Take your time, compare your options, see what your child already has, and don’t forget to pick the right color.