- Best Paintball Guns
- 1. Tippmann Cronus Tactical Paintball Gun
- 2. Tippmann TMC MAGFED Paintball Marker
- 3. Tippmann TiPX Paintball Pistol Marker Gun
- 4. Tippmann A-5 Paintball Gun
- 5. Empire Paintball BT Dfender Marker
- 6. Empire Paintball Mini GS Marker
- 7. Azodin Blitz 3
- 8. Spyder Victor Semi-Auto Paintball Marker
- 9. Dye M3+ Paintball Marker
- 10. Planet Eclipse Etha 2
- Best Paintball Gun Comparison Chart
- Four most interesting types of paintball games
- How to find the best paintball marker – A Buyer’s Guide
- What is a hopper and how to choose one?
- How to choose the best propellant system or a tank for your marker
- Choose the best and the most accurate barrel for your paintball marker
- Paintball game rules and safety regulations
- Paintball safety gear
- Additional paintball gear
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- How does a paintball gun work exactly?
- How far can I shoot?
- How to clean and maintain a paintball gun?
- How to improve the accuracy of the marker?
- What about battery life?
- Do I need a high flow regulator?
- Which paintball gun brands are the best?
- How were paintball guns invented?
- What are paintballs made of?
- Does a paintball hit hurt and can I get injured?
- How to store the ammunition?
- Is paintball paint washable?
- What about the size of the paintballs caliber?
- How many paintballs come in a box?
- How many paintballs do I need?
- Bottom Line
In the world of paintball, the most important piece of equipment you can have is a high-quality, accurate paintball gun. This will make all the difference in who is going to win the game. To find the best paintball gun for your needs, you first need to make a distinction between all the good paintball guns out there. With our paintball gun reviews, comparisons and guides, you will be able to find the best, most accurate paintball gun which will help you get to the top.
Best Paintball Guns
- TIPPMANN CRONUS TACTICAL
- Supply: HPA or CO2
- Weight: 3.7 lbs
- Warranty: 2 years
- Price: $
- TIPPMANN TMC MAGFED
- Supply: HPA
- Weight: 6.5 Pounds
- Warranty: 2 years
- Price: $
- TIPPMANN TiPX
- Supply: CO2
- Weight: 1 Pound
- Warranty: 2 years
- Price: $
- TIPPMANN A-5
- Supply: CO2
- Weight: 3.1 Pounds
- Warranty: 2 years
- Price: $
- EMPIRE BT DFender
- Supply: HPA
- Weight: 3.66 Pounds
- Warranty: 2 years
- Price: $$$
1. Tippmann Cronus Tactical Paintball Gun
This model comes from a brand has been producing high-quality, durable paintball guns for a long time in the paintball industry. Tippmann presents the 0.68 caliber Cronus Tactical Paintball Gun, which comes in two designs – olive and black. It features Tippmann’s proven inline bolt System and an internal gas line, along with a CO2/compressed air feeder, mechanical trigger, and semi-automatic firing mode. It comes with a 9-inch stock barrel, and adjustable stock, so the length of the gun can vary between 27,5’ and 31,5’. The high-quality material and three modes which include a carry handle with an integrated sight, mock silencer with a front sight and 6 positions collapsible stock, along with the military design, contribute to the MilSim feel of this gun. Cronus Tactical weighs
- high-quality and durability at a reasonable price
- thanks to the Picatinny rails it has incredible customization options
- suitable for smaller hands and less strong players because it is lightweight, has a comfortable rubber grip, and it is easy to maintain
- fire-rate high, with 15 balls per second
- could be a bit larger and heavier
- the barrel could be upgraded for more precision and accuracy
2. Tippmann TMC MAGFED Paintball Marker
Another model coming from Tippmann is the Tippmann TMC MAGFED Paintball Marker with the same base as Cronus, but with a twist – it is
- An authentic and unique design
- A very good deal for the price
- Comes with two magazines holding up to 38 paintballs together
- Lightweight and comfortable, thus very suitable for beginners
- No options for First Strike Paintballs
- The range is good (around 150m) but users report that the barrel needs improvement, or you should invest in a better barrel in order to achieve the desired accuracy
- Hopper and magazine feed cannot be used at the same time
3. Tippmann TiPX Paintball Pistol Marker Gun
The next model comes from Tippmann as well and it is a
- Can be easily personalized and upgraded
- Comes with a maintenance kit and a deluxe carrying case
- There is an ammo window to check if the pistol is fully loaded
- Extremely and consistently accurate
- Lightweight and compact which suites players on all levels
- Some users reported leaking of CO2
- Although it is lightweight, some consider it too bulky for a secondary gun
- Magazines could be bigger and hold more rounds
4. Tippmann A-5 Paintball Gun
Next up is a real treat for paintball snipers – Tippmann A-5 Paintball Gun. This model is one of the most popular ones in the market, and for good reasons. It comes with a cyclone feed system which links the feeder and the air mechanism allowing the speed of firing to increase. Since the gun is semi-automatic, you can fire as fast as you can pull the trigger with the maximum feed rate of 17 balls per second. Besides its speed, users rate
- Consistent accuracy and speed
- Can be disassembled without any tools in 60 seconds
- Can be used with any type of gas
- More durable with a shock absorbing end cap
- Users report that the hopper provided gets in the way of the red dot
- There are difficulties when using the red dot with a mask
5. Empire Paintball BT Dfender Marker
The last model is a top-level, high-performance paintball marker which has everything you need, and more. The first amazing feature is that it has an integrated hopper, which means you will have a clear line of sight and it also comes with a self-calibrating loader speed sensor. It includes a selector switch with 5 firing modes, ON/OFF regulators with east -to-mount T-Slot rail and a smooth, programmable bearing trigger with 3-way adjustment. High strength and
- You do not need tools for maintenance and battery change
- Extremely accurate
- Has a built-in hopper
- Easy to switch between different fire modes
- You need a raiser if you want to use the sight with a mask on and low stock position
- EMPIRE MINI GS
- Price: $
- AZODIN BLITZ 3
- Price: $$
- SPYDER VICTOR
- Price: $$
- DYE M3+
- Price: $$
- PLANET ECLIPSE ETHA 2
- Price: $$$
6. Empire Paintball Mini GS Marker
