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How Bad do Rubber Paintballs Hurt?

If you’re looking for an exciting and unique outdoor sport that will drive up your adrenaline and give you a good workout, then you can’t go wrong with paintball. Utilizing teamwork, strategy, and physical skills, paintball is fast-paced and fun… but it can also be painful.

For this reason, there are plenty of precautions made to make sure that bullet barreling towards you wouldn’t hurt as much. This includes protective covering, shorter firing ranges, and rubber paintballs.

how bad rubber paintballs hurt

But how bad do rubber paintballs hurt?

The answer is that rubber paintballs hurt just as much as regular paintballs when fired at the same speed, if not more. This is why playing paintball means that you have to be ready for every possibility in the field. Luckily, there are plenty of places that make you shoot slower, as well as other ways to make the projectiles hurt less.

If you fancy going for a round or two with your friends on the weekend but are worried that you might get hurt a lot, then this article will go through rubber paintballs, how much they hurt, ways to make the bullets hurt less, and everything in between.

How Bad Does Paintball Hurt?

no pain scale that's globally accepted for paintball
If you’re new to playing paintball, it’s normal to be completely nervous about the sport, much less getting shot at out in the field. After all, it can be a bit scary to get hit by a projectile, especially one that you watched hurtle towards you.

But it’s hard to fully enjoy a round of paintball when you spend all of it hiding and not firing a single shot. So how bad does paintball hurt?

Well, it’s hard to fully explain just how much it will hurt to get hit by a paintball simply because different people have different pain thresholds. What can be utterly painful for one may be a scratch for another, and so on.

Furthermore, there also is no pain scale that’s globally accepted for paintball.

That said, paintballs averagely travel at a velocity of about 190-200 mph. Sure, a live round fired from a gun is faster and stronger, but being hit by a paintball at that speed will still sting.

As far as comparisons go, people also usually claim that paintball shots feel like a bee sting. At most, however, an average shot feels like a strong, sudden flicker on the skin, so you should be able to handle it as long as you’re ready.

However, how much it will hurt will ultimately depend on various factors.

Factors that Affect How Much Paintball Will Hurt

When getting hit by a paintball, expect to get hurt. However, as mentioned earlier, a few factors will ultimately determine how painful it will be. These factors include the following:

Type of Paintball

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The first factor, of course, is the type of projectile you’re getting hit with.

Usually, in this sport, different types of bullets are used. Airsoft guns  use pellets, while paintball uses regular and rubber paintball.

So, what would hurt more, a pellet , a paintball , or a rubber bullet ?

Out of all three, pellets  hurt the least, simply because the typical airsoft pellet only weighs .20 grams. This means that they carry a lot less kinetic energy when compared to paintball.

On the other hand, paintballs  usually weigh around 3 grams, meaning that these carry more kinetic energy and surface area than pellets. That means more pain and bigger red marks.

And then there are rubber paintballs , also known as reballs. These are made from solid rubber and tend to hurt significantly more. They also tend to leave bigger bruises, especially if you’re not wearing some form of protection.

You should note, however, that rubber paintballs are different from rubber bullets. Rubber paintballs are used for sport and recreation. On the other hand, rubber bullets are extremely dangerous and can maim or even kill an individual.

Shot Distance

shot distance in paintball
If you played paintball, you might notice that players are advised to shoot from at least 10 feet (or more) away. This is because the further you are, the less pain you receive when you get hit.

This is all thanks to the paintball losing more power the further it travels in the air.

Where You Got Hit 

paintball hit in the back
Different parts of the body also react differently when hit by a paintball.

In general, parts of your body that are more muscular tend to hurt less when hit by a paintball. This includes your arms, legs, and your back.

How Many Times You Get Hit

frequency you get hit
Lastly, the frequency with which a part of your body gets hit also makes it more painful. Getting hit multiple times in the same places also increases the likelihood of getting bruises.

Ways to Make Paintball Hurt Less

Luckily, there are plenty of ways to reduce the pain of getting hit in a game, rubber paintball or not. This includes the following.

Protective Gear

paintball protective gear
Of course, this should be a no-brainer, as keeping yourself covered is essential in any paintball game. This includes:

  • Groin Cup protection  – to keep your groin area safe from any injury.
  • Paintball jersey  – keeps your upper body safe from any shot that might come your way.
  • Footwear – Getting hit in the feet will not only hurt, but it can also trip you up, which can lead to bruising and getting hit even more.
  • Neck Protector  – Believe it or not, most paintball bruises are in the neck, so keep this area protected.
  • Facemask  and helmet  – Of course, proper headgear is recommended, which means covering your noggin to keep you from getting any concussions.

Follow Safety Guidelines

follow safety guidelines
Another way to help potentially reduce pain is by following the game’s safety guidelines. This includes raising your hand after you get hit, so you don’t get hit more, firing only from a safe distance, or not shooting fatal areas in the body, to name a few.

In any paintball, abiding by these guidelines is equivalent to having a fun, safe experience.

Prepare Yourself

Lastly, it’s essential to prepare for any game by accepting that you can get hurt. It doesn’t always mean training your body to withstand pain, but conditioning your mind and even disassociating at specific points.

Final Thoughts

Once you learn its ropes, paintball is a fun and exhilarating activity that friends can enjoy. It’s fast-paced, demands quick reflexes, and constant thinking and adapting.

However, getting hit by a rubber paintball can be a painful and surprising experience, especially if you’re not prepared. Luckily, doing your due diligence by wearing proper gear and following safety rules will help minimize the potential of that pain.

At best, you leave with a red welt or two and live to tell the tale.


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