The Answer To The Debate – Paintball vs Airsoft

Since the introduction of paintball and airsoft many years ago there has been an ongoing debate over which activity is not only the better combat simulation but which is, the safer. With so many ways in which these two games are very similar, it may seem hard to not only pick a preference but differentiate between the two. However, if you look a little closer, you can see that these combat simulations may not be as similar as they seem, with that there can only be one winner.

Paintball vs Airsoft comparison

With the primary information established above, it's safe to say that although there are many similarities, there are just as, many differences. Now it's hard to tell which simulation is the better, as each warrior has their idea of the ideal combat. But thanks to an in-depth analysis by the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project in the Us, we have some great statistic on the reported injuries to ultimately settle the debate and crown one of the activities as the safest. Now, from the graph above it may seem evident that Paintball be the safer option as the list of protective gear is not only extensive and of the highest of quality but unlike Airsoft protective gear is compulsory for all players.

Paintball and Airsoft injuries graph comparison

The report shows that between 2006 and 2008 there was a total of 2,800 reported paintball injuries, compared to a whopping 64,100 in airsoft. Similarly, over this period the total number of reported paintball injuries has halved, totally only 600 injuries in 2008. It’s projected that the number of total injuries in the UK sustained during paintball events is only a fraction of what is experienced in the US, thus supporting the notion that paintball is one of the safest activities in the UK.

However, one of the key reasons, as suggested in the article, for paintball demonstrating such an impressive safety record is due to stringent safety guidelines expressed by certain paintball providers. At Delta Force, we pride ourselves on being industry leaders when it comes to safety. The UK Paintball Association (UKPBA) has awarded Delta Force with 5-Star accreditation due to our industry-leading safety standards, including providing all players with full head protection goggles, body armour and full-length combat suits with protective collars. At Delta Force, we believe that our rigorous safety practices positively contribute to paintball being officially recognised as a safer activity than airsoft.

Delta Force Paintball battlepacks in equipment store

Delta Force marshal checks children's helmets

To ensure that we continue to be the leaders in safety for simulated combat sport we have put together a small reminder about the rules and regulations at Delta Force to ensure that the combat is still a simulation and does not result in combat in reality.

The Rules:

Now that you have familiarised yourself with the rules it's time to plan and strategise, check out our tips and tactics post to ensure your game isn't just safe but victorious

1. Familiarise Yourself

Read through your booking confirmation and event guide, so you are familiar with how the day runs as well as what to wear paintballing. You can also forward this on to other members of your group, so you arrive prepared.

2. Pay Attention

Pay attention during the morning safety brief. The centre manager will relay      relevant information about the day's’ event as well as sneaky manoeuvres to use in our themed game zones.

3. Your Uniform

Always wear your paintball goggles, your uniform should be worn with dignity and pride and is to be worn at all times when you are outside of the base camp. Our full head helmets provide 360-degree protection and ensure you play in comfort. We take your safety seriously at Delta Force Paintball. Anyone who fails to comply will be removed from the games for the rest of the day.

4. Listen to the Marshall's

Listen to the ‘commander’ ( manager and marshals) at all times; they will provide you with assistance, allowing a stress-free experience. It’s their duty to protect you, accountable for ensuring you receive the necessary instructions and that you are fully equipped and trained to go to war.

5. Warm Up

Your training is vital to your success, and it is advisable to do a light warm up or stretches before you get amongst the action.

6. Communicate

Communicate at all times with your teammates – this is an essential tactic needed to ensure victory on the battlefield. You are a team, so you need to work alongside together to secure a win safely.

7. Stock Up

Always stock up during the breaks between games and make use of battle packs to carry extra ammo.

8. No Blind Firing

If you can't, see what you are firing at, don't shoot. Many players are tempted to stick their guns out and fire without looking, but blind firing can lead to accidentally shooting players who are leaving the field, referees, or other things you shouldn't shoot.

9. Shoot Less Than 300 FPS

Keep paintball velocities under 300 (and generally under 280) feet per second (FPS). A paintball that travels at 280 FPS can cause small bruises, while a paintball that travels faster can cause significantly more damage including severe welts and broken skin.

10. Never Shoot an Eliminated Player

Players may never intentionally fire at a player who has been eliminated as they are no longer in game mode and may not be aware of the people around them.

11. Use Barrel Plugs

All guns are to be blocked with a barrel plug or barrel sock when masks are not on. Unless everyone has a mask on, do not take out your barrel plugs.

12. Have Fun

Have fun, our exciting mission scenarios will entertain and thrill over the course of the day, embrace the adrenaline pumping through your veins.


Two players move from smoke to blood-spattered coffin

For more details on what makes Delta Force the UK’s safest paintball provider click here.