So you have played a couple games of paintball and decided that shooting other people is more fun than getting shot, good for you. I have to admit that there are precious few things in life more gratifying than lighting up some poor fool and hearing your paintballs smack against his head. Make sure you have read over paintball tactics first, it covers the basics.

A good gun helps, however keep in mind that it is your skills, not the gun, that makes you good. If you do want a fairly low budget tournament level gun, check out the Automag. More information is available at paintball markers.

There are basically two different types of fields in paintball, tournament fields which are small, have good cover, and forest fields that are usually larger and frequently have many trees that someone shouldn't be trying to hide behind. The strategies that will work usually depend on the type of field, so I have split this write up into two sections. The forest section has the really cool stuff, but the tournament one comes first because those strategies can be applied to almost any paintball game.

Tournament Play

Games like speedball and hyperball are perfect examples of tournament fields, small, lots of bunkers, and you always know where your opponents are. Here is a rough list of the most important strategies, although the basics should be emphasized as well.
  • Push forward, a lot
  • - good teams will always be pushing forward, making you retreat or getting better angles on you. This, however is a tricky thing to master. New players will always push up too much or too little. Keep the enemy on their toes, but you must always have support for yourself. If you get too far up and are stranded from the rest of your team, then you’re in serious trouble. Make sure your teammates are moving up with you. Get around to the sides of people, and cover each other. Lots of times a good method is to have someone make a move, when the enemy pops up to shoot that person have one of your teammates return fire. They won't be expecting it.
  • Look & aim at the same time
  • - whenever you have a chance of seeing an opponent, your gun should be up and ready to fire. If you are making a run to another bunker, and an enemy might pop out of some unknown place, keep your gun up while you run and be ready. Whenever you are looking around your bunker, look with your gun so that you can lay down immediate fire if necessary. If someone is keeping you down, you might only have time for one or two shots before he returns fire.
  • Move back from your bunker
  • - Heavy fire from multiple angles can require you to get as close to your bunker as possible to prevent getting hit, but many times this is not necessary. Move back about five feet from your bunker opposite the direction of the opponent you are avoiding. This will allow you to see more of the field, and make much smaller movements to see around your bunker. You should now only have to lean slightly to one side in order to lay down fire, and move back to be covered again.
  • Sneaking to a bunker
  • - this is a strategy that is hard to master, and might be impossible on smaller fields, but if done correctly works wonders. If an opponent spots you, but for any reason keeps ducking behind his bunker (like he should be if you’re returning fire), wait until he just hides away, then move quickly and quietly to a nearby bunker. Do not let your opponent see you. Then move again, preferably around to the side of your opponent. This may allow you to get a great shot on your enemy, and meanwhile he should still think you are at your original spot. Wait for him to pop-up then unload on him. When he is getting shot from an unkown location the surprise will allow you to get multiple shots of before return fire. Most people will not do this and it is difficult but I consistently get shot by a fifty year old man who has perfected this strategy.

Forest Play

Forests offer a lot more options than a little man made field, and they are usually bigger which gives you a lot more strategies when playing paintball.
  • Hiding in brush
  • - despite the name, this is my favorite thing to do in paintball. Basically, in large forests you will frequently find heavy bushes, weeds, and overgrowth that make it extremely hard to find someone. This provides a great hiding place. At the start of the game, quickly get to a thick area of brush, hopefully where someone will pass in a short time, sit and wait. You can move forward slowly, but be careful of someone else hiding and waiting for you. Once you spot someone, remain motionless until they get so close that you can't miss (10-15 feet). I am amazed sometimes at how close people can get without noticing someone. Then unload 3-5 shots at them. Usually a couple shots will bounce and a couple will break so you won't get accused of overshooting someone. Make sure they get up and call themselves out though, one shot and most people won't, five shots and they will.
  • One sided charge
  • - This is a group effort that can overwhelm the enemy. Basically keep a couple people on the weak side to temporarily hold off the other team. Then send everyone else charging up the other side of the field. You have to do this quickly, and a couple people will get shot, but by the end you will have one entire side of the field, which will allow you to get around behind the other team. If done correctly this is a great strategy. It is quite fun to come up behind someone from the other team when they totally aren't expecting it.
  • Referee kill / spot
  • - Many times the refs in the game can be used to locate and or help eliminate someone. Call a paint check on the person you are shooting at. When the referee goes over to look at him, move to a better spot. Then when the referee moves away, unload. This is cheap, but after someone does it to you a couple times, you have no reservations about doing it to someone else. Also, if someone is shooting at you and you can't find where they are. Tell a referee to go look at them and they will point out where that person is.
  • Surrender
  • - This is a great technique to use on beginning players. Be aware that people with tough guy syndrome will frequently not surrender as a matter of principle, so always be ready to shoot when you ask for surrender. Basically this strategy works best when coming up right behind someone. It is important to yell really loudly and surprise the person. This yelling thing also applies to if you have just shot someone. Tell them loudly to call themselves out. This prevents miscommunications which can result in you getting shot. The other time surrender works, is if you can get a friend to slowly and consistently shoot at someone in a bunker, thereby keeping them down. You then run up to the side of the bunker and yell surrender. Most of the time this will work great.
  • Crawling & Sneaking
  • - those army people knew what they were doing when they invented the army crawl. It is a great way to get around, especially in overgrown areas. If you do it right you can frequently sneak up on someone. Also, going the long way around the field in order to get around behind someone is a great strategy. Always move to the side of the field to go up, it's called playing the tapeline. Sneaking up on people is often forgotten about these days when people have a good bunker and their Angel which can shoot a ridiculous amount of paint in seconds. That does them little good when they get a couple of shots from a much cheaper gun right in the side.
These are the strategies that have worked best for me. If you have any additional ones, please add a wu or /msg me and I will put them in.

Snap Shooting is a very hard skill to master, but essential to playing paintball. While behind a bunker, the player must lean out and release one or two quick shots and get back behind cover without getting hit (the number of shots depends on the marker, player's skill level, and distance to the target).

First, crouch with one knee on the ground. The grounded knee should be on the side you intend to lean. Know where your target is before you lean! Point the marker in the right direction, so that all you have to do is lean laterally out. When you lean, don't lead with the marker! This tells the target that you are getting ready to come out from behind your cover, and you can catch one in the face. Lean out, shoot, lean back in. Don't wait until you are fully exposed to shoot. Anticipate your moves. It's ok to actually shoot your own bunker (even if it does make you feel a little stupid). Don't wait to watch your shots, this gets you killed. Besides, the screams of pain will be a good indicator.

Learn to shoot left and right handed. A person who always leans out of the same side of the bunker is predictable, and an easy target.

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