9 Best Nerf Rival Guns (2024 Guide)

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Last updated: May 16, 2024

Reviews of the nine best Nerf Rival blasters currently available, plus all the ins and outs of the revolutionary Rival series explained.

As you may already know, I am a massive fan of the Nerf Rival series. I’ve already published a few reviews of Rival guns on this website, with more to follow.

Rival blasters are generally quite powerful, often have intimidating looks, typically offer a smooth firing mechanism, and come in various shapes and sizes.

In this article, I am going to share what I believe are the nine best Nerf Rival guns, and I will also explain what the Rival series is all about.

Top Pick
NERF Rival Nemesis MXVII-10K Blaster,...
Second Choice
Nerf Rival Artemis XVII-3000 Red
Full automatic
Direct plunger
Acceleration trigger
Pump action
Top Pick
NERF Rival Nemesis MXVII-10K Blaster,...
Full automatic
Acceleration trigger
Second Choice
Nerf Rival Artemis XVII-3000 Red
Direct plunger
Pump action

Top 9 Nerf Rival Blasters:

Nerf Rival Gun Price
1 Nerf Rival Nemesis MXVII-10K Price
2 Nerf Rival Artemis XVII-3000 Price
3 Nerf Rival Pathfinder XXII-1200 Price
4 Nerf Rival Hades XVIII-6000 Price
5 Nerf Rival Perses MXIX-5000 Price
6 Nerf Rival Prometheus MXVIII-20K Price
7 Nerf Rival Takedown XX-800 Price
8 Nerf Rival Fate XXII-100 Price
9 Nerf Rival Kronos XVIII-500 Price

Top 9 Nerf Rival Blasters

Let’s go through these nine Nerf Rival guns in more detail.

1. Nerf Rival Nemesis MXVII-10K

Nerf Rival Nemesis MXVII-10K

Let’s start with what is, for many, the most popular Nerf Rival blaster. The Nemesis is an absolute game-changer in the world of Nerf. It’s a high-performing, fully automatic flywheel and conveyor blaster with a firing capacity of 100 rounds.

The rounds are loaded through a detachable purpose-built hopper system, which allows you to quickly throw 100 rounds in and start firing away with a claimed velocity of 100 per second. This is a fully automatic blaster, though, which I know isn’t for everyone.

The Nemesis is an incredibly fun machine that has set the bar high for future blasters in the Rival series. Even though it’s not the youngest blaster anymore, the Nemesis is still one of the most popular ones in the Rival series.

Check Price

Nerf Rival Nemesis MXVII-10K
Year: 2017
Mode of fire: Automatic
Priming mechanism: Acceleration trigger
More info: Nerf Rival Nemesis MXVII-10K review

2. Nerf Rival Artemis XVII-3000

Nerf Rival Artemis XVII-3000

Smaller than the Nemesis, the Artemis came to market in 2017. It’s a spring-powered blaster with a pump-action priming system and a firing capacity of 30 rounds. It has a turret system at the front that rotates when priming.

The Artemis carries three magazines that are integrated into the top of the blaster, with each one holding ten rounds. Each time you prime, the barrel rotates and uses a round from one of the three magazines to fire.

What’s great about the Artemis is that it lets you single-fire and slam fire, and the big sliding handle at the front is essentially the primer. It’s a mechanism that works nicely, is ergonomic, and overall looks really cool, if not intimidating.

Check Price

Nerf Rival Artemis XVII-3000
Year: 2017
Mode of fire: Single and slam fire
Priming mechanism: Pump action
More info: Nerf Rival Artemis XVII-3000 review

3. Nerf Rival Pathfinder XXII-1200

Nerf Rival Pathfinder XXII-1200

Released in 2022, the Nerf Rival Pathfinder XXII-1200 is a spring-powered pump-action blaster with an adjustable iron sight, an integrated shoulder stock, and a detachable 12-round magazine.

The Pathfinder is part of a Rival subseries that features blasters with a yellow and light blue color scheme and a new ammunition type called Accu-Rounds. This ammo type is very similar to the classic Rival Round, but the dimples are much larger, designed to improve performance.

One of the top features of the Pathfinder is that it comes with two iron sights: one rear sight that is adjustable, and one front sight above the muzzle. The rear sight can be moved from left to right and up and down.

While the performance of the Pathfinder isn’t seemingly much better than your average Rival blaster, the Pathfinder looks great, performs as one would expect from a Rival Blaster, is reasonably ergonomic, and is well-priced.

Check Price

Nerf Rival Pathfinder XXII-1200
Year: 2022
Sub series: Accu
Mode of fire: Single fire
Priming mechanism: Pump action
More info: Nerf Rival Pathfinder XXII-1200 review

4. Nerf Rival Hades XVIII-6000

Nerf Rival Hades XVIII-6000

The Hades is the first Rival blaster in this list that is part of the exciting Phantom Corps sub-series. Released in 2018, the Hades is a pump-action blaster with single and slam-fire capabilities.

