Is Paintball Expensive To Play? A Breakdown Of Cost


Paintball can be a fun one-time activity that you do with friends for a special event or just a fun date night outing. Paintball can also be a fun hobby to get into if you are looking for something to do regularly. How much paintball cost will depend on how much you want to invest in it.

Is Paintball Expensive To Play? Yes, paintball can be an expensive sport or hobby. To play paintball one time and rent equipment you are looking at the cost of anywhere from 30-60 dollars depending on where you go. If you choose to buy your own gear you could spend a couple of hundred dollars to just get the basics. Paintballs themselves range in cost from 30-60 dollars per box.

Many different costs go into playing paintball. It requires specific gear, clothing, and a paintball specific location. It is best to be prepared and make sure you have all the essentials before you go to make it a fun, safe experience.

The Cost of Paintball, A Breakdown of Cost

Mask with goggles, paintball gun with paintball tank and hopper and old clothes is all you need to start playing.

Costs for paintball can vary depending on how often you want to play paintball and if you want to rent gear from an establishment or purchase your own. It is also essential to know what equipment is available at the location you plan on going to paintball.

One Time Cost

If you do not see paintball as a continual hobby, or if you want to try it out to see if it is something you like, then your best option is to find a place that offers a one time fee. Make sure also to check to see that they allow you to rent the necessary equipment there. Entry fees for using a paintball field can range from anywhere from 10-25 dollars for a round of paintball

It will also cost you, on average, another 30 dollars to rent all the equipmentSome places also require you to purchase field paint, which is paint that you buy in their fields and is often more expensive than paint you can buy elsewhere. Field paint ranges in price from 30-60 dollars.

Rental Equipment

If you choose to rent equipment at sight, here is a list of the basic items that they should set you up with.

●  A good entry-level gun

●  Mask to protect your eyes from paintballs and spay

●  A tank that is filled with compressed air or CO2 that propels the paintball

●  Hopper (also called a loader it is a device that attaches to your gun. This will store your paint before loading the paint into the firing chamber)

●  Some paintballs

Is Paintball an Expensive Hobby

If you want to paintball more regularly and make it more of a long term hobby, you will want to invest more money upfront by purchasing your equipment. The quality of material you buy can also be better than those that you can rent depending on how much money you want to spend.

Purchasing Your Equipment

A basic paintball pack at your big local retailer can cost you anywhere from 30-50 dollars. These packs usually include:

●       A basic gun

●       Mask

●       Hopper

●       A few 12-gram CO2 canisters

If you want a more advanced gun like an entry-level semi-automatic gun or an electromechanical gun you will be spending more in the 70 to 100 dollar range. Depending on the gun, the accessories may or may not be included. You can buy accessories individually.

●  Masks start around 20 dollars

● Starting cost for CO2 is about 12 dollars

● Hoppers cost approximately 5 dollars

Some guns are unchangeable while others allow for upgrades like adding expansion chambers, improving the barrels as well as other upgrades.  All these upgrades will increase the cost of your gun.

Aside from the basic equipment that you need to play paintball there other items like paintballs, air, high-end guns, accessories, and clothing that will cost you additional money. Not all these things are necessary to play paintball but can make the experience more enjoyable. As with many things sometimes better quality items will cost you money upfront but last you longer.

Paint and Air Costs

For a few hundred dollars you get advanced gear. It is enough for any serious amateur paintball player.

While some things like your gun and mask are one-time purchases others like your paintballs and air will be a recurring purchase. Paintballs are usually available for purchase in boxes of 2000. Sometimes these items can be purchased in bulk lowering their cost.  The cost of a box off paintballs varies from 30-60 dollars. A high-quality paint will be more expensive. You can count to use around 200 paintballs per hour of playing paintball.

Paintballs are made of non-toxic biodegradable material. Higher-end rounds are going to be more spherical in their shape and their shells thinner so that they burst easier on impact.  Good quality paintballs also have thick, brightly colored paint. This makes it harder for an opponent to hide the fact that they have been hit.

