How to Choose the Right Laser Tag Layout – 1 vs. 2 Levels

2 Level Laser Tag Arena

What is the best size and layout for a laser tag arena? This is one of the most common questions operators ask when they consider adding laser tag to their family entertainment center (FEC).

Operators must consider how to size their laser tag arena, the number of players and the number of levels. Both one and two level designs offer unique and fun opportunities for a great experience for your guests.

There is no “one-size-fits-all” rule when it comes to deciding how many levels to install for your laser tag attraction. One key factor is whether laser tag will be a primary or secondary attraction at your FEC.

A primary (or anchor) attraction is the main driver of traffic for an FEC; it’s the reason why people come out to your facility. A secondary (or complementary) attraction is an additional piece to your attraction mix, but it’s not the primary driver of traffic.

For primary attractions, we generally recommend two levels and 4,500-6,000 square feet of playable space. A small portion of this space will be allocated for briefing and vesting, but this amount of playable space will accommodate about 30-40 players.

The technical terms for a “second level” in a laser tag arena is an ASA (Area of Sport Activity). The structure is a raised platform that offers players a more dynamic and exciting game experience. An ASA structure increases playable space and capacity without using more square footage in your facility; you build up rather than out. This increases throughput and revenue, and helps to differentiate yourself from the competition.

Here is a 3D model of a two level laser tag arena we designed for Thrills Laser Tag and Arcade.

An ASA requires at least 18-20 feet of vertical clearance, but also creates a more immersive environment. Players have 360 degrees of playable space, similar to what they experience in popular video games.

Although we generally recommend a second level for an anchor attraction, it isn’t a requirement. Sometimes operators don’t have the budget or ceiling height clearance for a second level. If you’re in this situation, don’t be discouraged. There are plenty of successful single level anchor attractions around the world.

Oftentimes (but not always), secondary or complementary attractions will be a single level. For one level attractions, operators will usually add additional props and interactive elements to enhance the experience in other ways.

Since it’s a smaller part of the overall attraction mix, operators don’t need to allocate as much space. As a complementary attraction, your laser tag arena would generally be about 2,500-4,000 square feet. This size will be able to accomodate 20-30 players.

At the end of the day, it’s about creating memories and experiences, but there’s no single “right” answer that works for everyone. There are a lot of factors to consider, including space, ceiling height, competition, budget, and goals.

Sometimes these factors can be confusing and overwhelming. At Creative Works, we have been bringing ideas to life through immersive attractions for over 20 years. We want to provide the resources and solutions to help you make the right decision for your business and we’d love to guide you through the process.

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