Empire Paintball presents the Empire Mini GS Marker, which is the new and upgraded version of the previous Mini model. This version includes some very useful features for a very affordable price. One of them is a venting ASA regulator with On/Off lever which enables an easy release of the air from the tank. It also features a pressure controlled poppet engine, integrated break-beam anti-chop eyes, a clamping
- Slim and small design with a rubber grip for more comfort
- On/off ASA switch for a fraction of the regular price
- Comes with a kit for maintenance and a two screw design to make this process easier
- Comes in many color patterns
- Because of its size, it may not be suitable for players with large hands
- Some players report that flipping the ASA switch is a bit more difficult when the air tank is connected
7. Azodin Blitz 3
The next model, Azodin Blitz 3 marker is a very lightweight, user-friendly marker, highly recommended for beginner or casual players because it will not break the bank but it will perform great. It features a Nylon reinforced composite frame, Ion/Impulse
- A Zen board with four firing modes
- Extremely lightweight and easy to use, thus suitable for beginners
- Max speed of 20 BPS
- Uses less gas than most markers, but works just as efficiently, while saving you money
- It cannot be customized much, which is not as suitable for more experienced players, or players who want to play with additional features
- Players who report that they are not satisfied with their purchase, mostly do so because their marker did not work straight out of the box, probably due to a manufacturing problem
8. Spyder Victor Semi-Auto Paintball Marker
This next model will thrill you if you are looking for something which works well, like a more expensive marker, but for a fraction of the price. Spyder Victor Semi-Auto Paintball Marker features an EKO Valve System for the most efficient use of air, shoots up to 1500 shots from a 20 oz CO2 tank and operates on CO2 or compressed air. It has a high impact polymer clamping
- Simple, user-friendly design, perfect for beginners
- EKO Valve System which saves you even more money by making sure that the air is used in the most efficient way
- Can be customized
- Users report it has a tendency to break cheap paint, so it takes a bit of effort to find paint which will not break
9. Dye M3+ Paintball Marker
The next model is for those ready to invest in their game and make a difference in the field. Pros will be blown away by the Dye M3+ Paintball Marker which, for many players, is the best marker you can find. This model is based on the legendary DM series platform but improved in every aspect. It comes in many colors and has a Method Operating System with 1″ Prism OLED Interface and over 1 million player profile options for you to choose from, according to your preferences. Its battery is rechargeable through a Wireless & USB Charging System and you can fire 100,000 shots on a full charge. It is compatible both with compressed air (not included) and nitrogen. Maximum BPS is 25, and it can fire 1,200 shots on 4,000 PSI tank (Cold Fill). It is recommended for Tournament, Woodsball, Arcade and Sim game types. Since it is very pricey and comes with a range of possibilities, this gun is suitable for professional players who will know exactly how to use every option there is.
- Excellent accuracy, range, and control
- Very versatile, allows players to adapt to any situation during the play
- Very low recoil level because of the close spool fuse bolt design
- Comes with a hefty price tag
- Because of its numerous components, it must be maintained and cleaned constantly
10. Planet Eclipse Etha 2
Another paintball gun packed with features comes from Planet Eclipse. This electronic paintball marker is powered by the Gamma Core spool valve drivetrain, it has an hose-less air transfer system to ensure there is no leakage and ASA with on/off switch to move when attaching or detaching the tank. It also features an ambidextrous LED status indicator, Deftek offset feed and barrel and a spring bolt system for improved performance. This gun is extremely durable thanks to the aluminum inner body core and composite nylon outside construction, so you do not have to worry either about inner or the outer parts. It is also comfortable to use since it has a single-piece GRN frame and foregrip and the users report the frame’s shape and the rubber pattern to be one of the best they have used. All in all, the Etha 2 contains all the important features of a high-end paintball marker, but for a much lower price.
- Extremely durable and, according to users, performs well in any weather conditions
- Very accurate and reliable
- Easy to disassemble because it has only one screw and the maintenance process is very simple
- Suitable for beginners because it is easy to use, but also for advanced players since it is highly customizable
- It is louder, but the noise can be dampened by upgrading it
Best Paintball Gun Comparison Chart
|TIPPMANN CRONUS TACTICAL||Woodsball||Beginner/Intermediate||.68||4.4|
|TIPPMANN TMC MAGFED||Woodsball||Beginner/Intermediate||.68||4.1|
|EMPIRE BT DFender||Woodsball||Intermediate/Professional||.68||4.6|
|EMPIRE MINI GS||Speedball||Intermediate||.68||4.5|
|AZODIN BLITZ 3||Speedball||Beginner/Intermediate||.68||3.8|
|PLANET ECLIPSE ETHA 2||Speedball||Intermediate/Professional||.68||4.7|
Four most interesting types of paintball games
Paintball is all about getting into the game, playing in a team and eliminating your opponent(s) in a most efficient and effective way possible. Now, even though that sounds very simple and straightforward, this game comes in many shapes and each of them has its own rules which make it diverse and interesting.
Of course, being familiar with different versions of paintball is useful in many ways. You can choose which one sounds most interesting to you and try it out. But, what is also determined by the type you choose to play is your equipment, especially the paintball gun you will use. To help you choose the best paintball marker for your needs and your playing style, we prepared a short overview of different types of paintball.
1. Woodsball or Recreational Paintball (Recball)
This is the most common version out there. Paintball started in woods, hence the name. It involves a large field with objects on it and many players, so if you choose this option, make sure you do not have anything else to do since this type of game usually lasts longer.
