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Beginners Guide to Laser Tag

Learn what laser tag is all about!

A fun and exciting sport

Build teamwork and fellowship with an exciting sport that provides safe and active fun for all ages! Steradian laser tag is perfect for parties, family events, corporate retreats, outdoor activity venues – anywhere with some open space and a group of people. And because it just uses beams of infrared light, it doesn’t hurt!

In its basic form, laser tag is a competitive shooting game similar in principle to a video game, but far more interactive. Each player has a laser tag gun and wears a sensor headband. The players try to hit members of the opposing team by shooting at the other players’ sensors. Game rules can be simple (free-for-all) or highly complicated (structured teams with specific roles and various special rules).

Similar sports include airsoft and paintball. However, unlike these sports, Steradian laser tag equipment works at much longer ranges, enabling greater teamwork and complex tactics, while maintaining safety and a family-friendly environment. Because the beams from our guns are completely harmless, Steradian laser tag is especially beneficial to paintball fields, campgrounds, and other venues where long-range shooting is possible and families are a vital customer group. However, the accuracy and range of our equipment is also perfect for highly competitive games, too.

Like many tactical games, laser tag is easy to learn and difficult to master. Reflexes, quick thinking, good strategy, relying on teammates, and athleticism all play a role in becoming a champion laser tag competitor.

Laser Tag Guns

Getting started

The manuals included with your Steradian equipment describe how to set up and use the guns, USB hub, and LaserTagScores.com website. This page, however, provides tips on how to actually run and play laser tag games. Once you have your equipment working, and a group of several people, you’re ready to learn to play!

Starting a game

For your first game, divide the players into two teams. Assign each team its own starting point at opposite ends of the field. Set up LaserTagScores.com and the Chimera Hub according to the instructions. We recommend choosing the Team Elimination game mode to get started, so that the rules are simple and players have a fairly high amount of ammunition and hit points. Send the players to their starting points, and start the game. The guns will automatically tell players when the game begins and ends.

Note for Classic Series users: If you are using Classic Series equipment, set up the game using the Game Controller. We recommend assigning a time limit (to automatically end the game after a certain time), and using walkie-talkies or air horns to signal the start of the game.

LaserTagScores

Teamwork

Most laser tag game modes involve two or more teams. While it is possible to play successfully and have fun without teamwork (most groups of young children will have the most fun just running around and shooting), teams that work together toward their mutual goal have the highest chance of winning a match.

  • A good way to introduce teamwork is to assign players to pairs. This encourages them to watch each other’s backs and learn to be aware of their teammate’s location and condition.
  • Another way to promote teamwork is to give each team a pre-game strategy period. Let the teams walk around the field for a few minutes and discuss their plans. If they need help, point out places on the field that are good hiding spots or areas where people can move without being seen, and suggest that players take on roles that are suited to their abilities. For example, fast runners can be sent to quickly cross the field to hit the other team from behind, people who aren’t squeamish about getting dirty can be assigned to hunker down in underbrush, and so on.
  • Radios (walkie-talkies or cellphones) are incredibly useful, allowing teammates to stay in contact even when separated by an acre of forest. You can assign radios to every player, or limit them to just a few group leaders, depending on the size of the field and party.

Hitting the target

Difficulty aiming laser tag over distance
Shoot Laser Tag Shot Long Distance

Shooting a laser tag gun can be simple or hard. You can point the gun in the general direction of your opponent and pull the trigger repeatedly, but your chances of hitting are low, and the more you miss, the more likely it is that your target will see and hear your gun, giving them the chance to return fire!

To get really good at laser tag, you need to learn how to aim. 

Steradian laser tag guns do not fire a visible shot. In paintball, you can see the ball, see where it hits, and adjust your aim to get closer to your target. Correspondingly, your opponent knows how close you were to hitting him (by seeing where the paintballs splatter), and can sometimes even dodge an incoming shot. A laser tag shot, however, is invisible and moves at the speed of light. Thus, it’s important to be accurate, since you won’t be able to see where your misses are going.

The best way to learn accuracy is to practice. Some things to work on: - Shoot at a Steradian Target at a variety of ranges, to get used to how the sights work. - Shoot from a variety of positions (standing, kneeling, lying down). - Shoot while running or leaning around cover. - Start with the gun pointed at the ground, and then aim and shoot as quickly as possible.

A player who learns to shoot accurately under these conditions will have a major advantage in any game. During a game, your targets are either your opponent’s gun (which has a sensor in the barrel) or the Sunband (worn on the head). The infrared beam from a Steradian laser tag gun has a focused beam that is tight enough to be challenging, but wide enough to be fun. To help imagine what the beam would look like if you could see it, look at the graphic above. The red circle represents the IR beam shot at a player. As you can see, the further away your target is, the more carefully you have to aim! 

Aiming Target

Tactics

Everybody has their own way of playing, but there are several tactics that will help you rise above the rest: 

  • Know where your enemies are not. This will give you a safe place to run when you get in trouble. 
  • Know who your teammates are. Use different armbands, hats, or uniforms to identify teams. 
  • Attack from two sides. If you are too close to your teammates, your opponent can hide from all of you at once. If you approach from opposite directions, you can pincer your opponents and give them nowhere to run to. 
  • Maintain a minimum distance from your teammates. Traveling in a tight group lets your opponents see you all at once. By staying spread out some of the group can continue to maneuver after making contact with the enemy. 
  • Keep your eyes and ears open at all times. Finding your opponents before they find you is key to success in laser tag. 

Ending a game

When a player is tagged out, they should head directly to a designated respawn point (a place on the field where, under certain game rules, a player can regain their hit points and re-enter play) or the pre-defined home base. The player should hold their gun high above their head as they walk, so that other players know not to shoot the tagged-out player.   If the player is permanently tagged out, they can wait out the rest of the game by checking the game stats and scores at the home base, and monitoring the action. As other tagged-out players come in, they can discuss the events of the game, and start planning for the next game.

Learn about equipment

Now that you have learned the basic of a game, let’s learn more about the equipment. Head over to theX-Series page or the Classic Series page to learn more!

X-Series