How to Win a Game of Paintball (Capture the Flag)

Paintball originated in 1981 as a novel game for hunters who wished to test their prowess against that of their friends. Paintball has since evolved into one of the most popular extreme sports in the country. It’s a great game where one can experience the thrill of battle without the nasty side effects, you know like, death. That being said it can also be fairly intimidating. There are also multiple games that can be played, but capture the flag is one of the most popular. Here are some tips to turn you from a paintball wimp to warrior.


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    Move; as soon as the horn/whistle blows get to cover. Don’t waste your time trying to spray down range on your way, just get to cover as soon as possible.
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    Spread your team out, don’t concentrate your entire team in one section of the course, it makes it far too easy for an opponent to move around your flank and take down half of your team.
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    Move in pairs if possible. That is, travel in a group of two so one person can cover the other while they move from location to location. This is one of the most effective strategies for a game of this nature. It affords a certain adaptability from a pre-game plan that is vital in effecting a decisive victory.
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    It is vital that you keep moving, being covered and covering your teammates (shooting down range (at the enemy’s position) when they move).
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    Move down the sides of the course if possible, this gives you a better angle of fire on the enemy to thin their numbers before the eventual run for the flag.
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    Pin down the opposition (fire at them so intensely that they won’t wish to break cover) when moving for the flag. Have as many of your teammates as possible do so. It’s a huge advantage if the opposing team is unaware of who has the flag and where that person is once it has been removed.
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    Moving back to your base with the flag can be done multiple ways. If there are only a few opponents left then a flat out run towards the base is advisable (zigzagging the entire way). If there is a strong opposing force left then this would be impossible and one’s movements must be covered by teammates. The flag could even be handed to a teammate to throw off the opposition.
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    Detail a course of action to be taken in the event that the opposing team reaches the flag before you do. Needless to say this will require you and your teammates to be more brazen in your movements. If it’s a small course a center third of your team should fire on the enemy positions while the other two thirds charge down the flanks. If it’s a large course then it’s likely that a team member located on the flanks of the field can snipe the runner if they make a break for it.
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    Break cover and start firing if an opponent has the flag and is running towards their base. Better the loss of half of your team than the loss of the game.
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    Finding yourself cornered, launch yourself quickly and unexpectedly from cover to cover, firing as you go. Chances are the opposition will be too shocked to react immediately. There’s still a chance you can win the game by eliminating the other team.
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    Make sure your team has the whole field covered. When playing 2v2 or 3v3, make sure one person is always covering the extreme sides of the course. If you get flanked, you are done for.


  • Communicate, I can’t stress this enough, if your team is coordinated in their movements then a win will be secured. Hand signals are the best as it can get difficult to hear in the heat of a game.
  • Never give up, even if you’re the last remaining member of your team you can still win. Actions like stealthy movements and sniping can still win you the game. Don’t, I repeat, don’t just throw in the towel.
  • Know that you are shooting at someone don't just randomly start shooting at areas the enemies aren't at.
  • Remember, you can also win by elimination. If the flag is too well defended, try to just take out the rest of the team to at least thin their ranks, instead of just running blindly for the flag.
  • When moving from location to location it may be prudent (when the cover is within a few feet) to move without first observing the field. Doing so prevents the possibility that an opponent will see you and either pin you down or alert his teammates to your position.
  • When moving, don't try to fire- it will just slow you down. It is very difficult to hit a quickly moving target; it is better to just get to cover as quickly as possible.
  • When playing against new players, you boldness is your greatest asset. They are often scared to come out and fire. Use this to your advantage to get around them.


  • Although I’ve emphasized moving, do so with a purpose, don’t just move for movements sake. You’ll end up far out in front of your teammates, likely pinned down until you’re either shot from the side or until your team catches up with you.
  • Running and gunning on your own is going to get you shot in the first minutes of the game.
  • Don’t let fear of getting shot prevent you from moving, getting hit with a paintball is comparable to getting snapped with a rubber band. It will hurt for a few seconds but it will do no lasting damage.
  • Most think that when facing an experienced player or a player with better equipment(Ex. better gun, more ammo, paint grenades, etc.) it will be almost impossible to win. this is NOT true. often the players will become overconfident and blow off everything they've learned. just stick to basic tactics, and if they all charge and attempt to make you retreat, just hold your ground and attempt to gun them down. Even if you get hit you can at least take down most of their fighting force and your team-mates should be able to easily handle the few stragglers.

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Categories: Paintball