Whether you’re a weekend warrior or a professional paintballer, there’s one thing we can all agree on: finding the right gun is essential. After two decades of experience playing paintball, I’ve tested and owned more than my fair share of guns, and today I’m sharing the nine best paintball guns under 500 dollars.
The Empire Axe 2.0 is the best paintball gun under $500 in 2023. It has a pressure-controlled poppet engine and anti-chop laser eyes, giving it superior performance and reliability. The Shockwave board offers multiple fire modes, and the two-piece barrel increases accuracy, making it a great all-rounder.
However, there are other options. Are you curious about which guns are the best bang for your buck? If so, read on to find out which nine paintball guns I highly recommend for anyone with a budget of 500 dollars.
If you are on a budget, consider reading my article about Best Paintball Guns Under $300 instead.
Best Overall: Empire Axe 2.0 Paintball Marker
The Empire Axe 2.0 is ideal for serious players who want reliable performance and customizable features. Its pressure-controlled poppet engine ensures you can rely on it shot after shot, while break-beam anti-chop laser eyes ensure accuracy isn’t compromised.
With its versatile Shockwave board with multiple firing modes and adjustable trigger, you’ll be able to adapt to any situation on the field. Moreover, its improved weather resistance will keep it running smoothly game after game.
Bottom Line: If you’re in the market for a paintball marker that won’t let you down, the Empire Axe 2.0 is an easy choice. It’s lightweight and operates smoothly while giving top-notch performance and consistently accurate hits. Just be aware that it may need more upkeep than other models.
Maintain accuracy with break-beam anti-chop laser eyes
Multiple firing modes
Built to last
It can need extra care in terms of maintenance
- Dependable performance you can count on from the pressure-controlled poppet engine.
- Maintain accuracy with break-beam anti-chop laser eyes.
- Greater flexibility with its multiple firing modes.
- Increased accuracy with its two-piece barrel design.
- Personalize your play style with adjustable trigger and power switch settings.
- Built to last, with increased resistance to weather conditions.
- It can need extra care in terms of maintenance.
Most Features: Planet Eclipse GTEK 170R
The Planet Eclipse GTEK 170R is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a feature-rich gun that’s still highly affordable. Thanks to its Gamma Core drivetrain, you’ll get a reliable and efficient experience. Plus, it’s smooth, quiet, and gentle to operate.
Ultimately, the user-friendly design gives you plenty of time to focus on what matters most during the action.
Overall, the Planet Eclipse GTEK 170R provides a smooth and efficient Gamma Core drivetrain, and its user-friendly design makes it both a pleasure to use and a force to be reckoned with.
It has sleek lines, simple features, and some added extras, making it a great buy. However, some players may wish for more customization options, and some have noticed durability issues. Generally speaking, though, most people really appreciate this marker.
Efficiency and comfort
Rich basic features and enhancements
Not enough customizations
Can have a problem with the trigger
Durability problems for some users
- The Gamma Core drivetrain delivers efficiency and comfort in one package.
- The user-friendly design keeps you focused on the game.
- Sleek lines, basic features, and enhancements earn high praise from customers.
- Lightweight and compact for easy carry.
- High performance and low recoil for a quiet, deadly game.
- It’s tough and durable.
- Some would like more customization options.
- A few buyers have reported durability issues.
- Some people have had problems with the trigger, but most haven’t.
Best Value: Planet Eclipse Etha 3
This tactical, fully-loaded marker is packed with features that deliver fantastic performance without costing you an arm and a leg. Perfect for beginners and experienced players alike, the Etha2 is reliable and durable thanks to its excellent construction.
If you’re looking for a paintball marker to help you play your best, the Planet Eclipse Etha2 is an excellent option. Its impressive performance-to-price ratio makes it a great choice for paintballers of any level.
You’ll get full tactical functionality, low maintenance costs, and affordable air efficiency. Even though some people have found that it’s a bit weighty, this gun will take your game up a notch.
Amazing performance vs. price ratio
Packed with features
Easy to use – Great for beginners
- Offers incredible performance for its price.
