Over the years, Nerf has released hundreds of blasters under several different series. Two of the best blaster series Nerf has created are the Nerf Rival and the Nerf Elite Series. While the two blaster series are quite unique from each other, they both provide premiere performance for Nerfers and are give Nerfers the ultimate choice in blasters.

However, when trying to determine which blaster to bring to your next battle you might ask yourself “Which is better? Nerf Elite or Nerf Rival?”. Keep reading to find out the differences between the two blaster series and which series is the best match for you!

Check out Blaster Pros to learn more about the wonderful world of Nerf blasters!

Nerf Rival

Nerf Rival Apollo XV-700 Red and Blue

The Nerf Rival Series, released in 2015, introduced a new kind of Nerf blaster. Blasters in the Nerf Rival Series do not shoot regular Nerf darts, instead they fire small foam balls as ammunition.

While not the first Nerf blaster series to shoot an ammunition other than the regular Nerf dart (Nerf Vortex was the first), the Nerf Rival ball blasters performer at a higher level than many other Nerf blaster series.

Because the Nerf Rival Series is built with more power, the line is specifically advertised for Nerfers over the age of 14. If younger children do happen to get ahold of a Nerf Rival Series blaster, each gun uses a safety mechanism that must be turned off before the blaster can shoot. So keep your safety on when you are not personally using the blaster!

Blasters in this series are also advertised for the older Nerfers because the line is specifically designed for team competitions. In order to make this series perfect for competition play, Nerf released all blasters in either red or blue color schemes.

For groups looking for more flexibility in choosing their team each round, Nerf has also released the Phantom Corps sub-series. Blasters in this series are mostly rereleases of the original Rival Blasters only in a white color scheme. In order to mark which team players are on with a Phantom Corps blaster, there are red and blue flags that attach to the handle of the blaster.

For easy blasting, the Nerf Rival Series mostly uses magazine fed systems. While most blasters magazines are removable, a select few use an internal magazine or hopper fed system. This means that instead of loading a blaster and then putting them into the blasters, you will load your ammunition directly into the blaster firing system.

If you already own tactical additions from other Nerf Series, you will not be able to use them with your Nerf Rival blasters. This is because with the introduction of the series, Nerf included a unique set of tactical rails.

The Best Nerf Rival Blasters

There are 15 blasters sold under the Nerf Rival Series. There are also 6 blasters under the Nerf Rival sub series of Phantom Corps. This gives you 21 Nerf Rival ball blasters to choose from!

But to help make your choice easier, here are the top three Nerf Rival blasters!

#1 Nerf Rival Kronos XVIII-500

The Nerf Rival Kronos is not only a powerful blaster but is also one of the most affordable Rival blasters on the market.

With a ammo capacity of five foam Nerf balls, the Nerf Rival Kronos can fire its ammunition up to 90 feet in less than a second!

Want to modify your Nerf Kronos to create the ultimate battle weapon? Read this article to get the best blaster: Nerf Kronos Modding Guide: The Best Mods for Your Kronos!

The Nerf Kronos is built to be easily modified and even features tactical rails for premade attachments.

Click here to get the Nerf Rival Kronos XVIII-500!

#2 Nerf Rival Atlas XVI-1200

While not as powerful as the Kronos, the Nerf Rival Atlas XVI-1200 can still fire its foam balls an astounding 80 feet per second.

The blaster works greater for high stakes competitions. Watch the blaster in action in its release video by Nerf below!

The Nerf Rival Atlas as been nicknamed the Rival Shotgun due to its rapid fire feature. With only one pull of the trigger watch the blaster fire not only one, but two foam balls towards the target.

With a larger 12 count magazine that is easily inserted at the top of the blaster, the Nerf Rival Atlas fires with both precision and accuracy.

Get the Nerf Rival Atlas XVI-1200 today!

#3 Nerf Rival Zeus MXV-1200

The Nerf Rival Zeus is one of the several motorized Rival blasters that give you both precision and power. This blaster is powered by 6 C batteries and can hold a standard 12 ball magazine.

The magazine can be inserted from either side of the blaster making it a great addition for all left handed and right handed Nerfers.

Learn more about the history of the Nerf Rival Zeus MXV-1200 from Nerf Wiki.

If you are a fan of the Nerf tactical rail additions, then this blaster will be perfect for you. With a tactical rail for extra additions, the Nerf Rival Zeus MXV-1200 has a built in flip up sight to help you get better aim in battle!

Get the Nerf Rival Zeus MXV-1200 for your arsenal now!

Want to learn more about the other options available through the Nerf Rival Series? Keep reading about the Best Nerf Rival Guns and which one is the best for you here!

Nerf Elite

Nerf N-Strike Elite Rapidstrike CS-18

The Nerf Elite Series, formerly known as the Nerf N-Strike Elite Series, was released for purchase in 2012. Nerf N-Strike Elite blasters feature longer ranges and more customization than most other Nerf blaster series. Many of the Nerf Elite blasters are improved versions of blasters originally released in the Nerf N-Strike Series.

The main purpose of this blaster series was to give Nerfers a more tactical edge. This is achieved by giving blasters multiple tactical rails for additions as well as several barrel extensions and stock attachments.

Blasters are loaded through a clip system. This makes more easy, quick reloading and for a larger ammunition firing capability. Nerf N-Strike Elite blasters can fire darts up to 90 feet through their new and improved direct plunger system.

Because the direct plunger systems pack more power than the regular firing systems, the Nerf Elite blasters do include some safety features that limit how far and fast darts fly. With some modifications, you can optimize the performance of your Nerf blasters.

Click here to read more about modifying your Nerf blaster: Which Nerf Gun is Best for Modifications?

