Paintball Marker vs. Gun: What’s the Difference?

Paintball Marker vs. Gun: What’s the Difference?

Ever wondered why paintball markers look so different from traditional rifles and pistols? Are you curious about the differences between paintball markers and guns? In this definitive guide, we will explore the major distinctions between these two pieces of equipment to give you a clearer understanding of Paintball markers vs. Guns. We’ll go in depth and explain everything from the ammunition used to the construction of the barrel featured on each device to the accuracy levels associated with them. So get ready for some exciting paintball education!

What’s The Difference Between a Paintball Gun and a Paintball Marker?

When it comes to paintball guns and markers, there is often confusion over the difference between them. While they may look similar, they are actually quite different when it comes to their parts and function.

Paintball guns are used for realistic simulations of military or police scenarios, while a marker – which is what most people refer to as a ‘paintball gun’ – is designed for recreational play.

Paintball guns fire bullets that contain paint instead of live ammunition and use compressed air to launch the projectiles out of the barrel. The majority of paintball sports require players to wear protective masks and vests at all times during a game. Paintball guns have semi-automatic features such as automatic reloading, which is why they are so popular for recreational play.

The primary difference between a paintball gun and a marker is that markers can use both compressed air and CO2 to fire the projectiles. The combination of these two gasses gives the marker more power when shooting. Additionally, markers come with extra features such as adjustable velocity settings and electronic firing modes, making them great for tournament play.

Another key difference is that paintball guns are usually larger than markers, making them easier to maneuver in tight spaces or around obstacles. They also tend to be more accurate due to their longer barrel length and heavier weight.

Finally, it’s important to note that paintball guns require maintenance after every few uses while markers are designed for more frequent play. This means that markers need to be taken care of more regularly, making them a better choice for players who plan on using their markers often.

What’s The Difference Between

Are All Paintball Guns the Same?

No, not all paintball guns are the same. Even though they may look similar to traditional firearms, there is a distinct difference between the two. Paintball markers or guns are designed specifically for the sport of paintball and differ from real guns in several key aspects.

For starters, a paintball marker/gun uses compressed air or carbon dioxide to fire small spherical gelatin capsules filled with water soluble dye that breaks when it hits its target. Unlike regular firearms, they are powered by propellant gasses instead of bullets and gunpowder, so the force at which they shoot is much less than those fired from a normal gun. They also have limited range and accuracy compared to conventional firearms.

The design of a paintball gun is also different from a traditional gun. A marker has a barrel and stock, but most models do not have a trigger or other mechanical parts that facilitate firing. Instead, they are operated by an electronic system connected to a remote control unit which allows the user to shoot with more accuracy and speed.

In addition, most paintball guns are made using lightweight materials such as aluminum, plastic and composite materials that make them easy to carry around while playing the sport. They also come in various sizes and colors depending on their purpose and brand.


Pump action paintball guns are the oldest style of marker, and are still popular today. These markers require you to manually pump the gun to fire each shot, meaning that they typically have a slower rate of fire than other types of markers. Pump action guns also often use less gas and require fewer accessories, making them more affordable than their semi-automatic or fully automatic counterparts.

The biggest advantage offered by pump action guns is their accuracy; due to the manual nature of the operation, these markers can be extremely precise when used correctly. However, the slow rate of fire of pump action guns means that they may not be suitable for fast-paced scenarios such as speedball play. Additionally, some players find pumping the gun to be tiring and cumbersome, making pump action guns a less than ideal choice for extended play sessions.


Mechanically operated

A paintball marker and a gun are both mechanically operated, which means that they rely on a mechanism to propel the projectile from the barrel. A gun uses an explosive substance such as gunpowder to generate enough pressure for the bullet to be fired. On the other hand, a paintball marker uses compressed air or CO2 gas to launch the paintball. The main difference between these two mechanisms is that guns can cause more damage than paintball markers due to their ability to fire much larger projectiles at higher velocities.


Electropneumatic paintball markers are the newest type of marker and have become increasingly popular over the past few years. They use an electronic solenoid valve to fire a paintball at up to 30 balls per second. This type of marker is usually more expensive, but it does have some advantages over mechanical markers. Electropneumatic markers are typically quieter, more accurate, and less likely to jam than mechanical ones. They also tend to be lighter in weight and easier to maintain. If you’re looking for a top-of-the-line paintball experience, electropneumatic markers may be the way to go. [1]

How Do You Pick the Right Paintball Gun or Marker?

Picking the right paintball gun or marker can be a difficult decision, especially if you’re just starting out. It’s important to consider your budget and skill level when choosing between a paintball gun and marker. Consider its size and weight, as well as factors such as barrel length, hopper capacity, rate of fire and accuracy. Additionally, some markers may come with special features such as recoil-reducing stocks or customizable parts that can make them more appealing for certain types of players.

No matter what type of gun or marker you decide on, it’s always a good idea to practice with it before heading out onto the field. This way you can get a feel for the gun or marker and make sure it’s right for you. Additionally, many paintball fields will offer rental guns that can be used during a game, which is handy if you don’t want to invest in your own equipment just yet.

By understanding the differences between a paintball gun and marker, as well as the various features they each possess, you can find the perfect tool to take your paintball skills to the next level!

Different Kinds of Paintball

Woodsball/Recreational Paintball

Woodsball/recreational paintball is a variation of the game that has been played since its inception. Unlike speedball, woodsball requires players to play in an outdoor environment with obstacles and various scenarios like bunkers or natural cover such as trees and brush. Woodsball games can be played in teams or individual free-for-all style games.


What Are the Best Kinds of Paintball Guns or Markers for Woodsball/Recreational Paintball

The type of gun used for recreational paintball is most often something called a pump marker, which is a manual cocking gun that uses compressed air to fire each shot manually by reloading after each shot. This type of gun offers greater accuracy than other guns due to the fact that it cannot shoot multiple rounds at once, but it also limits your rate of fire compared to other markers.