The size of the woodsball field and various types of bunkers are a perfect setting for many variations of this game. To make this even clearer, here are some examples for you to try:
- Team deathmatch (Elimination)
This is the most basic format, where players are split into two teams and the goal is to completely destroy the other team by eliminating every player of that team.
- Capture the flag
In this version, each team has their flag in their base, and they must protect it while they are trying to capture the other team’s flag and bring it back to their base.
- Protect the president (VIP)
One person is chosen to be a president and one team protects that person while the other team tries to take the president down before the end of the game.
- Bomb the base (Bomb Squad)
An object (the bomb) is placed somewhere in the middle of the field and the objective is to take the bomb into the enemy’s base.
There are of course many more, and keep in mind that the names can vary, but you got an idea of what the possibilities are.
As for the markers, there really are no limitations in woodsball. This allows the player to modify and adjust their marker to their own preferences, which contributes to the whole experience.
This type of paintball game is similar to woodsball but in a much smaller format. Speedball fields are smaller, and what is very interesting is the fact that players can see the whole field and other players at any time, so the game is more dynamic and the action starts immediately. This is why speedball games last shorter. To help you envision a speedball game, here is a list of positions players can take. There are typically three to seven players in a team:
Front players are positioned in the bunkers far up the field, off the break. The Snake player can also be here, in a snake bunker, which is a very important position in speedball. The Snake player flanks the field i.e. tries to achieve a position where the team would have an advantage over the enemy. These players need to be fast and precise, and able to take advantage of their position since they have the best angles for shooting.
These players are located in the bunkers between fronts and backs. These players have to be able to do everything (make lanes, go to the snake position, shoot while moving). They can also be insert players when someone is eliminated.
Floater provides support to other teammates all around the field. They can also fill in the spot if someone is hit, so it is important for a floater as well to be a versatile player.
Back players are located in the bunkers closest to the starting point. They cover mids and fronts while they move by constantly suppressing the players of the opposing team and taking them off the break. Backs shoot the most and they usually carry thousands of paintballs with them.
- Insert players
These players can fill in any position in the game when the player is eliminated.
Because of the shorter duration, the dynamics and various types of man-made bunkers this format of paintball was seen as the best fit for professional paintball tournaments.
As for the best marker for speedball, we recommend something of a smaller profile, because marker hits also count in speedball and will get you eliminated. Most players use electronic markers for speedball because they allow higher fire rates, but they do not have to be the most expensive on the market. Entry-level markers can be modified to achieve the same efficiency.
3. Scenario paintball
This is a great way to make the game even more interesting. Scenario paintball is played when the players act as if they are not paintball players, but someone else, usually on a certain mission. Some of the scenarios are reenacting historical, fictional or military events, scenes from action movies, TV shows, science fiction etc.
Depending on the event reenacted, the storyline and the number of roles, scenario paintball games can be very complex and can last for days with thousands of players involved. Because of this, there are some specific rules e.g. an eliminated player can get back into the game after a certain period of time in order to experience the whole event, which normally is not the case in paintball.
It is important to put emphasis on one version of scenario paintball which has its own name because of its popularity and that is MilSim or military simulation. This version developed greatly and today you can play it and feel as if you are on a real mission, in real gear, and in a real-life situation. The goal is to make every mission as realistic as possible and there are many roles and situations a player is put in in order for that to be realized. If you ever wanted to experience this, MilSim would be the right choice for you.
Depending on the type of scenario you participate in, they may be different regulations about markers, or they may be none. The design of the marker will certainly vary, since in MilSim, for example, the tendency is to go for a military design.
4. Stock Class Paintball
This type of paintball game is completely different from what we had so far because the rules here are restricting the type of paintball marker which can be used in the game. If you would like to play like this, your marker is limited to the original technology from the 1980s: you should use a pump action to fire i.e. a pumping movement is required to reload. Then, it has to have a horizontal feed tube which means you need to tilt it forward and backward to get the paintballs to fall into the marker. Because of this, the other name for a Stock Class marker is “Rock and Cock”. The last two requirements are that the marker is powered by 12-gram carbon dioxide powerlet and it should not hold more than 10 rounds of paint.
Now that you know what your options are (and there sure is a lot of them) you can take your pick and start playing. But first, make sure you get to know the gear you need as well.
How to find the best paintball marker – A Buyer’s Guide
If you decided to get into paintball, after getting to know all the versions of paintball games and their rules, the next step is to get familiar with the gear.
One of the most important pieces of equipment you need is a paintball gun, usually called a marker. If you are asking yourself why it is called so, here is an interesting fact: these “guns” were used by people to mark trees and cattle with paint, hence the name ‘marker’.
Now that we got that out of the way, we prepared a guide which will help you familiarize yourself with all the types of markers out there, so you could determine which fits your needs the best. Do not be intimidated: with the development of paintball and different needs when it comes to the dynamics of the game and safety, paintball markers developed as well and today you have a plethora of options. This guide will help you find your way among all these possibilities, so let’s get into it.
Why should you buy your own marker?
You may be wondering why do you need your own marker when you can usually rent one. That is true, but if you are serious about paintball, if you want to play it several times a year and you want to get better and better, you would benefit from owning your own marker. Firstly, renting a marker several times a year does not pay off. Then, when you buy your own marker you can make adjustments, modifications which is all part of the game and your progress as a paintball player. So, your own marker would make the whole experience better. Lastly, you can try to rent markers so you could see what suits you and your style of play best, but ultimately, changing markers all the time means changing how you handle them. When you get used to handling your own marker, you know exactly how it shoots and how it functions, which will make you a better player.
Types of markers
When it comes to marker types, there are three basic ones: pump markers, mechanically operated and
- Pump or Bolt Action Markers
These markers are considered the most basic type there is. They require manual reset which means that the player has to pull the pump in order to load. Stock class events are where these types of markers are mostly used. They are a classic, but since the original design, markers have developed into other, more advanced models.
