Tactical Games Mag

Best Nerf Snipers - The Definitive Buying Guide with Reviews

Though they may be treated and marketed as toys, Nerf blasters have quickly become a product for people of all ages. As more and more people turn to Nerf for good, wholesome fun, the company in return has made it a point to produce more capable and advanced blasters.


The rise of competitive Nerf games has also influenced the development of new blasters as well as a specialization among the participants. That is why we have put together a list of the 10 best nerf snipers as well as a helpful buyer’s guide to make sure you know what is what.

1. Nerf Rival Artemis XVII-3000

Nerf Rival Artemis XVII-3000 Red

Our first product comes from arguably the most advanced and competitive series of Nerf blasters on the market: the Rival series. This series features an intentional approach that pits 2 teams of players against one another for competitive play. It accomplishes this in a couple of ways, but one of the most important is the Rival series’ commitment to distance and accuracy. On top of that, the Rival series is noted for color-coding their blasters, so the players can easily identify one another.

Solid Performance

The Artemis XVII-3000 is like many of the blasters in the Rival series in that it features a spring-loaded action. However, unlike other spring-loaded Nerf blasters, the Rival series generally only requires you to load the chamber once. The blaster will then maintain pressure on the rounds until all of them have been fired, using a singular large spring. This is especially useful for generating the kind of power you need for highly competitive play, and the Artemis XVII-3000 is able to fire its rounds out at up to 100’/sec. The Artemis XVII-3000 can hold up to 30 rounds of ammunition providing plenty of shots before you have to reload. Thankfully, reloading is incredibly easy as the Artemis XVII-3000 uses a hopper system.

Things We Liked

  • Is a two-handed Nerf sniper
  • Has a rotating barrel
  • Comes with 30 rounds
  • Fires at 100’/sec
  • Has slam-fire action
  • Has a tactical rail

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Not the most accurate

2. Nerf Rival Prometheus MXVIII-20k

Nerf Rival Prometheus MXVIII-20k ​

Sometimes when sniping, it is better to find a quiet location with excellent vantage points and simply wait for your targets to wander within range. Of course, not everyone has the patience for that kind of strategy which is where the Prometheus MXVIII-20k comes into play. Like many of the best nerf snipers on our list, the Prometheus MXVIII-20k comes from the Rival series, but it is actually part of the Phantom Corps subseries. This specific series does not feature a color-coded blaster and instead comes with colored flags to distinguish whose team the player is on.

Easy Peasy

There are few Nerf blasters that we saw which are easier to use than the Prometheus MXVIII-20k due in a large part to the fully-automated firing mechanism of this blaster. Even better, the Prometheus MXVIII-20k also features the hopper feed as opposed to a clip. This hopper is able to hold up to 200 high-impact rounds and fire those rounds at a rate of 9 rounds/sec. This makes the Prometheus MXVIII-20k similar to a machine gun. However, the ability to fire that many high-impact rounds that quickly and at distances of up to 100’ easily make this a serviceable Nerf sniper.

Things We Liked

  • Is battery powered
  • Comes with 200 high-impact rounds
  • Fires 9 rounds/sec
  • Fires at 100’/sec
  • Has a carrying strap
  • Is an automatic Nerf sniper

Things We Didn’t Like

  • The largest Nerf sniper reviewed

3. Nerf Rival Phantom Corps Hades XVIII-6000

Nerf Rival Phantom Corps Hades XVIII-6000

Sticking with the Rival series in general, and the Phantom Corps subseries in particular, we have the Hades XVIII-6000. This Nerf blaster can actually be seen as a bit of a midway point between some of the larger Rival blasters and some of the smaller ones. This is noted in the ammunition capacity of the Hades XVIII-6000 as well as some of the firing actions and mechanics. For instance, this Nerf blaster features the integrated magazine that many of the other Rival blasters feature. This allows for easy loading of ammunition as well as a consistent pressure from the spring until all rounds have been fired.

Bridging the Gap

While it does not feature the largest capacity that we saw, at 60 rounds total, this is the largest capacity blaster that is not also motorized. Keep in mind, despite how convenient the motorized firing action might be, the motor is a dead giveaway of your position. Consequently, motorized Nerf blasters have a more difficult time catching targets by surprise. On top of that, the Hades XVIII-6000 also features a tactical rail which is compatible with any Nerf Modulus modulations that are made for the tactical rail position. This can include lights, scopes, and laser sights as well as some other accessories like a shield. 

