Top 10 Best Paintball Guns 2023: Beginner to Pro

**Updated May 27, 2023**

Let’s get this out of the way right from the start… there is no one size fits all as the best paintball gun. Everyone has different needs and, more importantly, vastly different budgets.

With that said, we all share one thing in common.. we want an awesome paintball gun that will be accurate and reliable, and not break the bank so we can spend the rest of our money on boxes of paint… and maybe that new Empire EVS color you’ve been eyeing…

In this paintball gun review we will take a look at paintball markers at all sorts of different price points and what our testing and experience has shown us to be the best paintball marker money can buy for where you are in your current situation.

We will deep dive into the various features of each paintball marker, talking about different firing rates, balls per second, bolt mechanism options, makes and styles, budgets, and more.

We know some are looking for a low-cost way into the game, while others care more about the advanced features. Some want mechanical markers, some want electronically controlled, and some want old-school pump markers.

Regardless, we are here to help you put your best foot forward in any type of paintball match with the top paintball guns of 2023

Table of Contents

No Time to Read? Here are some of our Top Picks

Top 10 Best Paintball Guns of 2023

Tippmann 98 Custom

Tippmann 98 Custom Platinum Series .68 Caliber Paintball Marker with ACT , Black

Best Budget Paintball Gun

  • Proven in-line bolt system
  • Reliable performance
  • Anti-Chop Technology (ACT)
  • Easy to modify and tweak
  • Easy maintenance
Why We Love It:It’s cheap and very functional
Best For:Beginners 

Tippmann 98 Custom – Old Reliable!

I know what you are thinking… why do we have a gun listed here first that was made in 1998? To simply answer this, the Tippmann 98 Custom is super easy to use, clean, and is wicked reliable.

The 98 is like that old Toyota Camry your friend use to pick you up in. It is no Ferrari that is going to win any races, but it also isn’t going to leave you stranded on the side of the road (a bad analogy, I know, sorry).

Expect reliable performance from this semi-automatic marker, powered with CO2 or HPA for mechanical operation and boasts anti-chop technology for minimal paint breakage. For those who don’t know what anti-chop technology (ACT) is, the bolt will stop midway if it’s about to break a paintball in your gun and allow the paint to enter your barrel, then continue and blast that thing out.

The 98 Custom is on our list of paintball markers because it offers unbelievable durability and easy maintenance for beginner players. As users gain experience, you can polish the internals, keep it regularly cleaned and lubricated, and this will still be one of the best paintball guns for any beginner for 10 years after you have owned it.

Like we said above in our horrible analogy, this thing won’t win you any races by being the fasted, lightest, or most accurate gun, but man, is this thing a tank!

For users who can’t spare the extra dough, an even cheaper version called the Tippmann Cronus goes for almost $40 less than the 98. The main difference with the Cronus is that it will have a cheaper plastic frame vs. the Custom.

Want more? Check out our in-depth Tippmann 98 review.

Pros

  • Proven in-line system
  • Reliable performance
  • Easy to modify and tweak
  • Anti-Chop Technology (ACT)
  • Easy maintenance 

Cons

  • Short stock barrel
  • On the heavier side
Tippmann 98 Custom Platinum Series Review

Tippmann A5

Tippmann A-5 Sniper Paintball Gun with Red Dot

Best Gun for Beginners

  • Easy disassembly
  • Amazing customization options
  • Durable metal frame
  • Cyclone feed
Why We Love It:Best For Beginner/Starters
Best For:Beginners to Intermediates
Tippmann A5 – Surprisingly Great & Improved on the 98

The Tippmann A5 is practically a supped-up version of the 98 Custom.

Tippmann A5 makes its way onto our list thanks to Tippmann’s good ol’ cyclone feed and air-powered hopper system. This basically means that while other players are shaking their paintball guns with gravity hoppers, you will be putting two in their chest.

The A5 is basically an overhaul of the Tippmann 98 Custom. This great paintball marker offers reliability, simplicity, and easy maintenance for any beginner seeking some fun that isn’t going to break the bank or their sanity repairing all the time. It efficiently feeds paintballs during the shoot and minimizes any chance of jams, broken paintballs, and skipped shots. 

If you are going to pick this paintball gun up, the number one upgrade for the A5 is getting some softer paddles for the cyclone feed. The second buy, I would say, is to throw the stock barrel away and get either an APEX 2 or a Flatline barrel, then you are cookin’!

If you want to learn more about barrel options, check out our Tippmann A5 Best Barrel Review.

