There’s nothing quite like the rush of playing paintball. It’s probably about the closest you’ll ever get to shooting someone without joining the military. Unfortunately, a lot of new players get a bit too caught up in the excitement and make some fundamental errors.
Are you going paintballing soon as a newbie soon? Then you’ll want to make sure you’re doing it right.
This article highlights some of the common mistakes that newcomers to the game often make. By reading about these frequent errors, you’ll be better equipped to become a paintball champion.
1. Not Knowing Your Gear
Of course, having proper paintball gear is important, but having the most expensive weaponry doesn’t mean anything if you don’t know how to use it. If you’re constantly switching and swapping your guns, you won’t do well.
Someone who uses a more inexpensive paintball gun for countless sessions is likely to be much more efficient than someone who is constantly trying out more expensive guns.
While the pricier gun might be technically “better,” a gun you know inside out is always the best gun. Paintball guns usually have various quirks that you need to get used to, and if you constantly change, you’ll never get used to them.
The longer you use a gun, the more you’ll be able to predict the trajectory of the shot. Once you’ve used a gun for a few years, figuring out that trajectory will be almost instinctual.
As with any hobby, it’s not about how much gear you have or how much money you can spend. It’s about how you make use of what you have. Before reaching into your wallet to buy a new gun, spend some time with what you already have.
If you want to be successful, check out some tips on how to choose the perfect paintball gun, and then take the time to learn to use it.
2. Not Using Suppressing Fire
If you’re playing paintball with friends, you should be utilizing suppressing fire to enable your team to maneuver during a firefight. This involves firing many paintballs in the general direction of anyone who might shoot at you.
This forces them to take cover to avoid being hit, enabling you and your team to move around. This technique works better if multiple people fire at the same location at the same time.
If your opponent is forced to take cover, not only can they not shoot at you, they can’t see where you move to either. This gives you a tactical advantage as they won’t know where the next attack will come from.
This strategy is a great way to maneuver onto opponents’ flank to render their cover useless.
3. Not Being in Shape
Paintball is an incredibly physical activity, and if you want to be at the top of your game, you need to be in shape. Strategy and proficiency with your equipment can only take you so far; none of that means much if you can’t run.
In paintball, being outside of cover means you’re at risk of getting shot and eliminated from the game. The faster you can run, the less you need to expose yourself to enemy fire.
Not only do you need stamina, but it also helps to be strong as well. The ability to crouch down for long periods of time or pull yourself over walls will be incredibly useful as it will give you a lot more mobility.
4. Not Being Aware of Your Surroundings
When you’re trying to land a shot, it’s easy to get “tunnel vision” and forget about your surroundings. In paintball, this is a big mistake. Attacks could come from every angle, so you need to be aware of what’s going on around you.
Of course, humans don’t have 360-degree vision, so you’ll need to work with your teammates to makes sure no one sneaks up behind you. You should also use tactical positioning to reduce the number of angles an enemy can sneak up on you from.
You should also be careful not to focus so much on shooting that you end up injuring yourself on environmental hazards. There’s nothing worse than being all suited up for an afternoon of paintball only to have to drop out due to injury.
5. Not Working With Your Team
While the idea of being a skilled Rambo-like lone wolf might seem appealing, you should resist the temptation. Paintball is a game that needs to be played as a team.
When playing paintball with friends, you’ll come up with strategies in advance. Trying to come up with complicated plans while you’re under fire generally doesn’t work very well.
If you find yourself needing to come up with tactics on the fly, make sure you keep it simple to avoid confusion. If you really want to take things to the next level, you could even utilize hand signals to stay stealthy.
You might also consider speaking in code so that enemy players can’t figure out what you’re trying to do by listening in on your communications.
6. Staying in One Location
Staying in one location for a long time might feel like a safe tactic, but it is likely to get you eliminated from the game. The longer you stay in one place, the more likely it is that other people will figure out where you are.
Once people know your location, they can easily flank you and catch you off guard. Good paintball players are always on the move and keeping the enemy guessing.
Not only is always being on the move an effective strategy, but it’s also a lot more fun.
Avoid These Paintball Mistakes, but Have Fun!
While you should avoid all of the mistakes listed here, the biggest mistake you could make is not to have fun. At the end of the day, paintball is a game about shooting brightly colored paint at each other, so it doesn’t make sense to take things too seriously.
If you’re interested in learning more about paintball and similar exciting hobbies, check out the rest of our blog pages.