How to Choose the Best Paintball Gun

When it comes to diving into the adrenaline-pumping world of paintball, the heart of your gear is undoubtedly the paintball gun.

As someone who has navigated the vast selection of markers, I’ve come to appreciate the nuance of finding that perfect gun that feels like an extension of myself on the field.

It’s not just about firepower; it’s about compatibility, style, and strategy. Whether you’re dodging through woodsball arenas or strategizing in a game of speedball, the right gun can make all the difference.

Choosing the best paintball gun is a journey through a maze of options, from budget-friendly starters to high-tech, mag-fed marvels. Each type of player, from the beginner to the seasoned woodsball enthusiast, has a unique set of needs.

Best Paintball Markers:

  • Budget: Tippmann Cronus
  • Mag Fed: Tippmann TMC MagFed
  • Mechanical: Planet Eclipse EMEK 100
  • Starter: Tippmann Cronus Tactical
  • Woodsball: Tippmann A-5
  • Pump Gun: JT ER2 Pump Pistol
  • Electronic/Auto: Empire Mini GS

Best Budget Paintball Gun

Tippmann Cronus Basic

The Tippmann Cronus Basic is a rugged and reliable paintball marker designed for entry-level players seeking performance without complexity.

It shares many features with its sibling, the Cronus Tactical, including a high-impact composite body and an in-line bolt system, but in a more streamlined form without the tactical aesthetics.

This marker is praised for its comfort, thanks to its molded rubber grips and balanced design, making it easy to handle during long games. The Cronus Basic is also highly customizable, allowing players to upgrade and add accessories as their skills grow.

Ideal for those new to the sport, it provides a perfect blend of durability, reliability, and ease of use at a budget-friendly price point.

Read our full review of the Tippmann Cronus Basic.

Best Mag Fed Paintball Gun

Tippmann TMC MagFed

Tippmann TMC MAGFED Paintball Marker – Black/Tan
  • Tippmann’s latest MagFed Extremely Authentic ARStyled Tactical Carbine Marker
  • Dual feed option: Go MagFed or Traditional Loader
  • Full pneumatic marker
  • Proven high performing in-line bolt system
  • Military style shroud with built-in 4 sided picatinny rails

The Tippmann TMC MAGFED is a standout paintball marker that brings the realistic feel of magfed gameplay to beginners and seasoned players alike. It features an authentic AR-15 style design, offering both magazine and hopper feed options for versatile play styles.

With its high-performance in-line bolt system and dual-feed capability, the TMC MAGFED allows players to switch between traditional loader and magazine-fed configurations easily, enhancing the tactical aspect of paintball matches.

The marker is known for its reliability, robust build quality, and ease of maintenance, making it a favorite among players who enjoy a more immersive paintball experience.

Its customizable design, including multiple picatinny rails for accessories, ensures that it can adapt to a wide range of player preferences and scenarios.

Read our full review of the Tippmann TMC.

Best Mechanical Paintball Gun

Planet Eclipse EMEK 100

The Planet Eclipse EMEK 100 is a game-changer in the world of paintball, bringing high-end performance to the mechanical marker scene. This marker is celebrated for its reliability, durability, and simplicity, making it a favorite among beginners and seasoned players alike.

With its lightweight design and exceptional efficiency, the EMEK 100 stands out as a top choice for those seeking a competitive edge without the complexity often associated with advanced paintball equipment.

Its rugged construction ensures it can withstand the rigors of intense play, while its ease of use ensures players can focus on the game rather than fiddling with their gear.

The EMEK 100 not only raises the bar for mechanical markers but also offers an accessible path to excellence for players at all levels. Read our full review of the Planet Eclipse EMEK 100.

Best Starter Paintball Gun

Tippmann Cronus Tactical

Tippmann A-5 Stealth Marker

The Tippmann Cronus Tactical is the epitome of durability and versatility in the paintball market, designed specifically for players who crave a reliable and robust marker with a tactical edge.

This marker combines high performance with an incredible ease of use, making it perfect for both newcomers to the sport and veterans looking for a solid backup.

Its military-inspired design not only looks the part but also provides practical functionality, with multiple rails for adding accessories and a comfortable grip for extended play.

The Cronus Tactical is particularly noted for its ability to perform under tough conditions, ensuring consistent performance game after game.

