Your Guide to Speedsoft – An Alternative Take on Airsoft

Speedsoft is a fast-paced more “sporty” variant of airsoft. It emphasizes short, quick games of team deathmatch elimination. Game last between 2-5 minutes and are often played indoors with roughly balanced fields.

Most styles of Airsoft gameplay revolve around MilSlim (Military Simulation) scenarios that reenact combat or law enforcement situations to enhance realism. Over the years, Airsoft has evolved and grown in popularity, resulting in other established variants such as Speedsoft.

Speedsoft is an insanely popular variant of Airsoft that has taken off with its own established gameplay style and rules. The game is a stark contrast to its Airsoft sibling games in terms of pace of gameplay, loadout, and attitude.

Take it from someone who’s played thousands of airsoft games – playing this way can be quite fun.

Read on to learn the basics of Speedsoft.

Your guide to speed soft, an alternative way to play airsoft

What is Speedsoft?

Speedsoft is a fast-paced variant of Airsoft that’s played by two opposing teams of players with the aim of eliminating opponents and achieving set objectives as quickly as possible. Unlike most MilSim games, Speedsoft adopts a more casual and sporty gameplay style and loadout.

The gameplay in Speedsoft is also more offensive as opposed to the defensive modality of most MilSim games. Players focus more on an offensive, so they run into enemy territory top flash out and shoot the opponents. Players aim to perform a quick sweet or clean-up of the opponents, so they run into the enemy territory to flash out and shoot players of the opposing team.

Speedsoft is played much differently in the way that it’s very fast moving and requires athleticism to be really successful.

Speedsoft is an aggressively fast and competitive variant of Airsoft that requires creativity, fast-thinking, and athleticism to play effectively. Here, you need to be agile in body, mind, and wit to blast out your team’s opponents and score points fast and win the rounds that typically last between 4 to 5 minutes each.

The game was popularized by the group SpeedQB in 2016. Unlike most skirmishes and MILSIM games that leverage stealth and patience, Speedsoft relies primarily on speed and creativity to outwit opponents. There are two main styles of Speedsoft popular today:

  • SupAir Speedsoft

This version of Speedsoft is played mostly indoors and uses inflatable obstacles as barricades and cover. This isn’t too different from competitive paintball.

  • SpeedQB

First developed in Southern California, this style of Speedsoft can be played either indoors or outdoors and uses wooden barricades for players to take cover. SpeedQB is a fast-paced variant of airsoft that foregoes traditional restraints and instead focuses more on team collaboration as well as player creativity and efficiency.

How do you play Speedsoft?

When playing Speedsoft, gameplay tactics are developed from the style of gameplay instead of real-world military scenarios as in other Airsoft variants and most MilSim games.

The game is not only fast-paced in style but also in gameplay. You need to dump as many BBs into your opponents within the shortest time to score points fast and eliminate the opposing team. It’s an adrenaline-filled game that involves lots of swift movements, running, diving, sliding, and rapid shooting.

speedsoft airsoft alternative
Photo by Rodolfo Candido Ochoa

Speedsoft is played in a similar manner to a skirmish- each team has a predetermined objective to hit, although typical Speedsoft rounds only last a short time (typically between 4 to 5 minutes). The teams battle each other for a chance to eliminate opponents and climb up the tournament. Only two teams can be in the field at a time, and the other teams’ players wait out off-field in ‘The Pit’ for one of the playing team to be eliminated.

The modality of Speedsoft gameplay resembles that of paintball. The teams face off in short rounds that are typically less than 5 minutes long. The qualifying teams climb up the league ladder and continue progressing until a winner is found. Unlike other Airsoft games, the rules of playing Speedsoft are quite dynamic.

Most speedsoft games will last about 4 – 5 minutes.

Unlike most MilSim games where players face off in many full-day marathon-like battles, Speedsoft players face each other in teams that belong to a bigger league. The teams battle each other in numerous short play rounds in a tournament in a bid to eliminate opposing teams and become the league’s winner.

Here’s how SpeedQB is played:

Before starting the game, a trained referee or moderator will check and confirm that each player has the right and necessary gaming gear. The moderator then outlines the rules of gameplay before signaling the game to start.

Each match involves two teams of 5 players each facing off in a 3-round, 4-round, or 5-round tournament. A team must win the majority of matches in that tournament to be declared winners. In case of a tie, the moderator can kick in another round to break the tie.

Each time can substitute players before or after each match but not in between rounds. However, a team can substitute an injured player during a match, and the player is not permitted to return to participate in the ongoing event.

speedsoftqb airsoft gameplay instructions

There’s a 5-second countdown before each round starts and the moderator blows a horn whistle to signal the start of the round. Both teams break from their respective start bunkers located at the central part of their spawn point. During the 5-second countdown before each round kicks off, all players must have one foot touching their starting wall and point and physically touch their guns to their respective spawn wall.