Things We Liked ​

  • Comes with 60 rounds
  • Has a carrying strap
  • Fires at 100’/sec
  • Is a two-handed Nerf sniper
  • Has a tactical rail
  • Has a trigger lock

Things We Didn’t Like

  • A more conspicuous Nerf sniper

4. Longarm Nerf Doomlands

Longarm-Nerf-Doomlands 1

The Nerf Doomlands Longarm is actually part of the Impact Zone subseries of the Doomlands Series. That said, the primary difference between the subseries and the parent series are cosmetic and do not affect the blaster’s performance. Not all Nerf snipers need to be full-sized, two-handed blasters–especially if you are playing in a more compact area. On top of that, if you run out of ammunition with your primary blaster, it is always a good idea to have a capable sidearm at your disposal, and the Longarm is easily the best Nerf sniper sidearm that we came across.

Sneaky Sneaky

The Nerf Doomlands Longarm is actually part of the Impact Zone subseries of the Doomlands Series. That said, the primary difference between the subseries and the parent series are cosmetic and do not affect the blaster’s performance. Not all Nerf snipers need to be full-sized, two-handed blasters–especially if you are playing in a more compact area. On top of that, if you run out of ammunition with your primary blaster, it is always a good idea to have a capable sidearm at your disposal, and the Longarm is easily the best Nerf sniper sidearm that we came across.

Things We Liked ​

  • Is easier to hold
  • Is less conspicuous
  • Uses Elite darts
  • Has a rotating drum
  • Has a hand primer
  • Is a less expensive Nerf sniper

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Only fires 30’
  • Has a hair trigger

5. Nerf N-Strike Elite SurgeFire

Nerf-Rival-Nemesis-MXVII-10K 1

The SurgeFire is a Nerf blaster coming directly from the N-Strike Elite series without any corresponding subseries to make things confusing. This product is another Nerf blaster that might seem like an odd choice given its design and firing action. Specifically, the SurgeFire is designed to be accurate when firing a single dart, but it is also capable of firing numerous darts at the same time–though it is significantly less accurate when doing so. That said, the various functions of the N-Strike Elite SurgeFire combine to provide a solid blaster that can do many things–including serve as a Nerf sniper.

Long Rainge

While the SurgeFire does not have the absolute longest range that we saw, it comes awful close with a maximum distance of up to 90’. When you consider that the SurgeFire is capable of working just as well in close-quarters combat as it can at a distance, this is easily the best hybrid Nerf sniper that we came across. Moreover, the SurgeFire may not have the hopper capacities that we see from the specifically competitive Nerf blasters, but a 15 round, rotating drum offers plenty of ammunition for a skirmish or two. That said, the drum is known for jamming, so make sure you load the darts carefully.

Things We Liked ​

  • Has a rotating drum
  • Has a 90’ range
  • Holds 15 rounds
  • Has a pump-action
  • Has slam-fire action
  • Is a two-handed Nerf sniper

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Does not include extra ammo
  • The drum will jam

6. Nerf Rival Nemesis MXVII-10

The last of our “truly” competitive Nerf blasters, the Nemesis MXVII-10K lives up to its name and is the best automatic nerf sniper that we saw. In fairness, there are only 2 automatic Nerf blasters on our list, but the Nemesis MXVII-10K is easily the one that more people can use effectively. Despite the electric motor potentially giving your position away to your targets, the Nemesis MXVII-10K is still able to provide the same power and accuracy as the other Rival series Nerf blasters. Moreover, this automatic Nerf blaster is significantly smaller and lighter than the other model–though this is still one of the heavier Nerf blasters that we reviewed.

100 MPH

No, the Nemesis MXVII-10K does not fire its ammunition at 100 mph, but it does still shoot at an impressive 100’/sec which ties for the fastest on our list. This likely has a bit to do with the fact that the Nemesis MXVII-10K is the second motorized Nerf blaster that we reviewed. Like other motorized Nerf blasters, the Nemesis MXVII-10K also features the hopper design, so you do not need to worry about clips or magazines. Even better, the hopper has a 100 round capacity and the Nemesis MXVII-10K fire Nerf’s high-impact rounds as well.

