A Player’s Guide to Gel Blasters: My First Hand Experience

By Tavish Archer
Edited On

As a gel blaster player with tons of experience, I’ve watched with my own eyes the surge in popularity this sport had over recent years. Not too long ago, paintball and airsoft pretty much ruled the first-person shooter arena, but now gel ball guns have stormed onto the scene as a fantastic alternative.

There are solid reasons behind this craze. Gel blaster guns are pocket-friendly, they have a lower age requirement, and their milder muzzle velocity makes them a game for a wider range of players. Think of them as a bridge between airsoft and Nerf guns, delivering an exciting and safe gaming experience that suits both kids and adults.

If you’re intrigued and want to understand why folks are going gaga over these, keep on reading. I’ll take you on a journey to explore these innovative toy guns and uncover the thrilling world of gel blasting!

A Player's Guide to Gel Blasters

What Is A Gel Blaster?

A Gel Blaster, also known as a gel ball blaster, gel blaster gun, gel gun, gelsoft gun, gel shooter, or water beads blaster, is a toy gun that fires soft gel balls, commonly known as gellets (similar to water beads or Orbeez), crafted from water-absorbing and biodegradable polymer materials. They operate like airsoft or paintball guns and run on rechargeable batteries or compressed air, using high pressure or springs to propel the ammunition.

But why the buzz about these blasters? Well, they’re not your regular toy guns. They let you have fun playing shooter games with friends, but without firing too fast (FPS) like airsoft, paintball, or BB guns- much safer.

Gel ball blasters come in various muzzle velocities and shooting ranges to suit different play styles and preferences for players aged 9 and above. Many blasters even replicate the look and feel of real firearms, adding an extra layer of excitement. If you’re a fan of real-life shooter games like I am, the world of gel blaster guns is bound to captivate your interest.

What Are Gel Blaster Guns Used For?

Gel guns are all about entertainment and adventure. Whether you’re a fan of recreational games or just enjoy the thrill of toy guns, there’s plenty of fun. Here are some cool ways to use gel blasters:

  • Recreation: Those toys are perfect for hours of outdoor and indoor fun. When your buddies come over, why not set up a gel blaster party and experience the excitement? Many game arenas now have sections dedicated for gelballers too.
  • Team-building: Imagine bonding with your coworkers through fun activities. Team-building becomes a blast when it involves teamwork and coordination. That’s where gel blasters come in – a fantastic way to strengthen the team spirit.
  • Outdoor Adventure: If your kid prefers screens over the outdoors, a gellet gun might be the solution. While it might not be a full workout, running around in a friendly battle adds a touch of outdoor recreation activity. It might just inspire your child to enjoy the outside more.

Are Gel Ball Blasters Same As Orbeez Guns And Splatter Ball Guns?

You might be familiar with gel blasters, but they often go by different names depending on the place or the brand, such as splat guns, water beads blasters, Orbeez guns, etc. This might leave you wondering if these toys are the same thing.

For instance, Orbeez guns are named after the brand “Orbeez” which manufactures squishy gel beads for sensory play. Gel ball blasters and splatter ball guns are similar in that they both shoot these soft water balls.

However, there are clear distinctions. The term “gel blaster” finds its origins in the brand Gel Blaster, signifying guns that shoot gellets. On the other hand, “splatter ball guns” owe their name to the renowned toy gun brand SplatRBall.

Most water bead blasters use a gravity-fed hopper on top, while splat ball guns typically have spring-loaded magazines at the bottom. In my experience, both fall into the category of Orbeez guns, but they have their unique features.

Also Read Comparison: Gel Blaster Vs Splatrball Gun

History Of Gel Blasters: When Did They Come Out?

In 2008, gel blasters made their debut in China and Japan, offering an alternative to airsoft guns. Their popularity quickly spread throughout Asia and later gained a foothold in the Australian market too.

Australia embraced it as a recreational toy around 2017, but its legal status shifted in 2021-2022, with restrictions impacting its availability. Presently, Queensland is the sole Australian state where gel blasters are legally permitted.

The story takes a different turn in the USA. Although gel ball guns started to gain attention in 2020, their remarkable surge occurred towards the end of 2022, coinciding with people stepping out of their homes post-pandemic and embracing life anew.

Notably, those blasters available in the US and UK are primarily battery-powered with reduced muzzle velocity, resembling toys for added safety. This stands in contrast to the gas-powered guns available in Australia. Consequently, these toy blasters are both safer and increasingly popular among individuals of all ages in the United States.