Your CO2 or compressed air is available in canister form and price will vary depending on size. Most guns use CO2 but compressed air is becoming more popular. Pump style guns require you use a 12-gram CO2 canister and these only last for one shot.  You will need to invest in a disposable 12-gram CO2 canister for this type of gun. Some paintball fields will offer players the option to purchase refills there on site. 

High-End Equipment

High-end gear can cost you 10x more than advanced gear and goes into a few thousands of dollars.

If money is no deterrent to you and you want the best equipment available you can purchase professional level guns. These guns can cost as much as 2000 dollars. You can easily spend another couple thousand dollars on professional-level gear.  Most high-end guns require compressed air rather than CO2 in their tanks. To achieve your guns maximum firing speed you will need to purchase a motorized hopper. These can range anywhere from 15-250 dollars depending on the quality and their specifications.

A specialty store will have accessories, upgrades, and improvements for all most everything you need. High-end clothing is often available with customizable jerseys and specialty pants and pad. These types of clothing will come with a higher price tag.

Types of Paintball Games

Determining what type of paintball game you will be playing can determine what type of clothing and gear you will want to bring. 

Woodsball

This type of game started out as a recreational game in wooded areas.  It is more of a tactical style of play with capture the flag and elimination being the most popular style. The terrains will outside and can include all types of terrains. Usually, the players are only able to see small sections of the field at any given time.

Woodsball is best suited for recreational players.

Speedball

Speedball is played on a smaller field with bunkers. These fields are usually about half the size of a football field and are treeless with no foliage.  Besides the artificial obstacles on the field players can usually see from one end to the other.

YouTube: Speedball – Paintball Tournament mix

Scenario

This type of play is very similar to woodsball. It is usually played in a large area of outdoor land.  This style of the game takes more design and planning. It can include a small group or hundreds of participants.  In a scenario, game players have a structured storyline or scenario they are playing with. It could be a historical reenactment or something fictional.  These games can last several hours or even days

Tournament Play

Tournament play is an organized competition.  It was originally always played in the woods but in more recent years speedball style of tournaments has become the standard style for competitions.  The smaller open fields of speedball allow for the officials to better see the game and make the proper calls. Spectators are also able to view the whole field and the competition can be televised.

What Type of Clothing Should I Wear to Paintball

Wearing the right clothing while playing paintball is important not only to protect your body but also to ensure that you can move around easily and not be seen by your opponents.

It is best to wear old clothes. While some paints are water-soluble others might not be and will stain easier.

You will also be playing in different settings and terrains.  You might be crawling or walking through mud, dirt, and debris that can easily tear up or stain your clothing.  Avoid light-colored clothes, they can stain easier and make you more visible. It is best to wear darker colors or camouflage so that you can hide it easier from your opponents. 

Types of Things to Wear for Paintball

All of the different types of clothing and gear you wear to play paintball will help protect your body during the game.

  1. Wear long sleeves.  It can hurt when a paintball hits your bare skin.  It is best to wear a loser fitting sweatshirt and a long sleeve shirt. Try to avoid t-shirts. Bringing a back jacket in case the weather changes is always a good idea. Loose-fitting shirts are best because they can prevent hits from breaking on impact.
  2. Wear Pants like loose sweatpants that are dark in color. Cargo pants, paintball-specific pants, jumpsuits, and jeans can also work to paintball in. Depending on your location your legs could be exposed to all types of elements like rocks, dirt, thorns, twigs, etc.
On top of long pants and long sleeves, you can optionally add a vest.

The pants you wear should be able to protect your skin from the terrain and the paintballs. You also might be crawling, kneeling, running, or jumping. Thicker material is best for your protection, or you might double up on athletic type pants.  Make sure your pants are still comfortable and flexible and able to give you a wide range of movement.

  1. Gloves to protect your hands are a good investment if you are going to be playing paintball often.  Your hands are one of the most common things to get hit by paintballs because they are exposed the most. Your hands also have many sensitive areas, protecting them with gloves will help keep them safe during the game. You can buy paint-specific gloves at a specialty store.  Other gloves like football, golf, gardening, and weight lifting gloves can also work to protect your hands. Try to avoid wearing thicker gloves like winter gloves or latex gloves. These gloves tend to be more difficult to work with and harder to pull the trigger in.
  2. Paintball Jerseys can be specially designed for your team.  Specialty jerseys for the speedball version of paintball are usually made out of lightweight and ventilated material. They are looser in fit allowing for the player to wear pads underneath. These paintball specific jerseys also absorb impact and allow for a bounce.

