Pick your team, choose your weapon and get ready for the adrenaline kick… it’s time to get your paintball on!
As any good general knows, you need to know the lay of the land to plan your attack, and not all paintball fields are created equal. This addictive sport is much more complex than a simple point and shoot, and terrain can be a game changer.
Follow our lead to learn more about the types of paintball field and gain an edge for your battle.
The Types of Paintball Fields
You, your pals and a couple of paintball markers in the back yard. It sounds like a cracking good time, but there are many pros and cons to weigh when gearing up on an Outlaw field.
‘Outlaw’ refers to any paintball field that the players have created themselves. As well as the trusty back yard, you’ll find these types of paintball fields in farms, woods and remote parkland.
Being able to arrange the course however you like is a beautiful thing, but safety is an issue. A non-professional field means no qualified referee and no medical support.
If you’re invited to game on an Outlaw field, make sure there are clear rules, a respected referee and safety gear. You don’t want to get blasted by an over-juiced paintball gun, so ask if there’s a chronograph. This handy instrument measures paintball velocity to ensure there are no unnecessary injuries.
Local restrictions vary, so check that your Outlaw field is legit, even if it’s on private property.
A Woodsball Field is the landscape you’ll be imagining if you’ve never seen a paintball field before.
Set in a wooded area, these paintball fields have natural features as well as manmade bunkers. The field differs on both sides, which offers unique strategies for each team.
The uneven terrain and random features bring out the ninja moves in everyone. Diving, rolling and ambushing are all part of the invigorating Woodsball experience.
If you’re more interested in an athletic challenge than playing commando in the woods, Speedball is for you.
Speedball Fields are small, level and symmetrically structured, featuring lightweight, manmade bunkers. Games are fast and furious, relying on agility and tactics rather than stealth and ambush.
The lack of visual obstacles means that it’s game on immediately. The fighting is consistent throughout the match, which lasts from three to ten minutes.
Speedball is an outdoor or indoor sport, making it a popular option for winter. This is the only form of paintball that has a major professional league with regular, high-profile tournaments.
To take your paintball experience to the next level, sign up for a Paintball Scenario Game (PSG). These games offer players a starring role in recreated events and themed environments.
Scenario games boast different types of paintball fields that are in a class of their own.
If you’re looking for a taste, sign up for a single-day Big Game. Join a huge team of randoms to focus on defending strategic areas. The Big Game usually culminates in a rowdy, all-out battle.
Looking to get more intense? Join a 24-hour Paintball Scenario and strap in for an adventure. Each contestant plays a character, and missions involve sabotage, secret tasks, and espionage.
The added thrill of role play ensures that the world can’t get enough of PSG. The largest game recreates the Invasion of Normandy and draws a crowd of over 4,000 people every year.
Types of paintball games
Wondering what type of field would float your boat? Remember: different fields suit particular game types. It’s another fun factor when choosing your ideal paintball playground.
Capture the flag
A beginner-friendly format that we’ve all played it at camp, sans paintball gun.
Capture the flag is best suited to a Woodsball Field, where the irregular terrain can spice things up. There’s also a flipped version where each team has a ‘bomb’ they need to plant in the opposing territory.
Attack and defend
One team occupies a ‘fort’ over a certain period and the other team attacks and attempts to raise a flag. This style of paintball is key for most war-related Paintball Scenario Games.
Team death match
The original paintball shoot-em-up. Each team member fires at will, and shoots as many opponents as possible. The last man standing at the end of the allotted time represents the winning team.
This is the format of a typical Speedball game, as the symmetrical terrain means neither team has an advantage. A common variation is giving each player multiple lives to extend the length of the game.
Get some experience before your first death match, as a beginner will be out before they know what hit ’em.
Protect the President
A small group of players acts as special agents, who are in charge of relocating the President. Meanwhile, the other team does its best to ‘assassinate’ him or her.
Protect the President is best played on a Woodsball Field with thoughtful features. It’s a good chance for players of mixed ability to play in the same game, as the attacking team is usually larger and less organized than the defense.
A game that gets to this level of complexity will usually take place on a PSG field.
A selection of targets populates the field, usually in the shape of vehicles or buildings. The teams gain points by seizing control of the most targets before the whistle blows.
How to find a paintball field near you
The gutsy thrill of paintball has made it one of the USA’s most widely-played extreme sports. With over three million people playing every year, it should be easy to Google a location near you.
If you need some help, try the field and store guide on PbNation. There are a short blurb and summary on each listed field, as well as reviews from public users.
Ready to get ballin’? Check out our Buying Guides to choose the best gear for your campaign!