Basic Paintball Tactics for Beginners

Basic Paintball Tactics : Snapshooting

Snapshooting is absolutely the most important paintball tactic you will ever learn. Yet it is beyond important, it is necessary if you want to consistently win. Essentially, the purpose of snapshooting is to give you an advantage over the person you’re gunfighting with. It will force them to duck down, which will then grant you the freedom you need to advance or take out another opponent. But we’ll get to more of those paintball tactics later. For now, let’s just focus on how to snapshoot.

Ever played Counter-Strike or one of those other shooter games like Halo 2? If you have, you’re probably familiar with the concept of burst fire, which is precisely the concept which snapshooting relies on. Essentially, you’re going to pop out the side of your bunker (Always the side, never the top), fire several shots (3-5), and then tuck back in. You shouldn’t be out longer than three seconds (which is the time it will take your opponent to ready his gun, aim, and fire, assuming he’s not already in the ready position). That means YOU have got to be the one prepared. Before you pop out, make sure your gun is up and you’re aiming in the general direction of your opponent. You don’t necessarily have to hit your opponent dead-on for snapshooting to work, but you will need to at least hit in his immediate area if you want to scare your opponent enough to make him hide.

Also Read : Tips to improve Paintball Aim

Once you’ve become pretty good at the basic concept, I recommend that you vary it up a bit. First pop out high and to your right, then low and to your left. You get the picture. Be unpredictable. Never let your opponent know where you’re gonna go, and he’ll really be frustrated because chances are he won’t be able to land a shot on you. If you really want to play at the expert level, start trying to read your opponent. What is his pattern of popping out? Does he come every 3-5 seconds? Does he go high, low, left or right? After firefighting with a guy for a few minutes, chances are that if you’re looking, you’ll notice his patterns. Adapt your play to these patterns. Time your shots so that whenever he pops out, paint is already in the air flying straight toward him. This will greatly increase your chances of getting your opponent out, not to mention scare the pants off him!

Snapshooting is your basic tool for gunfighting, as you will learn. Its incredibly effective if performed correctly, and its definitely worth spending a couple of hours out in your backyard practicing how to do it.

Moving

Ahhh, moving, one of the most dreaded actions a paintballer will ever have to take. Moving is when you’re most vulnerable, most likely to get shot. In order to pull off a good move, it requires a well thought out plan as well as some basic track skills. There are a couple different ways of moving, depending on the situation and your specific goals.

The first typing of moving is what I call RoDs, or Runs of Death. But I’m not coining this term because of what you’ll do to your opponents (not while your running at least), but because of what your opponents will do to you. If you screw up this type of move, you’re pretty much gonna get lit up like a fat Santa Clause on Christmas Eve.

Before you even consider this type of move, first you need to know thyself. Are you small, fit, relatively quick, and possessing a certain degree of finesse? Or are you one of those big lumbering 50 year old men that has been known to trip more than once? If you’re the former, you should have no problem pulling this off.

It is essential that you pick both a path and a spot where you’re going to move. You dont want to run out like an idiot and THEN decide where to go. No, choose a bunker. When choosing, make sure you choose wisely. Will you gain anything out of the move? Will you have a position on your opponents? Will any of your limbs be easily exposed behind your chosen bunker which may render you extremely vulnerable? Ask yourself these questions, and then do some sort of cost-benefit analysis before deciding whether that bunker is the best choice. Next, choose exactly how you’re going to get there. The path should be that which exposes you least to the guns of your opponents. Picture yourself running to the bunker and imagine every enemy who might shoot at you before finalizing your decision. One last thing. When you’re planning all this, make sure you won’t be out in the open for more than three seconds at a time. As mentioned earlier, three seconds is usually the time it takes for a paintballer to raise, aim, and fire at you. If this means making multiple moves before you can reach your final destination, so be it. It is often more tactical to make a burst of short-runs than one long run.

Just before you move, be sure to signal to your teammates that you’re about to move. I recommend some sort of hand gesture…after all, if you yell “COVER ME I’M MOVING UP”, its not just going to be your team that hears it. Tell them to provide you with some covering fire, that is, just lay an assload of paint down against your opponents so they dont pop up and start shooting at you while you’re running.

All the preparation is complete. Now, you just need to pick the exact moment to do the move. Try and pick a time when you’re opponents are least likely to see, hear, or hit you. If the sun has just come out and is shining right in the eyes of your opponents, thats awesome, they’ll be blinded. If there’s a gust of wind, take advantage of it, your opponents paint will often curve off to the side, not to mention your noise will be masked. If you know your opponent is reloading, that too is an optimum time. Its all about maximizing the odds to be in your favor.

Finally, do a finger-countdown to your team. 3…2…1…then GO! Your team pops out and starts laying down paint. 1/4 a second later, you should be dashing as fast as you can down your well planned path and getting behind your new bunker. Dont bother raising your marker…chances are at top-speed you won’t be able to hit anything anyways (unless you have really practiced shooting while on the run). Hopefully you’ve made it. It’s funny how so much thought is necessary for such a seemingly simple thing, but if you want to win, its what you’ve got to do.

Okay, Okay, so you’re not the smallest guy in the world, and that beer belly combined with your arthritis is slowing you down. Well, first of all, ask yourself, “Am I the one who should be moving?” If its necessary, by all means go for it, but if there’s a more agile person who can go in your place, that often works better. Remember, teamwork is about utiziling everyone’s strengths to create an unstoppable force, so just because you want all the glory, it doesn’t mean you should always go for the wild moves. Even if you’re not an old man, I would still read this section, as anyone can do it effectively.

So you’ve got your RoDs down. Now its time to learn about BtBs, Becoming the Bunkers. Say there’s only a few opponents left and you’re up for something a bit crazy. Its the perfect BtB situation. Do all the aforementioned stuff for your RoD. Plan the bunker, the path, signal to your team for covering fire, etc. However, when its time to do your break, instead of doing a mad dash, use your snapshooting to pin your opponent down. Once he’s down, yell at your team to put down some covering fire, and run out, gun up (but steady). Anyone that pops out, fire a load at them and force them back under. This is a lot more risky, and requires a LOT of practice (moving will shooting). It also is contingent on your team being skilled and reliable enough to pin your opponents down. In fact, I would do this with as many teammates as possible. Despite the fact that one of you will probably get nailed, most of you will likely (if you’re smart about it) make it to your desired destination.

General Paintball Tactics

Remember, the most important thing in paintball is getting a good position on your opponent. Chances are its not going to be the fancy moves that win it, but moving into a good position and firing from it. When you see a window of opportunity open, take it. If none open, make your opportunities. Your goal is to surround your enemies, to pinch them in from the flanks and move up both your left and right. If this means sacrificing the middle, so be it. Its alot harder to shoot when you have enemies on either side of you, so if you can pull it off, do it. Its going to require alot of teamwork. You must remember when you’re fire fighting a skilled opponent, there’s about a 50/50 shot you’re going to get him vs him getting you. Its alot smarter to move into a place where you have a position on him and nail him.

If you’re into a situation that you’re outnumbered, I recommend playing more defense than offense. Let them run into your paint, but don’t hesitate to move. Don’t let yourself get trapped in the middle, always do your best to move to a corner.

There’s much more to learn, but with those basic paintball tactics, you should be pretty dang good.

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