- Mechanically operated
As the name suggests, these markers are operated by mechanical means. There are several types, but the most basic one is the semi-automatic gun which fires one shot when you pull the trigger once. There is also an electric version of this gun. Another mechanically operated marker is a double action marker where the firing mechanism is fired AND reset by the trigger.
These markers are great for beginners because of how much maintenance they require. You do not have to worry about it much and also if you need a replacement part, they are available at low prices online.
- Electropneumatically operated
This design uses a computer-controlled solenoid valve to move the bolt and fire the paintball. Compared to the previously mentioned design, this one is a more modern one. Since the demand is high, there are different price categories, so you will surely find something within your price range.
Firing and trigger modes
These are actually what determines which type of marker you have.
- Pump action mode is when you have to move the pump back and forth in order to eject a spent round of paintball and reload.
- Semi-automatic mode is when a player pulls the trigger and the chamber automatically reloads and fires. One pull equals one shot. This allows higher rates of fire and a more dynamic play.
- Fully automatic mode is when a player is pulling the trigger, and the marker is firing the whole time the trigger is being pulled.
- Ramping mode is a feature of electronic markers when the mode is changed from semi-automatic to fully automatic with a slight difference in the speed of firing. The speed will gradually increase as long as you keep pressing the trigger.
When we talk about external design, the differences in trigger and barrel positions are what matter. In more expensive designs, the trigger frame is positioned more to the front or center of the marker, which allows for a better position of the high-pressure air tank. This results in balance and compactness without having to modify the marker. Without these modifications, you get a marker of a smaller profile, which is very convenient in the types of games where hopper hits eliminate the player.
Another point important here is the design of the marker in terms of how it looks. This depends mainly on the type of paintball game you are going to play, or if you are participating in a scenario game. Of course, if you are playing on a dark field, try to find a dark marker which will not stand out. If you are doing a MilSim, your marker will look like real military weapons.
The duration of a so-called throw is relevant for your decision. A throw represents the distance the trigger travels before actuating as well as the force needed to fire the marker. These factors are what influences the rate of fire. If the distance is short, fire rates will be high. Many markers, especially those more expensive, use electronic trigger frames which have shorter throws.
The bolt and valve assembly
This mechanism is what fires the marker. By directing the air the bolt controls the entry of paintballs into the chamber, while the valve controls whether the marker is firing or not. There are two designs of bolts – open and closed bolt, and the latter one is said to make the marker more accurate. However, the tests have not proven that.
Side feed or center feed
Let’s first talk about what is good about each one. Center feed is great for more dynamic paintball games such as speedball because you do not need to move your marker at a specific angle for a paintball to drop into the chamber, but it goes straight into it. On the other hand, many players find side feed which requires a specific angle, easier to use once they master it.
It comes down to what your preferences are. If you play fast and you need a fast marker, a center feed may be better for you. If you cannot make up your mind, no need to worry. This is one of those features that can be easily modified.
Size and Weight
This is, of course, an important factor when you are buying a marker. Imagine yourself carrying a large, heavy marker for hours. Not only do you need more physical strength, but your performance and the performance of the marker can be compromised. Opt for something lightweight, which will not cause difficulties for you. The material of which the barrel is made is what influences weight the most.
Like we mentioned, this is an important factor because it will affect the weight of the marker. Most common and most affordable are barrels made of aluminum, but they are not as durable as those of stainless steel. However, stainless steel makes the marker heavier. Another choice you have is carbon fiber material which represents the best of both worlds – it is durable and lightweight. Your choice will ultimately depend on what you need and how seriously you are planning to play.
Customizing your marker
To be able to customize your marker and adapt to the game is very important and convenient. When you are looking to purchase a marker you should consider those which are highly customizable. If you are a beginner this is also a great idea, since you may not yet know exactly what suits you, so it would be great to be able to change some features so they would fit your needs and playing style better.
Another important point when it comes to choosing a marker is how easy (or difficult) it is to assemble and disassemble it. If you are a beginner, you should definitely check if you can easily do this. There are cases when the marker jams during the play, so in order to continue enjoying your game, you should be able to unjam your marker in a decent amount of time. Often you will need a kit for this and you will need to bring it with yourself during the game, but there are some markers which promote easy disassemble without tools.
When you are setting the budget, you should take into account the whole equipment you need for paintball, not just the marker. If you are planning to get into serious paintball, make the budget higher since you will get higher quality for more money when it comes to paintball gear. If you are a beginner, and you are not planning to become a professional or at least a regular paintball player, you can stick to the basics, which do cost less.
Although your choice of the marker can affect the accuracy, the truth is that this is influenced by many factors. But let’s start from the marker. Usually, if you want better accuracy, you will upgrade your barrel, in which case you will look for a barrel made for precision. The tests have shown that
However, even if you choose the most accurate paintball marker, how skilled you are and how much you practice will influence your accuracy the most. The fact is that you have to be in the game, practice constantly and get to know your marker in order to get the most accurate shots with it.
Also, the position you take when you shoot is relevant as well. For beginners, the best position is when you lie flat on the ground (prone position), and later you can try to shoot in a standing position, which will happen eventually with practice.
What is a hopper and how to choose one?
Hoppers or loaders are what hold the ammunition i.e. the paintballs which your marker will fire. Of course, a hopper is equally important as any other part of the marker, so let’s get a bit more into it and explain what you should look for when choosing a hopper.
Size and weight
These are one of the main characteristics you should look into when choosing a hopper. You should try going for a more modern design because they are usually lighter.
As for the size, this is what determines how much paintballs the hopper can hold. If you are on a professional game level, you will probably need a higher capacity hopper i.e a bigger one, while beginners can go for a smaller one. Of course, your preferences matter here as well, and you should look for something you think is the right size for you.
