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What Is A Paintball Marker? The Most Important Piece Of Equipment

If you are new to the world of paintball, you may have heard that you'll need a paintball marker. But what is a paintball marker and why do you need it?

Like all sports, players have to wear protective gear and use the right equipment to play. Players use various equipment in a paintball game. And each piece of gear is necessary, but the essential part of this equipment will be your paintball marker.

What Is a Paintball Marker?

paintball marker weapon

Image via Pixabay

To put it simply, a paintball marker is the gun you use in the game of paintball. The terms “paintball gun” and “paintball marker” are interchangeable.

So now you know: What is a paintball marker? But why is a paintball gun called a paintball marker? If you find yourself asking this question, then you've come to the right place!

There's a reason behind the name.

The Difference Between a Gun and a Marker

When asking what is a paintball marker, we look to the mid-sixties. In that time, a man named Charles Nelson was asked to design a device that would help foresters. What he invented was the paintball marker.

The original design of the paintball marker was initially used to mark trees or livestock rather than people. It would save foresters and ranchers time by giving them the ability to mark from a distance.

Years later, Nelson decided that he might have more success if he sold his paintball marker as a toy. At the time, BB guns were popular, so he contacted the air-soft company, Daisy, to construct the first paintball marker.

After seeing the paintball marker in a catalog, a man named Bob Gurnsey and his friends set out to settle an arguement — could a novice survive in combat against a trained hunter?

Testing their theory, they invited six woodsmen to compete in a game of capture the flag against six untrained players. All players were equipped with maps, whistles, and paintball markers.

The first paintball game occurred on June 7, 1981, in the New Hampshire woods. Incidentally, the winner of this first-ever game didn't fire a single shot. Instead, he stealthily collected all the flags to win.

One of the other participants wrote an article about the experience for Sports Illustrated. This instantly made the game famous and brought paintball to a whole new generation of players, and they subsequently shaped the sport into the paintball we know and play today.

What is a paintball marker? It's the beginning of the paintball game itself.

Understanding the Main Types of Paintball Markers

Now that we've answered your question of "What is a paintball marker?" let's learn about the different types.

Paintball markers come in many styles, and the type of gun can influence your game. Whether you are buying your gun or renting one from the field, there are a few things to consider.

The first and most important thing for you to know is what type of marker to use.

With so many options on the market, there is a paintball gun for every type of gameplay and skill level. However, every kind of marker comes with its unique pros and cons.

Even though there are dozens of models, paintball markers can be broken down into three defining types.

Mechanical paintball markers

Easy to maintain, mechanical paintball guns are the most common marker in recreational games. They are available at most sporting stores and the best choice for those just getting started in the sport.

Mechanical markers are typically semi-automatic, which means they fire one shot per trigger pull. The pulled trigger releases a bolt which propels forward, pushing the paintball into the barrel. Once the ball is in place, the valve opens, allowing air to go through to fire the gun.

These guns require little maintenance beyond regular usage cleaning. However, mechanical markers may not be as accurate as a pump-action gun. The amount of air propelling the paintball varies and sometimes makes the speed of the ball inconsistent.

The best thing about mechanical guns is that they are usually significantly cheaper than other types of markers, which makes them readily available for most players.

A great example of a top-quality mechanical paintball marker is the Tippmann 98 Custom Ultra Basic. The credibility of this gun shows with an impressive rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars at Dick's Sporting Goods.

Electronic paintball markers

Empire Paintball Mini GS Marker
  • Pressure controlled poppet engine for outstanding performance
  • Integrated break-beam anti-chop eyes
  • Wrap-around fore grip for protection from elements and increased grip

Accurate and fast to operate, electronic markers are lightweight and can generate very high rates of fire.

Unlike mechanical, a circuit board controls power this type of marker with a 9-volt battery. The trigger pull communicates with the circuit board telling the gun to fire.

Electronic guns also use regulators to assure consistent firing. With the circuit boards programmable, it's easy to maintain and customize the marker's firing modes.

One downside is that electronic markers cost considerably more than mechanical markers and are not as readily available.

Besides price, another drawback to using an electronic marker is that they require more maintenance. This makes regular cleaning more complicated than that of a mechanical gun.

They're also more difficult to disassemble. Any significant repair should always be done by a professional, which is why electronic paintball markers are typically for seasoned players more than new players.

