22 Dos and Don’ts of Paintball Etiquette Everyone Should Know

Whether you are playing paintball for the first or five-hundredth time, it is always easy to have fun as long as you know the basic dos and don’ts of the game. Knowing what to do and what not to do can keep everyone safe and happy during a game of paintball.

Some dos of paintball etiquette everyone should know is to always follow safety procedures, know the rules, and be a team player. Don’t shoot anyone 10 ft. away and don’t stay in the same place during the game. Knowing what you should do and should not do will help you enjoy and be safe every time you play.

If you want to enjoy paintball, learning some tips and tricks will help you get the most out of your game. Keeping these tips in mind will keep you and your teammates safe, and they will make each game you play more fun. 

Dos of Paintball

Paintball is a great activity for parties, family reunions, weekends, and even an average Tuesday.

Still, there are some things that you should know about on how to have a good time during your game to maximize your experience. When you play paintball, there are several things that you need to ensure so that your game is both safe and fun.

Video: 5 Best Paintball Tips

Wear Goggles

You should always keep your mask or goggles on during a game of paintball. Most paintball centers will provide all players with either safety goggles or a face mask to protect each player’s face during the game. Before playing, you should put the mask or goggles on, and you should only take them off after the end of the game.

There is nothing worse than getting hurt during a fun game or party. If you take your goggles or mask off during a paintball game, you can quickly get shot in the eyes. Getting hit in the eyes with a paintball will probably earn you a trip to the hospital. So, unless you want to risk your health and the fun of the game, you should always keep your eyes covered while you play.

Pay Attention to Safety

This tip may seem obvious, but many people get hurt during paintball games because one person did not follow the safety guidelines. You should always follow all safety procedures. Before you play a game of paintball, most centers will give you a safety briefing. Pay attention to these safety briefings, even if you have played paintball before, because the safety procedures may differ at each paintball center. 

Sometimes, playing fields will have different features that may be of hazard to players. In addition, there are many different kinds of paintballs, and each type requires that players take specific safety precautions. Essentially, every paintball game is different, so take note of the rules before each game starts. 

Know the Rules

Each game of paintball has different rules. You should always pay attention to the rules, even if you have played paintball many times before. If you do not pay attention, you could be disqualified or even injure yourself or other players. Knowing the rules will also help you strategize and plan with your teammates, making them an essential component of teamwork. 

Before the game starts, read all of the game rules carefully and ask the referees any questions that you might have. As long as you know the rules, there are fewer chances of you breaking them and fewer chances of you being disqualified. 

Video: Basic Rules of Paintball Wars

Wear Weather Appropriate Clothing

Since paintball is usually played outside, you should always dress for the weather so that you do not get too hot, cold, or wet during the game. Sometimes the games can even be in the snow. Coming to a game of paintball overdressed or underdressed can make the whole game an unpleasant experience, so check the weather before going to one. 

Generally, you should always wear comfortable, closed-toed shoes and long pants with a bit of stretch. To stay on the safe side, you might also want to bring a rain jacket with you when you play paintball. 

You can check this article on what exactly to wear for a paintball match.

Stretch Before the Game

Playing paintball can be physically taxing, so you should always stretch before the game starts. Getting hurt during a paintball game is absolutely no fun. Injuries are also liable to make everyone else’s time far less enjoyable. Make sure to stretch your legs for at least five minutes before playing a game so that you can crouch and run during the game without hurting yourself or straining your muscles. 

Listen to Your Team

When you are playing paintball, cooperation is the key to having fun and winning the game. If you communicate with your team members, you will enjoy the game a lot more, and your team will perform a lot better. You can’t strategize or plan without talking to your teammates, so you should always communicate with them during the game. 

Paintball teams strategize before the game, and they will assign areas of the field to individual players. Some groups that play together often will even have their own codes and commands that they use to strategize during the game. When a team works together to reach their goal, winning is much more exciting, and everyone gets to share in the victory.

Take Your Time When Aiming

When you are playing paintball, you only get so many paintballs for a game. Shooting recklessly without carefully aiming can be fun for a few minutes. Still, you can quickly run out of paintballs, and you will not be able to shoot anyone. This is the case especially for the full auto paintball guns, that can fire 20 and more paintballs per second.  

Taking your time to aim each shot carefully will make your supply of paintballs last longer, and it will teach you how to get more accurate shots. If you pay attention to where you are shooting and pace yourself, you will also have a higher chance of winning the game. 

Keep Moving

If you want to avoid getting shot, you should always keep moving. It is hard to aim at a moving target, so changing your position often will keep other players from hitting you. This is one of the best defensive tactics in paintball. No matter what, if you see someone who is aiming at you, moving is always the best way to ensure that the other player misses their shot. 

Use Cover

Even though it is essential to keep moving during the game, it is also important to use cover to your advantage. Keeping yourself covered will make it harder for other players to shoot you with paintballs, and it will give you a good vantage point to take out other players. 

Spread Out

If you and your teammates spread out, it will be harder for the other team to shoot all of you. Spreading out can also keep the other team from surrounding your team, which is a quick way to lose the game. Spread out at the start of the game so that your opponents will have to shoot at multiple targets and not just one. 

Scan Your Surroundings

Keeping an eye on everything that is going on around you can be challenging, especially if you are focused on getting a good shot at one specific player. Still, scanning your surroundings can keep you from getting tunnel vision. Knowing your surroundings will also prevent any accidents such as tripping or stumbling. Overall, being aware of what is going on around you can keep you safe, and it can prevent you from getting shot with a paintball. 

