How To Choose Paintball Marker: Newbies Starter Buyers Guide

by Josh Koop | Last Updated:   1 month ago
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Once you have played a few games or maybe a few different weekends now you have got the itch to keep playing. The rentals from the local paintball site are workable but they aren’t yours and you would like to personalize. This guide focuses on how to choose paintball markers that will take you from newbie to consistent player without breaking the bank.

This is the issue with rentals or borrowing markers, they aren’t yours so you don’t get a chance to familiarize yourself with its quirks. Each time you get a new marker from the paintball site you have to re-learn its qualities which can impact you in the games.

This is the time when you should start looking into purchasing your first paintball marker. One you can personalize and make your own

For many though this is uncomfortable as there is a large number of options and opinions about purchases which can be overwhelming to a beginner. That is why we have built out the information below to assist you in making the perfect choice for you.

Establish Your Budget

The first thing you will want to do before you proceed down this article is to figure out what your budget for purchasing your first marker. The awesome thing about paintball is that there is an amazing array of markers available at a very wide cost.

This allows you to figure out what marker and cost suites you at this time. Below we have listed out 3 types of markers from tournament electronic markers to entry-level local field play.

Many markers have options available to upgrade them in minor to major ways depending on the manufacturer and model, the Tippman Vendor and Marker Series are well known for its adaptability and modifications.

Qualities To Understand In Your First Marker

There are a few core things you should figure out which we have covered below when you are thinking about purchasing your new paintball marker. They center around how you personally tend to play, what kind of field or type of play, whether you want to run CO2 or compressed air and do you need all the other equipment to be correctly geared.

These factors all help decide how much you can choose to spend on your marker alone, if not taken into account your full gear up cost could be much larger than you intended!

Evaluate Your Personal Style Of Play

Markers can be bought new from Sub-$100 range to $2000 or more. How you want to play will dictate a decent portion of this range of markers. If you are aiming for tournament play where balls per second can make or break you, expect to see the higher range more often. We have an amazing article covering a selection of markers under $300 here.

Tournament markers are very distinctive, they are full of colors and typically way more outlandish than their counterparts in either mil-sim or pub gaming. Its part of their appeal I feel to most the normal pub-ballers as when someone shows up to the field with that gear beginners act like they are around “Pro Ballers”, whats funny, this is actually rarely the case!

Josh

If you want to play camo in jungle or forest environments in mil-sim, military simulation, style games these can run from $200 to $1000 easily depending on all the modifications and tweaks necessary to fit the simulation look and feel.

Otherwise, if you just want to play on the field and have a blast, not caring much what occurs other than to play the objectives and have a good time then the whole range is open to you. A good option for a nice mid range marker we reviewed is on the Dye Proto Rize. This is how I play, I love and enjoy being outside just running and gunning. I love and want to win but I am not a poor sport when I lose out, its life guys and gals, it happens.

Where Do You Envision Playing?

This is one of the biggest keys to understanding which equipment you should intend on purchasing. It can mean the difference in having amazing days of glory and fun or miserable issues being out-gunned.

If you play on a paintball field local to your area, spend a day and visit them to talk about what they will allow on the fields. It is very important to know if they don’t support specific fire modes, fire speed modifiers or if they have specifics on allowed equipment. This way you know what you purchase will not leave you hanging on game day!

Josh K

I know I have played at fields which are mechanical markers only, this would suck if you just spent $400 on some cool new electronic that can fire super fast. This would mean they wouldn’t allow a marker which featured a battery or could shoot at 30 bps rates. Don’t be that guy who shows up to leave his equipment in the trunk!

Other frequent or common systems are fields that have “walk-on” style days where it is everyone no holds barred bringing your own equipment and play full-on. This helps keep the new players from getting waxed and lets players bring out unique markers for fun days of play.

How Do You Plan To Fill Your Tank?

Tanks that are used for paintball aren’t typically a standard thing that you can get filled anywhere. You will need to learn what your local fields or, if lucky, a store can do for fill up and overall cost for maintenance over time.