- Fully tactical and packed with features.
- Smooth shooting.
- Easy maintenance.
- Air efficient.
- Easy to use and maintain, making it an excellent choice for beginners.
- Some customers have reported that it’s a bit heavy.
Most Precise: Tippmann Stormer Elite Paintball Gun
With its high-performance construction and impressive features, the Tippmann Stormer Elite is another fantastic paintball marker built for any level of play.
This gun is designed to maximize your shooting precision without fail, thanks to an ergonomic design that’s comfortable to handle. Furthermore, the durable components can withstand wear and tear.
The Tippmann Stormer Elite is the perfect pick for serious paintballers looking for a powerful gun that can provide precision and control. Built with an ergonomic design and durable components, this top-grade marker delivers superior shooting power to stay one step ahead of opponents.
Moreover, you can adjust its settings to best meet your needs, from amateur play to professional-caliber action. And with its military-style look and modular design, this gun stands out in the field, adding an extra style element.
Military style look
Compatible with mag-fed and hopper ball
Too advanced for beginners
A bit more expensive compared to similar guns
Needs more maintenance
- Modular design makes it easy to customize to your preferences.
- A tactical front shroud, flip-up sights, and collapsible stock give it a military-style look.
- Compatible with both hopper ball and mag-fed paintball.
- Durable construction and high-quality craftsmanship.
- It may be too advanced for raw beginners.
- Higher price point compared to some other paintball guns.
- It may require more maintenance and upkeep.
Best Performance: Dye Rize CZR
The Dye Rize CZR paintball marker was designed with uncompromising attention to detail. From its dauntingly lightweight yet durable body to the adjustable settings that give you ultimate control of your game, this marker is ready for any challenge you throw at it.
Its ultra-responsive trigger allows for lightning-fast shooting, while its air efficiency is second to none. You can customize settings such as velocity, rotation speed, and trigger sensitivity to tailor to your unique play style, too.
The Dye Rize CZR paintball marker knows no compromises. It’s designed to give you the best performance possible. Its impressive features, including advanced air control and adjustable settings, allows you to customize the marker to match your play style perfectly.
The CZR is built for accuracy and agility, helping you hit the target every time. Not to mention its reliable performance in all weather conditions, so even challenging outdoor arenas won’t stop you from taking down opponents.
But don’t be fooled by its superior power: The CZR requires frequent maintenance and a more aggressive spring, so it might not suit everyone. If you’re prepared to commit, though, it’s a great buy.
Precise air control
It needs more maintenance and upkeep
- Precision True Bore barrel for accurate shots.
- Hyper 3 regulators for precise air control.
- RAMP solenoid system and Rise Fusion Bolt technology for smooth and consistent shots.
- More aggressive spring compared to other models.
- It may require more maintenance and upkeep.
Best for Tournaments: Empire Sniper Pump
With its classic design, the Empire Sniper Pump marker is built for performance. Its precision-engineered technology gives players a competitive edge on the field and makes this gun one of the ultimate go-to choices for tournament play.
The design features a comfortable grip that allows maximum control, making it easier to hit those tricky shots. Additionally, the lightweight build ensures easy transport while staying durable.
Boasting superior tournament-level performance and a classic design, this marker will give you an edge in any situation. Not only that, but its price tag is well worth the investment, ensuring your game stays at peak levels of quality, even if it’s on the upper end of the budget from most retailers.
But overall, it’s no wonder many paintballers trust the Empire Sniper Pump as their go-to weapon on the field.
Well designed frame
- Tournament-level performance.
- Designed by Empire Paintball.
- Classic design in black and grey.
- Accurate, with a well-designed frame.
- Ergonomic handle for a comfortable grip.
- More expensive than other options.
Most Durable: Tippmann X7 Phenom
If you can get hold of one, the Tippmann X7 Phenom is the ultimate paintball gun for the battlefield. Its advanced mechanical spool valve works at an incredible speed of 300 PSI, and its lightweight aluminum body provides an outstanding balance of portability and durability.
