What Are the Tactical Games?

If you’ve paid attention to your favorite gun influencer, you’ve likely seen some mention of the Tactical Games. You see men and women with ARs and plate carriers accomplishing a mix of shooting and fitness-based exercises that look both chaotic and a ton of fun. The Tactical Games have become quite popular quite quickly and have provided a new type of shooting sport. 

The Tactical Games breaks away from the game-like sports of 3-Gun and USPSA to provide something a bit more dynamic. The overall goal is to create a contest that implements the physical demands of police and military shooters with shooting. The Tactical Games are a new type of shooting sport for a new type of competitor. 

According to the Tactical Games 

If we asked the Tactical Games as an organization what they are, we get this answer: 

“The Tactical Games were created to provide a platform to test the skills and readiness of tactical athletes from all backgrounds. Whether you are military, LEO, competition shooter, or a civilian gun enthusiast, you can compete in The Tactical Games. The Tactical games provide a venue for all shooters and athletes to compete against the best in the world to find weaknesses and test gear in the most stressful environment a competition can offer.”

If you ask me, it’s simply a contest that combines your fitness and shooting into one exciting and dynamic sport. While having a sub-second draw is valuable, it doesn’t mean much if you run a 15-minute mile or can’t lift a 150-pound sandbag. It’s a balance of skills that go beyond the gun. This is a sport that favors a balanced competitor. 

The Weapons and Gear 

I’ll give a quick rundown on the gear and weapons used in the Tactical Games. However, make sure you consult the rules for more detailed information. This should give a feel of what you need to compete. 

The weapons are focused on modern tactical, mostly semi-auto rifles. The sniper division does have a bolt gun category. Calibers for rifles allowed include 5.56, .223 Rem, 5.45, and .300 Blackout. Handgun calibers must be 9mm and above. Revolvers are allowed as well. 

Rifles can use nearly any type of optic but cannot use multiple optics. Backup iron sights are allowed. Most divisions allow handguns to use slide-mounted red dots. Slings and holsters are mandatory. The holster must be a modern tactical design, and you can’t use your race setup here. 

They do prohibit bipods, coupled mags, drums, brakes, and compensators are not allowed. Suppressors are allowed but have to remain in place during the entire match. 

Shooters must wear a plate carrier. Men’s plate carriers must way at least 15 pounds, and women’s have to weigh 12 pounds. This weight is taken slick without mags, pouches, water, etc. 

The Divisions 

There are ten Tactical Games divisions and five Sniper Challenge divisions. Tactical Games has men’s and women’s divisions. Sniper Games only appear to have unisex divisions. Each division is broken down by physical skill level, including your ability to manipulate weight and how fast you can run a mile. These are suggestions for shooters, and it’s not like you have to run a  PFT before a match. 

Tactical Games

Men’s Intermediate

Women’s Intermediate 

Men’s Tactical Division 

Women’s Tactical Division 

Women’s Masters 40+

Men’s Masters 40+

Men’s Masters 50+ 

Women’s Elite 

Men’s Elite 

Team Division (Unisex) 

Sniper Challenge 


Open Division 


Individual gas

Individual Bolt 


The Tactical Games offer both online and in-person training. However, the online training mostly focuses on physical fitness with a dry fire program. In-person training offers you events lasting anywhere from one day to three. None of this is free, but if you want to learn, this is one way to start. 

There are some free videos on the basics for new competitors, and it is worth a watch to understand the safety rules, scoring, etc. 


The Tactical Games has two types of matches. There are time-only stages and points-only stages. Both types use a 100-point scale. How a competitor finishes on that 100-point scale is a direct representation of how you performed compared to the top score in your division. This ensures one stage isn’t more important than another. After every stage, your points are totaled up, and you get a final score. 

Getting Tactical 

The Tactical Games seem to be sweeping the industry. The mix of physical fitness and marksmanship completely changes the game. It’s no longer about one specific set of skills but several. If you wanted something that would allow you to test yourself in your ultimate LARP scenario, the Tactical Games is for you. 

Travis Pike
Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record setting 11 months at sea. He’s trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines and the Afghan National Army. He serves as an NRA certified pistol instructor and teaches concealed carry classes.