How to Play Paintball in 2022 – Great Sport for Exercising

Beginners Guides > How to Play Paintball

Paintball is an exciting thrilling combat sport, entitled to deliver real life like shooting action. Playing Paintball has the incredible power to turn your companions into competitive rivals in a friendly environment.

So how to play paintball? This fast paced game can be played individually or in teams. Paintball is played with the help of air compressed guns that shoot gelatin balls filled with paint to target an opponent under the roof of safety measures.

In this article, I will highlight all the basics a newbie needs to know about paintball before he or she could take their first step in the battlegrounds. And some handy pro tips that I learned over time playing paintball.

We will discuss the gameplay of paintball, its safety measures, the essential paintball gear, safety gadgets, and their types; ending with some useful pro tips.

What is a Paintball Shooting Game?

Paintball is a shooting game that two or more players can play. The equipment needed for the play includes safety equipment, guns, and paintballs.

It is a team sport or recreational healthy physical activity in which players eliminate opponents by hitting them with spherical gelatin capsules containing water dyes of various colors.

The game may be played on indoor or outdoor fields scattered with natural or artificial terrain, which players use for tactical cover, all in all, action based environment feeling.

Paintball Players have the option to choose between the rental equipment or bringing their own gear to the paintball field.

Although I do recommend consulting beforehand. Because different paintball fields have different rules and regulations regarding paintball gear and safety measures.

How to Play a Paintball Game?

Since paintball is a pretty intense shooting game, it could change its course in a split second; one moment is all that is needed to become a winner or loser.

That is why it is essential for beginner paintball players to know what they should expect in the match and how to go about it.

Who knows… you might have to go up against friends and family for the very first paintball match. So, you must know how to play paintball before entering the paintball field.

how to play a paintball game

How does Paintball Gameplay work?

First of all, how it works is simple: you shoot your opponents with brightly-colored balls filled with a dye called “paintballs.” Air compressed paintball markers are used to shoot these paintballs.

It’s up to you to either play solo or in teams. To win you need to shoot your opponents or complete the game style course.

When you get hit, your clothing or skin is stained with the color of the Paintball. Signaling that you’re out of the match. To protect themselves from any physical injury players must always wear safety gear and follow rules.

You will also find referees on the paintball field for help and to make sure that rules are being followed.

How to Start Playing Paintball?

That was all about the basics of paintball. Now moving forward let’s start with the actual first step.

Keep Moving

If you are new to Paintball, there is one mistake that beginners make. They stay still. You should always keep moving even if you are in a safe spot because it makes it harder for the other players to hit you.


Team play is the key to winning a paintball game. Playing in a group helps if each player talks to one another before they begin the match.

It increases the chances of winning a match. You should show good teamwork and be much better than the other team in the game zone.

Communication can be done using hand gestures or other signals that make your opponents aware of what you are planning. Even animal sounds as well, I have witnessed a few players using sound to signal their teammates.

Judge Everything & Play

Before the paintball game begins, you should quickly scout out how your opponents play and how they set up their field.

You can also find a hiding spot that allows you to view most of the battlefield so that when the match starts, you know where everyone is at all times.

Establish Boundaries

The boundaries of the paintball games and rules may vary from one play to another. It depends on how big your field is and how many players are playing in a team or individually.

You should set up boundaries and make clear how far you can go when shooting at each other during the game because if someone goes beyond it, they are ejected from the match.

Do not forget your main objective

Every paintball game has a specific objective. If you play in a tournament, it will be very different from how you play with your friends or family, where the goal of winning does not matter as much as having fun and enjoying yourself.

Each different type of paintball game has different objectives, try not to lose focus on that. We will discuss each paintball game type below in detail.

Get the Best Cover

Your gear is one of the essential parts of how you play a paintball game. You should ensure that your equipment has complete coverage and does not leave any gaps. And is in good condition.

I will always check the paintball gear beforehand so that I won’t be left out stranded on the field due to a jamming paintball marker or due to other gear dysfunctionality.

What do You need? Equipment Needed to Play Paintball

To make things simpler for newbies and other players we have compiled a few things together like

  • A list of essential equipment
  • Necessary Safety Gears
  • Safety Rules & Regulations
  • Other necessities from consulting different paintball coaches & training players
  • my own personal experience could help a lot out on the battlegrounds.

First of all, for first-timers, we recommend NOT buying paintball equipment like a paintball marker or hopper at all and going for the rental equipment kit that the paintball field offers.

These standard rental kits include:

Paintball marker/paintball gun

Paintball guns are the essential piece of equipment in this game. They may be automatic or semi-automatic pistols that can shoot a large number of small paintballs very quickly.

At least one friend likely has an extra pistol for you to borrow or rent.

Paintball mask

A protective mask is also needed when playing Paintball; paintball masks will protect your eyes and face from the paintballs you are shot with by other players in the game, preventing any painful hits!

