There are many different types of loaders in paintball.
There are gravity-fed loaders, magfed loaders (magazines), electronic loaders (low-mid-high range) and then there’s the Virtue Spire IV.
Okay.. I may be exaggerating a little bit here, but the performance of the Virtue Spire IV (4 for dumb people like me) really does put this paintball loader in a league of its own.
Don’t believe me?
Take a stroll down to your local speedball field and see what loaders most of the players are using. I can guarantee you’ll see a slew of Spire IVs and Spire III’s everywhere you look. And the players who aren’t using the Spire IV, probably wish they had one.
And who could blame them?
The Virtue Spire IV outperforms virtually every loader ever made and (in my opinion) is the most aesthetically pleasing paintball loader of all time. Unfortunately, the Spire IV is also one of the most expensive paintball loaders of all time, but if you have the financial means then it’s certainly worth it.
Let’s find out if this is the right paintball loader for you.
Best Features Of the Virtue Spire IV
Listed below are some of the best features of the Virtue Spire IV and my personal review of this hopper.
Let’s get to it.
Looks Aesthetically Pleasing
There’s no paintball loader (low-end or high-end) currently on the market that looks more aesthetically pleasing than the Virtue Spire 4. Its low-profile design and aerodynamic features not only give the Spire IV an intimidating appearance that many players love, but it also helps to promote bounces which can be useful as well.
And while the Spire 3 and Spire 4 are both identical in terms of shape and size, the Spire IV does come with a few advantages in the cosmetics department.
The first advantage that you’ll notice right away is that the Spire 4 comes with an upgraded chromatic trim (the lining where the loader separates from top to bottom) and a chromatic paint window (used to see how many paintballs are inside of loader) that gives the Spire IV a futuristic vibe that I and many other players love.
Combine the chromatic trim (and paint window) with the new injection molded Virtue logo on the side of the Spire 4 and you have one impressive-looking paintball loader. Plus you don’t have to worry about the sticker peeling off (from heat, being shot, scratched, etc) as you do with the Spire 3.Some of the color options you can choose when purchasing the Spire IV include:
- Brush Camo
- Graphic Amethyst
- Graphic Black
- Graphic Emerald
- Graphic Fire
- Graphic Ice
The black and Brush Camo options are typically used for woodsball and the other color options with chromatic trim are used for speedball.
Has an Amazing Feed-Rate (Never Jams)
While the looks of the Virtue Spire IV are impressive and all, it’s the performance of this high-end paintball loader that has me convinced the Spire IV is the best hopper of all time.
So why does the Spire IV perform so well?
For starters, the Spire IV uses the same Proactive Feeding system that you’ll find on the Bunkerkings CTRL loader. Proactive Feeding essentially means the loader will start feeding paintballs (once it feels a vibration from the marker being fired) and won’t stop feeding until the stack is full.
And unlike other high-end loaders, the Virtue Spire IV is great at handling all types of paintballs (including brittle paint) thanks to the flexible rubber fingers (responsible for feeding the loader) and the smooth surfaces inside of the loader that help to prevent unnecessary breakage.
But wait, it gets even better.
You can further increase the performance of your Spire IV if you own a Virtue Ace (or a Luxe X, CS2, or CS2 Pro) by connecting your Spire 4 to your paintball gun by pairing it through Bluetooth with the use of the Spire IV iFI Wireless Technology.
This iFI wireless technology allows your Spire IV to communicate directly with the eyes of your paintball gun so that your loader will know exactly when to start and stop feeding paintballs as it can sense when there are any paintballs in the breach of the marker.
And if the eyes are ever turned off or get obstructed by dirt, paint, etc, then it will return to its normal Proactive Feeding mode.
Comes With a Low-Paint Indicator
Ever forget to reload before entering a big firefight and as a result, you ended up being eliminated?
Don’t worry, we’ve all been there.
Fortunately, the Spire IV can alarm you when it’s time to reload through the use of a small blinking LED light and an adjustable audible speaker alarm. The small LED light is located on the front side of the loader (on both sides) and blinks blue when the loader is (mostly) full and red when it needs to be reloaded. You can also preset the Spire IV to warn you audibly when it’s time to reload your hopper.
This is all accomplished thanks to the Smart Spring Ramp that comes with the technology to sense when the loader is low on paintballs and needs to be reloaded.
Easy to Perform Maintenance (Toolless Design)
Paintball loaders are getting easier and easier to perform maintenance on all the time.
And to be honest, I’m not sure how Virtue is going to make their future loaders any easier to perform maintenance on than they already are.
To begin maintenance on the Spire IV simply press the black button on the backside of the loader and then you can pull the top and bottom halves of the loader apart (starting with the backside). The front side of the loader is connected by a hinge which is why Virtue refers to the shell of the Spire III and the Spire IV as a Lambo door hinged shell.
