Paintball is a thrilling game of strategy and execution. The game can be a fun weekend outing for friends or an addicting, lifelong pastime. Before you play, however, there is some equipment that you’ll need. Those who don’t have the right equipment are called spectators, so gear up and get ready for action.
Paintball guns, often called markers, are the first piece of equipment that you’ll need to play paintball. Obviously, you won’t be having much fun without a gun. Guns come in various types, including pump action, semi-automatic and automatic. They come in various sizes, colors and price ranges.
CO2 Tank or Compressed Air
Paintball guns are powered by some form of gas tank, either a CO2 tank or compressed air (nitrogen) tank. CO2 is the less expensive of the two and is a good option for the recreational player. Those who are more serious usually opt for nitrogen, which is a more accurate, reliable source. CO2 tanks come in various sizes, including 12-ounce, 20-ounce and 12-gram cartridges, while compressed air tanks use a two-part numerical sizing like 48/3000 that indicates volume (cubic inches) over pressure per square inch (psi).
The hopper is the container that keeps your paintballs loaded on the gun. Without a hopper, you’d have to manually load balls one or two at a time, so the hopper is an important piece of gear that allows for quick, seamless shooting without frequent ammo reloads. Hoppers come in various sizes, denoted by how many paintballs they hold and may be gravity-fed or motorized. Rules of the specific game may dictate how large of a hopper you can use.
Perhaps the first piece of equipment any paintballer should buy is a mask. Paintball masks are designed specifically for paintball and protect the eyes and face from injury. Masks should always be worn on and near the playing field.
Almost too obvious to mention, paintballs are the projectile that the game is based on. These little balls hold paint and shatter on impact. They are available in various colors.
A squeegee is a tool that is used to clean the barrel of the gun. Paintballs can easily break in the barrel and the squeegee is used to clean out broken fragments.
You can play a game with the equipment discussed above, but there are many other accessories for paintball. Paintball-specific clothing, extra paintball holders, paint grenades and gun sights are all accessories that can help to improve your game.