Get the most out of your gun Keep your gun clean. After each game make sure that it is free from any paint or mud:
A burst paintball in the barrel will result in really poor accuracy and can even prevent your gun from firing.
Your gun hopper contains the paintball's and feeds them into the gun – it must be clean and dry inside. If you have been jumping around (or fallen) you may have cracked a paintball inside your hopper. The remaining paintball's will be covered with paint making them stick together and lead to misfire and gun blockages. After each game, take a look inside your hopper – if there is paint inside, take the hopper off your gun and take it into the Green netted Safe Zone (Barrel Bags On!). Grab some paper towel and clean up all the paintball's and the inside of the hopper.
If your gun becomes muddy, it can be difficult to grip onto and may also stop the gun from working. If it’s muddy wipe it down after the game.
Don’t pick up paintball's from the ground It’s always tempting to re-use paintball's that have been fired already or that have been dropped. These look like free ammo, but they will usually result in a jammed gun. The paintball's have a gelatine shell. This absorbs water really quickly and leads to soft paintball's (they will just bounce off) and the paintball's will start to swell (they become larger and won’t fall through the hopper or they wont fit into the gun barrel).
Don’t run out of gas/air The Tippmann guns are powered by compressed C02 or HPA. Each gun is fitted with a 20 ounce gas tank that will give you around 800 shots. When the gas or air starts to run out, the pellets will start to fall short and loose velocity. If you run out, your gun will make a "farting" noise at which time you may call yourself out to a REF and they will get you another tank. The 800 shots per tank applies to every time the trigger is pulled, not every paintball that is fired. A common problem is people dry firing the gun (firing the gun without and paintball's) when they are walking back from a game. If you dry fire the gun 50 times after each game you are likely to run out of gas at some stage – if this is half way through a game it’s really frustrating as you can’t shoot anyone. The gas tank has a small on/off valve where it joins the gun. Fiddling with this round knob will not make your gun more powerful – the only thing it will do is stop the gas reaching the valve resulting in low/no power. Rapid Fire The Tippmann gun can fire between 5 and 8 shots per second – in the heat of battle however most players will only manage 2 or 3 a second. The gun is semi-automatic, meaning that after every shot the trigger must be allowed to go forward before the gun will fire again – you cannot just hold the trigger down like a machine gun! Unless you are used to rapidly squeezing a trigger it is hard to get you timing right. The following tips may be useful:
One shot that hits the target is better than ten shots that miss. Rapid firing is not essential – it may intimidate the opponents (and look cool to your friend's), but the game is about shooting the opponent.
If you are struggling to fire the gun quickly, try using your middle finger instead of your index finger. It tends to be stronger and faster.
Make sure the paintball's are feeding into the gun. Gravity is required to allow the paintball's to flow down from the hopper and into the gun breach. If you are leaning around a barricade, with the gun on its side, the paintball's aren’t going to run uphill – the gun will make a noise (dry firing) but no paintball's will come out. Always hold the gun upright.
Aiming Unless you aim the gun you are unlikely to hit anything. Firing from the hip may look good in a movie but in reality your paintball's will fly all over the place. The air tank on the gun forms an ideal gun stock that fits into your shoulder and stabilises the gun. Look along the top of or through the barrel and this will give you a good idea where the paintball's will go. Fire a shot and watch where it goes. If it drops short of the target aim a bit higher, if it’s to the left aim to the right. This process of “walking” your paintball's onto the target is the most effective technique. You can get two or more paintball's in the air at a time, watch where they are going and adjust your aim accordingly.
Paintball Mask Advice Your mask is the most important piece of kit you will be using. The following advice WILL help you. Keep them clean and mist freeBefore EVERY game, make sure your mask is cleaned (remove paint splatters and condensation) and a good film of anti-mist solution has been applied. The best time to do this is when you return from every game. Spend a few minutes cleaning the mask (using tissue supplied) and spray on a good layer of anti-mist. Wipe the fluid around the inside of the lens and leave a layer to dry for a few minutes. Don’t wear your mask on the top of your head between games – you are sweating into them all the time and they will steam up right away. Hold them or rest them on a bench / table to let them dry out. If you get a lens shot make sure you give the mask a really good clean otherwise the lens will be left greasy and your vision will be impaired. How Tight? Mask's should be fairly tight. You don’t want them falling down when you are running around. You should be able to shake your head from side to side without the mask moving. Hat or Not? If you wear a hat, your head will sweat more and you increase the chance of your mask misting up. Hats protect the back of your head from being shot (usually painful). The following pointers may be use:
Thick woollen hats tend to cause misting problems and make it difficult to put your mask on.
