Paintball vs. Airsoft – Which is the Best?

When friends look for a team sport that they can try out, paintball and airsoft may cross their minds. Meanwhile, some individuals seek a competitive team sport to enter.  But what is Paintball vs. Airsoft?

Paintball and airsoft are fun and challenging sports, to begin with, and while both have similarities, you may struggle picking which one to try.

Beginners may be confused about which one suits them better, so this article will tackle the differences, similarities, pros, and cons of paintball and airsoft so you can find the best one for you. 

Paintball vs. Airsoft


Let’s begin first with the differences so you can set them apart before diving into the other segments. 

Paintball is more of a fun and light activity that even friends and children can enjoy. You shoot with a paint encapsulated in a casing, then run around the course to hit the rival. 

The feet per second rate of a paintball gun for a classic game is around 300 fps which is a safe choice. Most fields set this rate for calibration because it keeps players safe. 

However, if you’re more of a combat person, then airsoft can be a good upgrade from paintball. Many paintball players try out airsoft because it is more intense.

In airsoft, the usual fps is at 450, which is a lot higher compared to paintball. The high rate also means that the came can also be too physical and intense. 

You may find yourself exhausting most of your energy in airsoft compared to paintball. 

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Now you know the critical differences between paintball and airsoft, let’s proceed to the brief similarities between the two. 

First, both sports do not guarantee that players will leave the field without a scratch or sting. This one is not to scare you, but unavoidable injuries occur in both but rare cases. 

Paintball and airsoft courses may be complex, and you may find yourself crawling, diving, or just basically in a peculiar position. 

So the similarity between the two is that you’ll need protective gear to keep you safe from scratches, pellet impact, and serious injuries. 

Both have their standard safety gear that you need to wear, but they commonly focus on protecting the hands, arms, legs, and face. Body armor is also optional; thus, you may need to invest in them.

Pros Of Paintball

Paintball is undeniably a famous sport, maybe even more famous than airsoft. It uses paint as the pellet, and the goal is to shoot the opponent in teams. 

When the paint-filled pellet hits a rival, it bursts and leaves a paint stain on the player. It serves as a marker to determine the final score or remove a player from the game depending on the game rules. 

What makes the game fun is the mark left by the paintball pellets. It is sort of like a removable scar that you hit a victim from the field. 

Also, it allows the counting of scores to be easier because there’s literal proof in the body. It will help in lessening any serious arguments between players when it comes to scores. 

Furthermore, paintball pellets have great accuracy and delivery, which allows players to aim and shoot quickly. 

You may also notice that paintball pellets are dense because of the paint inside, making them heavier. The weight allows a consistent trajectory despite any wind blowing. 

Paintball also uses compressed air or CO2 to fire shots which encourages players to shoot long.

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Cons Of Paintball

The FPS in paintball hurts when shot at close range. You may have your protective gear on, but if the impact of the pellets is too much, you can still get bruises from it. 

Sore muscles or bruises may not be evident during the game, but they can show up a day later, which is a hassle. 

Also, wearing a protective layer like armor, gloves, or pads means that they will take all the hits. So you may find your gear damaged over time and stained with paint. 

Although the ammunition guarantees easy to clean off, you cannot keep your equipment spotless. If you are meticulous about your gear, then it may be bothersome for you to clean off stains all the time. 

Paintball uses compressed air or CO2; therefore, if you plan on playing it regularly, you’ll need to refill it regularly as well. The container itself will also add weight to your gun to impair your performance a bit. 

Speaking of paintball guns, they are also pretty high-maintenance equipment. Most parts of the weapon are detachable, allowing you to check up on it before playing. 

The nozzles in your gun may have pellets stuck in them, so you need to clean them to maintain a smooth performing paintball gun.

Pros Of Airsoft


In the most basic sense, airsoft could be precisely similar to paintball. However, many people claim that airsoft has better advantages compared to paintball.

For example, many players enjoy the spring-powered mechanism that fires the pellets instead of using markers like paintball. 

It is because, in airsoft, you don’t use a paint-filled capsule to shoot. Instead, you load small plastic pellets in the airsoft gun. 

With the material being plastic, you can say that this ammunition is more affordable than a paintball pellet. Also, airsoft BBs are easy to load because they don’t use an attachment. 

Also, airsoft players claim that BBs hurt less. With that in mind, you don’t need to spend much on protective gear and clothes. 

Lastly, because airsoft pellets don’t use any paint, there will be no stains on your clothes or gear. You will not spend your time cleaning them after every game.

Cons Of Airsoft

While many people switch to airsoft because of these advantages, there are still cons to playing this sport. When you assess all of the pros and cons of both sports, airsoft may seem more dangerous than paintball. 

First, airsoft pellets are lighter than paintball pellets, meaning there is no consistent trajectory because the wind may affect its travel. Therefore, you can’t always have an accurate shot.

However, people who practice and play airsoft regularly may get used to the BB trajectories so they can manage. It would be the new players who will experience difficulty when playing. 

Aside from the accuracy, the distance of your shots can also fall short. Players may need to combat in close range to hit better, which means the hits will hurt more.

You can solve these issues using heavier airsoft BBs, but they can be too painful, and there’s no drastic change with accuracy. 

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Conclusion: Choose That Fits Your Style

If you want a more realistic and intense feel, airsoft is a better choice than paintball. One thing that makes it authentic is the gun design that looks like real-life guns. 

Airsoft guns are compact and do not need attachments like air tanks in paintball. These attachments in a paintball gun may slow the movement of a player. 

However, do remember that you cannot easily be a pro in playing airsoft. It would be best if you had time to adjust to the pain, course, and flow of the game. 

Airsoft is a more affordable option than paintball because the equipment in airsoft is cheaper than a paintball marker.

It would help if you also practiced how to deal with the accuracy and range issues of the airsoft BBs. 

In the end, you’ll get to experience intense and exciting combat with this sport.