Best Cheap Nerf Guns 2020 (Under $30)

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The best cheap nerf guns under $30 reach firing distances of 90 feet. They can load multiple nerf darts and they can be easily used with blast fire functions. Some of these nerf guns also come with flip-to-open designs that allow quick nerf dart loading.

Types of Cheap Nerf Guns

There are a few types of cheap nerf guns categorized by firing capacity. The more nerf darts such a toy gun can load, the better the chances kids have to shoot their targets in case of missed shots. Here are the main options.

5-6 nerf dart guns

With a loading capacity of 5-6 nerf darts, these nerf guns are mainly recommended for shooting from a close distance. It’s difficult to miss the shot from a close distance. Used indoors and on shooting ranges, these guns are normally small as they don’t need to store and carry too many nerf darts.

12 nerf dart guns

The 12 nerf dart guns are the balanced options kids can rely on. They are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. These guns may already reach firing distances of 85-90 feet as they are also larger than the 5-6 nerf dart alternatives.

20 nerf dart guns

The 20+ nerf dart guns are used for rapid fir and when dealing with multiple opponents. In this case, kids don’t have the time to reload the gun all the time. However, these nerf guns are also more difficult to defend, especially as they take longer to reload.

Best Cheap Nerf Guns 2020 (Under $30)

1. Nerf N Strike Elite Strongarm Toy Blaster with Rotating Barrel

Why we like it: With a rotating barrel and a rapid-fire function, the nerf gun offers tremendous fun opportunities.

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Design features
The design of the cheap nerf gun is one of its biggest advantages. Made with a rotating barrel that opens up for easy dart access, it represents one of the most practical guns in its class. Kids looking to quickly change darts find it particularly appealing.

But the barrel is also fast. It comes with a rapid-fire function that shoots all darts quickly and silently. Operated with one hand only, the nerf gun is easy to run around with. Furthermore, it is among the top options in its class for popularity in nerf gun games due to its practical size, comfortable for both boys and girls.

Convenient features
The slam fire function which fires all 6 darts at the same time is the most convenient feature of the nerf gun. Fighting off predators, zombies and invaders are easy with such features. But the gun also comes with 6 nerf darts in the pack.

Of course, relying on just 6 nerf darts is a bad strategy in any shoot-out is a bad idea. But 30-pack refills are available to purchase. Since most nerf shooting guns can last a few hours, it might be a good idea to get a few refills together with the gun as well.

Shooting accurately, the nerf gun’s darts reach distances of 90 feet. This allows kids to play outdoors or in specialized locations such as paintball fields. But most importantly, the nerf darts reach these distances without wandering to the sides.

Verdict
This small gun shoots the darts the furthest and it comes with a 6 nerf dart barrel capacity.

Pros
  • Stores 6 nerf darts in the barrel
  • Made with a small fire function
  • Held with one hand only
  • Includes 6 nerf darts
Cons
  • Plain packaging not suitable for gifts

2. Nerf Zombie Strike Hammershot Blaster

Why we like it: The one-handed blasting design is specifically made for those who want a lightweight nerf gun.

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Design features
If most nerf guns hold 6 or more nerf darts, the Zombie Strike Hammershot Blaster holds 5 such darts. Even with one dart less, it allows the gun to be smaller and lighter. Kids chasing enemies and zombies appreciate its practical nature.

Since it doesn’t need to hold too many nerf darts, the gun also handles with one hand only. This design characteristic is specifically useful for those playing for hours. Shooting around for a few minutes might not benefit from its smaller size as much as when playing for hours and hours.

Convenient features
Inspired by classic pistols, the nerf gun also comes with other convenient features in its shooting capabilities. For example, it fires all 5 darts at the same time if and when needed. In situations where kids want to make an impact, this shot-gun style approach never fails to impress.