For woodsball paintball, you can find jerseys are that are more camouflage and muted in color allowing you to fit into your surroundings more. These jerseys are more fitted so that a vest can be over them and have cuffed sleeves to help keep out dirt and other natural elements.

  1. Vests are a good investment if you plan on playing paintball more frequently.  Paintball vests come with padding to absorb shock and impact. They also have many pockets to help you carry all your essential items while you are out on the playing field.
  2. The headgear should always be worn whether is it a full mask or goggles. High-end masks and goggles come in many styles and sizes.  They can also come with extra lining and an anti-fog shield making your experience more enjoyable. It is also important to protect other parts of your head with a baseball hat or the hood of your sweatshirt.  Again try to leave the least amount of skin exposed.
  3. Shoe type will depend on what type of paintball you plan on playing and where it will be played at. If you will be playing scenario or woodsball make sure your shoes have proper ankle support. You can go with a hiking boot, or a trail or running shoe.

If you are playing speedball you might choose to wear a cleat to help you while running on turf or grass.  Avoid wearing cleats with metal spikes because they are known to cause injuries to other players. Also, avoid any open toes or sandals.  Protect your feet with a good and appropriate pair of shoes.

  1. Pod packs are another great item to wear during a game of paintball. These pod packs hold your extra paint during the games. Pod packs are either designed to be worn vertically or horizontally around your waist.  Both types have their pros and cons. The best option is to try them on and find out what is most comfortable for you.

If paintball is going to be a long-time hobby of yours it is best to invest in all the right types of clothing and accessories to play the game.  Having the right apparel will make your experience in the field more enjoyable and allow you to play with more ease. If you are only playing paintball for one time or on rare occasions always make sure your body is covered and protected.  Avoid wearing jewelry or other expensive small items that can get lost or broken.

What to Wear to Paintball in Hot Weather

Summer can be a great time to go paintball.  Many times people have a lot more free time to make paintball as a hobby worth the money they have spent on their equipment.  When you are playing paintball it is always important to protect your body from the ailments and the paint. This can be trickier in the summer heat.  Wearing sweat pants and long sleeves don’t sound like a great idea if it’s over 90 degrees. If you plan on going to paintball in the summertime and it is hot outside choose lightweight, breathable clothing.

It is always a good idea to wear clothing that covers most of your body to protect yourself from the paint. However, if you do choose to wear short sleeve shirts and shorts make sure to wear elbow and knee pads for added protection.  Always wear sunscreen under your gear even if you are covered up. A hat or a google visor is also a good idea to help keep the sun off your face. You will definitely get extremely sweaty from the heat and all the running around. Wearing a sweatband or bandana can help keep the sweat off your face and keep it from fogging up your goggles.

Other Tips for Paintballing in Heat

There are a few other tips and suggestions that can be useful and help you have a more successful paintball outing if you are choosing to play in the heat of the summertime. Some things can take a little more preparation time but if you are prepared for the heat it can help you not to lose any valuable playing time on the field.

Drink Plenty of Water

Make sure you drink plenty of water before, during, and after if you are playing paintball in hot weather.  Becoming dehydrated will definitely cut your day of paintball short. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water before you leave for your paintball outing and then double that amount while you are out in the sun. It is a great idea to bring water bottles with you already filled and make sure to drink between games even if you do not feel thirsty. You might even want to bring a water bottle hat that can fit into your pack so you can have access to water during the games.

Protect Your Drinks and Gear

Extreme heat will not only turn your drinking water hot but it can also have an effect on some of your paintball gear. If you are playing on heat bring two coolers with you, one for drinks and one for your paint and air tanks.

