There is so much to talk about paintball, isn’t it? From shooting equipment to safety gear, we have dealt with a range of paintball items in our previous blogs. This one is going to be different.
Instead of focusing on which gear you should wear and which marker will give you the best shot, we will be focusing on your skills. Yes! The focus is entirely on you and your game.
Paintball is more than just a thrilling weekend adventure; it’s a test of agility, strategy, and teamwork. But, to conquer the field, you need to put in practice. And what better way to do that than with the best paintball drills?
Paintball, like any other game, requires practice. You don’t decide one morning and enter the field with no preparation. You need to know how to play, and we aren’t talking about reading the rules and procedures. Unless you put the theory into practice, you will not be able to master the game. That requires proper training with paintball professionals guiding you all the way.
Do you remember your childhood days when we had drills in schools? The trainer would make us follow a physical exercising routine. Similarly, paintball drills help us get used to the game before we participate in the actual events.
Through this post, we wish to help you understand the different types of paintball drills and practice them the right way. We recommend you to take the help of a professional to teach you the intricacies of the game.
As a beginner, you would be excited about the game. But unless you balance it with strategy, control, tactics, coordination, and communication, you cannot win the game. Team spirit plays a crucial role, and we’ll talk more about the beginner’s guide to playing paintball.
Let’s first understand the five best paintball drills you need to include in your routine practice.
Laying The Groundwork: Understanding Paintball Basics
Before we step into the world of paintball drills, we need to understand the basics. Why, you ask? Because knowing your onions (paintball-related, of course) is key to mastering the drills we’ll discuss. The basic paintball strategies revolve around three fundamental skills – shooting, moving, and communicating. These form the underpinning of every professional paintballer’s skill set.
Shooting: It’s all about accuracy, speed, and a little bit of luck. The more you practice, the luckier you seem to get.
Moving: Paintball isn’t a game for statues. It involves lots of moving, ducking, diving, and sliding. The more agile you are, the harder you are to hit. Simple as that.
Communicating: You might be surprised, but paintball is a lot like a noisy version of chess. Successful teams communicate effectively, making tactical decisions on the fly.
Unleash the Sharpshooter Within: Accuracy Drills
Our first stop on this journey is the land of accuracy. In paintball, hitting your target is, unsurprisingly, rather important. Here are the best paintball drills to improve your accuracy.
1. Stationary Target Practice: Start by firing at a stationary target from a fixed distance. Keep reducing the target size as your accuracy improves. Simple but effective, like a cheese sandwich.
2. Moving Target Practice: Once you’ve mastered stationary targets, it’s time to introduce some movement. Try having a teammate run across the field while you attempt to hit them. Remember, it’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye, so wear protective gear.
3. Distance Shifting: Try shooting targets at varying distances. This drill helps you adjust your aim quickly, a vital skill in an actual game where opponents can pop up at any range.
Remember, consistency is key in these drills. And maybe a little bit of patience too.
Dodge, Duck, Dip, Dive, and Dodge: Mobility Drills
Our next stop on this epic paintball journey is Mobilityville (totally just made that up). Here are some drills to make you the most elusive target on the field:
1. Serpentine Drill: Run in a zigzag pattern while a partner tries to hit you. This will improve your dodging and make you harder to hit, just like a wily fox.
2. Sliding Practice: Sliding is a great way to quickly move to cover while minimizing exposure. Practice sliding into bunkers or behind barriers. Make sure to wear knee and elbow pads for this one, unless you have a strange fondness for scraped skin
Now that you have a good understanding of the drills, let’s look at the best 5 Drills that you should master, as a priority in our view
Top 5 Best Paintball Drills
|Drills||Focus Area||Time Duration||No. of Players|
|Face-off Drill||Alertness/ shooting reflex||No time limit||Min. 2|
|Movement Drill||Coordination||1 min; 15-30 seconds for intense drill||3 and more|
|Run with the Gun Drill||Running, shooting, accuracy||No time limit||1-2|
|Communication Drill||Communication, interacting, team playing||Altering time limit (until all players are eliminated)||3 and more|
|Full Gear Practice||Playing with the gear on||As long as required||Full team|
Face-off Drill- Who Can Shoot First
This is a flexible paintball drill that focuses on honing your reflexes and shooting skills. There is neither any time limit nor strict rules. All you need is one more player to partner with you. As the name suggests, the face-off drill is about how to face your opponents on the field.