Check Yourself for Paint

If the rules of your game specify that a player who is shot once is removed from the game, you may want to double-check your vest for paint if you think that you have been eliminated. Sometimes, if you feel like you have been shot, the paintball has just bounced off you. 

If you think you might have been hit, it is always a good idea to double-check your clothes for paint before you remove yourself from the game. This is because if you take yourself out of the game, you cannot come back in, even if you have not been shot.

In every paintball field that I played you are eliminated only if the paintball hits you and break. If paintball hits you and bounces off and but doesn’t break, then you are not out.

But rules might differ from a park to park:

Video: Park rules.

Stay Hydrated

Paintball can get pretty intense. Running around and shooting people with paintballs is a lot of fun, but before long, you can get dehydrated. Getting dehydrated during a long game of paintball is absolutely no fun, and it can make you wish that the game would just end so that you can get a drink. To avoid getting dehydrated, make sure that you drink plenty of water before and after playing a game of paintball. 

Do not overexert yourself either. It is essential to pace yourself while you are playing paintball, especially on a hot, sunny day, so you do not get tired during the game. Knowing your body’s limits is vital, and you should always put your health and safety first, even during an exciting game of paintball. 

Help Other Players

When you are playing paintball, helping your teammates and even players from the other team make the game a lot more enjoyable for you and everyone else. If anyone seems like they need help or ask for help, you should always offer them your assistance. Helping your teammates can build team spirit, too, making the game much more fun for everyone who is playing. 

Listen to the Referees

While you are playing paintball, there will usually be referees on the sidelines. The referees will help out anyone who needs assistance. They also make sure that no one is cheating, and they decide who wins the game. 

Sometimes, a referee will shout “stop” during the game if anyone gets hurt. It is crucial to listen to the referees and their instructions since it is their job to know everything that is going on during the paintball game. Ignoring any of the referee’s commands could result in a penalty or an additional injury. 

Don’ts of Paintball

Now that you know what you should do when playing an exhilarating game of paintball, you should also know what not to do. 

Video: 5 Things Not To Do

Don’t Shoot Anyone Who Is Closer Than 10 Feet (3 Meters) to You

Sometimes, if another player is close to you, it can be tempting to shoot them with a paintball. However, hitting another player when they are less than 10 feet (3 meters) away from you could hurt them. If someone is too close, you can tell them and try to get a good shot at them while they run away. A common practice is to give and receive surrender, so you don’t need to shoot anyone in immediate proximity.

Even though all players should be wearing protective gear during a game, shooting another player while they are close to you could hurt them. This can leave a big, round bruise on their skin or even break their skin under the force of the paintball’s impact. 

Don’t Run Out of Paintballs Halfway Through a Game

You only get so many paintballs to use during your paintball game, so you want to make each shot count. Carefully aiming will help you space out your use of paintballs. Be conscious of how many you have left during the game so that you do not run out early.

If you run out of paintballs, you can put down your gun and distract other players, allowing your teammates to get better shots. Being a runner can be very fun, but it is also risky since you are more likely to get shot when you expose yourself to distract players from the other team. Generally, you should try to pace your shots and aim correctly before shooting to ensure that you do not run out of paintballs before the game ends. 

Don’t Stay in the Same Place During the Game

If you find a good spot to hide out during the game, you might be tempted to stay there for a while. However, moving around can be a great defensive strategy since players from the other team will try to ambush you if you stay in the same spot for too long. 

Moving around during the game also makes playing paintball more fun. If you do not want to miss out on the thrill of the chase, you should always try to keep moving and changing positions. 

Don’t Be Mean to Other Players

Being mean to other players can ruin the game for the entire team and result in someone getting hurt. If someone looks like they need a break, do not shoot them. Do not attack people repeatedly, and try not to shoot kids too much, especially if the player looks like they are frustrated or need help. Being courteous will ensure that everyone has a good time. 

Do not tease or bully players from the other team while playing. It is very easy to get into an aggressive battle mentality when you play a heated game of paintball.

Still, it is always important to remember that everyone on the field is just trying to have a good time. Being mean or offensive to other players can make the game unpleasant to them. Do not be rude, even if you are just trash-talking. 

Don’t Cheat

When you are playing paintball, it can be tempting to rub a splotch of paint off of your clothes when it has hit you. However, cheating makes the game less fun, and it makes winning feel like less of a victory. It is unfair to the other team, and you can even get caught. Cheating is never worth it, even if you want to win.

Don’t Be Afraid

Sometimes, new players can be afraid that getting hit with a paintball will hurt. This can make the game less fun for the players since they will spend most of the game hiding from others. When you play paintball, as long as you follow the safety guidelines, you will be unlikely to get hurt. If you do get hurt, it will likely be from a trip or stumble. 

When you are out on the paintball field, focus only on having fun. It is improbable that you will get hurt as long as you have all of your safety gear on, so just get out there and enjoy yourself!

Don’t Forget To Have Fun

People play paintball because it is a fun game.

While you are on the field, try to keep a positive attitude. Always try to make the game fun for yourself, your teammates, and the other team’s players, and never let fear or anger get in your way. Being a courteous player will ensure that everyone, including you, has the most fun possible while out on the field.


Playing paintball can be a lot of fun for everyone, as long as you follow the rules and use these tips to make your experience a good one. Knowing what to do and what not to do when playing a paintball game with your friends can make the game more fun and exciting for both teams. Now that you know the ins and outs of playing paintball, it is time to get out there on the field and shoot some paint!