Intro to Low Impact Paintball

Low impact paintball is quickly becoming a favored choice for those looking to enjoy the thrill of paintball with less discomfort and risk.

As the sport grows in popularity, many newcomers and seasoned players alike are turning to low impact options for a more accessible and pain-reduced experience.

This guide delves into the specifics of low impact paintball, explaining why it’s an excellent choice for players of all skill levels.

In this article, we’ll cover everything from the basics of what low impact paintball is, to the design and technology behind the guns used in this gentler version of the sport.

We’ll explore how low impact paintball guns differ from their standard counterparts and provide insights into choosing the right gear.

Additionally, we’ll address common questions such as “does low impact paintball hurt?” and compare the pain levels with regular paintball.

Whether you’re a parent considering the sport for your children, or an experienced player looking for a less painful alternative, this guide will provide all the information you need to get started with low impact paintball.

What is Low Impact Paintball?

Different Paintball Sizes
Courtesy of Splat Paintball

Low impact paintball is a variation of traditional paintball designed to reduce pain and bruising during play.

This gentler form of the sport uses specially designed paintball guns that fire smaller, lighter paintballs at lower velocities compared to standard paintball guns.

This results in less impact force when the paintballs hit players, making it an ideal choice for younger players, beginners, and those who are hesitant about the pain associated with traditional paintball.

The design and technology behind low impact paintball guns focus on creating a less intimidating, yet equally thrilling, game experience. These guns are typically engineered to operate at lower pressures, which decreases the speed of the paintball upon impact.

The balls used are also smaller in size—usually around .50 caliber compared to the .68 caliber used in regular paintball. This combination of lower speed and smaller size significantly reduces the impact felt by the player.

Choosing low impact paintball has numerous benefits for new players. Firstly, it reduces the fear and anxiety associated with being hit, allowing new players to focus more on enjoying the game and learning strategies rather than dodging pain.

It also encourages more family-friendly play, opening the sport to younger participants and creating a more inclusive environment.

This less painful version of paintball provides an excellent introduction to the sport, promoting skill development and confidence on the field without the deterrent of physical discomfort.

Also Read: Paintball Games: A Variety of Fun

Low Impact Paintball Guns Explained

Empire Mini GS Paintball Gun - Dust Black 2-pc Barrel

Low impact paintball guns are specifically designed to offer a less intense experience compared to their standard counterparts. These guns share several key characteristics that make them ideal for reducing the pain associated with getting hit.

The primary feature is that they use smaller .50 caliber paintballs, which are lighter and less dense than the standard .68 caliber paintballs. This size difference results in significantly lower impact energy when the paintball hits a player.

Additionally, low impact paintball guns operate at a reduced velocity—typically shooting at 250 feet per second or less, compared to the 280 to 300 feet per second typical of standard guns. This lower velocity further decreases the force of the paintball impact.

The difference between low impact and standard paintball guns extends beyond size and velocity. Low impact guns are often designed to be lighter and easier to handle, which makes them more suitable for younger players and beginners.

The reduced complexity and softer shooting mechanics also make them less intimidating for first-time players, encouraging more participation and enjoyment of the game.

These guns provide an excellent starting point for anyone looking to explore low impact paintball with the assurance of quality and safety.

The Pain Factor: Does Low Impact Paintball Hurt?

does low impact paintball hurt

A common concern among potential paintball players is the question: does low impact paintball hurt? The answer is that while low impact paintball can still cause discomfort, the pain experienced is significantly less than that of regular paintball.

This reduction in pain is largely due to the smaller size and lighter weight of the .50 caliber paintballs used in low impact games, as well as the lower shooting velocity of the guns.

Comparing the pain levels between low impact and regular paintball, the differences are notable. Regular paintball uses .68 caliber paintballs that, because of their larger mass and higher velocity, can result in more intense impacts.

This can lead to bruising and a more painful experience overall. Low impact paintball, in contrast, produces a much gentler hit and typically results in minor discomfort rather than pain, which fades quickly.

This makes low impact paintball an excellent choice for younger players, those new to the sport, or anyone who might be apprehensive about the potential for pain.

The reduced pain factor in low impact paintball allows players to focus more on the strategy and enjoyment of the game rather than the fear of getting hit.

