Five Key Differences Between Traditional and Tactical Laser Tag | Tac Ops

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Five Key Differences Between Traditional and Tactical Laser Tag

When people hear the term “laser tag” it conjures up mental images of blacklights and glowing neon. For many, the nostalgia they feel in one of those arenas is unmatched and harkens back to their childhood, running around with their friends in a small space, wearing a vest and helmet with blinking lights, and firing inaccurate blasters. When it first came on the scene, laser tag was so far ahead of its time that the technology actually held it back from what it could be and while it was still fun, there wasn’t really a way to be immersed in the game because the technology held it back. That is until recently when modern laser tag came onto the scene. Modern laser tag, also known as “tactical laser tag” has brought the technology up to where it should be – wireless, accurate, and more fun! While many people still play and prefer traditional laser tag, the tactical laser tag segment is growing quickly. Here are some key differences between the two.

1. The Atmosphere 

As previously mentioned, the atmosphere in a traditional laser tag facility is what we often think of when the term comes up. It is great for those that have fond memories of it, mostly the older folks that grew up in the 80s and 90s, but the newer generations played warfare-type games online, causing popular first-person shooter (FPS) games which created an environment that couldn’t be matched in a traditional laser tag arena.   

The atmosphere around most tactical laser tag facilities tends to be more toward the gamer, those who grew up playing with a controller and not a cap gun. There is some blending between the two spaces but they tend to be more dedicated than customizable.   

2. Game Modes

A big advantage of modern laser tag is the implementation of accessories. In some places, it is a bell, in some a box, and in others a target. These are all things that a player can touch or shoot to change a variable in their game. At Tac Ops, we use boxes that allow us to do things like switch your weapon, get armor, or even protect you from simulated ariel fire as cover boxes. This has also given us the ability to use the boxes for game modes like Capture the Flag and Domination. If Capture the Flag was played in the traditional laser tag of old, it had to be done with a physical flag, now we can use the box to digitally download a flag to your tagger, or in domination, you can shoot the boxes to control more access points than your opponents.   

3. Objectives 

Another difference is the objective set.  At Tac Ops, which is strictly tactical laser tag, we have objective scoring in all of our games. Whether it is to rack up as many points as you can or to hold down more of the arena than your opponent, every game mode is different!   We have our games structured to require more planning than “praying and spraying”.   

Traditional laser tag also has the ability to do this but as previously stated, the arenas are set up more to cater to one continuous game which has one objective….shoot the most people.    

4. Competition Level 

Laser tag has fierce competition in every type of environment. Traditional laser tag tends to be more individually based and tactical a little more on the team-based side.  As a result, the competition levels vary, some people are more competitive in a team atmosphere, and others don’t want to rely on anyone else to win.   

The largest competition level can always be found in tournaments.  At Tac Ops, we host a tournament monthly and it is very limited space. There are plenty of arenas that host tourneys on both sides of the spectrum, it’s just a matter of finding which one you prefer.

5. Team vs. Individual Focus

As mentioned earlier, tactical laser tag tends to be more team-based. In between the missions you and your teammates will collaborate on how to attack and achieve your goals, whereas in traditional laser tag, it is more of an “every man for himself” type of atmosphere. Both styles are fun and both have benefits. The only way that you are going to know what is for you is by trying them!   

Looking to Give Tactical Laser Tag in New Jersey a Try? 

Whether the facility is a traditional one or a tactical arena at an indoor facility one thing is for certain, the people who created the arena just want people to have fun! Any form of laser tag can be fun if you’re with the right people, that’s a big part of why mobile laser tag has taken off, bringing it to you ensured you control the crowd. At Tac Ops all of our games have the option to be taken private at any of our indoor laser tag arenas in New Jersey. We have been asked if we would consider opening a traditional tag arena and while that’s not our focus, we can’t rule it out either, traditional laser tag will always hold a place in our hearts. 

If you’re looking to give tactical laser tag a try, book your time to play today!

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