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Frequently Asked Questions

What is paintball? 

It's a sport in which people go out in the woods and play combat style games. Only, in this game each player has a gun that fires gelatin capsules filled with a water-soluble food coloring and vegetable oil. If you're shot and marked, you're out of the game and have to wait until the next one starts. Games last approximately 15 minutes. 

Is it safe? 

Like all action sports (football, basketball, etc.) paintball is very dangerous unless adequate protection is worn and safety rules understood and followed. That’s why our games are always refereed. Most paintball guns shoot a 68-caliber paint pellet. The pellet is a thin gelatin shell filled with a water-soluble food coloring and vegetable oil. Guns shoot the pellets at a speed of 200 to 300 feet per second. Since the paint pellets are fairly light (only weighing a few grams each), they have little momentum while in flight, and thus are not lethal like the heavy lead projectiles fired from conventional firearms. In addition to using a non-lethal projectile, paintball players always wear protective goggles to protect their eyes. Safety is highly stressed at most fields. Most fields require goggles be worn at all times unless in designated areas. Most fields also require that barrel plugs (plastic inserts that prevent projectiles from leaving your gun's barrel) be used while players are in certain areas. Ignoring safety rules is a good way to get yourself ejected from a field.

Does it hurt when you get shot? 

The paint pellets break open upon impact, and generally cause very little pain. What pain is experienced is more of a stinging sensation from the pellet's impact against the skin or through clothing. In my experience, the stinging pain goes away after a few seconds. Of course, the closer you are to the muzzle of the gun, the higher the velocity of the pellet when it hits you. Thus, more pain may be experienced when shot at close range rather than farther away. We do apply the “point blank rule”. In general, one can count on coming off the field with a few welts from paintball impacts, but your most annoying injuries are more likely to be scrapes and bruises from the local terrain. 

Do I have to be on a team? 

You don't have to have an organized team or go to an organized field in order to play. If you have some paintball guns, paintball goggles, and a few friends, you can simply get together and shoot at each other. Most commercial fields allow walk-on games, where anybody can show up and play. We welcome new players! We can supply you with everything you need to have the time of your life! 

What kind of paintball field should I look for? 

For the first few games you should play on a well-organized field. Size is not the best way to judge the field. The field should be clean and organized with well-placed bunkers and no hidden hazards. The things to watch for are the number of referees on the field for each game and the explanation of the rules. The rules of safety and specific rules for the field/game should be clearly stated by a referee before anyone steps foot on the field to play. There should also be a sufficient number of referees for the number of players; one referee can not handle a field with fifty people on it. If these conditions are not met, you should seriously consider waiting for your first day until you find a field better suited to a beginner. 

How much does it cost to play? 

The average field in will cost approximately $27+ for 1-day rental of goggles, gun and usually some paintballs. A beginner should plan on using 400-600 paintballs for the first few days with rental guns. A day of play is usually 10:00am to 5:00pm. If you start playing regularly and would like to have your own equipment, you have several options open to you. You can buy an entry-level semi-automatic for $100 to $300. A new pair of goggles might cost $35 to $70. Buying yourself a new pair of goggles designed specifically for paintball is a must. Paint costs about $.05 to $.09 per pellet. You may go through several hundred pellets of paint over the course of a single day, so this cost should be a long-term consideration. Depending on the type of gun you're using, the cost of CO2 should also be a long-term consideration. If you're using a 12-gram gun (see list of terms, below) you can buy disposable 12-gram "powerlets" or larger CO2 tanks which are a much better value. If you're using a compressed air tank or a CO2 tank, you should be able to get it refilled at your local paintball shop or field for about $3-$5, depending on its size. 

What do I need to bring?

 Some Fields may not supply food or have facilities where food can be bought so a lunch and snacks should be brought just in case. Bring water, lots of water. Bring old, sturdy, dark clothes and shoes or boots with some sort of ankle support. Hueston Woods Paintball does sell a large variety of food and non-alcoholic beverages. 

What safety equipment do I need? 

The minimum safety equipment necessary is goggles, throat protection, and, for men, a protective cup. 

How can I play safe?

