Airsoft Vs Paintball- Differences And Similarities

Airsoft Vs Paintball

Airsoft Vs Paintball

Are you stuck between deciding on which game is more fun between Airsoft and Paintball? Although Paintball and Airsoft share a few similarities, there is a considerable disparity between the two sports.

If we want to consider

  • the type of weapons, 
  • how the weapons used, 
  • the cost of playing,
  • types of ammunition, 
  • manipulation, 
  • And the dynamics of the game, then we see clearly that the two sports are different.  
  • Both games require the use of weapons against opponents. It is crucial to know which one of them is safer to play. 
  • Which one hurts more,
  • And what exactly is peculiar to both games. 

    Therefore, are you in search of a detailed comparison between these two great sports? Do I hear a YES! Then you are on the right page.  As we will reveal some facts about them, before we head down the road, let us first define what paintball and Airsoft are? 

What Is Paintball?

Paintball is a sport where you can compete as a lone fighter or collaborate with a team of players. The principal aim is to eliminate players by firing them with “paintballs” projecting from a paintball gun.

If you successfully fire at an opponent, the paintballs will “tag” the player via the water-soluble dye, encapsulated within the gelatin shell. 

What Is Airsoft?

In Airsoft, players shoot at themselves with small plastic spheres. Unlike in paintball sport in which players are tagged with paintballs when you fire the airsoft plastic spheres at opponents, they do not leave a trace or mark your opponent. 

What is characteristic of this sport is the “honor code,” which comes into play when a player has gets eliminated; thus, he/she must honorably shout “OUT.” 

While there may be one or two similarities, Airsoft involves using real-looking weapons compared to paintball guns.

What is Airsoft?

The Cost Of Starting Out

If we want to consider the cost of starting both games, it is almost the same. 

For both games, the cost of the starter gear pack, on average, is about $200. 

The only significant price difference is in the cost of procuring ammo. In this regard, paintballs are much more costly than airsoft pellets. For instance, a 2000 bag of paintballs cost $60 or a little more than that, while an equivalent amount of BBs costs only $8. 

With this detail in mind, let us consider the entry fees for each sport.

Airsoft Vs Paintball Entry Fees

A head-to-head comparison of the entry fees of Airsoft and Paintball reveals that Airsoft requires lower entry fees. 

On average, the cost of entering the Airsoft field is between $20 and $30, while for paintball, it is between $10 and $40. 

Although the entry fees fall within almost the same range, the significant difference arises from procuring ammo. And most paintball fields do not allow you to come along with your ammo due to safety and security issues. The bottom line is they will provide you with their paint at a fee.

On average, each paintball player uses around 200 balls/ hour; you need approximately 800 paintballs for four hours of playtime. Recreational paint on a field would usually cost an average of $12 per 500 pack of color. It boils down to a total cost of about $24 per game. 

To sum up, the average cost of playing Airsoft for a day is $30, and for paintball, it is $50. Therefore, the cost of playing paintball is more.

Airsoft Or Paintball — Which Is Messier?

Unlike paintball sport that gets you very messy, with Airsoft, you need not worry about cleaning up your gear of paint after each game. The only stains that you will be dealing with are those on your clothes as a result of running around a rugged airsoft field. 

Airsoft Pellets Or Paintball — Which Is More Painful?

Analyzing both games without firsthand experience may not be satisfactory enough to establish a convincing fact in terms of which one hurts the most. However, if we consider what airsoft pellets and paintballs are made of, we will see that paintball hurts more than airsoft pellets. 

Airsoft BBs are made up of plastic, while paintballs are made of paints, implying that paintballs are more massive than Airsoft BBs and will invariably hurt more than airsoft pellets. Though, low-impact paintball hurt much less and it would be a great choice. Paintball is comparatively more thrilling than airsoft and using low impact paintball is an ideal choice for playing with.

Airsoft Pellets Or Paintball — Variety In Guns

In terms of weapons, Airsoft involves the use of guns that look like real firing weapons. For this reason, airsoft players have a broad range of airsoft guns, with different functions and sizes to select.

On the other hand, paintball does not offer a variety of weapons to players. Instead, players are limited to only a few paintball guns, making airsoft better in this regard. 

The Airsoft game also offers players a large number of accessories and gun modifications that make your airsoft weapon sophisticated and well-suited for many firing activities. From scopes to laser pointers, the possibilities are much more in Airsoft.

Although paintball offers a broad range of guns to choose from, we cannot compare it with what Airsoft provides. 

Which Is More Realistic?

Because in airsoft sport, players get to use guns that look more like real guns, engaging in Airsoft feels much more realistic and original than paintball. Although paintball games are exciting and full of intensity, playing airsoft sports with real-looking firing weapons seems like you are in real-life combat.

Which Sport Offers Tournaments And Competitions?

If we are to give credit to the sport with better organization, better-organized tournaments, and competitions, we will have to give credit to paintball. It is so because the rules in paintball tournaments and games are well-structured compared to airsoft competitions. 

Besides, airsoft fields vary in size, landscape, and an increased number of games to choose from, and the result of this is that the rules of playing Airsoft vary from field to field. 

