The Difference Between Paintball & Airsoft | Commando Paintball


What’s the Difference Between Paintball and Airsoft?


When you’re considering a skill-building, combat-style recreational activity, paintball or airsoft likely comes to mind.

These two activities have become very popular among new and seasoned players.

Those who are less familiar with the two often wonder what the difference is. Understanding the difference between paintball and airsoft also helps you decide which one is right for you to try. At Commando Paintball we proudly offer both types of games at our facility. Here’s our answer to the common question of “What’s the difference between paintball and airsoft?”.

The Difference Between Airsoft & Paintball

Although paintball and airsoft both involve a player versus player approach to gameplay, there are distinct differences.

paintball player during a game with the proper equipment and protective wear

What Is Paintball?

Paintball is a recreational warfare style sport that uses gelatin capsules with dye inside them. The goal is to eliminate players by tagging them with the capsules. It’s more relaxed than airsoft and played as teams or individually.

What Is Airsoft?

Airsoft is a more realistic warfare experience that uses non-metallic pellets. There is no real standard for how to play. This is because gameplay depends on a set of defined goals and objectives set by the team or those organizing the game. Airsoft offers players an intense military-inspired experience.

Equipment Requirements

For paintball, you must wear a mask that covers your entire face. Other equipment consists of a paintball gun, otherwise known as a “marker”, a tank and a hopper. Paintball guns are either electronic or mechanical. Their tank can use CO2 or High-Pressure Air (HPA) to power the fighting mechanism. A hopper is what holds all the paintballs before they’re loaded into the firing chamber.

an airsoft rifle with plastic bb pellets next to it

Airsoft equipment requires eye protection. However, the level of eye/face protection required varies depending on the facility. Airsoft guns are powered by electric, spring, or gas (CO2 or green gas) mechanisms. Visually, airsoft guns look very similar to actual firearms. However, you can also buy them in bright colours that make them more distinguishable.

Gameplay & Safety Rules

The rules for paintball are pretty straightforward and designed to keep plays short and sweet! Traditionally, you’re eliminated when you are hit with a paintball. However, you can establish alternate rules for hits. You can keep it simple and use an elimination-style objective or switch it up with capture the flag or centre flag. Paintball capsules hurt more, so there are rules in place that keep people from getting shot at close range.

There are several variations to airsoft game rules depending on the seriousness of the gameplay. Since there are also a variety of airsoft guns, there are numerous roles players can take on within the game. For safety reasons, a “kill” radius is determined to avoid point-blank shots at other players.

Commando Paintball – The Ultimate Airsoft or Paintball Experience in Ottawa

At Commando Paintball we offer the ultimate experience for airsoft and paintball in Ottawa. We have over 10 fields that offer a variety of gameplay styles. During peak season, we offer an airsoft-only field that covers 20 acres every Saturday and Sunday.

paintball player aiming at their next target

We also have paintball and airsoft equipment rentals for those who are not quite ready to invest too much into the activity. For your health and safety, all masks must be approved by our team for use. Non-approved masks can be very dangerous to play with. We understand, that the idea of wearing a mask worn by someone else is not ideal. However, we have a very strict and thorough process for cleaning rental masks.  We sanitize our masks by washing them in soapy water, rinsing them, and soaking them in food-grade sanitizer. They are rinsed once more before being put on a shelf for 7 days before being rented out again.

Our season runs from March to November, but now is a great time to start learning about this fast-paced, skill-building activity.

Interested in learning more about playing airsoft or paintball in Ottawa? Contact our team at Commando Paintball today!