10 Things In Paintball You Don’t Do

The Worst Mistakes You Can Make in Paintball

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10 Things You Don't Do In Paintball

10 Essential Paintball No No’s

(DL)  —  Are you new to paintball or have a friend that needs vital help learning paintball? There are some things you just do in paintball. Notice the we don’t say ten things you never do in paintball. Never is an extreme and there are often exceptions to rules.

For almost 20 years DangerMan has been assisting new players ramp up and become established players quickly. Some of the best players in tournament paintball cut their teeth on instructional DangerMan videos.  Why? Because DangerMan focuses on the one side of paintball where most players participate — Woodsball.

Let’s dive right in. You’ve seen plenty of WHAT TO DO articles or videos. Here DangerMan offers a  list of things you DO NOT do in paintball.

This list of 10 things not to do will help make you a better paintball player on two fronts. It will improve your game, and improve your game ethic, which is vitally important in the paintball community.

Exposed feet in paintball are a favorite target of advanced players

10Don’t Assume Anything In A Paintball Game

This is the single worst mistake every player has made and will cost them an out. Assuming a section of field or bunker you are approaching is empty is an ongoing example. Often, a kid that was terrified and shell-shocked  is in hiding only to see you walk by and shoot you in the ass. I’ve made this mistake.  More than once.

Years go by and eventually I think I’ve got room to disregard this nugget. That moment of hubris costs me and will cost you.  In some cases you know you need to get through a section fast to sneak up on players further up-field, but at the very least keep your gun up as you trot through.

Need another example? Don’t assume you are fully in cover. Many times players shoot exposed feet.

Here is yet one more example — don’t assume a game is won because your team has six (6) players left and the other has two (2). The truth is they simply have more people to shoot at!

Don’t assume you are out of range! I’ve ousted many players caught in this surprising moment. Don’t assume a player you shot is out!  Don’t overshoot them either, but do verify a player is out if you just shot them and believe you broke paint on them.

Pass a bunker where no shots came from and you’ll find out soon enough if someone was in it.
Pass a bunker where no shots came from and you’ll find out soon enough if someone was in it

Perhaps you are shooting out of the right hand side of a bunker and the left hand side of your bunker isn’t being attacked. Don’t assume it will remain that way.  In short, assumptions has cost more skilled players an out by giving an opponent a free shot than it has any other form of out.  Did I mention embarrassing?

We got this! Hey, where’d he go

9Don’t Trust Your Teammates 

This paintball tip is right up there with assuming. This one seems both nasty and unconventional in a team oriented activity. You must be pragmatic. Use your teammates, but don’t  rely on them. Let’s imagine you are in an up position. You’re close to the action with a teammate in a nearby bunker. They won’t permanently be there to support you. They may move!

Established players know who to trust. You’re new. Trust no one.
Established players know who to trust. You’re new. Trust no one

They may be shot out.  If they get shot out, your position on the field just became significantly easier to attack and take out.  Good teammates may come through for you in battle, but if you count on them not to fail you are making a mistake. Play as if you are the last man standing. Play with that conservative mindset to make it through and finish every game.

Dude. Where’s the rest of the team?

8Don’t Overextend Your Lines

Many new players love to run up-field and get that great bunker, and you should! Sometimes that bunker is so far ahead of the rest of your team that the other team takes position around you and takes you out. Playing a point man is great. Showing the world you can brawl is bragging rights. Just be sure to play as smart as you play aggressive and you’ll be one of the best. You will certainly be respected.

Try running from your stomach. Better yet, stay on your feet!

7Don’t Go Prone 

Prone? It means don’t lay down to shoot! Staying on your feet means the moment things get tough, you can run! Try running to better cover while laying down! Even worse is when you get a small window of time to move up to a better bunker and you have to take time to get up and run. There are times and instances to get down low, but while just learning the game, do yourself a huge benefit. Don’t go prone in woodsball.

The unspoken creed — Bonus ball me. I’ll bonus ball you

6Don’t Bonus Ball

Just like some in the police who should never be allowed to own a gun, it also applies to some paintball players. If you overshoot others because you don’t know how to get off the trigger and one ball, then you don’t belong in the game. It’s players such as these who make the news and make the rest of us paintball players look bad. It makes the sport of paintball look uncultured and lowbrow.

This is a game of tempered aggression. There are times to lean on the trigger. Throwing a rope ahead of a player is a great example, but if you are coming up on someone unaware and you throw more than three you are doing it all wrong. Aim low when you can. Be courteous, because it will come back to you. Showing other players you don’t need to destroy them earns respect.

You’ll also gain self respect. Everyone wins when we all treat others as we wish to be treated.  Besides, we all know the street justice of paintball. You bonus ball me, I’ll bonus ball you. Not good.

Paintball is a game for the strong of will

5Don’t Play Afraid

This is part of the game that you must conquer or you’ll never play well. Paintball is a thinking man’s game. But you must think and act quick.  The best bunkers are the ones ahead of you.  At some point you are going to need to man-up and jet to that bunker.  If you have teammates nearby, ask them for cover fire. Then be fearless!  Don’t play foolish, but don’t play afraid.

Don’t Call Yourself Out On A Bounce

4Don’t Call Yourself Out On A Bounce 

Check yourself. Did the paint break? Does it meet the standard for an out? If so, now cover your barrel and walk-off the field. However if you can’t see paint, then get to cover and call for a paint-check. Remember, calling paint-check doesn’t send a ref to another player, it brings the ref to you to check you. And yes, a teammate can check you for breaks too.

If you do call yourself out and find that as you are walking off the field you have no broken paint on you, then you must abide by your announced out.

This is a hard and fast rule in paintball. Remember, when in doubt call for a paint check and let the ref look you over while you are in cover. It’s vital you know that just calling for a paint-check doesn’t mean you are safe from being shot out. Only when a ref reaches you and is inspecting your body on-site are you safe from being shot by other players, so just be safe. The moment you call for a paint-check, get in cover and hope you are not shot out while the ref is making their way to you.

On the break, paintballs often bounce off you! Get in cover — call paint check! Let the ref make the call
On the break, paintballs often bounce off you! Get in cover — call paint check! Let the ref make the call
Laying in wait is boring. After that first shot — They’re on you!

3Don’t Play the Sniper 

This may get you ONE kill as some want to call it, but this is one of the single biggest mistakes new players make. If you want be a sniper play airsoft. But in paintball, being a sniper means laying down or taking a position that once you take your first shot, gives your position away and you won’t last long after that one shot.

Putting your whole team in one bunker allows the other team to maneuver around one object.

2Don’t Stack A Bunker 

Strength in numbers? Not in this case! See three or four players in a big bunker? Don’t go there. Don’t Double Bunker. Stacking all your players in one bunker allows your opponents to get around a single location for multiple targets. At best, a bunker with two players in it allows one player to play the left side, and another player to play the right side both covering for each other.

When you lose teammates the middle becomes a kill box – leave the middle to established players

1Don’t Play The Middle – No Mans Land

Heard of the killbox? When you play the center, you better be a brawler — a good brawler! Until your game is up to snuff, play the sides or edge of the field. We call it the tapeline or wire. Running up the edge of the field means that your opponents can only take you out from straight ahead or from one side. Being attacked from two (2) sides is a lot easier to handle than being attacked from three (3) sides.