Our top pick and the best Nerf gun that you can buy today is the Nerf Fortnite AR-L Elite Dart Blaster. It is a motorized Nerf gun that comes with a ten-dart magazine and flip-up front and rear sights.
To help you find the best Nerf gun for your family activities, we’ve compiled reviews from experts, and put some of the best nerf weapons ever to the test. Whether it’s for birthday parties, backyard fun and games or summer camp, we’ve found that the best Nerf guns of 2023 are those that operate more reliably and with greater accuracy than ever before. They pack a large enough magazine so that you spend more time in the game than you do hunting for the stray nerf rounds. They’re also light enough for kids to handle, and most importantly, safe to use and free of hazardous sharp edges. Keep reading for more on the N-Strike Elite and the rest of our picks for the best nerf gun you can buy.
Top 6 Best Nerf Guns
#1 Nerf Fortnite AR-L Elite Dart Blaster Nerf Gun
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: This motorized Nerf gun comes with flip up front and rear sights and a ten round magazine, plus a look inspired by the Fortnite video game series, make this our pick for the best motorized Nerf gun as well as the best overall Nerf gun you can buy.
Read Full Review: Nerf Fortnite AR-L Elite Dart Blaster
- Two sights for improved accuracy
- Comes with 10-round clip and 20 darts
- Fortnite-inspired design
- Requires batteries (not included)
- More unwieldy than the lighter N Strike Elite (our #3 pick)
This motorized Nerf gun is part of a series of Fortnite Nerf blasters inspired by the designs of the popular video game. It’s also one of the most advanced Nerf weapons yet, with a motorized spring and built-in flip up sights for better accuracy. It also comes with a 10-dart clip, larger than most of the Elite series Nerf guns provide.
The AR-L Nerf gun ships with 20 darts included, which is a plus. Compared to other hand pumped and motorized Nerf guns, this Fortnite Nerf gun is slightly longer and heavier, at 31 inches in length and weighing 3.84 pounds. This might make it a little too big for children younger than about eight or nine. It also requires 4 AA batteries, which aren’t included. If your kid loves this nerf gun, they’ll also love these best RC toys.
#2 NERF Ultra One Motorized Blaster Nerf Gun
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: This motorized Nerf gun boasts the farthest range of any Nerf blaster yet, using the aerodynamically improved Ultra darts to shoot up to 120 feet. It also comes with a large, 25-dart capacity magazine.
Read Full Review: NERF Ultra One Motorized Blaster
- Farthest shooting Nerf gun on our list
- 25-round magazine
- Good ergonomics
- Weighs over 4 pounds
- Requires C batteries (not included)
- Won’t accept traditional Nerf darts
This Nerf Ultra blaster boasts the longest claimed flight range of any of the Nerf guns on our list. It uses the slightly different “ultra” darts which are said to be optimized with new, more aerodynamic fins for a more stable flight path. 25 such darts are included with this motorized nerf gun. The Nerf Ultra One has a relatively large 25-round drum and is front-loading. The Ultra darts are not compatible with other Nerf guns, however, and this blaster can only accept Ultra darts, not the standard or Elite Nerf darts more commonly used on other nerf guns.
It has a basic front and rear sight, but unlike on the Fortnite-themed AR-L (our top pick) the sights don’t fold down. The Ultra One blaster is motorized and requires C-batteries sold separately. It’s also among the heaviest Nerf guns, at more than 4 lbs. If your kid is more into robots, they might want to take a look at these best robot toys for kids too.
#3 Nerf N Strike Elite Strongarm Toy Blaster Nerf Gun
Award: BEST POINT AND SHOOT
WHY WE LIKE IT: Simple and to the point, this 6-round Elite Strongarm Blaster is easy to load and fire, doesn’t need batteries, and can hit targets up to 90 feet away.
Read Full Review: Nerf N Strike Elite Strongarm Toy Blaster
- Shoots projectiles further than other items on list Swing-out drum for easy reloading
- Easy to carry and maneuver
- No scope
- Not the largest capacity nerf gun
For an ease of use and all ages fun, this may be the best Nerf gun ever. It isn’t the biggest, nor is it the most powerful Nerf gun of all time, but it has an unmatched mix of convenience, simplicity, effectiveness and range. It shoots up to 90 feet, which is the longest projectile range on this list, and uses the standard foam, hollow rubber tipped nerf darts, making it safe fun for the whole family.
This Nerf gun is also more manageable for kids than some of the larger Nerf weapons, and it doesn’t require batteries or make any electronic “blaster” sounds, which may be a plus or minus depending on what you’re looking for in a Nerf Gun. For more fun options, take a look at the best toys and games.
#4 Nerf Rival Nemesis MXVII-10K Nerft Gun
Award: BEST HAND GUN
WHY WE LIKE IT: This model is a good bet if you’re looking for the most powerful Nerf gun and emjoy a high capacity magazine and rapid fire capability. . It holds 100 foam balls and can fire them off at a rate of about 6-7 rounds per second.
