9 Best Nerf Rival Blasters You Need to Have

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Last updated: October 25, 2020

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

In this article I am going to run you through the ins and outs of the Rival series, followed by my personal top 9 best Nerf Rival blasters.

As always with these types of subjective lists, you may or may not agree with me, but I do hope it helps you in your decision making.

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 to market high-performing blasters for competitive team vs team play. Rival blasters are typically available in red and blue color schemes, supporting the team play aspect.

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.

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 themselves aren’t impressive enough already, then their names certainly are! What’s even better is that these funky names aren’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 it is a motorized blaster. 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 that 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!

Safety

The target market for the Rival series was older kids and adults. Rival blasters were never designed for young kids, because they are simply too 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 taget audience only makes sense, given the power of these blasters combined with the type of ammo used.

When the Rival series first came out, the blasters weren’t actually allowed in Australia because they didn’t meet the local toy safety standards. Some might say that that’s a bit excessive, but it does say a lot about this range of blasters.

Overall though, I can honestly say that I find Nerf Rival blasters pretty safe. Getting hit by a High-Impact round can certainly be felt, but doesn’t hurt. Wearing goggles to protect the eyes though is a good idea.

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:

  • Edge:
    A sub series with a focus on precision and target shooting. Blasters in the Edge sub series have a lime-green color scheme.
  • 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.

Three blasters in the below list of best Nerf Rival guns are from sub series.

The Hades and Prometheus are part of the successful Phantom Corps sub series, and the Jupiter is part of the Edge series.

My Top 9 Nerf Rival Blasters

Here we go, this is my top 9 list of best Nerf Rival blasters you should add to your Nerf blaster collection.

1. 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.

Nerf Rival Nemesis MXVII-10K

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 really 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
>> Check out my review of the Nerf Rival Nemesis MXVII-10K.

2. 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.

Nerf Rival Artemis XVII-3000

The Artemis carries three magazines that are integrated into the top of the blaster, with each one holding 10 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 as well as 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 just 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
>> Check out my review of the Nerf Rival Artemis XVII-3000.

3. 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.

Nerf Rival Kronos XVIII-500

Reloading, priming and priming is an incredibly smooth affair with the Kronos. That, combined with its great looks and amazing performance, makes the Kronos a must-have Rival machine.

Pistol style Nerf blasters 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
>> Check out my review of the Nerf Rival Kronos XVIII-500.

4. Nerf Rival Hypnos XIX-1200

Released in 2019, the Hypnos is spring-powered pump-action blaster with a top loading 12-round magazine. It’s a rather compact sized single fire Rival blaster, with a pleasant and smooth pump-action priming mechanism.

Nerf Rival Hypnos XIX-1200

Even though the firing capacity of 12 rounds is rather low compared to other Rival blasters, the Hypnos does allow you to clip an extra 12-round magazine to the side of the blaster.

One thing that makes the Hypnos stand out is the folding shoulder stock at the back of the gun. It can be folded to the side of the blaster, and can be used for extra storage.

Check Price

Nerf Rival Hypnos XIX-1200
Year:2019
Mode of fire:Single fire
Priming mechanism:Pump action

5. Nerf Rival Phantom Corps 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 as well as slam fire capabilities.

Nerf Rival Phantom Corps Hades XVIII-6000

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

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

Check Price

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

6. Nerf Rival Perses MXIX-5000

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

Nerf Rival Perses MXIX-5000

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

The conveyor feeding mechanism in combination with the hopper system works nicely, and makes the Perses such a fun Rival blaster. Jams do 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
>> Check out my review of the Nerf Rival Perses MXIX-5000.

7. Nerf Rival Phantom Corps 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 super fun machine to play with, and should really be part of your collection.

Nerf Rival Phantom Corps Prometheus MXVIII-20K

The Prometheus was released in 2018 as a fully automatic flywheel blaster with a staggering 200 rounds firing capacity. As you can tell, the Prometheus is very 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 very easy process. And once you’ve fully loaded the hopper, you can start firing with a claimed maximum 8 rounds per second rate of fire. Wow, seriously.

Check Price

Nerf Rival Phantom Corps Prometheus MXVIII-20K
Year:2018
Sub series:Phantom Corps
Mode of fire:Automatic
Priming mechanism:Acceleration trigger
>> Check out my review of the Nerf Rival Phantom Corps Prometheus MXVIII-20K.

8. Nerf Rival Takedown XX-800

Released in early 2020, the Nerf Rival Takedown is a pump-action blaster with an 8-round firing capacity. It comes with an internal magazine which can be easily at the top by opening the little door through a priming action.

Nerf Rival Takedown XX-800

The priming mechanism with the pump handle at the front is a very smooth affair, and so is 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 massive and 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 in this list.

Check Price

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

9. Nerf Rival Edge Jupiter XIX-1000

The last machine to complete this list of best Nerf Rival blasters is the Jupiter in the Edge sub series. As I am someone who appreciates good Nerf sniper rifles, I just had to include the Jupiter in this list as a Rival blaster I would recommend.

Nerf Rival Edge Jupiter XIX-1000

As mentioned above, the Edge series was introduced to focus on target shooting, and the Jupiter certainly delivers in that aspect. In addition, the Jupiter looks and feels incredibly robist, and has a very smooth bolt action priming mechanism.

I do recognize that not sniper rifle style blasters aren’t for everyone, but the Edge Jupiter really is something different. As far as I am concerned, it’s the best of both world. It has the power and performance of the Rival series, and the precision and sophistication of the Edge series.

Check Price

Nerf Rival Edge Jupiter XIX-1000
Year:2019
Sub series:Edge
Mode of fire:Single fire
Priming mechanism:Bolt action
>> Check out my review of the Nerf Rival Edge Jupiter XIX-1000.

Final Thoughts

Do you agree with my personal list of best Nerf Rival guns?

This is of course a highly subjective topic, but I do think the models listed above are fantastic Nerf Rival blasters. I’ve also tried to make this list as varied as possible, with different types of blasters included.

For example, not everyone will like the Jupiter, but as rifle style blaster, the Rival Jupiter is an absolutely awesome machine.

The same applies to the Kronos. Not everyone will buy a pistol style Nerf blaster, but the Rival Kronos is one of the best in that category.

In any case, I hope the above list has given you enough food for thought. Also note that, with new Rival blasters coming out regularly, I will keep updating this list.

 
Thomas Dunnett

I'm a huge fan of Nerf blasters, home laser tag, and other real-life action games that keep us active, social and young at heart.

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