In Paintball Painful? Let’s Find Out.

Before people get into playing paintball, they specifically ask if paintball hurts. There are many things to consider in this sport before answering “Does paintball hurt?” but to put it simply, yes. YES! 🙂

However, people get hurt when playing paintball, depending on how much they tolerate pain. Sometimes, it is as painful as an insect bite, a rock thrown, or a minimal sting. 

Therefore, one cannot determine how painful paintball is to another person because pain tolerance varies. The worst injury that may happen is that you’ll have bruises or swollen spots.

As long as you wear safety gear and follow the rules, you’re all good.

does paintball hurt

How Does A Paintball Hit Feel?

The impact of the paintball highly depends on the distance of the shooter. The farther they are, the less likely their impact will hurt you. 

If the paintball is from a far distance, it might not even break when it hits you. However, if you’re playing this at an open space casually, the other team may shoot more paintballs but have a low chance of actually hurting. 

Meanwhile, if you are playing for a tough paintball match, there may be no rules prohibiting players from shooting from a short-range. It means that you’ll likely get more painful hits. 

The swollen part or welts can incur a mild concussion if a player receives multiple shots within close range. 

If you compare it to getting a tattoo, both are painful, but they differ when anticipating the pain. 

A paintball may sting you a bit, leaving a bruise, but the anxiety while watching out when you get hit makes it even worse. Meanwhile, getting a tattoo is a continuous pain and discomfort. 

Generally, both hurt but won’t experience a severe injury. As if you play paintball for fun as long as you’re doing it in a recreational course, then you and your rival are fine. 

.Related Reading: Best pickleball gifts – Check Them out Here

How Risky Is It To Play Paintball?

There are always risks when playing sports, especially ones like paintball. However, numerous things classify how dangerous it could be. 

Some people don’t find paintball to be dangerous; instead, the fun of aiming and dodging shots makes players excited. 

Generally, paintball is safe as long as players follow the rules and regulations, wear protective gear, and understand instructions. 

Fortunately, no one will die with a paintball gun if only people understand the basic rules and understand the precautions. In a rare case, one may experience death if they disregard all regulations or did not wear any gear at all.

A few of the essential yet vital measures to follow when playing paintball are wearing a mask and using a gun recommended for the course. 

Also, it would help if you were eligible according to the place’s requirement in age, height, or condition. 

It is significant to note that facilitators check even the health condition of players because there have been cases where players get cardiac arrest when shot in the chest.  

Far from the expected cause of significant risks in paintball, the shots do not cause most of the risks. In reality, CO2 and compressed air are more dangerous in paintball.

What makes CO2 dangerous is that the tank has the wrong type of gas-filled in with compressed air or exceeds the pressure capacity.

It is also risky when there is damage in the tanks because it can explode. The worst thing that one may incur when this happens is death. 

But you don’t have to fret about these cases because more modern CO2 tanks are available to use. Just remember to never remove the regulator carelessly without instructions. 

Related Reading: What Should you Wear While Playing Paintball

What Makes Paintball Hurt?

What Makes Paintball Hurt?

Opponent’s Distance

When the paintball shots off through the air, it loses speed and energy before reaching the target. If the opponent is farther away from you, then the shot will hurt less. 

Most paintball fields do not allow close-range shooting because it can be painful for players. Players need at least to keep a 10 feet distance for some areas to lessen the impact. 

Body Part

Another thing that makes the paintball’s impact painful is which body part it will hit. 

Body parts with more muscles and fat hurt less, so when you get hit on the neck or back, expect that it will hurt more than when your torso gets hit. 

You can also expect excruciating pain when the paintball hits your private area, so make sure to wear all protective gear necessary.

Also, paintball fields recommend players to wear long sleeves, tops, and pants because the impact is more painful on the bare skin. 

Paintball Type and Quality

Paintballs have different types, which differ more on the shapes. There are round and missile-shaped variations of a paintball which both have different pain levels. 

The small missile-like paintballs fly farther and faster compared to the traditional round paintballs. It also has a solid casing which means they may hurt more than the traditional ones.  

As much as these pellets seem impressive, most fields ban their use because they can potentially cause more severe injuries than round pellets. 

Aside from the shape, the quality of the paintball plays a massive role in the pain factor. Far from the expectations, the low-quality pellets hurt more despite their fragileness. 

Typically, low-quality paintballs have a less dense paint inside, but their casing is hard. So when you get hit by a standard paintball, you’ll significantly feel the pain. 

Meanwhile, many brands now offer high-quality pellets that do not break when loaded in the gun but easily break when they hit something. 

Therefore, it is always a reminder to get the best quality paintball out there that also fits your budget to avoid unnecessary injuries. 


