How much does a Paintball hurt? Safety Tips

There’s nothing quite like the game of paintball, which takes the adrenaline rush of running around in the open and combines it with the thrill of dodging bullets and shooting back. While the utter joy of taking down your opponent is undeniable, most of us are hesitant to take the leap just because of one question that lingers in our minds — How much does a Paintball hurt?

If you get hit by a paintball, will it feel like a tickle or a sharp blow? Will you be left with a colorful badge of honor or a painful reminder? 

In this article, we will delve into the question does paintball hurt and what to expect during a game. We’ll also explore the factors that can affect the level of pain you may experience and share tips to minimize the pain and stay safe on the field. 

Does Paintball Hurt?

Paintball player direct hit

Yes, paintball hurts. Many people think that since it’s just a softball filled with paint, it won’t hurt as much as being shot by a real bullet or dart. However, the truth is that when you get hit by a paintball traveling at 300 feet per second (fps), it feels like getting punched in the face by someone who has just been working out all day at the gym!

Does Paintball Hurt more than Airsoft?

Yes, paintball hurt more than airsoft, the reason is that paintball are heavier than airsoft. The weight of paintball is 3 grams, while airsoft has only 0.20 to 0.25 grams weight. We simply understand it by table.

Projectile size.68 caliber.45 to .60 caliber
Projectile weight3 grams0.20 to 0.25 grams
Projectile energy12.5 joules0.84 joules
Pain levelMore painfulLess painful
Marking mechanismPaint breaks open on impactNo marking mechanism

Ultimately, the pain of getting hit by either a paintball or an airsoft BB depends on a number of factors, including the velocity of the projectile, the area of the body that is hit, and the amount of clothing that is being worn. However, in general, paintball is considered to be more painful than airsoft.

Factors That Contribute to the Pain of Paintball

 how much does direct hit paintball hurt

Here are some factors that may contribute to the level of pain experienced during play: 

Quality of Paintball

The quality of paintball is one of the most important factors in determining how painful it will be. If the paintballs are hard and brittle, then they will sting more than if they are soft and pliable. 

The former comes with a thin shell that breaks easily when it hits your body, while the latter has a thicker shell that is more likely to absorb the impact and protect your skin from being bruised.

Also Read: What is inside in paintball?

Velocity of Opponent’s Gun

The velocity of your opponent’s gun can also contribute to the pain you experience. Most paintball fields have a limit on the velocity of paintballs, which is typically around 280 feet per second. 

However, some players choose to ignore this limit and crank up the velocity of their gun, resulting in paintballs that travel much faster than they should. The higher the speed, the more force the paintball will have upon impact, which can lead to more pain. 

It’s important to note that fields typically regulate the speed of the paintball guns to ensure player safety.


The distance the paintball travels before hitting you will determine how much it hurts. If it hits you from point-blank range – within a few feet – then the pain will be more intense than if it hits you from across the game zone. 

But why does the pain increase with distance? It’s because when a paintball is traveling toward you, it has speed and momentum. The farther away from you the paintball is fired from, the less force it will have upon impact. This is the reason most players are asked to be at least 10 feet away while playing!

Point of Impact

Talking about impact, the point where the paintball hits you is also important. If you get shot in the head, for example, then it’s going to hurt much more than if it just grazes your arm or leg. This is because sensitive nerves in this body part react when pressure is applied to them. 

Similarly, body parts with more fat or muscle tend to absorb more of the impact than thin, fragile extremities, so you won’t have to worry about bruises or cuts either.

How fast does a paintball gun shoot ?

The velocity at which a paintball gun shoots depends on a number of factors, including the type of paintball gun, the type of paintballs being used, and the settings on the paintball gun.

Paintballs can generally be fired from paintball guns at speeds between 200 and 300 feet per second (fps). However, some paintball guns have the capacity to fire paintballs up to 400 fps.

The Power of Perception: How Your Mind Shapes Your Paintball Experience

how bad does paintball hurt paintball players

While physical aspects play a big role, the psychological factor cannot be ignored either. Your mind has a significant impact on how you perceive pain and can influence your overall experience of the game. 

