A Beginners Guide to Paintball and Gear

  • Paintball can be a fun group activity for older kids and adults. Teams go against each other with the intention to avoid the enemy team. Everything you need is usually provided at the game location, however, the equipment may be old or less protective than you want it to be. It can be helpful to have a few things of your own if you plan to play regularly. There is a lot to learn about the game, and no shortage of gear on the market. It can be helpful to know a little about the game and the type of gear that works best.

    The Objective

    Each paintball game may have a different objective. You may be working with a team, or be on your own. The games can range in time from a few minutes to hours, depending on the objective. Some common game modes are total annihilation, capture the flag, and attack and defend. You may feel like you just got thrown down in a chaotic battle zone the first few times you play. As you gain experience you should feel more organized in your strategies.

    The Guns

    Other than your protective gear, your gun is the single most important piece of equipment. There are plenty to choose from, however, this can often make it confusing for beginners. There are two types of guns, mechanical and electrical. Most people start out with a mechanical version while they get used to the game. You may want to switch over to an electric before long, unless your main course of play is woodsball/scenario. These can be customized to fit your preference with various grips. They only fire in semi-automatic mode, releasing a single paintball at a time.

    Electronic paintball guns are the only option when playing speedball. The most popular mode of shooting is NXL/Ramping in these matches. They get pretty competitive, and you must be able to keep up with the firing speed of other players. Automatic firing allows you to pull the trigger once for multiple shots. Your hopper should match the speed of your gun so that you can load as fast as you shoot. Gravity hoppers are best for mechanical guns, while you need an electronic paintball hopper to keep up with an electric paintball gun.

    Protective Equipment

    The mask is a key component of safety. There are many places you can get hit with minimal damage, and your face is not one of them. Serious injuries can occur, your safety equipment is worth spending extra money on. There really is no contest between the two types of masks, thermal and non-thermal. The issue with non-thermal masks is that they often fog up, limiting your vision. For the best competitive edge, choose a thermal mask. Full head protection is important. Helmets or army type hats are often used, as well.

    Paintball is an active game. Expect to be running, crouching, and jumping. To land comfortably when you have to hide quickly, or dodge a shooter, knee pads are a necessity. Make sure they have a snug fit so they do not slip down while you are running. Choose a material with good impact resistance to best protect your knees when you hit the ground suddenly. Gloves can also help to secure your grip and prevent blisters from repeated firing of your weapon.

    Paintball is a great way to get moving and also use your brain. Complex strategies and game play modes can keep teens busy for hours. It is important to be clear about your equipment options before you arrive at the gaming location. Call ahead and find out what you need to bring. Quality safety, the proper gun, and practice all make the game more enjoyable.