Paintball Strategy: Skills From Beginner To Pro

If you are new to paintball, we welcome you to this sport! Paintball is an activity full of excitement and uncertainty. It is a mixture of sensations that invade us once we step onto the field. Whether it is the first time we play it or if we have played it before, paintball is fascinating, fun, and challenging, all in the same proportion. As we said initially, paintball is a sport that is very popular in the United States. It is already the fourth most followed non-traditional sport. If we continue with the statistics, we must say that people practice it in more than 104 countries. Furthermore, more than 12 million people practice it regularly.

Something that stands out about paintball is that it is not easy to practice. To be successful and achieve good results, we must develop specific skills, both at technical and behavioral levels. Aspects such as working efficiently in a team and fluent communication are essential.

Many experienced paintball players admit that getting to their current level was no easy task. But just because it’s not easy doesn’t mean it’s impossible. A new player can make it if they set their mind to it with discipline and practice. The preparation for the game extends beyond the paintball cap. Preparing all the equipment needed to study the battlefield before starting the game is part of a player’s preparation. Follow along with us in this article to learn about some of the tactics that professional paintball players employ.

What Is Paintball? What Are Its Characteristics?

Paintball is a complex strategic sport. It consists of two teams with colored paintball guns, and they must shoot them against the opposing team members. The players hit by the paintballs are out of the game. This elimination could be partial or definitive depending on the paintball modality played.

cover strategy paintball
Knowing when to take cover and when to peak out or even more is an essential part of advanced paintball strategy.

Paintball Characteristics

When we define paintball, it may sound simple enough. But on the battlefield, reality tells us that it is a very complex and demanding activity, both physically and psychologically. Some of its characteristics are:

  • Paintball is a game of action, strategy, and skill practiced in natural settings, forests, countrysides, or similar outdoor locations. You can also play it in extensive premises, in industrial sheds or old factories.
  • Paintball uses paintball markers or paintball guns. These guns contain colored paintballs, which break at impact and leave the opponent stained with the ball’s color. These balls have a hardened gelatin coating and contain a harmless liquid dye inside.
  • Players wear protective gear, including a face mask and camouflage clothing.
  • Paintball is an activity aimed at people of both sexes.
  • Judges control paintball games. They watch that the rules of the game and the safety of the participants are respected.
  • This game combines physical skill, strategy, intelligence, instinct, improvisation, and teamwork in the same activity.
  • Paintball is a game that generates large doses of adrenaline. It is the only activity of its kind that gives the sensation of living a real adventure. Additionally, people usually unwind and unburden themselves of their accumulated daily tension.
  • Younger people who practice paintball get to live the thrill of video games, with the difference that this game takes place in real life.

The Origin Of Paintball

The birth of the sport occurred in the 1970s. In 1976, friends Hayes Noel and Charles Gaines from New Hampshire reminisced about the buffalo hunting they used to do. This memory gave them the idea of a recreational activity to “hunt” each other without harming any animals.

They were unsure what the game would look like, and they put the idea on hold for a year and a half. After that time, a mutual friend showed them a paintball marker in an agricultural magazine that they used to mark cattle. From that moment on, their original idea was completely enlightened. These friends bought two markers, and that’s how the first paintball game in history happened.

After this series of fantastic events, they created the rules of the sport. In 1980, they had a more formal game with many more friends and practiced the rules they had created. One of their friends was a writer in a magazine that published several articles about this new discipline. Thanks to this publicity, paintball gained popularity. They were able to manufacture more useful markers, and paintball’s fame became global.

Basic Paintball Strategies

We have seen that playing paintball is much more than just shooting colored paintballs. Suppose you want to play like a pro. In that case, it is necessary to devise an almost military strategy to defeat the opposing team. Let’s review below the most common techniques used in this challenging sport.

Video: 5 Forms of Field Awareness – Advanced Paintball Tip

Strategies For The Single-player Mode

In single-player paintball, there are no teams, and each player participates individually. The most crucial thing in this mode is to be confident, take cover as much as possible and move continuously. For this type of paintball, you should apply the following tactics.

Take Cover

We need to get used to taking cover. The ideal places to hide are the stilts, trees, or bushes. These shields will help protect us from the paintballs that people shot at us. We must take it very seriously; if the strategy is to take cover, we must do it well so that our opponent does not see us. Also, when moving, we must look for paths that allow us to run and take cover simultaneously. Running through open areas will increase the risk of being hit by a colored ball.


Just as it is essential to take cover, it is also imperative to move quickly and frequently. If we spend too much time in one place, our opponents will find out where we are. An aggressive way to move is to run out of the place where we take cover and shoot at the opponents when they are very close. This action will make them more concerned about dodging shots than shooting.


In this game, if we do not have confidence in ourselves, we are likely to panic and make mental mistakes. To be afraid in paintball is synonymous with certain death. The key to paintball is to be very fast and to have a survival strategy.

Strategies For Teams

In team play, you need to be a great communicator and collaborator. It is very safe for the team to design a strategy that we must follow to achieve the victory plan. When playing as a team, it is essential to trust your teammates; otherwise, defeat will be a fact.

Multi Squad Play

One of the most used strategies is to divide a team into two squads. One squad is the one that goes out into the field, and the other covers the first by shooting at the opposing team. This strategy allows the first squad to advance in the area. However, it is still a risky maneuver because there may come a point at which they can no longer communicate with the second squad.


This tactic is similar to the previous one. With this one, one of the groups of players advances, while the other covers them. There is only one difference: when the first team advances and settles in a new position, they will cover the second team until the second team moves and can join the first team.

Team Free For All

Although this strategy is in the team’s mode, each participant moves independently without communicating with teammates. The same objective is maintained, with the additional challenge of not accidentally shooting teammates, which is quite common in this type of strategy.

The Primary Skills That Every Paintball Player Should Master

To become a good paintball player, we will need to master some basic skills that, over time, will allow us to improve our game progressively. These skills are:

  • The basic stance: the best way to attack a bunker is to support yourself with the foot opposite to the hand holding the marker or paintball. This stance means that if a player has the marker in his right hand, his left foot should be forward.
  • To shoot at nothing: a paintball player must know how to think and act in the right way in fractions of a second. A psychological trick that works is to shoot at an area where we suspect there is an opponent. Maybe he is there, and we force him out. Or there may be no one at all, and the shot confirms that we can move to that area.
  • Run, shoot and run: running, shooting, and running again and then shooting again is an essential skill to develop in paintball. This tactic is offensive, aggressive, and winning. It is one of the critical skills to build, but we must practice it many times.

A Final Thought About Paintball

Paintball has become more and more popular over the years. There is something for all tastes and ages. When you are starting, you don’t need to have a team to practice and enjoy it.

What is necessary is to have a well-thought-out strategy and different tactics appropriate for the type of game and field where we will play. We need to learn the rules of the game and familiarize ourselves with the strategies that will help us win.

Related Articles