Using universal nerf gun darts, the blaster can also work with extra ammo as needed. A set of 30 can be purchased together with the gun. Those buying it as a gift can certainly add a few such extra seats to the gun to keep kids shooting for longer.

Verdict
This compact one-handed design is tested for durability and it can be used by kids as soon as they reach the age of 8.

Pros
  • Operated with a single hand
  • Shoots 5 darts at once
  • Tested for durability
  • Available in gift-suitable packaging
Cons
  • Only for ages 8 and above

3. Nerf Zombie Strike FlipFury Blaster

Why we like it: This nerf gun means serious business with its 12-dart load capacity.

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Design features
Made to offer a fighting chance while in battle, this gun fires up to 12 nerf darts at once. It represents a top choice for those who are engaged in long battles. But it’s based on a single dart drum as seen with the examples above. It features 2 such dart drums which means it also looks great apart from shooting more.

Even with this double dart drum design, the nerf gun is still held with a single hand. While both hands can be used to hold it, those with sufficient strength hold it with one hand while having the other hand free for defense.

Convenient features
Made with a top handlebar, the gun can also be easily carried to and from the battle scene. Kids traveling on foot find it particularly easy to hold and carry. But the gun also doesn’t need as many extra nerf dart sets. As it holds double the amount of darts as its direct competitors, it also favors those who need extra practicality.

But these nerf darts are still safe to use. Made from foam, they are available in multiple colors. Kids have the freedom of choosing between orange, green and blue nerf darts. Yellow darts are also a good option that suits this gun’s style. The best part is the nerf gun is well below the budget.

Verdict
Suitable for those who want to fire more before reloading, the nerf gun includes 2 dart drum holds.

Pros
  • Suitable for one-handed use
  • Includes 12 foam nerf darts
  • Features a blast shooting option
Cons
  • The center of gravity is towards the front

4. Nerf N-Strike Elite Triad EX-3 Toy

Why we like it: This nerf gun is so small it can be concealed in the palm and easily stored in a pocket.

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Design features
Probably one of the smallest nerf guns available today, the N-Strike is a true beast. It shoots 3 nerf darts and its ability to tell when the barrel is fully loaded and prepare the darts for shooting.

Most importantly, the design of the nerf gun means it easily fits inside the palm. Those who want to take enemies and zombies by surprise can easily conceal the weapon as a result. Since it comes with such a compact size, the nerf gun can also serve as a second option for larger nerf guns. Whenever nerf darts run out on the larger gun in a quick combat situation, kids can pull out this back-up secondary gun and keep shooting.

Convenient features
Many kids don’t consider these guns due to their smaller size which is often wrongly associated with a lack of shooting power. This is far from the truth. In the real world, the small nerf gun shoots up to 90 feet away, comparable to what the most powerful alternatives deliver.

At the same time, this smaller nerf gun is suitable for travel more than all of its competitors. It comes to show that fun can be had when its back in the family’s luggage when going on holiday or when leaving home for the weekend. Oftentimes, parents don’t afford the luxury extra space in the travel bags for larger guns. In such cases, this friendly and safe gun can travel anywhere with kids, even on the plane.

Verdict
Small and powerful, this hard-to-detect nerf gun shoots up to 90 feet away.

Pros
  • Small and easy to hold
  • Suitable for traveling kids
  • Shoots up to 90 feet away
Cons
  • Only stores 3 nerf darts

5. Nerf N-Strike Elite Disruptor

Why we like it: As its name suggests, the Elite Disruptor is one of the largest designs made by Nerf N-Strike.

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Design features
The design of the nerf gun allows it to be easy to use. Unlike a few of its rivals, it favors 2-hand use and better stability as a result. Without aiming around foolishly, the two-hand operation of the nerf gun means kids can hold it better and aim for their still or moving subjects.

There are about 6 chances of eliminating an opponent given by the nerf gun. With a maximum 6 nerf dart capacity, it is one of the most suitable options to start shooting around as much as needed with maximum accuracy. Its style sits somewhere between a pistol and a shotgun and as a result, it is the balanced choice kids can make when it comes to the ultimate shooting capabilities in all types of situations.

