Airsoft, also known as survival game (Japanese: サバイバルゲーム, romanized: sabaibaru gēmu) in Japan where it was first popularized, is a team-based shooting game in which participants eliminate opposing players out of play by tagging them with spherical plastic projectiles shot from low-power airguns called airsoft guns.
Although similar to paintball in concept and gameplay, airsoft pellets do not leave visible markings on their target and hits are not always apparent. Though the pellet impacts can leave small bruises or welts on exposed skin (and so protective gear is still recommended), the game relies heavily on an honor system in which players who have been hit are expected to call themselves out of play in keeping with honesty and sportsmanship.The airsoft guns used are mostly magazine-fed, with some having manual/battery motor-powered spring-piston pump power plants similar to Nerf Blasters, or pneumatically powered by replaceable compressed gas (e.g. propane ("green gas"), 1,1,1,2-tetrafluoroethane or CO2) canisters. Many airsoft guns also have mounting platforms compatible with genuine firearm accessories, and most cosmetically resemble real firearms. This makes them popular for military simulation and historical reenactments. There are also professional gun safety and weapon manipulation training conducted with airsoft in some fields, such as law enforcement training, due to better safety and lower cost. The United States Coast Guard, for instance, officially adopted airsoft for training in 2018.Airsoft gameplay varies in style and composition, but often ranges from action shooting to short organized live action role-playing (LARP) scenarios, close quarters battle skirmishes, military simulations (MilSim) or historical reenactments. It is played in indoor courses or outdoor fields. Combat situations on the field may involve the use of genuine military tactics to achieve objectives set in each game. Participants may attempt to emulate the tactical equipment and accessories used by modern military and police organizations. A game is normally kept safe by trained professionals acting as supervisors and marshals.Before gameplay, an airsoft gun's muzzle velocity is usually checked through a chronograph and usually measured in feet per second (FPS) or joules, a measurement for kinetic energy. Some countries have a set velocity or muzzle energy restriction; guns shooting over the legal muzzle velocity can be confiscated. Some playing fields further restrict minimum engagement distances, requiring players to yell "Bang Bang!" or another phrase instead of actually shooting other players at close distances. This is done to prevent any potential injuries from high-energy pellets shot at short ranges.
In certain countries use of laser sights of any kind is illegal, including gun scopes with integrated lasers.