What Hurts More, Paintball Or Airsoft? Find Out Why And How!

What Hurts More, Paintball Or Airsoft? Find Out Why And How!

Paintball and airsoft are two great ways to release their stress and have a fantastic time with friends for people who love to play physical games. However, for many, apart from the fun part associated with these games, how painful getting hit might feel is also an essential factor.

While some players don’t care about this aspect and only want to enjoy the thrill, others have immense curiosity about this aspect. Therefore, you will find lots of search hits on the internet on the topic airsoft vs. Paintball. So, to answer what hurts more, airsoft or paintball – we have prepared this article.

It can be said without a doubt and through unanimous agreement of expert players that paintballs take the lead when it comes to a greater pain quotient. We have tried to explore the reasons behind it in detail below.

Reasons Why Paintball Hurts More

Both the type of guns these balls are shot with having the same speed between 350 to 400 fps, the structure of the balls differs due to which one hurts more than the other. First of all, airsoft has a lower weight compared to Paintball. While the first type only weighs 1/4th of a gram, the latter is 12 times that.

The energy released by both these balls also differs. Due to their weights, the potential energy stored in the balls is different. For the same reason, their kinetic energy also differs. For example, while an airsoft ball shot from a gun from somewhere like Bespoke Airsoft might release just 0.84 joules, a paintball lets out 12.5 joules of kinetic energy when released.

For such a drastic difference between their energies, the force with which each ball hits is different. So, when someone gets attacked by a paintball, they feel a more incredible deal of welt, and the pain is felt over a more significant area of the skin.

Factors That Influence Pain Felt By The Hit

In addition to the reasons explained above, some other catalysts might increase or lessen the intensity of the pain felt. We have tried to explain them below:

Distance Between The Two Players

It is a widely common fact that as fast speeding objects cover more distance, their kinetic energy reduces, and it slowly decelerates. The same principle of physics works with paintballs and airsoft balls. The further the distance between the shooter and the shot, the lesser the intensity of the pain felt.

An example can be illustrated here. If your friend who is just 40 feet away from you shoots at you, you will feel two times more pain than someone who might attack you from a distance of 80 feet away. So if you are afraid of pain, it’s best to keep your distance from the opponents to feel less hurt even if you get hit.

The Direction Of The Wind’s Flow

The second factor that plays a role here is the direction in which the wind is flowing. This factor is applicable only if you are playing the game at an outdoor location. Usually, if you are indoors, the natural wind won’t play much of a role in the ball’s velocity.

However, the direction of the wind has more impact on airsoft than paintball since paintball is fired from a closer distance which causes its velocity to overpower the wind.

When you are playing outdoors, if the wind is flowing in the same direction as the direction you have fired your shot, the airsoft will be catapulted towards the target with more speed due to the push of the wind. Also since airsoft tends to be lighter, it is impacted more strongly by the wind.

On the other hand, if the wind is flowing in the opposite direction, the velocity of the wind will cancel out some of the speed of the ball, due to which its kinetic energy will decrease. Following this principle, the hit can hurt more or less.

So if you want to feel less pain, try to be in a position when the wind flows against the shooter, fire the gun from a closer distance, and use a ball that weighs more than 0.25 grams.

FPS Of The Gun

The gun you will be shooting the airsoft ball or Paintball with also plays a significant role. Here, by FPS, we are denoting the speed at which the gun can shoot the balls. The more significant is the FPS of a weapon, the faster it shoots and the more the pain is felt.

For example, when you are running, and you collide with another person on the way, you will be hurt a lot more than crashing on a standing man while you are walking. The latter will only feel like a soft blow.  Similarly, a faster gun with an FPS rating of 400 or more will cause tremendous pain than a gun that has a lower rating.

Which Body Parts Hurt More When Hit

Getting hit by a paintball or airsoft can surely be painful, but it can feel a lot more miserable depending on the area on which you were hit. Some of the most crucial body parts that you should protect are:


The most sensitive body part that we have is our eyes. Even if the smallest grain of sand or your eyelash gets on your eyeball, you feel a stinging sensation that is deeply uncomfortable. So getting hit by a paintball or airsoft on the eyes can be significantly damaging and can even harm your eyesight.

So it is best to wear a pair of goggles while playing these games to avoid getting hit on your eyes and be blinded for life.


Another body part that feels a lot of pain when hit by any small object is our knuckles. Since this part does not have much meat or fat protecting it, if an object hits it with a high velocity causes a lot of pain.

So it is best to protect your knuckles with some good quality gloves in order to prevent getting hit there.

Groin Region

The most fragile spot for a man or woman to get hurt is the groin area. And an attack by a paintball or softball there can practically throw you out of the game due to the sharp sting of pain every time you try to walk moments after the hit.

Therefore, wear multiple layers of clothing to protect this sensitive region during the game.

Neck and Back of the Head

Our neck is a vulnerable area that covers a crucial part of our spine. The back of the head is also very fragile. Getting ambushed in any of these two regions can be dangerous if the hit is too strong. In the least dangerous circumstance, you will be left with a bruise while you can even faint if we are to consider the bigger dangers.

So it is best to wear a helmet and a suit with a heavy collar in order to protect these two vulnerable regions from getting attacked.


The lips are soft tissues that are extremely prone to injuries due to their fragile nature. It is almost certain that getting hit by a paintball or airsoft in this spot can cause immediate bleeding. It can also leave a bruise, and your lips can look puffed for quite some time.

So make sure to protect your face with gear that covers the lips as well.


Our ears are sensitive to loud noise and fast-hitting objects. The area is only protected by soft cartilage, and the insides are exposed with only ear wax standing between the interior and exterior of the ears. So getting hit in this area by a ball can be extremely damaging and can even cause hearing loss.

So don’t forget to wear protective gear around your ears to protect them from injury during the game.


In this article, we have answered the question, “what hurts more, paintball or airsoft?”. To sum it all up, we can assert with certainty that it is Paintball which is the more painful ball to get hit by than an airsoft ball. 

Although paintballs hurt more than airsoft ones, both can cause a good deal of pain if proper protective gears are not used. So it is highly recommended that while playing these games, you wear an adequate layer of clothing, along with goggles, headgear, and gloves to protect your precious body parts from getting hurt.

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Johnny is dedicated to providing useful information on commonly asked questions on the internet. He is thankful for your support ♥

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