The Tippmann X7 Phenom’s all-metal trigger ensures stability with every shot. At the same time, its easy-to-strip pushpin construction makes maintenance a breeze. And if that weren’t enough, there’s also a wide range of OEM and aftermarket parts available, so you can customize your X7 Phenom to make it your own.
The Tippmann X7 Phenom is highly regarded as a top-performing marker built to take on any competition. Most importantly, the X7 Phenom offers unparalleled levels of customization, allowing users to tailor their guns to their unique style of play.
Beyond that, this powerhouse is also reliable and efficient on air. But beware: it requires specific batteries and has a shorter stock barrel than some other models. With this in mind, though, there’s no denying the durability or performance this marker offers you.
300 PSI for speed and power
Lightweight aluminum body
Accurate up to 150ft (45m)
The stock barrel is short
- The mechanical spool valve operates at 300 PSI for speed and power.
- Compact and lightweight aluminum body for easy carry and maneuvering.
- All-metal trigger for stability.
- Highly customizable with various OEM and aftermarket parts available.
- Efficient on air thanks to its flex-valve.
- Accurate up to 150 ft (45.72 m) away.
- Requires specific batteries.
- The stock barrel is short.
- Some customers have reported durability concerns.
Best for Serious Players: Planet Eclipse EMEK EMF100
The Planet Eclipse EMEK EMF100 is the perfect paintball gun for anyone looking for serious performance, whether you prefer MagFed or Loader Fed. It’s just above $500, but you may be able to find it for less than that during a sale.
This gun has some incredible features, like Spool Valve operation and a Gamma Core drivetrain, plus it comes with two CF20 magazines!
Also, everyone’s talking about the Infamous Gen 3 Murder Machine Trigger. This thing is a real game-changer.
The Planet Eclipse EMEK EMF100 is an excellent choice for any paintballer looking for serious performance. It’s lightweight, accurate, and efficient—no wonder it has such rave reviews. The Gen 3 Murder Machine Trigger is particularly impressive, and the fact that it comes with two CF20 magazines makes it even more appealing.
However, some players have reported issues with the trigger and durability, so consider these concerns carefully before investing. All in all, this gun will usually give you a reliable performance.
MagFed or Loader Fed
Two CF20 magazines included
Can have trigger issues
Lack of customizations
- The versatility to play MagFed or Loader Fed.
- Spool Valve operation and Gamma Core drivetrain for top-notch efficiency.
- Two CF20 magazines are included in the package.
- Light as a feather and accurate, consistent, and quiet.
- Shoots 10+ hi-capacity magazines with just a 13ci tank (talk about efficiency!)
- Easy to maintain and built to last.
- Some players have reported trigger issues.
- Not as customizable as some other guns on the market.
Best for Intermediates: Empire Mini GS
If you want an excellent paintball gun built for the intermediate player, the Empire Mini GS is the one. It features a full rubberized foregrip for stability and protection, making it comfortable to hold even after long hours of playing.
Not only that, but the Empire Mini GS is lightweight, quiet, and easy to program. It’s perfect if you’re looking for an excellent paintball gun that won’t break the bank.
The Empire Mini GS is great if you want a paintball gun that looks great, is cost-effective, and provides quality features. It has a full rubberized foregrip for better handling and control, a lightweight design that’s easy to maneuver around on the field, and simple programming options. Plus, it’s economical in more ways than one.
Easy to maintain
Suitable for shorter players
- Full rubberized foregrip for stability and protection.
- Available in standard colors and limited edition designs.
- Lightweight, comfortable, quiet, and functional.
- Easy to program and maintain.
- Ramp-up mode works well in close combat ranges.
- The compact design allows shorter players to handle it easily.
- Limited upgrades are available.
When choosing the best paintball gun, there are a few factors to think about, namely:
Of course, finding one that fits your budget and your playing style is essential.
But if you pick any of the paintball guns I’ve listed in this guide, you’re sure to find a reliable, efficient, and enjoyable model. You’ll be ready to take on whatever opponents come your way.