What are the Different Types of Paintballs? A Comprehensive Guide

different types of paintballs

Paintball enthusiasts, both newcomers and seasoned veterans, understand the excitement and energy that comes from stepping onto the battlefield with your trusty marker and a pocketful of paintballs. But did you know that not all paintballs are created equal?

That’s right, there are different types of paintballs on the market designed for various levels of play and specific game scenarios. So, whether you’re a weekend warrior or a competitive sharpshooter, understanding the various paintball options is crucial to improving your game and ensuring the most enjoyable experience possible.

In the world of paintball, there are generally three main categories: recreational, tournament, and reusable paintballs. Recreational grade balls are perfect for the casual player, being more wallet-friendly while still offering an exhilarating experience on the field.

Tournament-grade paintballs, as the name suggests, cater to the more serious players who require top-level accuracy and consistency in their ammunition. Reusable paintballs, on the other hand, offer a more environmentally friendly and cost-effective alternative for those looking to practice their aim without breaking the bank.

As you explore the realm of paintball, you’ll come across various brands and styles, each with their unique features and advantages. From high-end tournament balls like the VIRTUE Ace .68 to cold weather-specific offerings, there’s a paintball type out there for every kind of player.

So, the next time you gear up for a paintball battle, consider your options carefully and choose the right paintballs for your needs – and remember, no matter what type you pick, have a blast out there!

Types of Paintballs

Types of Paintballs

Paintball is an exhilarating game that caters to different types of players, and as such, there are various types of paintballs available to meet everyone’s needs.

In this section, we will cover the most common types of paintballs: Recreational Grade Paintballs, Tournament Grade Paintballs, .50 Caliber Paintballs, .68 Caliber Paintballs, and Reusable Paintballs. So, let’s dive in and explore these fascinating options!

Recreational Grade Paintballs

Recreational grade paintballs are the go-to options for beginners and casual players. They are designed to be more affordable and are generally less accurate than tournamentgrade paintballs.

The outer shell of these paintballs is thicker, making them less prone to break in the gun but can still make a good mark upon impact.

Want to have a fun weekend with your mates? Recreational paintballs have got you covered!

Tournament Grade Paintballs

Now, for those who plan on joining a competitive league or simply want a high-quality paintball experience, there’s nothing better than tournament grade paintballs.

These are made with a thinner shell and have a more consistent size and shape, making them highly accurate. The increased chances of breaking on impact also mean that there’s no room for doubt when you land a shot. Consider these bad boys the crème de la crème of paintball ammunition!

.50 Caliber Paintballs

Ever heard of .50 caliber paintballs? These are smaller paintballs that have gained popularity in recent years due to their reduced impact force and lighter weight. They are perfect for younger players and anyone looking for a less intense paintball experience. Plus, they’re more eco-friendly, as they use less material and can carry more in a single load.

Don’t underestimate their size, though – they still pack a punch!

.68 Caliber Paintballs

Ah, the classic .68 caliber paintballs – the standard size for the game. These paintballs have been around for ages and are the default option for most paintball fields and events.

The .68 caliber paintballs offer a great balance of impact force, accuracy, and compatibility with the majority of paintball guns. They are the tried and true choice for most players, from casual outings to intense battles!

Reusable Paintballs

Sounds too good to be true, right? Reusable paintballs are a real thing and a fantastic option for those looking to save money and the environment. Made from a rubber-like material, these paintballs don’t break on impact and can be collected and reused multiple times.

They are perfect for practising aim or playing in indoor settings where cleaning paint residue might be an issue. Keep in mind, though, reusable paintballs are not suitable for actual matches, as they don’t leave a visible mark on opponents.

There you have it! Different types of paintballs cater to various player preferences and styles of play. Be it a leisurely day with friends or a high-stakes tournament, there’s a perfect paintball type out there for everyone. So, pick the one that suits you the best and get ready for an unforgettable paintball experience!

Selecting the Right Paintball

Selecting the Right Paintball

Size and Shape

When choosing paintballs, it’s essential to consider the size and shape. The most common caliber is 0.68 inches, but there are also smaller sizes such as 0.50 and 0.43 inches available. The size of the paintball should match the bore size of your paintball gun’s barrel for optimal performance.

Besides size, also pay attention to the shape of the paintballs. Spherical paintballs with minimal dimples, seams, and imperfections result in a more accurate shot.

Tournament-grade paintballs generally have a higher level of quality control, ensuring better consistency in size and shape compared to recreationalgrade paintballs.

Accuracy and Performance

Different types of paintballs can also impact your game’s accuracy and performance. Paintballs fall into three main categories:

  • Recreational-grade paintballs – often used for casual games and usually more affordable but less consistent in size and shape.
  • Tournament-grade paintballs – costlier but provide greater accuracy due to stricter quality control during manufacturing.
  • Reusable paintballs – made from materials like rubber or foam, making them suitable for practice purposes but not actual gameplay.

Do you want to impress your mates with your sharpshooting skills or participate in competitive matches? In that case, you’ll want to invest in tournamentgrade paintballs for their superior accuracy and performance.

Weather and Temperature Considerations

Lastly, you should take weather and temperature factors into account when selecting paintballs. Some paintballs work better in certain conditions, and choosing the right ones can make a difference in your gameplay experience.

For instance, the Valken Graffiti Paintballs are praised for their versatility and ability to perform well in various weather conditions.

Cold temperatures can cause paintballs to become brittle, leading to increased breakage in the barrel or hopper. On the other hand, hot, humid conditions can make paintballs swell or become sticky, which can jam your paintball gun. So it’s vital to choose paintballs that are specifically designed for the conditions in which you’ll be playing.

