Airsoft vs Paintball – It’s like comparing Xbox to Ps3

by admin on October 3, 2012


is Airsoft vs Paintball…..Modern Warfare vs Halo?

Let's see what each of these sports have to offer… And why it is essentially modern warfare vs halo!

Many people say that these two sports are virtually the same. Well give me a break. Would you say that playing laser tag, or with nerf guns is the same as these sports? Of course you wouldn't! They are similar in the fact that all of these games are shooters, so sure they are not apples and oranges, but they do have pretty distinct differences. 

If you take a look at the pictures on this page, you can see pretty significant differences in terms of equipment.

Airsoft provides a sense of realism… A person who does not know better might assume that the airsoft player on the bottom picture is a US soldier. And that is a fairly common mistake. In fact, airsoft equipment is used in military training exercises.

Paintball provides a fantasy world shooter… Some may think this is lame, but take a look at how successful and fun Halo is for the xbox. Well maybe not Halo 3, but the first two were pretty cool. Paintball's position is that shooters do not have to immatate real life. And for many parents, this position is relieving, and less negatively influential on their children.

And parents, it is true….

Airsoft players want to pretend they are in the real world, shooting real guns.

paintball players want to escape the real world for a few hours, and role play an abstract fantasy 

Airsoft scenarios vs paintball scenarios….

Airsoft scenarios 

are almost always military simulations. And I'm not just talking about the military here. I mean that recreational airsoft players choose to play military simulation. If the budget, and the players are availlable, airsoft will often recreat the old glory days, with a famous war. Basically, airsoft is as real as possible in every respect. Including the events availlable to the public.

Paintball scenarios

are way more fantasy based. Games such as capture the flag, and tree fort defending are common. For example, capture the flag involves finding and retrieving a plastic flag for your team, and then returning to your home base. Yeah…. paintball is not about realism in any way shape or form.

Even elimination matches, such as a simple shoot the enemy game is more fantasy like. Because for paintball elimination matches very often include respawning. Which means that when you are hit, you are allowed to return to the game after entering a respawning area. Respawing is a clear break from reality, and shows the abstract nature of the game of paintball.

PS. recently US. Legislation has forced airsoft manufacturers to include an orange coloured cap on the tip of all airsoft guns. The reasoning is simple, airsoft guns have been mistaken for real guns way too many times. The government wants to make sure that people don't use the realism of airsoft guns for ill means. But to be honest, these orange tips only cover a small portion of the gun, and while they help, many people will simply either remove them, or paint them black. 

Which sport is more fun?

ummm….. paintball! airsoft ammunition does not even leave any evidence on an opponent. The game of airsoft is entirely based around an honour system. Players are supposed to tell you when they have been hit. But we all know that some will tell, and other will not. So in other words, the player with integrity will lose, the player without any morals will win.

Airsoft is quite simply bad for society. People pretend that they are shooting other people for real. And learn that cheating is the best way to success. 

Paintball on the other hand, is great for all participants. Nobody considers paintball reality. The way paintball is designed contradicts such an approach. And far as cheating goes, even if you wanted to you could not. Paint leaves a mark. And what's so awesome about paintball paint is that it is biodegradable, and wash off. It will not leave any permanent traces on your clothing. Or any permanent damage to the environment. Airsoft, not so much…. the pellets are a lot harder on the earth, and they do not leave any noticable mark.

Which extreme sport is KING?

All hail paintball! It was invented only a few decades ago, but already, the masses have officially discovered its awesomeness. You can find a paintball field in almost any major city, and even many smaller cities. Airsoft is hard to find, and for good reason. The people do not like airsoft, but everybody loves paintball.

Airsoft Vs Paintball

Which sport is better?

  • 67% Airsoft

  • 33% Paintball

334 people have voted in this poll.

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GeneralHowitzer 2 years ago from Land of Salt, Philippines

Just voted and find your article very interesting. My student loves air soft though and this sports seems to be exciting but I guess I would love to try the paintball hehehe… Great Job Man…

Derek1 2 years ago

I am going to have to agree that paintball is better… of now. As awesome as airsoft is, it does have some major setbacks, the primary one being the lack of playing fields. Since there is no paint, it is difficult for a referee to determine if you have been hit. While airsoft does have a lot of potential, it needs some redefining if it is ever to really compete with paintball.

paintball guru profile image

paintball guru 2 years ago

I will also agree that airsoft has a lot of potential. Thanks a lot for commenting :)


Googleplex511 2 years ago

I have done paintball… and it was allot of fun! But I prefer the cool guns and differant game types of Airsoft- and I can do it anytime… with my freinds in the local woods- for paintball I have to pay allot of money… and do it with people I have never met…. AIRSOFT IS THE KING!

paintball guru profile image

paintball guru 2 years ago

I will give you that Airsoft is cheaper… but I don't understand why you can only play airsoft in the woods.