Were you able to shoot them first, or did they manage to hit you? The practice session doesn’t have to end when either of you gets hit. Take a tiny break and start again. Go for multiple rounds and see who fares well.
How to Practice
- Take your teammate or a fellow paintball player to a paintball field/ arena. The minimum requirement for the drill is two members. But the more join, the better it’ll be.
- Start with warm-up exercises. Your body requires to get used to the rush of the drill. This will help in preventing injuries like a muscle strain or a shoulder pull.
- Check your paintball marker and wear the paintball mask.
- Choose your hiding locations and get started with the face-off.
- Focus on snap shooting. You have to hit the others before they shoot at you.
- Be alert, keep moving, and don’t hesitate to shoot. The players who get hit can shout out and continue playing.
- You can either set time duration or play until you decide you’ve had enough practice for the day.
- There are various drills designed to improve your snap shooting skills. You can take part in those to fine-tune your skills.
- This face-off drill uses live stimuli and creates a realistic scenario. It will help you translate your practice into the game with better ease.
- Change sides midway through the game. You need to practice on different bunkers (or in various corners of the field).
- Increase the difficulty levels by using props such as mirrors or creating a mini maze for a player to get out of.
- Go one-to-one, one-to-many, many-to-one, and many-to-many. You will get used to playing in different paintball scenarios.
Movement Drill- Offense, Defense, and Coordination between Players
The second paintball drill on our list has been designed to help players corner their opponents (offense) while also teaching how to counter the offense and defend themselves. This develops coordination between team players.
The time for the entire drill can be your choice. However, the time to corner the opponent or wriggle out of a complex situation is limited to a maximum of one minute. You can further reduce it to 45 or 30 seconds or even less, depending on the intensity of the drill.
How to Practice
- Every drill should start with warm-up exercises. Make your body get used to the activity.
- Plan your teams and choose sides. You will need at least 3 players for this drill. If the full team can join, it would be a much better practice session for all of you.
- The offense has to insert/ push the opponent into a specific bunker as the defense tries to prevent this from happening.
- The defense will learn to cooperate with teammates and coordinate with them to stop the offense side from succeeding.
- You will know when to attack when to hide, when to change your initial plan, and more.
- The game will be over if the offense team is successful in pushing the defense side into the bunker.
- Since the focus is on learning how to defend yourself, you can allot more players to the offense team.
- If you want a more intense drill, opt for shorter times. This will help you learn how to keep your calm in tough situations.
- After a round of practice, change the teams so that everyone will get a chance to offend and defend.
- If you are on the offense team, you will learn how to corner the defense team, when to be more forceful, and when to step back and maneuver around.
- You will be moving around on the field, coordinating with teammates, and fine-tuning your skills.
Run with the Gun- Shooting Accuracy and Running across the Field
The name itself tells us what this paintball drill is about. You learn to run through the paintball arena while shooting at your opponents. The aim is to move around as much as you can without having to hide in the bunkers.
You will at least need one player to start the practice session. There is no time limit for this drill as well. You can take small pauses in between and carry on for as long as you want. Similar to the previous two drills, having more players will increase the intensity of the session.
How to Practice
- We recommend starting the drill with a warm-up session.
- You can set up the drill in two ways- either with props and obstacles and targets or with live opponents.
- The prime thing about this drill is that you can do it alone. Yep. It will take some time to set the field with boxes, cartons, or items that act as your opponents.
- You can mark your trail and run on it while shooting at your opponents. However, it is not as fun or intense when you rely on props.
- The drill will help you a lot more when you have another player to take the role of the opponent. You will be their opponent, thus forcing you to be more alert to avoid getting shot.
- When you want to end the session is your choice. Do you want to end it as soon as one of you gets hit, or do you want to end it after a complete session (run from one end to another and back)?
- You can also add scores so that the player who earns the highest score can be declared a winner. This will encourage all of you to give your best throughout the drill.
- This drill is all about how well you aim and shoot when running.
- Shooting from your hiding place and shooting when exposed and on the move are two different things. You need to master both.
Communication Drill- Be a Team Player
Though we’ve listed this in the fourth place on our list, it is one of the most important paintball drills and skills. You can plan this in different ways to increase the complexity of the session. Let at least one player on your side not have a gun in their hands.
The player will have to communicate with the rest of you so that you’ll try to cover for them and prevent them from getting shot. This drill is designed to create a bonding and an easy communication system among the teams. Having a minimum of three players will be necessary to start this drill. Try to play with your full team.
