Ir emitter problems

For a school project I’m working on a rc car laser tag system. Currently we have a working system that can shoot and receive hits. The problem is that the IR emmiter can only shoot about two feet away and be picked up by the sensor. To solve this we used a transistor to utilize an external 9v battery that powers the led when signaled by the Arduino. For some reason this doesn’t have any effect on the range of the IR emmiter. I’ve measured about 9v going through the spot where the emmiter goes. What am I doing wrong?

Are you simply trying to add more volts?
That’s not going to work with a LED, and may already have damaged your device.
If you want greater range, try multiple emitters.

To increase range you need to increase the current through the emitter (if it will tolerate more) or use multiple emitters. What IR emitter are you using and how exactly are you driving it? Post a circuit diagram please.