Airsoft as a whole has grown exponentially over the years. A rather novel thing in the early 90’s similar to playing “army” when you were a kid back in the day. We can all recall our origin stories with a nostalgic tone regardless of age. Airsoft has become a rather large entity were it’s becoming mainstream, and though some boomers want to keep it “classified” from the public some millennials and GenZ’s would rather make an edgy statement or epic “cheater” fail video for millions to enjoy. Airsoft has become diverse, but the question everyone asks boils down too “Milsim or Speedsoft?”

So to be blunt and as humble as possible similar to what I said on the Panther Airsoft Folding Table Talk podcast: you can take the good elements from both. Still, neither is better or worse than the other, but rather they have elements that make either enjoyable and extremely infuriating at times. So let us dive in!

Don’t tread on my immersions bro.

The Good
Milsim is a coined acronym for Military Simulation but often falls very short of what we do in the military. Milsim is often a massive scenario style game with two or more factions pitted against each other. It often involves objectives and goals with some sense of tactical thought. Often with a command structure or some resemblance of formulated command. This is often the pinnacle play of airsoft games that many alike can enjoy; it contains all elements in an extensive scenario and often leads to a longing to play another game. MSW in North America being the backbone standard of what milsim should be and others hosting games of a similar style but lacking in comparison standards. Often players get invested in building extrmemly versatile loadout’s with a purpose in mind on how they wish to play the game – I enjoy this element, and this is where you see some great ideas on how the game can be played.

The Bad
Milsim games are honestly delightful at times; they often create some of the most memorable moments with buddies. They also create some of the largest ego complexes, coupled with weekend warrior syndrome of individuals larping to the point of a questionable nature. So often is the case that guys push the boundaries of “stolen valour” or even pretend to be SF dudes that blackout there faces and trash talk people who don’t spend 10k on kit and so on. Other groups even simp to the extreme of emulating fantasy war crimes or too distasteful movements of the past. This is the ugly side that rears it’s head when “hardcore” milsim guys come out of the woodwork.

Bro you’re overshooting…

The Good
Speedsoft is the inevitable evolution of competitive play in airsoft and borrows its beginning from Speedball. Speedsoft is by default competitive, with two teams playing it out on small fields with fast movements coupled with a tactical play that can outshoot anyone who slows down or attempts to barricade a laneway, movement is king by far. Often an interesting array of player styles and weapons loadout’s come out of this along with a level of quick on the spot play types that can often overturn an opponent quickly. You could argue SpeedQB gameplay is superior because of the nature of competition and aggression being at the forefront. SpeedSoft has also pushed the boundaries of tech builds and creating some incredible performance builds. By far, this is something I’ve paid close attention too because of the innovation to push the boundaries. Innovative trigger designs and lightweight rigs often come to mind too along with a different more fluid type of gameplay.

The Bad
Let’s be frank speed soft has some of the worst overshooting and borderline potential assault charges bounding from heated fights too, teens playing trap and blasting others with 40rps to be “edgy”. Speedsoft often attracts the same type of players Speedball had back in the day some of those players are genuine dirtbags. Speedsoft is very edgy and often loaded with memes and questionable content. You could say speedsoft in the clone version of speedball on steroids. The fact is some of the worst sportsmanship can be seen in the speed soft community. However, that doesn’t make them all bad.

Mixing it up
While both Milsim and Speedsoft differ in the dichotomy, it can easily be said that both are applicable in a measure of use. And though both ends enjoy sh*t talking the other like no tomorrow. Taking elements from both can be useful to the player learning to shoot and move and having the ability to read terrain is advantageous as well as using camouflage to great effect vs being blacked out with neon colours all over. It’s ironic to have to say this, but both can be used in conjunction to advance a players ability. Airsoft at the end of the day is all about the player’s desire to get what they wish out of the game. It is by nature a largely individualistic approach as your wallet is you greatest set back. I’ve always had an open mind to new concepts and generally look at both sides of the coin for a reference to learn new ideas or at the least stimulate some thought.

As much as I’m a genuine gun-nut and gear whore I do enjoy the occasional pickup game with speedy boi play.

– Schoolboy out

Thank you to those who shared some photographs for this post!
go check them out on IG here!

John Mcutchen
Solotron Airsoft 
Nipissing Airsoft
Panther Airsoft