Paintball is a team shooting sport in which players eliminate opponents by hitting them with paintballs. Paintballs are shot with low-energy air weapons called paintball markers, which were designed for remotely marking trees and cattle. Wall Street stock trader Hayes Noel and outdoorsman/writer Charles Gaines invented the game in New Hampshire in May 1981. They debated whether a city-dweller had the instinct to survive in the woods versus a man who grew up hunting, fishing, and building cabins. Two men saw an ad for a paint gun in a farm catalogue and used it to settle their argument with 10 other men in individual competition, creating paintball. The sport is played recreationally and professionally, with major tournaments, teams, and players. Military, law enforcement, paramilitary, and security organizations use paintball to train.
Basic Paintball Equipment
It’s not hard to start playing paintball. You only need the most basic paintball gear to start playing. It doesn’t have to be expensive, and you can spend as much or as little money as you want.
Gun or Marker
Paintball guns, also called “markers,” are the most important part of the sport. They come in many different sizes and shapes, but all you need to play is something that shoots paintballs in a fairly straight line. Many paintball shops sell new paintball guns for less than $40 or rent them out for $10–$20 a day.
Paintball masks are made so that your face is protected. If a flying paintball hits you in the body, it might leave a small bruise, but if it hits you in the eye, it can make you blind. Make sure your paintball mask is approved, and then wear it like your eyesight depends on it.
Before you can shoot, paintballs have to get into the chamber of your gun. A hopper is the best way to do this. A hopper is a small container that sits on your gun and feeds paintballs into it.
Compressed gas, usually either compressed air or compressed carbon dioxide, is used to fire a paintball (CO2). Guns need either small 12 gram tanks that are also used in BB guns or larger tanks that screw onto the gun. With a bigger tank of CO2 or compressed air, you can fire hundreds of paintballs.
Paintballs are what make paintball possible, along with paintball guns. You load these spherical containers of paint into your gun, and then compressed gas makes them shoot out. There are many different brands and colors, and most of the time, a more expensive ball is better. But for a beginner, they all work about the same as long as they are not too old, so use the one that looks best to you. Make sure you bring enough to play for as long as you want.
Play somewhere safe. Size and layout of paintball fields vary. Where you live determines whether you play indoors or outdoors. You can play on private property or set up your own paintball field if you have land, but it’s best to find a local facility when you’re just starting out.
Learn paintball basics. When you get to the arena, you can choose which game to play, but some rules apply to all. Most paintball games have a time limit that is displayed on a wall or marked with a buzzer or countdown. One team usually tries to shoot as many opponents as possible. Some games are listed below.
Always wear your mask. You can talk and remove your mask in the safety zone, but not in the live-fire zone.
Disengage the safety once in the game zone. After that, you can start attacking the other team’s players.
When shot, leave the field. When a paintball hits and explodes, the player must leave the field. After being shot once, players should raise their hand. If a paintball misses a player, they can continue.
Players self-report hits. Playing by the rules is more fun. Shot, out.
Don’t shoot at heads or faces. These dangerous, unsportsmanlike hits don’t count.
Save ammunition. Paintballs run out quickly if you shoot a lot. Instead of spraying paint everywhere, take smart shots. Paintball is less fun when you run out of paint. Depending on the size of your hopper, you may have plenty of shots, but only shoot when you have a good one. Don’t shoot at every sound. Wait until you can hit someone with a clear shot.
Go. You should move quickly indoors and outdoors. Don’t ramble. Choose a location, then move quickly and low. Know when to hide and wait. Don’t act crazy. Watch your opponents make mistakes.
Teammates, talk. Any team needs good communication. Listen to each other and coordinate attacks, movement, and strategy beforehand. Before heading onto the field, decide who will coordinate and your hand signals or call signs. “Duck duck goose in effect!” means what the team leader says. Shouting “move up” or “duck” reveals your position. Operate using hand signals and gestures.
Focus. Paintball games move quickly, so you must make quick decisions or be eliminated. Listen for snapping branches, crunching gravel, and cement echoes. Nose-breath. Mouth-breathing fogs up most masks. Crouch down, look around, and breathe easily. Be careful and enjoy yourself. Paintball is more than dodging and freaking out. Relax! Paintballs are heavy and slower than regular bullets, so they drop quickly. When shooting, consider this. Aim high and ahead of moving targets. Aiming at neck height ensures a fair kill and minimizes paintball drop. Aim ahead of a moving player so they run into the paintball. Imagine their neck as wide as their chest because that’s where the paintball will hit.
Stealthy. Paintballers who can creep are better. A game shouldn’t involve chicken-and-head-chopping or Terminator stalking. Run with bent knees and your head down between cover. To avoid getting hit, shrink. Stay small when hiding. Keep your head down and pop up to aim. Pop down, prepare, then pop up to fire. Aim smartly. Run and gun occasionally. Paintball is easier if you know how to handle yourself. Move side-to-side and keep your gun level.
Different Paintball Games and Their Rules
Capture the flag
In this game mode, two opposing teams face off against each other, with the same goal in mind. To win, you must travel to the other side of a map and return your opponent’s flag to its original location before the time runs out on the game. In normal play, if you’re shot during a game, you’re out. If your team is wiped out, your opponent will be able to walk the flag back to his base with no resistance. If your opponent is left with no players, the rules remain the same. Tactical speed and teamwork are essential for newcomers to understand in this game.
Both the defending and attacking teams are present here. Each member of the defending team has a limited number of lives and must use them wisely to protect a fort from attack. The attackers, on the other hand, have an infinite supply of respawns. Rather than having to start over from scratch after being shot, they can simply return to their base and begin again. Time runs out or the fort is breached, and the game is over. If the time limit is met, the winning team is the one defending, and if the goal is achieved, the winning team is the one attacking.
This is a fun game mode for beginners because it’s simple to learn and play. In this game, two opposing teams must begin on opposite ends of the field. To put it succinctly, each team is tasked with eliminating all of the opposition’s players in order to win. A paintball can be used to mark the opposing players and force them to surrender. To win, you must race against the clock to eliminate all of the other team’s members before the timer runs out.
There are no teams in this game mode, which is similar to Deathmatch. When only one person remains after a fierce battle, the game is over. Alliances are often formed in the middle of a game, but they are almost always broken at some point.
Play by the local rules
Don’t break the rules. In order to ensure your own and others’ safety while playing paintball, each location has a set of rules that must be strictly adhered to. Many places enforce a 3m rule, which states that if you are within 9 feet of another player, you cannot shoot them because of the dangers.
Good tactical skill or plays can earn you extra paintball points at some locations. Many variations and local games exist, but the fundamentals are usually the same.
One of the best ways to relieve stress, frustration, and tension is to play an intense game of paintball. Cortisol levels are reduced, feel-good chemicals are released, and you’ll be distracted from your worries while playing paintball. Having a stressful day at work or in general can be alleviated by booking a paintball game. In the aftermath of a paintball game, you’ll be surprised how effective it is at relieving stress and bringing a sense of calm.