It wouldn’t be wrong if I say, “No matter how skilled you are, a good paintball gun can still give you an extra edge on the field.”
However, finding that good paintball gun can be very frustrating sometimes, especially when there are so many options to buy from. That’s why I have gathered the list of the 10 Best Paintball Guns currently available on the market.
Whether you like to play Woodsball, where range and accuracy matter the most, or you’re a fan of speedball where light, compact and fast shooting markers come in handy, we’ve got you covered.
Enough of the introduction. Without further ado, let’s jump straight to the list of Best Paintball Guns.
Best Paintball Guns 2021 – Comparison Chart
|Empire Axe 2.0||Propellant: HPA.
2 piece 14 inches barrel.
Poppet valve engine.
|Planet Eclipse GTEK 170R||Propellant: HPA
2 piece 14 inches barrel
Gamma Core spool valve
|Empire Mini GS||Propellant: HPA
12 inches barrel
Poppet valve engine
|Planet Eclipse Etha 2||Propellant: HPA
2 piece 14 inches barrel
Gamma Core spool valve
|Tippmann Cronus Tactical||Propellant: HPA or CO2
9 inches barrel
Proven In-line bolt system
|Tippman TMC MAGFED||Propellant: HPA
12 inches barrel
Proven In-line bolt system
|Planet Eclipse Etek 5||Propellant: HPA
14.5 inches 2 piece barrel
Stacked Tube Poppet
|Tippmann Stormer Elite||Propellant: HPA
9.75 inches barrel
Proven In-line bolt system
|Spyder Victor||Propellant: HPA or CO2
10 inches barrel
Inline Bottom-line ASA
|Valken M17 Magfed||Propellant: HPA
7.48 Inches barrel
2 pin field strip takedown
1. Empire Axe 2.0 – Best Overall Paintball Gun
Empire Axe 2.0 is one of the best Intermediate level paintball markers you can find. It is the successor of the Empire Axe Pro and, apart from the name, many features have been changed as well.
Empire Axe 2.0 comes with a 14 inches 2 piece barrel which has a great range and accuracy. The aluminum frame makes the marker light and sturdy, while the internal gas line gives it a clean look.
Unlike the Empire Axe Pro, Axe 2.0 comes with an all-rubber foregrip which reduces sweat and enhances grip. Moreover, the button interface of Axe 2.0 is also improved. The buttons are now bigger, which helps operate the gun easily, especially when you have your gloves on.
The addition of eye cover is by far my most favorite feature of this gun. In the previous models, you needed to separate the whole body from the frame and take the transfer plate out to access the eyes.
While, in this model, you just have to unscrew the eye cover located right below the neck feeder to clean any chopped or broken paints. It also has a push-button pop bolt which lets you clean the bolt without any tools required. Hence, making the maintenance of the gun a lot easier.
Besides that, Empire also removed the built-in ASA regulator gauge, which was previously present in the Mini GS and Axe pro. This left the players with mixed reactions. Personally, I didn’t mind the gauge being there, as I can easily see what pressure is going into the gun.
In the end, it all comes to personal preference. Empire Axe 2.0 is definitely a great option if you are looking for an intermediate-level marker considering its price, rapid-fire rate, and easy to maintain design.
2. Planet Eclipse GTEK 170R – Our Best Runner Up
The Planet Eclipse GTEK 170R is a high-end paintball gun that delivers a great shooting experience. Since it is a high-end marker so it is a bit pricey but it’s well worth the price.
Known for its long range and accuracy, the GTEK 170R comes with a 14-inch two-piece barrel. The foregrip of this gun has been reduced to the perfect size. Additionally, it has an internal gas line instead of an external air-transfer tube, contributing to its sleek look.
It also features an eye cover, located right below the foregrip cover. To access the eye cover and batteries, the foregrip cover has to be slid down.
Like many other high-end guns, this one also comes with a one-push-button bolt removal system, which makes cleaning the bolt toolless.
Planet Eclipse did a great job keeping the weight of the marker as light as possible without compromising its sturdiness. This was achieved thanks to the use of aircraft-grade aluminum.
