Airsoft vs Paintball – Difference & Comparison – Which is Better to Play?

Airsoft and paintball are two very challenging and exciting games. They seem similar to a lot of audiences, but they aren’t. Of course, those who love to play military games are a fan of airsoft and paintball. But when it comes to the brawl of better gaming, gaming enthusiasts plunge into an argument. Though the answer is unclear and may vary from person to person, today’s article will cover the debate of Airsoft vs Paintball.

Airsoft vs Paintball

Airsoft vs Paintball – Which one to Play?

Both games are similar to much extent. Both of them feature weaponry to curb enemies. They may seem dangerous at first sight, but they aren’t hazardous to the time that they deem to be. However, these resembling games have different rules. Participants have different roles, and weapons are also other. Let’s move on to their differences, and finally, we would give a rough assessment of which is best.

1. Airsoft

Airsoft is a sport in which players fire rounds of plastic and metallic pallets on each other. It was my first time playing in Japan, and its guns resemble real military firearms. In this game, pallets are fired from airsoft guns on the enemies. The play is nonrestrictive, and there are only a few rules of this game. It near to real full-scale battlefield.

2. Paintball

Paintball is an outdoor game in which players use to fire thinly layered paint-filled balls on each other. Here players compete to knock out the other team.

We have reviewed the best paintball masks 2022 in detail. Read our detailed guide on best paintball mask 2022.

Here we discussed the mere definitions of paintball and airsoft. Let me elaborate on the stark differences.


sports mechanisms are another point of difference between paintball and airsoft. You would be surprised to know that paintball guns and airsoft guns are separately designed. Initially, the airsoft guns were curated out of already made firearms. It means that direct replicas of weapons are used.

Opposingly, paintball guns are unique. They aren’t like firearms. You would only see one similarity between the paintball marker and the airsoft gun that is the smoothbore barrel. Airsoft guns use hard ammunition and a standard spring-powered system to propel a projectile. Paintball guns are different in this case. They use soft and porous pellets contained in the hopper and pushed out of the gun barrel by the power of CO2.

Now the quality paintball gun makers produce guns that install magazines to make a realistic feel for the player. But these markers have a problem that they have far less capacity than that with hopper. As a result, many players deem it to be impractical.

Paintball markers have a refillable air tank that is detachable or remotely connected. When a bolt cycle completes, new paintball from the hoppers falls into the chamber.


The type of guns used is the most significant difference that comes to the surface when we compare Airsoft vs. Paintball. Usually, airsoft guns are in exact semblance with real firearms. These airsoft guns are spring-powered and battery-powered. Contrarily paintball players don’t use such firearms. Paintball guns are CO2-powered and use hopper that contains projectiles.


Accuracy is pivotal for the win in both games. In paintball, the projectiles are large and filled with paint. You need to accurately target the opponent with complete focus. Airsoft pallets are short in size. They need more accuracy.

If you have a low budget, you can read our review article on best budget paintball masks.

How Differently they are Played

How are they similar?

Airsoft and paintball belong to the class of military games. They are played in an operational style in which players are attacked and eliminated, and termed dead after being hit by an enemy player. Both games feature war zone properties like trenches and terrain.  Tactical soundness matters a lot in both of them. Accuracy plays a vital part in shaping the win of a team. To avoid injuries, players use personal protection equipments in both games.

How they differ?

From the very first, airsoft and paintball differ from their region’s birth. Airsoft originates from the United States while airsoft was first played in Japan. The Airsoft is closer to actual military drills than paintball. Airsoft uses guns with pallets that very closely resemble real guns and bullets.

Paintball is more like a fun game. Paintball doesn’t need to wear military jerseys and combat boots. Instead, paintball is an aesthetic display of guns shooting color balls. Unlike the airsoft, paintball players wear clothes that are vibrant and colored, which diminishes the feel of a warlike environment.

Airsoft vs Paintball Guns

In both games, projectiles are fired at the opponent using guns, but these guns differ in design and bullets. In airsoft, players are tilted to high-powered spring guns to force out the plastic shell. Unlike airsoft, paintball features guns with a low impact powered by a carbon dioxide box.


Paintball and airsoft both use bullets to knock the opponent out. In airsoft, pellets are complex, and they do not burst upon hitting the enemy body. While in paintball, the projectile is a ball made of thin gelatine and is filled with paint. The airsoft bullets are small and light. Therefore, they are very suitable for long-range shots.

As in paintball, the projectile is heavy and fired at short range to it hurts the opponent player more than an airsoft projectile.


Both games compete with each other in different ways. So is the case of playing cost. Paintball is more costly to play than airsoft. Many factors come into play, but the main factor is the price of equipment. Paintball equipment is expensive. A paintball gun costs more because it utilizes CO2 and Nitrogen containers to fire the paintball. On the other hand, airsoft guns use lightweight guns that are cheaper than paintball ones.



Airsoft and paintball are similar-looking games. But they are not the same, and there are some stark differences. Players who want to experience the warlike atmosphere prefer to play Airsoft and the players who want to enjoy the aggressive environment prefer to play paintball. When it comes to the question that in a skirmish of Airsoft vs Paintball, which one is better? It depends on your choice.

Leave a Comment