Paintball Strategy and Tactics for beginners

Paintball Strategy and Tactics For Beginners Guide

Paintball has gotten more popular over the years, especially because of all the different types of games that exist. Paintball can be played on a team or as a solo player. Either way, you need to use proper paintball strategy and tactics to win any game. It requires you to develop tactics as if you were in the military and out in a combat field. But if you’re new to paintball, you don’t need any training to play the game well. You just need to learn the basic rules of the game and get familiar with the general tactics that will help you win. This will make you last longer and enjoy the game more.

Basic Safety and Gameplay Paintball Tips

If you’re a new player, then you need to know a few things about playing fair and being safe out in the field. This will not only make the game more fun to play, but it will also help your paintball reputation amongst other players. Soon you will improve your skills as a paintball player and will then get the chance to play a game with the advanced and professional players on a paintball field. 

Safety Tips

There is usually no pain inflicted upon you in paintball, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be dangerous. When a paintball is fired, it travels at 280 mph toward the target. If you haven’t taken the proper safety measures to protect yourself, the paintball will sting you. That is why you need to learn the following tips about safety:

Paintball safety on the field

1) The only time you should remove your mask in the field is in one of the designated areas. If a paintball were to be shot in your eye without protection, then you will lose that eye. Don’t expect another player to notice that your mask isn’t on, even if they’re a professional player. Accidents can happen quickly if a player isn’t responsible for their safety.

2) You should always keep an unloaded paintball gun whenever you’re not playing a game of paintball. This is the same rule that applies to ordinary firearms too since fatal accidents can happen with both types of weapons. This also means you should keep your paintball guns away from young children. If your child is older, you can teach them how to be safe with a paintball gun if they’re playing with you.

Fair Play Tips

Being a good sport during a game is important while following the agreed upon paintball strategy and tactics. Not everything is about having solid paintball skills. You must always try to be fair with your opponents because this will make the game more enjoyable for everyone involved. Plus, it will give you opportunities to play in new locations. Here are the basic rules about how to act in a game that will earn you more gaming opportunities. 

1) If you get hit with a paintball, don’t act like you didn’t happen. You must be honest and acknowledge the hit or else it will offend the other players once they learn the truth.

2) If you’re playing with an advanced player and you think they’re cheating, don’t accuse them of it. These players have spent years and a lot of money to establish their reputation in paintball. Even if you have a good reason to think they’re cheating, just walk away and stop playing with them.

3)  If you’re not sure if you’ve been hit, then you can request to get checked for paint on your body. If you have it, this will indicate that you’re dead. The referee is the one who inspects for this. A lot of times, players get hit in the back or somewhere else on their body in which they can’t see. When this happens, they don’t realize they’re supposed to be “dead” in the game.

Single Player Strategies

If you’re playing a solo game, just remember to have confidence, take cover, and be mobile. These three tactics will help any solo player do well in a free-for-all match. You’ll find that these tactics will help you live longer and be happier in the game. You don’t need any more knowledge about tactics other than those three basic things. 

single player games


Get used to taking cover a lot. You can use a ditch, tree, or bush to protect yourself from paintballs that are shot in your direction. Make sure you thoroughly take cover, so the opponent can’t see you at all. Your movements need to be planned so you can get from one place to another quickly while taking cover along the way. Don’t run out into wide open areas because that will make it easier for your opponents to spot you and then kill you.


It is important to take cover, but it’s also vital to move quickly and frequently. Don’t stay in the same spot for too long or else your opponents will eventually figure out where you are. If you’re playing a fortress game, keep moving to each side and fire at your opponents who are approaching. In some situations, it might benefit you to run out from your cover spot and fire away at all your enemies as they’re nearby. They’ll usually try to dodge your paintballs instead of returning fire. Doing this will reduce their chances of corning you in the fortress.


Like anything in life, if you don’t have the confidence to do something, then you’re bound to panic and make mistakes. In paintball, panicking will get you killed because you’ll likely stay in one place for too long by allowing yourself to be seen. You need to be quick in paintball and have a strategy to survive. Check every side for approaching opponents and don’t make rash decisions if you have time to think about other choices. 

Team Strategies

You need to be an excellent communicator and cooperator when you’re playing on a team. Your entire team may develop a strategy that you need to follow, based on a set plan. Your team may also want you to give your suggestions and plans of attack too. Everyone needs to trust each other and be on the same page or else your team will lose. At the end of the day communication with your teammates is key. The following paintball tips for beginners will help help you during team games.

team paintball rules

Multi-Squad Play

When you’re on a team, and it is divided into two squads, one squad goes out into the field while the other team covers them by opening fire. This lets the first squad get further along on the ground, although it is risky for them because they’ll no longer be able to communicate with the other team. They could also get shot in the crossfire. 

Another way the squads could act is a tactic called leapfrog. This is where they start out with one team moving forward and the other covering them, just like in the other method. The only difference is once the advancing squad settles in a new position further ahead, they end up covering the other team to allow them to advance to this new position that was just established. Both squads need to be quick, and both squad leaders need to communicate well and scan the field properly.