Pros

  • Easy disassembly
  • Amazing customization options
  • Durable metal frame
  • Cyclone feed
  • Great tactical marker

Cons

  • Only compatible with A5 add ons
  • Still provides many basic features
  • Barrel needs upgrade
Tippmann A5 Semi Auto Paintball Marker - Review

Planet Eclipse EMEK

Planet Eclipse EMEK 100

Best Mechanical Paintball Gun for Beginners

  • Easy to maintain
  • Nylon and aluminum body
  • Comfortable rubber grip
  • Doesn’t chop paintballs
Why We Love It?Best Beginner Mechanical
Best For:Beginners to Intermediates
Planet Eclipse EMEK – Wicked Great Mech Option!

I am going to be honest… This is one of the best paintball guns on the market for the price.

Regarding reliability, nothing beats the mechanical paintball gun; this is precisely what Planet Eclipse EMEK delivers.

On par with high-end paintball guns, this marker guarantees exceptional shot quality and accuracy on the paintball field. The iconic Gamma Core Drive Train in the EMEK is a bonus that ensures smooth firing, reliability, and ease of maintenance.

This, hands down, is one of the top mechanical paintball guns 2023 in the category, where every trigger pull gives consistently smooth shots.

If you do end up getting the EMEK, don’t use a gravity-fed or PAL loader. Upgrade the hopper to LVL 1.5 will ensure you have zero dry fires or chopped paintballs.

Pros

  • Easy to maintain
  • Loud stock barrel
  • Nylon and aluminum body
  • Doesn’t chop paintballs
  • Comfortable rubber grip
  • Modifiable 

Cons

  • 10″ barrel (14″ is preferred on this)
  • No eyes
Planet Eclipse Emek Review

Azodin KP3

azodin kp35 kaos pump paintball marker black gold

Best Pump Paintball Gun

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Efficient air system 
  • Accurate shooting
  • Affordable price 
Why We Love It:Best Pump Paintball Gun
Best For:Beginners to Intermediates 
Azodin KP3 – Top Intro Choice for you Pump Lovers. Period.

This simple pump marker grants novice users an awesome pump gun experience. Its smooth operation and straightforward design make it an easy win in the beginner category for pumps. A truly fun and reliable marker.

Big upgrades for the KP3 are a Hitman Plate, and a Freak Barrel will pretty much set you up completely. The barrel is self-explanatory, but the Hitman plate gives great surface area for the pump

Besides that, an Azodin Auto Trigger is a huge win with the KP3. Without it, the Azodin KP3 cannot auto-fire.

If you want this feature right out of the box, check out the Azodin KPC+ instead. Increased efficiency, better ergonomics, and unique colors mark the iteration of the new Azodin KP3. 

The only real setback we have on the KP3 is the regulator seat will blow on these. Super common after a few years, so don’t be discouraged. Azodin support has always been extremely helpful.

Pros

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Efficient air system 
  • Accurate shooting
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • Limited customization options
  • Plastic body
Azodin KP3 Pump Review: Awesome Budget Pump

Tippmann TMC

Tippmann TMC Paintball Gun

Best Beginner Magfed Marker

  • Excellent value for money
  • Lightweight
  • Genuine AR feel
  • 12″ high-performing barrel
Why We Love It:Beginner Magfed Marker
Best For:Beginners 
Tippmann TMC – The Entry Reliable Magfed

The Tippmann TMC is one of the best paintball guns for getting into the magfed scene if you are on a budget. The key word here is ‘budget’!

You aren’t going to get extreme precision or majorly durable parts with the TMC, but you are getting a lot for the little money this paintball gun goes for.

Additional mags are necessary for battlefield reloads, but you also have an optional feed neck attachment to revert to hoppers for your paintballs with this gun.

The TMC has your standard upgrade options, like replacing the tactical stock, new grips, ergonomic trigger, and the marker housing frame.

If you want a deeper dive, check out our Tippmann TMC Review.

Pros

  • Excellent value for money
  • Lightweight
  • Genuine AR feel
  • Five-position collapsible stock
  • 12″ high-performing barrel

Cons

  • Difficult disassembly
Tippmann TMC Paintball Gun - Review

Planet Eclipse EMF100

Planet Eclipse EMEK EMF100

Best Mechanical Magfed Paintball Gun

  • Flexible customization options
  • Gamma Core drivetrain
  • It uses electronic and mechanical triggers.
  • High-quality barrel
Why We Love It:Best Mechanical Magfed
Best For:Beginners to Intermediates 
Planet Eclipse EMF100 – Most Versatile, Sick Magfed Options

Are you looking for a highly customizable top pick for magfed paintball games? The Planet Eclipse EMF 100 is one of the most popular options in the magfed relm. This thing is a beast. An absolute all-rounder. This marker can do magfed or hopper-fed and shoot regular paintballs or First Strike rounds like a pro. 

