Paintball Rules

Paintball Rules

Nervous about your first time on a paintball field? There must be myriad questions running through your mind right now, about the paintball rules, about the equipment to buy, about what to wear, and much more. One thing that I’d like to tell you is that the way to enjoy and have a good combat game is to know the paintball rules and to abide by them; this goes for every player.

Knowing and following the rules is extremely important for your safety as well, as it’s quite an intense sport. But you will learn survival skills and tactics, building up courage, strategic thinking, and teamwork. It’s natural for a newcomer to feel a bit daunted, but there’s no need you begin to rethink your decision about getting into the sport. I have elaborated the basic and necessary paintball rules, some specific rules may vary from game to game. Go through them and you are good to head right into the battlefield.

How to Play Paintball

The Required Equipment

The first and foremost thing you need for a paintball game is the right gear. However, you don’t need to purchase it personally, though. If it’s your first game, you are better off going with rented equipment to see if you find the experience worth investing in. You can rent the equipment once you arrive at the field, you will be given a face mask, a hopper, maybe body armor, and a gun after entering the live-fire zone.

If you are up for purchasing your own paintball kit, you will need the following items:

  1. A paintball marker-or gun
  2. A Good Paintball Mask
  3. A hopper container that holds the paintballs and is attached to the gun.
  4. CO2 tank to power the gun

As for the paintballs, most of the fields only allow using paintballs purchased on the spot, to ensure the safety measures being taken. So, you can purchase those on the field. If you are playing on your own or practicing, you can purchase paintballs in bulk; they are available in most of the sports stores. For playing, different paint color is assigned to each player if everyone is playing individually. If there are teams, every team is given a different color, the colors indicate which team or player is winning.

Set up the Field and Boundaries

If you are practicing on your own with a bunch of friends and not playing on an already established paintball facility, the first step to do is to set up a field. You will need some area of land for that, it shouldn’t be too big or too small, the area also depends on the number of players. Set up boundaries by establishing positions and bases on the opposite ends of the field. The field you choose should have trees and bushes. A paintball field has a stack of tires, barrels, and bunkers, place things like these if you can in the field.

Mark the Dead Zone

The dead zone is the area where the eliminated players have to go in between the game, the paintball equipment and paint can also be kept in the dead zone or stagging area. Clearly, it should be away from the field, far enough for the eliminated players to stay and take off their masks safely, without being hit. So, set up a dead zone and make sure that everyone knows about it.

Set the Objective

Set the objective and rules of the game and make sure everyone hears them loud and clear. The objective can either be to capture the flag or it can be an elimination game. Make every rule or settlement clear by announcing them. Decide the time duration of the game, it should not be too long or everyone’s going to be bored, especially the eliminated ones. Keep it short and fun.

Make Balanced Teams

While making teams, make sure to do so fairly and with balance. The numbers of players on each team should be equal, though, numbers are not the only thing to consider here. If there are experienced as well as newbies playing together, make sure to divide them accordingly. Don’t team up all the skilled players against the newcomers, be fair and even. Merge players with different experience and skill levels into one team.

Set Rules for Hits

There can be different Hit rules for Paintball, you need to decide and set the Hit rules to be followed in your game. When a paintball strikes a player or equipment, it shatters, leaving a solid mark and splash of paint. At some places, a player is considered eliminated if the paintball hits him or his gun, this rule is followed in most professional fields and competitions. Whereas sometimes hits on the gun are not counted, or multiple hits on the body are required to eliminate a player.

A player can also get a splashing mark if a paintball shatters somewhere close to him/her, this doesn’t count as a hit, of course, it can be identified if there is not a definite mark on the player. If a player isn’t sure whether he/she has been hit or not, he/she needs to shout “paint check”. Any player near you, regardless of the team he/she’s on, will check and confirm for that player. If there is a hit, the player is eliminated, if not, the player needs to shout “game on” and the game is resumed. When any player is hit and is eliminated, he/she has to raise their gun above them while shouting that they have been hit and go to the dead zone.

Winning the Game

The team which successfully completes the objectives of the game first emerges victorious. The moment a team has completed the objective, it is announced to the other teams and all the players on the field. They should not remove their masks and protections just yet, though, not until their guns are covered with barrel covers, to avoid any accidents and mishaps.

Some Basic Rules of Paintball

While there are some rules that may vary from field to field, some of them are followed everywhere and it’s important you know them before heading into the field.

  • Don’t remove your mask even once on the field.
  • If you are hit, you are out of the game, it’s up to you to report that you’ve been it but don’t take it as a chance to cheat. Don’t think you’ll get away with wiping away the paint, you will be penalized, possibly criticized as well.
  • Only a solid mark on a player identifies as a hit, if a paintball bounces off without shattering, it’s not a hit.
  • Don’t fire blindly and only fire from a minimum distance established in the particular game.
  • Don’t shoot players that are already hit or those who have surrendered.


Do paintballs hurt?
Paintballs do hurt but only a little; they can feel like a minor sting and fades just as quickly. Also, it’s nothing you can’t protect yourself from. You can use as much protection as you like, putting on multiple layers of fabric is enough to dull the impact a great deal. Some fields also offer further protection like chest protectors and gloves.

What to wear for paintball?
As for the protection, also mentioned above, you can wear multiple layers of clothing, like t-shirts, or sweats, or hoodies, any of these will suffice. Another important factor to consider is to wear something that will help you camouflage. It’s necessary if you don’t want to stand out from the surroundings and other players. Wear earth tones like olive green and other such natural colors that will help you blend in. Your footwear should have grip and traction.

How far can you shoot with a paintball gun?
The average range of a paintball gun is 80 to 100 feet max, though how effective the range will depend on other players’ clothes as well. Paintballs don’t mostly shatter on softer clothes. While shooting, keep in mind that paintballs are not fired at a velocity as high as bullets. So, if you shoot from a long distance, paintball will slow down until it reaches its target and won’t break.

Winding Up

Paintball is a strategic but fun game, it’s not just shooting that makes it fun and enjoyable though, it’s the teamwork, discipline, and abiding by the rules. For every participant to get the most out of the game, whether in terms of fun or chiseling skills, it’s important for everyone to show honesty towards the rules.

Not to mention, the safety you are assured when you play the right way. This article elaborates all the paintball rules and how to play it, whether you are playing into the official field of your area or setting up a game yourself, with your friends. Make sure you follow the rules and tips to get the most out of this cool and productive game.