Read Full Review: Nerf Rival Nemesis MXVII-10K
- Holds 100 rounds at once
- 30m/s muzzle velocity
- Easy reload hopper
- Foam balls easier to lose than darts
- Heavy for younger children
- Requires 6 D batteries
This Rival Nemesis Nerf blaster holds 100 foam balls and uses an easy to reload hopper design, somewhat like the automatic pitching machines at batting cages. Capable of firing 6-7 rounds per second, it’s our pick for the best Nerf Rival gun. It comes in either red or blue, so you can arrange for color coded laser-tag style team face-offs.
With its hilariously fast foam ball shooting action, this Nerf gun is a favorite for parties and pranks, and is safe enough for kids to play with at family gatherings. It isn’t very light, however, and little kids may tire of holding it. It is perfect for holding down a fort in an all out Nerf battle, however. If you want a more low key toy, take a look at some of these best kids RC cars instead.
#5 Nerf N-Strike Elite Delta Trooper
Award: BEST EXTENDED BARREL
WHY WE LIKE IT: Customizable and with a higher dart capacity than most Nerf guns, this Nerf N-Strike Elite blaster comes with a 12-round clip and optional barrel extension for greater accuracy.
Read Full Review: Nerf N-Strike Elite Delta Trooper
- 12 dart magazine
- Comes with rails for mounting scope
- 90 foot range
- Bulkier than some items on list
- More complicated to reload than the Rival Nemesis
This larger Ngun packs the same range as the Nerf N Strike Elite Strongarm but allows for a higher capacity 12 round clip, letting you stay in the action longer between reloading. It uses the Nerf Elite darts, but can also take standard Nerf darts. With a nearly 90-foot range and a velocity of about 72 feet per second, it’s plenty powerful for most Nerf sports.
Unlike the even larger and bulkier Nerf Rival guns, this Delta Trooper Nerf gun doesn’t require batteries and uses the traditional pump-primed spring method. It’s not as quick or convenient to reload as the Elite Strongarm blaster, but it does have a removable stock and barrel extension. If your kid likes to build too, also grab one of the best Lego Star Wars sets.
#6 NERF Rival Roundhouse XX-1500 Gun
Award: BEST ON A BUDGET
WHY WE LIKE IT: Powerful spring action Nerf gun that holds 15 ball-type Rival rounds and is customizable with different tactical rails and other Nerf Rival accessories for team battle.
Read Full Review: NERF Rival Roundhouse XX-1500 Gun
- 90 fps muzzle velocity
- No batteries needed
- Comes with 15 balls
- Lower capacity than the Rival Nemesis nerf gun
- Heavier and less compact than the Elite Strongarm
This Nerf Rival gun is simpler to set up than the 100-round hopper-fed Rival Nemesis blaster, but it packs nearly as much of a punch. It holds 15 rounds and uses the same ball type Nerf Rival ammunition. It features a clear plastic cylinder so you can see how many balls remain in the chamber, which we found to be useful during frantic play sessions.
Less expensive than the larger Elite dart blasters and the battery-powered Rival Nemesis series, and less likely to jam than the dart firing Nerf guns, this is a solid choice for younger kids. It also makes a great second or third Nerf gun for larger families.
How We Decided
In order to narrow down to the above list of the top rated Nerf guns, we looked for precise accuracy, substantial range and the ability to offer hours of jam-free operation.
We only considered Nerf guns that used either the Elite darts or the Nerf Rival ball ammunition. These kinds of Nerf rounds pack enough of a punch to cover distances ranging from 90-100 feet, yet remain safe for kids to use. Eye protection is recommended, however, especially with the most powerful Nerf guns such as the Rival Nemesis.
We gave preference to Nerf guns that accepted custom accessories, such as extendable barrels and attachable scopes. If you’re looking for the best Nerf gun with a scope, for example, you can get a nerf gun that comes with tactical rails such as the N-strike Elite Delta Trooper. These rails are removable and allow you to mount accessories such as a scope.
To ensure easy reloading and plenty of action, we chose Nerf guns with magazines holding at least 6 rounds, with some picks holding as many as 100 rounds at one time, making for extremely enjoyable play sessions.
Best Nerf Gun Buyer’s Guide
Features to Consider
- Darts vs Balls
When choosing the best Nerf gun for the occasion, the first step might be to decide whether you’re looking to buy a traditional Nerf gun that shoots foam darts, or a Nerf Rival gun, which shoots small balls.. These balls have a higher exit velocity, while the darts offer more accuracy.
- Battery Powered vs Spring
Traditional Nerf guns are pump-primed spring action, with a “slider” you move back to cock a spring. This is simpler and allows for a lighter weight and more a maneuverable Nerf gun. The most powerful Nerf gun is likely a battery powered model like the Nerf Rival Nemesis. Electrically-primed Nerf guns have a faster firing rate and allow larger capacity, but are often heavier and more cumbersome to hold for long periods of time.
A rotating chamber is easiest to load and least susceptible to jamming, but offers limited capacity when compared to the magazines in Nerf guns like the Nerf Elite Delta Trooper, which can fit up to 12 elite darts.