What Hurts More: Paintball or Airsoft?

what hurts more paintball or airsoft

Paintball and airsoft are quite popular team sports. Both of the games are equally fun and thrilling. However, amidst all the fun and thrills, there’s an undeniable truth: the sting of getting shot is inevitable!

But the question is: what hurts more, paintball or airsoft? In this article, I will share exactly what hurts the most when your opponent pulls the trigger.

Paintball vs Airsoft: What Hurts More?

Players experience pain in both sports. But according to most players, paintball hurts more than airsoft.

The reason?

A paintball weighs around 3 grams, higher than an airsoft pellet which is 0.2 grams. Moreover, airsoft guns are powered by batteries or gas and can deliver energy of approximately 1 to 2 joules.

In contrast, paintball guns are air powered and can provide energy of up to 12 joules. As paintball guns can deliver energy of around 10 times more than airsoft guns, it’s obvious that they are more painful.

Additionally, paintball might break upon impact, which adds a splatter sensation. This can cause irritation and a feeling of pain. However, the level of pain differs on impact force, velocity, pain tolerance, protective gear, and many more.

What Are The Most Painful Spots To Get Shot?

Getting hit by airsoft or paintball on bare skin is painful. But there are some worst places that could maximize your pain or impact you severely. The most painful places to get shot in airsoft or paintball are:


The neck is mainly exposed during the game, and it is one of the most sensitive parts of our body as it covers the spine bones. Getting directly hit on the neck or back of our head causes pain and, in some cases, can prove to be fatal. Even though the chances of getting hit on the neck are lower, you must wear protective gear or cover it with a scarf to prevent accidents.


Taking a hit in the hand sting you so bad you may be unable to play the game further. Use good paintball gloves to avoid getting hit in the hand, especially your fingers, which could go numb.


Similarly to the neck and hands, your face may be exposed, and a hit on exposed skin is very painful.


Getting a headshot is fun until we are on the receiving end. Getting hit in the temples, forehead, or ears is painful as they are nerve-ending areas.


Taking a hit in the chest area is a bad idea. Ribs have less protection and are subject to intense pain and bruising. Therefore, wearing a paintball vest is recommended.


The groin is one of the most sensitive areas of the human body. Whether you are a man or a woman, getting directly hit in the groin causes extreme pain. If you get hit in the groin, it will be hard to continue playing the game.

Factors Determining Pain In Airsoft And Paintball


The distance between two people determines the pain experienced by the receiver. The less the distance, the more pain will they will experience.


The location of an impact is also deciding factor of pain. The pain level differs for each body part. Some body parts are sensitive, whereas other parts are not so sensitive. Taking a hit on sensitive parts influences pain.

FPS rating of the weapon

FPS refers to Feet per Second. It means how far a bullet goes in a second. Thus, the gun with a higher FPS has faster bullets, increasing the pain level.

Protective gear

The quality of protective gear also determines the pain received by the body. Thus, qualitative gears reduce pain and increase the efficiency of the player.

Wind conditions

While playing outdoors, wind conditions also affect pain levels. If there is a tailwind, the ball moves faster, and the receivers take an intense hit, but if there is a headwind, the receivers take a lighter hit.

How Bad Does A Paintball Hurt?

The level of pain differs on impact force, velocity, pain tolerance, protective gears, and many more. On an individual level, it is related to several factors. First of all, it depends on personal pain tolerance. The level of pain differs from person to person. Some people have higher pain tolerance than others.

Resilience, endurance, adrenaline rush, etc., might also come into play while experiencing pain. Moreover, psychological factors also determine the feeling of pain from paintball and airsoft. These include fear, anticipation, etc., which can change the perception of pain from person to person. Some individuals can anticipate pain beforehand and brace themselves for impact, reducing the pain from hitting.

Best Protective Airsoft/Paintball Gear

As paintball and airsoft invite the risk of injuries and intense pain, it is better to take precautions beforehand. Good protective gear reduces injuries and severe pain and enhances efficient playtime. Thus, the best protection for paintball and airsoft are:

Paintball mask

The mask protects your face. The face is exposed skin, and a hit in exposed skin is very painful.

Paintball goggles

There is a risk that a paintball or airsoft might hit your eye. So to protect the eyes, goggles are required.


Wearing full-sleeved clothes protects you from the impact of paintball and airsoft. Thus thick clothing also ensures that pain and injuries are reduced.


Taking a hit in the hand stings you so bad you may be unable to play the game further. Avoid getting hit in the hand, especially your fingers, which could go numb, using good gloves.

Groin cup

As the groin is a sensitive area, ensure it is protected well with a groin cup.


We can conclude that paintball is more painful than airsoft because paintballs are heavier, bigger, and consume more energy. However, you can enjoy both airsoft and paintball equally. Ensure you are using protective gear to reduce pain and risk of injuries.

Remember that pain tolerance can differ from person to person, and the intensity of the pain may vary depending on the situation. So, following the game’s rules and maintaining a safe distance from opponents is always a good idea to avoid any unnecessary bruises.

At the end of the day, whether you’re into paintball or airsoft, the most important thing is to have a great time and enjoy the camaraderie with your friends!