How to Play Laser Tag Like a Pro: a Novice’s Guide

So you’ve never played laser tag before, or you have but you lost miserably and don’t want a repeat? No need to surrender another loss, spend the game hiding behind a barrier, or worse- never play again. This guide will set you up for success at your next match; your opponents will rue the day they challenged you!

 

Rules

 

Every laser tag center will give you a rundown of the general rule as well as additional rules they may have. Pay attention, you may find hints in what they say. Pay special attention to boundary areas and the rules about crossing into the opponent’s’ area. Never cover your sensors, this is always a rule, but also an integrity violation.

 

Dress for the Occasion

 

Most indoor laser tag parks set their laser tag areas in dim to dark lighting accented with glow in the dark or black light reactive paint and glowing laser tag vests. There is not much you can do about your glowing vest, aside from cheat and cover it, but cheating is no way to win! Wear dark, comfortable clothing that you can move around easily in. Don’t wear anything that has black light reactive or glow-in-the-dark components. Don’t wear anything that has a light on it. Be mindful of light colored accessories and accent stitching or logos on clothing that may shine. Although long sleeves can help disguise fair skinned arms, just remember how much you may sweat when you start running around! Be sure to secure any jewelry or loose clothing as you do not want to lose it during the match or allow it to make noise.

Some laser tag is played outdoors. If this is the case for you, the only outfit recommendations I have is to make sure that you are comfortable running in it.  

Footwear is probably the most important part of any ensemble. Make sure to wear something comfortable that will allow you to move quickly, quietly, and comfortably. Flip flops or high heels are completely impractical for a laser tag game. Sneakers are your best bet, as long as they are comfortable.

 

Picking your team

 

Your teammates can make or break your game. You can be the best laser tag player in the world, but if you are on a team with other novices, your game can end quickly in defeat. Unless you and 20-30 of your closest friends rent the arena, chances are you will be playing with strangers. Laser tag is a popular kid’s birthday party venue, so don’t be alarmed if a bulk of your team is under 12 years old; do not count these mini ninjas out, chances are, they’ve played more than a few times and they are able to hide well. When picking your teammates, make certain that you select players who are as competitive as you. Competitive nature can make up for other shortcomings, like the ability to run fast, jump high, or hide well. Your teammates should have an understanding of the game and be able to move, shoot, and communicate. Having varying skills levels is a good idea too, but always have a sniper.

 

Equipment

 

Before stepping out into the ring, get to know your equipment. Vests vary but are typically similar. Make sure you have fitted it the best you can and that it is operable. Check your weapon. Some laser tag parks require you to shoot at a specific area in the arena to reload, if this is the case, make sure you dry fire practice leading up to the start of the game. If you are cornered or outnumbered, you need to already be familiar with how to reload and react quickly. It is a good idea that every time you fire, reload; be proactive rather than reactive. Some laser tag places have guns that never need reloading if this is the case, just keep shooting.

 

Strategy

 

When you step into the laser tag arena, it’s simple, annihilate the enemy. You should designate a small team to protect your team’s area. If you are on this team, it is important you don’t abandon your post. Your job is to take out anyone who comes into your area. If you are on the assault team, you should relentlessly pursue the goal of reaching the enemy target. The other team may be watching and waiting, so be vigilant. Traveling in small teams may be a good tactic, but don’t stand too close together. Sending out distractions is a good tactic to draw the enemy’s attention away from someone else who can reach the goal. Remember if you are attempting to be stealthy, you should practice noise discipline. Run quietly, keep warrior calls at bay, and monitor your breathing.

 

I would recommend playing multiple matches. Afterall, practice perfects your game. Repeated matches at your favorite indoor laser tag arena will allow you to become familiar with the layout and hiding places. Before you know it, you’ll be the laser tag champion!