What are the basic styles of paintball?
There are plenty of ways for new players to experience and enjoy the game of paintball! From the most traditional game, played with paintball guns firing .68 caliber paintballs to low-impact games played with .50 caliber markers firing at lower velocity to ensure a less noticeable impact all the way to JT SplatMaster games or Paintball Lite as some places call it played with spring-powered pump action guns that is ideal for introducing new and young players to the game, there is a style of paintball perfect for everyone to enjoy!
Deciding which style of paintball is right for you:
There are many different styles or forms of paintball played all over the world, the most mainstream style is called Speedball, also referred to as Airball or tournament paintball. There are a variety of tournament series all over the world some even with a different style, but the current national league is the NXL (National X-Ball League) this is the largest stage that paintball is currently played on, with divisions starting at beginner all the way up to a Professional division with 20 teams! This style is very fast paced, points only last a few minutes, and it is very competitive.
The next most common style of play is where the game originally started, in the woods! Commonly referred to as woodsball, this style is usually a slower pace on large fields making it a very comfortable place to start playing paintball.
Tactical style paintball can commonly be associated with woodsball, but can also be played on more urban fields as well. This is the most realistic style, usually involving magazine fed markers, side arms, and a lot of the time is associated with scenario games involving objectives, play styles, and can even span multiple days!
One style that is very popular all over the world is Pump paintball. Playing with pump markers (where you have to pump it to re-cock it and load a paintball into the chamber each time you are ready to shoot) is one of the best ways to hone your skills quickly and improve as a player. This can be played at any field and usually any format of the sport, it is also a great way to save money on paint as you will shoot considerably less than if you are using a standard marker.
Where most people start playing is just recreationally, commonly called Recball. Recball paintball can be played on any field format and usually consists of like minded people just looking to have some fun playing paintball. The most common path that players take starts here as they learn the game a bit and then they take the step up to tournament paintball from there. Usually in a Recball group there will be a mix of players including some with mechanical markers, electronic markers, pump markers, and even some tactical markers as well.