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Airsoft vs Paintball: How Are They Different?

When we wrote the main article on paintball tips and tricks, our team found that most of the newbies are confused to get the proper answer of Airsoft vs paintball. Since paintball vs airsoft is an ongoing debate ever since the games were developed because of the similarities.

There are somehow similarities because both are firearm games, still, there are some major differences, we will try our best to settle its debate. Without further wasting time let’s dive in.

Airsoft Vs paintball

Quick Highlights of Airsoft

  • Ammo size: 6mm plastic/metallic
  • Gun velocity: 200 to 600 FPS (400FPS is standard)
  • Accuracy: Impressive
  • Gun powered with gas, spring, and batteries
  • Magazine capacity: 50 to 2500 pellets
  • Realism: real-time military feel
  • Gunpower: 1 to 2 jouls

Quick Highlights of Paintball

  • Ammos size: 16 to 19mm spherical paint capsules
  • Gun velocity: 300 FPS
  • Accuracy: medium.
  • Gun powered with: Co2 gas, Compressed air.
  • Gunpower: 4 to 10 jouls.
  • Gun mechanism: very strong

Pros And Cons Of Paintball

  • There are fewer chances of cheating because of visible marks.
  • More stylish clothes are available.
  • Durable equipment
  • More events and tournaments
  • Colorful and modern paintball masks
  • Reloading of guns is very easy
  • Expensive.
  • The accuracy of guns is less.
  • Less popular nowadays.
  • Operating of the gun is somehow difficult because of large hopper
  • paintball is more painful if you don’t have safety equipment
  • cleaning clothes is time taken

Pros And Cons Of Airsoft

  • Less expensive
  • Tremendous accuracy of guns.
  • Real-time military fells
  • More fps of guns
  • Most popular firearm games.
  • Cleaning of guns and cloths is very easy
  • Operating a gun is very easy.
  • More ammo can be load
  • Large varieties of guns available
  • Reloading is difficult.
  • Guns are less durable.
  • Fewer tournaments and events are available.
  • Fewer varieties of masks available.

Difference Between Airsoft And Paintball

Before we start an in-depth analysis of airsoft vs paintball, first we have to know about the basics of both games, let’s start from the definitions.

 Airsoft:  Airsoft is a sport in which the participant eliminate a player with spherical plastic/ metallic pellets releases from the airsoft gun, airsoft gun is very similar to the original military guns.

First played in Japan in the 1970s

 Paintball:  Paintball is an action-packed sport in which the participant eliminates the opponent with a spherical ball/ capsule filled with water paint launch Via a paintball marker or Gun.

First played in New Hampshire in 1981

Now let’s get to the depth of Airsoft vs paintball

Age Differences Of  Airsoft And Paintball 

 Airsoft age requirement:  Age requirements vary from fields to fields and country to country as well, some fields allow only 12+ players in America, however, some fields allow 10+ players, definitely they have some low impact guns according to age groups.

If we consider it in general we can see the majority of the fields allow 10+ years old players.

 Paintball age requirements:  Again the age of paintballing also depends on the fields and country, some fields and countries allow players even below 10 years, of course, they will have separate field low impact equipment and proper safety measures.

If we conclude it in general the majority of fields allow 10+ years old players, at the professional level a player must 18+ old.

Equipment Of  Paintball vs Airsoft

There are some major differences in the equipment of paintball and airsoft, paintball equipment are stylish, however, airsoft equipment comes with realistic firearms look.

 let’s discuss some major equipment in detail;

Paintball Mask vs Airsoft Mask

Airsoft mask

 Airsoft mask:  Airsoft masks are rougher, hardcore, and a bit scary, same like a soldier mask. Though you have varieties to select a professional one for you, still you will get a realistic feeling with scarry maks.

In airsoft you will have few choices because most of the players get their work done with ordinary goggles, they only need a mask when they have to play in a congested field where they can be shoot from very near.

paintball mask


 Paintball Mask:  paintball masks are more stylish with lots of modern features and ultra-durable in terms of built quality. Mask is mandatory in paintball, without mask most of the fields will not allow you to enter in the field. You have a vast variety to choose a paintball mask, different masks come with different styles, features, build quality, and comfort level, even you can get a paintball mask for glasses as well.

