There are a bunch of questions players are constantly asking, let’s start and answer one of the more basic ones: “What is the best paintball gun?”
Before we can answer that, you must learn what makes a marker good or bad in order to choose the ultimate winner. Also, which features you would like the most and what fits your style of play. Please note, these are our recommendations on what we see and what we hear from our clientele. This does not guarantee performance or reliability but meant to help inform.
In theory every paintball gun is the same, they each project paintballs out of a barrel. The same could be said for cars, they each get you from point A to point B. But we all know there is a great difference in a Chevy Aveo, a Ford F-150 SVT Raptor and a Mercedes Benz SLS AMG. Just as a Planet Eclipse Ego, Dye DAM and GOG Extcy vary. There are two main categories of paintball, which are speedball and woodsball; open play may be either, but players tend to purchase gear based on which one they prefer. The price range of paintball guns goes from $69.95 - $1,850 and contains low, mid and high-end paintball markers in every form possible. A low end marker is for the player that goes once in a while, they help keep cost down while owning your own equipment. A Mid-end paintball gun is for the player that’s playing a about once a month and wants to control the competition and win more games. The high-end markers are for the serious players who want to dominate the field, and truly enjoy the sport; most people who fit in this category are playing multiple times a month.
Low end – These are entry level markers which range from $69.95 to about $150 and operate on a blow-back system. Generally are mechanical, meaning they will shoot once per every trigger pull and do not use electronics of any kind and because of that, maintenance is a simple oiling/cleaning of the marker. Electronic markers are available in this category for different firing modes. These basic markers are ideal for the beginner player.
Mid-end – These markers may take a little more knowledge to maintain, but provide a great performance increase from the low end section. A perfect example is the Etha paintball gun, which is the cheaper version of a Planet Eclipse Geo; it provides a full electro-pneumatic spool-valve operation at an affordable price giving the player an advantage on any style field. The mid-end markers are for the player looking for a more desirable set up with a competitive edge.
High-end – This is the true precision section of markers which provide the top performance possible. They will shoot perfectly out of the box, but can be tuned even further to the player’s needs. Each use a solenoid with either a poppet or spool valve system. Firing modes are fully customizable for tournaments or field regulations. The main aspects of these markers are their efficiency, consistency (which leads to accuracy) and weight. They sell for a high premium, and the players who use them believe they’re worth every penny for the extreme performance they deliver.
Now back to the question; what is the best paintball gun? Let’s split some winners up into the low, mid and high-end categories and explain why they deserve the recognition.
Low: The winners we would have to go with in the low-end category are the Spyder Victor, BT Slice and Spyder Fenix. The Spyder paintball guns, the Spyder Victor & the Spyder Fenix were chosen because of how universal the well-known Spyder brand is, making it very easy to find parts and accessories. If you’re looking at military paintball guns then the BT Slice features easy maintenance and reliability at the top of the charts making it perfect for a new player, along with a long list of add-ons to configure your marker exactly how you would like it.
Mid: In this section we recommend the Planet Eclipse Etha Paintball Gun, Valken Proton and GOG Extcy.
The Etha paintball gun is a great start into a performance marker with spool valve technology that will provide a much smoother shot than the lower end blow backs. The GOG Paintball Extcy is along the same lines of the Etha, but operates a little differently; still would be a very solid choice. Valken’s Proton has been a hot gun since it was release due to the low price and minimalistic design that keeps it light while performing like top speedball guns.
High: The very top guns we have to offer are the Dye Dam, Planet Eclipse Ego Lv1 and Empire Vanquish. These are from the top three companies in the paintball industry, and each have unique features. The Dye Precision Dam is for any serious scenario player, which is capable of shooting standard paintballs and first strike rounds; as with other dye paintball guns it delivers a very smooth and consistent shot. The Empire Vanquish is a top tournament marker that does not use macroline and is extremely comfortable, it also features easier maintenance with a quick access bolt. Planet Eclipse Paintball is a true performance company that offers extremely reliable and efficient markers; the ego lv1 is surprisingly smooth and quiet for a poppet valve marker and is perfect for an x-ball style of play, it’s the newest version of the ego 11.