  • Do not shoot animals or wildlife.
  • Do not fire your paint gun anywhere except on the field during the game or in the designated chronograph area/shooting range.
  • Inspect the lens of your goggles for cracks or signs of weakness. 
  • Make sure your mask is well seated and will not come off during the game. 
  • Make sure the velocity of your paint gun is below 280 feet per second or less. 
  • Always assume the gun is loaded even if you know otherwise. 
  • Always assume safety devices won't work. 
  • Unload the gun when not in use. 
  • Upon receiving or retrieving a gun, check to see if it's loaded. 
  • Anytime you are carrying a paint gun in a 'safe zone' such as the parking lot or staging area where people are not wearing goggles; you MUST have a barrel plug in the barrel.
  • Know the rules of the game and abide by them. 
  • Never remove goggles while on the field. 
  • Do not play when very tired or hungry. Bring food or money to buy food from field. Most injuries occur at the end of the day when players are exhausted. 
  • NEVER look down the barrel. Not even with protection. If barrel needs checking remove from the gun and check. If the barrel cannot be removed, disconnect all CO2/CA equipment, test fire the gun downrange until no more gas is left in the gun, clear the breech or ball loading area, and then, carefully and while wearing goggles, glance down the barrel. Notify the field owner or manager of any medical conditions, allergies etc.

Do I need to be physically fit to play? 

Not really, but it will help. As with all strenuous exercise participants should stretch and warm up before playing. Since typical games require quick sprints followed by a rest having good an-aerobic fitness is beneficial. Players should gauge their play to their level of fitness. All players in poor physical condition or with physically limiting conditions should consult a physician before playing. Proper footwear is very important. Some players find that lightweight canvas topped army boots or leather work boots protect feet and ankles in the woods. Other players prefer the support that sneakers give as paintball does involve running. Some wear spiked athletic shoes for better traction. Personal preferences vary, but footwear should not be overlooked. 

Can I get the paint out of my clothes? 

Paint is water-soluble and should wash out as normal.




12 gram CO2 "powerlets" used for many years in pellet rifles. Powered the early paintball guns.


Action Pursuit Games--a paintball magazine


A special bulk CO2 tank designed to prevent the gun from sucking liquid.

Barrel Plug

A plug that goes in the business end of the marker's muzzle. It prevents projectiles from accidentally leaving the gun.

Bottom Line

Usually refers to the local of the CO2 tank on the bottom rear portion of the marker's pistol grip. Desired since it makes shooting the gun with a mask on much easier.

Bunker (noun)

An object or embankment on the field that a player uses for cover.

Bunker (verb)

To charge a bunker and eliminate, a close range, any players hiding behind it.


Constant Air--allows marker to use bulk CO2 tanks rather than 12 gram.


A device used to measure the velocity (speed) of a paintball coming out of a barrel. The safe maximum speed of a paintball is 300 feet per second.


Carbon Dioxide--compressed gas used to power markers.

Feeder Agitator/Power Loader

An electronic device which is located at the base of the feeder. The agitator insures that balls feed through the bottom of the feeder and do not "clog" up. Often used on very smooth firing guns like the Automag or Autococker since these guns "shake" very little. Can also obsolete a Power Feeder since it insures that a pellet will always be available to the gun.


Feet per second. The measurement of speed at which the paintball travels. 300 fps is the maximum velocity a paintball may travel safely.

Harness or Speed Pack

Belt/harness system for carrying loaders of paint so that a player may reload their feeder/hopper on the field during play.


A device that holds paintballs on top of your gun. Some may be motorized.

HPA or Compressed Air

High-pressure compressed air (3000 to 4500 psi) is usually used instead of CO2 in tournament paintball. The use of HPA requires specialized high-pressure tanks and regulators, which lower the output pressure to what the paint guns can handle.


Politically Correct terminology for a paintball gun

N2 or Nitrogen

Nitrogen was developed as an alternative to CO2 for tournament paintball because high-pressure nitrogen through a regulator is not as temperature sensitive as CO2. While nitrogen isn't used as much any more, the high pressure tanks and regulators are usually now filled with compressed air (HPA) which is 70% nitrogen.




Paint pellets, Paintballs.

Power Feed

A device which causes paintballs to enter the firing chamber.


PSI stands for Pounds Per Square Inch and is a measurement of pressure.


Hoses and fittings which allow the bulk CO2 tank to be detached from the manufacture's intended location on the gun, then located elsewhere (e.g. on the player's hip).

Siphon Bottle

A special CO2 talk designed to suck liquid into the gun.


Speedball is a game played on small fields with little natural cover. Bunkers usually consist of wooden pallets, tires or other man-made barricades. Speedball fields are designed to allow spectators to see the action. 


A device used to clean paint from the barrel of a marker