Rate of fire
The rate of fire you need will depend on the type of paintball game you participate in. If the game is more dynamic and if you like higher fire rates then you should go for a hopper that can make that happen. We will present you with several types of hoppers in a minute, so you could see the difference and see what fits your needs the best.
Compatibility with your marker
Before you make a purchase, make sure that you can attach your hopper to the marker you own. Most hoppers are made to fit different types of markers, but better safe than sorry.
Test the durability of a hopper – if it looks like it is weak and it would break from hits and roughness of the game, then try to find something better, sturdier. Avoid clear plastic which usually cracks easily. It is important that the hopper is durable because the outside of the hopper protects what is on the inside, and that is the mechanism that feeds your marker paintballs.
The level of the competition
The level of competition you participate in may have an influence on your choice, Beginners, enthusiasts and professionals have different needs and depending on which category you are in you will choose a different hopper. If you are a beginner, make sure you do not spend a lot of money on a complex hopper you do not know how to use, but stick to something simple which is usually in a lower price range.
This is not really something so important when you are choosing your hopper, but if you like the design of your marker and hopper to match and if that is important to you, then you should know that hoppers usually come in more designs and you will surely find something matching your marker’s design.
Types of hoppers
Now that you know what important characteristics you should pay attention to, here are four types of hoppers you can choose from:
- Stick feed
Stick feeds are used on the most basic pump markers and they can hold between 10 and 20 paintballs. To load the marker, a player must tilt it so the paintball would enter the chamber.
- Gravity feed
This is the least expensive type you can get. It functions very simply: there is a tube connecting the hopper with the marker and the paintballs go through it.
There is, however, a downside to this, and that is that sometimes paintballs can get jammed. To solve this, it is recommended to rock the marker and the hopper from time to time. Also, the maximum fire rate of gravity feed hoppers is around 11 balls per second, which is not the highest.
The name comes from the fact that the paintballs are being agitated by the propeller inside the hopper. The propeller spins and moves the paintballs into the chamber. These hoppers are better than gravity feed ones when it comes to the fire rate which is higher, and also the paintballs do not get jammed.
This type of hopper forces the paintballs with an impeller which captures them and maintains the pressure on them which allows higher feed rates and higher fire rates.
So, these are the basic types of hoppers you should really look into, and choose the one which fits your goals and your style of playing the most.
How to choose the best propellant system or a tank for your marker
Another vital piece of paintball gear is the propellant system. They are important because they are in charge of firing the paintball from your marker.
How do they do that? Well, tanks hold compressed gas of some sort (we will see which in a minute), and when the gas expands it shoots the paintball out.
In order to choose the best one, you need to be aware of your options.
There are three basic types of propellant systems or tanks:
- Carbon dioxide (CO2)
The propellant used in this system is carbon dioxide. CO2 comes in a liquid form and in order to work as a propellant here, it vaporizes into gas.
However, one problem arises. If the temperature is low (e.g. it is very cold outside) the liquid CO2 may not expand to gas and instead enter the marker in a liquefied form. This can render your marker useless and damage it substantially. There are some models which are designed to prevent freezing, but in general, most started using the next system we will talk about – high-pressure air.
- High-pressure air (HPA)
Nitrogen or high-pressure air used in this system is always in the form of gas. These propellants are stored at higher pressure so this system is more expensive and heavier than the CO2 one. But, some problems of CO2 system are solved. For example, since N2 does not make a transition from liquid to gas, the accuracy and range are not influenced as in CO2 systems. Also, N2 is easier to find. However, if you are planning to purchase this system, make sure you save enough money for a regulator needed for the system to function properly. Because of this, HPA is heavier on your budget.
Propane is used as a propellant only in some models of markers. It functions a bit differently than previous two systems because propane is ignited which increases pressure and the gas expands.
When it comes to the advantages, the propane system allows more shots per tank (depending on the size of the tank, up to 100 times more than CO2 and HPA). It is also very easy to find, and since it is stored at a lower pressure it can be considered safer.
This is an important point when it comes to tanks because the material will influence the weight, the quality, and durability of the propellant system.
Three most common materials used are aluminum, steel and carbon fiber.
Aluminum is light, less expensive, but also not very durable. However, with proper care, you can get by with an aluminum tank for a while.
If you are looking for higher quality and you can spend a bit more on a tank, go for a steel one. Keep in mind that it is quite heavy in comparison to the aluminum one.
Last, but not least is the carbon fiber one which is both durable and lightweight. Of course, you will need a bigger budget for this one, but if you are a serious player it will contribute to your experience.
Size and Weight
There are several sizes from which you can choose, depending on what you need.
The standard size is medium 68-4500, where the first number refers to cubic inches of available space and the second one stands for the total number of pounds per square inch which can be produced by the tank.
Other sizes are available too: 50-4500, 77-4500, and 90-4500.
However, the medium size is the most popular because it is not heavy. Apart from size, the weight matters as well because of the fact that you have to carry your marker and all the gear for hours, and it is in your best interest that everything is as light as it can be. Make sure you make your decision while keeping this in mind.
If you pay close attention to these characteristics, you will find your perfect tank and what suits your needs best.
Choose the best and the most accurate barrel for your paintball marker
The barrel is the last important piece of the marker. The barrel is a pipe through which the paintball goes out when you fire.
Surprisingly (or maybe not), the barrel influences the velocity and accuracy of your shot so it is very important to choose wisely. Because of this, here is a list of things you need to keep in mind when choosing a barrel.
Bore size represents the diameter of the barrel and it is very important for the accuracy and efficiency of your shots. Depending on the size of the paintballs you use, the bore size may change.