Eye goggles, chest protectors, and gloves are also a good idea when playing.

Paintball Hopper 

A paintball hopper is a storage container that attaches to the paintball gun for a continuous supply of paintballs. You will find automatic and gravity fed hoppers.

But the rental ones are mostly gravity fed hoppers.

Compressed Air Tanks or CO2

This compressed air tank is required for powering up the marker so you can shoot your opponents.

You will find other optional protective items in the rental kit as well but it varies from field to field like:

Why do we recommend Rental equipment?

Rental paintball gear will give you the opportunity to get familiarized with the gameplay beforehand to decide whether this sport is your cup of tea or not, instead of investing money and finding out later that paintball is too much for you.

Not only that, but you also get to try out different paintball marker models, and whichever suits you the best could be added to your bucket list of paintball equipment.

Other than that you need to buy paintballs to start playing on the field. Many fields enforce the rule of “field paintball only” because of safety reasons and to ensure fairness among all paintball participants.

So before buying your own make sure the field you’re going to play allows you to bring your own ammo.

If you still plan on buying your very own first paintball marker earlier than expected then our recommendation will be Tippmann A5, Kingman Spyder Gun like Spyder Pilot, or Spyder Sonix.

These paintball guns are ideal for beginners and newbies because of their price range with high quality, easy functionality, and maintenance. These are the best way to also learn the skill of maintaining and cleaning a paintball marker.

Pro Tip: It’s also advisable to practice with your own paintball marker beforehand to get comfy with it. A good tactic is to test out a few rounds to see how a paintball marker works, shoot, whether it jams or not, reload, and do other things.

What to Wear for Paintball – Gears & Accessories

It is important to dress properly for any paintball match in winter or summer for safety, comfort, and camouflage reasons. It’s good to have layers of clothing on to protect yourself from the impact of paintball but it is also crucial for that clothing to have camouflage characteristics as well.

This will give you a considerable advantage in blending yourself with the surroundings, especially for snippers or stealth mode. Earth tones, olive green, and natural colors are preferred color tones by many pro paintball players.

Besides the camouflage and protective aspect, your clothing needs to be comfortable to ensure smooth mobility.

Since paintball is extreme physical support that requires a lot of running, sprinting, walking, and so on. This also includes the choice of your footwear as well. The ones with rigid souls will work best for you.

Let us summarise what you have to wear, how to gear up & get ready yourself before playing the paintball shooting game:

  • Get a Badass paintball gun Ready
  • Wear Badass Paintball Safety Mask
  • Get some Paint or Paintballs
  • Wear Paintball Shirts, Pants, Boots & Gloves
  • Do not forget to wear Groin Cup underpants
  • Wear Paintball Goggles
  • Wear Vest /chest protectors
  • Get something for Head & Neck Protection like Paintball Helmets
  • Wear Knee Pads, Elbow Pads & another padding
  • Most importantly, take Gear Bag with you to carry Paintball Accessories

Cost of Playing Paintball

Before we go further into the realm of paintball, let’s discuss the most important thing; the cost of playing paintball.

“The cost varies from player to player and the span of game time you intend to play it.”

If you are one of the people who love to play paintball for an entire whole day then approximately $40-$80 will be able to cover the whole day’s worth of field access, paintball gear, and paintballs.

This range could also differ from field to field because of the price variation of paintballs.

Paintball Rules to Follow

Any sport has a certain set of rules developed to ensure players’ safety along with all the fun. Despite having so many different variations of games, paintball does have a set of a few common rules for safety measures.

  • It is not allowed to remove the facemask in any condition on the field area.
  • You have to maintain a minimum of 10 feet distance before shooting a competitor; players are not allowed to shoot other contestants at a closer range.
  • Shooting a paintball player who has already been shot or eliminated is prohibited.
  • You need to raise your hands up upon being shot and walk out of the field after referee confirmation. However, the paint has to be visually seen. Paintballs that don’t break on impact don’t count.
  • Be aware not to wipe the paint off upon a hit, there is a penalty for that.
  • No physical contact with other players
  • Nobody should deliberately run into another player or make any dangerous move that could cause a collision.

What are basic paintball games?

There are many different types of paintball games developed over time since its birth for you to enjoy to spice things up, my personal favorite is ‘capture the flag’. To name a few:


Players can either play as a team or individually. The whole purpose of this game is to eliminate all competitors. The last one standing will hold the winner’s trophy.

Capture the flag

Two teams compete with each other in order to capture the opposing team’s flag. Capturing the flag and returning back to one base safely secures a win.

Another way to win is by eliminating every single player of the opposing team.

Scenario Based Games

You will find a good deal of game range in it like protecting the VIP, securing the President, and so on.

These types of games double the fun of playing paintball by being in role play. These give the real feeling of being in an action packed game.

Tips and Tricks For Playing a Game of Paintball 

It would help if you always planned how you are going to play before actually playing.

