Can Paintballs Be Frozen?

Maybe you just need a space to store paintballs or were just wondering…

If you freeze paintballs, then they will be unusable for a game of paintball. This is because paintballs lose their shape when frozen and they don’t return back to normal once thawed. However some better quality paintballs are frost-resistant, so you can play paintball in snow.

When paintballs are shot from a paintball gun, they fly straight and make a bright mark once they hit the target. It is crucial to understand the structure of the paintballs once they freeze, the types of paintball calibers available, and how to store paintballs. 

What happens when you Freeze Paintballs?

Many paintballs on the market are:

  • water-soluble
  • biodegradable
  • non-toxic

 Some manufacturers even use ingredients that make their paintballs frost-resistant, which means that they do not freeze or become brittle when exposed to cold environments.

Attempting to freeze paintballs in a household refrigerator will cause them to lose some of their properties. Frozen paintballs become brittle and usually fly apart when fired.

Frozen paintballs will fly apart when you try to shoot them.

Nevertheless, you could still try to freeze paintballs by putting them in a freezer or liquid nitrogen. Although the paintballs may become frozen solid, they would lose their shape and will not fly straight when shot.

Playing with Frozen Paintballs

If you manage to freeze your paintballs in a freezer or liquid nitrogen, you will not manage to use them in a game of paintball because they would have thawed by then.

The shells of frozen paintballs break so easily. In addition, it is quite difficult for frozen paintballs to get out of the end of a barrel. Therefore, if anyone manages to shoot you with frozen paintballs, two things are likely to happen:

  • It will not hit you
  • It will hit, but with minimal impact

How to Choose the Right Paintball Caliber

If you are buying a new paintball caliber, it is essential to know the right type for you. There are two common types of paintball calibers:

  1. .68 caliber
  2. .50 caliber

The type you choose is mainly determined by:

  • Cost
  • Type of paintball game you want to play

Paintball Caliber Options

A paintball’s caliber is its diameter, which determines its size. Paintballs come in various sizes including the .68 and .50 caliber.

.68 caliber is considered the industry standard while .50 caliber is a bit smaller. However, there are many other paintball calibers, including:

.68 caliber is industry standard, but 0.50 caliber is getting more popular in some variations of the game
  • .40 cal
  • .43 cal
  • .50 cal
  • .62 cal

Many people prefer using the .50 caliber paintball for low impact games. If you are new to paintball games, consider buying the paintball caliber that is right for you.

Even though you might have some experience playing paintball you might not have known there are more sizes of paintballs. If you manage to buy wrong size paintballs, try to ask for a replacement or sell them and buy yourself the correct ones. Alternatively, you can buy a conversion kit to modify your paintball guns into the size you want.

Suitability of .68 Caliber Paintballs

The .68 caliber paintball is considered the industry standard and is the one that many players prefer. This paintball caliber is extremely versatile and can be used for various types of games and field styles.

The .68 caliber is popular because of its high velocity and splat when it hits the target. However, this paintball caliber also has its drawbacks.

.68 caliber paintballs, including their guns, are heavier than smaller caliber paintballs. This means it is difficult to get many .68 caliber paintball rounds into the hopper.

The fact that the .68 caliber paintball is relatively larger means it hurts more when it hits. Although the pain may bother some newbies, it is part of the fun. Besides, the pain is not so bad.

If you still feel uncomfortable by being hit, consider switching to laser tag. It isn’t as deep tactically as paintball but it still is good fun.

Suitability of .50 Caliber Paintballs

The .50 caliber paintball is becoming increasingly popular for various reasons. Also known as low impact paintballs, .50 caliber paintballs are suitable for:

  • Beginners
  • Indoor playfields
  • Casual games for kids
  • Adult outings
  • Corporate outings

The .50 caliber paintball is ideal for anyone who wants to enjoy the game of paintball without the pain. Even experienced players use the .50 caliber paintball at times for particular games. It also has a half-inch diameter. Therefore, it does not hurt much when it hits the target. However, it will not give you the distance or velocity of the .68 caliber.

The .50 caliber paintball is so small it sometimes does not break on impact. On the upside, the smaller size means:

  • You can load more balls in the gun
  • You do not need to reload frequently

The smaller size of the .50 caliber paintball is excellent for scenario games such as woodsball. It will even shoot through thick brush, which is quite a challenge for larger paintballs.


The .50 caliber paintball is much cheaper than the .68 caliber paintball. The .50 caliber gun and paintballs are usually less expensive than the .68 caliber gun and paintballs.

The higher volume and more shots of the .50 caliber paintball make it a cost-effective option for paintball games. However, if you want a serious game of paintball with the big boys, the .68 paintball would be ideal.

How to Store Paintballs

The proper storage of paintballs is essential for optimal performance. Storing your paintballs properly will ensure that they are ready for use whenever you need them.

Like many items, paintballs are perishable. Many of them are made of biodegradable materials, which means they break down with time.

Storage Environment

Although they are biodegradable, proper storage of paintballs does not mean putting them in a freezer for later use. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the proper storage of your paintballs.

General practice in paintball storage is to keep them in a cool and dry place. A humid environment will cause the paintballs to start swelling. On the other hand, extremely low temperatures would cause the paintballs to become brittle and misshapen.

Improper storage may cause a wide range of complications, including:

  • Misshapen or broken balls, which means the paintballs won’t fly straight
  • Bouncy paintballs that will not break on impact
  • High temperatures may cause the paintballs to stick together into one lump

Although some of the problems of improper storage of paintballs will not render them useless, the issues may affect the effectiveness of the paintballs. Therefore, it is best to store paintballs correctly.


Paintballs age at different rates depending on the manufacturer. Some paintballs remain bouncy and in optimal condition for a prolonged period while others become brittle after a short period of storage.

Some paintballs swell when kept in humid environments and will not fit into the firing chamber of a gun. It is advisable to keep paintballs in a zip lock bag in a cool and dry place.

Do not store paintballs:

  • In the trunk of a car
  • Near the radiator
  • In an airing closet

Does Being Hit by Frozen Paintballs Hurt?

Frozen paintballs have lost some of their properties, including:

  • shape
  • smooth texture
  • bouncy feel

Therefore, most of them cannot be shot with a paintball gun due to these property losses.

In the rare chance that a frozen paintball is fired, it cannot travel straight and will most likely disintegrate after being fired. If a frozen paintball hits a target, it is not likely to hurt.

Being hit by a standard paintball may hurt in some cases. Several factors determine the level of pain the paintball will cause once it hits your body:

  • The area of the body that was hit
  • The speed of the paintball after firing
  • The range or distance between nozzle and target
  • Angle of hit
  • The amount of safety gear worn by the target


Freezing paintballs does not improve its accuracy or speed. It is quite rare to find a frozen paintball that is fire-able. In the rare chance that a frozen paintball hits the target, it will hardly cause any pain and might even escape notice.