This marker has the Gamma Core functionality, granting it the ultimate efficiency, refinement, and durability.

You can explore new mods with EMF’s built-in and adaptable rail set to mount different accessories and run multiple configurations. This great paintball gun also has extremely consistent paintball shots when measured on the crono, and is whisper quiet. 

Super easy to maintain, this marker literally takes a few seconds, and you can slide out the internals, add grease, slide back in, and you are good to go.

With the EMF100, you will have a blast. Zero chopped paint, super easy to maintain, and tons of mods. All of this, and you won’t have to break the bank. This paintball gun is a win-win.

Read more about our Planet Eclipse EMEK EMF100 Review.

Pros

  • Flexible customization options
  • Gamma drivetrain
  • It uses electronic and mechanical triggers.
  • High-quality barrel

Cons

  • On the heavy side
Eclipse EMEK EMF100

Valken M17

Valken M17 Magfed Paintball Marker

Best Professional Magfed Gun

  • Semi or fully-automatic mechanical firing modes
  • Mechanical system
  • Ambidextrous magazine release
  • Customizable
Why We Love It:Best Pro Magfed Gun
Best For:Intermediates to Experts
Valken M17 – People Love It, and So Do We!

The Valken M17 is destined for pro magfed paintball play. Players can easily rely on its consistency and accuracy thanks to its unique forward-blow operating system. 

This marker has 18-round magazines, feeding and shooting regular 0.68 caliber paintballs and first-strike rounds, and can shoot fully automatic or semi-automatic. 

This is the best magfed paintball gun that can be adjusted and accessorized according to your preferences.

If you want to play like a pro, the M17 can certainly deliver. Getting the marker setup initially can be a little finicky, but once set up, there are literally endless opportunities to customize and get exactly how you want your setup.

Pros

  • Semi or fully-automatic mechanical firing modes
  • Mechanical firing system
  • Ambidextrous mag release
  • Customizable

Cons

  • Bad air efficiency 
  • Maintaining is more difficult than other setups
Valken M17 A2 .68 Paintball Magfed Gun Shooting and Review

Planet Eclipse Etha3

Planet Eclipse Etha3 Electronic Paintball Marker

Best and Most Affordable Pro Paintball Gun

  • Easy maneuvering
  • Minimal maintenance 
  • Affordable
  • Requires lesser air
Why We Love It:Best and Most Affordable Pro Gun
Best For:Intermediates to Experts 
Planet Eclipse Etha3 – A Truly Freaking Great Marker

The electronic marker platform increased its offering with the new Planet Eclipse Etha3. To be frank, this paintball gun is practically indestructible. A killer value for a modest budget, easily making a list as one of the best new paintball guns in 2023!

The Etha3 marker has an advanced drivetrain that greatly improves performance, no matter the game type. The core system is a spool-valve system designed to improve accuracy, while a soft bolt-tip ensures reduced ball breakage. 

With this marker, you won’t have to worry about maintenance or assembly, as it has the same quick-release bolt assembly feature the Etha2 had. You can also compact the entire marker with the aluminum low-rise feed neck. 

It now comes with a 3-point adjustable aluminum blade trigger, which elevates the experience for potential players in high-end guns. This mid-range level gun is easy to use, lightweight, and durable.

This markers stock setup shoots quieter shots and delivers insane accuracy with zero issues, making it the best paintball gun 2023 in the affordable pro range.

Pros

  • Great ergonomics
  • Minimal maintenance 
  • Affordable
  • Air efficiency

Cons

  • Not many we can think of
High-Performance at an Affordable Price: Etha3 Paintball Gun Review

Planet Eclipse GTEK170R

Planet Eclipse GTEK Paintball Gun Review

Best Speedball Tournament Marker

  • Reliable and accurate 
  • Easy to use
  • Durable 
  • Customizable accessories
Why We Love It:Best Speedball Tournament Marker
Best For:Intermediates to Experts 
Planet Eclipse GTEK 170R – There is a Reason Pros Play This Gun!

If you like shooting luxury, get yourself a Planet Eclipse GTEK 170R. No jokes!

This second-generation GTEK paintball marker has several advanced features. Loaded with an OLED display with a shot counter, tournament play specification fire modes, a rate of fire indicator, and even a game timer. The GTEK 170R powers through with the Gamma drivetrain to take on any playstyle with increased accuracy and reduced recoil.

This mid-range priced marker has anything you could realistically need for pro play. If you want to switch out the electronics for a mechanical system, literally just switch grips, and you are done.

