Paintball can be approached in a variety of different ways. Whether you like the head-on approach or you’d rather find a nice spot to pick people off from a distance, there’s a system for success.
Many sports require a direct approach, or a specific way of playing to come out on top, fortunately paintball isn’t one of them. Some embrace the all-out, guns-blazing style of play, others prefer the tactful, considered approach, and then you have the snipers who hide amongst the shrubbery, waiting for their time to strike.
With so many different playing styles to adopt and the option to be as active or placid as possible, there is a way for everyone to succeed at paintball. But which one is right for you?
1. Run and Gun
For most rookies or first-time paintball players, this is the style of play they’ll go for — not necessarily out of choice, but mainly because they want to fire off as many paintballs as possible. Oh, and they’re running as fast as possible in fear of being shot.
With that said, this style of play can be very effective in close-quarters areas where you need to fire quick, accurate shots while ducking between cover. If you’re quick on your feet and prefer to be a menace behind enemy lines, then a ‘run and gun’ style of play will suit you down to the ground.
2. The Team Player
A big part of paintball is teamwork, and many tactical game types like Capture the Flag will require a team to work together efficiently to succeed. Flanking enemies, clearing buildings and covering fire are all key aspects of paintball, none of which are possible on your own.
Teamwork is especially effective on larger maps, where there is more ground to cover. Being a team doesn’t mean you’re joined at the hip, so spreading out and using team tactics to take enemies down one by one will give you a huge advantage.
3. The Sniper
For those of you who prefer to bide your time, save your energy (paintball is a great workout), ration your bullets and wait for an enemy to stumble into your crosshairs, the sniper way of life is perfect for you.
There’s nothing more satisfying than finding yourself a secluded spot, waiting patiently, and pulling off the perfect long distance shot — especially if your victim has no clue where it came from. This playing style is perfect to pick people off from range, as well as provide your team with covering fire.
Paintball companies with specialist equipment (like an A5 Sniper Rifle) make this experience all the more exciting, with the ability to provide accurate shots from long range.
4. The Lone Wolf
The Lone Wolf: the protagonist of any brilliant action film, and the role that many people will want to fill as soon as they step onto the battlefield. “I work better alone” is a line that has echoed around Hollywood movies for years, and if the films are anything to go by, being a lone wolf has its benefits.
In all seriousness, it genuinely can be the most successful strategy available in paintball. Much like the sniper, a lone wolf can sit back and pick off enemies, or could opt for the complete opposite and go in guns blazing. A whole team of players are easier to spot. The lone wolf, on the other hand, can sneak behind enemy lines and do some damage.
5. The Jack of All Trades
You may like to pull off a bit of sniping, join the team for a siege then wander off on your own, or maybe launch the occasional charge into enemy territory for a run and gun shootout. Some people like to find a playing style that suits them and stick with it, while others want to mix it up and try a bit of everything.
This style of play is perfect for anyone who is new to paintball and would like to experience a variety of combat situations, or simply someone who doesn’t feel the need to have one role when they can try all of them. Having a jack of all trades on your team is ideal because if you need a sniper, you have one. Need someone to run and gun? You have them. You get the idea.
Paintball is an exciting, adrenaline-fuelled experience, but one of its best traits is the ability to take on any role you want. Whether you want to run and gun the whole time, sit back and conserve energy from a sniping nest, or embrace the teamwork nature of each game, a day of paintball has something to offer everyone. People of all ages can play and will be sure to have an equally amazing experience.
GO Paintball London is one of the UK’s leading paintball companies. Its owner, Tommy Pemberton, played professional paintball for ten years, representing London and England at the highest level worldwide. He’s worked within the paintball industry his whole life at every level. Following his retirement from Professional Paintball, GO Paintball London was his next step, allowing him to focus on providing the best grass roots paintballing experiences possible for people of all ages.