Outdoor vs. Indoor Paintball: Choosing Your Game

Outdoor vs. Indoor Paintball

Any pro paintball player has encountered the outdoor vs. indoor paintball debate during their career. 

These are the two major divisions of paintball, and you will have to choose one. You must have all the information about each one before you make the final choice.

Both variations have setbacks and advantages, and the final choice will depend on the user. Paintball is a fun sport, and the best paintball fields in the US offer indoor and outdoor paintball. Let us get into the details and see which one is the best for you;

Advantages Of Indoor Paintballs

Indoor paintball is popular, especially among beginners and kids. It has grown in popularity because of some major advantages it offers. Let us look at its benefits to see if they will make you choose it over outdoor paintball;

1. Convenience

Indoor paintball arenas don’t need much space; therefore, you can find them virtually anywhere. A large hall is big enough for a decent indoor arena, and you can find one in the suburbs or the middle of a city Centre.

This positioning is convenient since you can get to the arena easily, and other establishments are close to you for meals and fun activities.

If you are a city family, then the most convenient option will be an indoor paintball arena. As a business owner, starting an indoor paintball arena is easier since you don’t need much space. 

2. Weather

An awesome perk of indoor paintball is that you don’t worry about the weather. Weather can be predictable, and it can get rainy, muddy, or cold, which makes it nearly impossible to enjoy a paintball game.

Indoor conditions are monitored and controlled by technology, so you don’t have to worry about bugs, rain, or the hot sun. 

You can play during any season at any time and have fun. It is, therefore, more reliable in planning as the weather cannot interrupt it.

3. It is clean

You don’t have to worry about getting dirty playing indoor paintball. Most arenas keep clean floors, and you will only get paint stains from the game. There isn’t any mud or dirt that will get on your amazing paintball jersey and ruin it.

The small floor space makes cleaning easier, and you will feel more comfortable having a child play here as a parent. There aren’t any sticks, bricks, nails, or other harmful debris; thus, it’s a good place to start.

4. It is safe

Indoor paintball has control over all aspects of the game. They have padding on most bunkers, rubber platforms, cushioned floors, and more safety features. You could fall and get up without sustaining any injury common in paintball. 

Additionally, the positioning of indoor positions means emergency services will have an easier time getting to you should you need urgent medical help. There aren’t any wild animals, sticks, nails, or hazardous materials to hurt you.

The players in such places are beginners or enthusiasts playing for fun; thus, it won’t get too competitive or athletic. 

5. Restrooms

This might not seem major, but indoor arenas make life much easier since it’s more like going to a gym. 

They have washrooms, showers, and changing rooms that make it easier to prepare before games and clean afterward.

A nice shower and a clean set of clothes will make for a better paintball experience than being in the middle of the woods.

Disadvantages Of Indoor Paintball

Indoor paintball has fun elements, but some major setbacks make some people, especially advanced players, shy away from it. Here are the biggest concerns when it comes to indoor paintball;

1. You can get out of the game early.

The first problem is a no-brainer but it makes games boring, especially for advanced paintball players. 

Indoor arenas aren’t so big, so players are close to each other. As such, there is little room to evade your opponents, and they could eliminate you quickly.

This means you will have short games or erratic shooting. The limited space does not allow for much strategizing since everyone is close together. This makes them ideal for speedball, but it will get boring after a few games. 

2. It is often very loud.

Paintball involves running, shooting markers, calling each other, laughing, and more. Consider all this in a room the size of two basketball courts. The sound echoes and comes off louder than they are; thus, the room is always noisy.

It is hard to communicate with your teammates; opponents can hear you if you shout and launch a counter-offensive. This, along with the small space, makes it hard for adults to enjoy, but it can be fun for the kids.

3. There isn’t much cover.

Arenas will build cover in the arena, but it does not allow for much stealth. In most cases, you’ll hide from paintballs, but the opponents will know where you are. 

Only a few high-end arenas have big enough cover to allow you to move unnoticed by the opponents. 

4. It gets crowded

Indoor arenas are popular among beginners and kids, and there are many of them. This means that there are a lot of customers at each location, and the small space means it gets crowded. The crowds contribute to the noise and make it harder to enjoy the game.

For a nice paintball experience, you should have enough room to move and hunt for your enemies, but the high user volume doesn’t allow it in indoor arenas.

Advantages Of Outdoor Paintball

If you run into any professional paintball player and ask them to choose between indoor and outdoor paintball, they will most likely go with outdoor paintball.

Outdoor paintball is a fun and immersive game, so let us look at some advantages that make it so popular;

1. A lot of space

Naturally, indoor facilities are smaller than outdoor paintball fields, and this is one of their biggest perks. 

A larger arena offers the potential for more fun than a small indoor arena. Outdoor spaces can support 20 or more players, and there is space to run and hide.

This makes the game more challenging and fun. You have a variety of strategies to help you take out the enemies and the space to evade them. Some arenas have large pieces of woodland that make milsim games more realistic.