Convenient features
With a quick draw blaster and a 6-dart nerf rotating drum, it’s ready to take on all types of opponents. But the gun should also benefit from other accessories such as extra nerf darts. This is especially true for close combat situations where more shots are fired.

Those waiting for their opponents while camouflaged only need one good shot to eliminate them. Since it reaches distances of up to 90 feet, it allows kids to hide deeper and better into their backyards while waiting for their friends to come and find them. 6 elite darts are often backed by additional sets which even allow kids to get into closer rapid-fire exchanges, suitable when dealing with multiple opponents.

Verdict
When the orange shooting indicator is visible, kids can fire and reach their enemies from 90 feet away with this nerf gun.

Pros
  • Made for 2-handed use
  • Includes 6 nerf darts
  • Fires up to 27 meters away
Cons
  • Bulky for one-handed shooting

6. Nerf N-Strike Elite SurgeFire

Why we like it: This semi-automatic Elite SurgeFire is one of the most impressive names in the continuous fire segment.

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Design features
Holding up to 15 darts, the powerful pump blaster is one of the most impressive solutions for kids looking for extra shooting power. Unlike many other names in its class, it holds an impressive amount of nerf darts. With 15 darts in the barrel, it gives kids a considerable advantage over their opponents. It also stands out when shooting them in rapid-fire.

Made with two handles, the gun is also easy to hold with both hands. This immediately increases aim and accuracy. But the SurgeFire also stands out when it comes to the range it can reach. As the best cheap nerf guns in its class, it reaches distances of up to 90 feet.

Convenient features
Fast and with plenty of nerf darts, the gun offers one of the best experiences when it comes to proper combat with multiple opponents. Those having to deal with multiple zombies, enemies or friends, it represents a top solution for continuous fire with rare reload times.

This is the main reason to buy the nerf gun. However, the gun also takes longer to load. Kids need to be aware of this issue. They should also know they need to be hiding longer until 15 darts are loaded into the barrel.

Verdict
The 27-meter shooting nerf gun is a powerful option when having to deal with multiple opponents at once.

Pros
  • Holds up to 15 nerf darts
  • Made with a blast mode
  • Held with both hands
Cons
  • Takes longer to load

7. Nerf N-Strike Elite Delta Trooper

Why we like it: This stock and barrel extension nerf gun offers a 12-dart clip extension.

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Design features
Firing up to 12 dart clips, the nerf gun comes with a 12-dart extension clip. It must be said the nerf gun operates with or without the clip. Kids who want to stay as lightweight and possible and run fast might not need it. Those who want the extra nerf dart firing capacity can also use the clip to keep in firing for longer.

Since the nerf gun is also larger, it suits kids who are fans of stealth shooting and the navy seals. It can be the first firing weapon next to smaller nerf guns and provide the shooting power needed in all types of battles.

Convenient features
The convenience of the nerf gun is what makes it unique. It’s practically a 2-in-1 design that can work in various battling scenarios. Its shooting range is impressive, as with the best guns in its class. Reaching shooting speeds of up to 90 feet, it is capable to eliminate enemies from a distance.

In terms of looks, the gun comes in a combination of blue and orange. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come in any other color variations. Kids don’t have the freedom to rely on an all-black design at the moment. At the moment, this is not possible and those wishing to rely on an all-stealth option need to look elsewhere.

Verdict
This versatile 2-in-1 design is ready to offer 12 more nerf darts next to the standard 12 darts.

Pros
  • Offers 24 nerf darts
  • Fires up to 90 feet
  • Includes a barrel extension
Cons
  • Not available on black

8. Megalodon Nerf N-Strike Mega Toy Blaster

Why we like it: This 20-dart rotating drum design is made for the next zombie apocalypse invasion.