A 50-point team penalty is charged for false starts where players (or their guns) break contact with the wall before the round begins.

SpeedQB is a point-based game in which players compete for 100 points each round. The first team to obtain possession of the center flag scores 25 points and must keep the flag visible to the referee at all times.  However, a player can pass the flag onto to their teammates by dropping it or via direct contact.

If a player succeeds to hang the flag onto the opponents’ spawn point, their team gets 50 points and the round ends. If the flag-bearer is hit, they must drop the flag within 5 feet of the hit spot, lest their team loses 25 points as a penalty.

Though SpeedQB gameplay allows all types of guns, the weapons must be restricted to semi-auto only with one shot per trigger pull. When a BB hits any part of a player, they’re required to signal by waving or raising their hands and then leaving the field promptly to the nearest deadbox. In case opposing players’ shots hit home at the same instant, both players are eliminated from the round.

speedqb rules

Surrenders and bang-bang kills don’t count in SpeedQB but knife kills are counted as hits.

The moderator signals the end of each round with a blow of the whistle. The players are then spot-checked to determine each team’s cumulative points to determine the winner for that round.

SpeedQB organizers and players can find a detailed list of SpeedQB prerequisites, guidelines, fouls and other restrictions here.

Where can you play Speedsoft?

While Speedsoft is an obvious deviation from other Airsoft variants and most MilSim games, its basic gameplay is grounded in the basic gameplay of skirmish games. Speedsoft is played in an indoor Speedsoft hall or outdoor Speedsoft field. Both spaces are setup with requisite Speedsoft barricades that can be inflatable obstacles or wooden barriers.

There are many local and international organizers of Speedsoft tournaments and leagues, but none rivals the official SpeedQB site. You can also find the closest one via a simple Internet search or use a service such as to pin-point the most competitive Speedsoft tournaments around.

What is a typical Speedsoft Loadout?

A typical Speedsoft loadout is defined by the game’s fast pace. Speedsoft players opt for a minimal loadout to allow for rapid movements, running, diving, sliding, and quick shooting.

Players also announce their personal styles via colorful Speedsoft gear and apparel.

loadout for speedsoft

They choose colorful dye full-face masks, athletic clothing, a lightweight kit, and running/tennis shoes or sneakers instead of full military loadouts, ghillie suits, plate armor, military-grade boots and tactical rigs that are commonplace in traditional MILSIM Airsoft games.

While most gear for other MILSIM games comes in camouflage color tones, Speedsoft players choose to express their personality and style with colorful gear. This can include:

  • full face Dye mask
  • hoodie
  • cap or beanie
  • lightweight & comfortable T-shirt, shirt, or sweatshirt
  • knee & elbow pads
  • comfortable pants like sweatpants, cargo pants, or long johns
  • knee high socks
  • comfortable sneakers or tennis shoes
  • battle belt

The dye mask’s lens protects the player’s face and prevents fogging, while the elbow and knee pads shield the player’s joints during dives and slides on the floor or when scurrying around corners and barricades. Some players opt for shirts and shorts with built-in padding while others choose to slide in shorts and leggings.

A beanie hat or hoodie absorbs the player’s sweat in this adrenaline-rushed game and provides better grip to the face mask and camera assembly.

pistol loadout for speedsoft
Photo by Rodolfo Candido Ochoa

The light sneakers or tennis shoes enable the player to jump, run, and maneuver the legs quickly for optimal gaming. You can also run and slide around in shorts and leggings.

A bettle belt is not unheard of for speedsofters since it helps keep all you need at your waistline. The best battle belts for airsoft happen to be great for MILSIM & high speed airsoft.

Along with colorful and lightweight attire, playing Speedsoft requires lightweight, powerful, and easily maneuverable weapons. You want powerful guns to plaster your opponents at point-blank range and high-capacity rounds so you can spray your target with firepower from a distance if you can’t get perfect aim.

The weapons used in Speedsoft don’t differ much from those used in other styles of Airsoft play. However, Speedsoft players opt for lighter guns such as compact carbines and lightweight pistols to ease maneuverability. You want to evade your opponents’ BB shots in time and sneak off an attacking shot swiftly before the opponent ducks for cover.

A fast-cycling gun is your best chance of success at Speedsoft. Not only can it can help you sneak a few extra rounds into your opponents before they have a chance to duck or throw in a return shot, but your gun should expel your BB fractions of a second before your opponent’s does. You need the best airsoft pistols to maintain this edge.

You’d actually be surprised to know that gas & spring shotguns are actually not bad choices in this form of play. The nature of these shotguns mean that they discharge their BB’s faster than AEG’s will giving you a significant edge when facing an opponent at the same time. For our article on the best airsoft shotgun, check this out.

