Paintball is a game where friends become enemies, where every move can be your last, and where you’re guaranteed to end up very, very messy. While all that might not sound like a fun experience, paintball has become one of the nation’s most beloved pastimes. In fact, at its peak, nearly as many played paintball as baseball.
Learn what you’ll need to play paintball for the first time, from what you need to wear to the essential paintball for beginners tips.
What Is Paintball?
Paintball involves teams or individual players competing to eliminate other players by tagging them with paint-filled pellets and sometimes completing game objectives. These special balls are filled with a water-soluble dye, have a gelatin shell outside, and are fired from a gas-powered gun.
How To Play Paintball: 101
Paintball games are played on indoor or outdoor fields which are filled with natural or artificial terrain for players to use for cover. Rules for playing vary, but usually involve a combination of elimination, capture the flag, limited ammunition, defending or attacking a certain point or area, or finding and capturing objects hidden in the field. Depending on the paintball game, players could be in action for anywhere from a few minutes to hours, or even days in some specialized games.
Safety is the number one priority to play paintball and there are some rules that are universal no matter where you play:
- Wear a mask or safety goggles at all times
- Keep your finger off the trigger unless you’re ready to fire
- If you must shoot at close range, aim for places that won’t hurt as much
- Don’t shoot someone more than you have to
Paintball Equipment: What You’ll Need To Start
Playing paintball can require a lot of equipment but in the early days, you can opt to rent equipment at your local field as you get familiar with the game.
Clothing-wise you’ll want to choose colors that will help you blend in with your surroundings. Neutral, dark, or camouflage colors all work best. Multiple layers will protect you from any hits you get in the field and it should go without saying, that you should wear clothes and shoes you don’t mind getting dirty.
Other gear that you can gradually add to your paintball shooting arsenal include:
- A paintball gun
- Paintball hopper
- Air tanks
More info can be found at your local or online paintball goods store.
Tips For Your First Time
Your first paintball experience might be overwhelming. You’ve got new rules to follow, equipment to figure out, and you’re still expected to somehow beat the other team. Here are some tips to help when you play paintball for the first time:
- Use cover and choose your location wisely
- Protect your teammates by covering fire
- Practice aiming so you can always hit your target
- Creep around the field for the ultimate moves in stealth
Get Ready To Play Paintball
Ready to take the next step in your paintball journey? If all this sounds like the extreme sport for you, it’s time to head out and find a paintball field to test out your skills. Find out more about paintball rules and everything else you need to know to play paintball in our Sports sections.