Overall, when playing woodsball/recreational paintball you should use whatever gun best fits your style of play while still allowing you to stay within the rules and regulations of your local field or tournament. With its slower paced game-play, woodsball offers plenty of opportunity for strategy and skill development so be sure to find the gun or marker that best fits your needs!

Speedball Paintball

Speedball is played in an indoor or outdoor arena with obstacles and bunkers set up in symmetrical patterns. The goal of speedball is to eliminate your opponents from the game as quickly as possible using high-speed, rapid-fire guns.

What Paintball Gun or Marker is Best for Speedball

Speedball players usually use an electronic marker, a type of firearm that can fire multiple rounds with just a single trigger pull. This allows for a much higher rate of fire than pump markers while still maintaining accuracy due to its built-in ball trajectory control system. Electronic markers are very popular among speedball players and constitute the majority of guns used in speedball tournaments.

Scenario Paintball

Scenario paintball is a variation of the game that combines elements from both woodsball and speedball. This type of play requires players to use strategy and teamwork in order to complete various objectives in an outdoor environment. Scenario games usually feature elaborate storylines, props, vehicles and other interactive elements.

What Paintball Gun or Marker is Best for Scenario Paintball?

The type of gun used for scenario play is often some combination of pump markers, semi-automatic markers, and electronic markers depending on the situation. Pump markers allow players to move more quietly while still being able to fire accurately at opponents. Semi-automatic markers offer a higher rate of fire, allowing players to take out opponents quickly. Electronic markers feature a built-in ball trajectory control system and can shoot multiple rounds at once with each trigger pull, making them an ideal choice for scenario games that require fast reactions and quick thinking.

Stock Class Paintball

This is a variation of the game that involves using guns or markers with limited modifications and no electronic bonuses. These guns usually have limited capacity magazines, slower firing speeds, and simpler designs than more modern guns. The goal of stock class play is to emphasize skill and strategy over firepower, making it popular among veterans as well as new players looking for a more classic style of play.

Tournament Paintball

Tournament paintball involves playing in organized tournaments at a professional level. The rules and regulations vary based on the tournament, but all will involve teams competing against each other in an effort to win prizes. Tournament play requires both skill and strategy as players must be able to think and react quickly in order to outsmart their opponents while staying within the boundaries of the tournament rules. [2]

Tournament Paintball

Weight of Paintball Guns

One of the main differences is their weight. Paintball guns are generally heavier than their marker counterparts. This is because paintball guns feature more metal parts in order to protect the user from any potential danger that may arise during gameplay. On the other hand, paintball markers tend to be made out of lighter materials such as aluminum and plastic which makes them easier to carry around and maneuver on the field.


Is a paintball marker the same as a paintball gun?

Paintball markers (or simply known as “markers”) are the devices that launch the paintballs during play. They include a hopper that holds the balls, a barrel where the ball is fired from, a trigger to activate firing and an internal gas tank that propels the projectile out of the barrel. Paintball guns are similar to markers in appearance but they use compressed air or CO2 instead of an internal tank for propulsion. As such, paintball guns often have more range and accuracy than markers do.

Why do they call paintball guns markers?

Markers were originally utilized by forest officers to label trees and ranchers to identify livestock that had gone astray. Over time, the term has become synonymous with paintball guns and is now widely accepted as such. [3]

What is the difference between paintball guns?

Paintball guns differ from regular firearms in several ways:

  • Paintball guns fire round projectiles filled with paint. This makes them much less powerful than regular firearms and prevents them from being used for hunting or other applications that require a higher degree of accuracy and power.
  • The ammunition used by paintball guns is generally non-lethal and designed to break easily upon impact. This reduces the risk of injury caused by stray shots fired during play.
  • Paintball guns are often equipped with hoppers or feeders that can hold multiple rounds of ammunition at one time, allowing players to fire multiple shots in quick succession.
  • Most paintball guns have a trigger guard, which is designed to protect the user from accidentally firing when not intended.
  • They also differ in their construction and operation, as they typically use air or CO2 tanks instead of bullet cartridges. This allows for larger projectiles with more force than those found in traditional firearms. [4]

In short, paintball guns differ from regular firearms due to the type of ammunition used, their lower power level, and their specialized design features. Although they are still capable of inflicting injury if used improperly, they are generally considered safe for recreational use when proper safety guidelines are followed.

What are the 2 types of paintball guns?

Paintball guns come in two varieties: the Paintball Marker and the Gun. The Marker is a lightweight, air-powered weapon that fires small, round gelatin-filled projectiles called “paintballs.” The Gun is a more traditional firearm, usually powered by CO2 or compressed air, that also fires paintballs.

In general, Paintball Markers are lighter weight than Guns and require less maintenance, making them ideal for beginners who want to get started in the sport quickly. However, because they don’t fire as hard as Guns, they have a slightly lower accuracy range.

Guns are typically more accurate and powerful than Paintball Markers, but they can be heavier and require more maintenance. They’re usually the weapon of choice for experienced players who want to get an edge in the game.

Useful Video: Mechanical vs Electronic Paintball Guns | Lone Wolf Paintball


When it comes to paintball marker vs. Paintball gun, there is no clear-cut answer. While both types of guns are designed to fire paintballs at a target, they come with their own unique set of features and benefits. Paintball markers tend to be lighter weight and more maneuverable, while paintball guns can provide greater accuracy and range. Depending on your skill level and the type of game you want to play, either one could be right for you. Before purchasing either one, it’s important to understand how each works and what its advantages are so you can make an informed decision. With the right knowledge in hand, you’ll be able to select the perfect gun for your needs! Happy shooting!