How to Play Paintball Cheaply

If you know a little bit about paintball, you will know that it isn't always cheap. Follow this article and you will be saving money in no time at all.


  1. Image titled Play Paintball Cheaply Step 1
    Consider renting equipment. If you are only planning to play paintball a few times in your life, you might as well rent a gun and equipment. If you are playing frequently, buy a gun and it will pay for itself in no time at all. Most paintball fields rent out all the equipment that you need, including CO2 or compressed air/nitrogen tanks, gun, hopper, and paintballs.
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    Put priority on your gun/marker: This is the most important piece in paintball, your gun. Also called a paintball marker. If you are playing paintball every week then you might consider buying a high end gun from your local paintball shop. They will have drastically better guns than Walmart and a bigger selection . If you are playing once a month or so then you might just rent or get a lower end gun. If you are looking into purchasing your first gun/marker here are some good ideas. The first paintball gun/marker that the majority of new players buy is the reliable Tippmann 98. It's easy to use and you don't have to worry about breaking it. The Spyder brand of guns are a close second and are sometimes lighter and more comfortable. You can get Spyder and Tippmann paintball markers at Walmart and other "big box" stores usually. You can get really cheap $20-60 guns at Walmart, but it's usually worth it to get something that's at least $100.
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    Get a mask: Your mask is your required safety gear at all fields and anywhere you play. Some entry level guns come with a mask, but the masks are usually not that great. Before you decide to replace the mask, go play a game or two with it on and see if you like it. If not, spend around $25 to $45 on a decent mask. The biggest upgrade you can get for your mask is a thermal or dual pane lens to keep the lens from fogging up. You don't want to be running around with a mask that you can't see out of or doesn't protect you well. If you want to find a good deal on a mask, search online a little bit and find out where you can get a good mask. Walmart, Target, and places that sell sporting goods will usually have a small selection of masks for the beginner. If you know of a paintball-specific shop, try going there. You'll be able to try them on and there will be a larger selection.
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    Consider your hopper/loader, air source, and extras: These aren't as important as the paintball gun and mask, but without them you can't play. The hopper, or loader, sits on top of the paintball gun and feeds the paintballs into the gun and the air source is what powers each shot. Most of the cheaper guns just need a regular gravity-fed hopper and a paintball CO2 tank. Fields also require barrel covers (or barrel bags) that block paintballs from shooting out of the gun when you aren't playing on the field. It's also nice to have an item to clean out your gun's barrel in case a paintball breaks in there such as a barrel swab or squeegee.
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    Buy protective gear if you want and can: All fields require a mask and a barrel bag. But there are optional pieces of protective gear you might want. This could include a neck protector, chest protector, knee and elbow pads, gloves, something to protect the top of your head, and a cup for guys. These will make your first few times playing more enjoyable until you get over the sting of getting shot. You might have gear at your house that you could repurpose for paintball such as an old hat for head protection, or using bike/skateboard pads. If you want a chest protector look online. Chest protectors won't cover your kidneys, groin, and sometimes not even your back. If you don't want to spend money on a chest protector, you can layer up on clothes you don't mind getting dirty.
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    Don't forget about paint. Your paint is very important, hence the name of the game, paintball. There are many different kinds of paint but different paint works better in different guns. To play for a day, if you're not speed balling and not using an automatic marker, about $35 will get you a box of 2000 balls, and will last you a while. The paint isn't really something you want to skimp on. Cheap, poor quality, or old paint is not a good idea in paintball. It won't work as well because the shell is worn and will have dents in it, resulting in less accurate shots. The balls could also break inside the barrel, which will then affect accuracy, and you'll likely have to clean it out.
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    Find somewhere to play. The field is another important aspect in paintball. You can't play paintball without a field. If you are playing in the woods, make sure you have permission to play there. If you are playing on an actual paintball field, make sure that you follow all of the field rules and ask the people working if you have any questions or concerns. Playing in your locals woods or backyard is an option, too. Just make sure you're in a secluded area or have permission to play there.
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    Do your homework: Do your research about your local fields and paintball shops. Find out how much is costs to play at the fields and look out for deals the fields have. Some fields will have half off or free entry for, say, moms on mothers day or military veterans on memorial day. Local mom and pop, paintball-specific stores can be a huge help in getting you started playing and learning new things. They'll have the best equipment in stock and can fix your gun if it breaks down.
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    Look into used equipment: Buying used gear can save you a lot of money. Make sure that you know what you are buying before you buy it and always test the item before buying it. If there is a only a small difference in price, you might as well buy your stuff new. The only problem you need to watch out for while buying used equipment is the condition and value of the product. You're usually getting what you pay for so keep that in mind. Some worn equipment could easily break, making it a waste of money. For masks, you might want to buy new or give the used mask a good cleaning and get a replacement lens. The lens can be scratched and weakened from prolonged usage.


  • If you're starting a team, make it so everyone pays their own way. Meaning, bring your own gear, gun, accessories, and so on. When I play, we always buy a big box of paint and split the cost, just to keep it cheap for everyone. (This isn't a professional opinion.)
  • Going as cheap as possible is a bad idea when it comes to paintball, but you don't have to spend a fortune, either. The cheapest equipment is never worth it, fogging masks and paintball chopping markers are detrimental to your first times playing. Get gear that's decent so you can actually play and not worry about your gear. If you don't want to play anymore, you can sell your gear and recoup a good amount of money back.


  • Like any other sport, such as baseball or football, paintball involves risk of injury. Make sure that you use common sense while playing paintball.
  • Make sure that you have permission to play.
  • Make sure you wear required safety items and follow all field rules.

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Categories: Paintball