The great-looking Hades has an integrated magazine that holds 60 High-Impact rounds. The priming and firing mechanism is intuitive, and re-loading the rounds into the magazine is just as easy.

You may have noticed that the Hades is very similar to the Artemis, both in looks and mechanics. The Hades has a bigger magazine capacity, and overall, the blaster is larger than the Artemis.

Check Price

Nerf Rival Hades XVIII-6000
Year: 2018
Sub series: Phantom Corps
Mode of fire: Single and slam fire
Priming mechanism: Pump action
More info: Nerf Rival Hades XVIII-6000 review

5. Nerf Rival Perses MXIX-5000

Nerf Rival Perses MXIX-5000

The Perses, first introduced in 2019, is a compact flywheel and conveyor blaster with a generous firing capacity of 50 rounds. The rounds are loaded into a hopper system, similar to how that works with the Nemesis.

What I like most about the Perses is that it has a comfortable and lightweight design, yet it can carry many rounds and perform incredibly well. It’s a fully automatic blaster with a smooth and fast firing mechanism.

The conveyor feeding mechanism, combined with the hopper system, works nicely and makes the Perses such a fun Rival blaster. Jams can happen with this setup, although they are rare and can be easily fixed by popping out the hopper.

Check Price

Nerf Rival Perses MXIX-5000
Year: 2019
Mode of fire: Automatic
Priming mechanism: Acceleration trigger
More info: Nerf Rival Perses MXIX-5000 review

6. Nerf Rival Prometheus MXVIII-20K

Nerf Rival Prometheus MXVIII-20K

The second Phantom Corps machine in this list of best Nerf Rival blasters is the impressive, intimidating, and over-the-top Prometheus MXVIII-20K. But most of all, the Prometheus is a fun machine to play with and should be part of your collection.

The Prometheus was released in 2018 as a fully automatic flywheel blaster with a staggering 200-round firing capacity. As you can tell, the Prometheus is similar to the Nemesis, but I would argue that the Nemesis is perhaps a more serious weapon.

The hopper magazine is removable, which makes reloading your 200 rounds a super easy process. And once you’ve fully loaded the hopper, you can start firing with a claimed maximum of 8 rounds per second rate of fire. Wow, seriously.

Check Price

Nerf Rival Prometheus MXVIII-20K
Year: 2018
Sub series: Phantom Corps
Mode of fire: Automatic
Priming mechanism: Acceleration trigger
More info: Nerf Rival Prometheus MXVIII-20K review

7. Nerf Rival Takedown XX-800

Nerf Rival Takedown XX-800

Released in early 2020, the Nerf Rival Takedown is a pump-action blaster with an 8-round firing capacity. The takedown has an internal magazine, which can be accessed from the top of the blaster by opening the little hole through a priming action.

The priming mechanism with the pump handle at the front is quite smooth, and so is the firing. It’s single-fire only, even though the priming handle makes you want to slam fire.

One thing you’ll notice straight away when looking at the Takedown is the somewhat awkwardly shaped grip. It’s a comfortable grip, though, that fits larger hands nicely.

Overall, the Takedown is a robust and to-the-point Rival blaster that deserves a spot on this list.

Check Price

Nerf Rival Takedown XX-800
Year: 2020
Mode of fire: Single fire
Priming mechanism: Pump action
More info: Nerf Rival Takedown XX-800 review

8. Nerf Rival Fate XXII-100

Nerf Rival Fate XXII-100

Released in 2022, the Fate is a spring-powered, single-shot, pistol-style blaster with a T-pull priming handle and an adjustable rear sight.

Like the Pathfinder further above on this list, the Fate is part of a subseries with yellow and light blue colored blasters and uses Accu-Rounds as the ammunition.

The Fate is a super reliable pistol that is very easy to use, sits comfortably in the hand, and performs above expectations with an FPS above 90.

The T-pull priming handle looks a bit strange, but it actually works incredibly well. The loading, priming, and firing process is very smooth and intuitive. Overall, I rate the Fate higher than the Kronos.

Check Price

Nerf Rival Fate XXII-100
Year: 2022
Mode of fire: Single fire
Priming mechanism: Direct prime action
More info: Nerf Rival Fate XXII-100 review

9. Nerf Rival Kronos XVIII-500

Nerf Rival Kronos XVIII-500

First released in 2018, the Kronos is a pistol-style spring-action blaster with a firing capacity of 5 rounds. It carries a spring-loaded internal magazine.

The process of reloading, priming, and firing with the Kronos feels super smooth. That, combined with its great looks and fantastic performance, makes the Kronos a must-have Rival machine.

