How Much Do Paintballs Hurt: 5 Ways To Make Them Hurt Less

Paintball is a fun sport that gives you amazing and memorable moments. Additionally, when playing paintball, your chances of shooting or getting shot at are equal. For this reason, one of the greatest concerns that beginners have is how much paintballs hurt.

Paintballs hurt like a strong finger flick on your skin. The pain is determined by factors like speed, distance, and paintball quality. You can reduce the pain by wearing the right gear. So if you are wondering how much paintballs hurt, worry not since the pain isn’t anything you cannot handle. 

Sure, when getting ready for the game, you hope to win and not get hit by the paintballs. However, as a wise player, you need to brace yourself for all the possibilities in the field. Below is comprehensive information on how much paintballs hurt and what you can do to reduce the pain.

How Much Do Paintballs Hurt?

It is safe to say that it hurts when you are hit by a paintball. However, as mentioned earlier, the pain of getting hit by a paintball is less such that it can go unnoticed. Generally, there is no scale to tell exactly how much it hurts since people perceive pain differently. Nevertheless, the pain of getting hit by a paintball should not prevent you from enjoying this incredible sport.

Video: No protective clothes and being hit by many paintballs at the same time.

Factors That Determine How Much a Paintball Hurts

Quality of the Paintball

The paintballs that you use in your game are of different qualities. Some are of low quality while others of high quality. The low-quality paintballs have a hard shell, which is hard to break when hit. This means that it is more painful when hit by low-quality paintballs. On the other hand, the high-quality paintballs break easily on impact, meaning that they hurt less.

The Distance of the Shot

The paintball loses power as it travels from the point it was shot to the target. For this reason, the further away your opponent is when shooting, the less the pain when hit by the paintball. This is why most paintball field rules ask the paintball players to be at least 10 feet away.

The Number of Times You Get Hit

Getting hit only once by a quality paintball thrown a distance away makes you feel like you were not hit at all. However, if you are hit more than once at the same spot, it gets painful. This is especially if the part where the paintball hit was bare skin. This is why the neck and the feet are the most hit parts since most players do not protect them well.

Point Where You Get Hit

Different parts of your body hurt differently when hit by paintballs. If a paintball hits you at a place where you have fewer muscles, such as your back, it hurts more than a paintball that hits where you have many muscles. Additionally, if the paintball hits you on bare skin, it hurts more than a point you have covered with protective gear.

How Does Getting Hit by a Paintball Feel Like?

As much as getting hit by a paintball is not painful, it is impossible to get hit by a paintball and fail to realize it. When the paintball hits, you feel like you were stung by a bee or hit by a rubber band. The good thing is that the pain lasts only for a few seconds. Even if the paintball bruised you, the bruise remains, but the pain fades away.

Here is a video to give you an idea of how much getting hit by a paintball hurt:

If you don’t wear proper protective gear and get shot up close, you will get a welt. Those are different than bruises. Luckily there are ways on how to heal the paintball welts faster.

Ways To Help You Reduce Pain When Playing Paintball

As mentioned above, pain from the paintballs is not an excuse to make you not play. On one hand, the pain is less, and on the other hand, it is possible to reduce the pain you feel when hit by a paintball. There are ways through which you can reduce the pain, which I’ve discussed below.

Wear Protective Gear

A paintball will hurt more when it hits on bare skin. With this in mind, do not risk going to the field without the right gear. The right equipment means wearing clothes that cover your entire body. Some of these protective gear that you need to wear when playing paintball include:

Paintball Jersey 

This jersey not only makes you look good but also protects your upper body from pain from shots. Ensure that the jersey has a collar where you can get your neck through but does not expose your neck to shots. We recommend HK Army HSTL Line Jersey from It has durable fabrics and ventilated side panels that keep you protected.

Groin Cup Protection 

Both genders should use the groin cup protector to help keep their groin area safe. Most players avoid using this since it makes them uncomfortable. However, get high-quality groin protectors, which will keep you comfortable and well protected in the game.

Paintball Footwear 

Your opponent may aim at your feet and hurt you if you are not well protected. Therefore, get shoes that are comfortable and protective to help reduce the impact of paintballs that may hit you. Hiking boots are the best shoes to wear when playing paintball. Otherwise, you can go for other shoes, such as sneakers, since they are comfortable and protective.

Other protective gears that you should wear to help reduce pain include:

  • Helmets
  • Facemasks
  • Gloves
  • Neck protector

I have got a whole article dedicated to what to wear for paintball and what the proper protective gear is.

Follow Safety Guidelines 

Like in any other sport, there are several guidelines that players need to follow to remain safe. Sticking to these guidelines helps reduce your chances of getting hit and minimizing pain if you are hit. 

For instance, the rules require you to shout and raise your hand in the air after hitting. This shows your opponent that they have already hit you to prevent them from hitting you again, which will hurt more. 

Additionally, maintain the distance that the rules expect you to keep when in the field to avoid getting hit when at a close distance. In case you are playing unofficially with your friends, first set some safety rules before you start playing to ensure that everybody is safe.

Change Your Perception of Pain 

Fearing pain makes paintballs much more painful than they are. For this reason, to help you survive in this sport, you need to change your attitude towards pain. You need to train your body to withstand small pains like getting hit by a paintball. You can use dissociation as a tool to help you change your pain perception, thus, maximizing your potential in the game.

Take Aspirin Before the Game

Most players take aspirin before games to help them reduce possible pain. You can use the same technique for paintball, where you will take aspirin tablets before your game. However, this should come as a last result if other methods of making paintballs hurt less have failed.

Use Quality Paintballs

As mentioned earlier, the quality of paintballs that you use determines how it hurts when the paintball hits you. Therefore, agree with your opponents that you shall all use high-quality paintballs. The quality paintballs hurt less and make it easier for you to enjoy the game with minimal inconveniences.

Do Paintballs Hurt Children?

Pain that adults can put up with maybe too much for children. For this reason, children are more likely to complain about discomfort when hit by a paintball. However, factors that determine how much a paintball hurt are the same for both children and adults. 

Therefore, before you allow your child in the paintball field, ensure that they are old enough to understand the rules. Additionally, use low-velocity paintball guns for children to reduce the pain.

In the video below, you will learn why it is good to let your children learn how to play paintball:

Video: Why you should let your kid play paintball?


To excel in any game, you must be ready to take risks, embrace the challenges, and paintball is of no exemption. Luckily, as you get used to the game, you will not even realize the pain of getting hit by a paintball. However, do not ignore the methods to help you reduce the pain to continue enjoying the game for long.