What is CQB Airsoft – Detailed Answer

CQB is an acronym for close quarter battle. It is a regular airsoft sport intended as combat between two or more teams. The purpose of the close quarter combat is to eliminate the opposing team. What is CQB airsoft is a question that has been on the minds of many airsoft enthusiasts, and we will extensively answer that question.

What is CQB Airsoft
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How is CQB Airsoft Played?

CQB is played in pretty tight corners or quarters with very sharp turns. Hence, a player’s movement and gear have to move in that order. CQB airsoft is played in an enclosed environment and the combat ground is selected and secluded from the immediate community to help players focus and, in turn, enjoy the experience. Since the entire game features interaction between players between 10 to 50 feet, intense shooting, and rapid movement, the game is considered a fast-paced game.

So, an airsofter who is only familiar with playing a field or the outdoor game will have to adjust his combating skills, gear, and ammunition to fit into the game.

Regarding the kind of loadout a CQB requires, a player should bear in mind that a field game loadout differs from a CQB loadout. And unlike the field loadout, the CQB requires very limited loadout and very light ammunition.

A CQB will require a loadout consisting of three to four magazines loaded on the top of the ammunition instead of beneath. As far as movement goes, you would have to watch your steps. Since it is an indoor game, there will be BBs on the ground, and it will be a lot easier to step on the inside.

In the tight corners, you would need to be going round and most likely be coming face to face with your opponent. So, when you are coming around the corners, you will need to keep yourself and your gun tight, your arms tucked in, and then slowly take a peek around the corner.

If your gun comes out before you do, your opponent will catch a glimpse of it and anticipate your coming. You definitely want to catch your opponent off guard

Another thing to keep in mind is the type of gun to use. CQB guns are specially designed to fit the fast-paced system of the game. They are fast, portable, lightweight, and quite easy to operate. Their goal is to enhance the player’s playability in terms of speed and effectiveness. 

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What are the Types of Guns Used for Playing CQB Airsoft?

The types of airsoft guns for playing CQB include:

i. Automatic electric gun (AEG)

ii. Gas blowback (GBB)

iii. Sidearm pistol (secondary firearm)

iv. Spring-powered airsoft gun

Let’s take a deep dive into each of them…

Automatic Electric Gun (AEG)

The AEG, otherwise known as the automatic electric gun, is practically the most wanted rifle in an airsoft game. The automatic electric guns are designed in such a way that they are easy to operate, versatile and simple. Their simplicity and versatility are used as criteria in purchasing an airsoft rifle.

The AEG makes use of a battery its power source. Unlike the other types of airsoft rifles, all you need to do is buy a battery that fits the airsoft gun. Once your battery is ready, load your magazine with as many BBs as you would, and yes, you are set to go.

The standard AEG also requires low maintenance, which makes it an excellent choice for all airsoft players. Since the Close quarter combat takes place in the environment, an AEG is practically most suitable. Most CQB rifles are designed with barrels with a length of about 10 inches.

They are mostly preferred because of their distance range, target accuracy, and manipulation. Some CQB guns like the UMG are designed with very short barrels that are combined with a coiling stock. The folding stock is very useful when a player needs to go around a corner or enter into very small places like a mock car.

Additionally, when you want to purchase an AEG, go for an option that shoots below 350 FPS. Since the CQB is an indoor game, and most indoor game hardly allow an AEG that shoots over 350 FPS, you may have to consider the option of modifying your AEG.

Gas Blowback (GBB)

Regarding airsoft replicas that give a realistic feel, the GGB is top on the list. The gas blowback airsoft rifle uses gas as its source of power.

The GBB uses a gas propulsive to fire a BB while it continues the process of charging the following round. They run on propane – a blazing green fuel, that charges the airsoft rifle magazine.

Contrary to belief, the GBB has an upper hand over the classic and AEG. It gives its user a more realistic experience, and its short distance range makes it suitable for the CQB environment. The “blowback” effect of this airsoft gun is caused by the recoil and recharge in the gun.

So, just like real ammunition, the bolt in the GBB will reciprocate with a hard push back immediately the BBs are fired. This ultimately gives the player a very distinctive firing experience and enables the player to manipulate it the same way they would manage a real rifle.

The loadout capacity of the GBB corresponds with the rifle’s short range and target accuracy. Some very popular GBB rifles are the SMG and handgun. The submachine gun is a portable automatic weapon that has powerful velocity and an incredible firing rate.

