If you look at the Google Trends for both Paintball and airsoft, you will notice a decline in the number of people searching about both in the last couple of years. Take a look at the graphs on the chart below.
Since the number of searches pointing to the general interest in in a topic Google trend data gives a peek into how popular this topic is. This graph as got me wondering, is airsoft actually better than paintball? I did some research on a number of forums and here is what I found.
Airsoft is better than paintball since:
- Airsoft is cheaper to start than Airsoft (mostly because of Ammo)
- Entry fees to Airsoft fields are much cheaper than paintball fields.
- There are a greater number of games available on Airsoft than paintball.
- Airsoft pellets hurt less than paintballs
- Paintball is More Messy than Airsoft
Though paintball has more organized tournaments than Airsoft, I think all the advantages of Airsoft far outweigh its limitations.
Based on the research I did, I will try to convince why you should choose Airsoft over paintball.
The cost of starting out is roughly the same but Ammo Makes Paintball More Expensive
The cost of starting out in airsoft is roughly the same with paintball. This is because a starter gear pack is averagely going to cost you about $200 for both airsoft and paintball.
The differences in quality of the starter guns is something to consider though. This is because most beginner airsoft guns perform roughly the same as mid range guns. On the other hand, the performance of paintball guns at the beginner level will fall drastically short compared to the midrange gun quality.
The only significant difference in cost is that of ammo. Paintballs are significantly more expensive than airsoft pellets. A 2000 bag of paintballs with roughly cost around $60 while the same number of the BBs would cost around $8. With the cost in mind, let’s consider the entry fees to fields.
Airsoft Field Entry fees are lower
The fees charged to play at an airsoft field are much cheaper than those of playing at a paintball field. The average fee to play for a day at an airsoft field is roughly $20-30. In contrast, the cost of entry to a paintball field ranging from $10 – $40 for the lower tier entry level fees.
Though the entry fees are roughly in the same cost ballpark, the differences in playing costs come from the cost of ammo. Most paintball field do not allow you to bring your own ammo because of safety concerns and they will usually provide you with their own paint at a fee.
With the average paintball player using around 200 balls per hour, you would roughly require around 800 paintballs for four hours of play. Recreational paint on a field costs an average of $12 for a 500 pack of paint at an paintball field. This translates to a total cost of about $24 per game. In my research, I found the cost of paintballs at some fields being as high as $60 for a 500 balls.
In the end, the average playing cost for a day of playing Airsoft remains t $30 while playing Paintball averages at $50.
Paintball is More Messy
With airsoft, you do not have to worry about cleaning up your gear of paint after every game. The only stains you need to worry about is the dirt in your clothes after running around in a rugged field.
Airsoft pellets are less painful than a paintball
getting hit by a paintball is way more painful than an airsoft BB. Airsoft BBs are made of plastic while paintballs are made of… Well paint.
Paintballs are generally more heavy than airsoft bb’s and will hurt a lot more when you are hit by one. Considering the armour in both airsoft and paintball is roughly the same, you are definitely going to feel the impact of the paintball more than you would that of an Airsoft BB.
Airsoft has more variety in guns
The guns in airsoft resemble real guns very closely . It is for this reason that there he’s a large variety of airsoft guns in different sizes and functions. From pistols to sniper rifles you have a lot to choose from.
In paintball, on the other hand, the number of gun variations is not as high and you will not have a wide variety of gun types to choose from.
in addition to this, airsoft has a very large number of accessories and gun modifications that can be added to make your airsoft gun look and perform much better. From scopes to laser pointers the possibilities are quite large in airsoft.
Though paintball does have a variety to choose from, it does not compare to the great variety available in airsoft.
Airsoft has more realistic combat
Since the guns in airsoft resemble real weapons, playing airsoft feels more realistic than paintball. Though paintball games can get quite intense comma the play within airsoft feels like you are in actual combat This is facilitated by the many possibilities of games that you can play with in airsoft.
Paintball has more tournaments & competition
In terms of organisation, paintball has better organised tournaments and competitions. This makes it the more organised of the two games. The rules in paintball tournaments & games are generally more structured than the rules in an average airsoft game.
Since asoft fields larry in size and landscape and there are a large number of games to choose from, the standardization of the rules and method of playing in Airsoft varies from fields to field.
Airsoft also lacks the proper organisational competitive structure that exists in paintball.
airsoft vs paintball pain
As I mentioned previously a pain of getting hit by a bb is significantly less and the pain you experienced when hit by a paintball. This is because airsoft bb’s are made of plastic and are much smaller than an average paintball. In addition to this, the bb weighs less than the average paintball.
airsoft vs paintball accuracy
Airsoft bb’s are significantly smaller than paintballs. This means that the babies experience less resistance from wind and therefore will be able to fly further and shoot more accurately. in addition to this, since babies are tiny and white (mostly), they are less likely to be seen by an appointment before they are hit. This makes airsoft way more accurate than paintball.
In addition to this, airsoft guns come in a variety of accessories that help to improve accuracy. These include scopes and lasers that help improve how well you are able to aim and hit your targets.
airsoft vs paintball popularity
Airsoft has been gaining popularity over the years and is neck to neck with paintball in terms of search interest on Google.
I’m sure you will agree with me that google search volume does not necessarily indicate the real figures on the ground, however they help to indicate where the trend is leading and the trends in the number of searches for paintball has drastically reduced compared to past years. Refer to the chart below to see the trend that I’m referring to.
This reduction in popularity maybe mainly linked to the increase in the popularity of airsoft. There is also an increasing concern about guns and this may also have contributed to the reduction in the level of interest in paintball.
airsoft vs paintball Games
Airsoft generally has a greater variety of games and game configurations and is more tactical than paintball. Partly due to the larger fields in airsoft and the large variety of guns available, games like milsim are more practical within airsoft than paintball.
Airsoft games generally also better simulate real life combat compared to paintball. This may be attributed to the fact that the guns in airsoft look more realistic than those in paintball.
Why you should Choose Airsoft Over Paintball
If you’re trying to choose between airsoft and paintball, I think the reasons I have given above would lead you to choosing airsoft.
While both are great hobbies, there are quite a number of reasons to choose airsoft over paintball. With airsoft being cheaper to start and maintain, the games and guns having greater variety, and the tactics and style of play resembling actual military combat, I would go with airsoft anyday.
Plus with the increasing popularity of airsoft and the decreasing popularity of paintball, I think airsoft is the future. So if you are a beginner, Airsoft is what I would advise you to join.Now if I convinced you, you should read the airsoft guide for beginners. Here it is