Team Free for All (FFA) Tactics

Some free for all games require teammates to move independently without any communication with each other. They all still have the same objective and must avoid accidentally shooting their teammates too while taking advantage of specific paintball strategies for beginners. Since teammates start out away from each other in separate positions, it is easier to commit friendly fire because you don’t know where your teammates are positioned. The only way a team can do well at this is by planning their strategy before the game starts. 

Common Variations of Paintball

Paintball has so many variations to it. Different kinds of paintballs games have been created which have their own set of rules. In some games, there are even limitations on the equipment you can use. That is why you should familiarize yourself with a particular type of paintball game before agreeing to play it. This will help you create an effective strategy. To learn more about the different variations of paintball and how to win at them, check out the list below. 


Assassins is a free-for-all variation that is great for beginning players. There are a group of players, and each of them only has one target to kill. Nobody knows who anyone else’s target is. They just know their own mark. As a result, you need to be wary of all players because any one of them could have you as their target. If you end up killing your enemy target, you get the target card they were assigned before. Then, you must locate that target and kill it too. You keep going on like this until you’re the only player left, or until you’ve eliminated yourself.  The winner is determined by the holder of the most target cards. This doesn’t necessarily mean it is going to be the last player to survive. So, if you just hide away the entire time, you are going to lose.

Capture the Flag

capture the flag

This is the most popular game played in paintball. The objective of the game is for one team to invade their enemy’s base and capture their flag. Then, they must take the flag back to their base to win the game. The good thing about this game is that the other team’s flag is in a location that everyone knows. The hard part is trying to invade the enemy’s base and getting the flag without getting shot. Some people make different rules to this game, such as multiple lives. This means once you get shot, you have to go back to your base before you can participate in the game again. Sometimes the teams get separated into squads by the team leader. The leader will usually go over the plan for capturing the enemy’s flag. Make sure you pay attention to the plan and follow it. 

Neutral Capture the Flag and Center Flag Push

This is a modification to the traditional capture the flag game. The difference is that there is only one flag that both teams are going for. The objective is for one group to capture this flag and take it to their enemy’s base. To increase your chances of winning the game, you must obey your squad leader and consistently stay in communication with the rest of your teammates. 


Bomb is a team-based paintball game which has many ways to win if you take advantage of the best paintball tactics. The objective is for one team to bring a bomb to a target location that another team is guarding. The defensive squad is obviously supposed to stop the other side from delivering the bomb and blowing up their position. The team that survives wins the game. If you’re new to this game, you should stand guard with the team that’s defending the base. This is the easiest way to survive. In any case, you must listen to your team leader because quality communication is the only way you’ll win this game. Other Bomb variations may have a neutral bomb or each team with a bomb of their own (similar to neutral capture the flag).

Team Deathmatch

This is a free-for-all team game that is similar to capture the flag. The only difference is there is no flag, and each team’s objective is to kill the players on the other side. The players each have a certain number of lives before they’re eliminated. Each time they get shot, they have to go back to their base and start again. This is a deathmatch scenario where team players can individually advance on their own, or they can group with another teammate or two for added protection. The team leader will lay out a strategy beforehand, so it is crucial that you follow it. 

Predator vs. Prey

Newbies might have a tough time at this death match variation. If you’re experienced and adventurous, then you might like it. One team is designated as the predator, and the opposing players are the prey. There are more players on the predator team in the beginning. These players are out to hunt the prey and kill them. Once a prey player is killed, they turn into a predator and join that team. The prey players are supposed to hide and then execute the predators before they kill them. If a predator gets shot, then they are out of the game completely. The prey team will have the biggest challenge, though, because they’re going to be outnumbered for most of the game.  

Prey teammates don’t usually coordinate with each other because if they’re killed, then they’ll become predators and know the strategy of the opposing team. Predators will typically split up and go out on their own. Even though this is a team game, it will feel like a solo player game if you’re on the prey team. The predators will communicate with each other on occasion to help find the other prey.


VIP is a team game where each team chooses one of their players to be their VIP. This VIP will wear bright colors, so they can be easy to identify. The objective for each team is to kill the VIP on the other team. Everyone gets just one life, and once a team’s VIP dies, the team loses. The VIP also won’t have any weapons either. This will require you to listen to the team leader to survive. The VIP will be hiding the whole time. There are lots of tips for paintball when it comes to this type of game.

Rules Involving a Team Medic

Sometimes there will be game variations which have medics on the teams. Each team will choose one player to be their medic. Each player has a certain number of times they can be healed after they’re shot. Once the heal limit is used up, the player dies. The player who gets shot and still has heals left supposed to stay on the ground and wait for a medic to treat them. A medic can heal by merely touching their fallen comrade.

Of course, if the medic gets shot, then they’re automatically dead because there is no other medic on their team to heal them. Plus, all wounded players lose the game as well. That is why the most effective strategy here is to protect the medic on your team at all costs. At the same time, you need to kill the medic on the opposing team, so their players can’t be healed. But just because your medic is alive, don’t think that you can just be careless and take chances out in the field. This will force your medic to put themselves in danger to heal you. Your paintballing experience will be significantly improved with a medic around.

Now that you know a lot about the paintball strategy and tactics available in the sport, check out this video to see some of it in action. Read more about best paintball guns if you want to learn to be properly armed after you learn all the safety rules.

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