I’m a huge fan of this “single-hinged shell” design as it makes it extremely simple to perform maintenance on the go. Unlike other high-end loaders that have to be separated into many different pieces when you want to clean the loader or change the batteries, the Spire IV (or III) can be separated into just two pieces (shell and toolless tray).
To remove the toolless tray all you have to do is lift the top shell while simultaneously pinching the black Tray Release Tab together (located on the rear side of the loader) and then pulling the tray up and out of the shell. Even the parts that make up the toolless tray – such as the magnetically attached Spire IV Drive and interchangeable Spire Drive Fingers – are easy to take apart and clean as well.
The last feature that makes the Spire IV easy to perform maintenance on is the easy to attach speed feed system. Simply press the button where the lid is attached to the loader and pull the regular lid off and attach the speed feed.
Can Be Connected to Some High-End Paintball Guns
An easy way to increase the performance of the Virtue Spire IV is to pair it with an iFI compatible paintball gun via Bluetooth. Unfortunately, the only paintball guns with iFI Wireless Technology are the Virtue Ace, Planet Eclipse CS2, CS2 Pro, and Luxe X.
By pairing an iFI compatible paintball gun with the Spire IV (via Bluetooth) you’ll instantly notice an improvement in stopping performance, idle performance, and even in your overall feed rate. This increase in performance is due to the integration of the eyes inside your marker and the board inside your loader.
This integration (eyes & loader board) gives you the best performance possible from a paintball loader since the Spire IV knows exactly when and when NOT to feed your paintball gun. Unlike other paintball loaders (including this one) that will sometimes put tension on the paintballs even when the marker isn’t being fired.
So does this mean you shouldn’t purchase the Virtue Spire IV unless you have one of the select paintball guns listed above?
No, not at all.
While the Proactive feeding system may not be as effective as the iFI wireless feeding technology, it’s still leaps and bounds better than most (if not all) of the competition. Integrating the two (eyes & loader) just gives you an even bigger advantage than you’ve already had.
There’s no need to worry about having connection problems with your Bluetooth either, as the Spire IV will simply revert to its proactive feeding system until the connection problems are fixed.
Settings Can Be Changed with Virtue Paintball + App
If you do have a paintball gun with iFI Wireless Technology then you can use the Virtue Paintball + app to effectively control every setting of your loader (Spire III & Spire IV) and paintball gun.Listed below are the loader settings you can control with the Virtue Paintball + app:
- Reload Alarm
- Reload Indicator
- G-Force Sensitivity
- Drive Pressure
- LED & N-Charge
- Firing Mode: NXL Mode, Burst Mode, Semi, Classic, Full Auto, and Ramping Mode
- Solenoid: Dwell, Anti Bolt Stick, and ABS Wait
- Eye & Trigger: Trigger Debounce, Eye Delay, Eye Malfunction RoF, and Anti Breech Bounce
- Ramp Settings: Ramp %, Ramp Activation BPS, and Ramp After Shots
- Timers: Game Timer, Max Idle Time, Timer Mode, and Auto Shutdown Time
- General: Sounds, Double Tap, and Audio Tone
I just love being able to change the RoF (Rate of Fire) of your paintball gun without having to use the tiny LED screen on the back of your marker’s grip. Instead, just whip out your smartphone and head over to the Virtue Paintball + app and you can now change your RoF (or ramp settings, firing mode, etc.) on the go.
280-Round Version Available
Last but not least, the Virtue Spire IV also comes in a 280-round version (the regular version holds 220 paintballs) for those heavy shooters out there. However, the 280-round version of the Spire IV can only be bought in black and their Reality Brush Camouflage pattern.
I guess Virtue had their woodsball audience in mind when they crafted the 280-round versions of the Spire IV.
Final Thoughts On the Virtue Spire IV
The Virtue Spire IV is one of the best paintball loaders of all time, but would I recommend this hopper to everyone?
Unless you’re a competitive speedball player, or just have more money than you know what to do with, then there are probably better paintball loaders available that will be more suited to your budget and playing style.
For example, the Virtue Spire IR2 only cost around half the price of the Spire 4, but yet it still delivers exceptional performance. Of course, the Spire IR2 doesn’t come with all the fancy features that come included with the Spire IV, but for the average player, it’s certainly worth the price decrease.
Some of the features you lose when buying the Spire IR2 instead of the Spire IV include the single-hinge shell, the smart spring ramp, the magnetically attached Spire Drive, and the electronic board with iFI Wireless Technology. The Spire IR2 is also lacking some of the fancy features that come included with the Spire IV such as the chromatic trim, the injection molding logo, and the low-paint indicator.
Don’t think you can live without those features?
Then by all means go ahead and purchase the Virtue Spire IV. But if you’re just an average paintball player and looking to save some money, then stick to the Spire IR2 and call it a day.