If the idea of using an electronic marker has caught your interest then check out the Empire Paintball Mini GS Marker. Its reliability and accuracy have rewarded it with an excellent 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon.

Pump paintball markers

Empire Paintball Sniper Pump Marker with Barrel Kit, Dust...
  • Tournament Level Performance pump marker
  • Low Pressure Operation
  • Auto-Trigger for rapid firing

A pump marker is one of the oldest paintball styles in existence. They are the most basic and the most reliable.

It is also the only type of marker with a pump trigger. You have to manually pull the pump backward and forward to set the next paintball between each shot.

The biggest drawback can be the rate of fire because it entirely relies on you.

Players who choose to play pump must learn how to use tactics over speed since they have to make every shot count. Many seasoned players like returning to pump markers for this reason.

Pumps are often the most accurate markers available and offer a fun alternative to the game.

A legendary example model of the sport is the Empire Sniper. The marker's reliability and optimal performance are apparent, with a high rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars on Amazon.

Choosing the Best Paintball Marker for Your Game

Now that we've gone over "What is a paintball marker?" and the different types of markers available, what paintball is right for you?

Your choice of paintball marker can make or break your game.

First, you must choose which type of game you want to play. Like your equipment, there are many different paintball fields, and there is a marker best suited for each game. So you will want to choose a marker that complements your skills and helps your gameplay.

All paintball games are categorized into two unique styles: woodsball and speedball.


person wearing green and brown camouflage suit holding paintball marker

Woodsball is the original form of the sport and is usually played outdoors. These games depend on the terrain, and the pace of the game is moderately slow. They can last anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes to hours, to even days, depending on the style of game.

There is a wide range of playing styles in woodsball, which allows you room to choose and customize your marker. You can play aggressively, or you may find that you prefer the more tactical way to defeat your opponents more appealing.

Either way, you want to focus on choosing a marker that can fire long distances. The wooded fields are large, and players get spaced out, so you are typically far from your target. Accuracy is also essential in this style due to all the trees, bunkers, and brush you have to shoot around.

And what is a paintball marker good for if it can't hit your mark?

The most common markers for woodsball are typically the semi-automatic mechanical or the classic pump-action guns. Both of these markers have a long firing range and excellent accuracy.


person holding a paintball gun

Image via Pixabay

As the name suggests, speedball is all about speed. Unlike woodsball, this type of game is extremely fast-paced and usually lasts around three to four minutes at a time.

Yes, it's that fast!

In speedball, you'll have to move very quickly to get the perfect angle on your opponents as they take cover behind specially designed bunkers. The fields are usually smaller, and the play style more aggressive.

If you plan on playing speedball, you must have a gun that will respond quickly. Electronic markers are for speed. They are efficient and much faster than mechanical or pump-action guns.

Therefore, electronic markers are an excellent choice and best suited in games of speedball.

Every Game of Paintball Begins with Your Paintball Marker

man firing the paintball gun

via Giphy

Your first paintball marker is a significant investment. And while these devices are all paintball guns, the term paintball marker comes from the early history of paintball. Additionally, the term "marker" might be less controversial than saying "gun" when describing the game of paintball to those who don't play.

So the next time someone asks the question: "What is a paintball marker," you can tell them it's the most essential piece of equipment in the game.

Which term do you prefer using when referring to paintball? Please let us know by leaving a comment below!

The 7 Best Paintball Places for Hours of Shooting Fun

You know the score. You're constantly searching for the best paintball places, but they keep coming up short. That's because the most common problem run-of-the-mill paintball facilities have is that they're just too small. Namely, it's hard to enjoy the thrill of battle when you're stuck in a space the size of a dining room.

But what if you could find the best paintball places in America and never need to search for another again?

Now we're talking.

Because there's good news. In particular, America is filled with awesome paintball battlefields, both indoor and out. Some of them replicate entire historic battlefields, like Vietnam, Normandy, or Stalingrad. Meanwhile, others use their imagination. For instance, you can paintball in a spaceship, or face off in a Wolfenstein-styled basement. We love the rooms filled with American Gladiator-style equipment. They give lots of opportunities to jump and roll and blast your opponents.

That's just a small sampling. America is great for many reasons. Paintball is one of them!

And because we want you to have the best time of your life, every time, we set out to find the best paintball places in America.

