Paintball For Beginners: Newbies Guide To Their First Game

When you decide to go play paintball for the first time you will find it a thrilling experience that you’re likely to never forget. The only issue is that new players don’t understand the game or rules and find themselves disadvantaged versus seasoned players.

Our paintball for beginners guide is here to help get you a nice starter set of tips to ensure you have a proper fun time on your first trip out, personally I would love to have you continue to go as it is incredibly fun and a good family outing.

Don’t Be Frightened Of Paintballs

Honestly it hurts less than you will mentally build yourself up for. I won’t say they don’t sting but if you stress and amp yourself up it is going to cause you more grief then it is worth.

Yes you will definitely have a mark there tomorrow or maybe even later today. Paintballs fly at high speeds but they are soft and break without causing too large of bruising. Though if you should be shot multiple times in the same area it may look pretty bad the next day.

Many new players spend their first games so worried about being hit that they hide behind objects like trees. Not only is this a fairly boring way to spend your first paintball game, but it also isn’t a particularly good way of avoiding getting hit either.

Remember to focus on what the seasoned players are doing and work to simulate their actions. This will take some practice but it will help you enjoy the game by interacting and will help you build fundamental skills that can be used later today or the next time you come play.

Remember that it is only paint it isn’t the end of your life to be out for the game, you will play many more today!

Josh Koop

If you are truly worried or scared about getting hit then wear multiple layers of light weight clothing.

The layers will absorb the overall impact and lessen the feeling of the impact. This may even save your bacon by the paintball not breaking!

Never Remove You Mask In The Game Zone

This is vital to your safety and others on the field of play! Do not under any circumstances attempt to move or remove your mask / goggles while on the field. This is how you could lose an eye as that goggle system is for your protection.

Most fields if this happens once you will be removed from the game and on a second infraction you will be removed from the field for the day or possibly permanently.

Don’t Fire Your Marker Indiscriminately

If you should decide to fire and give away your position it may put you at a disadvantage. You are always hoping to have the drop on the enemy in the game.

Once you have fired and gave up your location the enemy now knows your location and you are back to skill as the key separator in who is going to be hit and marked out.

You want to keep that pressure on them and the stress of not knowing where their enemy is allowing you the perfect shot setup.

3 Primary Reasons To Fire Your Marker:

  1. Visible Opponent: You are able to see an opponent, and you know that you have a good chance of tagging them.
  2. Support Fire For Team: You know that your opponent is stuck behind cover. Your attempt here is to keep them there by laying down a volley of paint so that your teammate can move into a new and better position.
  3. Start Of Match: Running your marker through its paces to test that your marker is working properly and isn’t going to let you down at an inopportune time.

Spotting And Learning To Find Enemies

Being able to spot your opponent is an important advantage when trying to ensure a better firing position and angle. Sometimes you can use what you see to allow yourself better placement since you know where they appear to be heading.

In a paintball game any player that can’t see or locate his opponent won’t beat his opponent. This is where new players will typically struggle as they seem to believe if they keep their heads down they won’t be seen.

This is actually a useless and dangerous tactic for you to engage in as it will allow the enemy players to surround you before you have a chance to defend yourself and respond.

Teach yourself to constantly scan the field of play quickly and carefully. Looking to identify enemy players and strategic positions. You are wanting to train yourself to complete this in under three seconds as your goal.

The reason behind this is that it takes one second for an opponent to notice you, another second for them to take aim, and one more second for them to cover you in paint!

Learn To Utilize Cover

The goal in paintball is to not be marked. The large lesson to learn is that you can’t expose more of your body than you have to. If you do then you will be hit and out faster than you imagine.

When you want to pop out and look, make sure to vary the spot you pop out of and expose as little of yourself as possible. If you work on this enough you will get to the point that you will expose just enough to pop out, locate and fire.

Learning to work against your opponents judgement will make you excel at this pop and shot from cover. If you look from the right, pop out and fire from the left, this way they are looking away from you and you gain a needed second!

By shifting your attack or peek angle and spot you will make it difficult for them to know where to fire at and where your return fire will come from making you the aggressor and dictating the flow.

This is how you win one on one match ups.

Engage In Communication With Teammates

The key to victor in many cases is in how much the teammates converse while on the field and afterwards. No one person can watch 365 degrees of field, it is difficult to just watch the 180 degrees directly in front of you.

Learn to talk frequently and convey enemy locations and how they move, do they always lean right or left, are they dry firing? These key things can lead to a win from the teeth of defeat.

Discussions before a game are essential also, this is where you create your plans.

Where you decide to allocate players, what are key defensive positions which helps make the team more effective as a unit moving like a SEAL squad instead of a bunch of weekend warriors. 

Never Call Yourself “Out” Without Confirmation

In almost every game you will play someone will call themselves out after being hit. This is technically the incorrect way to play this, you should take a second to check yourself for paint.

If you have been hit but the paintball didn’t break then you aren’t out for the match unless you declare yourself out. Don’t make it easy on the other team and make them earn your out.

If you can’t see, like for instance your back, then get a teammate to check or a ref. This way you aren’t cheating the system, you shouldn’t typically engage the enemy while this is occurring but if they are on the attack until called out continue to lob balls!

Understand The Rules Of The Current Game

Keep your eyes on the prize, don’t lose focus on the way you can win the match. Many times new players will get locked into the firing and miss the objective that they could have obtained.

If for example the game is capture the flag, then by grabbing and returning the flag you win. This means you could take out no one on the opponents team and they lose if you complete the objective.

Ensure you keep your eyes on the prize, or in this case objective! Don’t be the person on the team who forgets a simple way to win especially if the teams favor one or the other.

Josh Koop

Don’t Allow Yourself To Be Pinned Down

While most new players stay too far back, a small number of newbies have the opposite problem and move too far forward too quickly. If not tagged out immediately, they’ll be spotted by the entire enemy team.

From there they’ll be forced to make themselves as small as possible while a wall of paint is fired in their direction. It’s much better to try and think two or three moves ahead and your next cover spot. This way you can avoid choosing a dangerous position in the first place.

If you should find yourself totally pinned down, don’t be quiet! Make a point of at least telling your teammates where the enemies locations are and see if they can give you covering fire.

Have Fun And Enjoy Yourself!

Don’t forget that the primary reason everyone goes to play paintball is to have an awesome time. Paintball is an exciting, pulse pounding experience, which can be stressful and sometimes intimidating to newbies.

Don’t expect yourself in the end to play like a Call of Duty player and learn each and every match. If you do something silly try to do it less the next match.


I hope that everyone always has an amazing time at the field, I would love to hear from you below if you play. If you do how often, if you don’t then what is holding you back? If you are interested we wrote an article on the best markers for $300 or less which can help you pick a quality inexpensive marker.

Don’t be scared and you will find an enjoyable pass time and hobby that can take you places you never believed and meet people who enjoy playing and competition.

I love it and never plan to stop!

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