Why We Play Recharge Games

by The LASERTRON Team

The LASERTRON Recharge Laser Tag Game

There are many game format options in the laser tag world. One of the older styles of play is a recharge game. Players are divided into two teams, but they have limited resources (both the number of times they can fire and the number of times they can be tagged). If any of these laser tag resources run out they must return to their base area and recharge, replenishing their resources.

Our LT-12 Laser Tag game software can provide your center with a variety of enjoyable game formats including non-recharge-style games. However, our experience has shown that a recharge laser tag game format offers players a better game experience in most arenas, especially larger ones.

Spreads Players Around the Field

When players have to recharge, they are forced to return to their base area energizer. On average, they will take many different pathways through your laser tag arena because players will tend to avoid opposing players who are activated. Likewise, players will naturally disperse across your playing field evenly. This benefits you, the operator, in a variety of ways.

If players tend to spread themselves around your laser tag arena they will be less likely to clump together in a small area. This reduces the opportunity for injury.

Also, players will have a better laser tag experience. Not only will they see different parts of the arena, but they will encounter different players, work with different teammates and probably play different styles of laser tag. All told, this will tend to make your laser tag experience more interesting than the typical shields up shields down game format.

Prevents Players From Holding One Position

Another huge advantage of recharging is limiting an experienced laser tag player's ability to control the game. Without recharging, a player never has to leave a particular location for the entire game. An experienced laser tag player may select a location that is easily defended or a spot that offers a wide view of the playing field. This can allow them to dominate the game in a way that frustrates the bulk of your players. In a recharge game format, no player can hold a single position for a significant amount of time, much less the entire game.

Prevents Players From Following Another Player

By the same token, recharging prevents one player from following another player for more than a short period of time. Many laser tag game systems recommend rules to prevent following (or stalking) players because of technology flaws or the ease in which experienced players may dominate a game. By having a limited number of laser pulses and tags, the experienced player will sooner or later run out and have to return to their base to recharge.

Important note: The LASERTRON LT-12 Game System offers a reflex tag for non-recharge games and handicapping options in our recharge game to prevent one player from being able to ruin another player's laser tag game.

Allows Open Bases

In most laser tag arenas, bases are hidden in small out of the way places. In some arenas, the LASERTRON team has seen base targets at the end of dead-end hallways. This is necessary in many arenas because the laser tag game format does not offer any value to playing defense.

Unfortunately, the results of hiding the game bases are clear. Only experienced players learn where the bases are and these players end up with even higher scores because of this knowledge. Placing bases in small areas or at the end of dead-end hallways increases chances of injury due to bottleknecking of players.

Recharge games allow you to build a more open base area in your laser tag arena. This allows more players to tag the base and allows other players to effectively guard the base without increased risk of injury.

Makes Defense Worthwhile

Defending your base in most laser tag game systems is often a thankless task. In a laser tag game with both defensive and offensive players, opposing players are less able to predict what their opponents will do. The game becomes more interesting where there are players on both defense and offense.

Recharge game formats encourage and enhance the ability of a laser tag player to play defense. With recharging, a defensive player has a tactical advantage over the offensive player rushing the base: the defensive player's recharge station is located close to the base. He or she can easily recharge to defend the base while the offensive player must travel the length of the field.

In addition, tagging a player out and ending their base run is rewarding to a defensive player. The defensive player actually accomplishes something concrete. Without recharging, it is nearly impossible for the defensive player to prevent any particular player from tagging the base.

A More Active Style of Play

Make no mistake about it. Your laser tag players desire a very active game. An active game, where players are constantly moving, constantly taking on new opponents and challenges, is a benefit for your business. An exciting and active laser tag game will keep players coming back for more.

Let's face the facts. Laser tag can become frustrating and almost boring if all you do is stand in one place and tag the same person over and over. Recharging not only prevents your customers laser tag experience from becoming stale, it constantly changes up the flow of the game.

Reduces Player Down Time

Recharging the LASERTRON way doesn't keep laser tag players out of the game any longer than shields format. In fact, players will enjoy playing more time overall in the average LASERTRON recharge game.

A common laser tag game format is shields. In this game format, when a player is tagged their laser tag vest "turns off" for a period of time (usually 3-7 seconds depending on the laser tag system and game settings). During the shields time, a player can neither be tagged nor tag other players. At the end of the period, the player's vest turns on and the player is back in play. Unfortunately, experienced players can keep a new laser tag player down for most of the game. That is one of the many reasons we recommend the LASERTRON Recharge Game Format.

In the LASERTRON Recharge format, players have a limited amount of energy. In our large arena, that energy (or tags before deactivating) might be 15. This is the number of times a player can be tagged before they must return to the recharger. Even if you are on the opposite side of the arena, it will take a maximum of about 20 seconds to cross the arena. Until they recharge, the laser tag player can't fire his or her phaser.

To put it another way, a player in our Recharge Format is out of the game for about 20 seconds with every 15 tags received. Compare this to the shields game played in many laser tag arenas, if a player is tagged only 8 times, he or she will be in shields (and thus out of the game) for a minimum of 24 seconds and a maximum of 56 seconds.

Your average and first time players receive a much better playing experience with the LASERTRON Recharge Game Format. In shields-style games your average and less experienced players will tend to spend a lot more time deactivated than activated. Even when a player is deactivated in the recharge game format, the player is still participating in the game and can still be tagged for points (this option can be turned off). The player must quickly return to her base and recharge to help her teammates and defend the base area if necessary from opposing players.

With LASERTRON, you have many options for your laser tag game format. You can play everything from solo games to shields games to recharge games. We make it easy for you to play any game format you want. When you upgrade your equipment or install a new laser tag arena, you have the perfect opportunity to experiment with a new game format. We strongly recommend that you personally experience the LASERTRON Team Sport Recharge format at our center. Once you've seen everything this laser tag game format can offer, we're confident you'll want to play a recharge format at your center.

Laser tag arena design and elements like bases can add to the quality of the game format. In the next article, we discuss our experience with interactive arena components. Click here to find out more about these interactive elements.

For additional information about LASERTRON, please contact Your Advisement Team.

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