All in all, this is one of the best paintball guns for pros available. Once you shoot one, we bet money you will agree with us on this.

Pros

  • Reliable and accurate 
  • Durable 
  • High-end features

Cons

  • Not ideal for beginners
GTEK 170R Planet Eclipse Unboxing & Shooting Review | Lone Wolf Paintball Michigan

Dye M3+

Dye M3 Paintball Marker Mechanical

Best High-End Electronic Pro Marker

  • Easy to replace barrels and removable grips
  • Low operating pressure
  • Easily handles small-size paints
Why We Love It:Best High-End Electronic Pro Marker
Best For:Experts
Dye M3+ – When You Need Everything and the Kitchen Sink

Are you rolling in dough and have finally been thinking about treating yourself with the best? Grabbing the best paintball gun package with the Dye M3+ will get you the Rolls Royce out on the field.

The Dye M3+ paintball marker is known for its incredible performance on the field. From my experience, its shooting prowess and precision are remarkable, offering a smooth shot that’s hard to rival. The low recoil is a notable feature, complemented by consistent performance and remarkable efficiency.

The Dye M3+ doesn’t fall short in design and ergonomics. Its comfortable grip during gameplay, balanced feel, and lightweight design are considerable advantages, making it a joy to handle even during intense sessions.

Aesthetically, this marker looks absolutely sick and has an array of color options to choose from.

However, no product is without its drawbacks. We have noticed some instances of leaks, and mechanical hitches have cropped up, needing repairs. The marker requires more regular cleaning and maintenance than other models on the market, which could be a point of contention for some users.

Price-wise, the Dye M3+ does lean towards the more expensive side. Some may see this as a downside, but this paintball marker provides a comprehensive package of quality and performance, with some room for improvement in reliability and upkeep. 

Pros

  • Easy to replace barrels and removable grips
  • Low operating pressure

Cons

  • Higher maintenance requirements
Everything You Need to Know About the Dye M3+ w/ Devon Stutz | Lone Wolf Paintball Michigan

Best Paintball Pistols 

Umarex T4E TR50

Umarex T4E TR50 Affordable Paintball Revolver

Most Affordable Paintball Revolver

  • Extremely affordable pistol
  • Picatinny rails
  • Easy maintenance
Why We Love It:Most Affordable Paintball Revolver
Best For:Everyone 
Umarex T4E TR50

Umarex T4E TR50 Review

The Umarex T4E TR50 is a light, compact, and easy-to-use paintball revolver that’s certainly fun to have around. It has a pleasing aesthetic, and its simplicity makes it a great option for a secondary or even primary marker.

The CO2 use is pretty efficient and features a convenient CO2 release valve. Despite its light frame, it’s also quite accurate for its caliber, though you need to be mindful of the noise in enclosed spaces, as it can get loud.

Carrying the TR50 can be tricky due to its smooth back, which might not grip securely in most holsters. A workaround could be using a left-handed browning revolver holster backward or tying it off to the trigger guard when not holstered

Maintenance is straightforward, with just a little oil in the CO2 chamber between sessions. However, cleaning paint from the barrel can be a little tough due to how the rings sit inside.

As for the price, it’s considered reasonable for what you get. Extra rings are also available for cheap.

Overall, the Umarex T4E TR50 is a reliable and impressive paintball revolver. It does require some getting used to, particularly with loading and limitations. Also, you might need to do some tweaking if your field has strict FPS rules, but be prepared for some fun times with this nifty little piece.

Pros

  • Extremely affordable pistol
  • Picatinny rails
  • Easy maintenance
  • Reliable accuracy

Cons

  • Fewer shots available
Umarex T4E HDR 50/ TR50 Paintball Revolver

Tippmann TiPX

Tippmann TiPX Mag Fed Paintball Pistol

Fan Favorite Paintball Pistol

  • Very high quality
  • Shoots standard paintballs
  • Very Reliable
  • Semi-automatic
Why We Love It:Fan Favorite Paintball Pistol
Best For:Intermediates to Experts
Tippmann TiPX

The Tippmann TiPX is a .68 caliber paintball marker with sturdy construction and reliable performance.

It has a 7-round magazine and a quick-release system for easy and fast reloading. The TiPX is semi-automatic and can be powered by a 12g CO2 cartridge hidden in the marker’s grip. It also has an external velocity adjuster.

It’s considered a high-quality, mid-priced marker suitable for players of all skill levels. It’s reliable, easy to maintain, and has a good range.

It is also customizable, with many players adding different barrels, remote lines, and other accessories to improve performance or comfort.