There are several tests to determine whether you matched the size of the bore and the paintball well. First, put your paintball in the barrel and try blowing air with your mouth lightly. If it is stuck and cannot move without you blowing really hard, the bore is too narrow. Another test is putting the barrel in a vertical position and dropping the paintball down. If it falls straight down, the barrel is too wide.
You can also buy something to measure the size of paintballs. There are devices with holes in them, which you use for this purpose. You just put your paintball inside each hole, until you find one that fits perfectly.
Length is another important factor when choosing a barrel. It is thought that longer barrels are better for accuracy, but that is a misconception. In general, you should aim for 12 inches or higher (up to 16) if you want to achieve accuracy.
Also, take your playing style into consideration. If you are very active in the field, a shorter barrel may suit you better because it will not get in your way while you are moving. But, if you are more likely to stay in one position, you may opt for a longer barrel which you can easily point to the target.
It is extremely important that the barrel you choose is vented or ported. This means that there are purposely drilled holes on the barrel which allow excess pressure to vent from the barrel and thereby not influence the paintballs’ trajectory and velocity. Your paintball will go straight where you want it to go.
They also make the marker quieter. Just make sure that the barrel is ported further from the marker i.e. at the end because that is the best place for venting the gas without influencing the efficiency of the propellant system and the sound of the marker.
Of course, the material is important as for any other part of your marker. Throughout the year, barrels developed in this department as well and we have four main types:
This is the most popular and widely used option because of how lightweight and inexpensive aluminum is. If it is machined well, aluminum can perform great.
- Stainless steel
This material is much heavier and more expensive, but it proved to be higher quality than aluminum. However, since aluminum can be machined to perfection and there really are little cons when it comes to it, aluminum remained a preference among players.
Titanium is lighter than steel and aluminum, but the cost of production is much higher which made the price of titanium barrels very high and thus not popular at all.
- Carbon fiber
This material is a great discovery in the production of paintball gear since it is both lightweight and durable, but the price is not so high as with the titanium. Still, it is more expensive than aluminum, so if you are planning to invest in it, make your budget a bit higher.
A thread is where the barrel is attached to the marker. Make sure they match perfectly because this will influence the accuracy of your shot.
Now that you know what to look for in a barrel and all the other vital parts of your marker, you are ready to make the best choice possible.
Paintball game rules and safety regulations
Depending on the type of paintball game you play, the rules may vary. In general, there are at least two opposing teams and the objective of the game is to reach a certain goal or finish a mission without getting hit with a paintball by the opposing team.
A rule that may vary substantially is what is regarded as a hit. In some games, you are hit when the paintball leaves a mark on you which has to be at least a size of a US nickel. Other games regard any paint on you to be a hit. Usually, if a paintball breaks near you and leaves a splatter on you, that would not count as a hit. Also, sometimes only specific body parts should be hit in order to eliminate a player, but sometimes even the equipment counts.
The rules depend on the type of game, the experience and the number of players, the level on which the game is played (beginner, professional) etc. Before you start a game, you should be informed about all regulations and make sure you understand them.
In general, there are some rules that are enforced regardless of all the factors listed above. These rules concern the safety of players and it is extremely important that every player respects them. By doing that, more serious injuries can be avoided, and paintball can remain one of the safest games you can play. So, here are the rules:
- Wear masks
This is maybe the most important rule which is usually enforced everywhere. The reason for that is that most serious injuries in paintball are eye injuries. By not taking off your mask, you will certainly save your eyes, so it is recommended wearing masks in the playing field (and while you exiting it) at all times.
- Be careful with your marker
When the game is not in progress, it is recommended using barrel plugs, so the chance of accidentally firing is minimized. Also, keep your feed system on OFF if you are not playing or resting and keep your safety in the safe position as well.
- You should always see where you are firing
Never blind fire because that can be very dangerous for other players or observers. You can hit someone who is not even participating in the game or is eliminated and exiting the field. You can hit something you are not supposed to hit. To prevent that, always make sure you see your target and not shoot randomly.
- Respect minimum distance
Paintball hits can cause bruises, and for that reason sometimes a minimum distance rule is enforced. The distance can vary, but it is usually around 4,5m or 15ft. If the opponent is closer to you, you should not fire. Sometimes this rule is modified and it states that you should give your opponent a chance to surrender before firing.
- Drinking is not allowed
Although paintball can be considered a game, it is also very intense, dynamic, demanding and requires concentration. You should remember that although paintball markers are not real guns, they can be dangerous. Because of this, drinking and playing at the same time is prohibited.
- No overshooting
This means you should not shoot at a player who is already eliminated. It is considered as putting the player in danger because the player who is not participating anymore is not prepared for being shot again, so you should respect that.
- No physical contact
The only contact players should make with the opposing team is by shooting them with paintballs. No other contact is allowed – no restraining, cuffing, hitting, fighting.
The rules listed here may vary, but the point is clear. It is a matter of common sense to follow safety rules and if you do so, there is no reason for being afraid in the paintball field. You can relax and enjoy your game knowing that you are completely safe.
Paintball safety gear
In addition to all the safety rules in paintball, there are many parts of safety gear specifically designed to protect you while you are playing, and ensure you are comfortable. Of course, to be a successful player you need a good paintball gun, but besides the most accurate paintball gun, your safety in the field should be among your top priorities.
To help you get fully prepared for a paintball field, we comprised a list of must-haves in order to ensure your safety and comfort during the game. So, here is what you need:
As for the clothes you need something thick, durable, dark and comfortable. Make sure all of these four are checked when you are choosing what to wear.
The thickness of your clothing is important because it represents a barrier between your skin and the paintball. If you want to minimize the pain and discomfort that a paintball hit causes, make sure you have several layers on your skin or thick fabric. Durability is necessary because you need your clothes to last during the whole game. Remember, you will be crawling, kneeling, diving, rubbing your clothes constantly on the ground, in the grass etc. Low quality, thin clothing will not endure this and you will be left with holes in your clothes and bare skin which is not recommended in paintball.