How to Practice
- Yes, warm up and divide teams. Decide who will not have the gun and where that player will take the position.
- Start with one gun-less player on each side so that both teams are evenly balanced. Of course, you can also have unbalanced teams if you want.
- You can continue the session until all players are eliminated (on one side). The other team wins the practice. Securing a win will always be an incentive to do well, right?
- This drill can further be tweaked to strengthen the team spirit. You can let your teammates share the guns so that even the gun-less one gets a chance to shoot.
- Opt for 2-on-1, 3-on-2, or 5-on-3 sharing where the players are more than the paintball guns.
- How you share the guns among yourselves, how you defend and attack with limited access to weapons, and how you play for your teammates will decide the final outcome.
- This drill is a great way to create an effective communication system within your team. If you try to come up with some sort of code, it’ll be even better.
Full-Gear Paintball Practice- A Mock Game before the Actual Event
Treating the practice sessions as real paintball games will make you a better player. That’s why it is vital to take part in at least one full-gear practice session before the D day. Play with the complete team and create a real-life scenario.
Of course, you can limit the time duration to suit your schedule. You don’t have to play the full game, though wearing the complete gear should be mandatory. Being a beginner, you might find it quite difficult to handle the excess weight on your body. A practice session will let you get used to it and have an idea of how it feels to play with the protective gear.
How to Practice
- The primary focus of the practice drill should be on getting accustomed to the paintball gear. Don’t think too much about losing to your opponents.
- If this is your first full-gear practice drill, be aware of how the gear affects your movement. If anything feels odd or uncomfortable, you can take a break and talk to your teammates about how to adjust the gear.
- Observe how other players can play their natural game when wearing the protective gear. Explain your discomfort and ask for tips.
- You should have it sorted before the actual game. Players cannot stop the real game to discuss these things.
- The practice session is your best bet to experience how the paintball game might unfold on the field.
- The practice session should include the above-listed drills as well. This lets you get a complete grasp of the game.
- Providing cover for your teammates, keep the communication flowing, aiming and shooting as many opponents as possible, and managing your equipment is a part of the practice session.
- You should carry a water bottle and some snacks to the practice session as well. You don’t want to get dehydrated and fall sick before the actual game, right?
A Beginner’s Guide to Play Paintball
Regardless of the fact you are a beginner or even an intermediary paintball player, you need to have a comprehensive approach to the game. While the paintball drills are helpful, there are other things you need to know. A good lot of them might seem like things you are already aware of, but we’ve seen many beginners fumble and make mistakes in the actual game.
Though there is nothing wrong with it, you would want to improve your game in all possible ways, isn’t it? Before we read the dos and don’ts, lets us see the different types of paintball games. However, we aren’t discussing all of them in detail.
Types of Paintball Games
A fun game played in the woods with friends got revamped into a full-fledged game with loads of protective gear and shooting equipment. People came up with different versions of the game, some of which became very popular around the world.
The two main types of paintball games are-
Nope, it doesn’t mean you use wooden balls to hit your opponents. Woodsball is a paintball game you play in the woods. These last for a long time (like really long) and have larger teams. A single game could go on for 24 hours or more. Yeah!
The woodsball games have themes or scenarios (role-playing) where the teams have to follow the given storyline. Military-based scenarios are loved by many paintball professionals.
This is a much faster game where you play in bunkers instead of in the woods. These games don’t extend for long durations and involve the use of objects like barrels, spools, man-made contraptions, etc., to increase the difficulty levels of the game. This game is known as Hyperball and is more beginner-friendly compared to Airball. Airball is an intense and highly competitive game where you have to play using inflated bunkers in limited spaces.
Do’s and Don’ts for a Paintball Game
Being thoroughly prepared for a paintball game will improve your skills and make you a better player. Preparation includes knowing the dos and don’ts of the game so that you won’t end up with a disqualification or lose the game a little too easily.
Follow the Rules
This might appear an obvious point, but do you know how many newbies get disqualified because they forgot to follow the rules of the game? One of the most, most important rules you should always follow is to wear the paintball goggles/mask on your face throughout the game. Don’t ever take it off until the game is officially over.
And listen to the referee. They are there to help you during the game. Don’t argue with the referees. It can be hard at times, but it is something you should avoid doing.