Bolt spring-powered guns are unsuitable for Speedsoft due to their sluggish follow up shots.

Your airsoft gun will need to cycle very quickly if you want to stay competitive. Gas guns and HPA guns are the top choices.

You can settle on an AEG, but it needs extensive modification and tuning to keep up with the game’s fast pace. That’s why green gas and CO2-powered guns are the go-to gun choices for most Speedsoft players. Even then, the weapons must be tuned for CQB to ensure smooth cycling and suitability with the fast-paced gameplay. You can also integrate a fast trigger response along with a high torque motor and advanced airsoft mosfet for more accurate shooting.

Besides moving and responding fast, you must be able to shoot equally fast to eliminate opponents in Speedsoft. For this, you’ll need a hi-cap (high-capacity) pistol or a custom pistol with all the internal mechanisms swapped for a more accurate, faster and, and more potent pistol.

hi-cap magazine for pistol while speedsofting
Photo by Rodolfo Candido Ochoa

Hi-capacity pistols are the best and most customizable. They come with the standard 32 BB magazine that can be modified to hold up to 50 or 100 rounds.

Alternatively, you can opt for a compact fast-cycling assault rifle. Some rifles can hold more than 200 rounds in a single mag, and this should be sufficient to cripple your opponents before the short Speedsoft round elapses.

Further, some players upgrade their weapons’ magazine valves by installing CBR valves to convert them to HPA (high pressure air) setups. This not only provides more streamlined weapons discharge but also makes the shooting smooth and consistent (it does mean you’ll need to have a hose line and tank, however).

The Speedsoft loadout is incomplete without a lightweight backpack for your tank and mag belt to hold extra magazines. A dump pouch is also crucial to dump used mags or carry extra ones.

The key is to have as many rounds in your magazine to reduce the need to reload

Regardless of your weapon of choice, ensure it carries as many BBs as possible in a single magazine. Reloading takes up precious time, and those few seconds will leave you vulnerable to an attack from your opponents. Besides, each round only lasts a short time, so you want to concentrate the entire duration on winning.

Along with the guns, Speedsoft players sometimes use small colored probing flashlights to disorient opponents. Sharp crazily-colored light such as purple, blue, and green is known to throw people off-balance. Speedsoft players sometimes exploit this to sneak in a few surprise shots at the opposing team.

Here’s a classic speedsoft loadout example.

Conclusion: Speedsoft might be for you if…

Do you enjoy creative and realistic team gameplay but fancy a more organized and challenging face-off than a pick-up game in the backyard? Speedsoft is your ideal game if you are a creative games enthusiast who enjoys highly competitive and coordinated team gameplay. It’s relatively fast-paced compared to the average skirmishes and MilSim games, so it’ll give you an adrenaline rush within moments.

If you are looking for very fast gameplay that will challenge you physicially, speedsoft might be for you.

If you’re seeking a new way to push your adrenaline buttons, team up with other like-minded players to pursue a common objective, and get some physical exercise without breaking the bank, then Speedsoft might be for you. It’s sporty, exciting, and challenging. Even better, the rounds are short, so you don’t need to set aside a whole weekend for the game.

Or maybe you have a knack for creative hands-on gaming but are tired of the typical plot, grooming, and loadout in most MilSim games. Speedsoft offers the ultimate deviation from these stereotypes without sacrificing the beloved skirmish angle. Speedsoft will still spoil you to a realistic mission-style gameplay with the added freedom of expressing your personal style in colorful gear and apparel.

Moreover, Speedsoft allows you the added perk of customizing your gear for optimal game performance and aesthetics. You can personalize your guns, mags, face mask, elbow and knee pads, and practically everything else to help you stay flexible and stand out from other players. Ultimately, Speedsoft is a fast-paced and adrenaline-fused game for young adults that will test your creativity, speed, wit, and ability to collaborate with other team members.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Speedsoft a sport?

It is similar to paintball where there is a competitive league. Players often band together into teams and these teams are sponsored. So, overall we’d say it is definitely a sport.

Why is Speedsoft hated?

This is mostly because there’s a perception that airsoft should be played only in a specific way (usually closer to MILSIM). Speedsoft guns have a tendency to deviate away from realism and focus purely on performance. Our experience with speedsofters is that they’re all a great set of people looking to stretch their athleticism to the limit. However, if we had a complaint, we can’t help but notice that they have a tendency to “overshoot” their target.

Timothy Hackett
Timothy Hackett

Tim has been playing airsoft since 1994. With over a thousand (no lie) airsoft games under his belt he has spent countless hours testing various airsoft guns and tactical gear. He's gotten hundreds (still no lie) of people into the airsoft hobby and is more than willing to spread the love of slinging 6mm plastic to any new player.

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