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Nerf Rival Kronos Review (Bought & Tested)

nerf rival kronos xviii 500 review
Updated on 11/16/23

First released in 2018, the Nerf Rival Kronos XVIII-500 quickly became one of the best foam-slinging sidearms on the market—also topping our list of the best Nerf pistols of 2024.

Named after “Cronos,” the first greek Titan and father of the mighty Zeus, this Nerf gun will certainly spark a primordial fear in your enemies.

The Nerf Rival Kronos XVIII-500 is a spring-powered blaster that is incredibly accurate, can carry five high-impact Rival Rounds, and fires at an intense 90 FPS. Overall, it’s inexpensive, has few flaws, can be found in various designs, colors, and themes, and will put a smile on your face every time you pull the trigger!

Below we’ll take a deep dive into the Rival Kronos XVIII-500 to help define its key features, strengths, and weaknesses.

Is this the blaster for you? Let’s find out!

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post; I purchased the gun with my own money.

Key Features of the Rival Kronos XVIII-500

nerf rival kronos xviii 500 daily dabble

To begin, let’s look at the primary features of the Rival Kronos XVIII-500 and the advantages or drawbacks associated with each characteristic.

  • A spring-powered, mechanical blaster rather than battery-powered. It is primed using a slide on the top of the blaster (similar to a real handgun).
  • It has an internal magazine inside the blaster, which holds five rounds and is spring-loaded. Spring-fed magazines tend to be more reliable and have fewer jamming issues than other types of ammo storage (such as hoppers).
  • Fires Rival Rounds, round foam balls that travel incredibly fast, are pinpoint accurate and high-impact. They can sting when hitting you, but they don’t particularly hurt.
  • Shoots at 90 FPS. This is a middle-tier speed. Most dart-based Nerf guns average at about 70 FPS, and many other Rival series blasters can reach 130FPS. There are even some powerful blasters that can reach well above 200 FPS.
  • Choose from seven designs and color schemes: Red Team, Blue Team, Phantom Corps series, Deadpool, teal, shark white, and green.
  • Two tactical rails for attachments; One on top of the barrel and another behind the iron sights.
  • Trigger lock to ensure safety and to help avoid wasting ammo on your own face.

Review of Rival Kronos XVIII-500

After putting the Rival Apollo XV-700 through a 7-point review (which can be found below), I’ve concluded that this is a fantastic-valued blaster with some tremendous benefits and few drawbacks.


Design & Ergonomics10
Ammo & Loading7
Firing & Rate of Fire7
Accuracy & Consistency9
FPS & Range8
Reliability & Durability10
Fun & Value10


  • It looks and feels great
  • Inexpensive entry to the Rival series blasters
  • Fires Rival Rounds, which are very accurate and pack a punch
  • Fires at 90 FPS
  • Two tactical rails attachments
  • Easy to load internal magazine
  • Intuitive trigger lock (safety) to help avoid accidental firings and depletion of your ammo


  • Has a small magazine; 5 rounds
  • Immediately primes the gun after reloading

Design & Ergonomics: 10/10

Nerf does an incredible job with their Rival series blasters and the Kronos is a testament to that statement. This blaster is sexy—especially in blue.

It also feels fantastic in my hands, and I have fairly large hands. The handle and control surfaces of this blaster are quite large, compared to Nerf’s dart-firing series. This makes sense as these blasters are designed for an older audience.

The Kronos is light and nimble (as a sidearm should be) and the overall ergonomics are well thought out. For example, the priming slide on the top of the blaster has a nice extruded angle which makes it easy to rack a round without your hand slipping.

It has a “mostly” ambidextrous design, which is great for you left-handers! The one exception to this is the location of the safety lock, which is only on the right side of the blaster. But I still found it easy enough to flick the safety using my left index finger.

Overall, I honestly have no real criticisms about the design of this blaster nor any real ideas on how to make it better. It’s a unique blaster and I truly think Nerf hit this one out of the park, maybe out of the atmosphere.

Ammo and Loading: 7/10

The Kronos uses Rival Rounds which are firm foam balls. These balls have dimples similar to a golf ball which reduce drag and allow them to travel further and faster.

I’m a huge fan of this ammo type. They are fast, accurate, and pack a punch. It doesn’t necessarily hurt but stings enough that you’ll do everything you can to avoid being shot.

The Kronos uses an internal magazine that is advertised to hold five rounds, however, I was able to cram six in without any feeding issues.

Loading this blaster is quite easy. To load, you pull back the slide and open a little window on the top of the blaster. You can then feed rounds into its internal magazine. Once loaded, close the window and push the slide forward to feed a round.

Now my biggest gripe with this blaster is that there is no way to reload it without priming it. In other words, every time you load this Rival pistol, it will immediately have a round ready to fire. While they do provide a trigger safety to counterbalance this, it’s still rather awkward.

Overall, I love the ammunition for this Nerf gun, and considering that this is a sidearm, a five to six round-capacity is quite good. Especially considering other larger spring-powered blasters don’t hold much more (such as the Rival Apollo that holds 7 rounds). Additionally, while it is kind of annoying that the blaster is primed to fire every time you load it, the internal magazine is easy to load and the trigger safety helps ensure you don’t accidentally discharge a round.

Firing and Rate of Fire: 7/10

The Rival Kronos XVIII-500 is spring-powered rather than electronically powered; which comes with benefits and drawbacks.

The greatest benefit of spring-powered blasters is they have a mechanical trigger, which means there is no lag between pulling the trigger and shooting a round. In comparison to electronic Nerf guns which have to spool up before firing.