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Design features
Not many nerf guns can offer 20 nerf darts in a rotating drum. But the Mega Toy Blaster impresses with its firing capacity. Rapid fire and continuous fire are among its strengths as a result. While it is a toy, it certainly resembles various famous automatics such as the Thompson.

Its design is based on the crank to fire principles. Users need to crank the handle back and forth to fire the darts. A slam fire option is also available it works with simple trigger holds. But kids should be aware its larger design might require both hands as it’s not the type of weapon which is handled with one hand only.

Convenient features
20 nerf darts are included in the pack. Since they can be fired in a matter of seconds, kids need a few extra packs of darts as a backup. 30-packs are not an option, given 40 darts are needed for 2 refills. This is why the recommended larger 120-darts pack is the way to go.

The big red blaster is also impressive for kids who want to make an entrance. It is not an option to carry around while traveling given its large size. Furthermore, kids should also be ready to deal with the most pressing issues of storage space as the gun won’t fit under the bed.

Verdict
With impressive shooting capacity, the nerf gun is certainly a hit when going after multiple opponents.

Pros
  • Made with 20 nerf darts
  • Suitable for rapid-fire
  • Shoots at distances of up to 85 feet
Cons
  • Needs plenty of extra nerf darts

9. Nerf Fortnite Sp-L Elite Dart Blaster

Why we like it: With a versatile design, the Elite Dart Blaster is an inspired gift idea for Fortnite fans.

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Design features
This nerf gun is one of the fast-acting designs kids can rely on. Inspired by the true Fortnite guns, it is one of the few which come with a detachable barrel. Kids rely on the gun to have a real shoot out but they can also consider is as a great back-up for any of the rifle-inspired nerf guns.

With a compact design, the gun also suits traveling kids. Those taking their nerf guns to the park might not be able to carry any other larger nerf guns and the Fornite Sp-L Elite Dar Blaster is a top second choice.

Convenient features
There are 3 nerf darts inside the gun. This is why it’s mainly suitable when firing and close-by opponents. It’s not the option to consider for those who want to shoot from a distance as the darts don’t have sufficient propelling power to reach the enemies.

Loading the gun is easy as well. The top opens quickly and kids can add 3 more nerf darts to the gun. Those who might also prefer to carry the gun in a pocket can also remove the barrel and take advantage of the compact size the guns can offer.

Verdict
This nerf gun is mainly suitable for close-distance shooting in enclosed spaces.

Pros
  • Made with a detachable barrel
  • Features a 3-dart clip
  • Inspired by Fortnite
Cons
  • Not made for distance shooting

10. Strongarm Nerf N-Strike Elite Toy Blaster

Why we like it: The flip-open barrel design gun is recommended for its futuristic look and color options.

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Design features
This capable shooter is available in 3 colors. Clear, purple and orange combinations make it a rare gun that is made in different colors. As a result, kids can match it with other toys or clothing to get a more personalized or immersive firing experience.

Its design favors up to 6 nerf darts to be fired at the same time. The slam fire function is seen on other guns from the manufacturer. But the size and the color options are what make the difference.

Convenient features
Firing nerf darts up to 90 feet places the gun in a select range among the best designs in its class. Its impressive performance is what counts when it comes to the success rate of eliminating opponents from a distance. It also means the gun is too powerful for indoor use at home, where a smaller weapon might to the job a bit better.

Verdict
This unique-looking nerf gun impresses with its modern design which represents a future-proof purchase more than any other alternative.

Pros
  • Available in 3 colors
  • Future-proof design
  • Fires nerf darts at 90 feet
Cons
  • Too powerful for indoor use

FAQ

Can I use a nerf gun indoors?

Nerf guns are mainly safe to use indoors. They are specifically made to eliminate any dangers by shooting foam-made nerf darts. However, some nerf guns may be overpowered for indoor use where the nerf darts don’t need to travel as far.

Can I buy extra nerf darts?

