Paintball Guns & Markers - From Beginner to Expert Level

Whether you're a first-time player or a seasoned veteran, paintball guns can be very confusing. Between the latest cutting-edge developments in marker technology and all the 'limited edition' paintball guns out there, the market itself is a constantly evolving process.

Dangerous Power Fusion FX

To top it off, paintball weapons have a wide variety of different attributes that make them good (or not good).

You've got guns that are fast, and guns that are accurate. There are guns that shoot far, and guns made specifically for the speedball field.

Some manufactures boast very complicated, computerized systems that allow their paintball markers to far exceed most other guns out there.

And some guns? Well they're just plain sexy. They look fantastic, and feel great in your hand. These markers come in the most amazing colors and patterns, beautifully finished in anodized aluminum.

Ultimately however, you want a gun that's reliable. Simplicity on the paintball field is very underrated: it's all well and good that your gun operates smoothly on the practice range, but when you're belly-down in a ditch and surrounded by exploding paintballs, you can't have it jamming up. There are times when simplicity trumps technology, and that usually happens in the middle of the wildest firefight.

Performance however, is another crucial factor. If you've been playing for a while, or plan to play paintball on a regular basis - or even in a league - you'll probably want to graduate from your first gun into something more advanced.

Believe me when I say there are paintball markers out there that do some INSANE things. Seeing some of these high-end guns light up the bunkers and obstacles of your local paintball field is almost like watching a magic show.

The Best Entry-Level Paintball Guns

Basic, entry-level paintball markers should be simple, clean, and easy. They shouldn't have any fancy mechanics, electrostatic trigger systems, or digital bells and whistles.

For beginners, the simpler the gun the better off you'll be. You should be able to field strip your gun and clean it completely during lunch break (should you need to), and still have time to eat. In battle, you should be able to fix jams and squeegee broken balls and paint from your barrel and firing chamber.

Below are some great starter guns for new players still learning the ropes. They'll shoot fast, shoot straight, and most important of all, they'll shoot reliably:

Tippmann A5 Paintball Gun 2011 Tippmann A 5 Paintball Gun Black
Azodin D Paintball Gun Caramel Azodin Kaos D Gun Black Caramel
Proto Rail Paintball Gun Red Proto 2011 Rail Paintball Gun Red
Kingman Spyder Xtra Paintball Gun Kingman Spyder Xtra Paintball Gun Grey
BT4 Paintball Gun BT4 Combat Paintball Gun Refurbished
Dangerous Power E1 Blue Paintball Marker Dangerous Power E1 Gun Blue Black
Azodin Kaos Paintball Marker Azodin Kaos Semi Auto Marker Black
GoG Envy Paintball Gun GoG Paintball eNVy Paintball Gun Black

The guns above represent the most common weapons available on the market for beginner paintball players. The Tippmann is the standard rental gun for most fields; it's both rugged and and reliable. Personally, I'm partial to the Spyder. My very first gun was a Spyder Speedmaster II - I must've put a hundred thousand paintballs through that gun, and the last shot was just as accurate as the first.

Mid-Level & Intermediate Paintball Markers

Your mid-level gun is several steps above the basic model. It introduces electro-sensitive triggering, semi and fully-automatic firing, lightweight aluminum parts, and usually some type of upgraded barrel porting. Some have built-in gauges to show you how much air you have left in the tank.

Intermediate paintball guns will run from $250 to about $800 or so. Some nice choices:

Invert Mini Paintball Gun Blue Invert Mini Paintball Gun Dust Black Polished Blue
Empire Axe Limited Edition Gun Ice Blue Empire Axe Limited Edition Paintball Gun Ice
Invert Mini Olive Invert Mini Paintball Marker Dust Olive Black Color
Dangerous Power G4 Dangerous Power G4 Paintball Gun Black Black
Planet Eclipse Etek 3 Planet Eclipse Etek 3 LT Paintball Marker Grey Black
BT TM 15 Painbtall gun Desert BT TM 15 Limited Edition Paintball Gun Desert Camo
DYE DM11 Paintball Gun Dye DM11 Paintball Gun w/ Rotor Sky Blue Graphite
Tiberius Arms Ranger Paintball Gun Tiberius Arms T9.1 Ranger Paintball Gun Black

Mid-level guns are clearly more expensive, but you're also getting a lot more gun for your money. Enhancements to the overall mechanics and firing systems make these guns faster, deadlier, and much more of a threat when bringing them to the paintball field.

Referees will generally balance out teams based upon what guns they see, at least initially. As they determine who the intermediate and veteran players are, higher-level weapons are usually split evenly in order to keep things competitive.

High End Paintball Guns - The Best of the Best

By the time you're ready to buy a high-end marker, you'll already have a good idea of what you want out of your paintball gun. Odds are also good that you'll have a few brand names in mind, or at least a favorite brand or manufacturer.

Many of the more pricey paintball markers are limited-edition runs; owning one makes you part of an exclusive club. Don't get drawn too far into sexy looks here, because although these guns can look very very pretty? When the whistle blows it's your weapon's performance that counts.

A LOT of time and research should go into buying a thousand-dollar paintball gun... or in some cases, a two-thousand dollar one. So read up on gun reviews, watch some review videos, and make absolutely sure you can handle the level of sophistication and detail that usually goes into some of the most expensive paintball guns in the world.

For the curious beginner or educated expert, some of the most popular high end guns are listed below:

Again, there's lots to consider before buying any paintball gun, but much more to consider when going all out. Speed, automatic firing systems, accuracy, weight, look, feel style... all of these things are important, as well as what add-ons or after-market equipment is available for the weapon. But after paying such a high price? You shouldn't have to swap out too many parts of your high-end paintball gun.

Other Paintball Gear and Equipment

Your paintball marker is only the beginning. To play the game, you'll need at least some of the other equipment seen below. Browse through each category to see the latest in paintball gear:

Paintball Gear