Paintball Brands and Options

Paintball Brands and Options

In our quest to explore the world of paintballs, we have come across a variety of brands and options to cater to every paintball enthusiast’s needs. Let’s dive into one of the most popular choices on the market and learn why it stands out from the rest.

Valken Graffiti Paintballs

Oh, Valken Graffiti Paintballs, where shall we begin with your praises? Coming in a 2,000-count case of .68 caliber rounds, these paintballs offer both quality and quantity to give players the best experience possible. They are highly versatile and perform well in different weather conditions, making them a top choice for both beginners and seasoned players alike1.

Did you know these paintballs are some of the most frequently purchased on Amazon1? Now, that’s quite a statement. Valken Graffiti Paintballs are known for their superb accuracy and consistent performance, ensuring that each shot counts on the field.

We couldn’t help but admire their environmentally friendly, biodegradable, and water-soluble properties2. Rest assured, when using Valken Graffiti Paintballs, you’re not only enjoying your game but also taking care of our beloved planet.

Here are a few more interesting facts about Valken Graffiti Paintballs:

  • They come in various colours, such as orange1 and blue with a yellow fill3, giving players a delightful selection of hues to choose from.
  • They’re designed to work well in a variety of paintball guns, so compatibility isn’t an issue.
  • Their durability minimises the chances of breakage during transport or while being loaded into a paintball gun.

So, there you have it, our take on why Valken Graffiti Paintballs stand out as one of the best paintballs on the market. Now that you’ve learned about this excellent option, we hope it helps inform, inspire, and equip you for your paintball adventures!

Happy paintballing!

Paintball Uses and Scenarios

Paintball Uses and Scenarios

As paintball enthusiasts ourselves, we know that the game offers a wide range of scenarios and uses. It’s not just a simple one-size-fits-all situation. Each paintball scenario brings its unique flavour of excitement, strategy, and team dynamics. Let’s dive into some of the most popular paintball uses and scenarios.


Woodsball is a type of paintball where the game is played amongst trees, shrubs, and other natural terrain. In this adrenaline-pumping scenario, participants utilise the environment to their advantage, using trees, bushes, and natural cover to shield themselves from opponents’ paintballs.

Woodsball often requires players to employ stealth, teamwork, and strategic planning to outmanoeuvre their opponents. In this scenario, you’ll discover how beneficial recreational grade paintballs can be for casual gameplay.


Speedball, on the other hand, is a fast-paced, lively game usually played on flat, diverse fields with inflatable “bunkers” as cover. This paintball scenario requires quick thinking, agility, and teamwork to dominate the competition.

Tournaments and competitions often feature speedball, making it the perfect scenario for players interested in a more competitive environment. As such, when playing speedball, tournament grade paintballs tend to yield the best results, given their consistent size, shell, and fill.

Capture the Flag

Ah, Capture the Flag – the age-old game of strategy and teamwork but with a paintball twist. In this thrilling scenario, players are divided into two teams, each tasked with guarding their flag while attempting to capture the opposing team’s flag. The experience can be incredibly rewarding as you discover the blend of stealth, communication, and speed needed to succeed.


Imagine a paintball scenario that combines elements of survival, horror, and teamwork. Yep, that’s Zombie paintball! In this enthralling game, players must survive the relentless onslaught of “zombie” opponents trying to “infect” them with paintball shots.

This thrilling scenario pushes players to pool their resources and collaborate to survive the zombie apocalypse. It’s a fantastic way to spice up your paintball adventures with a touch of the extraordinary.


For those seeking a more organised and structured experience, look no further than professional paintball tournaments and competitions. Here, your paintball gun, gear, and tactics will be put to the ultimate test.

As a professional paintball player, you’ll face off against fellow skilled players who share your passion for the game. Get ready to hone your skills and display your natural paintball prowess.

Regardless of your skill level or desired scenario, paintball promises endless entertainment, camaraderie, and exhilarating experiences. So gear up, gather your friends, and dive into the thrilling world of paintball today.

Buying Guide and FAQs

Before we dive into the different types of paintballs and how to choose the right ones for your needs, let’s take a look at some frequently asked questions and important considerations.

Barrel Bore Sizing

One crucial aspect to consider when selecting paintballs is the barrel bore sizing. The caliber of paintballs refers to their diameter, and the most common calibers are .68 and .50. It’s essential to match your paintball gun’s barrel bore size with the appropriate caliber of paintballs to ensure optimal accuracy and performance. So, when purchasing paintballs, always double-check the compatibility with your gun.

How Long Do Paintballs Last?

The shelf life of paintballs can vary depending on their quality and storage conditions. Generally, paintballs can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. To maintain the best possible paintball quality and performance, keep them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

Now that we’ve addressed a few frequently asked questions, let’s move on to identifying the right paintballs for your needs. The main types of paintballs are recreational grade, tournament grade, and reusable paintballs.

Recreationalgrade paintballs are ideal for casual and friendly games, while tournamentgrade paintballs offer improved quality, better accuracy, and undergo strict quality control measures. Reusable paintballs, as the name suggests, can be used multiple times and are perfect for practice sessions.

So, when selecting paintballs, consider your playing style, the level of competition, and your budget. Don’t forget to also factor in the compatibility with your paintball gun’s barrel bore size, and you’ll be well on your way to an exciting paintball adventure!

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Picture of Lisa Hayden-Matthews

Lisa Hayden-Matthews

An avid Skier, bike rider, triathlon enthusiast, amateurish beach volleyball player and nature lover who has never lost a dare! I manage the overall Editorial section for the magazine here and occasionally chip in with my own nature photographs, when required.
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