Pistol-style Nerf guns aren’t for everyone, but the Kronos certainly won’t disappoint. It’s perhaps the best blaster you can currently get your hands on in that category of Nerf blasters.

Check Price

Nerf Rival Kronos XVIII-500
Year: 2018
Mode of fire: Single fire
Priming mechanism: Slide action
More info: Nerf Rival Kronos XVIII-500 review

About the Nerf Rival Series

The Nerf Rival series was first announced in 2015, with the Apollo XV-700 and the Zeus MXV-1200 being the first blasters in that series.

The purpose of the Rival series (officially written with full caps as RIVAL) was to bring high-performing blasters to the market for competitive team vs team play. Rival blasters are typically available in red and blue color schemes, supporting the team play aspect.

Rival Rounds

A new ammo type was designed specifically for the Rival series.

These High-Impact Rounds are not darts. Instead, they are small yellow balls with dimples, similar to what golf balls look like.

Nerf Rival Rounds
Nerf Rival Rounds

The Rival Accu sub-series included a refined ammo type. The Rival Accu-Round is similar to the classic Rival Round, but the dimples are larger, resulting in improved performance.

Naming Convention

You may have noticed the rather interesting names given to Rival Blasters. For example, Artemis XVII-3000, and Prometheus MXVIII-20K.

If the blasters aren’t impressive enough already, then their names certainly are! What’s even better is that these funky names weren’t just randomly chosen.

The names actually refer to Greek and Roman mythological figures. Prometheus, for example, is a Titan God of fire.

The letters are Roman numbers that refer to the year the blaster was first released. For example, the Artemis was released in 2017, indicated with the Roman number XVII, which means 17.

Some Rival blasters also have an M, which means they’re motorized blasters. For example, the Prometheus is a motorized blaster that was released in 2018. As such, the name includes (M) and XVIII.

But it gets even more complicated. The 3000 bit in the Artemis name means it has a magazine capacity of 30 rounds * 100. The Prometheus, on the other hand, has a capacity of 200, which is 100 * 200 = 20K.

To recap, this is how the Prometheus MXVIII-20K got its name:

Prometheus = Greek mythological figure
M = Motorized blaster
XVIII = The year (20)18
20K = 100 * 200 Rounds

How cool is that?

Safety

The target market for the Rival series was older kids and adults. Rival blasters were never designed for young kids because they are so powerful. Plus, the ammo, High-Impact rounds, is very different from the classic Nerf darts.

The official recommended age for Rival blasters is 14 years and older, which I think is fair enough. That older target audience makes sense, given the power of these blasters and the type of ammo used.

When the Rival series first came out, the blasters weren’t allowed in Australia because they didn’t meet the local toy safety standards. That seems a bit excessive, but it does say a lot about this line of blasters.

But overall, I can honestly say that I find Nerf Rival guns pretty safe. Getting hit by a High-Impact round can certainly be felt, but it doesn’t hurt. And to be on the safe side, you can also wear goggles to protect the eyes.

Sub Series

As with other Nerf series, the Rival series of blasters also has a few sub-series. The most notable Rival sub-series are the following:

  • Phantom Corps:
    A sub-series with blasters that are promoted as non-team based. Phantom Corps blasters have a black-and-white color scheme to visually separate them from the red and blue Rival models.
  • Edge:
    A sub-series with a focus on precision and target shooting. Blasters in the Edge sub-series have a lime-green color scheme.
  • Curve Shot:
    A sub-series with blasters that can shoot in several directions (left, right, and down) via adjustable hop-ups that create a curve effect.
  • Accu:
    A sub-series with a new ammunition type called Accu-Rounds designed to improve shooting accuracy and velocity. Blasters in this range have a yellow and light blue color scheme and adjustable sights.

Three blasters in the above list of best Nerf Rival guns are from various sub-series.

The Hades and Prometheus are part of the successful Phantom Corps sub-series, and the Pathfinder is part of the Accu sub-series.

 
 

9 Best Nerf Rival blasters

 
Thomas Dunnett

I am a big fan of Nerf blasters, home laser tag, and other real-life action games that keep us active, social, and young at heart. With Blaster Central, I am hoping to share that passion with you.

3 Comments
  1. The Pathfinder is great, but there’s another gun in its series. The Nerf Rival Vision is more accurate and has greater power.

    Reply
  2. Good, but you have a mistake, as the upgrade of Nerf Rival Saturn is much better than Takedown. It is much bigger, more powerful, and has slamfire.

    Reply
    • Hi Kuhan, you’re making a valid point, and many may agree with you.

      However, I do actually prefer the Takedown over the Saturn. I like the simplicity, the handling, and the overall look-and-feel of the Takedown.

      Reply
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