I play paintball with my friends all the time. I either invite them to play at the paintball fields, or out in the bush near my house.

And as for the cool guns… yes, airsoft guns are usually more realistic, but there are realistic paintball guns. I even have a hub on hubpages about more realistic paintball guns, and how they look more rad. Check it out!

That being said, most airsoft guns look considerably cooler than paintball guns.

Thanks for commenting googleplex. Have fun with airsoft! Both sports are a lot of fun!


Dontfret 2 years ago

I'm sorry but the way you described paintball is… just… no where near correct "paintball players want to escape the real world for a few hours, and role play an abstract fantasy "

Now all though i do agree with the first part… in no way are paintballers role players. There playing paintball to play paintball not imitate war. I guess the woodsball players maybe. but Xball is the way to go in my opinion


spokengro 2 years ago

ive plaid both but i simply like the fact that airsoft is cheaper, realistic and many more game types but i dont mind that there is a honour system all i do is upgrade my gun till itll make some one hurt soo much that they will want to get out of the game before they are shot again! but also i know a place where they run paintball & airsoft soo im fine with playing fields but i pefer playing out in the bush!

paintball guru profile image

paintball guru 2 years ago

@ Donfret – that's what I meant. People play paintball to play paintball. paintball players usually do not try and simulate a real life situation. What I meant by "role play an abstract fantasy" is that paintball itself is an abstract and creative sport… and players like it for that. To be honest, I should have left out the word 'roleplay,' because you are right, paintball players are not roleplaying, they are playing paintball.

@ Spokengro, I agree with you that airsoft is cheaper and more realistic. I like both games as well :)

However, I am not a fan of the pain in airsoft. To each his own. But I consider less pain an advantage. Which is one of the main reasons I choose to play paintball.

Which just proves that pain is a subjective factor, because some people prefer airsoft because it is more painful. While others (myself included) prefer paintball because it is less painful.

As for where to play, the bush is where it's at!

topher2 2 years ago

Sorry man I've really got to disagree with you on which one is better. I personally love airsoft the honor system works, by the way. Just dont get a bunch of liars that you dont want to hangout with.Btw, I've got solutions to two of your problems with airsoft. Firstly they make bio-degradable bbs, and if you cant work with the honor system they make paint bbs, over all great article, and just cause I prefer airsoft doesn't mean I have anything against paintball


blahblahblah 2 years ago

lol but airsoft has nearly twice as many votes :P

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paintball guru 2 years ago

but there are nearly ten times as many paintball players…. :)

For some reason, airsoft has a strong following on the net, but if you go to the venues, you'll see firsthand how much more popular paintball is!


js 24 months ago

i love airsoft yet i respect paintball and would love to paintball, the closest im ever gonna get to paintballing is a stupid thing me and 3 of my friends are planning. We are gonna challenge my cousin and his 3 friends to an airsoft vs paintball WAR…Were gonna play two games, one were if you get hit your eliminated and the second the only way to be eliminated is to tap out(which may be extreme but dont worry neither paintball or airsoft guns kill people)so though its crazy and a little scary, me and my friends plan to do the unthinkable…..charge… Anyways i enjoyed reading this and im glad you didnt exactly say airsoft sucks, personally i do airsoft to have fun and since people say paintball is fun i could just have easily chose paintball over airsoft when i got my first airsoft gun

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paintball guru 24 months ago

yeah, airsoft is definitely a wicked sport as well. Sounds like a very interesting match that you guys are going to set up. It seems like the airsofters may have an advantage in the mercy game. Airsoft bb's tend to hurt a little more than paintballs. But sounds very intense. I would love to hear who wins the match. My money, would admittedly go to team airsoft.

Ms._Info profile image

Ms._Info 23 months ago from New JerseyLevel 3 Commenter

I am one of those people who thought that airsoft and paintball were pretty much the same. thanks for setting me straight. They both sound like fun though!


kon 23 months ago

Paintball is really fun. I do like that it hurts more, so there is more incentive not to run around like a fool. I do have to say that airsoft is king. Its a bit more cleaner, you dont have to worry about all the paint and dirt sticking to said paint. The fun part of airsoft is the guns, you get a full metal replica of pretty much any rifle out there. Halo is fun too.


Grenade airsoft 18 months ago

interesting point of view. I'd rather like airsoft vs paintball, maybe it's a bit more tiring than paintball. Or I guess I don't like paint, I see too much of it every day at work ^^


rawr 16 months ago

Soooo…Howza weather for you guys?