Shooting practice with gel blaster

Different Types Of Gel Blasters

Gel blasters are available with various designs and functions, each offering a distinct shooting experience. Let’s delve into the intricacies of three prominent types:

1. Mechanical Gel Blasters

Simple yet effective, mechanical gel ball blasters rely on manual spring mechanisms. To fire, you have to manually pull back the spring-loaded slide or bolt, compressing the spring. Pulling the trigger releases the spring’s stored energy, propelling the gel ball. The firing process must be repeated for each shot.


Simplicity of operation.

No need for batteries or gas.

Generally lower cost compared to other types.


Slower firing rate due to manual cocking.

Reloading requires re-cocking the spring each time.

Not widely available.

2. Battery-Powered Gel Blasters

Battery-powered gel blaster guns, known is an AEG (Automatic Electric Gun), prioritizing ease and speed. They feature an electric motor powered by rechargeable batteries. These blasters incorporate a gearbox that automatically loads and fires gel balls upon pulling the trigger. Firing modes can include semi-automatic and fully automatic options.


Faster firing rate compared to spring-powered blasters.

Different firing modes for versatility.

Relatively user-friendly operation.

Great for home use.


Requires batteries and regular charging.

Some models require periodic maintenance of the gearbox and motor.

3. Gas-Powered Gel Blasters

Gas-powered gel ball guns utilize compressed gas, like carbon dioxide or air, to propel gel balls. They replicate real firearm dynamics with blowback action, simulating recoil. While battery-powered blasters are widely available in the USA and UK, gas-powered guns are more popular in Australia.


Realistic blowback action for enhanced immersion.

Potential for higher power and accuracy.

Can offer semi-automatic or even fully automatic firing modes.

Excellent for competitive matches.


Gas canisters need to be refilled or replaced.

More complex mechanics might require occasional maintenance.

Typically higher cost compared to spring-powered blasters.

Beyond these three main types, there are hybrid gel blasters that integrate a gas-powered system with an electric motor to enhance firing speed. Depending on the design, you also have a diverse selection of realistic blasters including snipers, pistols, rifles (AK-47, M4A1, etc.), and shotguns.

How To Play With Gel Ball Guns?

While playing with gel blasters is quite fun, you have to follow some steps to ensure safety and maximize the enjoyment. Follow these simple steps:

Step 1: Prepare The Ammo

Are you ready to dive into the world of gel blaster guns? Let’s kick things off by introducing you to Orbeez pellets – these little beads are made from a super-absorbent material that swell up when soaked. This growth process takes around two to four hours, transforming them into orbs of fun.

And here’s a tip: the cleaner the water you use, the better their quality will be. Plus, if you’re up for some variety, packs of 7.5 mm gel balls are available in different packs, including options with up to a whopping 50,000 rounds.

Step 2: Load ‘Em Up

Gelly ball blasters come equipped with a hopper or magazine where you need to put your ammo. Think of it like prepping your equipment, but with an exciting twist. Fill up the mag with gellets, attach it to your blaster, and you’re all set to roll. And if you’re using one of the larger blaster, you might even find a funnel that makes filling the hopper a breeze.

Oh, and don’t forget this pro tip: make sure your gel gun is fully charged before the adventure begins. This applies to both Splat R Ball guns and Orbeez guns too.

Step 3: Start Playing

Get ready for the heart-pounding moment – it’s time to fire those gelly balls! Gel blaster guns use a clever mechanism of springs and gears. Just press the trigger to start the motor and setting a series of gears in motion. These gears pull back a spring within the gun, releasing it in rapid succession. With each release, a bullet shoots out of the barrel.

But here’s the twist: some blasters take things up a notch by using an air or CO2 cylinders instead of batteries. This type of blaster is more powerful and suitable for competitions and tournaments.

Know Details: How To Use A Gel Blaster?

Gel blaster for recreational sports

What Makes A Gel Blaster Attractive?

Gel ball blasters are the fastest-growing toy gun sector in the world. There are several reasons why they are popular and appealing to both adults and kids. Here are the key points:

1. Relatively Safer

One fantastic reason to opt for gel blaster guns is the comfortable experience they offer. Unlike traditional Airsoft, BB, or paintball guns that can leave bruises, those toy guns use water-absorbent Orbeez beads for a gentler impact that do not hurt much.

The gel bullets burst on contact, creating a sensation that’s more playful than painful. Remember, the feel can vary depending on factors like the gun’s power, ammo quality, and shooting distance.

