Airsoft VS Paintball

9 Basic Differences


Although they seem to be a similar kind of sports, airsoft and paintball have a lot of things different from one another. The main difference might be the guns that are used in both of these sports. However, there is another noticeable difference too.

For example, the equipment, accessories even the cost of playing airsoft is quite different than paintball.

So, is Airsoft different from Paintball? Yes, it is. So, what is the difference between Airsoft and Paintball? Mainly they are different in the equipment, accessories, guns that they use. Even the cost is one of the facts of difference here.



The equipment that is usually used in an Airsoft game is airsoft guns, BBs, goggles, face mask. You can skip the face mask if you want to. But, eye protection is a must to play Airsoft. And using a mask is obviously a good idea anyway. Why do you ask?

Because you don’t want to get shot in your teeth while playing. Sometimes you would often get shot on your lips as well. A 350-400 fps sniper bb will definitely hurt if you get hit on your lips.


The basic equipment that you will need to play paintball are gun, mask, hopper, air tank and paintballs. Paintball hurt quite a bit because of its large projectile which is a lot bigger than BBs. So, the full head covered mask is used to protect you from paintball shots. Otherwise, a direct shot to your eyes could make you blind, which is a really bad thing to happen.

A hopper is used to load all the paintballs in your gun or marker before you shoot. And an air tank is there to supply compressed air in order to shoot the paintballs.



Airsoft guns are most of the time replica of an existing rifle or pistols. For example, M14 is a replica of the original automatic rifle which is manufactured in the USA. There is a variety of different types of airsoft guns out there. There are assault rifles, there are airsoft sniper rifles, and there are airsoft pistols and even airsoft revolver

Click here to buy this WE Tech MSK Open Bolt Gas Blowback Airsoft Rifle.

Depending on your guns you got to choose the size of your BBs too. So, you have to pick up the BBs based on which type of gun you are using.


There is no variety of guns that you will use playing paintball. Surely there are a lot of manufacturers who produce paintball guns. But, if you look at the guns that they are providing, you will see that almost all of the guns are very similar, almost identical.

Unlike Airsoft, paintball doesn’t require changing gun types based on the roles you are playing on.



The weapons and the ammunition that people use in airsoft is rather cheap comparing to paintball. The price of a pistol that people use as a secondary weapon starts from 15$. The rifles’ price start from 45$ to 900$ or even over 1000$. But, it stays well under 100$ most of the time. The ammunition (BBs) price is also quite low.

So, Airsoft guns and ammunition are cheap, if you compare them with Paintball.


Playing Paintball may cost you a lot more than Airsoft. The marker or the Paintball guns’ price starts from well over 200$. And if you want to buy a combo package with the hopper, you will find them at around 450-500$ in Amazon. The ammunition, paintball bullets’ price is a bit higher than airsoft’ bbs.



As it gets really painful to get shot from a close distance, there are certain rules followed by the players. For example, if you get within 10 feet or 1 meter of anyone, instead of firing a 300+fps bb, you can call ‘Bang’ from behind. Though, it is to maintain a friendly environment and to avoid the pain of being shot from close distance, you got to use some common sense here. You cannot just ‘Bang’ 4/5 people at the same time, can you.


A similar kind of rule is followed by the paintball players to avoid the pain. However, instead of saying ‘Bang’ from 10 feet or closer, they use the Mercy Rule within the 5 feet radius. Sometimes, they use a fake sword or even tag the opponent with their barrel.



You can play airsoft anywhere you want to. As long as the place is enough for the players to move around, you can play airsoft there. And of course, you should let neighbors and the local police know about the game.

Otherwise, your neighbor might call the police and ask for help. Who knows, you might find the SWAT team breaking down your windows to get inside in the middle of your game.

Here are the top airsoft fields where you can play airsoft games at.


Like Airsoft, you can play paintball anywhere you want. But unlike Airsoft, Paintball guns are not replicas. So, the possibility of misunderstanding is quite near to the ground. So, you can play Paintball anywhere you want to. And you wouldn’t need to clarify to anyone before the game.



Usually, in an Airsoft game, you can use flashbangs, smoke grenades, BB grenades. However, the usage of these grenades might be under the legislation of the organizers.


In Paintball you can use the smoke grenade, the paint grenade, and rockets. And like Airsoft, the usage of them would depend on the organizers.



Airsoft games are far more realistic than Paintball games. The main reason behind that is the guns. The guns that are used in Airsoft are most of the time replicas. And the manufactures always try to create the guns as close as possible to the real guns.

The players also use the clothing and gear to make it look like an actual combat situation.   


When you are playing Paintball games, it’s less realistic compared to Airsoft games. The guns are not made to look alike the real guns or the replicas. 

Goggles and Masks


When you are playing Airsoft, you should cover the sophisticated areas of your body to be safe of course. And eyes might be the most sophisticated areas while you are playing Airsoft. So, you got to cover your eyes with glasses or goggles.

Friendly Advice: Never start playing Airsoft without a Full Face mask or goggles.

Which mask should you buy?

Read this article to know more about airsoft mask.


If you play Paintball, you must wear a mask before you start playing the game. People use a complete mask with eye protection with it. So, your whole head completely stays safe while you are having a fun time.



The Ball Bullets of Airsoft is quite small compared to the Paintball bullets. So, it is quite easy for the players to ignore a shot hit by their opponent. Though, cheating is not a very common incident in Airsoft games. But it happens very often.


As the bullets are much larger of the Paintball, it is rather difficult to not admit a hit. And as I mentioned before, it hurts more than the Airsoft, it is difficult to cheat and ignore a hit. Therefore, cheating in Paintball is hard.

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