The Airsoft Guru 7 months ago

I would agree that paintball is a bigger sport… in North America. But in Europe and Asia airsoft is much bigger and way more popular. I've read through a number of your articles and found that while much of what you said is very true it's only so in the United States & Canada.

I have been watching many videos from across the globe, and the most common videos are airsoft. There's more companies for airsoft than paintball, larger profit margins and the game itself is more rigorously regulated than even the strictest fields in paintball. The Japanese, for example, have made airsoft into something that paintball could only dream of becoming. The umpires in airsoft are seasoned veterans, they can make quick calls when needed and there is never usually any protest from players. While you think cheating may run rampant in airsoft, it doesn't. The honour system may sound like a bad idea, if you were a thirteen year old, perhaps. The truth is that most players enjoy conceding defeat and do so gladly, it shows respect for your opponent and if you are caught cheating you can receive a penalty which could cost your team the game.

Airsoft is not just milsim scenarios, capture the flag is one of the most popular games in Asian airsoft. My favourite example is a team of airsoft players, numbering well over 5,000, recreated their very own version of the famous video game, "STALKER", based in Ukraine. Google it!

And yes, airsoft guns do look very much like the real deal… but I counter that point with this: what gun owner is stupid enough to walk outside his house toting his weapon? The same can be said with airsoft, if you have your airsoft marker properly stored in a case and if ever are asked by a police officer what you are carrying, you use common sense and tell the truth. It's just being smart about it, you would never wave a real handgun around in public so why do the same with an airsoft marker? Orange caps are not mandatory UNLESS you are stupid enough to walk around in public with your weapon not properly stored. Even if they were mandatory, what's stopping you from spray painting it? Now, if you are a parent, you can by a Beginning Model airsoft gun, which is clear and has a orange cap, then there are Professional Models, which do not have orange caps and the only transparent part on the frame is the receiver.

I play paintball, have been for sometime now but I'm going to be switching to airsoft soon. It's far more accurate (both in style and performance), cheaper (the markers are cheaper, the rounds are cheaper and you can use electric powered markers which shoot up to 450 FPS and are accurate to 300+ Ft.). You can get 5,000 rounds for $15 CDN, and any airsoft field will allow you to bring your rounds onto their field for a small charge.

The worst thing about paintball: the fields prices. Wasaga Beach Paintball Adventure, the biggest field in Canada, costs $10 to bring your own gun onto the field (what?!) and for 2000 rounds it costs $120! They won't even let you bring your own paint onto the field, they won't let you use 11mm paint rounds (I made the mistake of buying a Kingman Chaser now I can't even use it) and every paintball players hates the mess of paint on their clothes. It's a pain in the ass to clean up and there's no point buying camouflage if it's going to be covered in ridiculous coloured paint.

I'm open for further discussion on the matter, but in my humble opinion airsoft takes the cake.


anthony 7 months ago

in so cal there is hollywood sport sc village and SC viper which is an airsoft only park only in the woods? do more reserch


Leonardo Liao 7 months ago

I played both games before, but i chose to stick with airsoft because it is much more exerting in terms of physical and body workout…not to mention the gears are awesome.

As for only playing out in the woods, i must disagree…cos there are plenty of indoor fields all over the world (in countries that doesn't ban airsoft as illegal). They convert rooftops, parking structures, warehouse space, even inside malls sometimes.

Both games are fun, but Airsoft is the BOMB!!!


Miss J. 6 months ago

Hi there. I stumbled across this article with the expectation of an unbias look at Paintball VS Airsoft based on the title. I was extremely intrigued with your analogy of Halo vs MW and I found the first half of the article somewhat pleasing (and somewhat incorrect).

However, I was thoroughly disappointed towards the latter half of the article when your paintball preference was POORLY written (And with extreme distaste towards airsoft.) If that were the case from the beginning, then I would suggest swapping the title so the audience is aware of what the article is TRULY about. "Airsoft is quite simply bad for society." Really now? So our military and law enforcement should rely on Paintball hmmm?

My frustration ceases to falter on this article. Oh and by the way, Airsoft is KING! Duh.


Vijay 6 months ago

Am I the only one that finds the poll ironic? Majority of people voted for Airsoft, even though you article was COMPLETELY biased against airsoft. Hmmm… I think that shows how epic airsoft is.


Louis 5 months ago

Great and fair article… this is probably the fairest vid



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airsoft king 5 weeks ago

This article is a tad biased against airsoft. I came here to see if I can find any information on a good airsoft sniper rifle. However, let me just break the ice: There are such things as Biodegradable Pellets. Amazon it! Also, Airsoft is a lot cheaper than paintball, and usually a lot more realistic, for that matter. Also range, accuracy are all factors in the sport. For one I haven't started playing yet, but all my friends choose airsoft, so the obvious conclusion is…Airsoft is Boss.

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