March 14, 2020

What is Ramping in Paintball and Is It Dangerous to Players?

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When you play on paintball fields you may hear people who speak about "ramping" on their paintball markers and that the field approves or denies the use. Traditional fields will always make these ramping modes illegal on the field as they heavily favor the player who can, most field markers don't have this option.

What is ramping in paintball? Ramping a paintball marker is when you have a semi-auto marker with an electronic board which after a set style of firing switches to a full-auto mode where the amount of paintballs being fired accelerates tremendously from the standard fire mode.

So with all the power ramping can afford you when you play why doesn't everyone have markers which allow them to ramp? What are the reasons why you would choose to ramp versus just standard firing and we will look into the other ramping modes used in tournaments to help you understand the difference between each of them.

What Is Ramping And How Does It Work?

Ramping is a mode of fire in an electronic marker where it has programming to allow the firing rate to be higher than the actual physical amount of trigger pulls done by the firer. This is basically a way to allow you to fire full-auto even when your only pulling the trigger a small amount.

For example, you are able to fire 4 balls per second which are four trigger pulls per second. If you maintain this speed of trigger pulls the marker board ramping will kick in which can change this amount of balls per second up to 10, 12.5 or 15 in most cases while still only pulling the trigger 4 times.

In most cases, this increased firing mode will continue as long as you keep pulling the trigger. As soon as you stop pulling the trigger, like for example when reloading, you will need to restart this ramping process to get the firing speed back up.

Why Would You Ramp In Paintball?

When you are trying to keep someone bunkered the more paint you can throw at them the easier it is to keep them stuck behind the bunker while you move in. It is in your favor to be able to fire as many balls per second as you can manage while staying legal in the tournament you are playing in.

In public field playing it is typically done by someone who lacks the skill to win against players who are competing on an even playing field. So instead they use ramping to be able to overfire the competition and feel powerful by eliminating players on the other team, this is a bad way to play, don't be this person!

What is Ramp Mode on a Paintball Gun?

Ramping is a feature in many different electronic markers that automatically increases the mode of fire from a semi-automatic mode to more of a fully automatic mode as long as the trigger is continuously pulled at a specified rate. 

Is Ramping Legal in Paintball?

Within paintball ramping is legal but when you are playing in tournaments it is expected as the volume of paint being thrown is impressive. Within the pro context and games, it is legal and normal for players along with being monitored in case they ramp faster than allowed.

The approved methods of ramping modes in tournament paintball games are:

  • PSP Ramping
  • NXL Ramping
  • Millennium Ramping

These specific ramping modes are to allow the player to fire the paintballs in automatic fire mode. These more standard ramping modes also ensure the firing of paintballs doesn't exceed the official limit of 15 balls per second or "bps".

One of the biggest differences between PSP Ramping and Millennium Ramping is how each tournament allows the ramping to function. There is a difference between the two as to when rapid shooting briefly seizes before continuing once again.

What is Ramping in Paintball and Is It Dangerous
@abolishxirvin via Twenty20

What is PSP Ramping?

PSP ramping is a mode where you begin shooting in rapid succession which enables or activates the ramping. The benefit to a PSP ramping mode is that should you release the trigger for a moment and begin shooting rapidly again the marker will continue to fire in the ramped level.

What is NXL Ramping?

NXL Ramping mode will start to increase the firing after 3 shots. The paintball player only needs to hold down the trigger to maintain their full-auto fire. This means you will continue to fire at full speed as long as you don't release the trigger on your paintball marker.

What is Millennium Ramping?

Millennium Ramping is very similar to PSP ramping with the exception that once in a ramped state, should you let go of the trigger, it won't resume at the ramped speed. As soon as you release the trigger for even a brief moment the ramping is deactivated and will require shooting in rapid succession to start it once again.

Final Thoughts

Ramping is incredibly powerful and can give you an amazing amount of firepower when it is necessary for tournament-style play. Unfortunately, there is always someone who needs to feel like they are powerful and decides to use it on a public field against the drastically underfiring competition.

Play responsibly and don't be the person who ramps in a public field, this makes it very unfun for the other players and may stop them from ever coming back to play again, this is highly irresponsible.

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Article written by Josh Koop
I have loved to play outdoor games since I was a little kid, as I grew up I found more games and I also found out about alternate rules. I started Outdoor Diversions with Matt to help get this information out to everyone so they can enjoy these games as much as I do!