How do airsoft grenades work and play in the game?

Why do airsoft players find the game so thrilling? Adrenaline, excitement, opportunity to use ‘real’ weapons without killing anyone… There can be multiple reasons. Nowadays, the whole industry is working on supplying airsofters with various types of armor. Today, we are talking about airsoft grenades, how they work, and how much fun you can have with them.

Airsoft guns are great, but the grenades bring even more thrill to the game, creating an atmosphere as close to the actual war environment as possible. And that is exactly the intention.

how do airsoft grenades work

Airsoft fields should resemble a battleground. And they do. The airsoft armor, weapons, and machines look more and more real, and the players immerse themselves in the game with full vigor.

Let’s talk about airsoft grenades, which play a significant role in the game and if used with enough tactical skill, can make a significant impact on the game outcome.

Inside an airsoft grenade

How do airsoft grenades work? The mechanism inside the airsoft grenade is quite simple and similar to one of the combat grenades. No matter the type of airsoft grenade (and there are several, we’ll come to that), there is a core that, when activated, generates a certain reaction via a fuse that is connected to this core. And as we all saw in the movies, the trigger causing a big bang is a pin.

Airsoft grenades can detonate with a small explosive effect and a really loud BAM, or let loose heavy smoke or a highly compressed gas with BBs, which will scatter everywhere in the vicinity.

As we also remember from the movies, with combat grenades, there is a waiting period between pulling out the pin and the triggered reaction — about 4 seconds when you have the time to take cover. With airsoft grenades, it’s also the case.

This is the primary operating principle of any grenade, including an airsoft grenade.

The difference is that airsoft grenades don’t have the lethal force and are not supposed to injure or kill anyone. That’s why, unlike their combat analogs, airsoft grenades either release smoke, create a raucous boom or a BB shower, and produce some other effects depending on the goal of the operation.

Airsoft game strategy and different grenades

We’d like to review various types of airsoft grenades based on their application purpose. In some periods and locations of the game, using a certain type of airsoft grenade will be more efficient than any other type.

Let’s look at various airsoft game operations.

Surprise and obfuscation

Pyro grenades

Pyro or pyrotechnic grenades when triggered emit a very loud BAM noise and also a small fire outburst. It looks very real and impressive. But you need to be cautious as during the minor explosion activated by pyrotechnic grenades, the actual fire appears and can potentially cause an accident.

When used during the game, pyro grenades can momentarily shock opponents with their loud bang, making them lose their situational awareness and thus become vulnerable.

Due to potential fire hazards, pyrotechnic grenades are banned for use in airsoft games in some countries. It’s understandable, of course. But still, if you watch a video of an airsoft game and see exploding pyrotechnic grenades, the sight is impressive.

Sound grenades (blank firing grenades)

The name of these grenades speaks for itself. Their explosion is deafening. They have another name — blank firing grenades. The carrier in a blank firing grenade is CO2 propane. Sometimes, you can find blank firing grenades with green gas.

But apart from the horrible noise, the blast also creates a flash of light so bright that it will temporarily blind the opponents. That characteristic of blank firing grenades can come in handy.

So, in a situation like a rescue mission or a seizure of a building, using blank firing grenades can be extremely effective. It will buy you precious time while the opponents are disoriented and blinded. That’s a very effective use of a blank grenade.

Smoke grenades

Smoke grenades are also good for obfuscating your position and surprising the rival team, which was not expecting to be blinded by the smoke grenades. But hiding behind the smoke while making a maneuver has also proved successful.

As you’ve probably guessed, smoke grenades don’t blow up. Instead of triggering a blast, we activate the chemical substance from the core of the smoke grenades, causing plumes of heavy smoke and creating a blind zone.

There are two types of smoke grenades, a cold-burn smoke grenade and hot-burn smoke grenade. The difference is in the activation system.

Cold-burn smoke grenades are activated without any fire involved — a pure chemical process.

And because of their higher safety level, cold-burn smoke grenades are used in airsoft games. However, you shouldn’t be deceived by the name. When activated, cold-burn smoke grenades get pretty hot. They just don’t flash with fire.