There are two types of gasses which can be utilized for paintball markers, compressed air and CO2. These are’t interchangeable, meaning you can’t put air inside a CO2 bottle or CO2 inside a compressed air bottle.

At this point I believe most fields and stores should be able to fill either for you but you will need to check with them to make sure you buy what you can fill up again. It would be a major bummer if you aren’t able to refill the CO2 because you didn’t find someplace beforehand.

Do I Need To Purchase Everything Or Just A Marker?

This is up to what you currently acquired through your play. Most new players though will not have everything they need and will have to look into extra equipment unless you are going to pay for field rentals. Most of the time these extras are one time purchases that you will not need to buy again for a long time.

There are also paintball marker packages that can contain much of the basic equipment, though these tend to be lower quality versions that you will need to replace over time. This can help you fill out a basic set of equipment fast and efficiently and for new players, it can be much easier to use this as a starting point.

What Is The Best Marker For My Budget?

This is difficult to fully answer here as obviously I don’t know your budget but I can show you a few specific types of markers and then with this information you can either select that one or look at similar models.

Tournament Style Play

In this type of marker you HAVE to get a marker hat runs on compressed air and can achieve very fast firing rates. If you don’t hit these primary needs then you will have a rough go of it at the fields frequently. This is why you choose electronic markers for tournament play versus mechanical in most other cases.

Tournament Style Play – Watch and Enjoy!

I would recommend Eclipse, Dye or Empire markers for most new players looking to make a realistic splash into tournament style play without breaking the bank.

Most of the markers for this style and level of play will be at a minimum about $300 and range up to $2000 in many cases.

Example Markers: (Links Will Open In A New Tab So You Can Look Them Over)

Mil-Sim Style Play

This is for the games and fields which specialize in military simulation. This type of player is more about camo and specific looks to the markers to fit the theme and styles.

In this I would recommend BT/Empire, Tippman, and Tiberious Arms. These are typically mechanical markers versus electronic and are very reliable and easy to use.

Example Markers: (Links Will Open In A New Tab So You Can Look Them Over)

More Traditional Multi Purpose Play

If you are looking for a marker for just local pickup games at the normal paintball fields and don’t look to break the bank with specific use markers then you will want to look at these more basic level markers.

In this type of play I would look at markers from Spyder, Azodin, and Tippman. They are all good quality companies who have lasted years and always made products you could rely on.

Example Markers: (Links Will Open In A New Tab So You Can Look Them Over)

Additional Marker Related Items To Purchase

Air Tank

There are a great many differences between the two types of air tanks, we will cover them broadly here to ensure you have a base of knowledge while making a selection.

Neither is better than the other, many times it depends on the planned use of the player and cost only.

Compressed Air

These tanks are able to typically hold far more capacity and overall shots allowing for higher performance over a longer period of time. Unlike CO2 these don’t get as badly impacted by very hot or very cold weather which can help keep the marker on track for longer play.

These will typically cost more up front but can have a cheaper fill cost and easier to find fill stations. Many SCUBA places can even fill compressed air tanks for you but please call ahead as they need specific adapters.

Example Compressed Air Tanks: (Links Will Open In A New Tab So You Can Look Them Over)

Co2 Tank

The CO2 tank is the most common among field rentals due to low cost of use and maintenance. They are small and typically low shot volume before needing to refill which allows the field to make more income.

This doesn’t mean they aren’t useful and sometimes inexpensive is the way to go for a beginner. If you aren’t firing 2000 rounds per game then refilling between every couple of games isn’t an issue.

Going this route can save you in your first investment into paintball, honestly we would all rather drop this extra into the marker if on a smaller budget!

Example Compressed Air Tanks: (Links Will Open In A New Tab So You Can Look Them Over)

Hopper

There are 2 primary types of paintball hoppers available, gravity fed and electronic fed. Each of these will help you increase or decrease your overall fire rate that you can achieve with your marker.

