Difference Between Airsoft vs Paintball

Difference Between Airsoft vs Paintball

Today we’re going to help you completely separate the difference between airsoft and paintball so that you fully understand what the two terms mean and how each activity is performed. Though they appear similar at first glance, these two activities are very different from one another.

One is actually quite a technical exercise whereas the other is primarily associated with fun only and has a completely different mechanism of action. Read on for everything you need to know!

Definition of Airsoft

Airsoft is: “A modern sport based on real life combat involving the elimination of opponents via the use of spherical pellets of a non metallic nature.”

There are immediately a couple of stark contrasts here when compared to paintballing. The first lies in the sport classification which isn’t really a feature of paintball. You absolutely can perform paintball in a sporting fashion, but this isn’t at the forefront of the activity design.

The second contrast lies in the ammunition being used. The soft pellets featured here are completely different to the paintballs used as part of a paintballing game and leave no residual markings on an opponent after making contact.

This makes airsoft less of a novelty activity due to the lack of vibrant colored paint and instead more of a tactical, strategic game with a comparatively niche audience. One has more serious sporting associations (airsoft) whereas the other is almost exclusively for entertainment purposes.

Another area where the airsoft vs paintball debate can be further separated is that of clothing. Airsoft typically features attire that closely resembles the uniform of real life soldiers whereas paintball simply requires the use of a mask for protection and overalls.

Definition of Paintball

Paintball is: “A game based on military combat where individuals fire capsules of paint at each other via the use of a paintball gun.”

Based on the explanation of airsoft from the previous section, we can see that the primary difference between paintball and airsoft lies in one being more of a game and the other being more of a sport.

Both can be played for fun but the typical audiences for these activities approach them in these respective fashions. This serves as a stark enough contrast to separate one from another. Individual player roles are also very specific in airsoft, but not so much in paintball.

As previously mentioned, the ammunition used is the other major variation. Paintball involves using paint capsules fired from a specially designed gun that explode on impact. This leaves a mark on the clothing of the person who has been hit and means that you can clearly identify a successful shot.

The wide array of colors and not wanting to get “splatted” is also what enhances the fun of this activity and leads to it being used for fun family outings, reunions, work outings, and any entertainment function you can think of.

Airsoft, on the other hand, is used more as a competitive sport and doesn’t tend to feature in these scenarios. It can be used in this manner, but it isn’t the typical choice compared to paintball.

Main Differences Between Airsoft vs Paintball

We’ll now sum up the key differences between these two popular activities so that you can see the contrasting areas between airsoft vs paintball in a quick and easily readable reference table.

Basis of ComparisonAirsoftPaintball
Typically done forSportEntertainment
AmmunitionRubber pelletsPaint capsules
ClothingMilitary uniformDungarees and a face mask
RolesStrict roles for all participants Individuals can choose their roles freely
StructureTacticalUsually freeform

Review this table any time you find yourself getting confused over the differences between the two activities.

Difference Between Airsoft and Paintball: Conclusion

After reading through today’s post, you should now have all of the information you need to create a clear separation between these two popular activities.

Don’t forget to come back to the table in the last section for a quick refresh any time you find yourself lost on this subject. Regardless of the activity you perform, they’re both engaging, entertaining, and offer massive amounts of fun.