The realism in outdoor paintball is why most professional competitions use them. It is more physically and mentally taxing; advanced players appreciate the challenge.

2. Multiple fields

Outdoor paintball arenas depend on the natural terrain to provide the playing area. Most arenas have large outdoor areas split into fields with different terrain. Outdoor arenas offer the option for exploring new terrain and challenges.

If you have a day for paintball, it will get boring in the same terrain, so the shift between woods, bushes, rocks, and so on will make it more fun. 

3. Realism and photos

It is easier to take photos outdoors with the right paintball camera. There are more landscapes and easier angles to shoot from for real-looking photos. Everything from the bunkers, trees, bushes, and rocks is real; therefore, the pictures are cooler.

The outdoors also give a more realistic paintball experience. Some arenas have milsim games that go for more than 24 hours, and the outdoors give the best scene for this. You won’t feel like a soldier while ducking behind a rubber bunker in an indoor arena.

4. Games last longer

Outdoor arenas mostly host professional paintball players. There is more space, better bunkers, and natural hideouts like trees, bushes, rocks, etc. Players use ghillie suits to hide and ambush their opponents.

All these elements bring a realism that makes outdoor paintball games last longer. You can play for hours without eliminating each other, which thrills professionals who want a challenge. 

5. It improves teamwork and coordination. 

If you want to make money playing pro paintball, your team must start with outdoor paintball to help you learn communication. 

As you play with large teams and multiple opponents, you will learn to talk and coordinate your attacks to be a more functional team.

You can learn how to flank opponents and take them out, which is impossible in small indoor arenas. You can also have more players on your team, which makes it an opportunity for a fun family trip.

Disadvantages Of Outdoor Paintball

Outdoor paintball is an immersive and amazing choice for a trip with friends, but you must be ready for everything. 

Some aspects of the game can be problematic for some players, and it’s important to know about them beforehand. 

Interference from the weather

You can’t control the elements in outdoor paintball; therefore, you must learn to play with it. It gets hot during summer, and you might have issues with your paintballs or tank due to the heat. You also have to get appropriate clothing to play paintball during summer.

The heat is not the only challenge, it could start raining at any moment, and you will have to cut your game short. There will be mud and water on the arena, which could get into your marker and cause a blockage.

Also, bugs and other vermin in the woods will make you uncomfortable. A milsim game that goes overnight will be a lot of trouble, should it snow or rain. 

Safety and hygiene aren’t guaranteed.

Outdoor paintball mostly happens in the woods with sharp branches, bushes with thorns, sharp rocks, and other potentially harmful items. 

There isn’t any cushioning, and you could easily get hurt if you don’t have the right paintball jerseys to protect you. 

Such places are best for adults and professionals that are used to the game, and kids might get injuries. 

Most milsim arenas don’t have bathrooms in the woods, so you have to go primal. It is an immersive experience but can get intense if you aren’t ready. 

This could come with a lot of confusion

Some arenas have large spaces; therefore, you could get separated from your team. This leads to miscommunications that could cause friendly fire. With time and training, you will learn to coordinate, which is a concern for beginners.

Paintball games have rules and field marshals to enforce the rules. It’s easy to enforce rules in a small indoor arena, but the players are far apart in outdoor games. This makes it hard for field marshals to keep up with each player; thus, it is easier for sneaky ones to cheat.

Which Is The Best, Indoor Or Outdoor Paintball?

There is no better choice regarding indoor and outdoor paintball; it depends on the player. Each variation has advantages and disadvantages, making it more suitable for a specific group.

Indoor paintball arenas will be good for kids or beginners. They are small with padded bunkers and floors, which means they are safe. The players also learn how to use their guns and hide without risk of injury.

The small size allows for full-time supervision by the field marshal, which ensures the game is safe and fair. 

Indoor paintball is also a solid choice for kids’ parties as it has reliable conditions. As you get more experience, you can move on to outdoor paintball.

Outdoor paintball will work for more advanced players that need a bigger challenge. There is more space and different terrain, which allows for more movement and strategic freedom. The game’s open nature makes it more realistic, which is why it is popular.


Hopefully, this article settled the outdoor vs. indoor paintball debate, and you can choose the best for your needs. 

There is no good or bad option; it depends on who you are and what you need. For young players, indoor paintball will be safe and ideal.

Advanced players will find most indoor arenas boring since it isn’t as challenging as outdoor paintball. 

Outdoor paintball is better for military simulation games, and you need to get the best paintball sniper rifle, pistol, or gun to have the time of your life.

John Henrick

My name is John Hendricks, and I am a passionate paintballer who loves to play and compete. I have been involved in the sport for many years and have a wealth of experience to share.
I believe that paintball is a great sport for people of all ages and skill levels and should be accessible to everyone. That’s why I created this website – to provide a one-stop shop for all things paintball.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.