The marker is designed in such a way that the weight is balanced throughout the gun. Therefore, it can be easily operated with a single hand. Hence, making it a perfect option for both speedball and woodsball.
The Electronic trigger and Gamma Core equipped in this gun provide an impressive shot power and rapid rate of fire as well as keeping the firing sound low. The interactive LED display makes it easier to switch between firing modes on the go.
Overall, the Planet Eclipse GTEK 170R is a great marker. Despite being a little costly compared to the GTEK 160R or Etha 2, it is still loved and admired by paintballers and the popularity of this marker in paintball tournaments speaks for itself.
3. Empire Mini GS – Best Speedball Gun
I bet you might already have heard about this gun for being super lightweight and small. In fact, for this specific reason, it is one of the most used markers in speedball.
The stock version of the Empire Mini GS comes with a 12-inch one-piece barrel. Although the barrel is pretty accurate, most players later upgrade to a 14 inches 2-piece barrel, which is pretty standard these days. Lucky for you, the version we reviewed already comes with a 14″ two-piece high-performance barrel.
The frame of this gun is made up of lightweight aluminum, which is sturdy and also contributes to its lightweight. In addition to having a great grip, the foregrip is rubber-made which provides a comfortable grip and reduces sweating.
Unlike the Axe 2.0, it comes with an ASA regulator gauge which is quite helpful considering this is a beginner’s speedball gun.
Needless to say, this gun shoots incredibly fast (up to 22 paintballs per second) thanks to the electronic trigger which shoots as soon as you pull the trigger. It is also equipped with a programmable board that has 4 different firing modes (semi-auto, burst, ramping, and full-auto).
Besides that, the frame of the Mini GS is tiny (which I will not consider as a flaw since it was made to be small on purpose to better fits the beginners’ hand). That’s why, if you are used to playing with a bigger frame, you will surely take some time to adjust to this gun.
Overall, this gun is a beast on the field. Rapid firing rate, compact and lightweight design are a few notable things any speedball player carves for. The features this marker offers at such a competitive price make it stand out from other mid-range markers.
4. Planet Eclipse Etha 2 – Best Weather-Proof Marker
The Planet Eclipse Etha 2 is the latest in the Etha lineup. It combines high-end features like the Gamma Core drivetrain, hose-less design, and PAL-enabled feed system with an entry-level price.
The inner body is made out of aircraft-grade aluminum, which makes it tough but lightweight while the foregrip and receiver are covered in rubber and composite plastic, providing this gun a truly comforting grip.
It comes with a 14 inches two-piece stock barrel which has a nice range and accuracy. Although stock barrels are notorious for being crap, with this gun, you might not feel the need for a barrel upgrade.
Additionally, it is also equipped with an eye cover so that you can clean off any broken paint in the breach with just the help of an Allen wrench. The S-shape electronic trigger is powered by a 9-volt battery, which sits inside the foregrip frame. The battery can be replaced quite easily thanks to the quick-release battery system.
The Etha 2 is powered by the legendary Gamma-core spool valve drivetrain which provides this marker incredible shot power while being gas-efficient. It doesn’t come with a push-button bolt-out setup. Instead, an Allen screw is used to secure the bolt.
The weatherproof feature enables it to function in all weather types. Moreover, the LED display lets you switch between the firing modes (semi-auto, ramping, burst, and full-auto) on the fly.
Overall, The ergonomics and design of the gun are very comfortable. The addition of PAL-enabled feed system ensures constant feeding, hence increasing the firing rate. All these features make this marker a great fit for someone looking to get the best value for their money.
5. Tippmann Cronus Tactical – Best for Beginners
When it comes to reliability and value for money, you can easily trust Tippmann. The reason why they are so popular among the paintball players is self-evident.
The Tippmann Cronus Tactical is easily the best option for paintball beginners who just started playing paintball and are looking for a reliable gun with modern features and the best value for their money.
The outer body is made up of Nylon, which is surprisingly durable and lightweight, and also contributes to the gun’s lower price while the grips are rubber made, making the gun comfortable to hold for a long period of time.
The tactical version of Tippmann Cronus comes with a barrel shroud, carry handle, and a 5 points adjustable stock. Moreover, the internal mechanism of this gun is sleeved inside an aluminum covering, which provides extra protection from shock wear and tears.
