When you are in the market for a new Paintball gun, you need to be certain that you are not only going to get the best paintball gun for your own style of gameplay, but you get the top-rated and most reliable paintball marker available.
With the array of styles, fire power, and even cost, it is easy to get swept up in all of the options, making it impossible to be confident that you are choosing the right one.
No matter what paintball experience you have or what type of game you enjoy the most, the best paintball marker is out there. We have created the ultimate, killer paintball gun buying guide of the top paintball guns, giving you an easier time to commit to the perfect marker for you. We will break down all of the major features that you should be looking at in a good paintball gun, including its design, fire power, and how best each marker would be used.
Unless you have a tight budget, cost should not be your determining factor over which is the best paintball gun because even some of the lowest-priced markers are better than the most expensive models out there.
It is all about knowing where you are at skill-wise, what you need from the marker, and how you want to play the game. Our comprehensive guide is going to lay out exactly who each marker is meant for, giving you a chance to find your own criteria in the descriptions.
Choosing The Best Marker For Your Style Of Play
Before we dive into our reviews, you need to understand that the best paintball gun for you needs to match up with your style of play. The truth is that the top paintball marker is going to vary between woodsball, speedball, and military simulation games and even then your individual style will determine the best fit. There is not a one-size fits all solution for paintball markers. Instead, you will have to review what you really want and need from a marker based on the style of play. We have broken down what each of the primary styles of play need from the ideal marker.
Woodsball Paintball Guns
Woodsball is the most common and arguably the most popular form of paintball. The paintball guns are designed to operate in different elements and hold up well against being shot with paint or banged up a bit. Woodsball is not as fast moving as speedball is, but also does not always mean that you need a mil-sim paintball gun. Sometimes woodsball guns are camouflaged and more tactical, but not always. The best woodsball guns have the option for customization with the picatinny rails, adapting your marker to suit your specific type of combat and play. These are an excellent choice for those just getting started in paintball as well as advanced players.
Speedball Paintball Markers
Speedball is the perfect name for this fast-paced form of paintball. Speedball players need a paintball marker that fires quickly with a rapid-fire e-trigger and an auto-cocker. Speedball markers are always automatic or electronic paintball markers that are programmable to fit usually the 4 primary modes of tournament play. Since speedball is played on manicured and organized playing fields, there are preset obstacles to hide behind, so trigger speed is of the utmost importance in these markers. The markers themselves need to be lightweight and easy to operate and to clean. The electronic markers almost always use both a battery as well as either HPA or CO2 for fire power.
Mil-Sim Paintball Guns
Mil-Sim or military simulation paintball guns are sometimes placed alongside of woodsball paintball guns, but they do have some difference. The Mil-Sim paintball guns are specifically designed to give you a military experience. They are as realistic as you can get without being the real thing and offer an array of tactical gear options to further give you that scenario, real-life experience. The mil-sim paintball guns are camouflaged to better blend in with the surroundings. Teammates often will divide up into specific positions, such as sniper, pointman, and backman. Each position requires different attachments on the marker, making picatinny rails a necessity for success.
Top 10 Best Paintball Guns Of 2018
1. Tippmann A-5
2. Tippmann Cronus
3. Planet Eclipse ETEK5
4. Tippmann US Army
5. Tippmann TMC
6. Dye M2
7. Empire Axe
8. Empire Mini GS
9. Dye Proto Rize
10. Azodin Blitz 3
1. Tippmann A-5 Paintball Marker
Best Paintball Marker Overall (Editor's Choice)
Our choice for the best paintball gun of 2018, the Tippmann A-5 is designed to be a stealthy, tactical paintball gun. The front grip is designed larger than the average grip, giving you a more stable and natural feel while you are holding it. The design is simple, but that does not mean that it is not impressive, especially with its ability to be upgraded with add-ons or modifications with ease. The simple design does mean that you can completely break it down within a minute, allowing you to clean it on the field if you need to while also making it easy to maintain off the field.
