If you are a paintball player who has played several paintball games so far, means that you’re not quite a newbie, but rather a beginner or intermediate player. You’re already familiar with the rules of the paintball game, and you have some basic paintball skills.
But now, you are looking to take your skills step-by-step to the next level and become more advanced in the paintball game. Congrats, you’re in the right place. After 10 years of playing paintball, I have gathered lots of knowledge to help you become an advanced paintball player.
In this guide, I’ll show you how to play paintball for beginners or intermediate players, what techniques, paintball strategies or tactics you can use, and various tips and tricks. By the end of this guide, you’ll be well-equipped to take on any opponent and dominate the field.
How to play paintball for beginners & intermediate players
Practice shooting accuracy
How to be good at paintball? In paintball, the most important thing is to have a strong command of shooting accuracy. If you aspire to be a top paintball player, make it your priority.
To improve your accuracy, you need to practice aiming and shooting at targets. I suggest you go to the paintball field and dedicate time to practicing shooting. Try to learn to shoot accurately from different positions, such as sideways or lying on the ground.
Additionally, try to develop the ability to shoot with both your dominant and non-dominant hands. The faster you learn to shoot with both hands, the more effectively you will be able to react and respond to attacks on the paintball field.
Work on your movement
Another important tactic is to develop your proficiency in moving around the paintball field without getting spotted. As a beginner in playing paintball, you already know that standing still or in the same spot is dangerous. This will give your position away. The opponents will notice you and will not be afraid to attack you. Also, by hiding all the time, you allow the enemy team to occupy a larger area of the paintball field from where they can shoot at your team.
Therefore, learn to move quickly and tactically. Always be patient and move deliberately. Do not rush because this will lead to mistakes and you’ll get yourself eliminated. Try to move from cover to cover and never run in the open field because you will be exposed to incoming fire from your opponents. You can also take advantage of opportunities to move when your opponents are reloading their paintball guns.
Communicate effectively with your team
Beware of being misled, as the answer to the question of how to play paintball well isn’t solely related to your shooting abilities.
Paintball is a team sport and your success depends on the entire team’s performance. Therefore, it’s vital to stay connected with your team while on the field. Maintaining communication with other team members is the secret to winning the paintball game.
Keep in constant communication with your teammates to coordinate movements on the field. Before the game starts, establish a set of clear signals or codes that can help you convey information quickly and efficiently during the game. Even in stressful situations with lots of paintballs flying around you, don’t hesitate to communicate with your teammates.
Start using paintball tactics
Paintball is a sport that requires the use of tactics to gain an advantage over the opponent. If you want to improve your performance in paintball, start implementing paintball tactics in your games.
Here are three common paintball tactics that you as a beginner paintball player can use:
Mixing up angles: This paintball tactic involves shooting at your opponents from different angles. By doing this, they will not identify the location where you hide.
You can mix up the angles by shooting paintballs from the left of the bunker, then after a while, you can shoot from the right. You can also try shooting paintballs from above the bunker. This paintball tactic helps you be evasive and confuse your opponents.
Suppression fire: You can apply this paintball tactic when you have spotted an opponent, and you want your team to eliminate him and advance towards the game’s objective.
How to apply this paintball tactic? Let’s say you saw an opponent and announced the team. You want to block your opponent. To keep the opponent’s head down, you need to shoot him until your team advances down the field. Your opponent will not be able to move or fire back.
Flanking: This tactical paintball involves dividing the team into two smaller groups. One of the teams acts as a diversion that distracts the attention of the opponents. The other team advances on the field from the back to attack the enemy team.
Involve paintball strategies
It is always a good idea to have a strategy or two in place before starting the paintball game. A paintball strategy is nothing more than careful planning of the team’s movement and approach. Thus, everyone in the team knows what’s next depending on the situation on the field, and everyone knows their role in the strategy. Here are three paintball strategies that you can use when playing paintball as a beginner:
Divide and conquer: As the name suggests, this paintball strategy involves dividing the team into several small groups. Thus you and your team can attack the opponents in several directions at the same time. This strategy surprises the opponents and makes it harder for them to defend themselves.