The body contains rails for mounting scopes and other upgrades. The foregrip can also be adjustable according to your comfort.
Since it is a mechanical paintball marker with realistic tactical looks, it is best suited for both woodsball and MilSim paintball. On top of that, This gun can shoot up to 8 paintballs per second, thanks to Tippmann’s proven In-line bolt system.
Additionally, the marker can be operated on both HPA and CO2. However, using an HPA tank will provide you with more stable pressures. The best part of buying this marker is, despite all these features, Tippmann managed to keep the marker cost budget-friendly.
6. Tippmann TMC MAGFED – Best Magfed Gun
When it comes to Magfed guns, Tippmann isn’t a new name. In fact, Tippmann released its first Magfed gun about 20 years ago. TMC Magfed is, without a doubt, one of the best magazine-fed guns out there.
It has the looks and feels of an authentic AR-15 rifle. The outer body is made up of part aluminum and part composite material, which provides it the toughness and durability marketed by Tippmann.
It comes with a 12 inches one-piece barrel, which to my surprise, is pretty accurate. On top of that, it has the threading of Tippaman 98, so if you ever feel the need to upgrade the barrel, you can find tons and tons of options. The barrel itself is covered in an aluminum shroud with similar rails and cuttings as the real Assualt Rifle.
The gun also comes with a shoulder stock which has 5 adjustable points. Although the grip is made out of the same composite material, it is still very comfortable in hand. A foregrip can also be added later to improve the handling and maneuverability of the gun.
It features a 20 round magazine and apart from the mag, this gun can also be used with a hopper. Moreover, it can also be used with both CO2 and HPA tanks. However, HPA works great with this one.
Since this is a mechanical gun, it only comes with a semi-automatic firing mode. I reckon that there are some electronic upgrades for this gun available. Furthermore, Tippmann managed to keep the air-transferred tube internal instead of external piping, highlighting the Tippmann value for money.
Overall, the Tippmann TMC is an excellent option if you are into Magfed guns. This gun comes with so many features that it is hard to believe its low price.
7. Planet Eclipse Etek 5 – Similar to LV1
After Empire’s Axe 2.0 was released, Planet Eclipse had to design a gun that was reliable, affordable, and had a rapid rate of fire as well. Then came the Etek 5, which is yet another amazing mid-budget marker from the brand. It has the look and feels of an LV1. You know it is a great product when it is compared to the expensive LV1.
It comes with a 14.5 inches 2 piece barrel, the barrel itself is very accurate. The frame and few parts of the outer body are made up of T6 Aluminium which provides rigidness to the marker. Moreover, the grip is also very comfortable and has a nice feel.
Ergonomics have also been improved in this marker. The length of the marker is long enough to help you aim and snap-shot comfortably. It comes with an LED interface that you can later upgrade to an OLED display to give you a better look at what mode the gun is shooting.
Overall, this gun is a beast in both speedball and woodsball. It has many similar features to the notorious LV1 but at a budget price. Honestly, the looks of this marker is better than some of the high-end markers out there. Personally, I think that this is an underrated marker that has all the potential to compete with Axe 2.0 or any other mid-range gun.
8. Tippmann Stormer Elite – Best for MilSim Paintball
The Tippmann Stormer Elite is a great option for those looking for a durable and reliable Magfed gun with the look and aesthetics of a real-life rifle. Tippmann really paid attention to even the smallest of details. The body of this marker is made up of nylon which, to my surprise, is pretty durable and also keeps the gun lightweight to hold for longer periods.
It comes with a 9.75 inches .68 caliber high-performance barrel. The vertical foregrip, which is pretty comfortable, makes the marker easy to grip. It comes with a 20 round magazine. The mag used in this gun is similar to the one used in Tippmann TMC. Therefore, finding a replacement wouldn’t be a problem. Moreover, hoppers can also be used to feed paintball into this marker.
The Front Shroud is equipped with Picatinny rails on all sides making the marker easily customizable. It features removable front and rear flip-up sights which are adjustable as well. The 6 points adjustable shoulder stock can be adjusted according to your own comfort.
