Paintball Marker Color Regulations

Paintball colors help determine friendly fire vs. enemy fire.

Paintball markers are the guns that fire paintballs. In a paintball battle, players must follow regulations regarding the splashes of color that indicate a player has been hit. While these regulations may change depending on the organization that sets up the paintball game, some general guidelines apply. Know your paintball color regulations so you can present yourself as a valuable player on any team.

Standard Colors

Paintball markers can fire white, blue, red, green or purple paintballs. However, any of these colors may be prohibited if a game referee deems it too difficult to see a particular color. For example, if players wear camouflage, paintball markers firing a green color may not leave a distinctive mark. Players must review the regulations at each paintball game to make sure the colors they intend to fire from the paintball markers are acceptable.

Designated Colors

A team may designate a color for all team members to fire. This helps determine whether a player gets hit by friendly fire. This can be important to teams because they may want to determine if any players are a liability. Players who shoot their own team members can cause the team to lose. A player who is hit by friendly fire must leave the playing field.


If a paintball hits a nearby object and splatters onto a player, that player is out. The size of the splatter must be at least as large as a quarter. The referee makes this determination. Color comes into play during a dispute. If the shooter can show that the color fired by his marker belongs to him, he has a strong case for claiming he was firing at the player who got splattered.

Night Colors

Paintball games that occur at night may use glow-in-the-dark paintballs. Paintball markers can fire any color of this type of paintball. The purpose is to make hits visible in the dark so that the referee can tell if a player is out, or conduct a paint check. A paint check is when a player asks a referee to determine if he has been hit in a place he can’t see. An opponent may also ask a referee to conduct a paint check on someone he has fired at. Glow-in-the-dark colors make paint checks much easier at night.

Colors and Rules Violations

Referees can resolve rules violations more easily with designated colors. If a player has been hit in a prohibited area, such as the face, a referee can check to see what player shoots the color that is on the face. This kind of safety violation can get a shooter ejected from the game, and the designated colors help determine who is committing the violation.