Paintball Guns - Tips For Paintball Beginners New paintball players often have a lot of questions about how to buy their first paintball marker. This article is meant to help new players quickly get up to speed. The better fit your gun is for you, the more fun you will have. General Advice The biggest mistake new players make is to buy a paintball gun too early. Take time to borrow or rent a variety of markers to see which styles you like, which features are important to you, the size of gun you want, and what feels comfortable to you. You will see that markers come in a variety of types, customized for a variety of players. Marker Categories A paintball gun, also called a marker, is the primary piece of equipment used to play paintball. New players may wonder what the difference is between a speedball marker, an X Ball marker, recreational paintball marker, sniper marker, scenario paintball marker, tactical paintball marker, woodsball marker, and other common terms. The answer is based on the two general game types: speedball and recreational paintball. Speedball paintball markers are used in a small field, normally filled with colorful bunkers. The games generally take only a few minutes because players are so close to each other. Since speedball players can easily see each other in the small field, speedball guns do not need to be camouflaged. As a result, the markers offer many cool colors and designs. X Ball is simply a type of speedball game, so speedball markers can be used in X Ball. X Ball is a trademarked by the NXL. Recreational markers, sometimes called "scenario paintball guns," are used to play a variety of paintball games over large areas including fields and woods. Recreational games have a number of variants. Woodsball is paintball played in the woods. Scenario paintball is played in an area that is similar to the landscape of the particular scenario that is being recreated. Tactical paintball includes a variety of game rules or configurations that reward strategic maneuvers over raw speed. Recreational paintball markers normally operate the same as speedball markers on the inside. However, they have some external differences. Recreational markers are often dark colors or camouflaged. Also, recreational markers are often made to look like real guns. This means they are sometimes bigger and heavier than speedball guns. In fact, some scenario markers are designed to appear exactly same as guns in historic battles, but the inside of the gun is exactly the same as a speedball gun Sniper paintball markers are for recreational players who want a marker that shoots and remains more accurate over long distances. Sniper markers often have longer barrels than regular markers. These barrels may also have a texture that causes the paintball to spin, helping the paintball travel greater distances. Paintball Gun Firing In addition to general categories of speedball and recreational paintball, markers can be categorized by their firing and trigger modes. Some markers are fully automatic, most are semi-automatic, and some players still enjoy the classic pump action markers that must be re- cocked after each shot. Some markers have a ramping feature which shifts the gun from semi-automatic to fully-automatic when the trigger is pulled at a specified pace. Marker Features A marker's performance can be affected by a number of other factors. Loader Types. The loader on a marker feeds paintballs into the chamber. Loaders come in a variety of types, including stick fed, gravity fed, agitating, and force fed. Air Types. Paintballs can be propelled in a variety of ways. Markers typically used CO2 tanks, high pressure air, or gas. Barrel Types. Barrels come in a variety of types distinguished by their length, bore, and whether they have a texture that causes a paintball to spin. Prices. Markers can be purchased for as little as $50 or for over $1,000. Most new players pay $150 to $250 for their first marker, which provides sufficient quality and performance for low to moderate competition. Conclusion Once you are aware of the marker types, features, and options presented here, you can start considering what marker would be best for you. Try out of few markers to experience how different they are. Author Information: The author publishes a paintball gun blog that provides paintball gun reviews, paintball commentary, and paintball news. Professionally, the author serves as a licensed Minnesota attorney, assisting businesses and individuals in a variety of legal areas.