Aggressive offense: If you like to play aggressively, then this strategy is for you. It involves continuously firing at your opponents, making it challenging for them to seek shelter, maneuver, or protect themselves.
Bait and switch: For this strategy to work, you and your team have to lure your opponents into a trap. Usually, you can do this by giving the impression that someone from your team is vulnerable or exposed. Once your enemy takes the bait, you and your team start shooting at them.
Hide in the right place
On the paintball field, it is incredibly advantageous to find a location that does two things:
- Provides good coverage
- Allows you to have great coverage while standing up
This type of hiding location helps you stay in the game and minimize your chances of elimination.
Imagine the following scenario: You hide in a spot that forces you to crouch down or even lie on the ground. Suddenly, an enemy spots you, and you must make a quick escape. At that moment your chance of survival decreases a lot. Just think how hard would be for you to move quickly when you’re already in a crouching or lying position. Alternatively, finding a hiding spot that offers good coverage allows you to move fast and act.
Stay focused and aware
You need to stay focused and aware when playing paintball as a beginner. Paintball is a fast-paced game, so be careful not to lose focus. Situational awareness and constant vigilance help you anticipate the moves you can make, moves or actions the opponent can do, or other situations.
Pay special attention to your surroundings, including the location of your teammates and opponents, the field, and any potential hazards. At the same time, you want to be fully aware of what you are doing, your movements and future ones, the volume of your ammunition, and your coverage.
Think a step ahead
As I said above, awareness helps you anticipate. After you anticipate, you need to consider how to use what you might anticipate to your advantage. By doing so, you can position yourself in a better location to hit or dodge their attack.
Thinking a step ahead means:
- analyzing the current situation
- predicting your opponent’s movements
- making a quick decision, if there is no time to act
- developing a strategy that increases your chances of survival, if you have enough time to act
For example, if you know your opponents can attack you from behind, then think about where they might come from and hide accordingly. You can also strategize with your team to attack them. If you find yourself in an impossible position, anticipate your enemy’s movements and plan your escape route.
Add more paintball tricks
In addition to the strategies described above, you can add other surprise elements to the paintball field. You can make a loud noise or use a smoke grenade. These elements distract and confuse the opponent, while you can change your location/position, and even attack the opponent.
Paintball tips & tricks on how to play for beginners
- If you like paintball and want to continue practicing, then you should buy your own paintball equipment. In the long term, it is not profitable to rent every time you go to the paintball field. To make it easier for you, I’ve prepared the essential paintball equipment list. Basically, this list of equipment includes clothes and extra protection to wear for paintball, paintball gun, paintball gun barrel, paintball, paintball gloves, paintball gun barrel cover, and some other paintball accessories.
- If you’ve already bought your own equipment, then prepare it for the game. That means filling in your tank, packing enough paintballs, and charging the batteries if you use something electronic.
- Always clean your paintball equipment. This helps you keep your gear in good condition and improves your performance and accuracy during the game. My simple cleaning guide for your paintball gun, mask, and clothes shows you step-by-step how to clean your paintball barrel and other components of the paintball gun.
- Test your equipment after cleaning. Once you’ve thoroughly cleaned your paintball and all its components, make sure to arrange them in the correct order and carefully check that everything is functioning properly by taking a few test shots.
- Another important tip for playing paintball is to avoid blind firing. Blind fire is when you fire your gun without looking or aiming. This technique is a dangerous one because you can injure other players. So, avoid shooting blindly during a paintball game.
- If a player is already hit and therefore eliminated, do not continue to shoot paintballs at him. This is what overshooting means: to keep firing multiple paintballs at a player after they have already been hit and are out of the game. Overshooting is actually viewed as poor sportsmanship. In addition to not being fair play, it is also not safe and even painful.
If you’re a beginner in paintball and looking to improve, you can easily start by adding the techniques that I described for you above to your game. Nevertheless, the most important thing you need to do is practice regularly and seek out opportunities to gain even more experience.
It is very good to keep reading and learning about paintball strategies, tips, tactics, and more, but in the end, you need to go out there and keep practicing. That’s the key to success in paintball! Now, go get ’em!