Laser tag equipment generation comparison
Let's first of all understand what a generation is and why a new generation does not necessarily mean “better” in relation to specifically your laser tag business.
To make it clear, let us explain that since 2010, when the Laserwar company has begun creating and developing in-house laser tag equipment, we have been producing new equipment in so-called generations in accordance with the progress of the electronics market, the reduction in the price of electronic components. From generations 1 to 5, the headbands/vests were connected to the laser tag gun with a coiled cable, and starting from the 6th generation, playsets and headbands/vests have been using Bluetooth. In addition, game kits began connecting to the PC via Bluetooth to collect game statistics data after the game. Thus, each new generation is a step forward in the technologies underlying the game kits.
But bigger generation number doesn't mean better for every particular needs, as each generation has its advantages, usage goals and budgets.
The 9th generation is characterized primarily by the fact that unlike its successors it features offline statistics only. It means that to get the scores data of each individual player, it is necessary to turn off all the game sets after the game, turn them back on without headbands on, after which they are automatically connect to the PC via Bluetooth to download their accumulated statistics to it. It takes 2-5 minutes after each game. But anyway, you don’t really need the scores of each individual player so much, don’t you?
First, it is quite obvious which team won. In the mundane deadmatch scenario, that would be the one with fewer dead players; and in the control point scenario, the winner is the one whose color the control point device lights up at the end of the round; in the capture-the-flag, the winner is the team which first stole someone enemy’s virtual flag and brought it to the base. Moreover, each player usually believes that they have scored more frags (kills) than the rest of the players, and is it worth it to disappoint half of the players that they are worse than the other half by demonstrating statistics? Will they come after that to the next game?
In addition, the 9th gen has its undeniable advantages
- since it does not have Wi-Fi, the taggers battery works much longer
- it has presets, i.e. parameter sets uploaded to the tagger and activated from the remote control during the game, which are not available in newer generations that work on a different principle (more details here)
- there is a unique and very popular zombie infection scenario for children, which only works on the 9th generation (out of all currently sold ones).
- and importantly, it is simply much cheaper than the other two available generations
So if your budget is tight, or you're buying equipment for scenario games or quests, or you're playing in the woods, then why not to choose the trustworthy Ninth?
As an option on this generation, you can use a double headband to connect either two taggers, or to use a headband + vest + tagger.
10th generation (X-gen)
The Tenth generation aka X-gen differs from the 9th gen in that the Wi-Fi module is incorporated into the taggers, and via Wi-Fi network, all taggers can be connected to one PC. No internet is needed, just a local Wi-Fi network. In this generation, everything is managed online. From a central PC/laptop, the game muster can:
- create teams;
- change the settings of all players;
- change scenario settings;
- add new devices to the scenarios, such as control points, digital flags, bombs and set the role and settings of these devices in the game;
- start and end rounds;
- display game scoring during and after the game on the big screen;
If you have an arena or some kind of permanent venue for laser tag games, or you plan to make a league, then the X is what you need.
Please remember that you can use a laptop + router with a power bank for locations where power network access is limited.
And one more thing. X-gen gear can be used without Wi-Fi too, but in this case operator will have no statistics data. Just respawn the players with medkits or manager remote controls and play simple scenarios like deadmatch, domination, assault and so on. Settings can be changed with smart remote pro.
11 generation - Alphatag
If you want to get exactly what no other laser tag OEMs have, then we recommend going for Alpha.
The main design difference of Alphatag is the transfer of the Wi-Fi module from the tagger to the headband.
In all previous generations, the main part of the game set was in fact a laser tag gun, as it carries the player’s ID and a headband or a vest or both are connected to it. But in Alphatag, the main device is the player’s hit sensors (headband or vest), which, if you think about it, makes more sense.
Alphatag headband or vest contains not only a Wi-Fi module that receives commands from the central computer and transmits statistics data, but also a new Bluetooth module that allows the player to connect up to 7 other devices: several types of weapons, vests, a shock bracelet, a personal medic kit, a smartphone and much more.
Thus, Alphatag is, first of all, a different architecture that allows operator to expand the capabilities and roles of individual players who can now have these 7 additional devices.
Otherwise, in terms of customization, launching game rounds, adding new common game devices (bombs, control points, etc.), Alphatag is similar to the X-gen, with the exception of some rather important points. First, in Alphatag, we added additional player settings that was made possible by the fact that the headband became a primary device, such as body armor. Secondly, Alphatag can work on two protocols, the standard common Milestag2, limited to common commands, and our own Alphalink protocol, which allows developers to unlimitedly add new options in the form of software updates.
In Alphatag generation, games can be played offline without Wi-F,i the same way as in X-gen. But in this case, there will be no game scoring data.
Note that in all generations, we do not charge for software for setting up and running games and getting game scoring data.