Additionally, each round fired has more recoil on the blaster as the spring releases. You definitely know when you shoot a round and it gives the blaster an immersive feeling.

There are some drawbacks to spring-powered blasters. The greatest is you have to manually rack a new round into the blaster after every shot, thus slowing your down. Additionally, the rate of fire fully depends on how fast you’re capable of priming it (which also depends on how strong you are).

I’m fairly big and strong (in my very humble opinion lol) and I was able to empty the five-round magazine within 4 seconds, which is 1.25 rounds per second. However, your own fire rate will vary.

Overall, I love the mechanical feel of this sidearm and the way it recoils after every shot. It’s punchy and loud and while it does have a slower fire rate, it puts a smile on my face every time I pull back on the slide to rack another round. A unique experience in the Nerf world for sure!

Accuracy and Consistency: 9/10

How does it feel to fire and how fast can I fire it?

Two beautiful characteristics of any blaster in the Rival series are their accuracy and consistency. If you want a sidearm that you can consistently place a shot, the Kronos is without a doubt the most accurate Nerf pistol you’ll find!

I tested the accuracy and consistency by shooting 50 rounds from 50 feet. There was about a 6-inch total spread between rounds. That’s pretty impressive to me.

I also did a personal accuracy test and shot a playing card 50 times at 50 feet and hit 39 out of 50 shots. That’s a 78% hit rate.

Overall, the Kronos is very accurate for a pistol-class Nerf gun and is a joy to use for target practice!

FPS and Range: 8/10

The average dart-style nerf gun shoots about 70 FPS. However, the Rival Kronos flings foam at an intense 90 FPS.

The Kronos also has excellent range. I measured out a firing range and took 50 shots. The average landing distance was about 83 feet, with the furthest round reaching 87 feet and the shortest reaching 77 feet. Most rounds made it over 80 feet.

Overall, this is on the lower side of the Rival series, some rival blasters can shoot up to 130 FPS, but as a spring-powered sidearm, I think this is fairly good and is unmatched by any other Nerf pistols.

See modding and upgrade options below for ways to get up to 170 FPS with your Kronos!

Reliability and Durability 10/10

After hundreds of rounds, I never experienced a single malfunction or jam with the Rival Kronos XVIII-500. Spring-powered magazines do an excellent job pushing new rounds into the gun. They don’t have as many feeding issues as the hopper-fed blasters.

As for the durability of this blaster, the thing is tough—like Superman’s pectoral muscles. Short of throwing it at a brick wall, it feels like it will hold up to dropping or even accidentally smashing it against something while turning.

Overall it is a reliable foam-slinging weapon that you can be confident will always fire.

Fun and Value: 10/10

For the money, I think this is one of the cooler Rival series guns that you can get and terrific value. There are a lot of junky blasters out there at similar price points, and I really think this tops the list of the best nerf guns on the market today!

Overall it’s fun to fire, fun to reload, and even fun to just look at.

Final Verdict

Based on the above factors I give the Nerf Rival Kronos XVIII-500 an 8.7 out of 10.

I love the ammo, I love the price, I love how it feels in my hands, and its sexy design. But most of all, I love how this spring-powered blaster feels when I fire it.

So who is this blaster for? Honestly, anyone who wants the perfect overall sidearm. It’s small enough to be a sidearm but packs the punch of an angry donkey.

Who shouldn’t buy this blaster? If you want something with a higher ammo capacity, in which case take a look at our list of the best Nerf machine guns. If you want a smaller sidearm that can fit in your pocket; check out the Rival Knockout XX-100 blaster.

Overall, I think this is a Nerf gun that everyone should have in their collection and if you are on a budget, is a great introduction to the Rival series blasters!

Versions and Where to Buy the Nerf Kronos

There are six variations of the Nerf Rival Kronos XVIII-500.

Click the link on each model below to check out their unique color scheme and current price. Some of these are exclusives and can only be purchased from one retailer.



Nerf Rival Kronos Customization Options

The Kronos is one of those special blasters that deserves a little extra love and attention because it is just an awesome design. Luckily there are plenty of custom decals and even internal modding upgrades that can make it even better.

Visual Customization

Starting with the outer design, there 39 Blastr Wrap per cut adhesive skins that allow you to customize your blaster without painting. You can get one for about $6 at Out of Darts.

Performance Modifications

As far as performance goes there are several options for spring that will make the Nerf Kronos shoot harder!

Here are a few from Out of Darts that are popular:

Nerf Rival Kronos Spring (120+ FPS) Easier to Prime

Nerf Rival Kronos Spring (135+ FPS) Tougher to Prime

Worker 18KG Phantom Kronos Spring (Up to 170+ FPS) Hard Prime

For the more powerful springs, I would also grab a Worker T-Pull Grip for Nerf Rival Kronos so it is easier to prime!

For those brand new to modding I would go with the Kronos Mod Kit which includes:

  • Upgrade 14 KG Spring
  • 3D Printed Ghost door (Multiple Color options
  • Superlube Synthetic Grease
  • Worker T-Pull Grip

If you are worried about installing, there are plenty of video tutorials out there to help you get the job done!

Final Words

The Nerf Rival Kronos XVIII-500 is an excellent spring-powered sidearm that fires foam darts at 90 FPS with great accuracy and consistency.

It’s reliable and durable, fun to fire, and an incredible value for the price. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for an awesome Nerf pistol and a classic blaster that will likely never go out of style!

Thank you for reading and happy Nerfing!