Baseball caps have to be worn back-to-front due to the peak at the front on the mask. They tend to be fairly light and comfortable to wear, but they don’t offer much protection at the back of the head.
Bandanas – the coolest headwear out there, but they don’t offer much protection.
Hoodies have become the most popular way to protect the back of your head whilst playing paintball. The hood can be pulled up over your head when your mask is on and flipped down again if you get too warm. Make sure it’s a dark colour (black / green / brown) otherwise you will be easy to spot.
Paintball Playing Tips Any of the following tricks & tips may give you the edge in a Paintball game: Use coverIf you stand in the open, you will get shot! Hide behind buildings and walls. Move directly into to cover and then fire, don’t stand in the open pretending to be Rambo. Tunnel vision Be aware of what is going on all around you. It is very easy to look straight ahead and focus on just one player while ignoring the ten other players advancing to your side. Every few moments have a look around to see what else is going on. Camouflage Only works when you keep still and you are quiet. Just because you are wearing camo overalls doesn’t mean that you are invisible. As soon as you move, people will see you. Moving target's They're harder to hit. If you are being shot at and you can’t tuck yourself behind a nice wall it may be time to run! Run away in a zig-zag pattern and you will be harder to hit. If you are behind a wall and paintball's keep on coming in at you, it is usually because you opponent can see part of you / your kit. You will eventually get taken out unless you tuck yourself in or run! Work in pairs A simple and very effective tactic is to work in small groups (2 or 3 people). If one player is pinned down by the opposition, their partner can give covering fire from a different angle. Spread out Attacking a wooden hut containing four opponents is always great fun! As long as you get a few pellets through the door or window you are likely to hit one of them! Try not to bunch up together as you make a much bigger target. Spread out behind different walls/buildings and the opposition will have to worry about shooting at several targets and not just one. Check yourself If you feel a paintball hit you, always check to see if the paintball has broken and marked you. Every day we see players walking off the game field thinking they are out, when in fact the paintball's bounced. Remember that once you have said you are out you cannot change your mind. Go around the side If all the action is going on in the middle of the field it may be worth one or two players heading out to the edge of the playing area. Sneaking down the sides can catch the opposition unaware and allow you to take out some key players. Fire coming from your side and from the front (crossfire) is very distracting and makes it difficult to move or fire back. Dead Man's Walk A real “Old School” trick - very risky and rarely works, but worth a mention. During the game you simply stand up and casually walk towards the opposition – they may think you are out and completely ignore you! When you are close, you can then open fire OR yell Mercy. Guaranteed to annoy the opponents and there will be calls of cheating and foul play. As long as you haven’t said you are out or held your gun up in the air to signal that you are out it is technically allowed! Cover Fire If paintball's keep on hitting the wall or building that your opponent is hiding behind they are not going to shoot back. Whilst a team-mate puts down some cover fire, you can move to a better position to shoot them. Run Away! If you are outnumbered – run away! Find some better cover and work from your new position. Out of Paintball's?If you run out of paintball's during a game you won’t be able to shoot anyone, but the opposition won’t know that. Your gun will still make a noise (they are unlikely to notice that no paintball's are being fired). You can draw fire for your team-mates. If you are really brave you can also get opponents to surrender! Communication You need to know who is where and what they are doing. Clear and simple voice commands are all that are needed. Working out a complex system of coded commands may sound impressive, but after a couple of minutes half of your team will have forgotten what “Delta Force Code Green!” means. If you are outnumbered and need some help – shout to let your team know. If you hear a team-mate calling for help then do what you can to help them. Know the rules Each game has slightly different rules. The rules will be explained before each game. Many games have been lost by players forgetting to check if any of the opposition are still alive. Watch the RefIf you are playing a game and notice a ref standing close by, look to see what they are watching. The ref's are there to look after safety and to referee the game. They will tend to move to where firefights are going to take place so they can make a fair decision. If you notice a ref heading towards you, it may be time to have a really good look around – there may be an opponent creeping up on you! Reload! Carrying one or two extra pods of paint (a pod holds 100 paintball's) in a battle pack will allow you to reload during the game. If you do reload, try to do it before the opposition make a move on you!