The first time playing paintball can be a little nerve wracking. Here are a few things every new paintball player should now. It’s not a complete list, but if you keep these things in mind, you’re setting yourself up for a fun introduction to the sport.

1. It Only Hurts A Little

Paintball does involve shooting little paint-filled gelatin capsules at close to 200 miles per hour at each other. With such high velocities, it does hurt a little to be hit with a paintball – but just a little.

Paintballs cause a slight sting that will fade relatively quickly and sometimes will leave bruises. The most painful place for many people to get hit is on the knuckles, but wearing gloves will protect that. If you are concerned with getting hit with a paintball and it hurting, just wear layers. If you have on a sweatshirt you’ll likely barely feel when you get hit.

2. Wear Your Mask All The Time

Paintball is a very safe sport. The key to that, though, is to always wear your mask when paintball barrel covers are not being used. The vast majority of all serious injuries that are caused by paintballs happen when someone takes off their mask and gets hit in the eye. A simple way to prevent such an injury is to leave your mask on.

3. Be Ready To Run

Paintball is a game of movement – think of it as a game of chess but the pieces (the players) can all move at once. The key to the game is to move in such a way as to advantage yourself over your opponent. If you sit in a corner, you will lose. If you try to hide and just wait for someone to walk by, you will be bored. If you want to really enjoy the game, you have to move. The first game it’s kind of scary, but trust me, if you get out there and run you won’t regret it.

4. Paintball Is Not A Game Of Sniping

There is the position of playing the paintball sniper. It involves running quickly, establishing position where your opponent will be before your opponent gets there and then eliminating them before they see you. Being a sniper involves not only good aim and an ability to conceal yourself, but also the wherewithal to know when it is time to move somewhere else and when it is time to break out of the woods and switch to a different position. Effectively playing the role of sniper in paintball is relatively difficult and few people actually excel at it.

Many new players envision themselves as a sniper (probably because it seems less frightening), but their understanding of it is skewed and they end up just sitting back and waiting for something to happen. The key to paintball is not sniping, it’s getting up and moving towards the opposing team and exchanging shots. If you just sit in the bushes you will be bored and little else.

5. Paintball Is About Having Fun

Paintball is an activity that is meant to be enjoyed. The strategy, the adrenaline, the stories, the camaraderie, the tinkering and every other part of it is really meant to help you have fun. As long as you play hard while still remembering that it’s a game, you should have a blast on the field. There are people that take it too seriously and they could potentially ruin it for everyone else, but if you approach it as an active adventure waiting to happen, it can be one of the most exciting pass times you have experienced.