Since it was designed for beginners and casual players, the marker is easy to maintain. The front shroud comes out with just a push button. Mags are also quick-release. Moreover, the gun itself doesn’t require frequent internal cleaning.
Overall, it is a great gun, considering the features it offers against its price tag. Stormer elite features Tippmann’s proven In-line firing bolt with semi-automatic firing mode, making this gun an excellent choice for woodsball and Milsim Paintball.
9. Spyder Victor – Best Bang for the Bucks Gun
This gun is known for being one of the cheapest markers available, But don’t get mistaken. It doesn’t mean this gun is not capable of competing with other low-level markers. In fact, it is one of the most sold markers Kingsman Spyder has ever produced. So what makes the marker so cheap yet durable? Well, there are plenty of things that Spyder had to cut off to make this marker affordable.
Firstly, the packaging. It comes in a very mediocre plastic packaging with spyder branding. It has a 10 inches barrel which has pretty good accuracy at close ranges. But, once you use this marker beyond 50 to 60 ft distance, things get terrible.
Despite the low price, it has a clamping feedneck which can be tightened by an Allen screw. The marker can be operated on HPA and CO2 both. Moreover, it has an aluminum body with a matte finish on the outside, The foregrip has a rubber coating which gives it a comfortable feel.
In conclusion, it is a great option for beginners who want to improve their skills before moving on to a mid-range marker. Since it is a mechanical marker, it is ideal for woodsball. Moreover, you can also find aftermarket upgrades easily for this gun.
10. Valken M17 Magfed – Best Compact Paintball Gun
When it comes to Magfed guns, Valken M17 isn’t a new name. It is one of the most loved mag-fed guns admired for its looks, rapid-fire rate, and toughness. M17 comes with a 10 inches A5 threaded barrel. The barrel itself is covered in a polymer shroud to give this gun a more tactical feel.
It comes with a single 20 round .689 caliber mag. However, it is recommended to load 18 – 19 paintballs at a time. The rear end of the marker features a collapsible shoulder stock to ensure stability and quick aiming while firing. A 13/3000 PSI HPA tank can be placed inside the stock.
Moreover, the gun is sturdy and reliable due to its fewer moving parts. It is a lot easier to assemble and disassemble, thanks to the 2 pin strip takedown feature. M17 features two modes which include semi-auto, full-auto, and safety, of course.
Both magazines and hoppers can be used to feed paintballs into the barrel. A hopper adapter is used to enable paintball input from the hopper.
A velocity adjuster is placed behind the grip, which can be used to increase and decrease the velocity. By default, the velocity of this is set to be about 270 FPS. However, there is a chance of leakage if the velocity is set beyond 300 FPS.
The M-17 is also easily customizable. It features tactical rails on top, sides, and bottom of the shroud to mount a scope, foregrips, laser, and other accessories. Other than that, any barrel with a Tippmann A5 thread will work perfectly fine.
Overall, Valken M17 is a great fit for both Milsim paintball and woodsball as well. Needless to say, it is a perfect option for a mag-fed paintball.
Best Paintball Guns – Buyer’s Guide
Now that we have reviewed the 10 Best Paintball Guns. It’s time to look into different factors which you should consider before buying your next paintball marker. This comprehensive buyer’s guide will highlight the different features of various paintball gun models. After this guide, you‘ll surely be able to decide the best paintball marker according to your budget, personal preference, and playing style.
Choosing a Paintball Gun according to your playing style.
Your preferred paintball format is hands down the most important thing when looking for a paintball gun. As I mentioned earlier, each gun on this list is designed for a specific purpose. You might be having the best Woodsball gun, but it will be pretty much useless in a speedball game. To help you choose your next paintball marker, let’s first understand the types of paintball game formats.
Woodsball or sometimes called Recreational ball is a game played in natural terrain. This format is prevalent among beginners. In fact, 80 percent of the paintball players played their first paintball match in this format. Woodsball consists of a large playing area as compared to speedball. Therefore, the range and accuracy of the marker are vital.
Moreover, the firing rate of markers is not the top priority here, so a mechanical marker with a semi-automatic firing mode will do the job. My personal favorite gun for woodsball is the good old Tippmann 98 custom, Cronus tactical, or the Tippmann A5. These guns, when added with an aftermarket barrel and a scope, will work like a charm.