Let's take a look.

Bring It On!

Do you want to know where to find the best paintball places in America? Then first you need to figure out your criteria.

You see, everyone has different wants from their paintball experience. For instance, I personally love outdoors paintball, especially when there are villages and even crashed helicopters to fight in and around. But not everybody wants that. A lot of people love to battle indoors. Some go for large team battles. Referees included. Others enjoy the thrill of solo combat. So, when determining the best paintball places, you need to set your criteria.

Thankfully, there are some criteria that can apply to everyone.

Our Criteria for Finding the Best Paintball Places

paintball players

image source: Unsplash

Are you ready to learn the key aspects of a great paintball experience?

Let's start with the location. If you can't get to it, it's not a great place. Most people go paintballing with their friends. But the problem is that getting everyone together into one place, on the same day, is like herding cats. All the stars need to align. If the place you want to play at is miles out of town, the odds of friends skipping out increases.

That's why you want paintball to be close by.

Which brings us to the next point. Space. You see, no matter where the facility is, they need to have a lot of space. Specifically, an outdoor field should have a minimum of ten acres. Meanwhile, indoor facilities need at least 20,000 square feet of space. Anything less and things get crowded real fast.

Next, the hosting company needs to provide gun rentals and ammo refills. Believe it or not, but quite a few places require you to bring your own guns and paintballs. Remember what we said about friends? Not everyone will have their own gear, and the ability to rent goes a long way towards having a fun day with everyone.

Finally, you need to think about safety.

Get this. The most common injuries in paintball are eye-injuries and leg injuries (sprains, breaks, dislocations). Thus, the facility needs to have qualified first-aid employees. If they have a first-aid area where the injured can wait for an ambulance, that's even better. Most importantly, they need to be insured specifically for a paintball business. A quick email to the facility will answer these questions for you.

Why Indoors is Better

Have you ever planned a big day outdoors only to have it rain? Of course, we all have. So that's why you should go with an indoor paintball facility. Namely, the weather has no impact on your game. Best of all, you can even play in the winter!

But that's not all. Indoor paintball offers a faster pace. In other words, everyone is confined between four walls. Which means you're going to find your opponents rather quickly. And shoot them. Also, the best paintball places that offer indoor fun include plenty of rooms, corners, obstacles, and even balconies and stairwells to shoot from. If you loved the old Nintendo 64 "007 Goldeneye" game, then you'll love indoor paintball.

Finally, indoor paintball is better because you can find a decent facility in almost every city. Above all, you don't have to drive far out into the country. Just head over to the local paintball warehouse and have at 'er!

Why Outdoors is Better

On the other hand, there's nothing as epic as an outdoor game of paintball.

With acres of land to utilize, operators can set up any scenario they want. Villages, bunkers, forests, and trenches. I even once played on a field where they had an old Vietnam-era Huey helicopter. It sat on the ground on an angle; all the windows were busted out as if it had crashed. Let's just say our game turned into the adult version of King of the Hill around that chopper.

Also, with all that space, games turn into massive hunts. Snipers can stay hidden, and you can even deploy paintball bazookas and paintball grenades! You can't do that indoors.

How Much Will it Cost?

The best paintball places are fairly affordable. In fact, you'll find that the good places have the same prices as the not-so-good places.

Like with everything in life, prices depend on several variables. Are you bringing your own equipment? Or do you need to rent a gun? What about refills?

You can expect to pay between $ and $ to play in an outdoor facility, and between $ and $ for an indoor one. If you need to rent a paintball gun, add an extra $-$. Ammo refills will cost between $ and $ per 100 paintballs. All told, budget between $​$and $​$ for a day of fun, including food and drink.

How We Reviewed

To help you find the best paintball places in America, we scoured the internet looking for quality reviews. One thing we learned is that there are A LOT of paintball places in this country! Unfortunately, not all are great. But we did find a few gems.

We sorted the diamonds from the coal by reading customer reviews on sites like Yelp and Google Reviews (through Google Maps). We tend to skip web forums because they're not always friendly or authoritative due to their anonymity.

The 7 Best Paintball Places in America

With all that out of the way, where are the best paintball places in America?

For starters, the good news is that there is an awesome paintball facility in nearly every region of the US. For example, if you were to divide the country into west coast, north-east, south-east, midwest, and south-west, there's an awesome place to play in every region.