This accessibility increases participation and enjoyment, making low impact paintball a popular variant for family events, birthday parties, and beginner sessions.

Also Read: Does Paintball Hurt?

Low Impact Paintball vs. Regular: Understanding the Differences

Low impact paintball and regular paintball cater to different preferences and levels of comfort, making them suitable for various players and situations. Here’s a detailed comparison to help understand the differences and decide which type might be right for you.


  • Size and Impact: Low impact paintball uses .50 caliber paintballs, which are smaller and lighter than the .68 caliber paintballs used in regular paintball. This difference reduces the kinetic energy at impact, making hits less painful.
  • Velocity: Low impact guns shoot at a lower velocity (around 250 feet per second) compared to regular paintball guns (280-300 feet per second), which also decreases the pain experienced on impact.
  • Equipment: Often, low impact paintball equipment is lighter and easier to handle, which is great for younger players or those new to the sport.

Pros and Cons:

Low Impact Paintball

  • Pros: Less painful, less intimidating for beginners, and more suitable for younger players (as young as 8 years old). It promotes longer play and reduces the risk of injury.
  • Cons: Less realism for those seeking a more intense experience; limited availability of fields and events compared to regular paintball.

Regular Paintball

  • Pros: Provides a more authentic and intense experience, widely available, and offers a broader range of tactical equipment and playing styles.
  • Cons: More painful, which can be intimidating for beginners and younger players; higher risk of bruising and injuries.

Preferred Situations for Low Impact Paintball:

Low impact paintball is often the preferred choice in several scenarios:

  • Youth Games and Parties: Ideal for children’s parties or events where younger players are involved, as the reduced pain factor keeps the game fun and safe.
  • Corporate Events and Team Building: Suitable for mixed-experience groups where the focus is on fun and inclusivity rather than competition.
  • First-Time Players: Newcomers may find low impact paintball a welcoming introduction to the sport, allowing them to learn and enjoy without the fear of pain.
  • Family Outings: When playing with family members of varying ages and pain thresholds, low impact paintball ensures everyone can participate comfortably.

Understanding these differences can help players of all ages and experience levels choose the type of paintball that best suits their needs, ensuring a fun and positive experience.

Also Read: Paintball Parties: Extreme Fun!

Choosing the Right Gear for Low Impact Paintball

paintball gear

Choosing the right gear is crucial for ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience in low impact paintball.

Here’s what you need to know about selecting essential gear, protective equipment, and the best low impact paintball gun for your needs, along with some additional accessories that can enhance your experience.

Essential Gear and Protective Equipment

  1. Mask or Goggles: A high-quality paintball mask or goggles are essential to protect your eyes and face during play. Ensure the mask fits well and offers fog-resistant lenses for clear visibility.
  2. Padded Clothing: While low impact paintball is less painful, wearing padded clothing or a padded vest can provide additional comfort and protection, especially for younger players or those who are apprehensive about being hit.
  3. Gloves: Paintball gloves help protect your hands from hits and also provide a better grip on your gun, which can be especially helpful in damp or slippery conditions.

Tips on Selecting the Best Low Impact Paintball Gun

  • Comfort and Weight: Choose a gun that feels comfortable in your hands and isn’t too heavy, particularly for younger players who may find larger, heavier markers cumbersome.
  • Ease of Use: Look for guns that are known for their reliability and ease of maintenance. Beginner-friendly features such as easy loading and cleaning can make a big difference.
  • Reviews and Recommendations: Research and read reviews to see which models are well-rated by other players, especially those who are also new to the sport.

Additional Accessories to Enhance Experience

  • Hopper: Consider a hopper that matches the firing rate and capacity suitable for your style of play. For low impact paintball, a smaller hopper is often adequate and makes the gun lighter and more manageable.
  • Barrel Upgrades: A good quality barrel can improve the accuracy and range of your paintball gun, which can be a significant advantage even in low impact games.
  • Protective Gear Upgrades: Upgrading to more comfortable, breathable protective gear can enhance your overall experience, making it easier to move and stay cool during play.

By carefully selecting the right low impact paintball gear and accessories, you can significantly improve your performance on the field while ensuring you stay protected and comfortable throughout the game.

Also Read: The Best Paintball Gear

Safety and Rules in Low Impact Paintball

paintball rules

Safety is paramount in any form of paintball, including low impact paintball. Even though it’s designed to be gentler, it’s crucial to adhere to specific safety guidelines and rules to ensure everyone enjoys a fun and secure experience.