Things We Liked ​

  • Is a motorized Nerf sniper
  • Has a high-capacity hopper
  • Comes with 100 rounds
  • Fires at 100’/sec
  • Is a two-handed Nerf sniper
  • Has a tactical rail

Things We Didn’t Like

  • A heavier Nerf sniper
  • Batteries drain quickly

7. Nerf Mega Twinshock

The Nerf Mega Twinshock is the only Nerf blaster on our list to come from the Mega series and offers plenty of versatility. Specifically, the Twinshock is one of the few Nerf blasters we saw which can fire either 1 dart, 2 darts, or all of its darts at the same time depending on which firing mechanism you select. Obviously, a single dart will be easier to aim for a sniper shot, but having the other options is a great back up plan in case you caught in close-quarters combat. That said, the best quality of the Twinshock Nerf blaster is the same quality that defines the Mega series in the first place. 

Large Caliber

The whole point of the Nerf Mega series is that these blasters use the Mega series dart which is significantly larger than the other darts Nerf uses for its blasters. This size allows the Mega Twinshock to launch its darts at up to 85’–which is one of the farthest shooting blasters we reviewed. This would seem to make the Twinshock an excellent sniper, but the Mega darts are made to whistle as they fly through the air. As such, you will likely only be able to get off a single shot before your target is alerted to your presence. 

Things We Liked

  • 3 ways to fire
  • Holds 10 rounds
  • Fires up to 85’
  • Can fire 2 or more darts simultaneously
  • Has a pump-action
  • Is a two-handed Nerf sniper

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Larger than most
  • Has decreasing accuracy

8. Nerf N-Strike Elite Rough Cut 2X4 Blaster

The Rough Cut 2X4 is another Nerf blaster that hails from the N-Strike Elite series and does not have a subseries. This means that the Rough Cut 2X4 is designed for competitive play, though it will not be as effective as a comparable Rival series Nerf blaster. That said, this is still a fairly impressive Nerf blaster with a variety of options and a solid range of specs. Considering how many other Nerf blaster on our list fit the mold, it says something that we rated this as our best multi-shot Nerf sniper.

Smooth as Butter

Despite the name, there is little about the Rough Cut 2X4’s firing action that is rough with this blaster providing some of the most accurate shots we saw. This is likely due to a couple of factors, but the use of Elite series darts definitely impacts the Rough Cut 2X4’s accuracy. However, it is worth noting that this is one of the few Nerf blasters we saw that can fire multiple darts at once without sacrificing accuracy. While it does not provide the best distance, the Rough Cut 2X4 still has a maximum range of 75’ which should be more than enough to snipe an unsuspecting target.

Things We Liked

  • Fires 2 darts at once
  • Has a tactical rail
  • Has a 75’ range
  • Comes with 16 Elite rounds
  • Is more accurate

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Only holds 8 rounds

9. Nerf Imperial Death Trooper Deluxe Blaster

NERF Star Wars Rogue One Imperial Death Trooper Deluxe Blaster

Out of all the Nerf blasters on our list, the Imperial Death Trooper Deluxe is probably the only one that you would expect to be a Nerf sniper. That said, this Nerf blaster definitely lives up to the prerequisites of the article, though you may need some modifications. This is because the Imperial Death Trooper Deluxe is also the only Nerf blaster that we reviewed that lights up and makes laser noises when you pull the trigger. While this is great for children pretending to play Star Wars, it is less effective when trying to snipe someone in secret. Still, as a one-shot, one-kill Nerf blaster, this is the best Nighttime sniper we saw.

I See You

By far the best quality of the Imperial Death Trooper Deluxe is the fact that it shoots more accurately than almost any other Nerf blaster we saw, let alone reviewed. A big part of this likely has to do with the fact that you cannot shoot as many darts at one time or as quickly as with other Nerf blasters. While this may be a problem for general infantry or gunners, snipers do not need to fire rapidly or often if they are any good. This is also one of the few Nerf blasters on our list that comes with a scope attachment, though the tactical rail will mount any Modulus-compatible accessories meant for the tactical rail position.