That being said, just because the local paintball place isn't on our list doesn't mean it's not good. It's just that these ones really stand out. Also, we didn't list these in any particular order.

Check it out.

1. The Paintball Park (CA and VA)

First up is The Paintball Park. The Paintball Company owns and operates several massive paintball complexes on both coasts. They've got three in California and one in Quantico, VA.

Why are they so good? Well first off, they've got an actual Blackhawk helicopter on the ground! Also, each park has more than 30-acres of land to roam across. Then, there are the props. Each park has castles, tanks, villages, and even dinosaurs! You can bring your kids for light paintball, called "Kidsplat" and they'll never forget it.

You can expect to pay between $35 and $50 for an all-day excursion with a gun rental. That includes up to 1,000 pellets. If you bring your own gear, it's only between $ and $ to enter. Additional ammo costs between $ and $ depending on how much you need.

2. Skirmish USA, PA

Next up is one of the most highly-rated paintball facilities in the northeast, according to customers. Skirmish USA is just outside of Albrightsville, PA. Here's what makes them premier: Specifically, they've got 750 acres of land spread out across forest, meadows, and even mountains! Skirmish USA is the world's largest paintball field.

In fact, while Skirmish USA is primarily a paintball facility, they also offer whitewater rafting, horseback riding, and hiking adventures. But let's get back to paintball.

You see, at Skirmish USA, you get tons of different maps. To illustrate, there's castles, forests, and even a model city. They even have bunkers! But it gets even better. That's because your gun rental and unlimited N2 cartridge refills come with the price of admission. You're looking at between $ and $, depending on which package you choose and whether or not you book online. Then every 1,000 additional paintballs cost between $ and $.

All in all, plan on spending between $ and $​$ for an awesome day out.

3. Westworld Paintball, AZ

Head out west to North Scottsdale, Arizona, and you'll find Westworld Paintball. What's great about Westworld is you can choose between the outdoor Splatter Ranch or the indoor Xtreme Pursuit facility. Also, these guys have been in business for 32 years, so they know their stuff.

If you want to play indoors, then WestWorld is the place to go. Xtreme Pursuit is the largest indoor paintball facility in the southwest. There are 33,000 square feet of space, complete with obstacles and all the fun stuff. Meanwhile, the Splatter Ranch gives you 30 acres of land to play on, from desert to woods. One thing you'll love is the on-site refill stations. You don't need to run back to the pro shop to restock your N2 and paintballs. Just find the sandbagged kiosk, and you're good to go!

You're looking at between $ and $ to play for the day, including gun rental. 1,000 rounds of ammo will cost you between $ and $.

4. PaintballPlex, IN

Next up is the PaintballPlex in Laotto, Indiana. While not as big as some of the other operators, PaintballPlex definitely has quality going for them. They've got nearly 12 acres of land, with a couple of two-acre scenario fields set up. Each scenario field has foxholes, sandbags, tunnels, and even a maze!

These guys host a lot of tournaments. They've got such a great field for setting up different scenarios that paintball leagues across the US and Canada come here. Expect to pay between $25 and $60 for a full day, including gun rental and a starter pack of pellets.

5. Texas Paintball, TX

Head a little further south, and you'll find the best paintball facility in Texas. We're talking about Texas Paintball, located in Jonestown, TX. These guys have ten different fields spread out over nearly 100 acres. They've got trenchesNormandyVietnam, and you can even storm a crack house!

And get this: Texas Paintball has 21 years of experience in the business. One look at their facility and you can tell they've put their heart and soul into this operation, in true Texan style. A day here will cost between $ and $, which includes a gun and 500 rounds of ammunition. Every extra 1,000 rounds will cost you between $ and $, so bank on spending between $​$ and $​$.

6. Paintball Sports New York, NY

For you paintball-loving Yankees, check out Paintball Sports New York. You'll find them just outside Clintondale, NY. They've got 130 acres of beautiful New York terrain, including a road, a fort, some ridges, a massive maple and pine forest, and even a Hudson River crossing!

What makes Paintball Sports New York so fun is the massive wilderness you get to play in. These are some serious woods. And have you ever tried to cross a defended river? Good luck! That's just pure fun. You'll pay between $ and $ for the day, depending on whether or not you need to rent a gun. When it comes to ammo 1,000 rounds will cost you between $ and $. Best of all, they sell paint grenades. Fun!