Gravity Fed Hopper

These are the most common and basic hoppers available, they include no gadgets to help move paint faster and the drop rate into the marker depends on gravity to make it occur.

These are what most beginners or first time buyers will purchase as they are relatively inexpensive and make for a good chance to get into owned equipment without a big expenditure.

Example Gravity Hoppers: (Links Will Open In A New Tab So You Can Look Them Over)

Electronic Hopper

These are for the hardcore players, they help max out the amount of balls per second and can help achieve consistent feeding into the marker to ensure you don’t run out of paint at the inopportune time.

Many of these will come with quick feed adapters, meaning you don’t need top open a top lid to refill to decrease time loading on the field, they have eyes monitoring the paint inside the hopper and much more cool features

Example Electronic Hoppers: (Links Will Open In A New Tab So You Can Look Them Over)

Barrel Cover

These are required at all times when not on the field of play. This is something that many players overlook when new. It is pretty inexpensive but shouldn’t be overlooked, take a look at what is on Amazon and choose your favorite or you will be “that guy or girl” at the field when you show up!

Cleaning And Maintenance Kit

Cleaning and maintenance kits will in great part be specific to the manufacturer or model of marker you choose to purchase. You want to make sure you order a maintenance kit as it typically includes replacement O-Rings and other hardware you will need from time to time.

These kits can also include screws or other marker specific hardware which can age and need to be replaced. Please make sure to check Amazon after you decide on which marker to search for the proper maintenance kit.

Example Search String: “Invert Mini Maintenance Kit

Quality Paintballs

This is something to verify if you play at a local field and not a tournament area then they may only allow you to use field paint that is purchased from their shop.

If you have spoken to them and they allow you to bring your own paint then you will have tremendous savings as it can be expensive to buy 100 or 200 paintballs at a time. There are a great many available for $30 for 2000 shots instead of fields at $5-10 per 100/200 shots.

Paintball Impacts - What Are Paintballs

Example Paintball Boxes: (Links Will Open In A New Tab So You Can Look Them Over)

Choosing A Mask

While this isn’t specifically marker related you should never be purchasing a marker if you don’t have a mask to ensure you won’t shoot your eye out. Below are a couple of very good options, this way I know personally that I covered this with you before you made a purchase.

Don’t skimp out on a cheap mask as you will wear it for hours and hours and the enjoyment in a days worth of playing can be cut into if your mask itches or doesn’t fit too well.

Also you want to figure out if you want the visor or no visor on your mask. I prefer no visor as it blocks my vision and causes me irritation because of it. This is a personal preference that you want to think about before your purchase.

General Play Mask

These will range from $20-$50 dollars in most cases, they aren’t typically very modifiable and can be more difficult to thoroughly clean after a day of hard play. I would say if you are aiming at this kind of mask that you instead target a paintball marker package which includes one similar to this one from Amazon.

Example Masks: (Links Will Open In A New Tab So You Can Look Them Over)

Intermediate Mask

These range from $50-$100 typically and have a little better features than the cheaper masks, sometimes this is removable visors, replaceable lenses and other useful changes. These are way more comfortable for long days of game play and typically easier on the head and neck.

Example Masks: (Links Will Open In A New Tab So You Can Look Them Over)

Tournament Mask

These are the cream of the crop, typically with amazing color profiles and the lightest materials to allow for fast play and firm grip. These are $100+ and many easily will be $175 or more! If you are aiming for tournament play or enjoy the game this is the way to go to have the best you can get.

Example Masks: (Links Will Open In A New Tab So You Can Look Them Over)

Conclusion

I look forward to hearing about the weekends of awesome play and fun you have had with your purchases! Please remember to come back and visit to tell me how much excitement you are having consistently and if you are planning to upgrade again!

I love helping everyone learn and evolve to become the best paintball player that you can be. Please share this with anyone you know how has gone a couple times and is considering purchasing a paintball marker so they make sure to make an informed purchase!

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