Whether navigating through dense woods or engaging in close-quarters battles, the Tippmann Cronus Tactical stands as a steadfast companion, ready to elevate your paintball experience with its blend of performance, comfort, and style.

Read our full review of the Tippmann Cronus.

Best Woodsball Paintball Gun

Tippmann A-5

The Tippmann A-5 is a classic in the paintball world, renowned for its robust construction and the innovative Cyclone Feed System that ensures a rapid and reliable feed rate, matching your firing speed without batteries.

This marker is built for players who demand reliability and efficiency on the battlefield. Its ease of customization and maintenance, combined with a wide range of available upgrades, makes the A-5 highly versatile, adaptable to various play styles and scenarios.

The A-5’s design focuses on player convenience, offering a tool-less disassembly process that allows for quick cleaning and upgrades.

Ideal for those who appreciate a blend of speed, accuracy, and durability, the Tippmann A-5 continues to be a popular choice among paintball enthusiasts looking for a marker that can withstand the test of time and evolve with their game.

Read our full review of the Tippmann A-5.

Best Paintball Pump Gun

JT ER2 Pump Pistol RTS

The JT ER2 Pump Pistol marks its territory in the paintball world as a simple, yet remarkably efficient piece of equipment, perfect for beginners or those looking to enjoy the sport with a bit of old-school flair.

This pump-action marker brings back the nostalgic feel of paintball’s early days, emphasizing skill and precision with each shot. Its lightweight design and ease of use make it an excellent choice for quick games or as a secondary marker in more strategic plays.

The JT ER2 operates with .68 caliber paintballs and uses CO2 cartridges, offering a straightforward, low-maintenance option for players. Despite its simplicity, the ER2 doesn’t skimp on performance, providing a satisfyingly accurate shot within its range.

For those venturing into paintball or looking for an affordable, fun way to mix up their play style, the JT ER2 Pump Pistol stands out as a trusty and enjoyable option.

Read our full review of the JT ER2 Pump Pistol.

Best Electronic Paintball Gun & Best Full Auto Paintball Gun

Empire Mini GS

The Empire Mini GS is a powerhouse of a paintball marker, renowned for its compact size and outstanding performance on the field. This marker is the successor to the original Mini, a favorite among competitive players, and brings with it several key improvements.

With its sleek design and advanced technology, the Mini GS is tailored for those who demand agility and precision in their game.

It’s known for being incredibly user-friendly while offering a range of features typically found in higher-end markers, making it a versatile choice for players at all skill levels.

Whether you’re darting through obstacles or taking that critical shot, the Empire Mini GS stands as a reliable, high-performance tool that enhances your paintball experience.

Read our full review of the Empire Mini GS.

Best Paintball Gun Budget Considerations

Navigating through the best gun choices also involves balancing your budget. Fortunately, the market caters to a wide spectrum of financial plans. Entry-level guns, ideal for beginners or casual players, offer affordability without sacrificing essential features.

The mid-range models step up in terms of performance and are well-suited for players looking for more without a significant financial leap.

At the high end of the spectrum are premium markers, boasting advanced features for competitive players who view their gear as an investment in their sport.

Features and Technology

When sifting through paintball gun reviews, certain features consistently stand out as markers of quality and performance. Accuracy and range are paramount, especially in scenarios where long-range shots make the difference.

The rate of fire is another crucial aspect, particularly in fast-paced competitive environments where rapid shooting can turn the tide of the game.

Ergonomics also play a vital role. A gun that feels like an extension of your arm can significantly enhance your maneuverability and endurance on the field. Additionally, air efficiency and durability are non-negotiable for serious players.

Regular maintenance, including post-game cleaning and routine checks, can extend the life and performance of your marker, aligning with the recommended practices for the best paintball gun.

Paintball Gun Reviews and Recommendations

In today’s digital age, paintball gun reviews are a goldmine of information. Platforms like Amazon offer customer experiences, while Reddit and paintball forums provide community opinions and detailed discussions.

As you read through these reviews, look for detailed insights that cover all aspects of the marker’s performance, durability, and user experience.

Personal anecdotes from these reviews can be particularly enlightening. For instance, choosing my first electronic marker was heavily influenced by a mix of Reddit discussions and expert reviews on paintball websites.

