How to Play Laser Tag (and Win) As an Adult
Laser tag games burst onto the scene in 1984, much to the delight of Star Wars-loving kids everywhere. Finally, here was the chance to grab a blaster just like Han's and spend the afternoon in the heat of battle.
Those kids have long since grown up, but that doesn't mean they have to leave their laser-tagging days in the past. Many modern arenas welcome combatants of all ages, so the only real challenge is learning how to play laser tag against a new generation of kids.
On behalf of adults everywhere, we talked to Rachel Golf at Blazer Tag, Austin's biggest laser-tag arena, and Michael Landreth at WhirlyBall in Chicago. They offered some helpful tips on how you can get your head back in the game (and maybe even win a round or two).
Be prepared to do battle with (or just avoid) kids half your age.
The average age of your fellow combatants really depends on where you go. Golf says she's seen it all, from parents battling their kids to a 20-something couple taking on a team of fifth-graders. If you're not comfortable playing against little kids, consider planning a private game.
According to Landreth, this is a popular option at WhirlyBall. "Most times, it'll be an adult group like a bachelor party playing by themselves and then a children's birthday party playing by themselves," he says. In any case, just remember that you're all there to have fun—and try not to let self-consciousness trip you up.
Don't take laser tag games too seriously.
You'd think it would go without saying that laser-tag matches are all in good fun. But things have a way of getting heated, even when parents are playing against their own kids. "Some parents . . . need to win," Landreth explains, "so they'll chase down one [kid] and pin them in a corner just so they can shoot them multiple times and get more points."
If you let things get too competitive, employees like Landreth sometimes have to step in and say, "Take a deep breath. It's not that serious!" Figuring out how to be good at laser tag should never matter more than having a good time. A good rule of thumb is to just keep your cool and try to respect every player's personal space, no matter whose team they're on.
Make sure the teams are fair.
Are you still wondering, "How do you play laser tag and keep it a fair fight?" Well, some arenas like Blazer Tag prepare for the inevitability of mismatched teams by offering an optional handicap. If you're worried about things being too tough for the tykes, the handicap only earns you half as many points as normal. This means you can still play a mixed-age game—you'll just have to work a little harder if you want to win.
Alternately, Landreth recommends splitting adults equally among the teams to keep it balanced. Of course, you can always do the exact opposite and play a match of kids vs. adults. You might be surprised at how much the kids enjoy banding together to beat a common enemy.
Ultimately, as long as everyone's playing by the rules, having fun shouldn't be a problem. "The kids are probably going to kick your butt anyway," Landreth says, "so just smile about it."
Where to find an awesome place to play laser tag:
Ok, so neither Golf nor Landreth explicitly advised us to do this, but if you're playing laser tag, you might as well find the coolest laser tag arena possible to do it in, right? Check out the laser-tag deals below for some of the best arenas around the country. And if you're not near any of the below and you're asking yourself, "where can I find laser tag near me?" just click the below banner to search for deals.
Battleground Orlando Laser Tag | Orlando, FL
The first thing you might notice about Battleground Orlando Laser Tag's arenas is how bright some of them are—because they're outside. Battleground's course—littered with building structures, obstacles, and other hiding places—combine the outdoor intensity of paintball with the care-free fun of traditional laser tag for a truly one-of-a-kind blasting experience.
Laser Tag Explosion | East Dundee, IL
Forty thousand—that's how many square feet of space taggers are given to hide in, sneak around, and blast their way through in Laser Tag Explosion, the nation's biggest laser-tag arena. Three levels of shipping containers, hallways, and even a police car and a suspended helicopter set the stage for huge battles.
D2 Tactical Laser Tag | Lewisville, TX
While you're strafing and tiptoeing through D2 Tactical Laser Tag's 26,000 square-foot arena, be sure to stay low. Any careless movement or revelation of your position might give you away to the unrelenting blasts of the arena's arsenal of automatic machine-lasers mounted in the second-story loft.
7D Experience | San Francisco, CA
Moving around is pretty essential for most laser tag battles. At 7D Experience in San Francisco, though, mobility is out of the question. That's because battles take place while the entire crowd of shooters is seated theater-style in front of an immersive, interactive screen. Battles see participants blasting at zombies, robot cowboys, and more as surround sound and special effects make it feel as if the whole group is tumbling through each battlefield.
Laser Voyage Cafe | Duluth, GA
If, like us, you watch a pirate movie and think, "This could use more lasers," you're in luck. Laser Voyage Cafe's arena eschews the traditional outer-space or robot-invasion themes for a buccaneer-focused one, with planked boardwalks, cobblestone entryways and arches, a pirate ship, and a spooky fog filling its expanse.
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