When it comes to the color of the clothing, stick to something dark or camouflage print. This will ensure you are not easy to spot in the field and you will not become an easy target.
Finally, comfort is also important when it comes to choosing your clothes. You will be moving a lot and if you are uncomfortable you will surely not enjoy the game, especially if it lasts for hours. Check if the clothes you choose does not limit you.
As for the upper body, long sleeves, several layers or even a vest are recommended. Make sure no skin is peeking through. The same goes for the lower body. You should wear at least two pieces of sports short, or thick pants. Make sure you add some extra protection around the groin area. It is highly unlikely that you will get shot here, but better safe than sorry.
You should also consider buying clothes specifically made for paintball. This clothing is usually padded so that some critical body parts are protected more. Also, the rough terrain is taken into consideration, so paintball clothing will surely endure the whole game.
You can also add additional padding to whatever you wear. When you play, take note of which areas of your body feel not protected enough, and add padding there in order to make the game more comfortable and prevent tears in your clothes and bruises on your body.
- Head protection
It is of the utmost importance to protect your whole head: eyes, ears, mouth and we will also include neck here because it is usually forgotten.
Goggles or masks are a must. Your eyes are the most sensitive part on your head and they need to be protected at all times. Look for masks specifically designed for paintball, preferably with thermal lenses which will prevent any fog from blurring your vision. Sunglasses and other masks which you may own will not suffice in paintball because paintball masks are made to endure the velocity of a paintball. Do not risk losing your eye.
Ear protection is also mandatory. Masks or helmets come with parts which go over your ears, so always check if the helmet fits and if your ears are covered. Getting hit by a paintball in your ear is very painful and can be dangerous, so do not forget about this body part.
It is also very important that your breathing is proper while playing. To ensure that, the mask has to have vents in the right place, usually to the front, so that the airflow would be good and you would not overheat.
Lastly, do not forget your neck. This is a very sensitive body part, and if you get hit by a paintball you may have trouble breathing and you will certainly feel a lot of pain. To prevent that, invest in a neck protector, or wrap a scarf around your neck. Keep in mind that the neck protector is a better option since you will not be hot and sweaty while you are wearing it. Also see – Cool Paintball Masks
- Gloves and shoes
To protect your hand, you should wear gloves which are not too thick (because you will not feel the trigger well enough), but thick enough to protect your hands which tend to be shot in paintball because they are always exposed.
As for the shoes, go for something you already wore, without open toes and above all, comfortable. Depending on which terrain you are going to play (grass, dirt or rocks, stones), you may opt for different kinds of shoes. Make sure they support your ankles because the most common foot injury is an ankle injury since you are constantly running around and jumping.
- Pod packs
This part of your gear is not here for safety reasons, but still, it is necessary. Among all the other things you are going to wear while playing paintball, you will also need pod packs. Pod packs are designed to fit on the harness which you wear around your waist and hold paintballs. The packs can be in a vertical and a horizontal position, depending on what you prefer. Keep in mind that each has its drawback: vertically placed packs are a bit difficult to get back into their place, while horizontal ones may stick out and make you more visible on the field.
All in all, most clothes you can wear while playing paintball, you already have in your closet. The only thing you should really invest in is a mask or a helmet, with all the characteristics we listed above. Also, try not to bring brand new clothes to the paintball field, because they will surely tear or get dirty. So, be prepared to ruin some clothes and have a good time.
Additional paintball gear
Depending on which type of paintball game you play, there may be some additional equipment that is not a must, but it is interesting to have and play with.
Paint grenades and grenade launchers
Paint grenades are not allowed in every type of paintball game, but they are often used in scenario play or Recball. Of course, throwing paint grenades
This type of grenades is used in military training but may be useful in paintball as well. The point is to create a vale of smoke in order to make the movement of the players more difficult, and decrease visibility.
This is used as a marker, but it functions differently. It looks like a slingshot for paintballs.
There is a type of paintball game where slingshots are used exclusively. No markers are allowed, but the paintballs are “fired” with this type of weapon.
This is like a rocket launcher, mostly used for taking out paintball tanks. They can fire rockets or multiple paintballs. Those which fire rockets are usually avoided because they represent a safety hazard for other players.
Flashbangs are like small fireworks with black powder, used for purposes of disorienting the enemy (but that is often not achieved). In any case, some players like to use them to make the game appear more like a real-life situation.w
Paint mines work just like regular mines, but with paint. When a player steps on it, a certain amount of paint is sprayed onto the surrounding area. By stepping on a paint mine, you not only eliminate yourself but your nearby teammates as well.
Before investing in and using any of these additional pieces of equipment listed above, make sure you get to know the rules of the game you play, and also how to use this gear.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How does a paintball gun work exactly?
There is no one answer to this question, since the way in which a paintball gun functions depends on the type, brand and the model of your marker.
In general, there is a tank with some sort of compressed gas, which when released, expels the paintball through the barrel. Paintballs are in the part of the marker called the hopper, and the hopper feeds the gun, again depending on the type of the hopper.
How far can I shoot?
Speed and distance of the shot are measured in feet per second (fps). Usually, markers can shoot up to 300 fps, depending on many characteristics of the marker. Although this is the speed and distance that can be achieved, in reality, many fields require that the speed of the shot does not go over 280 fps, for safety reasons.
How to clean and maintain a paintball gun?
This is a very good and important question, since cleaning your paintball gun is essential for the longevity and accuracy of your gun. Even top paintball guns need to be maintained in order for them to be the most accurate paintball guns, so it is important to get to know all the steps and do it right.
Keep in mind that you can find the instructions on how to clean your gun in each user manual, but here are some general guidelines for you to help you with this process.
What you need
To properly clean your marker and finish all the steps you will need warm water, tools for disassembling your marker, oil, and lube, towels, swabs.