As the name says, Speedball is a much faster-paced game as compared to woodsball. Usually, a speedball match lasts for about 3-5 minutes. Since speedball is played in a small field, the range is not the top priority. However, the rapid rate of fire matters a lot during this game.
A gun’s compact design and lightweight will be beneficial to peek at the enemy team without exposing yourself to them. Additionally, a paintball marker with an electronic firing mechanism, electronic hopper, and an HPA tank will help you fire paintballs at a fast rate. Something similar to Empire Mini GS, Empire Axe 2.0, or Planet Eclipse Etha 2 would work great.
3. Military Simulation
Military Simulations, or as some call it, Milsim, refers to the re-enactments of historical or military events. Since all the players are fully equipped with military gear, a simple paintball gun will not match the aesthetics. To tackle this, realistic military-style guns are used. Something like Tippmann TMC MAGFED, Tippmann US Army Alpha Elite, or Valken M17 would work best.
Types of Paintball Guns?
The basic function of all paintball guns is to shoot paintballs at a high velocity, right?. Well, It is not as simple as it seems. Different types of markers use different firing mechanisms. Each firing mechanism has its own pros and cons. The most common types of paintball guns are:
1. Pump Paintball Guns
These are the first and most basic types of paintball guns. Unlike today’s guns, they don’t have complex mechanical moving parts. Before firing a paintball, you have to pull the pump that loads the paintball into the barrel.
Using a pump paintball marker against a mechanical or an electronic marker will clearly put you at a disadvantage. However, these markers are fun to play with when everyone is using them. Unlike mechanical and electronic markers, you can’t just spam the trigger until one paintball hits your opponent. Instead, you have to aim and fire wisely because you have to reload after each shot.
Most professional paintball players recommend training with a pump gun as it slows the rate of fire but increases your skill.
2. Mechanical Paintball Guns
Mechanical markers are the most common type of paintball marker. Since these are semi-automatic, they have a better firing rate as compared to the pump markers. Like all paintball markers, a mechanical marker also uses propellent (CO2 or HPA) to shoot paintballs. The same gas is used to power the firing mechanism as well.
These guns are easy to use and mostly recommended for beginners because of their reliability and easier to maintain nature. They are also suitable for all weather conditions.
However, using a mechanical marker in the field while your opponents have an electronic marker will clearly put you at a disadvantage.
3. Electronic Paintball Guns
Electronic or Electro-Pneumatic markers are the top-notch type of paintball gun. They have incredible firing rates and accuracy. Unlike mechanical markers, these guns use circuit boards and batteries to power the firing mechanism.
These guns are mostly used in speedball games where a rapid firing rate is essential. They also use less gas, thanks to the electronic firing mechanism. Hence, resulting in more stable gas pressure throughout the game. Most electronic markers come with different firing modes, including full-auto, semi-auto, and burst fire modes.
Are these the best types of paintball guns? Well, they are. However, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. These guns are very costly to purchase and maintain. In some markers, the electronic components might malfunction during humid or rainy seasons. Also, complaints of the batteries draining out pretty quickly are very common.
Types of Paintball Hopper?
Hoppers, sometimes called a loader or feeder, feed paintballs into the gun’s barrel. An average hopper can hold roughly about 200 paintballs at a time. There are two types of paintball hoppers.
1. Gravity Fed Hopper
As the name says, these hoppers rely on gravity to feed the paintball into the barrel. They are inexpensive, thanks to less complex moving parts. The main disadvantage of gravity-fed hoppers is that the paintballs do get stuck very often. Therefore, the marker has to be shaken constantly while firing to ensure uninterrupted feeding.
This results in a comparably low rate of fire as compared to electronic hoppers. Moreover, these hoppers don’t perform well when tilted to a certain degree.
2. Electronic Hopper
Electronic hoppers use a battery-powered feeding mechanism to feed the paintball into the barrel. A motor is used to propel the paintball at a very high speed. Despite their expensive cost, most competitive paintballers prefer them over gravity-fed hoppers.