To sum up, Airsoft is devoid of the proper organizational competitive structure that paintball offers.

Accuracy Check

Considering the tiny size of Airsoft BBs, this implies that airsoft BBs experience less wind resistance, and thus, are capable of smooth air travel when compared to paintballs. This, in turn, means that players can shoot more accurately. 

Furthermore, airsoft BBs are quite tiny and white, making them less likely for opponents to detect, and this is what makes Airsoft much more accurate than paintballs. 

Also, airsoft guns are often packed with various accessories, which helps improve accuracy. The provision of lasers and scopes helps strengthen your ability to aim at opponents and hit target opponents. 

Since low-impact paintball was introduced, the scene has changed. If you are using these paintballs, you will more accuracy than the traditional paintball.

To compare the popularity of these two great sports, we would have to consider factors like Google search volume: how often visitors search for either of these two games online. With convincing search results favoring paintball, the battle for popularity between these sports is neck-to-neck. 

You will agree that Google search results aren’t an indication of the actual figures. However, it is a pointer that shows where a particular trend is heading. Based on thorough analysis, studies show that the number of paintball searches is slightly bigger than airsoft

Airsoft Vs Paintball Games

On a practical level, Airsoft offers a broad range of games and game configurations that require a tactical and technical approach than paintball. 

Furthermore, the utilization of larger fields and the availability of a variety of guns in Airsoft make this game better than paintball. 

In addition to that, airsoft games offer enhanced simulation of real-life combat when compared to paintball. It is due to no other reason than the availability of realistic guns other than those used in paintball.  

Roles Of The Players

In airsoft sport, players play roles based on the type of weaponry they possess. That means that there can be many additional roles for a single player depending on the kind of weapon he/she uses. 

In Airsoft, snipers use long rifles, assault troops make use of guns and grenades, and airsoft heavy weapon specialists make use of auto-cannons, while shotguns are used to breach doors and close corners. There is also a team of medics in cases of lengthy games.

On the other hand, the roles of paintball players depend on their experience level and preferences. In paintball, players make use of the same weaponry, implying that no player possesses a particular weapon, and the only difference will be in the proficiency of using the gun. Major agencies that use paintball technology include:

  • Military forces
  • Law enforcement agencies
  • Para-military and security organizations

Moreover, these agencies use this high technology to supplement military pieces of training and non-lethal apprehension of dangerous suspects.

Airsoft Vs Paintball Cheating

Cheating is an unacceptable thing when it comes to professional sporting activities. 

To evaluate these two great sports for possibilities of deception, we can consider the visibility of the “Hits” of both games.

It is much harder to cheat in paintball due to the size and visibility of hits. That means that paintballs are larger than Airsoft BBs, making it harder to cheat.

On the other hand, hits in Airsoft are much more difficult to detect, not only for the shooter but also for the person shot.

In addition to that, Airsoft depends hugely on the “honor system,” and eliminated players must shout “OUT” when hit, thus, making sure that there is less cheating.

Goggles And Masks And Disparities In Ammunition

Airsoft players must put on goggles to protect the eyes from any form of injury during play, while paintball players must wear face masks to prevent severe damage during games.
The ammunition for Airsoft can fit into a regular-sized magazine. The small size of airsoft ammunition makes it easier to move around. On the other hand, paintballs are more massive, and the hopper is bulkier, making it difficult to carry around.

Also, the small size of the airsoft ammunition makes it easy to maneuver airsoft guns. Because it is much easier to single out an opponent hit by a paintball since it marks the target with colorful paint, it is therefore straightforward to cheat in Airsoft, where there is no visual representation that identifies a hit target.

Should You Choose Airsoft Over Paintball?

If you are planning to choose between Airsoft and paintball, consider the reasons that we have highlighted above before making a decision. However, if you do a thorough analysis of the two, you most likely will go for Airsoft. 

While both are great entertaining games, there are quite a several reasons to choose Airsoft over paintball. Like- 

  • Airsoft costs less to start and maintain, 
  • the games and guns have greater variety,
  • and the tactics and style of play resembling actual military combat.

Besides, the ever-increasing popularity of Airsoft we believe that Airsoft is the future. If you are a novice in the game, Airsoft is what I would advise you to join. 

In Summary

Should You Choose Airsoft Over Paintball?


  • Expensive
  • The entry fee is high
  • Very messy with massive paintball stains
  • Less possibility of cheating
  • Involves the use of unrealistic guns
  • Offers more tournaments and competitions


  • Relatively less expensive
  • The entry fee is relatively less
  • Less messy
  • Higher possibility of cheating
  • Involves the use of real-looking guns
  • Offers relatively less number of Tournaments

Final Words

Comparing Airsoft and paintball requires several considerations, just like the ones we considered in this article. While these two sports seem very alike, several differences exist between them. 

In this piece, we looked into a detailed comparison of both games in terms of entry fees, popularity, roles of players, ammunition, accuracy, the standard of tournaments, which is more realistic, which one hurts more, cost of playing the game, and many more.  In conclusion, before deciding what sport to choose, kindly read this article repeatedly until your conviction about either of the two is 100%

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