7. Jaegers Subsurface Paintball, KS

Next up is Jaeger's Subsurface Paintball, the only underground paintball facility in the world! They're based right in Kansas City so it's easy to find if you're in the area.

Now, let's get to the underground facility. When you enter, you immediately think of Wolfenstein. There are cement walls and bare light bulbs lighting the way. You've got hallways and doors, and random obstacles. There may not be Nazis, but your friends will do.

But that's not all.

You see, Jaeger's also has a large outdoor facility. There are several fields to play in, including a Civil War-themed field (we don't suggest marching shoulder-to-shoulder), a landing zone, and a wooden town. Like most of the other paintball facilities in the country, expect to pay between $30 and $80 for a day of fun, with equipment rental.

Any Place Is Great for Paintball

Let's admit it, any place is awesome for paintball. Have you ever walked through a busy shopping mall and dreamt that you could turn it into a paintball zone? Or is that just me?

The point is, paintball is the most fun you can have with a mask on. We love paintball, and these are some of the best paintball places you'll find in America today. That being said, if you have a local paintball place that we didn't mention, and you think it's the best, let us know in the comments!

What Is Paintball and How Can You Get into It?

Thrill seekers, gamers, athletes, and your little niece all are perfectly suited for paintball. For as hardcore as it sounds when you initially learn about what is paintball, the sport is fit for anyone with a fire in their eyes.

Paintball's a team sport with predetermined objectives. Players tag each other with gelatin capsules shot from markers. Once tagged, a player is out.

Unlike traditional sports, paintball focuses on an entirely unique set of skills. Whereas most sports require mastery over your body, paintball incorporates aim, tactics, and situational awareness into the mix. However, another loveable aspect of paintball is its fun factor, as many enthusiasts simply enjoy playing rather than winning.

What Is Paintball?

Man on paintball game

Image via

In essence, paintball is like the adult form of water tag. You run around with markers, which are like your water guns, and shoot other people with paintballs. When you hit someone with a paintball it leaves a splatter of water-soluble paint on them indicating they're out.

The difference is that markers shoot paintballs up to 300 feet per second, and can leave fat bruises all over you.

But don't let that scare you off! When learning about what is paintball, you'll find safety is the number one priority at every field. There is also clothing you can wear to make paintballs sting less.

On the other hand, fellow thrill seekers will agree the sting is part of what makes paintball so exhilarating. Charging a group of enemies gets your blood flowing, unlike any other sport.

Unlike Airsoft or laser tag, you fear getting hit not only because it takes you out of the game, but also because you simply don't want a flurry of paintballs to pelt you.

Entering the arena

So what is paintball like in person? Before even walking into a paintball arena you'll be able to hear the action. You'll first notice the symphony of markers popping off in the distant battlefield.

As you get closer you'll hear the shouts the fallen. Various voices from every direction shouting "Aghhh, HIT!"

Once you get close enough to see the action you'd think you're in a war zone. You'll see masked forms armed with markers hiding behind trees, peeking out windows, and coordinating attacks on the other team. You'll hear them calling out enemy locations while others sprint across the field, diving from cover to cover.

A sport of honor and comradery

man holding weapon

Image via

After you watch both sides engage in high-paced combat, you might find yourself shocked by what happens when the round ends. After everyone exits the field they're all laughing. Opponents shake hands and joke about their various encounters.

Everyone shares their own stories of the battle. Also, they joke about how they got caught by complete surprise and commend other players on their heroic moves.

At the end of the day, everyone's on the field for a good time. Also, because paintball requires you to call your own hits, there's an underlying respect for each other in the sport. When you learn about what is paintball in person, you'll notice players respect one another both on and off the field.

Even if throughout your day you were getting hit more than you were tagging other players, you'll still walk away with a smile on your face. There's something special about the bonds you make with your teammates and your opponents during paintball.

So many times you'll find yourself in a pinch with one of your teammates. You'll both huddle behind a small plywood sheet as the other team bombards it. You both laugh about the situation but know you need to find a way to get out of it.

When all seems lost, your teammate yells at you to you retreat back to your team while he covers you. You sprint back to cover, and eventually your buddy dashes back to you through a hailstorm of paintballs. From then on, you know you've got a friend you can trust through thick and thin.

