Can You Get Hurt Playing Paintball?

Work, work, & work! These days, life is all about working and living your hectic lives, devoid of everything even closely resembling fun.

But wait;

What’s fun? Is it a leisure time activity? Or maybe it’s relaxation?

In the minds of many, fun takes the form of playing Paintball, a hard and fast competitive team shooting sport in the middle of a mock military exercise. It’s your army versus theirs, and it is the battle of the century.

But others still hold many compunctions about this problematic sport, and the question on everyone’s minds remains; Is Paintball painful?

The short answer, saddening as it might be, is yes.

Paintball may hurt sometimes and can also cause bruises. It is a military exercise, after all.

But in the end, is it worth all that pain to play a game that makes you whoop with fun?

Yes, It is. Benefiting the Top 10 Health Benefits of Playing Paintball at the expense of little pain isn’t a bad deal, by the way!

Team Playing Paintball

To help you figure out the answer you need, here’s a detailed explanation of the many dangers that come from Paintball and how to be safe from them.

The Dangers of Paintball

Dangers of Paintball

Physical Dangers of Paintball:

According to experts in the field of playing Paintball, Paintball hurts when you get hit. But the pain ranges from small stinging to something a little more.

Still, it is well known and documented that getting hit by these paintballs, even if the pain is the slightest of stings, can leave behind welts and bruises.

Of course, the severity of both the pain and the bruises depends on several factors, including range, angle, speed of the ball, distance from the gun to the person being hit, and the area that is targeted.

An extensive list of the dangers of Paintball includes:

  • Bruises and Welts
  • Cuts
  • Tripping, leading to twisted or sprained ankles
  • Injuries to soft-tissue body parts
  • Concussions
  • Temporary Loss of Vision
  • Internal injuries
  • Breathing Difficulties

Most of the more severe injuries occur mainly due to the carelessness of the people playing the game.

Should they lose their protective gear or take it off for some reason (mostly to ‘look cool’), the chances of point-blank shots seriously hurting them is relatively high.

Of course, of all these physical dangers, the most important ones to note would be the high-risk areas, the soft tissue body parts that include the eyes, ears, and genitals.

If not protected properly, these areas especially suffer when hit by paintballs and may cause lasting damage.

Pro Tip: To protect your head, you can choose the Best Paintball Mask or customize your own mask to restrict any painful attack.

 Related Article: How to Customize a Paintball Mask

Another aspect that must be considered before safely playing the game, of course, is physical fitness. Being reasonably fit is a requirement to play paintball, especially with the continuous exertion.

For this reason, less physically capable people are recommended to stay away from paintball since it would take a high toll on their bodies and easily exhaust them. This may lead to breathing problems, especially with the protective mask.

A specific example of this may be smokers, who already experience shortness of breath due to their habits. They will also experience higher fatigue and slowness as compared to their healthier counterparts.

These aspects may lead them to put more pressure and stress on their bodies to catch up, speeding up the fatigue and other problems on the way. This may further lead to other health problems that may or may not be lasting.

On the one hand, these were the physical dangers. Next, we have psychological dangers.

Psychological Dangers of Paintball:

Paintball has danger, extreme competition, and guns.

These three mix to form something that can easily trigger trauma in a participant.

The multitudes of sounds and aggression and sudden pain can elicit many responses in the human body, either flight, fight, or freeze.

Primitive response rates of our human bodies serve to bring our minds to a stage of panic. What to do? Where to go? How to move?

Newer players especially can experience high amounts of stress and anxiety, which can be a recurring problem, or be the basis for future psychological or physical problems.

A Fair Suggestion: You can add more fun and character to your game to relax your tiring strings by opting for some themed Scary Paintball Mask.

Even in repeat players, the game may end up bringing forth some sort of trauma or trigger response that would govern their reactions and affect their mental health.

The greatest effect, however, would be in people who have already experienced firearms and may have a former, unwanted response to the similarity of the military situations presented in this game.

Other Aspects of Danger:

Now that we have gone over the basic dangers associated with this game, let us narrow it down.