Airsoft vs Paintball Guns

Airsoft Gun

 Airsoft Guns:  Airsoft guns and real firearms guns are very similar even we can’t differentiate both guns from a certain distance but once we put in hands we can differentiate both easily.  Some of the airsoft guns have an orange cover at the tip to differentiate from actual firearm guns.

In airsoft, You have a large variety of guns with different features shapes and built qualities. Also, you can get airsoft guns powered with batteries, gas, springs, and electric power (AEGs). Airsoft guns have a magazine loaded with pellets to shoot the opponents. The magazine has the capability to hold 400-2500 pellets which is amazing means you don’t need to reload faster.

paintball gun

 Paintball Guns:  paintball guns are slim stylish and ultra-durable, we can easily differentiate paintball guns with airsoft guns just because of colors and hopper.

In paintball you will also have large varieties of guns but not more than airsoft, paintball guns are powered with CO2 tanks or compressed air and a large hopper in which we have to load some paintballs to shoot a particular object. The paintball marker is able to hold 50-200 paintballs in the hopper.

 Usability and comfortability of Airsoft:  Airsoft guns are very easy to operate because of lightweight, it will never distract your movements, even if you have carried thousands of pellets,

Reloading of airsoft is a bit difficult and time taken process there for its magazine capacity is tremendous.

 Usability and comfortability of paintball:  Paintball guns are a bit heavy and uncomfortable as compared to airsoft because paintball guns have a hopper which we have to put on our shoulder while targeting. Also, paintball Ammo are heavy as compared to pellets, if we carry lots of ammo in the field we may compromise our movements in the field.

Reloading of paintball is extremely easy just you have to throw the paintballs in the hopper that’s it, even most of the players reload their guns during the match. 

 Accuracy of Airsoft:  Airsoft guns have tremendous accuracy, though the size of pellets is very small, still, due to high fps, pellets will cross the air without turning away in the air.

Also, pellets are not visible in the air because of their small size and high fps, most of the players do not have superpowers to see the small pellets in the air.

 Accuracy of paintball:  Paintball has a bit less accuracy because of lower fps and higher diameter of Ammos. Also, due to the low fps and late size paintballs may swing in the air.

Moreover, they are somehow visible in the air.

 Cost of Airsoft gun:  Airsoft guns are way cheaper than paintball guns because the majority of airsoft guns are powered with ordinary spring, batteries, and sometimes gas.

Most of the players prefer guns with ordinary springs or batteries in order to reduce the ongoing cost. Gas-powered guns will cost you again and again.

 Cost of paintball gun:  paintball guns are expensive because they can only be operating with CO2 gas or compressed air, this is the ongoing cost, we have to refill again and again.

Another major reason for being costly is, you have to purchase a hopper and paintball tank (CO2 or compressed air tank), to store some gas for emergency use.


Airsoft Ammos

 Airsoft ammunition:  In Airsoft we shoot the spherical metallic/plastic pellets to the opponent with the airsoft guns.

  • Ammos of airsoft is very easy to carry because they have negligible weight you can easily carry a lot of ammo with you during the field. Your movements will never be distracted.
  • You can buy pellets at very cheap, even 5000 to 6000 pellets will cost you around $15

paintball Ammos

 Paintball ammunition:  In paintball we shoot our opponent with the spherical balls or capsules of water paint with paintball marker

  • Best paintballs are somehow heavy we can’t move around the field with lots of ammo, still the paintball player is able to manage that hurdle.
  • Secondly, paintballs are expensive as compared to the airsoft pallets, 2000 paintballs will cost you about $30 to $40. Though some fields offer special discounts still they are expensive.

Accessories And Clothing 

 Airsoft Accessories:  In airsoft, you will get masks/goggles, magazines, batteries, protective vests, military-type clothes, etc. Moreover, you will have some special accessories like smoke grenades, pellets grenades, sniper scopes, heavy machine guns, etc.