If you are new, just come with an open mind and do not be afraid to ask others how they do things or what the rules of that particular field are. It is important not to get frustrated if you find yourself losing time after time.

There are many different play styles for Paintball, so you must have fun with how you play!

You can either be an individual player or part of a team – but either way, as long as you are playing safely and having fun, then you are doing it right!

Handful Tips to Follow Through a Paintball Match

These are a few tips that we learned over time from our paintballing.

These will surely help you a lot at the start of your paintball journey:

  1. Before any match, test out the rental equipment in a safe place with a referee’s permission. It’s better to test even your own equipment ahead of time to avoid any problems.
  2. Don’t forget to take off the safety of your paintball marker before a match.
  3. If your marker gets jammed on the battlefield then instead of fixing it and getting shot while at it, shout JAM to alert others to give it time to unjam the paintball marker.
  4. Jamming usually occurs when you flip your gun upside down. Avoid it to prevent any paintball marker from jamming during a match.
  5. Check out whether the rental mask is anti-fog or not. Fogging mask will hinder your vision thus affecting your overall performance.
  6. Keep a check on your ammo and don’t shoot out recklessly only to end up with no ammo at the end. Try to take smart shots and have some backup paintballs aside.
  7. To get more experience try to play different types of paintball games each time, this will polish your skillset and let you experience & learn other skills like leadership, quick decision making, and so on.
  8. Always have a barrel-blocking device with you. It could be pretty dangerous if you accidentally pull the trigger of a loaded gun during a safe zone time or at a resting area. Getting hit by a paintball on a closure range with no safety protection could have dangerous consequences.

Safety Precautions for Playing Paintball

Here we listed down some notable practices and precautions that you can do to keep yourself and others safe around you.

  • Wear paintball safety equipment such as a mask and gloves.
  • Never aim the gun at anyone.
  • Avoid pointing it in an unsafe direction, whether loaded or unloaded.
  • Before loading a paintball marker with a paintball, check if there are any broken balls inside by looking into the barrel while wearing safety glasses or goggles that have shatter-resistant lenses before you load it for firing.
  • An adult should supervise kids, and there should always be first aid supplies on hand in case of injury or paint contamination.
  • Do not shoot at people or animals (including dogs). It is just wrong! Also, refrain from shooting into houses, cars, or other structures.
  • Do not shoot paintballs on private property without the owner’s permission. Also, avoid any areas that are marked as unsafe for play by signs or fences.
  • If a paintball hits you, it will leave a mark. The game is over if the referee sees that. It would help if you told the referee that you had been hit and then walked off the field.
  • Do not try to remove the tint if you get hit. The referee might give you a penalty.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following are some fundamental queries people have about paintball. We Hope these will clear out some doubts and will answer your specific questions as well:

What is the distance required for paintball shooting?

The game field should have at least 100 feet (30 meters) of open space between bunkers and obstacles that could cause injury to players if hit by bullets, around 200 ft(60m) recommended distance to play safe & ensure safety.

Do paintballs hurt?

Getting hit by a paintball does sting and without proper protective gear, it could also leave a small bruise. But don’t worry there are plenty of simple tips you can perform to minimize the force of the hit.

  • Wear a number of layered clothes like t-shirts to blunt the impact of the paintball
  • Expose as minimal skin as possible.
  • Wear all protective gear to protect your face, hands, and knees.
  • If comfortable, you can even wear gloves and chest protectors.

Can I play with just one arm?

No! Paintball requires two arms and both legs. You cannot shoot the ball without them.

Is it hard to play Paintball?

It all depends on how you play it. It can be easy or difficult, depending on how seriously you take the game and how much practice you put in to hone your skills!

Will I get dirty playing paintball? 

Yes, but only if you do not wear proper clothes for this sport like knee pads & elbow pads, which are necessary.

How do you win at Paintball?

By shooting your opponent. Also, the team that has more players in play at the end of a match wins.

Keep practicing to improve your aim so that way you can raise your chances of winning.

How do you play Paintball for beginners?

Playing Paintball for beginners can be a bit intimidating. You should first ensure that your equipment is in good condition and have the proper safety gear before playing correctly!

When playing this sport, the first thing you need to do is find some friends who want to play too – it is always more fun with buddies.

What is the goal of Paintball?

The goal is to tag the opposition with paintballs and then proceed up the field to plant a flag on that team’s starting point.

You can complete this by either eliminating all of your opponent’s players or making it across the map when time runs out!


The above mentioned few things will help you perform well in a paintball match even if you have never played it before. I have provided you with how to play Paintball. You will need your gun and protective gear when playing a game of Paintball.

Wear the appropriate clothing and gear before playing Paintball. Have fun when you play using either individual or team styles.

Be sure to keep in mind any handy tips mentioned above, it will prove to be quite handy for you on the field.