With hot-burn smoke grenades, the activation involves a flash of fire because they have a flammable fuse, and there can be sparks. Due to that potential fire hazard, only cold-burn smoke grenades are used in airsoft.

Reducing the number of rivals

Frag grenades

Frag grenades are very efficient for eliminating opponents. They are loaded with 200 or more BBs which, upon activation, driven by green gas or carbon dioxide, are sprayed in the area of the explosion. So, anyone in the vicinity of such a blast is considered ‘killed’.

Using frag airsoft grenades can be a great tactical move when you need to clear the venue. They have quite a wide operation area and are therefore very effective.

It’s very common to have reusable frag grenades. These grenades shouldn’t be disposed of after being used. They can be easily reloaded and will serve their purpose multiple times.

Projectile gas grenades

Projectile gas grenades can contribute to reducing the opposition’s numbers. When the rival airsofters are crowded in a relatively small space, these grenades can create a hot war zone. You can achieve a high level of accuracy with projectile gas grenades because they may be fired from an airsoft rifle or a grenade launcher.

That possibility, of course, extends the coverage area substantially. A grenade tossed with your hand will never fly as far, even if you are in a top physical shape.

Projectile grenades are loaded with BBs or even dried peas and are usually powered by green gas.


For a critical tactical move of intimidating the rival team, airsoft grenades can be really practical. Sound or blank firing grenades will cause confusion and fear. Pyrotechnic grenades will serve well here too.

If used in a smart way, any type of airsoft grenades can make a contribution to the deterrence of the opposition.

Arranging a booby trap

This tactic must get the approval from the referees of the game. If allowed, booby traps can be set up with different airsoft grenades. Basically, it’s like minefields on airsoft fields.

By touching the wire, the rival airsofters activate the airsoft grenades and can get pink (or blue…) non-transparent smoke around them or hear a loud bang and get distracted, giving you a chance to make your move and go on the offense.

Disposable and reusable grenades

We’d like to refer to one more aspect of the question: how do airsoft grenades work?

It’s their reusability. As you can guess, single use grenades don’t survive the first detonation. Their case explodes, and nothing is left.

Whereas with reusable grenades, the outer shell remains intact and can be filled again.

Innovative engineering made it possible to create reusable grenades which is a more sustainable technology.

In the short term, disposable grenades are less costly, and they don’t require any additional work. Pull out a firing pin — bang — end of story.

However, in the long run, reusable airsoft grenades may turn out less expensive because they can be used multiple times.

The reusable part of the grenade is its core. So, it will require some maintenance, and the leaks are a possibility, but it’s an option to think about when purchasing airsoft grenades.

Our favorite reusable grenades are Airsoft Innovations Tornado grenade and Airsoft Innovations Cyclone grenade.

Better safe than sorry

We’ve almost answered the question: how do airsoft grenades work? Almost.

It wouldn’t be right to complete our mission of giving you all the information about airsoft grenades without telling you about safety and its importance.

An airsoft field is not a real war zone, but the game was designed in such a way that it comes as close as possible to a real combat situation.

And although nobody uses a real gun or a real grenade during the game, the risk of accidents still exists. So, following the rules and being cautious is vital, literaly.

#1. Always see the target

Throwing an explosive grenade without eyes on the target is reckless and potentially dangerous. There’s always a chance to hit a player causing them a serious injury.

Tossing a grenade over the solid fence when you can’t see behind it is definitely not a good idea.

When using airsoft grenades, be always in full control of the situation, never take chances when it can harm you or others.

#2. Never aim at people

Hitting another player with a grenade can be very damaging and not only because of the explosion. They have a considerable weight and can heavily bruise a person or cause a concussion if hitting the head.

The goal of using an airsoft grenade is not to neutralize one rival player, but to encompass a larger sector. There’s no need to use a grenade to ‘kill’ one airsofter. Airsoft guns can be used for that purpose instead.