There are three gun types that you can be hit with, and though they have some differences in how they impact your skin, the average response is that they vary in feeling like being hit by a wet towel to a rubber band snapping across your skin.

These guns commonly include:

  1. 68 Caliber (Normal)
  2. 50 Caliber (Low impact)
  3. 50 Caliber (Spring Loaded)

Furthermore, the biggest reason paintballs hurt and leave a mark, is due to participants shooting their guns too hot, which practically ensures both the pain and the bruise.

An Alternative to Paintball – Airsoft

Alternative to Paintball – Airsoft

Airsoft is sport similar to Paintball, insomuch that it is also a shooting game. In this, however, participants shoot non-metallic pellets at each other rather than paintballs in order to achieve the various aims of their games.

Airsoft can be played anywhere, as compared to Paintball, because you don’t get messy playing airsoft… though ‘messy’ is the biggest lure for paintball lovers.

But what about the equipment, the usability, the dangers… Let’s compare them and see what we get.

EquipmentMasks / Eye Protection
Protective Vests
Comfortable, easy-to-move-in shoes
Masks / Eye Protection
BB Pellets
(Most other equipment is optional)
What is it?It is a shooting game where players eliminate opposing participants by using paintball guns to tag them with paint.It is a shooting game where BB pellets are launched via replicated firearms. There are no set rules as players of different areas make up different rules.
Sustainability of HardwarePaintball guns and other equipment for this sport is usually a one-time buy and can last much longer. They also have high durability.Airsoft guns must regularly be updated to stay ahead of the curve. They also have low durability and therefore break easily. Furthermore, BB pellets must be bought constantly.
It is better to rent Airsoft equipment than buy it constantly.
Player AgeThe preferred age range is 16 – 20 years old. However, people older than this can play as well. Children are not recommended to play.10+ years. However, this game is suitable for adults as well.

Now that we have virtually compared almost everything between Airsoft and Paintball, the only thing life is the danger value; Which sport is more dangerous, and which should be preferred when playing?

While the second question is pretty subjective, read on to find out more about the different dangers of Airsoft and Paintball.

The first thing to consider is that in both games, the guns shoot around 300 – 400 fps, which sounds like they’d have similar outputs and the same kind of pain.

Unfortunately, that thought process would be incorrect.

Even though the speed at which the two guns shoot is practically the same, the difference comes with what they are shooting.

In Airsoft, as previously mentioned, participants shoot pellets. These BBs weigh approximately .20 grams, which is amazingly low. The low weight lowers the energy behind the shot and the force with which they hit the target is significantly lower.

On the other hand, there is paintball. The speed is the same. But the weight… a typical paintball weighs around 3 grams. It sounds very little, yes, but have it hurtling towards you as fast as a BB pellet, and which shot will you run from first?

The Paintball.

Paintballs have nearly three times the weight of the BB pellet means the paintball has more energy. The force with which it barrels towards you is ten times more than Airsoft shots.

And that, of course, means that Paintball is much more dangerous.

But this is just about the weight. Having more weight also means that the surface area and size of the Paintball balls is larger, and in comparison, the BB pellets used in Airsoft as comparatively smaller.

So when the two balls hit, they leave different marks. Airsoft leaves small, concentrated red marks that fade after a while or form angry red bruises for the next few days (but rarely).

Paintball, however, leaves huge welts that turn into splotches of purple should they be left alone without care.

So do you want angry red spots or huge purple bruises?

That’s personal preference, I guess.

Still, it turns out that  Airsoft is less dangerous than Paintball, and if you want to keep safe, non-messy, and have smaller bruises, Airsoft is your game, not paintball.

How to keep safe and play it anyway


But after all of that, you want to play paintball anyway. Who wouldn’t? It’s fun, it’s time consuming, and it’s a great way to spend a fun time with friends (Getting a bit of revenge on some of them while you’re there doesn’t hurt).

So the only way left is to safely play paintball.