 Paintball Accessories:  Paintball has lots of accessories like hopper, mask, Pods, harnesses, special vests, etc. Also, paintball allows you to use some special accessories like paint grenades rockets, tanks, and smoke grenades.

Airsoft Clothing

 Airsoft clothing:  In airsoft, we have similar clothes like the military; even we can’t distinguish between them, literally you have a getup of the military as you can see in the image as well.

paintball clothing

 Paintball clothing:  Paintball clothes solely depends on the type of game, in speedball players prefer more vibrant, stylish, and colorful cloths. However, in woodsball they choose darker clothes because they are less visible in the woods, somehow they resemble military-type clothes as well.

Cleaning Of Guns Clothes

 Airsoft:  As airsoft is a paint-free clean game, its cleaning process is very easy.

 Paintball:  In paintball, we have to use paints, its cleaning process is somehow time taken then airsoft.

Sites, Events And Tournaments

 Airsoft:  In airsoft, you will found fewer events and tournaments as compared to paintball, still you can find a few very good large scale (350+ players) tournaments with a good price as a reward.

 Paintball:  In paintball, there are hundreds of tournaments because the trends of paintball tournaments are very old, many fields have their own schedule of tournaments. Moreover, paintball tournaments occurred on a very large scale even 500 players can participate in a single tournament.

Cost Of Fields

 Airsoft:  In airsoft, you will have to pay less as compared to paintball, $30 is the average per day cost of airsoft field, however, if you have carried your Ammos with you it will be lower then 30 buck i think.

All most all Airsoft fields allow you to bring your own pellets, in paintball some fields can’t allow you because of some safety reasons.

 Paintball:  Cost of paintball field is expensive as compared to the airsoft, $40-$50 is an average per day cost without paintballs. Also, if the field doesn’t allow you to bring your own paintball you will have to purchase from the fields in order to play.

According to our experience pack of 500 paintballs will cost you about $12 to $50 depending on the field.

Popularity Comparsion

 Airsoft:  Airsoft is getting popular day by day because of cheaper cost and real military feelings, currently the majority of newbie’s start their journeys in airsoft.

Another major reason for the popularity of airsoft is its equipment is very similar to the real equipment, Even you can’t distinguish, from a certain distance.

 Paintball:  Paintball is slightly less popular as compared to the airsoft, still there are some paintball die-hards like me but fact is the fact.

Airsoft is dominating paintball because of cost and realism, still, these both are totally different you have to explore both.

Realism Of Paintball Vs Airsoft

airsoft realism

 Airsoft:  Airsoft is a more realistic game you will have the same environment like the military camp has. Moreover, you have similar tasks like the soldier you have to protect your village and your family, players are very serious about that.

Paintball realism

 Paintball:  Paintball is a more sport supportive game, you will have a colorful paintball markers and paintballs to hit your opponents, many players prefer paintball because of enjoyment and fun.

Rules And regulations of Airsoft vs Paintball

 Airsoft Rules:  There are lots of rules in airsoft but we have to count some general rules like if a player got a hit it will be eliminated, it will  not be allowed to get out of the boundaries during the match.

400 fps is the standard velocity of pellets every player should not have a gun more than 400fps.

There is more chancing of cheating in airsoft as compared to paintball because the pellets are very small and there will be no visible marker on the player to identify whether a player got shot or not.

 Paintball Rules:  Similarly like airsoft, there are several rules of paintball as well but we have to cover some general rules if a player got a hit it should be eliminated and walk to the dead zone where all eliminate players will be treated further.

No one has a permit to go away from the boundary line, every player should be within certain boundaries. ALso,No one has a permit to climb on the trees as well because of some safety reasons.

There are very fewer chances of cheating in paintball because paintballs make a clear mark on the object, referees can identify it within some seconds. If you are not sure that you got a hit you will have the liberty to get surety from your teammates or referees, till that game will be paused.

Roles of players

 Airsoft player roles:  As we have discussed that airsoft is a serious game every player must have a  role according to the nature of the game. Each player has to follow their role strictly; we can see different additional roles than paintball.

