The Best Nerf

Updated on 4 May 2023

After spending 16 hours analysing and comparing 47 models and testing 11 of them, we have concluded that the Elite Disruptor offers the best value for money.

This comparison is certified 100% impartial and follows our selection process.

Our choice, Best budget

Nerf Elite Disruptor

Ideal for family play, this affordable model is the perfect combination of manoeuvrability and power. Easy to use and recharge, it is suitable for users of all ages.

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Nerf Elite Disruptor

This pistol has an excellent range for its price – in fact, we achieved the 27 metres we had planned for our test. Although not the most accurate, it is relatively easy to handle (even for a child) thanks to its lightweight (around 500 g) and medium size. It has only one grip, but the other hand can be placed under the barrel for greater stability when shooting. Its rotating barrel holds up to 6 darts and is easy to load. It is very easy to load using the slide and allows you to fire at the speed you want (one at a time or in bursts). The six official Elite darts supplied by the brand are of very good quality, but at the rate you lose them, we advise you to order many more.

 

 

Best mid-range

Nerf Elite Surgefire

Its large drum capacity, speed and high precision will allow you to defeat your opponents. It is also easy to use, despite its heavier design.

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Nerf Elite Surgefire

This Nerf stands out for its beautiful design and finish. The brand claims a range of 27 metres, but during our tests, it did not exceed 20 metres. Nevertheless, we were able to appreciate its good accuracy and the large capacity of its barrel (15 darts), which avoids repeated reloading. It should be noted that the brand supplies the 15 official Nerf Elite darts. Its pump mechanism allows you to unload one dart at a time or all at once. Despite the occasional malfunction of the barrel, it is relatively easy to use and load. Its greatest weakness? Its imposing weight (1.2 kg), requires both hands to operate. This makes it difficult for children under 10 to use, but fortunately, it has two handles to improve its stability.

 

Best high-end

Nerf Ultra One

With superior accuracy, speed, range and capability, it probably offers the best performance, which somewhat disguises its shortcomings in manoeuvrability.

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Nerf Ultra One

This motorised Nerf is the most powerful of the selection, with our shot reaching 34m. It is only compatible with Nerf Ultra darts, but these have wings that offer a more reliable trajectory and seem to be more durable than the official Elite darts. In our test, we found it to be very accurate. In addition, thanks to its motorised operation, the shots follow each other very quickly and comfortably. But beyond these observations, it is the large capacity of its barrel that particularly appealed to us. The 25 darts supplied can be stored in the drum, which means less frequent reloads, and the rotating drum makes it easy to fill the magazine. In addition, there is a compartment at the rear of the gun that can hold eight extra darts, and there are two small tactical rails to customise the design. What did we like least? It is very bulky, heavy (1.8 kg) and noisy (impossible to surprise your opponent). Also, it needs up to 4 C batteries (not included in the purchase) to operate.

 

Budget alternative

Nerf Elite 2.0 Commander RD-6

Its low price, good grip, numerous darts and especially its customisable design make this Nerf one of the most attractive in terms of value for money.

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Nerf Elite 2.0 Commander RC-6

This hand-held Nerf works on the pump fire principle with a slide that can be activated in repetition (burst mode) or not. We found it easy to use and load thanks to its rotating barrel which can hold up to 6 darts, but we did experience some blockages (darts not launching or sometimes falling out). As for handling, we had no problems, its light weight (about 550 g) offers a comfortable and stable grip (even for children). The brand generously provides 12 official Nerf Elite darts of very decent quality. But one of the main advantages of this second generation is its customisable design with its three tactical rails and attachment points that give the possibility to add other accessories (barrel, stock, etc.). On the other hand, although its power is advertised at 27 metres, our shots never reached this value, with our furthest shot being 23m. In addition, it lacks a bit of precision, as the darts took completely different trajectories from one shot to the next, despite firing in the same position and direction.

 

Mid-range alternative

Nerf Elite 2.0 Eaglepoint RD-8

Despite being a bit bulky, this Nerf offers good power, a customisable design and built-in storage for extra ammunition.