Extra nerf darts are needed for most nerf guns. They offer one of the simplest methods of continuing to shoot longer without having to gather the nerf darts already fired.

Which nerf gun is best for outdoor use?

Nerf guns are mainly made to be used outdoors. Some similar guns may be used indoors. However, the 90 feet firing capacity of the best nerf guns is what recommends them to be safely used outdoors first.

Are nerf darts safe for kids?

Nerf darts are safe to play with. However, most nerf guns are only recommended for kids age 8 and above. Before purchasing a nerf gun, all parents should ensure the age recommendation is appropriate for their child.

Where can I safely play with a nerf gun?

A nerf gun can be fired in the backyard. Playing with such toys may be liberating in the park, where there’s plenty of space to play fire the nerf darts to their full distance potential. A fun experience with nerf guns may also be booked at the local paintball range.

Guide to Buying the Best Nerf Guns

Buying the first nerf gun is an exciting time for kids. Parents might be a bit scared of the process but when used correctly, these guns are not more dangerous than any other toy. This is why kids need to understand how to use them safely, what is allowed and what is not allowed.

However, simply wearing protective glasses might eliminate all potential risks and discomforts such as nerf guns come with. Apart from these safety aspects, this is what to look for in the best cheap nerf guns.

Shooting capacity

The shooting capacity of the nerf gun is what makes kids excited. The faster it shoots, the more excited kids get. But shot accuracy is also something kids think about and also something parents might overlook.

The best shot accuracy is only supported by the best nerf guns. This means that underperforming nerf guns shoot to the side. But as seen with the examples above, the best nerf guns don’t need to cost more than $30.

Another reason to consider nerf guns is the fun they bring kids and their friends. Unlike most other toys that may as well be more expensive, nerf guns are durable and they can be used for years to come without kids getting bored of them. Since they favor physical activity, nerf guns are a top alternative to video games and spending endless hours on a smartphone.

Nerf dart range

Nerf dart range is something kids are interested in. Many poo nerf guns aren’t able to fire nerf darts across a room in the house. While this is fine when playing indoors, things change quickly when play switches outdoors.

There’s no set firing range for the best cheap nerf darts. But some of the most popular toy guns of this type have a firing capacity which is estimated around 85-90 feet. This is why it may be important to look at the things which make a gun capable to reach this range, such as build quality.

Only original nerf guns can perform at this high standard. As with any other counterfeit products, = nerf guns aren’t reliable when it comes to a shooting range and overall safety neither.

One-handed vs two-handed nerf guns

The debate on the one or two-handed nerf gun operation is endless. It is a matter of preference. Kids may be able to shoot a toy gun with one hand in the first minutes of a game, but their strength might be insufficient in longer games.

This is why this debate needs to consider personal strength. The heavier the nerf gun, the harder it becomes to handle with one hand. But one-handed nerf guns may also be seen as back-up solutions for those already shooting a heavyweight gun. This is why kids need to consider their battle approach and a second smaller nerf gun may prove handy when the first weapon is out of ammo.

But accuracy plays its part as well. This is especially true for kids firing from a distance. Those who approach a battle with this strategy need to know that they further they try to shoot, the more accuracy reduces. This is the main reason why holding the hand steadily with two hands quickly improves accuracy.

Age should not be a determining factor in this debate. Kids who’ve already reached the age of 8 should be able to hold the hand with one hand. But some may see this as a personal preference. In case kids prefer shooting games full of actions, running around, jumping and climbing trees, a smaller nerf gun which is held with one hand allows them a second free hand to help around these climbs.

Flip to open nerf barrel designs

Some of the best cheap nerf guns come with a flip barrel design. This means there are no buttons to press when it comes to replacing nerf darts. With a simple flip movement, the barrel opens and allows the nerf darts to be added quickly inside before heading back into battle.

