Introduction: Paintball, How It's Done. Beginners Guide

About: I'm in Highschool. =] Love cycing. Old Instructables member. Have been featured on the homepage and received most viewed award. :D

Hey guys, it's great to be back on instructables again after being non-active for around 2 years. I've had this instructable on hold for a very long time. I hope you enjoy it as much as you enjoyed my other instructables!

This is a guide for all those starting paintball and getting to know the sport. Questions as welcome and encouraged! There is no such thing as a dumb question! Ask away!

I will add to this guide from time to time. So if it is still uncompleted, I'm still working on it. Thanks!

Step 1: Common Questions & Answers

Q: WIll it HURT?
A: Well, It's more of a surprise then pain.Iit all depends on you and the clothing you wear. If you're a bit "big" and it the paintball bounces off you, it "hurts" more then if it breaks. If you wear skin tight clothing then it "hurts" But for people who have played for quite a long time, not really.  Plus, adrenaline does wonders too.  Sometimes you won't notice it at all.

Q: What should I wear?
A: Step 6

Q: Do I need to buy this _______
A: NO No No no noNo NONONO! Don't buy anything except for paintballs when starting out!

Q: Will there be a lot of people to play with?
A: Depending on the day and your field. But usually, yes, there are many people.

Q: Is paintball scary?
A: It depends on your view of it. For most of us, it's just another sport that you can give it your all and have fun!

Q: How fast does the paintball marker shoot?
A: Depending on your field's regulation on FPS (Feet per Second) rule. It's generally 260 to 300 FPS.

Q: Can you pick up paintballs and wash them to make them clean again?
A: No, don't pick up paintballs from the floor or when you drop them. They can mess up your accuracy and marker. Paintballs also deteriorate when it comes in contact with water.

Q: How old do you need to be to play?
A: Most fields allow 10+ year olds to play. If you are younger, you must have a parent or adult to supervise you at all times.

Q: Is paintball like airsoft?
A: In some ways yes. But Airsoft isn't as big, has more flaws, and in my opinion, not as fun.

A: I might be able to fix it since I do know abit of how these things work.

Q: How do I do_______
A: Ask away!

Q: Is paintball Expensive?
A: Yes, to a certain point it is. It's a luxury sport. But it's well worth the money, You don't have to spend alot of money for perfect paintball.

Step 2: What Is Paintball?

What is paintball you ask? Paintball is a sport that involves nothing but having fun. You propel .68 or .50 caliber gelatin spheres/balls that are filled with a water soluble fill that bursts on impact using an air pneumatic marker/tool at anywhere from 260 FPS to 300 FPS. There are generally two forms of paintball. Speedball and Woodsball. They also have smaller categories such as hyperball, supair, etc.

Paintball is not a form of violence, an act of war, recreation of warfare, or simulation of warfare. It is an hide and seek and tag game mixed into one. It does not support killing, shooting, hunting, etc. It is a sport of where all ages ranging from 10 years through 60+ years can play.

Paintball is also one of the most safest sports out there. Much more safe then motocross, mountain biking, skateboarding, etc. IT IS Mandatory  that everyone who is playing paintball, practicing, or just playing around wear the safety gear that everyone is required to have and use. Such as Masks, headgear, knee pads, etc.

Paintball is also very big. Bigger then Snowboarding in fact. People from Countries all over the world play paintball. Including Japan, Croatia, Russia, etc. We have large events such as World cup, NPPL (National Professional Paintball League) tournaments and much much more. Referees are in every game to make sure you have fun and follow the rules.

Step 3: Basics of Paintball

Use the Pictures for reference. Starting top to bottom.

1. Paintball mask. There are many paintball masks to chose from. They help protect your face from impacts. Easy to customize to your liking by comfort, size, weight, specialties, price, color, style, etc. Only use paintball masks and Paintball masks ONLY. Don't use sunglasses, shop goggles, or nothing at all. Would you rather be blind for the rest of your life for a mere $15?

2. Paintball hopper. This is where you put/load your paintballs. This feeds the paintballs into your marker so your can fire them. There are two types of hoppers,

Gravity fed hoppers which rely on gravity to feed. Sometimes they get stuck so you will constantly have to shake it. Feeds slow so your fire rate is limited and may break paintballs because of the slow speed.

Electronic hoppers which use batteries and a motor to agitate or force the paint into the marker, thus letting you fire quicker and solves many paintball break problems.

3. Paintball marker and barrel. This is your marker that will propel the paint that is fed into your marker by the hopper. The barrel helps guide the paintball is that is shot out and vent the extra air when the paintball is fired.

4. Barrel blocking device. THIS IS A MANDATORY PAINTBALL SAFETY TOOL. You risk hurting yourself and those around you if you do not have a barrel blocking device on your marker when it is loaded. If you're in a resting area, you don't have a barrel blocking device, and you pull your trigger and the shot hits your friend in the face when he doesn't have a mask on. Then he will be blind forever. So it is important that you use a blocking device that is made especially for stopping paintballs. Only take them off when the referee tells you to.