Things We Liked

  • Most accurate Nerf sniper reviewed
  • Has a pump-action
  • Comes with a scope
  • Has a removable stock
  • Has light/sound effects
  • Has a tactical rail

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Only holds 3 rounds

10. Nerf Zombie Strike Doominator Blaster

The Nerf Zombie Strike series is not really known for producing the best performing Nerf blasters, but they are not poor quality either. As such, a Zombie Strike Nerf blaster need to be understood as an air toy gun designed for a variety of different situations–much like you might find during a zombie apocalypse. As such, this Nerf blaster has one of the largest capacities without using the hopper system that the competitive Rival series prefers. Instead, the Doominator makes its mark with volume over precision.

Decent Specs

While the increased ammo capacity is nice, what can be a bit tricky is the fact that it comes in 4 rotating barrels that each holds 6 rounds of ammunition. This can allow for some truly inspired competition, though it is worth noting that the barrels are liable to jam if you try to shoot too quickly. Still, the Doominator also features a handle grip that can be mounted below or to either side of the Doominator. On top of that, the Doominator is also capable of firing all 24 rounds of ammunition at the same time, though the accuracy of this Nerf blaster is far more questionable since it has crowd control functions.

Things We Liked

  • Has a 24 dart capacity
  • Has 4 rotating barrels
  • Has a 3 position handle
  • Is a convertible Nerf sniper
  • Fires at 70’/sec
  • Has a tactical rail

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Prone to jamming
  • Not the most accurate

Buyer’s Guide

Series

While all Nerf guns might seem somewhat similar from the outside as a plastic toy air gun that fires safe, foam darts, there is still a fair amount of distinction between them. Specifically, Nerf releases their toys in what is termed a “series.” 

A given series will generally last around half a decade to a decade and feature numerous toy air guns that focus on a particular philosophy. For instance, the Rival series is meant for more competitive play while the Vortex series completely changed the way that Nerf products functioned.

As such, it is important to consider to which series the Nerf gun belongs as this will often inform you of what to expect from a wide variety of the toys within the lineup. This is not to suggest that a good Nerf Sniper cannot come from any of the blaster series, but some series are far more likely to provide a quality blaster than others. 

That said, some of the best blasters can come from surprising series–especially when the series philosophy seems more like a cosmetic theme than anything else.

N-Strike

This technically the primary “Blaster” series of the Nerf lineup that was unveiled in 2004, but it has slowly become the Nerf series focused on their dart-based toy air guns. In fact, while there are a number of series that we will detail, it is important to remember that a fair number of these subsequent series are often considered sub-series of the N-Strike series.

It is also important to note that many of these sub-series can differ significantly not only from each other but from the general theme of the N-Strike series in the first place.
For instance, there are a number of N-Strike lineups that feature nothing but foam-based melee weapons. 

This can be anything from swords to axes to even the armor worn–not to mention some of the odder projectile weapons like a Nerf dart gun. As such, just seeing the series N-Strike does not immediately tell you either what quality or grade of toy is being sold nor even what form of toy is being sold.

In terms of quality comparisons, the basic N-Strike Nerf guns are no longer really being made. Instead, the N-Strike series is often attached to a sub-series that follows in the footsteps of a traditional blaster lineup. To wit, most of the different products and series that we reviewed are often technically considered part of the N-Strike lineup by Nerf–even if they do not advertise it.

Rival

Rival has quickly become the premier series of the Nerf company lineup specifically because it was designed to be used in either competitive or “light-competitive” use. That said, the Rival series is not inherently the best Nerf series is definitely not necessarily the best Nerf sniper. 

Instead, most of these Nerf guns rely on high-impact rounds that are foam balls instead of darts. It is also worth noting that the Rival series has a subseries called the “Phantom Corp” series which features a white paint job and colored ribbons so players can change teams without having to use a different toy.

On top of that, many of the Rival Nerf guns are designed to fire many rounds rapidly rather than a single well-placed shot. This has as much to do with the fact that many of the Nerf guns from this series are automated and can be powered either by batteries or battery packs. The automated motor will make noise that could potentially give away your position. 

Another potential concern is the fact that the automated motor inherently means there are more ways for this toy to jam, misfire, or outright fail altogether. Still, the Rival series will still function as one of the superior Nerf sniper guns due to the sheer power that these series of Nerf guns provide. 