SMGs are perfect for the CQB environment since they are lightweight and can be easily maneuvered in sharp turns and tight spaces. The GBB handgun or pistol runs on a gas-powered system. This system has a seemingly realistic blowback action located at the top of the pistol.

When a BB is fired, the side of the pistol will take a hard kick backward, and this causes the recoil phenomenon in the gun. Veteran airsoft players most commonly use these weapons, and it is a lot more complex than an NBB, as it consists of moving parts.

Additionally, the GBBs shooting prowess is astonishing, and it keeps motivating airsoft players to give it their best shot. Once the trigger is pulled, you only have to wait for a fraction of a second, to see your BBs land effortlessly on the target. However, it is important to note that the GBB has a minimal magazine capacity.

So, you cannot load in as many BBs as you would like. And this may be big challenge when you are playing the game because when you should be firing, you are busy loading the magazine.

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Sidearm Pistol (Secondary Firearm)

Most often than not, airsoft players may not be told about secondary firearms that they are meant to bring along. So, they go into the airsoft all psyched, only to start the game and the revelation hits them hard, they need a secondary firearm.

That is why most players, most especially beginners, are advised to do the necessary research before they go for an airsoft game. The importance of a secondary firearm or sidearm cannot be overemphasized. The sidearm- almost customarily a pistol – is worn in a shoulder holster and hung across the chest and shoulder.

The sidearm pistol is very easy to use. It would go a long way to enhance the player’s shooting performance and ultimately help him regain stance if there was a hit.

Since your curiosity has been piqued, and you are probably searching for the right firearm to choose, you will have to engage your understanding is some basic things. Why is sidearm important?

A lot can go wrong during the game. You can run short on magazines and most definitely be unable to shoot at your opponent. Intense field cases require that you continue to fire at your opponent so that you are not caught off-guard. In this case, your sidearm is most needed.

Since it is worn in a manner that enables you to gain easy access, all you have to do is reach out, pull, and fire.

Another major highpoint to this is the possibility that your airsoft weapon may run out of power or experience mechanical failure during the game. When this happens, your morale is dropped, and you are at the risk of getting defeated.

Of course, that is not the reason you signed up for the game. So, in these kinds of situations, a side weapon is of utmost importance and use.

One of the most reliable side weapons to use is the GBB handgun. Its compact, honest, and realistic design turns it to a great solution for use as an alternative. There is a wide range of GBB handgun.

They are simply designed to fit each role -easy and less tactical, hard, and more calculated. So, while the KWA M9 is a practical solution for easy and less tactical roles, the KJ Works Tactical 1911 KP08 is a better preference for hard and more calculated roles.

You can employ a number of ways to know the kind of airsoft weapon you would like to purchase. You can purchase based on preference, conclusion on product reviews, and meeting airsoft veteran players.

However, you should bear in mind that buying a sidearm that does not fit your play technique will come off as a burden to you.  So, those who are close-quarters, fast-paced kind of player, then a portable KWA ATP style gun should suit your style.

Moreover, carrying along large-sized secondary arms will not only reduce your speed, but it will also ultimately reduce your productivity. Sidearms are meant to be portable, stick with this prescription, and you will be thankful you took the advice.

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Spring-powered Airsoft Guns

Spring-powered airsoft guns are very common types of airsoft guns. The spring action Airsoft guns are manually engineered by the help of a spring, spring guide, and dear system. They are considered one of the most affordable and easily accessible airsoft weapons.

Since airsoft players would need to train before the real game, the spring airsoft gun is an excellent choice for practice. They can be used for backyard games, and target practice and airsoft beginners find it particularly helpful.

Because of its minimized module adaptation, the spring-powered airsoft gun requires very little maintenance. Unlike other Airsoft guns that depend on battery and other sources for power, the spring is manually powered via a spring. This makes it a more powerful and more precise weapon for shooting.

Since this airsoft gun is a hundred percent manually powered, you would not need gas and batteries. And this invariably means that you can keep firing till your BBs run out. So, you definitely do not need to worry about your rifle failing.

Apart from its energy viability, the spring airsoft gun can be produced in many designs and layout. You can configure it to fit a sniper rifle or a three burst shotgun.

Also, the spring airsoft gun is a bestseller in the market, for many reasons. Since a string systematically engineers this airsoft gun, the user experience is exceptional.