Such firsthand accounts and expert opinions can be instrumental in guiding you towards a marker that you’ll be satisfied with for many games to come.

Maintenance and Upkeep

The longevity and performance of your paintball gun heavily depend on its maintenance. Regular cleaning, especially after games, is crucial in preventing paint and dirt buildup that can affect your marker’s accuracy and functionality.

Proper storage, routine checks for wear and tear, and adherence to the manufacturer’s maintenance guidelines are practices that align with owning the best paintball gun.

Check out our list of the best paintball guns by price: Best Paintball Guns 2023

Understanding Paintball Markers Safety: Key Considerations for Safe Play

Paintball markers are generally safe when used properly and with appropriate safety gear. However, like any sport or activity involving projectiles, there are inherent risks. With proper adherence to safety guidelines and regulations, the risks associated with paintball can be minimized.

Here are some factors that contribute to the safety of paintball markers:

  1. Protective Gear: Wearing appropriate protective gear, such as the best paintball masks or goggles designed specifically for paintball, greatly reduces the risk of injury, particularly to the eyes and face.
  2. Velocity Limits: Paintball guns typically have velocity limits set by fields or organizations to prevent injuries. These limits help ensure that paintballs are traveling at safe speeds.
  3. Barrel Blocking Devices: Barrel blocking devices, such as barrel plugs or barrel socks, are used to prevent accidental firing when the paintball gun is not in use.
  4. Safety Training: Proper training in the safe handling and operation of paintball guns is essential for all players, especially beginners. Understanding basic safety rules and techniques can prevent accidents.
  5. Supervision: Players should be supervised, particularly younger or less experienced players, to ensure they follow safety guidelines and use equipment correctly.

While paintball guns are designed with safety in mind, it’s essential for players to exercise caution and respect the rules of the game to minimize the risk of injury. With proper precautions and responsible behavior, paintball can be a safe and enjoyable activity for participants of all ages.

Conclusion: Choosing Your Best Paintball Marker

In concluding, the journey to finding the best gun is a personal one, influenced by a blend of playing style, skill level, budget, and desired features. The ideal marker is one that not only fits your needs but also feels right in your hands, enhancing your overall experience in the sport.

Remember to leverage paintball gun reviews and personal experiences to inform your choice, ensuring that the gun you select brings you satisfaction and success on the field.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How fast does paintball gun shoot?

Paintball guns typically shoot at speeds of around 280 to 300 feet per second (fps).

How far can a paintball gun shoot?

A paintball gun can shoot effectively up to 80-100 feet, with a maximum range of around 150 feet under ideal conditions.

How much is a paintball gun?

The price of a paintball gun can vary widely depending on factors like brand, model, features, and whether it’s new or used. Entry-level paintball guns can start at around $50 to $100, while mid-range options typically range from $100 to $300. High-end paintball guns, often used by experienced players or in professional competitions, can cost anywhere from $300 to over $1,000. Additionally, accessories like tanks, hoppers, and barrels can add to the overall cost.

How do paintball guns work?

Paintball guns, also known as paintball markers, work by using compressed air or CO2 to propel paintballs through a barrel. Here’s a basic overview of how they work:
1. Loading: Paintballs are loaded into a hopper or magazine attached to the top of the paintball gun.
2. Air Supply: A compressed air tank or CO2 tank is attached to the paintball gun. When the trigger is pulled, a burst of compressed air or CO2 is released into the firing chamber.
3. Firing: When the trigger is pulled, a valve opens, allowing the compressed air or CO2 to push the paintball out of the barrel at high speed.
4. Accuracy: The paintball gun’s barrel is designed to provide stability and accuracy to the fired paintball.
5. Safety: Paintball guns often have safety mechanisms to prevent accidental firing.
Overall, paintball guns function by harnessing compressed air or CO2 to propel paintballs, allowing players to engage in paintball games and competitions.

Last update on 2024-06-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Playing regularly since 1997. Competed in local, regional, national and international paintball series. Founded and lead Long Beach State to a National Collegiate Championship victory. Proudly banned from the NPPL after legitimately winning a 5 on 1. Have since made it a hobby to promote paintball and at the same time make a point to call out paintball industry shenanigans and those that intentionally impede the growth of paintball. Welcome to