It’s always fun to try something new. You may wonder what to expect and what to wear for paintball if you decide to try it. If so, you’ve found the right place. Here we will look at some background information about paintball, what to wear for paintball, and some tips and tricks to help you out on the playing field.

What Is Paintball?

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Paintball is a game in which participants simulate military combat using air guns to shoot capsules of paint at each other. It was first developed in the 1980s for fun, however there are many professional teams and players who consider it a formal sport and are involved in organized competitions or tournaments.

Where Do You Play Paintball?

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Paintball can be played either indoors or outdoors and the fields may vary in size and shape. A game field typically has natural and/or artificial terrain that players can use to hide from opponents or block incoming shots.

Common Paintball Games

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There are many different types and variations of paintball games, but some of the more popular games you might encounter include death match, capture the flag, and protect the president.

Death Match

This game is the original way to play paintball. It requires 2 teams, and each team tries to take out the other team by shooting them with paintballs. If you get shot, you are out of the game and the last team standing wins.

Capture the Flag

This works much like the children’s game where each team has to guard a flag on their base, while also trying to steal the other team’s flag. Similar to death match, if you get hit by a paintball you are out of the game. Whichever team can steal the flag from the opposing team before getting hit with a paintball wins.

Protect the President

One team chooses a person to be the president. The mission of that team is to protect the president by not letting him or her get shot by any paintballs. The other team’s mission is to attempt to shoot the president, and if they succeed; they win. If they are not able to shoot the president before time is up then the defending team wins.

Beginner Tips

These are some helpful ideas for someone who is trying paintball for the first time and isn't quite sure what to expect.

Renting Equipment

Things that are typically available for rental are guns, tanks, goggles, belts and pods, padding and paintballs. It’s a good idea to rent these things for your first few games so you can decide whether paintball is something you want to stick with before making a costly list of purchases.

Paintball Masks

When deciding what to wear for paintball, know that wearing a mask is essential. Not only will it keep your face safe, but it’s a requirement on most playing fields.

Spotting Your Opponents

If you can’t see any of your opponents, you can’t shoot them. Spotting your opponents can give you a huge advantage. The best way to do this is to scan the field quickly, quietly and carefully and then you can devise a plan of attack.

Taking the Shot

Because paintball guns are fairly loud, it will cue others in on your location. This means that if you take a shot, you may get hit soon after as opponents look towards the noise and possibly locate you. You may not be able to stop this from happening, however you can be ready for it and move accordingly.

Keeping Your Head Up

Many first-timers have the tendency to try to stay hidden throughout the game, but that actually won’t help you any. By trying to hide out, it gives your opponents the opportunity to surround you from behind and possibly cover you in paint.

Moving Forward 

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Some first-timers that aren’t trying to stay hidden are doing the opposite and moving forward too quickly. This won’t work out either as everyone will probably spot you and hit with a lot of paintballs. A general rule is to think 2-3 spaces ahead while moving quickly from one to the next. If you find yourself in a situation without cover, the best thing you can do is to yell to your teammates so they can attempt to shoot at your opponents who are busy shooting at you.

Don’t be Afraid!

Many people are afraid to get hit by a paintball and spend their time in hiding, therefore missing all the action. Being hit by a paintball may sting and/or leave a mark, however it’s usually less painful than most people expect. Often when you’re on a mission, your adrenaline gets going and it will keep your mind focused on the game instead of the pain.


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While you don’t want to spend the entire game hiding behind the same rock, it’s best to keep as much of your body hidden as you can while popping out of different sides of a barrier and different locations to keep your opponents guessing. The less your opponents can see you, the less likely they can hit you.


You should talk to your teammates as much as you can. You may make game plans and use teamwork to make sure all areas are covered. Communication and teamwork both play a huge role in gaining a win, however it’s important you do so quietly and discreetly so your opponents won’t overhear and get a step ahead. 


While no one particularly enjoys losing, the absolute best advice is to have fun. Laugh at your mistakes, but also learn from them. Paintball requires practice, and no one is perfect, especially during the learning process.

What to Wear for Paintball 

If you’ve never played the game, you may not know exactly what to wear for paintball. Here we will discuss appropriate clothing from the head to the toes. It’s important to keep in mind that there is a possibility that your clothes will get dirty and maybe stained, so be sure all pieces of clothing are ones you don’t mind ruining. Another important consideration is to dress for the weather. While it might seem like a good idea to bundle up and wear several layers for protection, it’s easy to overheat with all the moving you’ll be doing.


A great form of head protection is a baseball cap with a backing that is completely closed. It will offer good protection and won’t cause you to overheat. Other viable options include headbands, head wraps or bandanas. These will also create a barrier between your skin and the paintball and won’t make you too hot. Winter hats are typically too warm and they don’t offer as much protection as one might think. If the weather is cold, beanies and knitted caps are both common choices.  

Hooded Sweatshirt/Long Sleeve T-shirt

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Coverage is important. Even if it’s hot out, it’s a good idea to wear long sleeves and keep as much of your skin covered as possible when deciding what to wear for paintball. With that being said, choose a lighter long sleeve shirt for warmer weather. If it’s cold outside, layers are key! Don’t forget you’ll be running around and you will stay warmer than you might anticipate. Layers will allow you to easily and quickly remove pieces if you get too hot, and even add layers back on if you get cold.


As with other clothing, it’s important to stay away from heavy duty winter styles. Part of paintball includes holding the marker and pulling the trigger so you must be able to move your fingers easily and freely. Some gloves that work well are garden gloves, work gloves, leather gloves, and the cheap gloves that commonly come in sets from the dollar store. The goal is to just provide a small barrier between your skin and the paintballs because knuckle shots are unpleasant.


Jeans work out nicely because they are tough and not as heavy as some other materials. Cargo pants are another good choice when thinking about what to wear for paintball because they provide a similar effect. What’s important is that you are able move around without restriction. That may lead you to wonder about sweatpants. They do meet the necessary requirement of providing a barrier, however they tend to soak up the paint and it may leave you feeling a bit damp and uncomfortable


Since you’ll be moving around a lot and possibly do a fair amount of running, it’s important to wear an appropriate shoe. Sneakers may seem like an ideal choice but they don’t always offer enough support, especially in rough terrain. One of the best choices in this case are hiking boots, or even better, a steel toe boot. They offer more support and coverage and they often keep your feet dry and protected from mud for outdoor play. A good hiking shoe would also work well. Some people choose to use spikes, however they don’t grip well on certain surfaces such as cement or wood. If your boots aren’t waterproof, it’s recommended that you bring extra socks in case your feet get wet.

Groin Cup

These are geared towards males and almost all of them feel it’s a necessity when considering what to wear for paintball. Though paintballs typically hurt less than people expect, a paintball to the groin can be more painful than other less sensitive areas.


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If you’re ready to take the leap and try paintball, this list is comprised of great beginner tips and a helpful guide regarding what to wear for paintball. If you follow these suggestions, your first few games should run a lot more smoothly than others who go in blind. You may be great at paintball, or maybe not, but whatever the outcome at least be sure to enjoy yourself.

Last update on 2023-07-25 at 16:07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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