For example, if you go into the arena feeling anxious or stressed, you may be more sensitive to the pain of getting hit and may perceive it as being more painful than it is. On the other hand, if you’re feeling confident and in control, you may be able to brush off hits that would normally cause you some discomfort. 

The way you approach the game can also impact your experience. If you’re overly competitive and focused on winning at all costs, you may be more prone to getting frustrated and upset when hit, which can amplify the pain you feel. 

However, if you approach the game with a mindset of having fun and enjoying the experience, the adrenaline and the excitement of the game will mask the pain and make it feel less intense.

One thing that is important to note is that paintball pain is typically short-lived. Most players report feeling the pain for only a few seconds before it subsides. Many players even enjoy the sensation of being hit, as it adds to the excitement and realism of the game.

Managing Paintball Pain During the Game

Black Helmet for paintball

Here are some safety precautions that’ll help you manage the pain associated with playing paintball:

Wear Protective Clothing

One of the easiest ways to manage paintball pain is by wearing layers of clothing. Thick, long-sleeved shirts and pants can help absorb the impact of a paintball and reduce the amount of pain felt upon impact. Additionally, wear protective gear like a padded vest or neck protector that can provide extra cushioning and minimize the chance of injury.

Warm Up Before Playing

Before you jump into the action, make sure you warm up those muscles! Just like a sprinter before a race, you want to get your blood pumping and your body ready for action. Stretch those arms and legs, do a few jumping jacks, and maybe even take a quick jog around the playing zone to get your heart rate up.

Use the 45-degree Rule

Now that you’re feeling limber and ready to roll, let’s talk about the 45-degree rule. This is a handy trick that can reduce the impact of those pesky paintball hits. The idea is to never expose more than 45 degrees of your body to the enemy. 

So if you’re peeking around a corner, for example, make sure you’re only showing a sliver of your body to your opponents. This way, you’ll be able to dodge the attack — and if you do get hit, it’s less likely to hurt as much or leave a big bruise.

Follow Safety Guidelines

Most thrill-seekers often dive headfirst into the adrenaline rush of paintball. As tempting as it may be to break the rules and get up close and personal with your opponents, it’s important to follow safety guidelines to avoid unnecessary pain and injury. 

This means, chronograph paintball markers before the game and maintain a safe range during the game, or else you’ll end up in a world of pain. 

Mind Over Matter

If you focus on the pain too much, it will only distract you from the game and cause you to perform poorly. Instead, try to ignore the pain and stay focused on your objectives in the game. You’ll be amazed at how quickly your mind can adapt to the pain and push through it.

Be Athletic in the Game

You should also be athletic in the game. This means being agile and nimble and using your body to your advantage. Slide, duck, and roll to avoid incoming shots, and use your body to shield yourself from hits. Your athleticism will make a big difference in reducing the pain of paintball hits.

Take Breaks

Another key to managing pain during paintball is taking breaks. Paintball can be physically demanding, and playing for extended periods without rest can increase fatigue and pain. Take a breather when needed, drink water, and stretch your muscles to avoid cramping.

Use Pain Relief Products

If you’re still experiencing pain after your game, consider using pain relief products. There are many over-the-counter options available, such as topical analgesics and oral pain relievers. However, be sure to check with your doctor before using any new medication.

Conclusion: How much does Paintball hurt?

So there you have it, the answer to the big question that every beginner paintball player asks: How bad does Paintball hurt? The truth is, it depends on your pain tolerance and the point of the shot. While a single hit might sting, it’s rare for it to be excruciating. 

However, taking consecutive hits in the same spot can be painful. Remember, once you get shot, raise your hand immediately and call yourself out. This not only helps avoid further attacks from the opposing team, but it’s also a sign of good sportsmanship. 

So just keep the above-mentioned tips in mind, get out there, and start taking those paintballs to the face!

Before You Go…

Sure, the level pain caused by getting hit with paintballs varies according to one’s pain tolerance but there is one thing we know for sure, they will get all over your clothes and gear! Read my next article to learn how to wash paintball paint off clothes and gear like a pro…

How To Wash Paintball Paint Off Clothes And Gear