These hoppers have a high firing rate. In the meantime, they can be tilted to a certain angle which would not be possible in the gravity-fed ones.
In conclusion, Gravity fed hoppers are okay if you play paintball casually, but Electronic hoppers perform better for competitive players.
Types of Propellant?
A propellant is a substance that creates movement or propulsion in an object. In our case, propellent is the gas stored in a tank attached to the markers. Usually, paintball guns have two types of propellants which are:
Due to its low price, CO2 used to be the most common propellant used in paintball guns. However, there are some downsides to CO2 tanks. Due to the high pressures, the CO2 becomes liquid inside the tank. When firing continuously, there is a time delay taken by CO2 to become gaseous again, which results in pressure fluctuation. Moreover, due to more players shifting to compressed air or HPA. Most paintball fields have stopped filling tanks with CO2.
HPA or High pressurized air is widely used as a replacement for CO2 propellant nowadays. These tanks use compressed air, which doesn’t liquefy inside the tank. As a result, the pressure is a lot more consistent. The main drawback of these tanks is their exorbitant price tags.
A single HPA Tank of 3000 psi can cost about $45-$50. On the other hand, a CO2 tank usually costs around $18 to $25. However, CO2 tanks are expensive and hard to refill, while HPA tanks can be easily refilled at any paintball field at a low price.
In conclusion, the high price of HPA tanks is worth the money, especially if you think about the long run. Furthermore, the consistent gas pressure of HPA tanks is vital for competitive paintballing.
Best Paintball Gun Brands
Purchasing a paintball gun from a popular brand is not only a cool flex, but it is also a safe practice. Getting your marker from a brand known for its quality and reliable products will give you confidence and peace of mind. Moreover, you can also claim a warranty or find replacements easily with brands if your marker has any issues.
There are many paintball brands available in the market. But to keep things short, we have only listed the most reliable brands that also have a wide variety of paintball guns.
Dye is a popular paintball gun manufacturing brand that started as a paintball barrel manufacturer in 1994 and has been producing paintball gears since then. Some of the most popular Dye markers are Proto Rize MaXXed and Dye M2.
Spyder, aka Kingman, is known to manufacture top-notch sports goods. In 1992, they started manufacturing paintball markers. Spyder Victor and Spyder MR series markers are their notable guns to mention.
You must be new to paintball if you haven’t heard about Tippmann yet. They produce one of the most reliable paintball markers out there. Tippmann started in the early 1980s when the paintball started blooming. That’s why OG paintballers love their markers.
Tippmann Cronus series, Tippmann A5, and Tippmann 98 custom are some of their most popular markers.
Empire is not new in the world of paintball. In fact, it is regarded as the first paintball gun manufacturer. Empire started its production in the early 1960s and has been in business since then. Empire Mini GS and Empire Axe 2.0 are two of their many popular markers.
6. Planet Eclipse
Planet Eclipse (previously known as Planet Paintball) is a UK-based paintball manufacturer. It first stepped into the paintball industry as a paintball marker modifier. Some of their popular markers are Planet Eclipse Etha 2 and Planet Eclipse Etek 5.
Valken is another popular paintball gun manufacturer. One of their popular guns is the Valken M17 Magfed which is also one of the best mag-fed markers out there. They also have a huge name in manufacturing Airsoft Guns.
Best Paintball Guns – FAQs
Final Words – Wrapping it up
If you have read this far, I hope you found this guide helpful. Before you go ahead to buy a paintball gun, there are a few things to remember. Your aim should be to buy a paintball gun that suits your playing style and budget.
Avoid unbranded and cheap guns as they can destroy your paintball experience. Even if you are a little short on budget, always prefer a trustworthy brand like the one mentioned above.
If you are looking for high-end markers, the Empire Axe 2.0, Planet Eclipse GTEK 170R, and Etha 2 are notable options. On the other hand, Tippmann Cronus Tactical and Tippmann TMC will suit you better if you’re looking for value for money.
Last but not least, these are not the only best paintball guns. There are many other great guns out there too. But the problem is, either they were too expensive or required a very advanced level of expertise. That’s why they didn’t make it to our list. Moreover, If you are a little tight on budget, check out our guide on the Best Paintball Guns under 200 bucks.