There are several guidelines that would ensure a higher level of safety in this game, and some of them are as follow:

1. Age Limit

Younger players have higher risks, for their bodies haven’t fully matured and any crippling injury they sustain might affect them more so than it would adults. So, make sure the players are at least teenagers, and preferably over fifteen years old.

2 Qualified Referees

They need to judge the match and keep foul play out of the equation – automatically making the game safer.

3 Orientation

Not all paintball players know exactly what to do. Holding an orientation to welcome new players and refresh the memory of the rules for the old ones will decrease the chances of accidentally getting hurt.

4 Paintball Guns

Be careful when handling these guns, and keep in mind that they can shoot at any second. Secondly, keep from shooting hot, which increases that chance of the person being hit getting seriously hurt.

5 Protective Equipment

This is the most important thing one must consider before starting to play. You want to ensure you have all the gear and in perfect condition, because that’s the one thing standing between you and pain.

Proper equipment especially includes safety goggles to guard your soft tissue areas and proper footwear to allow you to run safely.

Tip: If you battle fogging more often while playing paintballing, you can choose the Best Thermal Paintball Mask to play seamlessly.

If any of your protective equipment is in bad shape, it is necessary for you to repair it or sit out of the game, as the danger level will skyrocket for you.

Similarly, padding and a protective vest are necessary wears that will help you out in protecting you from the brunt of the paintballs.

The majority of the impact will land on the multiple paddings and on the protective best, thus lowering the possible danger.

In that vein, you must also not leave any part of your skin bare, because getting hit directly by a paintball will produce much more painful results than being hit through covered and padded clothes.

Lastly, protect your sensitive spots with special equipment. These spots include the neck, the head, knees, genitals, and other extremities.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are paintballs painful?

They initially sting, resembling the sting you feel when a rubber band snaps against your skin. But after awhile you get used to it.

However, this also depends on various factors such as the caliber of the gun, windspeed, the distance it was shot from etc.

2. Does paintball hurt more or airsoft?

Paintball because it has ten times more energy than an airsoft and thus the intensity of the sting will be greater.

3. Is paintball a dangerous sport?

If all the safety rules and regulations are followed and you keep your mask on at all times, then paintballing is harmless.

Besides, you’re more likely to get hurt by falling on the field than a paintball.

4. Is paintball safe for a 13 year old?

Yes, a 13 year old can play this sport as long as he/she/they wear protective gear and padding on knees as well as gloves.

5. Can playing paintball result in a concussion?

No, that is highly unlikely as a paintball does not contain the force required to shake your brain enough to cause a concussion. Regardless, wear a safety helmet or a cap.

6. Paintballs against bare skin. Do they hurt?

Yes, paintballs against bare skin will definitely hurt more and will be more painful if the paintball doesn’t recoil and break.

7. What hurts more, paintball or tattoo?

It honestly depends on several factors. However, both of them hurt but the adrenaline kicks in soon and you get used to it after a while.

Conclusion; Is Paintball worth it?

Is Paintball dangerous? Yes. Is it more dangerous than Airsoft? Yes.

If you are scared of pain and do not want to face the idea of being hurt, or having your skin marred with a few bruises, Paintball is not the game for you.

However, there is a certain thrill that comes with playing paintball. The adrenaline rush from being in a mock military situation, right in the middle of enemy fire. There is a thrill that comes when you can shoot your enemies (and friends).

If you are that person, and if you want to seek out the amazing thrill that comes with this competitive sport, Paintball is a game specifically made for you.

If you use the required safety equipment and take all the precautions outlined in this article, as well as stay wary of any problem that may arise, your paintball experience will be a brilliant time of fun.

You may receive a few bruises on your hands – because, let’s face it, that’s where most people get hurt – but these marks will fade after a while, leaving you with unmarred skin and a heady experience.

Zack Joseph

I am Zack Joseph. I am a regular guy who is in love with outdoor sports activities. I play a lot of paintball with my friends. So, I am sharing my experience in this blog. I hope you will get complete insights about paintball that you want to buy. Happy playing and shopping!

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