The spring works in such a way that every time the trigger is pulled and the BBs are fired, it responds with a hard push backward.

This hard push is also known as blowback. The blowback mechanism gives the player a realistic feel that only comes with operating a real firearm. However, bear in mind that you will need to cock the gun every time the trigger is pulled.

Additionally, since the spring airsoft gun can be configured into a shotgun, the airsoft gun automatically takes on the features of a shotgun. The reconfigured airsoft gun reproduces the different patterns of a real weapon.

Besides, the spring-powered airsoft gun offers a powerful FPS that is below 350 FPS, and this is a criterion for close quarter combat games.

Also, spring shotguns can accommodate different sorts of BBs.   This can be a big advantage since you can carry more BB magazines than you usually would. You can keep them in a gun holster attach them to the cheek rest bag attached to your shotgun.

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What is a Close Quarter Battle Receiver (CQBR)?

The CQBR serves as a substitution for the M4A1 carbine and M16 rifle. It displays a 10.3-inch barrel (262mm), that can be compared to an M16 rifle. The M16 features a short barrel, which makes it significantly more portable and easy to use in tight spaces. Military officers, special bodyguards, and commando boarding ships found the M16 rifle very handy and convenient.

The M4 carbine was invented by the US Naval unit. However, when it was later discovered that the weapon was not suitable for all mission types, a reconfiguration was proposed. So, the CQBR was developed with better features and better usability prowess.

The earliest M16 rifle is an automatic caliber 5.56mm that features a barrel length of 20 inches and a 20-round magazine. A gas-powered, rotating bolt engineers its performance. The US military adopted the M16 rifle as a replacement for the M4 carbine in 1969. The M16 rifle has also been adopted by other armed forces worldwide.

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What are the Types of Close Quarter Battle Receivers (CQBRs)

The following are types of CQBRs in airsoft:

i. CQBR Type 1

ii. CQBR Type 2

iii. CQBR Type 2A

iv. CQBR Type 3

v. CQBR Type 3A

vi. MK18 Type 1

vii. MK18 Type 2

CQBR Type 1

This CQBR type is built from the M4A1 uppers. It is produced by opening up the gas ports of the rifle and then shortening the barrel. Although this type is no longer in use, the standard carbine buffer or shield was used in hosting lowers for field games.

CQBR Type 2

This type of CQBR is made by assembling NSWC with a rebuilt or mended segment of the rifle. The segments must be assembled with the right equipment and accessories that correspond to the current standard at the time of construction. To balance the ammunition, you would have to work with an H3, H2, or H balance.

The M193/M855 rifle works with the H buffer. The MK 262/R2LP rifle works with H2 buffer and will ultimately charge and shoot the M193/M855. The H3 buffer comes in handy for really extreme cases. This can be when the gas port is corroded, but the rifle’s barrel still groups.

CQBR Type 2A

Concerning the type 2A CQBR, mended and rebuilt parts of a rifle are assembled with the NSWC. However, unlike the type 2 CQBR, the mended parts are not accompanied by a buffer or accessories.

Instead, the buffer or shield attached to the host carbine will be developed and used with the same supply system used in Type 2 CQBR.

CQBR Type 3

This type is made from accessories assembled with the colt-reduced upper. This type does not need an external buffer for construction. Just like the Type 2A and Type 2 CQBR, the buffer attached to the host carbine will be developed and used with the same supply system used in Type 2/2A CQBR.

CQBR Type 3A

The Type 3A CQBR is developed from a colt-reduced upper that has no accessories. This system does not need an external buffer also. The buffer attached to the host carbine will be developed and with the same supply system as preceding types.

MK18 Type 1

An MK18 type 1 is a unique CQBR. It is developed by assembling all the materials used in developing other kinds of CQBR. For an MK18, you will need rebuilt parts that have all accessories intact, with props being up to date with the current status quo.

This type will work perfectly with the H2 or H buffer. The buffer will eventually balance the ammunition’s requirement. The H buffer works perfectly with the M193/M855. 

It is recommended that for each shipboard MK 18, the H buffer should be attached to it. The H2 buffer is useful for the MK 262/R2LP, which will conveniently run an M 193/M 855.

For acute cases, the H3 buffer comes in handy. Severe cases occur when the gas port of the rifle is eroded, but the rifle’s barrel still groups.