Finding Your Stride

Man setting besides rocks

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After learning about what is paintball, you might decide it's right up your alley. However, now you have to figure out how to get into it.

Joining a passionate community

Lucky for you, you'll find paintball an easy sport to dive into. Plenty of paintball fields have rental equipment and paintballs for you to use. You'll have to pay to use the equipment of course, but it's a very easy way to try out the sport and see if you like it.

All you have to do is Google search for paintball fields near you and check their site. Their website or Facebook page will usually tell you if they have rental gear.

While you're on their webpage, you can find out when they have open play days. These are the days where you're free to just show up at the scheduled time and play paintball. They'll usually split everyone that arrives up into teams, and then choose various game types to play.

If you have any friends who are interested, make sure to bring them along! Paintball's loads of fun when playing with your friends.

But don't worry if you can't get anyone to come. It's easy to make friends while you're at the field because everyone there is passionate about the sport.

Suiting up for battle

Once you have a paintball day scheduled, you'll need to gear up. Paintball's an athletic sport so you need to dress accordingly. What you should wear depends on what the field is like.

If the field is in the woods, you'll want long sleeves, pants, and boots with ankle support. Covering your skin will keep you from getting scratched by thorns. Having traction and proper ankle support will keep you from spraining your ankles.

If you'll just be in a speedball field with a flat surface and the only cover is soft barriers, you won't have to worry about protective clothing as much.

If you're worried about paintballs hurting, you have a few options. Our first suggestion if you'll be in the woods is a BDU jacket. The camouflage comes in handy, but what's really special is that these jackets are thick yet breathable.

Wearing layers also really helps. Bringing a hoodie to wear over a thick cotton shirt can do wonders. You can even wear one or two long-sleeve shirts under the hoodie for further protection.

Also, covering any exposed skin and wearing a beanie to protect the top of your head is helpful. Gloves are nice too, as well as a bandana to wrap around your neck. To find out our favorite articles of clothing for paintball, visit our guide on what to wear paintballing.

Finally, you might want to invest in a paintball mask. Even though you can rent a mask at most places that rent out equipment, their masks are usually scratched up and might not fit right.

Because your mask is one of your most important tools on the field, you'll want one that fits. If you think you'd like your own mask, check out our guide on finding the best paintball mask.

Getting a feel for the ropes

Because paintball's such a unique sport, you might feel a little awkward at the start of your first match. Don't fret, as you'll eventually fall into the groove of things. Your initial goal should just be to learn and have fun.

At the start, you'll likely find it helpful to follow a group of teammates around. They'll both act as a distraction for the other team and give you a helping hand. Your teammates will be able to tell you how you can best help them, but also you'll start picking up on what they do.

You'll first notice is how they avoid getting hit. You'll see they constantly move from cover and cover, rarely opening themselves up as targets. Avoiding getting tagged will be your first priority.

Once you get a hang of using cover, you'll be able to start focusing on tagging opponents. A tip for shooting at opponents is to limit the amount of time they can see you. So once you locate an opponent, peek out of your cover and shoot at them quickly, then hide again.

If you stay still for too long while shooting at an opponent, a second unseen opponent has the chance to aim and tag you with ease.

Wrapping It Up

Man lying on the bed

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Now you can see the answer to "What is paintball?" is as diverse as the people who play it. Paintball can be a competitive endeavor in which players aim to be the best there is. Also, paintball can be an exciting past time to bond with friends. And finally, paintball can simply give you an exciting way to get some exercise.

No matter why you come to the field, you'll find yourself welcomed by a close-knit and enthusiastic community. We hope you'll try paintball out and find out why so many people love this sport and what it has to offer.

Be sure to share your thoughts, tips, and tricks about the game in the comment section below.

The Scoop About Indoor Paintball That Will Lead You To Victory

The first thing that will probably come to your mind when you think of paintball is a large, outdoor field. While it's true that paintball is usually considered an outdoor sport, indoor paintball can be just as fun and entertaining.

Paintball is an intense and competitive sport that offers a wide variety of playing fields. It is a fast-paced strategy game that can temporarily turn your closest friends into your focused enemy.

Both outdoor and indoor paintball games offer up close action as you take part in a series of exciting missions.

The Fun New Challenges Indoor Paintball Can Bring to the Game

man holding paintball

Image by alex1965 from Pixabay 

For true paintball enthusiasts, players will enjoy the game of paintball whether it's played indoors or outdoors.