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Nerf Elite 2.0 Eaglepoint RD-8

This hand-held sniper-style model features a customisable design with removable sights and barrel, and three tactical rails to vary the style of the blaster and adapt it to your games. According to our test results, the stated range is perfectly respected (27m for the longest shot). Accuracy is good, although we noticed a few deviations in the trajectory of a few shots. It comes with an 8-dart rotating barrel that is easy to reload, and the brand generously includes 16 more official Nerf Elite foam darts. It also has a built-in storage compartment for the other eight rounds of ammunition. However, it is quite heavy and bulky in the hands, so we recommend it more for young teenagers or adults. Finally, the support area under the barrel provides excellent stability when shooting, while the slide system is smooth and easy to operate. Its biggest weakness? The scope is not very effective.

 

Our selection

Our choice, Best budgetBest mid-rangeBest high-endBudget alternativeMid-range alternative
Nerf Elite Disruptor Nerf Elite Surgefire Nerf Ultra One Nerf Elite 2.0 Commander RD-6 Nerf Elite 2.0 Eaglepoint RD-8
Ideal for family play, this affordable model is the perfect combination of manoeuvrability and power. Easy to use and recharge, it is suitable for users of all ages. Its large drum capacity, speed and high precision will allow you to defeat your opponents. It is also easy to use, despite its heavier design. With superior accuracy, speed, range and capability, it probably offers the best performance, which somewhat disguises its shortcomings in manoeuvrability. Its low price, good grip, numerous darts and especially its customisable design make this Nerf one of the most attractive in terms of value for money. Despite being a bit bulky, this Nerf offers good power, a customisable design and built-in storage for extra ammunition.
£ 10.39 on Amazon £ 17.49 on Amazon £ 29.99 on Amazon £ 8.00 on Amazon £ 21.62 on Amazon

 

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How did we do the tests?

The first thing we did was to analyse the design of each Nerf. We paid attention to the feeding mode, the capacity of the barrel and the ease of use and loading. In addition, we checked its handling comfort through its size and weight, but also its stability when firing. Of course, we took into account accessories (precision sights, additional storage, barrel, window, etc.), possible customisation (tactical rails, mounting points, etc.), robustness and noise (for motorised models).

Performance was evaluated by firing 20 shots. We varied the inclination of each pistol during the shots and assessed power by measuring the range of the furthest shot. For accuracy, we aimed at a stationary target about 10 metres away, as well as at different moving targets. This also allowed us to evaluate the launch and propulsion speed of each Nerf. Finally, we checked the number and quality of the ammunition supplied.

NameFunctioningCapacityMax. rangeAccuracyHandling
Nerf Elite 2.0 Prospect QS-4Manual4 darts18 m3/55/5
Nerf Elite 2.0 Commander RD-6Manual6 darts23 m2/54/5
Nerf Elite StrongarmManual6 darts20 m3/54/5
Nerf Elite DisruptorManual6 darts27 m3/54/5
Nerf Elite 2.0 Eaglepoint RD-8Manual8 darts27 m3/52/5
Nerf Elite SurgefireManual15 darts20 m4/52/5
Nerf Ultra OneMotorised25 darts34 m5/51/5
Nerf Fortnite AR-LMotorised10 darts23 m4/52/5

 

How to choose a Nerf?

Nerf has become a very popular toy for outdoor fun with family and/or friends, as well as for some sports and for improving agility and accuracy.

Nerf

To help you choose the model that best suits your needs, here are some criteria to consider before buying:

  • The magazine: its capacity is a determining factor. A large magazine allows you to fire more ammunition without having to reload. Also, in the heat of battle, it must be loaded quickly so as not to waste time. This is why many of them include a rotating magazine for ease of use. Some Nerf guns have up to 2 magazines, or even more, to suit different types of weapons. And of course, place the ammunition correctly so as not to cause a jam.

Nerf

  • The type of ammunition: the classic ammunition is darts, but some models offer balls or projectiles. To avoid excessive contact and the risk of injury to the opponent, they are usually made of foam. Official Nerf darts have flexible, hollow tips. And since you will often have to deal with losses, it is a good idea to always have a spare pack.