2. Less Messy

Paintball battles might be a blast, but dealing with the mess? That’s a lot! Wave goodbye to stubborn paint stains on clothes and surfaces. However, with a gel ball gun, cleanup is as easy as a splash of water. (Also Read: Gel Blaster Vs Paintball)

Their hydrogel ammo dissolve faster, making tidying up a breeze. A friendly tip: prevent them from clogging drains, as they can last for a long time when in water.

3. Relatively Unique

Gel blasters are the new kids on the block when it comes to toy guns, offering an exciting twist compared to its alternatives. Whether you’re playing indoors or venturing into the great outdoors, those guns bring a fresh level of fun to the table.

4. Lesser Cost

When it comes to your wallet, gel blaster guns come with a silver lining. They tend to be more pocket-friendly than other types of toy guns. You can easily snag a blaster for as low as $30 to $100, while alternatives like paintball, nerf, airsoft, and BB guns often come with a heftier price tag.

5. Lower Age Requirement

With their slower speed and gentler impact compared to airsoft and paintball, jelly ball blasters are a friendly choice for players of all ages. Their softer nature makes them especially suitable for younger players. That’s why the age requirement for gel blasters is relatively low, starting at around 9 to 14 years old.

Disadvantage Of Orbeez Guns

Let’s talk straight – when it comes to toys that shoot projectiles, there’s always a chance of getting hurt. No matter if you’re using Orbeez guns, Splatter ball guns, or gel ball guns, it’s important to play safe and wear protective gear.

A gellet hitting your eye can cause injury, which is why some countries and their states have restricted the usage of gel blasters. It’s smart to know the legal details, as they can be different depending on where you are.

My Favorite Gel Blasters

Over the past few years, I have tested more than 50 products, and let me tell you, the market is full of garbage. I have reviewed various creams and shared my findings in the list of the top 10 gel blasters. Here is a shortlist of the guns I love the most.

  • Gel Blaster Surge Series (Surge Gen 3 and Surge XL)
  • Gel Blasters Starfire Series (Starfire and Starfire XL)
  • UnlocX Gel Blasters (V1 and V2 pistols, and the 4-in-1 modular gun)
  • Nerf Gel Blasters (Nerf Pro Gelfire Mythic and Nerf Pro Gelfire MrBeast)
  • CosmoxToys Sirius and Aquanaut

Also Read: Gel Blaster Brands Tying Up With YouTube Influencers

are orbeez guns safe

What Is the Orbeez Challenge?

The Orbeez Challenge emerged in the online scene with the hashtag #Orbeezchallenge from March to August 2022. People jumped into this challenge, playing with gel balls and taking on various tasks for fun.

Now, there are different versions of the Orbeez Challenge, depending on the activity. One version involves hunting for hidden objects or conquering an obstacle course in a pool or tub filled with Orbeez.

Another version of the challenge involves shooting random people with gel blasters and pranking them. I have also come across a story about shooting gellets with airsoft guns.

These uncontrolled activities led to panic and injury, especially in sensitive spots like the face. The situation escalated to the point where law enforcement had to step in. There have been reports of unsuspecting victims suffering from temporary blindness and bruising due to those irresponsible activities.

Now, here’s where things took a wrong turn.

Why Was It Concerning?

At first glance, the Orbeez Challenge seemed harmless – just playful fun with squishy water balls. But the catch is, those soft balls can still cause discomfort if they hit sensitive areas, especially without proper safety gear.

Here’s the thing – some people might mistake gel blaster guns for real firearms, especially if they don’t look like toys. This created a serious issue, with young individuals facing legal consequences for using toy guns that appeared quite real.

The #Orbeezchallenge brought up valid concerns about toy blasters earlier, particularly in the US. However, you don’t see this challenge around much anymore. After all, these toys are meant for fun, not harm.

Conclusion: My Experience

Gel ball blasters are a cool addition to your toy guns, especially if you’ve got friends to join in. I got my own blaster not too long ago, and it’s been an exciting experience. Aside from teaming up with friends, I enjoy setting up targets in my backyard to practice my aim.

But remember, safety is a must. Whenever you’re using a gel blaster, make sure every gelballer is wearing protective goggles. And let’s keep the fun in check – no random shooting at people. I hope this article helps you decide if these unique toys are the right fit for you.

Continue Reading More About Gel Ball Guns:

Tavish Archer

Tavish Archer

Tavish Archer is a Recreational Gamer, Author, and Co-Founder of ThrilloGaming. He holds a degree in Sports Management from Mississippi College (MC), Unites States. His experience and proficiency in the field allow him to provide winning strategies, creative ideas, and expert advice.

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