The blaster buying guides are being created to assist newcomers to know what to look for and what to avoid. They are short and get straight to the point with few details.
The basic, introductory bullet points are as follows:
- There are two major brands of pressure based blasters: Water Warriors and Super Soaker. You will rarely, if ever, look outside of these two brands.
- Availability varies heavily by store.
- Blaster shopping on eBay is an entirely different matter and is barely covered in this guide. Please contact me or refer to the WaterWar.net forums for additional information.
It’s important to remember that the Super Soaker brand is a far, far cry from what it used to be. It is no longer anywhere near state of the art.
Buying Super Soaker branded blasters:
- Anything labeled under the “Nerf” brand is mostly junk except for the Hydro Cannon. NEVER buy any blaster advertising the “swappable clips” gimmick. Avoid the Arctic Shock.
- You might see blasters labeled “Max-D” or “XP”; these are older, fairly good blaster designs.
- The Max-D 2000/3000 make good sidearms if you are looking for a small, low capacity, medium performance blaster. XP 270 might be around, and if it is, it’s a good option for fast players who need to stay light on their feet. The XP is more rare.
- Max-D 6000: You may also find this blaster around; it’s a very good option as a lightweight blaster.
- Super Soaker Availability: You are unlikely to see anything worth buying other than the Max-D 3000 or Hydro Cannon.
- Hydro Cannon: Its use is limited, but it is still fairly effective. Has huge modding potential for those interested. You can add nozzles, modify/enlarge the pressure chamber, etc.
- There’s a small chance of seeing the Iron Man 2 blaster, which is almost the same (slightly better) as the Arctic Blast.
Buying Water Warriors branded blasters:
- Best of the WW brand: WW Gorgon, WW Colossus: These two offer large capacity (especially the Gorgon, carrying over 3L of water total) and very good small/medium stream performance. The Gorgon is becoming rare, while the Colossus is new and available for 2012. The Sphynx is no longer produced but is a good option if you find it.
- You will see other air pressure based blasters, such as those from the Ultimate line. The Renegade or Explorer are probably the best options from here.
- Sidearms: You may see the Goblin, Hydra, Python, Titan, or Viper.
- Other WW blasters: Most WW products are fairly good quality, though their smaller blasters don’t always perform as well as their Super Soaker counterparts. Check reviews and see what’s what first.
Lastly, you’ll notice piston pumper based blasters; they do not have a trigger and can only be fired via pumping. These have limited use in most games (except single-sided games that involve one team being armed better than the other) and take very high levels of skill to use to be competitive with higher end blasters. They are generally not recommended at all unless you don’t have the money for anything better. (Rare exceptions exist; large syringe type pumpers can shoot fairly far with sufficient user strength and skill, and are also light to carry.)
The eBay/Craigslist/old friends option has not changed much over time. Your best bet is to find blasters from friends, but if you resort to eBay, you may end up paying heavy premiums for used items. That said, these blasters are by far the best of the best, and their performance in water wars will take you much farther than anything previously listed here. eBay bidding tips are out of the scope of this guide.
Keep your eyes and ears out for the following Super Soakers from the past:
- Super Charger SC Power Pak/Big Trouble
- Anything with “CPS” in the name (The CPS 1-3-5 needs to be modded to achieve performance the rest of the series is known for.)
- Anything with “Monster” in the name
Look to none other than iSoaker and the WaterWar.net forums for more information. You may encounter broken items; refer them to someone experienced with them, or learn how to fix them yourself. (HBWW will provide introductions to this in the Workshop section later on.)
Good luck with your searches, and remember that your options are very open. As you can with desktop computers, you can modify or build water guns if you are interested in these options.