There are some noted drawbacks to the TiPX, many with the magazines being too small and requiring frequent reloading. Some have issues with the marker chopping paintballs, though this seems less of a problem with higher quality paint.

While the TiPX is generally considered to be a good value for the price, we feel that the extra costs for magazines and other accessories can add up.

Pros

  • Very high quality
  • Shoots standard paintballs
  • Very Reliable
  • Semi-automatic

Cons

  • On the expensive side
Tippman TiPX .68 Cal Pistol Shooting and Review

First Strike Compact Pistol (FSC)

First Strike Compact PistolFSC

Top Performing Paintball Pistol

  • Modular grip
  • Top build quality
  • Customizable
Why We Love It:Top Performing Paintball Pistol
Best ForIntermediates to Experts 
First Strike Compact Pistol (FSC)

Channel your best gameplay style with the First Strike Compact Pistol, which is designed to help in combat. This 0.68 caliber pistol has ambidextrous safety and a 20% smaller grip for protection and portability. The FSC has a micro-honed barrel and a textured grip for a power play. The modular grip frame is smaller and shorter to flaunt as the perfect sidearm or CQC primary. 

Powered by 8 and 12-gram CO2 carts, it can accept 8.1 and 9.1 barrels. Users can even build and personalize their FSC according to their requirements and help them conquer the battlefield. 

Pros

  • Modular grip
  • Top build quality
  • Customizable

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Higher maintenance
First Strike FSC Paintball Pistol First Test - 4K

A Paintball Marker Buyers Guide: The different types available

The paintball marker that suits you best will largely depend on your style of play and experience level. For beginners, user-friendly markers designed with simplicity and affordability in mind, such as the Tippmann Cronus, are typically the best fit. They offer reliability and are made from robust materials to endure rough handling.

Intermediate players often lean towards mechanical markers that deliver more flexibility and control. Models like the Tippmann A5 are a significant upgrade, providing enhanced power and accuracy while remaining relatively easy to operate.

For advanced players and those participating in professional tournaments, high-performance electronic markers like the Empire Axe 2.0 or Planet Eclipse CS2 are commonly the best paintball gun in the category. These sophisticated markers feature electronic triggers and multiple firing rates, offering superior speed and accuracy that meet the high demands of competitive play.

This still leaves out the top end, like the Lux TM40, or the Dye M3+ as we mentioned above. These are in the category of the best paintball gun for those that are looking for the Ferrari of the paintball world. They will take professional level maintenance, but without a doubt, these markers will deliver professional level quality, on and off the field.

Understanding the Mechanisms

The bolt system in a paintball marker is the heart of its operation. The two main types, spool valve, and poppet valve systems, have special operational performances and maintenance requirements. Spool valve systems generally offer a smoother, quieter operation but can demand more frequent maintenance due to their intricate mechanism. Poppet valve systems are recognized for their efficiency, consistency, and robustness but might produce more noise during operation.

The type of propellant used, CO2 or High-Pressure Air (HPA), can significantly influence the marker’s performance and reliability. CO2 is cheaper but can be less consistent, while HPA offers superior performance but at a higher cost.

Choosing the Right Caliber

The caliber of a paintball refers to its diameter. A .68 caliber is the standard size and is widely used in most paintball games, providing a balanced range and impact. On the other hand, .50 caliber paintballs are smaller and lighter, making them more suitable for younger players or indoor games where less impact is preferred. The choice of caliber will also determine the type of ammunition and gear (like hoppers and barrels) you’ll require.

Maintenance and Disassembly

Proper maintenance is essential for the longevity of your paintball marker. Regular cleaning prevents the accumulation of paint and dirt, which could damage your marker over time. If you’re a beginner, consider choosing a marker that is easy to disassemble and clean. Some high-end models are designed for tool-less disassembly, simplifying the maintenance process significantly.

Comfort and Ergonomics

An ergonomic and comfortable marker can significantly improve your performance on the field. Features like a rubber foregrip can offer better control and reduce hand fatigue during long games. While not essential, a collapsible stock can be a valuable addition for scenario games where accuracy over long distances is required. This is a category where finding the best paintball gun for your own likes and wants is best served by going to a local paintball shop and testing out how different individual markers feel in your hands.

Features and Upgrades

Markers with the option for upgrades allow for customization and performance enhancement. A clamping feed neck, for instance, can secure the hopper to the marker, reducing the risk of it detaching during gameplay. Upgrades like barrel kits, electronic loaders, and programmable circuit boards can enhance your marker’s performance and versatility.

Remember to consider compatibility with common threading systems like Autococker, Ion/Luxe, and Tippmann when opting for barrel upgrades. If weight was a factor, a lightweight marker is a must. We love the Shocker AMP.