MK18 Type 2

To develop the MK 18 Type 2 CQBR, a colt-reduced carbine with all the complete accessories will be needed. The H buffer will be supplied for this purpose. As regards the buffer balancing, the units will most definitely balance the buffer to fit ammunition requirements.

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How Effective are Indoor Airsoft Arenas for CQB?

The most effective CQB environments for CQB are office multiplex, a house, and a plaza (commercial building). Large warehouses and rooms constructed with plywood are used for playing airsoft CQB indoors. The walls are usually dry, and the enclosed environment is a replica of a real-life CQB environment. The experience is just as exciting as playing airsoft outdoors.

They are usually played in the “jungle” or on outdoor fields that are large enough to accommodate the number of players that would become. The players are given the rules of the game, and their roles are explained extensively.

However, each indoor field configuration is specifically designed to fit the kind of engagement the airsoft players will undergo. Some indoor fields are designed with sharp turns and tight corners that encourage close contact and participation between players.

Meanwhile, some other fields are designed to replicate a semi-outdoor field. This indoor field has fewer turns and dark corners, and AEGs are most adapted for this kind of setting.

However, some indoor fields adopt both types of field configuration, which allows players to employ more tactical methods in dealing with their opponents.

Unlike the typical outdoor airsoft game, indoor airsoft games are considerably fast-paced. Since the indoor environment gives no room for players to relax, players are always on their toes, inventing tactics to defeat their opponents.

However, before an indoor field game commences, the airsofters are taken through a rigorous process of understanding the rules that apply to the game.

Many Airsoft fields run the force on force style of gameplay. Nevertheless, some other fields run the objective style. A very popular objective style of gameplay is the VIP game style.

This game style requires that each team protects the players that have been chosen as the VIP. A VIP is assigned to each team, so they are more or less trying to keep their “king” alive. 

Another objective game style is “Capture the Flag.” The style of this game demands that both teams push the opposing side hard, and this will result in terrific firing from both sides.

Moreover, because indoor fields are relatively smaller than outdoor fields, the team sizes are relatively smaller. The field size determines the team size.

So, depending on how large the field is, a team can consist of two players, and some teams can consist of forty players. If the players are relatively larger than space, the organizers can run two or more sessions for the players.

This will give the players more room and more ease to play since the average airsoft game ranges between 10 to 15 minutes.

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Do You Need Protective Gear for CQB Airsoft?

Protective gear equipment is a necessity for CQB airsoft. Almost every sporting industry in the world have their own personal protective equipment (PPE), and the airsoft industry is not exempted. The importance of safety gadgets in a CQB cannot be overemphasized.

Veteran airsoft players would continually tell beginners to carry along their protective equipment since the game is also concerned about the safety of players. It is important to keep your face and eyes safe when playing in a CQB. The most popular facial protection is the face mask.

Some face masks are accompanied by thermal lenses to help players navigate their way through the indoor field. Typically, there are different types of face masks, two of which include the goggle combination and the lower mesh mask.

Another safety equipment to carry along is a knee padding. Since most indoor fields have concrete floors and dry walls, you may want to protect your knees from injuries and damage.

CQB is fast and intense, so your ammunition has to be that way. Since you will be required to move at a rapid pace, you do not want to take along anything that will serve as a hindrance to your speed.

Hence, your loadout should be as light as possible because you want to carry only the materials that you need.

A very easy load out will be the Specter MPC -1 that is accompanied by force gears, a tiny pouch to keep all other accessories and double M4 pockets to keep your BBs. The Specter MPC-1 is nearly indestructible and is suitable for a CQB environment.

The double pockets or pouches offers you the liberty to carry over four hundred rounds of magazines if you would be playing high or mid capacity. Additionally, the small pocket gives you the liberty to take any emergency relief.

The customized rig is also very light in weight. This will give room for the airsofter to move and maneuver his way through the dark corners and spaces, without feeling burdened.

There is a wide variety of optional gadgets (gear) for a CQB. These gadgets will help you stay strong and safe during the game.  The gear will permit you to carry your weapons without much of a hassle. So, if you need gear to mount your ammunition, you can easily purchase a battle strap or belt.

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Video: The Best CQB Airsoft Gun

Check out this video to see some of the best CQB airsoft guns in the market…

What are the Different Roles in CQB Airsoft?

The following are the roles in CQB airsoft:

i. Sniper roles

ii. Assault role

iii. Sidearm

Sniper Role

For a sniper role, you will need a very powerful airsoft gun. The sniper role requires that the player is positioned far from their prey or target. This way, they can detect opponents from their hidden locations.