Outside of the Elite lineup, there is no Nerf series lineup that can compare with the power that Rival Nerf guns generate. Furthermore, this power is effectively transferred through the shot to help keep the round accurate as it flies through the air to its target.

Elite

As the name implies, this is meant to be the series that features some of the best “specs” that you will find within the Nerf company series. That said, the benefits of Nerf Elite and N-Strike Elite products is only half determined by the toy itself and half determined by the ammunition. 

Specifically, this series of Nerf guns features a custom Elite dart that is designed to fly further and more accurately than pretty much all the other type of darts made. That said, the Elite series is actually a bit older than some of the others and subsequently does not use as advanced of features. 

For instance, the direct plunger action is often considered superior to the reverse plunger action. On the other hand, the Elite series is actually a subseries of the N-Strike series and even put forth some of the features other sub-series would make far more common. In fact, the Elite sub-series was meant to be a direct successor to the N-Strike series, but the N-Strike series continues to this day with appearances in numerous sub-series. 

A good example of this is the ability to add on various accessories like an extended barrel, an additional stock, and even a tactical rail. While a newer series has taken that philosophy and run with it, the Elite series is still one of the first from Nerf that made it a whole sub-market. This is also one of the first Nerf series that supported significant 3rd-party modification and arguably is responsible for that entire sub-community in the first place. 

Mega

Mega is one of the newest series developed by Nerf, and like many others we reviewed, it is focused more on performance than anything else. That said, the Mega series approaches this a bit differently than some of the other series and even their subsequent subseries. Specifically, the Mega series follows the principle that if a little bit is good, then a lot more is a lot better.

To this end, the Mega series seeks to achieve better results with a superior dart than the others series use. To point, the Mega darts are, as the name implies, significantly bigger than most of the other series’ darts. Not only are the darts larger and heavier, but they also feature a slightly altered design with a heavier, almost weighted tip. 

This unique approach to the foam dart tips allows the Mega darts to shoot straighter–though their weight does often decrease the flying distance more than with other series.
Another quality of the Mega series that will not work for all people is the size of the actual blaster toys. 

In this instance, the Mega series blaster toys follow the same trend as the Mega series darts and are significantly larger than most of the other Nerf air toy guns we saw. Even the Mega sidearms are fairly large, often coming in at around the same size as a mid-size blaster from a different series. 

This can make the large Mega blasters much too large for younger children, though the toys do not feature the advanced recommended user age like some of the more advanced and competitive series do.

Zombie Strike

The Zombie Strike series is actually not part of the N-Strike family of Nerf air toy guns and signals a different approach altogether. The Zombie Strike series is more focused on allowing children to tell a story with their play centered around a central premise. 

Essentially, this series is far more interested in the aesthetics of the toy air guns than they are the performance. That said, the Zombie Strike series still has a tendency to perform fairly well despite being more of a toy than a competitive air toy gun.

It is worth noting that the Zombie Strike series, with its focus on narrative and imaginative play, rarely performs as well as many of the other newer series and subseries available. This is because most of the newer series are focused on providing the emerging competitive Nerf game quality products. 

Series like the Rival, Mega, and Elite series are all designed to provide a better performance than anything else–though they often approach the task in different ways.
Still, there is little reason to outright discount the Zombie Strike series, especially considering that it often has some of the more functional air toy guns that can serve various purposes. 

Using more than one type of dart is not at all uncommon among Zombie Strike products. At the same time, roughly a quarter to one-third of the Zombie Strike lineup are not even blasters, instead offering foam-based melee weapons and armor to aid in the play.

Conclusion

In the end, different players will prefer different types of Nerf blasters, but we feel that the Artemis XVII-3000 from the Rival series provides the best for the most people involved. While it is not the most accurate, strictly speaking, it does fire at a list-leading 100’/sec. 

On top of that, the Artemis XVII-3000 also features a 30 rounds chamber and fires the Rival high-intensity rounds for even better accuracy. With a tactical rail and an optional slam-fire mechanism, the Artemis XVII-3000 can serve as a sniper as well as a close-quarters blaster.

If you want more volume, go with the Prometheus MXVIII-20k, and if you need more accuracy, go with the Imperial Death Trooper Deluxe. For a sniping sidearm, the Longarm from the Doomlands series is a great option while the Hades XVIII-6000 is the best all-around Nerf blaster that we saw.