Safety Guidelines Specific to Low Impact Paintball

  1. Wear Protective Gear: Always wear appropriate safety gear, including a full-face mask, protective clothing, and gloves. Eye protection is particularly critical as even low impact paintballs can cause serious injury without proper eyewear.
  2. Barrel Covers: Use barrel covers when not in active play. This prevents accidental discharge of paintballs, which can happen even in low impact settings.
  3. Gun Safety: Never point a paintball gun at anyone who is not wearing proper protective gear, even if you believe the gun is not loaded.
  4. Age Appropriate Play: Ensure that all players are suitable for the age group specified for low impact paintball, generally recommended for children and beginners.
  5. Field Rules: Follow all specific rules set by the paintball field, such as speed limits for firing, game rules, and designated safe zones.

The Importance of Following the Rules

Adhering to established rules and safety guidelines is essential not just for preventing injuries but also for maintaining a positive and enjoyable environment for all participants. Following these rules helps.

  • Prevent Accidents: Strict adherence to safety protocols significantly reduces the likelihood of unintended injuries.
  • Ensure Fair Play: Rules create a level playing field for all players, making the game more enjoyable and competitive in a friendly way.
  • Enhance Experience: When everyone feels safe and the rules are clear, players can relax and focus more on the strategy and enjoyment of the game rather than worrying about potential safety issues.

By respecting these guidelines and ensuring that all players do the same, you contribute to a safe and enjoyable paintball experience for everyone involved.

This commitment to safety allows participants to fully engage with the sport and enjoy the unique challenges and excitement that low impact paintball offers.

Also Read: Rules of Paintball

Where to Play Low Impact Paintball

Finding the right venue to play low impact paintball can enhance your overall experience and ensure that the game is accessible and enjoyable for all participants.

Here’s a guide on how to locate suitable low impact paintball fields and arenas, along with considerations for playing indoors versus outdoors.

Guide to Finding Low Impact Paintball Fields and Arenas

  • Online Search: Start with a simple online search for low impact paintball arenas in your area. Many paintball facilities offer both regular and low impact options, so check their websites or call them directly to confirm.
  • Paintball Forums and Communities: Joining online forums and communities can provide insider information on the best places to play. Fellow players often share their experiences and can recommend the most suitable fields for low impact paintball.
  • Social Media: Check social media platforms for local paintball groups. These groups often organize events and can provide guidance on where to play.
  • Local Listings: Websites like Yelp or Google Reviews can also be useful for finding highly-rated paintball arenas and reading about other players’ experiences.

Considerations When Playing Indoors vs. Outdoors:

Indoor Venues: Playing low impact paintball indoors usually means a more controlled environment, which can be beneficial for younger players or beginners.

Indoor fields often have smaller, more structured layouts that can facilitate easier gameplay and monitoring. However, the space might be limited compared to outdoor fields, potentially making the game feel more confined.

Outdoor Venues: Outdoor paintball fields typically offer more varied terrain and larger areas to play, which can add an exciting layer of strategy and realism to the game.

However, players should be prepared for variable weather conditions, which can affect both the playability and the safety of the game. Additionally, outdoor fields might require more walking and physical effort.

When choosing between indoor and outdoor options, consider the preferences and physical abilities of the players, as well as logistical factors like weather, transportation, and available facilities.

Whether indoors or outdoors, ensure that the chosen venue adheres to safety standards and provides a welcoming environment for all players.

Check our Paintball Location Directory for a Paintball Place near you!

Preparing for Your First Low Impact Paintball Game

Preparing for your first low impact paintball game can be exciting yet a bit nerve-wracking. Understanding what to expect and having some practical tips can help you maximize your enjoyment and minimize any anxiety about the experience.

What to Expect During Your First Low Impact Paintball Game

  • Orientation and Safety Briefing: Most fields begin with a safety briefing. Pay attention as they explain the rules of the game, how to use the equipment safely, and what to do in case of an emergency.
  • Gear Up: You will be equipped with a mask, a low impact paintball gun, and often a vest or other protective gear. Make sure your mask fits well and that you feel comfortable with the equipment.
  • Game Play: Low impact paintball games typically involve various scenarios like capture the flag, elimination, or king of the hill. Expect quick-paced action but also strategic play, where teamwork is crucial.
  • Physical Activity: Paintball is an active sport, involving running, ducking, and crawling. Even in low impact games, you should be prepared for a good amount of physical exertion.