The most significant difference when switching from outdoor to indoor paintball is the size of the field. While some outdoor areas are sized to match indoor battlefields, most outdoor fields are much larger.

When you play outdoors, the fields will have some natural surfaces such as dirt or grass. An indoor arena depends more on artificial aspects to perform on and around. The most commonly used indoor surfaces are AstroTurf or other forms of artificial sod.

There is no difference in the overall excitement, but different fields may require unique strategies, which sometimes alters the gameplay. It also opens the opportunity for a wide range of new and exciting field designs.

It's not just a typical game of paintball when you play indoors

Some enclosed venues base themselves off particular themes, creating a brand new challenging approach to the game. Instead of fighting in an open field, you might find yourself going through a maze composed of corridors and dead-ends.

Not only will you have to find limited hiding spaces but the limitation also makes things feel more close and personal. As you move through the enclosure, you never know who or what is waiting for you around the next corner.

One of the most significant benefits of playing indoor paintball is that you never have to worry about the weather. Without indoor fields, most players wouldn't be able to play paintball for a good portion of the year. Indoor areas are climate controlled so no matter what is going on outside, it will always remain comfortable to play.

Indoor enclosures also have full control over the entire atmosphere of the field. What this means is that they can add just about anything they want to affect the overall feel of the game.

Some special effects may include a soundtrack of background noises to re-enforce the realism of the current theme. They can even include smoke machines to create the impaired vision effects you might face on a real battlefield. The options are honestly limitless when it comes to indoor paintball.

Another perk to playing indoors is the lighting. Where only some outdoor fields offer lights, all indoor paintball fields have extensive lighting systems installed. This lighting allows the arenas to stay open longer, even after it gets dark outside.

Speaking of the dark,

Some indoor paintball games are even played entirely in the dark with the use of glow in the dark paintballs. This type of gameplay offers a unique experience of fun challenges for the players to master and overcome.

What to wear for indoor paintball

paintball equipment

Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay 

Whether you play outdoors or indoors, paintballs can hurt and remembering what to wear will make the experience more enjoyable.

While playing indoors, you still need to have footwear with excellent traction on the field. The best shoes for this are athletic sneakers or combat boots, but that's all a matter of preference.

Whatever you wear on your feet, avoid sandals and open-toed shoes.

It is always recommended to wear a long sleeve shirt and long pants when you play. Even while playing indoors, you want to keep the majority of your body protected from the impact of a paintball. Sweatshirts, sweatpants, and multiple layers are ideal for both, outdoor and indoor gameplay.

You should wear clothes you wouldn't mind getting damaged. Indoor arenas might be cleaner, but they can still pose a risk to clothing. So bringing a change of clothes in case something does happen is never a bad idea.

And that's not all:

Although it's not required to wear elbow and knee pads, they are even more highly recommended to use indoors. Due to the fast movement in smaller spaces, players are likely to dive as they maneuver around the field. After several dives or slides, that can become painful if not protected.

No matter what you wear, keep in mind that you need to stay as active as possible. Loose fitting attire that allows free movement will make things easier and give you a better advantage on the field.

The difference in equipment

There is very little difference to the general gear found in an indoor paintball field. Just like outdoor gameplay, the players require a paintball gun, hopper, and a mask to participate in the game.

Most indoor fields provide all the gear you need, but some allow you to bring your own. However, there are some distinctions in the equipment that players can and should carry.

The main difference is the type of hopper.

Since indoor game tournaments are generally smaller, the games might be faster-paced. Players will likely need much larger pod packs to increase the number of paintballs that they can carry. There's little time to re-load.

Safety first, even when you play indoors

person holding black paintball

Image by Christoph Schütz from Pixabay 

In regards to playing indoor paintball, a lot of the same basic safety principles and rules will apply.

It is crucial that your approved safety goggles and masks be worn at all times. At no time should you remove your goggles or mask while a game is in process. This rule is in effect to prevent the risk of eye injury from a stray paintball.

Not only that, but you're also required to use barrel covers on your gun when not at the target area to prevent accidental fire. You should only remove the barrel cover when on the field or instructed to do so by a referee. This rule prevents you from firing your gun outside of the boundaries of the battlefield.

