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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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!