Accuracy and Rate of Fire

Accuracy and rate of fire are crucial performance aspects of a paintball marker. High-end markers like the Planet Eclipse CS2 offer exceptional accuracy and a fast rate of fire, which can be massive in competitive games. However, a high rate of fire often leads to faster paintball consumption, so it’s important to balance this with your playing style and budget.

Accessories and Customization

Accessories can add functionality to your marker and make it uniquely yours. For players who enjoy MilSim (Military Simulation) games, accessories like Picatinny rail space for additional sights or collapsible stocks can enhance your gaming experience. There are also some O-ring kits out on the market that offer color customization. These O-rings can offer a unique and fun way to customize an otherwise stock or normal gun.

Other add-ons like different types of hoppers, upgraded tanks, and tactical sights can further boost your marker’s performance and tailor it to your preferred style. Masks are essential to your gear, ensuring safety, comfort, and visibility during gameplay.

Budget Considerations

Budget plays a significant role in your choice of paintball marker. While beginner level markers offer reliable performance for beginners at an affordable price, intermediate and advanced markers, with their additional features, come at a higher cost. Be sure to factor in ongoing costs like paintballs, air refills, and maintenance. If you anticipate upgrading, consider the potential resale value of your current marker. Remember, the best marker isn’t necessarily the most expensive one—it’s the one that offers the best value for your specific needs and budget.

Research and Ask Questions!

Choosing the right paintball marker amid a sea of options can be daunting. Start by assessing your needs and skill level. Are you seeking the feature-loaded performance of electronic markers, or do you prefer a durable mechanical marker for rough-and-tumble play? Maybe a compact paintball pistol for backyard target practice is more your speed.

Remember, the best marker is one that aligns with your style of play, comfort, skill level, and budget. Don’t rush your decision—take the time to research, ask questions to experienced players or professionals in the field, and try out different models if possible. Your marker is an investment in your paintball experience, so make sure it’s right for you.

Best Paintball Gun Brands

Empire Paintball

Empire Paintball is a brand renowned for its commitment to superior quality and innovative design. They are known for their extensive range of high-end paintball markers that boast both aesthetics and advanced technology. Empire markers are known for their durable construction, precise accuracy, and smooth firing mechanism, making them a top choice for both beginners and professionals.

In addition to markers, Empire Paintball also offers a variety of paintball gear and accessories including masks, loaders, tanks, and clothing. They maintain the same high standards across all their products, ensuring excellent safety, comfort, and performance. Empire Paintball’s comprehensive product line is characterized by intuitive design, rigorous quality control, and outstanding customer satisfaction ratings.

Planet Eclipse

Planet Eclipse is a brand that stands out in the competitive paintball industry due to its commitment to innovation and quality. They are best known for their paintball markers, which range from beginner-friendly mechanical markers to tournament-grade electronic markers. Planet Eclipse markers are respected for their superior performance, reliable durability, and ease of maintenance.

Besides markers, Planet Eclipse also excels in providing top-notch paintball gear such as protective clothing, gear bags, and accessories. They’re especially praised for their high-performance loaders and HPA tanks. Planet Eclipse products are trusted by paintball enthusiasts worldwide, who admire the brand’s dedication to consistently improving their offerings while maintaining their signature high-quality standards.

Dye Paintball

Dye Paintball is a world-recognized brand that’s synonymous with innovation, quality, and style. They offer an impressive array of paintball markers that are designed with high-performance materials and cutting-edge technology. Dye markers are widely admired for their ergonomic designs, accuracy, and ease of use, making them an excellent choice for paintball enthusiasts of all skill levels.

Dye also offers a comprehensive selection of high-quality paintball gear. From their highly protective masks with excellent visibility to their innovative loaders known for their speed and reliability, Dye ensures their gear meets the needs of even the most discerning players. Their reputation for pushing the boundaries of paintball gear design while maintaining a focus on customer satisfaction makes Dye a top choice in the paintball industry.

Tippmann

Tippmann is a brand that’s steeped in history and respect within the paintball industry. Renowned for their rugged and durable paintball markers, Tippmann delivers products that are designed to withstand intense gameplay. Their markers are recognized for their superior longevity, reliable performance, and the brand’s innovative technology, like the Cyclone Feed System that provides impressive firing speed.

Aside from paintball markers, Tippmann also offers a broad selection of paintball gear and accessories. Their protective gear, loaders, and HPA tanks are designed with the same commitment to quality and durability. With Tippmann products, players can expect a blend of practicality, reliability, and performance that meets the demands of the modern paintball enthusiast.