Tips for Beginners to Maximize Enjoyment and Minimize Anxiety

  • Dress Appropriately: Wear comfortable clothing that you don’t mind getting dirty. Long sleeves and pants can help minimize the sting of the paintballs, even in low impact games.
  • Stay Hydrated: Bring water and stay hydrated throughout the game, especially if playing outdoors or in physically demanding scenarios.
  • Follow the Rules: Stick to the rules you learned during the safety briefing. This not only ensures safety but also makes the game fair and fun for everyone.
  • Communicate with Teammates: Don’t be shy to communicate with your teammates. Paintball is a team sport, and effective communication can improve your strategy and your confidence on the field.
  • Embrace the Experience: It’s natural to feel a bit anxious about being hit by a paintball. Embrace the experience and remember that the pain is minimal in low impact games. Focus on the fun and the adrenaline rush!

By keeping these expectations and tips in mind, you can ensure that your first low impact paintball game is a thrilling and enjoyable introduction to the sport.

Low Impact Paintball for Kids and Families

low impact paintball

Low impact paintball is an excellent choice for children and families looking to engage in an exciting, active outing that is suitable for all ages. Its gentler approach makes it an inviting option for kids and a fun, stress-free experience for parents.

Here’s why it’s suitable and some tips on organizing a low impact paintball event that everyone can enjoy.

Suitability of Low Impact Paintball for Children and Family Outings

Gentler Impact: The lower impact of .50 caliber paintballs means less pain and bruising, which is ideal for children and first-time players.
Lightweight Equipment: The gear and guns used in low impact paintball are often lighter and easier to handle, making it more comfortable for younger players.
Inclusive Fun: With its less intimidating gameplay, low impact paintball allows family members of various ages and skill levels to participate together, fostering teamwork and bonding.

Organizing a Low Impact Paintball Event for All Ages:

  • Choose the Right Venue: Select a paintball facility that offers low impact paintball services and has experience hosting events for all ages. Ensure the venue is reputable and prioritizes safety.
  • Schedule a Private Session: If possible, book a private session to play only with your group. This makes the experience more personal and comfortable, especially for kids and newcomers.
  • Pre-Event Briefing: Arrange for a thorough briefing from the venue staff before the game. This should cover not only the rules and safety guidelines but also tips for a fun experience.
  • Plan for Comfort: Ensure that all players have protective clothing and gear. Advise participants to wear long sleeves, pants, and comfortable footwear. Consider extra padding for younger children.
  • Incorporate Breaks: Schedule breaks during the event to allow participants to rest, hydrate, and snack, especially important for younger players to keep their energy up and ensure they enjoy the day.
  • Focus on Fun, Not Competition: Emphasize the fun and experiential aspects of the game rather than keeping a strict score. This approach helps in keeping the environment light and enjoyable.

By keeping these considerations in mind and planning carefully, you can create a memorable and enjoyable low impact paintball event that is perfect for family outings, offering fun and excitement with an emphasis on safety and comfort.

Keep Reading: The Best Paintball Masks

Conclusion to Low Impact Paintball

Low impact paintball offers numerous benefits that make it an appealing option for players of all ages, particularly those new to the sport or families looking for a fun group activity.

This gentler version of paintball reduces the fear of pain with its smaller, lighter paintballs and lower velocity, making it a great way to enjoy the strategy and excitement of paintball without the bruises typically associated with the standard game.

Additionally, the use of lighter equipment and the inclusive nature of low impact paintball ensure that everyone, from young children to older adults, can participate comfortably and safely.

I encourage everyone, especially those who might be hesitant about the intensity of traditional paintball, to try low impact paintball.

It’s an excellent way to experience the teamwork, tactics, and thrill of the sport in a more controlled and less painful environment.

Whether you’re planning a family outing, a corporate team-building event, or just looking for a new hobby, low impact paintball can provide a fun and memorable experience that might just turn into a lasting passion for the sport.

Give it a shot and see how it can enhance your enjoyment of paintball while keeping comfort and safety at the forefront.


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