Airsoft CQB: Get the basics RIGHT

Close-quarters battle (CQB) in airsoft differs from real-steel CQB. Despite different strategies though, the principles are the same, emphasizing speed, surprise, and the calculated violence of action. In this blog post, we’ll dive into the essentials of CQB in airsoft.

💡 Unlike its real-world counterpart, airsoft CQB is a high-octane experience, demanding players to be swift & aggressive. Emphasizing the need for quick thinking & rapid execution.

Key Points for Success in Airsoft CQB:

1. Practice Manipulation & CQB

Success in airsoft CQB starts and ends with practice. Whether at home or on the field, work on your weapon handling, movement, footwork and shooting. Consider building a DIY shooting range in the basement or empty room incorporating the Dot Torture Drill (opens in a new tab), or create your own drills with target poppers to simulate the dynamic nature that CQB brings into airsoft.

If you want to know more about how to set up a home shooting range on the cheaper side, you should read our post on this very subject:

How to set up a cheap home shooting range with target poppers

2. Learn to play JUST with your sidearm

Optimize your gear for CQB scenarios, giving special attention to your sidearm. Always carry a reliable pistol, and familiarize yourself with its operation. Dedicate a day or more to playing using only your sidearm in full gear, honing your skills in a controlled environment. Consider the advantage of having just one replica, especially on smaller urban fields, where high-performance pistols like the SSP5 can shine. So, the need for a long primary is not as relevant.

While playing with just your pistol, focus on ammo management, as the pistols have fewer BBs than your average AEG. Play more aggressively and use the manoeuvrability of pistols to your advantage.

3. Peeking Tactics

Master the art of peeking to gain a tactical advantage. Follow this one-minute video tip on proper peeking techniques. Learn shoulder switches to peek effectively from both sides. Avoid predictability – change your position, go from standing to crouching, switch covers, and alter your angles to keep your opponents guessing.

👀 When you peek, your gun should always come out first.

4. Silent Movement

Footwork is a crucial element of CQB. Move with purpose, avoiding unnecessary noise that could give away your position. Keep your feet closer to the ground; don’t walk like an elephant. Use the environment to your advantage, spotting through cracks and gaining an edge.

5. Be Aggressive

By that, we don’t mean that you should beat somebody up but that you should not be afraid to suppress, flank, or push. If you are scared to get shot, you are robbing yourself of opportunities to outplay your opponents, and you don’t want to do that.

Suppress your opponents with fast & accurate fire. While they take cover, move closer and flank them. It’s best when your teammates are still pinning them in place with suppressing fire. With this combination of cooperation with your teammates and aggressive playstyle, any airsoft fight will be easy to win.

6. Mental Preparedness

It’s not only about having an aggressive playstyle. It’s also about developing the right mindset, which is crucial in mastering airsoft CQB. Embrace the reality of getting hit and use it to fuel your determination. Run, push forward, and get comfortable with the chaos of close-quarters combat. Experience is a good teacher in CQB, so make sure to jump into these situations often enough.

7. Slicing the pie

No, we are not talking about eating a pie while in the off-zone as a snack. To “slice the pie” in terms of CQB tactics is to clear a room from a corner piece by piece. 

The idea is to “slice” the room into segments, clearing each segment before moving on to the next whilst only exposing your body to the segment you are currently engaging and those segments that have already been cleared. You can use this technique in any scenario where quick peeking isn’t the best option.


Achieving success in airsoft CQB isn’t a science, but it requires a set of skills and a strategic mindset. Train, and you’ll be better equipped to win your next airsoft CQB fight.

Remember, mastering airsoft CQB is a journey that combines practice, gear optimization, tactical knowledge, and the right mindset. Focus on practising these points at home, and you will be a force to be reckoned with on the field. So, gear up, embrace the challenge, and go take the shot!

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