The other paintball rules change from event to event (and venue to venue), but a few are common, such as-
- Don’t bring or use paint from outside
- Don’t fire on anyone around 10-15 feet
- You should not talk after you are eliminated (no signaling)
- No blind firing on others
- Don’t play under the influence of intoxicating substances
Be a Team Player- the Team Comes First
Paintball is a team game. You have to play for your team and with your team. The team’s combined interest should come first. From looking after your teammates to covering from them and revealing the locations of the opponents, you should continuously communicate with your teammates. If you are a newbie, it is imperative to let your teammates know of your presence in the team and contribute as much as you can.
Do Your Preparations in Advance
Yes, practice is done. So what else do you have to prepare? Your gear. Beginners don’t need to buy the whole paintball gear and equipment. You can start your purchases once you are sure that you’d become a regular player.
In most venues, the management provides the paintball gear to all players. In fact, you are supposed to use only these items and not your own. Still, it is better to be prepared in case they allow you to use the personal gear.
You can lease almost every item. Try the gear in advance and be completely sure of the fitting. If the mask, gloves, or boots are uncomfortable, pick other ones. You don’t want to suffer on the field, right? Apart from that, carry microfiber cloths to wipe away the paint splatters on the mask. Some cash and a bottle or two of water should also be a part of your gear.
Plan and Strategize- Don’t Be Caught Unawares
Yeah, we know that following the plan will rarely work when it comes to paintball. But that doesn’t mean you jump in blind. You need to determine how your team will spread out, who will take which responsibility, and how you work together to win.
Your plan should be flexible enough to make last-minute changes and adjustments. Professional players have enough experience to follow their instincts and improvise on the spot. But as a beginner, you need to have some base work to build your game.
Hide Only when Necessary
Hiding is vital in a paintball game. But if you find a comfortable place and sit tight for more than 50% of the game, you are hardly contributing to your team. Go out there when it’s safe and change your hiding locations. Move on the field. Provide cover for a teammate. Shoot at your opponents. In short, be active on the field.
Don’t Over Expose Yourself
These seem like contradictory pointers, but they aren’t. While hiding half the time is not advisable, peeking and stepping out without care is also not advisable. You will be making yourself vulnerable for no reason. You need to understand when to hide and when to step out. This takes practice, but it also requires observation skills. Luckily, you can learn from your teammates and your opponents and try to follow them.
Don’t Be Predictable- Surprise Your Opponents
If you peek out from the same spot twice, you will be shot the third time. Don’t let that happen. Stay low and move around even in the limited space bunkers. Woods have some obvious hiding spots. You don’t want to get caught hiding in such places. The longer you remain on the field, the more opportunities you’ll get to improve your game.
Keep Calm- Don’t Lose Control
If you are playing speedball, you’ve got to fire the instant you see your opponent. But the same isn’t necessary for woodsball. Though both versions demand you to be alert, you should also be calm and composed. It’s easy for the adrenaline to run high and make you eager. Losing control of the game could end up as a disadvantage for you and your team.
And if things aren’t going the team’s way, it’s okay. You can regroup and come up with a better strategy instead of fighting with your team. As a beginner, it’s also necessary to not lose hope and continue playing your game.
Practice as Often as Possible
Being a beginner, you need to keep practicing for longer than the experienced ones. They are already comfortable with the gear and the gaming arena. But you are not. The more you practice, the easier it’ll be for you to slip into your role in the actual game.
Follow the Safety Precautions
We cannot emphasize enough about safety on the field. Newbies tend to disregard personal safety for comfort or fun. If you want to become a paintball professional, remember that you have to get used to wearing protective gear throughout the game. Don’t take unnecessary risks or shoot when you shouldn’t. Risking others’ lives is good either. Right?
Have Loads of Fun
Are you rolling your eyes at us? We understand. After giving you a lengthy lecture about safety, practice, and rules, we are asking you to have fun. Yeah, that’s exactly how it should be. You’ll understand soon enough. *wink*
Go enjoy your paintball game.
Paintball drills should be compulsorily followed. Your practice shouldn’t be limited to just a day or two before the game. It is important to regularly take part in paintball drills and stay connected to the game. Physical fitness and shooting skills two most essential factors you should never ignore.
Planning a schedule for the drills would be a good way to ensure that you spend time practicing for the paintball game. Take part in every drill at least once. Try to vary the complexity and intensity levels, and don’t forget the full-gear practice before the actual game. Professionals have reached that level of expertise by being dedicated to their approach to mastering the game.