#3. Avoid areas that pose a fire risk

If a part of the game field is covered in woodland, flashes from the grenade detonation can result in forest fires. Especially in dry seasons, don’t toss airsoft grenades into shrubs or dry grass. Instead of playing, you may end up helping the firefighters.

Smoke grenades, pyrotechnic gas grenades, and some other types too can be a fire hazard.

#4. Always wear eye and ear protection

Skipping this rule can really backfire with airsoft grenades. A loud bang from a blank firing grenade can put you out of action for quite some time, and a bright flash may be traumatic for your eyes.

Blank firing grenades can be so deafening, that your hearing can be damaged. That’s actually the reason why this type of grenade is sometimes banned from use if the game field is located close to the city. The sound is so real that game organizers try to avoid scaring the local residents.

The worst and most embarrassing thing will be if it happens after your own throw. Protecting your body is crucial in extreme sports like airsoft. Airsoft protective goggles and glasses will save you from blinding explosions and ear protectors or plugs — from a big bang.

#5. Only use underarm throwing technique

That’s the only method you should use in the game.

#6. No modification allowed

If you use airsoft grenades, always use them as bought. Any kind of drilling or other modification is strictly prohibited. You will not only put others at risk but yourself as well. A grenade is not a reasonable DIY project.

#7. Discuss the grenade use at the briefing

This one is obvious, but still worth mentioning.

There must not be any unexpected weapons on the field.

It’s even more important in the case of airsoft grenades because in some countries certain types of airsoft grenades are banned as too hazardous, while in others they can be used.


We hope that we answered the main question: how do airsoft grenades work and play in the game?

We showed you the inside of airsoft grenades and the way they can be effectively used in the field.

Distracting the ‘adversaries’, shocking them, creating a smokescreen while taking cover or letting your teammates take a more advantageous position on the field, effectively using the deterrence tactic or getting creative and setting up a minefield from the airsoft grenades…

It depends on the rules of every specific game, of course, but normally, if the grenade exploded in the area of 5 meters or closer, you are considered hit. And if you are in the room where a grenade detonated, you are deemed hit too. Which means a really impressive elimination capacity.

There are multiple possibilities that can easily turn the game in your favor.

Apart from helping to achieve tactical goals, these grenades create an atmosphere of the real combat situation. Some types of airsoft grenades, like pyro, smoke, sound, or projectile grenades, create very impressive special effects.

And where else will you be able to fire a grenade launcher? At the same time, you should be aware that though not combat grenades, airsoft grenades are serious ‘toys’ and should be used consciously and responsibly. If you do that, you’ll have so much more fun on the field, no doubt about that.

Frequently asked questions

What is inside an airsoft grenade?

Grenades used in airsoft are designed similarly to real grenades. Every grenade has a core, and when a firing pin strikes the primer, a reaction is activated through a fuse which is connected to that core.

The resulting effect can be different depending on the type of the grenade, from a thick smoke, to a raucous BAM, blank rounds, or BB shower. But no matter what the effect, it comes after a certain delay period, which usually is about 4-5 seconds. The same as with real grenades.

You can use it to take cover or get to safety.

Are airsoft grenades reusable?

Airsoft grenades can be both reusable or intended for a single use only.

If a grenade is reusable, it means that only the core of the grenade is spent leaving the case itself intact and ready for further use. Then you purchase a new core part and put it in.

As for the names, we like an Airsoft Tornado Grenade and Bang 22 Reusable Sound Grenade.

How do CO2 grenades work?

CO2 is compressed in a special tank in the grenade. After the pin is pulled out, the reaction is activated, and CO2 forces BBs or blank rounds out of the grenade.

If the grenade is disposable, it will just destroy itself, but if it’s reusable, it can be reloaded and used again in the next game.

How do impact grenades work?

Impact grenades have an operating mechanism different from the standard grenades. They detonate upon impact. That’s why they are often thrown from the air. The moment they touch the ground (hence ‘the impact’), they explode.

A specific feature of impact grenades is that there is no delay time like with a regular grenade.

They are also rarely thrown by hand, instead being loaded in a grenade launcher.

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