Nerf

  • Shooting power: the further away you are from your opponent, the better you will be able to surprise him. Although manufacturers usually promise a range of around 30 metres, you should be aware that you regularly lose accuracy at 15-20 metres.
  • Rate of fire: this is calculated in metres per second, but also in the number of rounds per second. It is determined by the mode of fire and the functions of the weapon. Pistols that are manually operated with a pump are slower than electronic ones. The burst (or continuous) mode is interesting because it sends the shots consecutively. However, it empties the magazine more quickly.

Nerf

  • Manoeuvrability: on the one hand, it depends on the operating mode (automatic or manual) and, on the other hand, the weight and size of the weapon. The smaller and lighter it is, the easier it is to use. Motorised models (which require batteries) are heavier and can weigh up to 4 kg, which makes them more difficult to handle. They are more suitable for teenagers or adults. A second handle ensures greater stability, while the shoulder strap provides good weight distribution.

Nerf

  • Design: aesthetically, there are often models inspired by a video game or a film. In terms of practicality, check the compatibility of kits and accessories to adapt your weapon. But be careful, the more accessories you add, the heavier it will be.

Nerf

NB: Note that the Nerf brand has become so popular that it now offers various entertainment accessories, such as water guns, among which it has already established itself as a top brand.

 

Other recommended Nerf guns

Nerf Elite 2.0 Prospect QS-4 (£5.33 upon publication): economical and easy to use. Lightweight and compact, it is easy to grip and can even be used with one hand. It is easy to load, with four small barrels to fire four darts, although you will need to reload regularly. It also has a handy precision sight, although it is less accurate if you use the lower barrel (which is further away from the sight). In total, the brand supplies eight official Nerf Elite darts. Despite this, its performance is lower (maximum range measured at 18 m), although it is not too bad for its size. On the other hand, the propulsion mechanism proved to be a little fickle, which meant that the darts occasionally dropped.

Nerf Elite Strongarm (£12.00 upon publication): ideal for children and adults. The brand advertises a power of up to 27m, but our farthest shot only reached 20m. The swivel barrel is easy to fill and holds up to 6 darts which can be fired one at a time or in succession using a simple pump-firing system (not always very smooth). Size-wise, it is quite light and takes up a moderate amount of space. Overall, we are quite satisfied with its handling, as it offers good stability when firing. It is also compatible with most of the accessories in the N-Strike range (sold separately). However, the brand provides the minimum in terms of darts (only 6 from the official Elite range), and we also noticed some flaws in its design (during testing, its accuracy was sometimes random).

Nerf Fortnite AR-L (£34.50 upon publication): a Fortnite-inspired FN Scar-type model. Although it offers satisfactory accuracy and range (maximum of 23m during our test), we have tried better models. Its motorised mechanism offers fairly fast firing via the acceleration button, and apart from the occasional jammed magazine, we found this Nerf easy to use. The non-rotating but removable magazine holds 10 darts, but the brand supplies 20 (official Elite). However, it requires 4 AA batteries (not included), which makes it quite heavy, less discreet and more unwieldy for younger players. It includes two folding sights, a window to see inside the blaster and tactical rails to further customise its design. Unfortunately, its high price may deter you from buying it, and the noise of the engine may alert your opponents during a game.

 

Other Nerf guns tested

Nerf DinoSquad (£11.99 upon publication): Lightweight and compact, it can easily be used with one hand, making it ideal for small children. However, we didn’t find its accuracy to be outstanding and we regret the small magazine capacity (only one arrow).

Nerf Fortnite SP-L (£12.50 upon publication): We liked its Fortnite-inspired modular design, which allows it to be a short or long blaster, depending on the mission. However, the magazine hidden in the slide has a low capacity (only three darts), which means it needs to be reloaded often, and the shots are not always very accurate.

Nerf Fortnite RL (£34.62 upon publication): This replica of Fortnite’s missile blaster is heavy and awkward to handle (especially for a child), and only one missile can be inserted into the barrel at a time. The rocket fins also show signs of brittleness after the first use and are not easy to replace.

 

 

Translated by Ramsés El Hajje

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