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Paintball Tips and Tricks

Here are a few paintball tips and tricks for beginners and first time players:

If you are going to a paintball field to play for the first time, the field will give you safety instructions and provide you with all the equipment you need to play but here’s some instruction to give you an advantage before you even head to the field.

Face Mask and Goggles – Only use eye protection that is designed specifically for paintball. Under no circumstances should you take off your facemask or lift your goggles while on the paintball field. Paintball is very safe as long as you don’t break the seal your goggles create around your eyes. The most common new player mistake is to lift or remove your goggles after being eliminated or when they believe no one is shooting at them. A paintball can do permanent injury to your vision and the goggles can only keep you safe if you are wearing them. If your goggles fog, ask for a referee’s help but do not lift them up until after you leave the playing field.

Paintball Apparel - The most important part is to dress for the weather. Most paintball fields are outside so make sure what you wear is comfortable and you won't be too hot or too cold. Remember, you will be running around so if it is cold, make sure you wear layers you can remove if you get too hot. You will want to wear long sleeves and definitely avoid wearing shorts. If it is chilly enough to warrant it, bring it a hoody. That's a great removable layer.

If possible stick to darker colors and bring clothes that you don't mind getting dirty. The paint will almost always wash out of darker colors but dirt and grass could possibly stain. More importantly, you want to be free to have fun and not worry about ruining expensive clothes. It's very common to see people playing for the first time in jeans and a long sleeve t-shirt or a hooded sweatshirt. You won't look out of place.

You'll want shoes you can run around in. The terrain is different from field to field but old running shoes, cleats or hiking boots all work well. The most important part is you wear something that is comfortable and fits. You can bring gloves, but remember you are going to be holding the marker and pulling the trigger so big winter gloves won't work.

Paintball Honesty – Paintball is played on the honor system. The referees aren’t there to make sure you don’t cheat, they are there to make sure the games are fun and everyone stays safe by keeping their goggles on. When you get hit, try to get behind cover and see if the paintball broke. Generally you are eliminated no matter where the paintball hit you as long as it broke. If it left a mark, you need to raise your arm and leave the game. Make sure you keep your goggles on and your arm up as you exit the field back to the “safe” area. A stray paintball might still hit you even though you are out so it is very important to keep those goggles on. Enjoy playing paintball but be honest when you play. You don’t want to get a reputation as a cheater by continuing to play after you were hit or wiping the paint off. You will get a chance to redeem yourself in the next game so you’ll usually only have to wait a few minutes before playing again.

Spread out – The most common new player mistake is to freeze up and stay in one place behind an obstacle with other players from the same team. It’s important that players on the team work together and spread out. Most importantly, you want to make sure that no one from the other team can get behind you so people need to spread out left and right until they can see the boundary lines (generally called the “tape” because they are often marked with caution tape). You also want to send some players forward so the other team doesn’t trap you in the back of the field.

Move and Communicate – As soon as the game starts, it’s time to move and communicate with your team. You want to tell them right away as you see the opposition and you’ll want to move forward and spread out immediately. As the game progresses, you’ll almost always need to move to a new spot. Sometimes your team will be winning and you need to press your advantage. Other times you’ll just want a better angle on opposing players. Talk to your own team and don’t feel bad asking them where the opposition is hiding. Tell them what you can see as well. If your team is getting eliminated, you might even need to retreat to guard your base. You may think you are down, but remember the paintball tips and tricks you learned above to keep you in the game.

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