Virtue Paintball

Virtue Paintball is a forward-thinking brand that specializes in high-tech paintball gear. They are particularly renowned for their paintball markers, which blend superior craftsmanship, innovative features, and sleek aesthetics. Virtue markers are celebrated for their speed, accuracy, and user-friendly interface, making them a favorite among players seeking an edge in their game.

Beyond markers, Virtue Paintball provides a range of premium quality gear, including advanced loaders known for their speed and efficiency, and masks that offer optimal protection and visibility. Virtue’s dedication to pioneering technology and high-quality materials, combined with their robust product offering, places them among the top-tier brands in the paintball world.

Spyder Paintball

Spyder Paintball is a brand well-regarded for its production of beginner and intermediate paintball markers. Their products are designed with simplicity in mind, making them perfect for newcomers to the sport. Spyder markers are typically semi-automatic and feature straightforward mechanisms, offering reliable performance without requiring extensive maintenance.

Besides markers, Spyder also produces a line of paintball accessories, including harnesses, loaders, and tanks. The brand’s commitment to affordability without compromising on quality has earned it a broad user base. Spyder’s products provide a solid foundation for those looking to step into the world of paintball or for recreational players who value functionality and durability.

Proto Paintball

Proto Paintball, a subsidiary of Dye Paintball, offers a selection of high-quality, performance-driven paintball markers. Proto markers are praised for their durability, accuracy, and lightweight design. They incorporate many of the advanced technologies found in Dye products but are typically more budget-friendly, making them popular among a wide range of players.

In addition to markers, Proto offers various paintball accessories like barrels and masks. With their combination of quality, performance, and affordability, Proto is considered an excellent choice for both beginners and intermediate players. Their markers and gear provide a balanced, versatile, and cost-effective option in the competitive paintball landscape.

GOG Paintball

GOG Paintball is a brand that embodies innovation and quality. They manufacture a variety of paintball markers, ranging from mechanical to electro-pneumatic designs. GOG markers are appreciated for their easy maintenance, reliable performance, and affordability, catering to both novice and experienced players.

Alongside markers, GOG also offers paintball accessories like barrels and Freak Barrel Kits, which are highly regarded for their flexibility and accuracy enhancement. GOG Paintball continually strives to deliver products that combine innovative technology with value for money, making them a respected brand in the paintball industry.

First Strike Paintball

First Strike is a brand that’s recognized for its commitment to enhancing the tactical and scenario paintball experience. They are particularly renowned for their First Strike Rounds (FSR) and the Tiberius Arms series of markers, which are designed to fire these rounds. The FSR and Tiberius markers offer a high level of accuracy and distance not usually seen in traditional paintball equipment.

Beyond their markers and unique FSR, First Strike also provides a comprehensive range of tactical gear and accessories, like harnesses, tanks, and scopes. With their emphasis on scenario play and innovative paintball technology, First Strike has carved out a unique niche in the market and caters to a specific type of player looking for a more tactical, real-world feel to their game.

Azodin Paintball

Azodin is a company that focuses on delivering entry-level and mid-range paintball markers with premium features. Known for their user-friendly design and reliable performance, Azodin markers are a great choice for those new to the sport or casual players who seek quality without a high price tag.

Beyond their selection of markers, Azodin also offers various paintball accessories including barrels and feednecks. The company’s commitment to quality, simplicity, and affordability has won it a loyal customer base. Azodin’s line of products provides a smooth entry into the world of paintball, promoting accessibility and enjoyment for all players.

Some Frequently Asked Questions

Electronic Marker vs. Mechanical Marker: What’s the big difference between the two?

Well, there’s a big difference. As the name suggests, the mechanical marker lacks the electricity to power the trigger and increase the marker’s rate of fire. Sure this means it comes without some of the features that the circuit boards and batteries add to the game. Is this necessarily a bad thing? Not really. In many cases, this means added reliability and durability for the marker. That and the lack of a circuit board decreases the price point of the markers significantly.

Some paintball players prefer the lower maintenance game that a mechanical gun provides, while others really want to get into the special features or compete at a higher level that is enabled by electronic paintball guns. In the end, it comes down to individual preference. There is a pretty big difference between the two– and there are many differences between the two, as well. For example, electronic guns include anti-chop technology and a set of break beam (or laser) eyes that prevent the marker from firing until the paintball is perfectly aligned in the barrel. This is one of those must-have features for competitive players.

Between CO2 and Compressed Air, is one better than the other?