For this variable, you’ll need a little background in physics. The harder a player shots the paintball, the more painful it will be. Sometimes fields put on a limit on how hard a player can hit, ranging around 280 fps. 

Number Of Hits

A single hit can sting a little, but it will hurt more when your opponent continuously shoots you, primarily when aimed at the same spot. 

Weather Condition

An unexpected thing to consider is the weather. It may not seem relevant to paintball itself, but it plays a massive role in how much a paintball will hurt. 

If you’re playing during a cold season, the paints inside the casing tend to harden after freezing. You may feel the impact to be more painful than usual during these times. 

How To Reduce Pain When Playing Paintball?

Keep A Safe Distance

As mentioned, distance plays a crucial role in how painful paintball can get. It is best to keep a safe space from your opponent to decrease the impact of the pellet.

Of course, paintball needs interaction between teams, so getting near an opponent may be inevitable, but keep a decent distance from them as much as possible. 

If the pellet has to travel a farther distance, then the hit will less likely hurt you. If you are near the opponent, expect it to hurt more. 

You can always surrender during the game when it gets too painful being hit multiple times in a close-range shooting. 

Use Protective Gear

You won’t need to worry much about severe injuries if you will wear protective gear. How bad your injuries will come out after the game depends on how much protective equipment you wore. 

You need to sacrifice the uncomfortable feeling because you need to wear vests to protect your chest and torso. Some fields do not require this one, but for most areas, it is a requirement. 

Another protective gear to use is a good quality mask. Add on neck protection or a helmet to fully protect your neck up to the head. 

Some fields have complicated obstacles, so that you may need elbow, knee, and shin pads to reduce scratches and pain if you’re one to explore those places. 

There are also lightweight armors available to wear, like motocross armor. Usually, players wear this gear in a professional paintball tournament. 

Wearing the essential protective gear in a paintball match can help you minimize the injury and lessen the pain when playing. 

Wear Appropriate Clothing

Most paintball fields implement a proper dress code when playing. As you may know, your bare skin is prone to more pain and wounds when hit by a paintball.

It is even more painful when the pellet hits the skin without breaking, so it is best to put protection between your skin and the paintball. 

You may wear long sleeve tops with an extra layer of clothing. For the lower part, wear thick pants or trousers to protect your legs. 

As for the hands, you can also wear gloves because hands do not have many muscles or fat to protect them from the impact. It may be hard to hit, but it’s as painful as a neck shot when it does. 

To fully equip yourself before battling in the field, wear padding on your wrists and thighs. 

Take Painkillers

Instead of taking medicine after a long game on the field, it is best to take a painkiller before the match. Not many people have heard of this suggestion, but it is pretty compelling. 

Take any medicine with Ibuprofen to reduce pain in case your injuries swell or bruise.

Control The Velocity

Before getting into the game, calibrate your gun to a safer option so it will hardly shoot. You can set it at around 280 fps, but it all depends on the rules and regulations of the paintball field. 

Is Paintball Safe For Children?

There is no specific age requirement for paintball, except if you’re a baby or toddler, but anyone can play it. Many people find it thrilling and challenging but still safe to play. 

Children may enjoy it as much as adults would enjoy playing. During a match, kids in the same age group usually play with a less powerful paintball gun.

It does not lessen the excitement of the game because it still allows kids to enjoy the game like adults would. 

Paintball fields have their age requirement and criteria to let a child play. If you and the range have both the same standards, then you can allow your child to join. 

What matters most is letting your kid know and understand the rules of paintball and the regulations implemented in the range. 

Excitement will come first for children to overlook the safety guidelines, so adults are liable for letting them understand it.

Adults have the responsibility to disassemble and take care of the items used before and after the game. 

Which Hurts More: Paintball Or Airsoft?

Which Hurts More: Paintball Or Airsoft?

The critical difference between paintball and airsoft is in their pellets. The paintball pellets are huger compared to airsoft pellets. 

Let’s insert a little physics here: when an object is heavier or bulkier, it tends to be slower. Therefore, shooting a paintball lets it travel at a slower pace compared to airsoft pellets. 

Aside from their size, paintballs have so much more energy compared to the ball bearings of airsoft. It also has a broader surface area which means paintball hurts more than airsoft. 

If paintball pellets are smaller, they will hurt less, so many manufacturers aim to produce one version. If they are lighter, they have less energy. 

So regardless if you want to play paintball or airsoft, you always need protective gear, especially for your face, to minimize pain. 

Related Reading: Best pickleball bags – Check Them out Here


Anticipating the first time you’ll get hit may hurt more than the actual impact. It is nerve-wracking not to know how painful it could get, but you move on from it when you do. 

So does playing paintball hurt? When you figure out how a paintball feels, you’ll realize it’s not that painful at all. It gets you going to enjoy playing paintball.