5. Airtank. Airtanks come in many different shapes, sizes, and weights. There are two main types of airtanks.

Co2/Carbon Dioxide: When filled, it is a liquid, when fired, it expands into a gas. But sometimes, in high rates of fire, the liquid will not have enough time to expand. Therefore freezing your marker and internals. Damaging your marker. Weather and temperature effect how well the Co2 expands. If the weather is too cold, the Co2 might not expand fast enough. If it is too hot, then the Co2 might expand in the tank which will burst out of the "Burst Disks"( Safety feature on tanks to prevent overfilling and too much air pressure) rendering your tank useless until you get them replaced. If you tilt your marker down, the liquid Co2 might just flow into your marker and damage it.

High pressure air tanks/HPA/Nitro/Compressed air: Some tanks hold 3000PSI, Some tanks hold 4500PSI. (Make sure you check before filling them up) This air source is the ideal air source to use when playing paintball since it is not effected by weather, temperature, and how you hold your marker. Does not damage the marker in any way.

Step 4: Basics of Paintball Cont. |Safety and Rules|


1. Always keep your mask ON!!!!!!!! I can not stress this enough!!!! Do you want to be blind just because you were really hot? If your mask falls off, hit the dirt and cover your head and face.  Try to alert a referee or get carefully with your head still covered, to put on your mask.  DO NOT TAKE OFF YOUR MASK FOR ANY REASON! DO NOT TAKE OFF YOUR MASK FOR ANY REASON! DO NOT TAKE OFF YOUR MASK FOR ANY REASON!

2. Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready fire

3. Safety button is always on "Safe" until you are ready to play

4. Keep your barrel blocking device on until the game starts. It is there for a reason. To prevent someone getting shot accidentally or going blind.

5. You can give a option for the opponent to surrender at 10 FT or less. Getting shot close up hurts! (Note: This might also be a rule in some fields.)

6. If you choose to shoot at close range, then aim for places that don't hurt as much. Such as the mask, pack, shoes, back. Don't aim for the back of the head, groin area, legs, etc.

7. Do not Bonus ball anyone. Remember! You only need 1 shot to eliminate  someone. 2 shots to make sure. 3 shots is too much. Anything more then that is abuse and that's not cool nor fun for that person. 

8. Listen to the Referees. They know what's best for you.


0. Follow the Safety rules above. Very Important.

1. If you are hit, check if the paint broke, then call yourself out. If it did not break, then you are not out. Also, check if the paint splatter size is bigger then a quarter. If it isn't, play on. (Note: This only applies to some fields. Check with your referee for the proper rules)

2. Raise your marker or hand in the air if you are out/hit. Also call out loudly "OUT" or "HIT" to let the opposing team know to let you walk safely out. Put on your barrel blocking device . Keep that hand or marker up while walking out to signal you are out.

3. Don't cheat. Wiping a hit, or ignoring a hit can get you kicked from the game or even kicked out of the park. It's not worth playing an extra 3 minutes to lose a day's play. Honor system people....Honor system. Plus, it doesn't make you cooler for the people around you. People will look down on you.

4. Don't cross boundaries. They mark the limits of the field if you do cross it, you generally "out".

6. Listen to the Referees. They know what's best for you.

7. Check up on you're fields rules for more information.

Step 5: What to Buy


If you are just starting out, then don't buy anything! Just use the rentals! It's a waste of money and time. You don't need the top notch or brand new gear to play.

After a year or so of playing, THEN consider to buy gear. But these are worth considering.

1. Mask. Rental masks are old, scratched, and fog up on you. Invest on a mask and use that.

2. Better hopper. Switch out the rental hopper with a better one. This might not be needed depending on what your field rents.

Step 6: What to Wear

First time going? Wondering what to wear? Have no fear!

Anything that has a dark color works great. Camo is still cool too!

Wear old lose jeans or shorts if you want. All depends on you. Don't wear skin tight clothing thinking skinnies will make you look cool while playing. It only makes it worse. Baggy clothing breaths better and will "hurt" less.

If you're scared of it hurting, then wear a long sleeve or jacket.

Wear good comfortable "gripish" boots or shoes. Don't wear converses thinking you're all cool when you're slipping all over the place. (Yes I've seen people do it. Don't do it. Please)

Step 7: Have FUN!

Bring your friends!

Bring your girlfriend!

Plan your next paintball day on a Birthday!

The main point of paintball is to have fun!

You don't need to be extra serious to play paintball!

Step 8: How a Paintball Marker Works

I realized that this might be too complex for some of you folks, so this is just some extra knowledge for all you that like to go above and beyond.

Here is an animated diagram of how a blowback operated paintball marker works. I won't get into in depth about this in my beginners instructable. Later on I will though. There are many different types of valve systems and mechanical internals that it would take forever to talk about.

But this is how it works in a nutshell:

Paintball is fed into breach>>Air goes through hose and is stored in the front of the marker>> Trigger is pulled>> Releases a hammer that hits a pin letting all the stored air escape>>air goes through the body and into the bolt>>bolt moves forward pushing the paintball forward and shooting the paintball through the barrel>>Wash, rinse, repeat.

Step 9: Techpb

The Techpb Forums will help you with anything you could ever dream of in paintball. We are aiming to become the largest online paintball community on the web. Nicest members on the planet.  If you want to contact me, post down in the comments, shoot me a PM, or find me in Techpb. My Username is: Wasabiboi

This is the Techpb Youtube. With TONS of video on How to's, reviews, tips, and all of that hot jazz. I gained most of my knowledge through techpb.