Airsoft vs Paintball: Which One is Better?

Batman vs Superman. Lakers vs Celtics. Rocky vs Apollo.  All these rivalries have led up to the biggest matchup you’ve all been waiting for.

Airsoft vs Paintball.

Both of these sports have been around for a while, and there’s been fierce debate about which one comes out on top.

Debate no more. These two sports are finally going to go toe-to-toe in an epic battle to the DEATH.


Matchup Statistics

Before they get ready to rumble (heh…), let’s take a closer look at the opponents.

Fighting out of the blue corner, we have the 12-0 undefeated airsoft!


Airsoft is a sport that essentially simulates military combat. Players use guns that fire pellets or BBs rather than bullets to hit their opponents.

Airsoft guns look real but are only replicas. Don’t let that fool you though, as BBs can pack quite a punch.

Equipment needed

  • Airsoft Gun
  • Eye Protection
  • Pellets/BBs

History: Airsoft guns gets its origins from Japan in the 1970s. After gaining popularity, airsoft started spreading to the UK in the 1970s and 1980s.

Fighting out of the red corner, also undefeated at 12-0, is the sport of paintball!


Paintball is also a sport that simulates military combat.

Instead of using BBs, however, a paintball gun fires paintballs, or capsules, that are filled with different colored dyes.

Equipment needed

  • Paintball Marker
  • Tank
  • Eye Protection
  • Hopper

History: Paintballs first came into existence in the 1960s by the Nelson Paint Company. However, the first game of paintball actually did not happen until about 20 years later.

Now that we’ve had a good introduction to the two sports….


Let the Airsoft vs Paintball match begin!

Round 1: Cost to play

With any new hobby or sport, you need to know what the costs are upfront to start playing. If it’s too expensive, you might reconsider playing in the first place.

Let’s first take a look at the ammunition for each sport. Airsoft BBs are about $15 on average, and you’ll get about 5000 BBs for that price.

Paintballs usually come in cases of about 2000, and these cases are about $40-$50 dollars.

Ammunition is the biggest cost factor since you’ll have to purchase it over and over again when it runs low.

Because of that, the round goes to Airsoft.

Airsoft: 1 Paintball: 0

Round 2: Weapon Efficiency

Having a good weapon is crucial for doing well on the battlefield. But how much do you have to spend to have a good weapon?

With your average stock airsoft gun, a few upgrades may be needed in order for your gun to perform the way you want it to.

Paintball guns usually perform as good as any other paintball gun when you first buy it, making it more cost-effective.

However, paintball guns can often be poorly made, especially if you aren’t willing to dish out a good amount of money.

Because of both their strengths and flaws, this round ends in a draw

Airsoft: 2 Paintball: 1

Round 3: Gameplay

An important factor that tends to get overlooked is cheating. More specifically, how easy it is to cheat.

In airsoft, when a BB hits a target, the target that was hit is required to raise his hand to indicate he/she was hit. Because of this, honesty is important in having a successful game.

Because of this, honesty is important in having a successful game. Unfortunately, there are some players that will lie and say that they didn’t get hit.

This can be pretty frustrating and can ruin your enjoyment.

With paintball, if an enemy is hit, both you and the target will know. A huge splotch on them will let them know that “Yea, you got hit. I dare you to lie about it.”

Of course, that doesn’t stop them from trying. Dirty players will try to wipe the paint off and say they didn’t get hit.

Because less honesty is required, the games tend to have less conflict and can be more enjoyable.

Due to it being slightly more difficult to cheat in, paintball wins this round.

Airsoft: 2 Paintball: 2

Round 4: Comfort/Usability

Airsoft guns are made to appear similar to real weapons. Because of this, most airsoft guns tend to fit nicely in your hand and are easy to move around with.

However, reloading can sometimes be annoying since you have to wind the BBs into the chamber of your gun.

Paintball guns are bulkier than airsoft guns because of the paintball tank. They are not as comfortable as airsoft guns, but they do make up for their bulkiness by being a tad bit easier to reload than their opponent.

This round ends in a draw.

Airsoft: 3 Paintball: 3

Round 5: Realism/Roles

Airsoft is as real as it gets in terms of tactical warfare. You have snipers, shotguns, pistols, rifles, etc. This allows games to be engaging, strategical, and similar to actual warfare.

Paintball matches have objectives that are similar to warfare, but paintball guns fall short in diversity.

Because of that, this round goes to Airsoft.

Airsoft: 4 Paintball: 3


Both of these sports require to you to get him by ammunition, but which one hurts more?

With airsoft, you’ll get hit by a small, plastic BB. These BB’s move pretty fast, so they can and will sting on contact.

That being said, most airsoft players wear protective gear, reducing the amount of pain you’ll feel.

Paintballs are much larger that BBs, which means when you get hit, a larger area of your body is impacted.

Paintballs will hurt more than BBs will, and you’ll end up with a bunch of welts by the end of the day.

Because of that, Airsoft wins this round.

Airsoft: 5 Paintball: 3

Round 7: Hitting your target

A key component to winning matches in both paintball and airsoft is that your weapon of choice is accurate.

Airsoft guns are very accurate. and you can buy scopes and other gear to help improve accuracy even further.

Paintball guns are less accurate. If you have a sight on your paintball gun, it’s pretty much useless. Since airsoft’s weapons are more accurate, they win this round.

Airsoft: 6 Paintball: 3


The Airsoft vs Paintball fight is over, and the judges score it 6-3 in favor of Airsoft. Paintball is undefeated no longer!

Do you agree with the results of the matchup? Do you think it was rigged? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.

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