Gel blasters are great fun, but it’s always better to play a game with others. But when you start hitting the field with other competitive players you might find you’ll need a few gel blaster upgrades to stop yourself being outgunned.
There are any number of upgrades you can apply to your gel blaster, so how do you know which ones to install first?
Do you want a shortcut on the gel blaster upgrades?
If you’d rather just buy a competition-ready gel blaster now, rather than learning how to upgrade everything yourself, simply select the “competition upgrade” option in the store.
Performance Metrics of the Gel Blaster
When it comes to gel blasters, there are 2 simple metrics which you should upgrade before anything else.
- Rate Of Fire (ROF)
These details are what will take your blaster from being a cool looking toy, to being a devastating tool that brings you victory in your next gel ball game.
As such you should focus heavily on these numbers when looking for gel blasters, and their corresponding upgrades.
But what do they mean exactly?
1. Rate Of Fire (ROF)
Rate of fire simply refers to how many gel balls your gel blaster will fire per second.
For example the ACR (HEE) gel blaster has a ROF of 15 rounds per second, without any upgrades.
The ROF you want to attempt to achieve is about 30 rounds per second.
That will enable your gel blaster to “shoot ropes” of balls (meaning that the balls are being fired so fast, it’s like a solid rope which cannot be crossed).
Know the way to upgrade the Rate Of Fire on your gel blaster
The primary piece of equipment responsible for the rate of fire of your gel blaster is the battery.
More power running through the motor, means you’ll be firing gel balls more quickly.
This means it’s a simple as purchasing a battery upgrade to drastically improve the ROF of your gel blaster.
It won’t matter if your gel blaster fires at 30+ rounds per second if the gel balls only travel a few meters before they hit the ground.
The range of your gel blaster is affected by 3 key components.
- The velocity of the gel balls being fired
- The barrel length & quality
- The presence of a hop-up
For example the Jinming M4A1 (gen9) gel blaster has a standard range of about 25 meters out of the box.
A respectable number without any upgrades, but not sufficient for competition.
Ways to upgrade the Range of your gel blaster
In order to upgrade the range of your gel blaster you’ll need to upgrade…
- The main spring: Which drives the piston forward to blast the gel ball out of the barrel
- The o-ring: Which creates the air pressure used to fire the gel ball
- The barrel: Which guides the gel ball along its flight path to the target
In addition to these, you’ll also want to add a hop-up which will increase your range even further!
What is a hop-up?
A hop-up is something which most gel blasters don’t come with by default but can be added later.
It’s an upgrade which essentially lets you put backspin on the gel balls as they’re fired.
Why would you want to do that?
Because when the balls spin backwards as they’re fired, they fly longer and straighter.
A well known paintball brand (Tippmann) developed the Flatline Barrel which effectively extends the flight path of paintballs as they’re fired, without having to increase velocity.
Here’s a diagram which illustrates how the ball travels with, and without backspin.
The hop-up itself is an adjustable barrel piece which enables you to increase or decrease the amount of backspin applied to the gel balls as they’re fired.
This allows you to achieve the perfect amount based on the characteristics of the gell balls you’re using.
Why is upgrading the gel blaster a risky process?
Ok so you’ve got a simple list of upgrades you want to apply to your gel blaster.
What could go wrong?
The trouble with upgrading gel blasters is that it can go really bad if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Gel blaster upgrade components rarely come with any kind of installation instructions which means you need to be very familiar with your blaster, or risk breaking it completely.
Buy the pre-upgrades gel blasters
Many players choose to purchase gel blasters which have been pre-built with all the upgrades rather than risk turning their new gel blaster into a pile of useless plastic.
This means that for a small premiums they can just onto the field straight away with a competition-ready gel blaster.