This role requires that the player can target the most prominent members of the opposing team. Once the VIP is hit, the entire team is down also.

Additionally, the sniper must be able to disguise and portray himself as something better than what he is and, in turn, remain hidden.

With this role, one shot has to count. That means they have to be patient before you can hit the target. The sniper rifle and pistol (for short-range combat) are perfectly compatible with the sniper’s duties.

Assault Role

As regards the kind of ammunition the sniper role requires, an automatic electric gun should be a robust solution. An assaulter is literally the most informed out of all players. He has to know the nooks and the crannies of the attack plan, what to do next, and how to go about it. He is like the backbone of the team.

Since you will be playing the role of an assaulter, your primary assignment is to always be at the front of the line. This automatically means that your AEG has to be intact so that you will be able to clear and check out the building or room before leading your teammates in. As a defender, you will also need a defender, and that’s the AEG.


A sidearm is essential when you are going for a CQB. Sometimes, your ammunition can fail, and you will need a substitute. The sidearm is your backup plan. Moreover, the sidearm is an excellent option for navigating through dark corners. They are light, compact, and convenient.

Check out these articles from our previous posts…


A close quarter battle is a mode of airsoft that everyone should try. There are special airsoft firearms needed for the game, which have different exciting gameplay modes.

While it is usually played indoors, you still need to put on protective equipment because the pellet hurts just like the conventional airsoft.

What is CQB Airsoft – Related FAQs

What are the 3 Principles of CQB?

The three principles of close quarter combat (CQB) are speed, surprise and violence of action. The CQB field is filled with sharp corners and walls that players use as a defense. When it comes to speed, the player has to be careful to avoid running into bait placed at sharp corners. The speed pace should be intermittent between slow, fast, smooth and steady.

Violence of action can mean breaching doors and hitting walls to take down opposing players. Doing this unexpectedly will throw them off balance.

What is the Difference between CQC and CQB?

CQC (Close-quarter combat) differs from CQB (Close-quarter battle) in terms of fighting tactics and field of application. CQC refers to defensive and offensive techniques employed by both armed and unarmed forces. It does not involve the use of maneuver weapons or rifles since it focuses more on training civilians.

CQB on the other hand is strictly employed by armed forces. It involves the use of maneuver elements, breaching operations in combined or limited spaces. In CQB, fire, defense and offense is on a larger scale.

Is CQC Real?

Close-quarter combat is real. It is a combatting technique borrowed from popular martial arts like krav maga and judo. It combines these original martial arts fundamentals of swift attack and self-defense with more sophisticated modern combat.  CQC is realistic but it is a bit limited in usefulness and efficiency in some situations.

Training centers focus their attention on training civilians and armed forces have borrowed these techniques. CQC also has more complex techniques like the MGS-style (metal gear solid) CQC that allows armed forces alternate between armed and physical combat.

Is PDW 57 a Real Gun?

The PDW 57 is a real gun. It is a fully automatic sub-machine defense weapon with the highest damage amidst other weapons. It kills opponents very fast with its very workable 5-shot kill range of 32 meters, 4-shot kill range of 21 meters and 3-shot kill range of 9 meters, even though it shoots slower than other submachine guns in its class at 720 RPM or 920 RF.

Although it has a low range and rate of fire, the PWD 57 attachments compensate for its shortcomings.

What is the Best CQB Airsoft Gun?

The best CQB airsoft gun is the Arcturus AR03 M4 PDW. The Arcturus AR03 M4 PDW boasts of legendary quality interior and exterior with complete metal CNC parts that include the outer barrel, the receiver, and the cylinder. It has a tight-bore barrel of 6.02mm designed for improved precision and accuracy, a steel teeth piston coupled with a steel magazine selector and catch, and a rotary hop-up unit.

The Arcturus AR03 M4 PDW shoots at a rate of 350 to 370 FPS, which is on the high side when considering CQB.

What is CQB Distance?

CQB distance is simply the distance between a player and the opponent. CQB distances do not necessarily have a standard measured extension, it simply has to do with how the players can understand the positions they are in, and the tactic to use.

So, for various distances, the player on the defensive side has to calculate the hand extension of the gun; how far back the firearm needs to be pulled or how far out it needs to be pulled, and the combatting style to employ.