Superman only has the task to eliminate opponents from far away. autocannons machines are operated by a heavy gun specialist, shoot guns are used to break the door, grenades and knives are used to eliminate the close opponents. Even sometimes they have a proper medical team in longer games, now you can observe the reality if a player injured the medical team rushes to get the first AID.

 Paintball player Paintball: :   The roles of paintball players are simple, each player assigns a role according to the experience, like frontman, mid player, floater, back player, and inserts.

Airsoft vs Paintball Pain And Injuries

Airsoft Pain

 Airsoft pain:  Airsoft guns loaded with small lightweight pallets (0.3 to 0.28) gm available in different varieties like you can get plastic or metallic pellets as per choice.

Though the FPS of airsoft is far more than paintball guns, still the size of ammo matters, if we compare both for the same distance paintball hurts more than airsoft, just because of its large size. Even some players didn’t felt like they got a shoot just because of the long-distance and proper thick clothes.

paintball pain

 Paintball Pain:   paintball guns are loaded with large paintballs, paintballs are approximately 17 times heavy as compared to airsoft pellets, definitely, if we shoot a paintball and pellets from the same range on a particular object, paintball will hurt more, just because of higher size and weight.

Though paintball guns have lower FPS as compared to airsoft, Still paintball hurts more.

Which is best for you paintball or airsoft?

paintball vs airsoft

Indeed both games are very interesting to check out our surviving skills, the final decision to select whether you want to go for paintball or airsoft is solely depending on the choice of players.

Airsoft is a more serious game with real-time military feels, large varieties of guns at cheaper cost; also you will have to pay less for fields.

Paintball is a game of enjoyment most of the players play at a low scale with their friends and family. If you are a color lover paintball is the best choice for you on the other hand if you are a military lover airsoft will be the best choice for you.

You can get some suggestions from here


If you haven’t played any of the games please let's have a try at airsoft or paintball both are amazing to analyze your surviving skills. Being a city dweller when I won my first paintball game, I felt like solder 🙂 literally, I was like I am a military man no one will mess with me.

Ok, let us get you to the point, both games are really good for your fitness you have to make movements, running and walking, your whole body will participate in the game.

Let's make a schedule to give some time to yourself, your family, and your friends and make a match of airsoft or paintball with them.

Thanks for reading hopefully we have cleared your all queries about airsoft vs paintball, if you have further queries let us know in the comments we will try our best to resolve them.

Stay safe Stay happy

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

Is Airsoft more dangerous than paintball?

No, paintball is more dangerous than airsoft because of ammo size, paintballs are heavier and may break your skin after getting it, however, pallets are tiny.

Is paintball or airsoft better?

Its depends, some player wants to play with paintball other want to explore the real rime military feelings, it's up to you both games are amazing to enhance your surviving skills.

Do airsoft bullets hurt?

Yes, it will hurt you definitely if you don't have protective gear.

Can airsoft guns kill?

Not at all, I didn't hear of the incident but exceptions are part of life, you have to wear proper protective gear.

Can paintball guns kill?

Maybe, I have seen lots of incidents but with proper protection, you can do paintball without even fear of minor injuries.

Do Airsoft bbs are heavier?

No, airsoft Ammos is tiny as compared to paintball and you can carry thousands of ammo.

Is it illegal to have a paintball gun?

A paintball marker is not considered a real firearm you don't need a fireman license etc. still if you will use this illegally you will be charged.

Will Airsoft break skin?

If you got an airsoft pallet with bare skin your skin maybe break. If you got an airsoft pallet with bare skin your skin maybe break.

Is airsoft an expensive hobby?

No, airsoft is not that expensive you can enjoy it at cheap, but paintball may be a bit expensive.

Do airsoft guns need orange tips?

According to s federal law, every airsoft gun should have an orange tip so that we can recognize the difference.

Do airsoft guns need CO2?

It depends, some guns purely work on spring technology however, some works on CO2 o get more accuracy and FPS.

What does FPS mean in airsoft?

FPS means the shooting velocity of guns.