Remember to adjust your paintball gun velocity to a safe level before playing. All paintball guns should be set to shoot at a maximum speed of 300 fps (feet per second) as required by law. Anything higher can result in severe welts and broken skin.

And, please, we know it gets exciting in there, but do not blind fire. That means never fire your gun at random. You must always look at your target when you shoot. Aiming for your target will prevent stray paintballs from accidentally causing injury to another player.

Also, many fields enforce a rule against shooting your opponent at close range. Paintballs hurt but they can hurt even worse when you are closer. So it is customary to offer a surrender to a player within 10 feet before taking a shot at them. However, if the player doesn’t surrender, try to aim at their feet or another padded area.

Most fields will do routine checks to ensure you follow these basic safety rules.

Tips and Tricks to Come out Victorious at Indoor Paintball

person holding paintball sneaking

Image by John Miller from Pixabay 

When we talk about playing aggressively in paintball, we are not talking about fighting or shooting.

It's all about taking control of the game by making your opponents react to what you are doing. By playing all the angles and being as unpredictable as you can, your enemy will have to respond to your actions, hopefully giving you the advantage of always being a step ahead.

Let's go over some of these tactics to help give you that advantage.

Awareness on the field

Be fully aware of your surroundings.

When someone is shooting at you on the field, you need to take notice of which direction the paint is coming from. Whether you are outdoors or indoors, knowing where your opponent is gives you a significant advantage.

But beware, the more you're out of hiding, the more risk you will pose to yourself as well. You want to minimize your risk while taking in as much information as you can.

Keep track of where people are shooting. So if anyone from the left side starts to shoot at you, you will know to cut to the right. The same goes if you see any paint coming from the right, you will know to move more to the left.

The way to do this is by staying aware and keeping your eyes up at all times. Knowing what is happening on the field is the key to victory. The more active you are, the more you will be able to see.

Make your moves and use your angles

paintball player aiming

Image by John Miller from Pixabay 

It's a game of action, and fast movement is essential in both outdoor and indoor paintball fields. The first thing that you should always do is to start making moves towards the objective.

Whether it's an objective you have to take, a flag you have to raise, or a fort you have to defend, you essentially have the same mission: get to your objective. Whatever you do, you need to start making moves to reach that prominent point and get as far forward as you can.

When you make moves on any paintball field, it opens up a whole new range of angles you can use.

What you want to try and do is be a little more elusive and outsmart the people shooting at you. The best way to do this is to mix up your angles — the more unpredictable your moves, the better the advantage you are giving to yourself.

That is especially true with indoor paintball because the battlefield is much tighter quarters.

Have patience and take aim

Take time to think things over before you act and don't ever rush out without a plan. Use the different safe spots to collect yourself while you try to work out what your next move will be.

When you are patient, there are many ways in which you can use the element of surprise against your opponents. Using stealth techniques is especially rewarding with the limited space of an indoor paintball field.

An aggressive approach may work in certain situations, but evasive and planned movements will pay off in the long run.

Due to the closer proximity, it might be smarter to stay put longer rather than making your location known. If your opponent doesn't know your spot, you have the advantage of hitting them before they have time to react.

Having patience can also help you keep focus and improve the aim of your gun. There is nothing like the feeling of hitting your target in one shot.

Accuracy is one of the more essential skills a paintball player can have. If you can’t hit your target, you won't be able to eliminate your opponents.

Teamwork and communication

2 man aiming at player

Image by Marko Balukcic from Pixabay 

Paintball is a team sport, so you are usually divided up into teams to meet the game objective.

Working with your team will create more options for achieving the game objective. Teammates can help in many ways, such as offering additional cover support and having more eyes on the battlefield.

By putting all your ideas together, you can come up with the best plan of action to reach your goal.

Teamwork communication is critical, especially when executing offensive maneuvers.

Working with a team can provide a much more exciting and enjoyable experience than playing the game alone. Just remember that your team needs to be able to rely on you and your abilities as much as you do them.

Most Importantly

You should always maintain a positive outlook.

Even when you find yourself under the pressure of the enemy and the odds seem against you, a positive mindset will boost the morale of you and everyone around you.

We know it’s a competition, and you want to win, but at the end of the day, the most important thing about playing paintball is not about winning, it's about having fun.

Do you have a fun indoor paintball experience to share? We would love to hear about it in the comments section below!