If you are reading this post, you are probably new to the sport of paintball and you want to find the best paintball marker you need. The truth is, there is no “perfect” paintball marker. For example, some markers are suited only for speedball, some for woodsball and others are specialized for scenario games. You can, however, choose a paintball marker that is suited for your skill level and type of paintball game play. Because of the explosion of paintball as a sport over the past decade, there has been an increase in the number of both paintball markers and paintball equipment manufacturer. To help you decide on what is perfect for you, we listed certain criteria below to narrow down the choices.
To start, you should ask yourself what kind of player you are and how dedicated you are to the sport. Most beginners to the sport prefer to do day rentals at their local paintball field. There are many advantages to renting instead of buying your own paintball marker. You can get quality mid range paintball markers for as low as $10 for a marker depending on where you live. If you only play casually with your friends, this might be the best option. The markers you can get from rentals often cost upwards of $200 to $300. Investing so much money on paintball equipment is only recommended if you are more than a casual player.
If you decide that you are more than a casual player and you are serious about the sport and want to actively get better at it, buying your own paintball marker means you have more control over your game play. For people who play often, owning a paintball marker is way more cost effective than renting. There are many advantages to owning your own paintball marker. For one, most paintball markers have a whole assortment of aftermarket upgrades you can attach to your marker. Take the Tippmann A-5 for example. The base model looks relatively boring but you can add a collapsible stock, a gun sling, tactical kit and scope to turn it into a really good looking military simulation scenario type marker. There are endless ways to customize your marker.
Before and after applying aftermarket upgrades on Tippmann A-5 Paintball Marker
Owning your own paintball gun also means you get to be in control of the weapon you are playing with. With rental paintball guns, you don’t know how often they maintain them to make sure they are functional. Also, many rental places have older models that might not have the features you are looking for. With your own paintball marker, you are responsible for cleaning and maintaining your gun. Knowing that you are responsible for it gives you more satisfaction than playing with someone else’s gun.
Even though there are many options to choose from, most paintball markers are designed for one type of paintball game or another. Most likely, you are only familiar with speedball game variants where there is a closed outdoor field with barriers on each side. This type of paintball is the simplest and has the most options to choose from because of its easy to play nature. There are other types of paintball where more specialized markers and gear is needed. Speedball guns typically have bright neon colors and have long slim barrels with a small body. Woodsball and other types of paintball use black tactical paintball markers that look like military assault rifles. There are also many guns that do not fit either category and instead make up the rest of the paintball markers out there.
Speedball is the most recognizable form of paintball because it’s easy to just jump right in. For speedball, you want a marker that is both small and nimble while also having the firepower you need. A smaller frame means it becomes a smaller target for yourself. Most speedball markers are electronic and have circuit boards that allow for different firing modes. Speedball markers are also designed for firing speed. Experienced players knows that in speedball, getting as many paintballs down range as possible is necessary to gain control of the field.
Older generations of markers used to be mechanical, meaning each pull on the trigger will fire one ball. The new electro-pneumatic markers allow players to shoot faster and with less recoil. They also tend to be lighter because the mechanical components of the gun is replaced with fewer parts. So when you look for speedball marker, make sure it’s up to date with the latest technology and it is electro-pneumatic. There is nothing wrong with mechanical markers, but if you really want to win, electronic ones are the way to go.
Woodsball and Scenario
Woodsball is a type of scenario paintball that takes place is in wooded areas. Unlike speedball, woodsball players can customize their markers with upgrades needed to fulfill their roles. The three basic roles of woodsball are the point, cover, and sniper. The point and cover are very aggressive roles so they need their markers to be fully automatic to respond to nearby threats. The sniper is usually further back from the front line so they have more time to scope out the enemy so they uses have add a stock and sight to their markers to make them more accurate at long range.
With woodsball, there is no incentive to use smaller markers so players can customize it to a level they find the most useful. Recreational markers for woodsball don’t need the fast speeds that speedball requires so they have a higher level of customization.
The level of your skill, experience and money are all major factors that goes into choosing your best paintball marker. New speedball players should look for a paintball gun in the $150 – $250 range. Some popular examples are the Spyer Fenix, the GoG eNVy and the Dye Proto Rail. These electro-pneumatic markers are still affordable to the average player while having most of the new features players need. More experienced speedball players should look for markers in the $300 -$500 range. Some noteworthy markers are the Empire Axe, Planet Eclipse Etha and the Planet Eclipse Etek 4. The paintball markers in this range are made with superior materials and made to last.
An important note to remember is that buying the most expensive paintball gun you can afford is not a good idea if you are not an experienced player. While the more expensive models have cool features, you should always remember having a more expensive gun does not make you a better player. There is a reason only experienced players use the more expensive guns.