It is a good idea to pack your drinks in a cooler with a lot of ice, water, and Gatorade or other sports drinks. You might also want to pack some light protein snacks for extra boosts of energy. Avoid bringing soda, sugary drinks, and other sugary snacks.  Consuming high amounts of sugar in the heat can lead to dehydration faster.

In your second cooler pack your paint and air tanks. When the paintballs get too hot they can melt and swell and take on the shape of whatever container they are stored in.  They also can get jammed in your gun and might not break as easy on impact. Make sure not to add ice to this cooler. It is better to wrap an ice pack in a towel and place it in the cooler with your gear. Ice cubes could cause steam and humidity and affect the paint and air tanks.

Protect Your Face and Mask

It is always important to wear sunscreen on your face when playing out in the heat. Wearing a mask while playing paintball is also important to protect your face and eyes from the paint and the impact of the paint. Heat and humidity can cause your mask to continually fog up which will affect your vision during play. Here are a few ways to try to keep your mask clear and visibility on the track.

Take the mask off in between games. A good option is to invest in anti-fog masks.

●       Take your mask off in between games to let it cool off.  Make sure all guns and paint are in place before you take your mask off.

●       If you are wearing goggles rent an extra pair of goggles at the field so you can switch off between games

●       If you have a mask bring an extra lense to switch out between games.

●       There are goggles on the market that have a dual-lens to help keep out heat and fog

●       Goggle fans can attach to your goggles to help reduce fog and increase visibility

Take Breaks and Find Shade

Try to find the shade during the game for you and your gear as much as possible. It is best to try to keep your CO2 tanks and paint out of the sun as much as possibleCompressed air tanks are not affected by the sun as much but it is still a good idea not to leave them in direct sunlight for long periods of time. Don’t be afraid to take a water break or sit out a game if you feel overheated.

 Heat can affect our bodies in different ways. Some people might feel tired, nauseous or even a little dizzy. Make sure to take care of yourself and listen to your body’s needs. Stay hydrated, seek shade and rest. Doing these things will make your paintball outing much more successful.

What to Wear to Paintball in Cold Weather

Don’t let the cold weather, snow or ice keep you from playing paintball in the wintertime. Just make sure you are wearing the right clothing and pack the right equipment to have a good time even in the freezing cold. Here are some tips about what to wear and bring if you are playing paintball in the winter.

  1. Wearing Layers is key to playing paintball in the wintertime. Many times players come underdressed because they think they will warm once they get playing. Others do not layer enough and get overheated in a heavy coat but do not have enough layers underneath it to shed.
  2. Choose clothing like under amour, sweatshirts and waterproof raincoat to layer with your other clothing. Also, wear a flexible hat and gloves to help keep you warm but still give you mobility. If possible upgrading to a thermal lens is helpful to avoid your mask from fogging up.
  3. Pack cooler that will keep your paint at room temperature. Paintballs can easily shatter in cold weather just like they melt in the heat. Try to keep your paintballs at room temperature to ensure they do not become cracked and brittle. It is also a good idea to bring a heat pack to keep the paint warm inside your pod pack. 
  4. Upgrade your CO2 tank or be patient with it. CO2 tanks can be more difficult and slower in colder weather.  The best way to deal with this is to shoot less and at a slower rate. If you plan on playing a lot in the wintertime it is best to upgrade your tank to a high-pressure air tank, HPA tank. These tanks do not have any difficulty in cold weather and are known to have an increase in efficiency and accuracy all year round.
  5. Be aware of your surroundings. Make sure to be on the lookout for patches of ice or slippery socks. Wear boots or shoes with good traction and bring extra socks in case moisture gets inside your shoes.
Wear more layers during wintertime. Flexible gloves are a must-have.

Preparation is key when playing paintball in any weather.  Make sure your clothing and your gear match the circumstance and the weather you will be playing.

The Takeaway

Paintball is not typically a cheap one time expensive. It is possible to go one time and rent your gear but this will still cost you a decent amount of money.  If you are looking for a new hobby in the paintballing plan on investing more money upfront to get the right equipment. Paintball can be a great experience with friends and family.  Always be prepared for your outing to ensure you have a safe enjoyable time.

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