The high precision blaster in the Nerf N-Strike Elite Series are perfect for Nerfers looking to gain an edge on the competition or for families looking to bring some more fun to your friendly games.

The Best Nerf Elite Blasters

There are over 40 different Nerf Elite Blasters. Choosing the best ones for you and your family can be quite difficult with so may options.

Keep reading to learn about the top 3 Nerf Elite Blasters!

#1 Nerf Elite Titan CS-50

The Nerf Elite Titan CS-50 has one of the largest ammunition capacities ever created by Nerf. With this epic 50 dart drum you can keep blasting longer than all of your opponents.

The Nerf Elite Titan CS-50 is fully motorized in order to propel all 50 darts over massive distances.

Because this blaster is larger than others, it comes with a shoulder strap and top handle in order to make the blaster more mobile for battle. However, the blaster is not too heavy for children to carry.

Check out all the awesome power this blaster holds in the video below!

Order a Nerf Elite Titan CS-50 to crush your competition here!

#2 Nerf N-Strike Elite Strongarm

While one of the smaller Nerf Elite blasters, the Nerf N-Strike Elite Strongarm can fire its 6 dart capacity over a 90 foot range!

Simply flip open the barrel, load in your 6 darts, pull the slide back and test your skills at quick draw.

The Nerf Strongarm is loved by many Nerf enthusiasts for being easily modified. Learn more about modifications that can be done to this blaster here: Which Nerf Gun is Best for Modifications?

Want to increase your firing speeds? Simply hold down the trigger and pull the slide back repeatedly to activate this blasters Slam Fire Function.

Check out the Nerf N-Strike Elite Strongarm for your Nerf Arsenal here!

#3 Nerf Rampage N-Strike Elite

Another large capacity blaster is the Nerf Rampage N-Strike Elite blaster. This blaster comes with a 25 dart drum and extreme power for all your blasting needs.

Just like the Nerf Strongarm, the Nerf Rampage N-Strike Elite is equipped with the Slam Fire function. All you have to do is hold down the trigger and pump the front slide to watch the darts fly fast!

While the blaster is not motorized it can still launch darts up to a distance of 90 feet!

This easy to carry blaster is perfect for Nerfers of all ages and Nerfing abilities. Learn about all the awesome features of this blaster in the video below!

Get the Nerf Rampage N-Strike Elite for your next competition here!

How Nerf Rival Compares to Nerf Elite

Both The Nerf Rival and Nerf N-Strike Elite series both offer the best blasters built by Nerf, they each are designed for different audiences.

Both the Series are only compatible with their own series ammunition so this means you will not be able to use any of your current N-Strike or other generic darts you already have in your collection.

Because the Nerf Rival blasters fire a denser form of ammunition at a higher rate, they are not as safe for younger players as normal Nerf darts. Nerf Rival blasters should only be used for older, more responsible players and is best designed for those looking to participate in competitive team play.

While Nerf Elite is still a great match for competitive players, it is better suited for younger Nerfers and families looking to add some fun to their Nerf games.

With all of this in mind, Nerf Rival offers the better blasters for Nerfers over 14 looking for competition and Nerf Elite is better for the general population of Nerfers just looking to have some fun.

People Also Ask

What are the different types of Nerf darts?

With each new blaster series, Nerf tends to release a new series of darts as well. While these darts tend to be more improved than the last series, they also ted to not be completely compatible either.

There are around 10 different types of Nerf darts produced by Nerf. These different types of Nerf ammunition include: N-Strike Elite darts, Nerf Streamline darts, Nerf ZombieStrike darts, Nerf Whistler darts, Nerf Suction Darts, AccuStrike darts, Rival balls, Vortex discs, and Nerf MEGA darts.

If you own blasters from multiple lines of Nerf blasters, chances are you will also have lots of different kinds of darts. However, as aforementioned, not all Nerf darts are compatible with all Nerf blasters.This can lead to lots of confusion and misfires or jams while in battle.

Learn more about dart compatibility here: Are Nerf Darts Universal? Learn the truth in this post.

Which is the best Nerf gun?

There are almost 1500 Nerf blasters ever created. That being said, it is quite difficult to determine which blaster is truly the bet of them all.

However, in the 2020 15 Best Nerf Guns Review by Gear Hungry, the Nerf N-Strike Elite Strongarm was given the title of number one blaster to have.

The revolver / handgun style blaster makes it easy to use not only for adults but for kids as well. The Nerf N-Strike Elite Strongarm, while small, is easily loaded and can fire accurately over a long distance.

While this blaster has many notable features, finding the blaster that is best for you might take a bit of trial and error. So do not worry too much about finding the right blaster right off of the bat!


Nerf offers many different series of blasters each designed to serve a different purpose than the others. While this gives you plenty of options of blasters to choose from, it can make it harder to find truly the best blaster.

When comparing Nerf Elite and Nerf Rival, while Nerf Rival offers a more competitive option for those in competition play, the Nerf N-Strike Elite Series is the better option for all Nerfers overall.

Before you purchase your next Nerf blaster, learn about the many different kinds of Nerf blasters and the unique features they each have to meet your blasting needs.

Learn More

If you are interested, here is a link to everything Nerf on Amazon.


The Eyerly Family is a tight knit family from Texas. Married for 10 years Dane and Deena are the parents to six awesome kids! In 2021 the Eyerly's are leaving normal life behind to travel full-time throughout the United States in their Double Decker Bus which has been converted to a tiny home. They've been featured in Yahoo! News, Yahoo! Finance, Yahoo! Style, Medium, and Latestly. Learn more about The Eyerly's here.

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