This should not necessarily represent a must-have feature for all nerf guns. But those toys which are the best in their class have such design implementations. In-game use shows that this design may even make the difference in keeping the kids fighting as they can easily be eliminated while still trying to replace their shooting ammo.

Age and safety considerations

The age kids start using shooting toys is 8. But this can be different according to the type of toy. Some of the nerf guns of the moment may only be used when kids reach the age of 9. Others might be used as soon as they reach the age of 8.

However, it’s not simply a matter of age. They should read the entire instructions together with their parents. Accidents are rare as nerf darts are made out of soft foam. But it’s not necessarily the shooting darts which keep kids from having fun and away from accidents. They can lose track of their surrounding environment or they can run into various obstacles such as the wall. This is why they need to be properly instructed on how to maintain focus when using a nerf gun.

Number of opponents

The number of opponents or friends kids plays against may also determine the type of nerf gun they’re going to use. This is why those fighting a single opponent might not need the heaviest shooter. On the other hand, kids playing in large groups need plenty of nerf darts and a higher shooting a capacity on top of a better firing range.

Parents should consider the type of environment kids play in and in most cases, small groups of up to 4 kids might not need the heaviest shooters. Those playing with such toy guns at school or camp might need a bit more shooting power. This is where the 20+ nerf dart designs prove useful. Furthermore, even these massive guns might soon be out of ammo when kids don’t know how to pace themselves and keep shooting with some type of strategy in mind.

Buying a nerf gun as a gift and what to look for

Buying a nerf gun as a toy may be different as kids buying it for themselves. Adults need to consider the type of child they want to surprise, their age, friends they might be playing against and even the environment they live in.

Which kids are these toys suitable for

Kids which are about to be surprised with a nerf gun need to be ready for such a toy. Their parents might not agree with a toy gun and adults should consider their upbringing before buying such a gift, even if it’s perfectly safe. Not all kids are ready to use a nerf gun. More specifically, nerf guns are something boys fall in love with more than girls.

The right age to offer the gift of a nerf gun

The right age to offer this gift is the legal age of the nerf gun. Most need to undergo serious regulation and they need to abide by current laws. Those planning to purchase a nerf gun toy should ensure all of these rules are abided by. For example, these guns should not be open and the nerf darts inserted in the toy guns. Most nerf darts are stored separately so there are no accidents in the learning stages of using a nerf gun.

Friends, sibling and fun opportunities

Nerf guns are rarely an inspired gift idea for kids with no brothers, sisters or immediate friends to play with. While there are plenty of games they can play by themselves, such as shooting cans with nerf darts, these toys are the most fun when they are used against real opponents with similar toy guns.

Where kids live and how they can integrate nerf guns in it

If kids live in large homes with plenty of outdoor space to play, they can easily make the most of the large-capacity shooters which handle around 30 darts before reloading. At the same time, kids in apartments don’t need as much shooting power. This is why the choice of a gift cheap nerf gun should consider living space.

Conclusion

Even the best cheap nerf guns need some inspiration. Such toys require a lot of creativity and kids can benefit from a bit of inspiration from adults. It is adults that can create makeshift space to hind behind in the yard for kids to play around. At the same time, kids should also be thought how to sue the toy guns and where to aim at. Anywhere from the neck down should be safe for kids of all ages.

Furthermore, there are a few tricks parents can use to teach their kids to shoot better. Practice target shots are the best option for this purpose. A small can or any other plastic or wooden object is a safe target for kids to shoot at from different angles. It is a practice that’s going to make them better at the game. Since many young kids don’t have the biomechanics of adults, they may need to practice more before hitting their targets.

For practice purposes, the target practice shots should not be held from distances longer than 90 feet. This is why it is important to keep an eye on the right distance when trying to improve accuracy skills. Apart from these short tips, kids need to have fun with their nerf guns. There are a limited number of rules the little ones can handle before they become too restricted and before the fun starts to fade away. Nerf guns have stood the test of time with kids for a good reason.