Compressed air is by far the way to go and is considered the field standard in 2022. CO2 was popular in the 80s and 90s because tanks were cheap, and any air stations were few and far between. That has all changed, and now CO2 stations are harder to find. Even rental guns have switched from CO2 because it’s consistent, has fewer issues, has plentiful tanks, and gets better results. Compressed air only takes seconds to fill, requires no “expansion period,” and allows guns to run on lower pressure.

Most of the popular guns these days are set up for Compressed Air due to their overwhelming popularity. Many guns will use this stored in a tank that runs to nearly 5000 psi. There is only one time in our minds you would want to use co2; that is if you are relying on an old-school pump gun that uses single-use CO2 cartridges. Those guns fire one shot per pump, and while prided for their accuracy, you may find yourself outclassed if you come across multiple opponents. It is in those cases you would want to be using an electronic marker.

Is there a preferred material for a paintball marker to be made of?

Not necessarily. Aluminum has been popular for the last 30 years and is pretty much the one we use as a standard. Yes, you will come across a plastic paintball marker in a gas station or something, but save yourself the trouble. Occasionally you will see carbon fiber barrels and tanks and polymer or plastic for the hoppers/loaders. Don’t overthink this — the major companies know what works and have figured out how to achieve the best performance and value.

What guns do professional paintball players use?

That tends to change by the season and the sponsor’s interest in which paintball guns they want to push for the year. Right now, the pro paintball guns of choice on the field are a steady mix of the DLX Luxe, the Planet Eclipse CS2, and the DYE M3+. These markers are all contenders in the high-end category and include all the bells and whistles money can buy.

Do I have to pay an arm and a leg for a good paintball gun?

We are in what is considered the golden age of paintball and paintball gear. In the 90s and early 2000’s you definitely had to spend to get performance and quality. Those days have changed to the player’s benefit, and technology has improved dramatically.

For players looking for a new marker, $500 is the sweet spot right now for pro-level performance and value. The barrels in the $500 range markers have reasonable accuracy and feature the important options pro players desire. Anything over that, and you are paying for incremental improvements like reduced weight, talking circuit boards, special color patterns, or limited releases.

Anything below $400, you start losing important features like break beam eyes, tool-less field stripping, durability, and low maintenance. The easy answer for players is that there is a range of guns, with tons of value being offered, from the lower-priced options all the way to the highest tier. You also have options and to improve desired outcomes like added efficiency and accuracy with add ons like a Freak XL barrel insert. Let your budget drive your purchase.

Sure, the more you spend, the better your gear and guns. That said, it really depends on what you are trying to accomplish. Are you just marking trees? A $50 paintball pistol or marker will do the trick but expect to throw it away when you’re done. Accuracy is not really a consideration if you are only 7 yards away from your target. For those that fit this group, these markers are typically powered by disposable co2 carts, similar to your bb or pellet gun.

All things considered, because you have to buy more paintball equipment than just your marker, you should be expecting to pay well over one hundred dollars for your setup, while you can go as low as $30 if you’re just looking to try out some low-quality plastic, or spend over $2000 if you’re looking for a marker that is premium and top of the line. Also, most legitimate companies will offer reasonable warranties.

Why didn’t the Empire Axe 2.0 make the list?

The Empire Axe 2.0 is by far an incredible paintball gun! We love it! That being said, we wanted to make sure that our paintball gun review covered all of the different categories of available paintball guns. Some other options we love in the entry-level speedball gun space is the Empire Mini GS and the Dye Rize CZR.

Conclusion – Final Thoughts on the Top Paintball Guns

Are these the only great paintball guns on the market? Definitely not. However, we think they represent a broad range of excellent options. Some are easy to use, and others are advanced. But, in the end, as long as we help you find the right marker for you, we are totally happy. If there are any amazing guns, we missed out on, feel free to let us know!

Do you still want more? Looking for other great gear recommendations? We have some great write ups on the best paintball masks, paintball gloves, and other paintball accessories!

If you are also in the market to find the best Paintball Snipers on the market, we have a great writeup here as well!

Why you should trust us?

For someone on the outside looking in, paintball may seem like “just a game.” For those of us with the bug, it’s much more.

At PRO Paintball, we have over 20 years of experience playing the game. The team behind PRO Paintball actively competes in the NXL, WCPPL, and USXBL paintball series. We run our equipment hard and regularly shoot over 50,000 balls per weekend in practice. (that is 25 cases of paint for those of you counting).

This helps us quickly figure out what works and what does not. In this particular article, we are taking a hard look at the most popular paintball guns on the market and see how they stack up. In putting this together, we ran each of the following paintball guns through the paces and gave you our unbiased opinion. No companies sponsored or contributed to this post. Frankly, if the guns suck, we won’t waste your time or ours talking about it.