The marker itself is lightweight, coming in at only 3 pounds, though it can get heavier depending on the upgrades added to it. Regardless, it is still quiet even though it is lightweight, ensuring you can maintain stealth when you want to. The A-5 is quiet because it has been stone-honed to reduce the amount of noise that it can produce.
Fire Power & Accuracy:
The A-5 comes with a Cyclone Feed System that can feed up to 15 balls per second, giving you the fire power and speed that you might have only dreamed of. The off-set hopper keeps it out of your sightline, making it easier than ever for you to aim. The range of the A-5 is 150 feet out of the box, but with modifications and attachments you can increase the range. The A-5 still has an 800 psi regardless, ensuring it still has the power to break the paintballs where it should. The reliability of the A-5 is what keeps its players happy and the reason many players do not upgrade paintball markers after they have the A-5.
The A-5 is simple enough for beginners but still powerful and customizable enough for the more advanced players, making it the all-around best paintball gun you can buy. The A-5 would be best-used for woodsball or mil-sim battles because of its ability to be stealthy, camouflaged, and upgradable.
2. Tippmann Cronus Tactical Paintball Gun
While it is in second place, the Tippmann Cronus is still one of the best paintball guns you can get in 2018. The Cronus is specifically designed to resemble live-ammo guns, coming in natural and camouflaged colors, allowing you to blend in better on the battlefield. The internal gas line ensures that your line of sight is not interrupted by it and makes it less of a target for your opponents.
The 4 picatinny rails allow users to modify the Cronus to suit their needs better, whether they would prefer to add a red dot or even a flashlight to the gun. It does come with fixed front and rear sights as well, ensuring that the hopper does not get in the way of your accuracy.
Fire Power & Accuracy:
The Cronus uses a gravity-fed 200-round hopper, but it is not a standard hopper, so you will not be able to upgrade it if you are unhappy with it. The average distance you are going to get is 260 to 300 feet per second, but it could be up to 350 feet per second if it is calibrated correctly. The effective range of the Cronus is 150 feet, but it does fire semi-automatically, allowing you to reach up to 8 balls per second. It uses HPA or CO2 to power it, but comes with the standard CO2 canister. While the stock barrel is considered high performance, it is not the most accurate barrel that you can have, meaning you might want to upgrade to a shorter barrel to ensure accuracy.
The Cronus is an excellent choice for mil-sim combat. A high-performance paintball marker, the Cronus resembles a military rifle, though it does utilize a hopper, which might deter some players who prefer the mag fed style due to the realism that comes along with them. Otherwise, the Cronus is a wonderful choice for woodsball. As for player levels, the Cronus is perfect for beginners because of its simple and straightforward design, but because of its tactical appearance, you won’t look like a newbie, even if you are.
3. Planet Eclipse ETEK5 Paintball Marker
Best Paintball Gun For Speedball (Editor's Choice)
The Planet Eclipse ETEK5 is a high performance paintball marker that borrows its basic structure from its predecessor, the EOG LV1. It has an integrated LPR assembling with a SL4 inline regulator, ensuring that it operates with consistency. It is also designed with an extended pitch between the foregrip and the gripframe, which allows for a stable and comfortable shot.
The ETEK5 also has wrap-around grips and foregrips with stippled inserts to give you the utmost control in any playing condition. The ETEK5 also has a tool-less bolt, rammer, and valve removal which lets you clean and maintain the marker without trouble, even if you need to clean it on the battlefield. Designed with a 16-bit microprocessor, the ETEK5 has all of the current electronic capabilities while still allowing for compressed air for fire power. There is an optional screen upgrade that you can get as well, which will allow for a larger and easier to read screen.
Fire Power & Accuracy:
The ETEK5 has 85 psi LPR pressure and a standard 2500 psi air tank will work well, though you can upgrade to a 3000 psi tank if you would prefer. The ETEK5 is a hybrid marker, using both gas and battery controls. If you use the capped firing mode, you can shoot up to 15 paintballs per second. If you use it uncapped, you will shoot as fast as you can pull the trigger, which usually will be between 12 to 14 paintballs per second depending on ability. The magnetic trigger return allows for speedy firing, letting you keep up with your opponents. The ETEK5 also has all of the standard tournament modes for speedball, allowing players who are just getting into paintball to still get a taste of competition.
