PaintBall Basics

Paintball is a wildly popular sport, played in indoor and outdoor arenas worldwide.

Paintball is a game where you shot at other people, and you get shot at, with paintball guns. There are many variations of game play, each having its own set of rules. The two basic game variations are rec-ball and tournament play.

Rec-ball is Recreational Paintball. Rec-ball is usually not played for money or prizes. Tournaments are more serious, and are usually played for money or prizes. Rec-ball is just for fun. It is often played in the woods, but can be played in other paintball settings as well. Both Rec-ball and tournaments can include big games, scenarios, and walk on games.

A large paintball game, usually called a “big game”, can have anywhere from 30 to 250 people on each team. These games can last all day, or all weekend. These games also normally have rules that are somewhat different from a regular game.

Scenario paintball, which is based on a storyline or theme, usually consists of two or more large armies. The object of the game is to earn the most points by completing missions and eliminating opponents. These games usually last 12, 24, or 36 hours. Each member of a team is usually assigned to a certain role in the scenario, based on what the theme or storyline is.

A walk on is where you simply show up at a paintball field and are put with other players to form a team.

Basic equipment you need to play paintball includes a paintball gun, paintballs, a mask, air supply for your gun, and possibly body armor as described on You also need a place to play.

Paintball is played in the woods, commercial outdoor fields, and in indoor arenas. Field fees are anywhere from $0 to $15. If you rent all of your equipment, the cost to play all day can be anywhere from $15 up to $50.

The best way for beginners to get started is by playing rec-ball with a small group of friends in the woods. This practice allows the players to develop strategies that can be used later in tournaments and on the commercial fields.