The cleaning process
In order to ensure your safety, remove the propellant system. That way, no accidental shots will fire.
After this, disassemble your gun in accordance with the owner’s manual, or if you misplaced your’s, then go to the manufacturer’s website and find instructions. Keep all parts in one place together with the fasteners so you would know where they go.
Now, the cleaning process begins. Cleaning the barrel is the first step, and you should make sure you get all the leftover paint out of the barrel because that will influence your accuracy. Furthermore, you will prevent your marker from jamming.
The body of the marker is the next part you should focus on. Use the toothbrush to scrub every place that is hard to reach. Make sure you do not miss a spot.
Then, proceed to clean the grip frame in the same way as the previous two parts, making sure no pain is left. And, finally, go over the bolt and hammer with paper towels.
After inspecting whether there are signs of damage to your marker, it is time to use paintball oil or lube to lubricate your gun.
Make sure each part is dry before you assemble the marker.
These were the guidelines to help you with the cleaning process. It is a bit tedious, but this is a very important part of being a paintball player and it will benefit you in the long run.
How to improve the accuracy of the marker?
In order to get more accurate shots with your marker, you need to take the time to get to know how your marker functions and how it shoots. Each marker is different, and by getting more and more familiar with yours, your accuracy will improve as well. Top paintball guns will, of course, be better when it comes to accuracy, but still, it is important to learn how to handle your marker.
Of course, if you do not practice, there is no chance you will improve regardless of the quality of your marker. Find a place where you can practice without putting anyone/anything in danger and start by shooting at objects which do not move.
Maintaining and cleaning your marker is essential for the accuracy because the leftover paint will influence how your marker shoots. By cleaning your gun, you will get rid of that paint and it will not hinder the accuracy.
The next important point when it comes to your accuracy are paintballs you use. Make sure you invest in quality paint because if you do not, the quality of your marker will not be enough to provide accurate shots.
What about battery life?
A battery is a very important part because it is what powers your marker constantly and it should work perfectly. Every battery has its lifespan, but the battery life largely depends on the way you use it and maintain it, as well as on the type of batteries.
Lithium Polymer batteries are the best when it comes to consistent power and lifespan, but they are also pricey. In order to extend the lifespan of any battery, you should make sure that it does not lose power while you are not playing. Turn it off when you are taking a break, and it is also recommended to take the battery out of the marker when it is not used. While not used, store the batteries in cool and dry places.
Do I need a high flow regulator?
A regulator is an essential piece of paintball equipment since it ensures that there is enough air and it regulates releasing of the air so that your marker would operate to its fullest potential. If you want your shots to be accurate and have consistent velocity, you need a regulator.
Which paintball gun brands are the best?
There are many good paintball guns out there, but in search for the best paintball gun, you should really look into the most reputable brands with proven quality and performance. Some brands of top paintball guns are Tippmann, Empire, Planet Eclipse, Dye, Spider, and Azodin.
How were paintball guns invented?
Paintball guns were originally invented by Charles Nelson and his company for the U.S. Forestry Service. They needed a way to mark trees from a distance, and this turned out to be the most efficient way.
What are paintballs made of?
Paintballs consist of the shell, which is the outer part, and the fill. The shell is made out of gelatin and it is designed so that it does not break until there is heavier pressure on it. The fill consists of a liquid, which is usually a watered-soluble dye.
Does a paintball hit hurt and can I get injured?
If you are worried that playing paintball is dangerous and you can get injured, you really do not have a reason for that. Paintball is one of the safest sports out there and the number of injuries is really low.
As for the injuries in paintball, they mostly have to do with running and jumping (such as an ankle injury), and rarely have to do with paintball hits. The reason for that is that you have special clothes and gear you wear during a game for a specific purpose of protecting you from a paintball hit injuries. Because of this, you also do not feel any pain when hit by a paintball. You may feel like someone hit you lightly with their hand. Of course, the velocity of the paintball, the distance of the shooter and the angle of the hit may influence the pain intensity, but you should be fine if you wear the recommended clothing.
Your fear of pain should not prevent you from going out there and trying this exciting game. After the first hit, you will see it is not that bad, all your fear will go away.
How to store the ammunition?
You should keep your paintballs in a cool, dry place. The temperature which is ideal is between 15 and 20 Celsius and the dryness will prevent paintballs from swelling. If you store them like this, paintball can last about 6 months.
Is paintball paint washable?
Yes, paintball paint can be washed off like any regular stain in a normal wash cycle.
What about the size of the paintballs caliber?
There are different paintball calibers (diameter in inches), ranging from 0.40 to 0.68, the later ones being used more frequently. There are differences between these diameters, but you will choose one based on the barrel you have. If you have several barrels or a conversion kit which can modify any barrel then you can choose between several paintball sizes. The 0.68 ones are the most popular ones because they are versatile enough and can be used in different types of paintball games. If you are a beginner, you may opt for a 0.50 diameter, because it is a smaller diameter, hence the marker for it is less heavy and you have to load less often, which comes in handy when you are a beginner.
How many paintballs come in a box?
The quantity you get in a box depends on the size of the paintballs you have chosen and the model. However, the standard box comes with around 2000 paintballs usually divided into 4 bags with 500 paintballs.
How many paintballs do I need?
This depends on how many hours you are planning to play, what your playing style is, are you active and shooting a lot etc. Roughly calculated, 200 paintballs are shot in an hour. This number can, of course, vary and it may be significantly higher if you are very active.
We hope our extensive research and paintball gun reviews have helped you get the bigger picture when it comes to choosing the best paintball gun.
There are a plethora of possibilities, and we understand that it is a bit complicated to find your way among many good paintball guns out there. But, as you can conclude from this guide, you have to determine what your needs and preferences are, and after that, you will be able to make the best choice and enjoy playing paintball for a long time, with high-quality equipment which will only contribute to your experience.