5 Tips to Stop Paintballs From Hurting and Avoid Bruises

showing you what a paintball bruise looks like

Many players would love to play the sport of paintball but are worried about the pain of getting shot and the bruises or welts they leave behind.

Fortunately, I have some good news if you’re a first time player, and that good news can be summed up in one word. Adrenaline.

Adrenaline is a hormone that’s created by your body to help both increase your overall energy output and decrease the amount of pain you feel. And it just so happens that adrenaline is released in high amounts throughout your body whenever you play paintball. This is why so many beginner players repeat the famous words “that didn’t hurt as bad as I thought it would” after they get shot for the first time.

Of course, unless you’re one of those unfortunate players who get shot for the first time and it hits their hand, neck, or other “sensitive areas”… If you know what I mean…

Luckily, there are a handful of steps you can take to help both reduce the pain of getting shot by a paintball and the size of bruises or welts that are left after the pain. Continue reading below to find out what these 5 tips are that can make that happen.

How to Reduce Paintball Pain and Avoid Bruises or Welts

Here are the 5 best tips below that will help you stop paintballs from hurting and reduce the severity of the bruises or welts that are left once the pain has gone. 

1. Wear Multiple Layers of Clothing

The best way to reduce the amount of pain you feel when getting hit by a paintball and the likeness that it leaves a bruise or welt behind is to wear multiple layers of clothing. Not just any clothing either, but multiple layers of long sleeve shirts and pants. The more layers you wear, the less likely it will hurt or bruise.

Just make sure to wear layers that fit your current weather situation. You don’t want to have a heat stroke while you’re out playing on the field. And trust me, things will heat up quickly once you begin running and crawling around everywhere.

It’s also important to wear something along the lines of a hat or a headwrap to protect your head from getting shot and bruised up. 

2. Wear Body Armor and Gloves

Another great way to reduce the pain of being shot by a paintball is to wear body armor – such as neck and chest protectors – and gloves. Plus, if you’re worried about what your fellow employees and employers are going to think about bruises and welts all over your body, then it’s even more important that you pay attention to cover and protect the areas that will be hard to hide at work. This means you need to wear gloves, headgear, a neck protector (learn how to protect your neck in paintball), and a well-fitting mask.

And if you’re a guy, you may also want to consider wearing compression shorts or pants designed with extra padding below the belt. You could consider wearing a cup, but to be honest I’ve never worn one myself as I always thought it would be uncomfortable. If you believe this to be untrue, then leave a comment below and please let me know.

3. Play More Aggressive

I know playing aggressive sounds like it would result in the opposite for reducing pain, but hear me out. If you find yourself playing too defensively, then your body won’t be producing as much adrenaline and therefore it will hurt more when you get shot. Now if you play too aggressively, then, of course, you’re going to get shot way more and it will lead to more bruises and welts.

Read More: Paintball Tips for Beginner Players

So maybe the advice shouldn’t be to play more aggressively, but to not play more defensively? Yeah.. let’s go with that.

4. Stay in the Middle of the Pack

An easy way to reduce the likeliness of being shot in paintball is to simply stay in the middle of the pack whenever you play. You might be thinking “hey, wouldn’t the people in the back of the pack be shot the least?” And while this may be true on most occasions, there is also a high likelihood that players on the enemy team will flank around you and shoot you in the back.

I do this to beginner players all the time because they never seem to expect you to come up behind them. So unless you’re absolutely certain that no enemy players can sneak behind you, stay in the middle of the pack. Or at least in the back-mid area.

5. Wear Camouflage

Players can’t shoot what they can’t see. So while wearing camouflage won’t reduce the pain of being shot by a paintball or the chance of a bruise or welt being left behind, it will help you to avoid getting shot. The best way to avoid getting shot, however, is to avoid moving completely when under watch by the enemy. Of course, wearing good camouflage will help you remain hidden when playing in the woods, but moving very slowly (or not at all) when playing woodsball can help you hide in plain sight without being seen. 

Related: Ghillie vs Leaf Suit: Best Form of Camouflage?

This is especially true if you’re wearing a ghillie suit when playing in the woods. There are times when I’m standing out in the open and players will look directly at me without noticing I’m there. And as long as I don’t make any sudden or quick movements while they’re looking at me, it’s possible they won’t see me at all.


Now, these 5 tips aren’t going to guarantee that you won’t get shot by a paintball or end up with bruises or welts, but they’ll help reduce the chance of either happening. However, if you absolutely can’t be covered in bruises or welts (maybe your wedding is in the next couple of days), then your best bet is to avoid playing paintball altogether. 

Even though you’re most likely going to be fine and not have any major bruises on your body, there’s no way to be 100% certain that some jerk speedballer or “Milsim enthusiast” isn’t going to bonus ball you at close range and leave you full of welts and bruises. After all, anything can happen in a game of paintball. 

Fortunately, you can use make-up to cover up any ugly bruises that you don’t want to be seen by your peers. Just make sure to match it correctly to your skin tone or it could look worse than before. 

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Woodsball player, magfed player, automag owner, paintball sniper. Have played woodsball and scenario paintball (on and off) since 2007 and still loving the game!


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