Because the ETEK5 utilizes both compressed air and a circuit board to operate, you can use it for either woodsball or speedball. It is a great choice for beginning speedball players because of its reliability and simplicity to use. It does not grow with you, however, and would not be a good choice for a professional-level player.
4. Tippmann US Army Alpha Elite
The Tippmann U.S. Army Alpha Elite is a tactile long range paintball gun. The rifle comes with a removable front sight, a removable shroud with a lower picatinny rail, a removable carry handle, a magazine with built-in tool storage, and a six position collapsible stock. The Alpha Elite also comes with a Proto Primo paintball hopper as well. It has an all-aluminum die cast receiver, stainless steel gas line, an in-line bolt system, and a quick release feeder elbow.
This Tippmann also has the Tippmann 98 threaded barrel, which is 12 inches long and reliably accurate. The gun is durable, allowing it to take a beating during battle and still come out in one piece on the other end. While the hopper does sit on the top of the fun, it is well-designed and does not get in the way of the sights. The Alpha Elite is designed to give you more of a tactical military feel and it will not disappoint players who are newer to paintball, but still want that realistic touch.
Fire Power & Accuracy:
The Tippmann Alpha Elite uses a hopper, which allows you to use several modes of shooting: tap fire, semi auto, three round burst, and two full auto modes. The effective range of the Elite is 150 feet, meaning it is not quite as far as other long range paintball guns that are on the market, but it is similar to other woodsball paintball guns. The velocity can reach up to 325 feet per second, but this velocity is not usually approved on most paintball fields. The stock of the gun is also adjustable, allowing it to fit the shooter well and get a better shot. The Alpha Elite is also accurate and reliable; it will not disappoint you on the battlefield.
The Alpha Elite is ideal for both mil-sim paintball and woodsball as it is specifically designed to act as a sniper rifle. As far as experience goes, the Alpha Elite is a great choice for beginners, but can also work well for more experienced players as well, though the more advanced snipers might want a marker with a longer effective range.
5. Tippmann TMC MAGFED Paintball Marker
Top MagFed Paintball Marker
The mag fed Tippmann TMC is one of the most popular mag fed paintball guns on the market. Designed to mimic the AR-15, the TMC has a more tactical and military design. It is designed with 4-sided picatinny rails to allow you to customize it to meet your needs as well as a fully-functional charging handle, easy-pull trigger, 12-inch high performance barrel with muzzle break, an over molded rubber grip, and an internal stainless steel gas line to keep your sight clear. The TMC also comes in neutral colors to help you blend in better with your surroundings during the game, improving your ability to be stealthy.
Fire Power & Accuracy:
The TMC will also allow you to use either CO2 of HPA in order to get the power that you need. The accuracy of the 12 inch stock barrel is what you would expect from an out-of-the-box barrel, meaning it is not as great as you would hope it could be. Luckily, because the TMC is versatile, you can easily upgrade the barrel for little cost, allowing you to improve the accuracy with a barrel that is better-suited to your needs. You can also improve the accuracy of the TMC by adding a red dot or sight to one of the rails, or even upgrading your barrel to a sniper barrel to improve your ability on the battlefield.
Overall, the Tippmann TMC fires straight and reliably, but it is not intended to be a semi-auto paintball gun. The speed that you shoot a round is based more on your ability to shoot quickly rather than the weapon doing that for you. Since it is mag fed, the shots are meant to be used with patience and accuracy, though it will let you use a hopper to spray paintballs if that is more your style. The TMC uses the standard .68 caliber paintballs as well.
The Tippmann TMC is best for players who enjoy a more realistic feel to their games and who prefer a mil sim or scenario type of game. With its AR-15 style as well as the magazine for ammo, it does not have the same feel that you get from mechanical guns that use hoppers. This is a better choice for more advanced players rather than beginners since you need to understand how to play the game well before you jump into using a mag fed marker.