Nerf vs X Shot | Which brand is better?

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If you’re familiar with Nerf guns, then you might have heard the popular term “it’s Nerf or nothin”. This statement generally disregards all other brands in favour of Nerf. But if you’re a Nerf fan, is this something that you should do, or should you look for other brands out there?

Well for a few years, it looked like X Shot was the main competitor to Nerfs dominating of the soft play toy gun market. X Shot was being sold in stores up and down the country, and they had time to release 4 different lines of guns within a short frame of time. In recent years, X Shot seems to have declined in popularity in comparison to Nerf, however.

So in the modern day, who should you pick out of Nerf and X Shot if you have to? Which brand is a better option for the majority of people? Well, that’s the question I’ll be answering today.

Nerf vs X Shot – Brand History

The difference between Nerf and X Shot is that Nerf are a more established and well known brand, with a big range of guns for you to choose from. X Shot is a much younger alternative, but they are building their own significant fanbase too.

Both of these brands have quite a lot to offer, and much of your opinion on the two will likely be subjective. But, let’s start by looking at Nerf, the most well known of them.

The History of Nerf

Nerf really needs little introduction in terms of brand. Although they originally started by releasing their Nerf balls in the late 60s, they’ve since evolved into one of the biggest toy brands globally. Now, they’re best known for their Nerf guns and blasters, which you’ll find in most toy stores worldwide. They’re currently owned by Hasbro, who make a ton of big name toys like Play D’oh and Transformers.

Starting with the N Strike rising to popularity, what sets Nerf apart from it’s competitors is the sheer range of different models that you have to choose from. Nerf have developed so much that now, they even released a sniper rifle and it’s become an alternative to other sports like laser tag and airsoft.

Nerf have won several awards for their products, most recently for the Nerf Zombie Strike Crossbow, which is one of their more innovative products. All in all, it’s difficult not to be impressed with Nerfs rise to dominate the toy market.

Where did X Shot come from?

X Shot doesn’t have the prestigious history that Nerf has. They only arrived on the scene in 2011, and although they were popular throughout the next few years, the majority of their products have currently been discontinued. This means that whilst you can still find some of their products available online, they likelihood is that you’re getting them from resellers. Watch out you’re not paying an inflated price.

X Shot really rose to popularity as an alternative to Nerf guns. Although Nerf guns aren’t ridiculously expensive, typically they are a little more expensive than X Shot. So, X Shot do provide a pretty similar experience for a cheaper price. This is the same for most of Zuru (X Shot’s father brand) products like their Schnooks (a Cabbage patch kid/troll hybrid copy) and their more popular Rainbocorns, which are some kind of weird cuddly toy that hatches out of an egg.

In the present day, it’s likely not worth opting for X Shot guns even if you can pick one up from your local store cheap. It doesn’t look like there’s going to be any more released, and they currently only sell their bug blaster line in stores.

Which is best?

If you want to watch this video posted on YouTube, you might end up thinking that X Shot are actually the better of the two brands.

But, the reality is that if you look at the actual guns they are using, it isn’t really fair. They’re using a wide range of older Nerf guns, against newer X Shot guns. This doesn’t really make for a fair battle.

For example, in one of the comparisons they use the X Shot Bug Attack Swarm Seeker, which I’ll agree is one of X Shot’s better blaster. But, it is relatively new to the market, and their product is new. They compare it against a Nerf Maverick, which was first released over 10 years ago back in 2005. The Maverick has had several improved releases since then, so for a fair battle, they should have used one of those option (maybe the Strongarm would be a better comparison).

In terms of firepower, there isn’t going to be a great deal of difference between these two brands. They’re extremely similar in the way that they are made.

But, there are a few reasons why I would opt for a Nerf gun as opposed to opting for an X Shot. Firstly, X Shot is largely discontinued and they’re unlikely to released new guns onto the market. Secondly, the sheer variety of Nerf, plus the fact X shot is discontinued is a clear differentiation in the amount of choice you’ll have between each brand. And thirdly.. ‘it’s Nerf or nothin’. Although BoomCo also produce some great dart guns, Nerf have great customer service, so if you do have a problem with their products, you can always return them.


Overall, without trying to sound like a favour Nerf too much, there’s only one real choice if we’re looking at it from a practical angle. X Shot will always be the Adidas to Nerf’s Nike, or the Giga Pets to the Tamagotchi. Although there might not be too much difference between the brands, the prestige that Nerf has earned separates the two. Especially when you consider the range of toys Nerf has, including their melee range.

Either way, you’ll likely struggle to find X Shot toys on Amazon or even elsewhere online. You can still find them in toys shops in the United States, but they’re becoming less and less frequent. If you want to play it safe with a good quality foam dart brand, then your best bet is to stick with Nerf.

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