Paintball Tactics: The Art of Crawling

As novice paintballers learn the hard way; sneaking up on someone is a lot harder than sneaking up on the computer opponent in a video game. Crawling is an effective way to move without being seen by your opponents, allowing you to advance to a strategic position on the field and take out your opponents. This is more paint efficient way as you can get a hit using 1-5 balls instead of using 20-30. It sure beats standing behind a bunker just out of range of your opponent hoping to get a lucky shot. Here are some tips on crawling when playing recreational paintball.

When to run – When to crawl

Crawl’s potential can be maximized when you move to an area where your opponents do not know where you are. The problem with running to the next bunker is that you tell your opponents were you have relocated too. There is practically no advantage to crawling when your paintball opponents see you crawl in clear view. You’re a slow moving target while crawling, so if there is a significant risk of your opponents having a clean shot at you and you must relocate, a quick crouched sprint with a slide would be the better call. When you have successfully approached a new bunker, what ever you do, don’t stick your head over the top of the bunker, you might as well stick your hand out to wave to the opposing paintballers. Approach the side of the bunker given you a view of about a third of the field in front of you. Keep an eye for an angled shot; a shot which would cross the field and hit an unsuspecting opponent crouching behind a narrow bunker.

Tips for an effective Paintball crawl

  • Plan your crawl– First have an opponent you wish to take out, pick a bunker you can crawl to giving yourself an effective angle, communicate to your team, and move. There is no room in a paintball game for unnecessary hesitation.
  • Teamwork- This seems obvious, but it goes over looked. Notify 1-2 teammates that you intend to crawl and have them cover you while you move. They can make an opponent stick their head back behind the bunker, while you move (or at least they can distract your paintball opponents). I believe team cohesion and cooperation will win you more games, even if you are out gunned.
  • Stay low- This means you, your butt, and your gear. Your butt and pack sticking up from behind a bunker make an easy target for paintballs.
  • Keep your hand on your marker- Be ready to let some balls fly. Opponents who see you move may seize the opportunity to try to bunker you.

When playing woodsball crawling stealthily behind overgrowth can provide adequate protection. Woodsball crawling is more about moving below the brush line and moving quietly. Keep a low profile and mind your hopper as some hoppers can sit high off the marker, allowing your paintball opponents to see a bobbing hopper just above the brush.

As you crawl more and more during paintball games you will learn first hand what works best for you. Crawling is a skill. The more you practice better you’ll get.

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