Archery Tag Vs. Paintball – Ultimate Comparison Guide (2024)

If you are new to paintball and all the equipment and field rents seem daunting, someone might have suggested you to try archery tag instead. And now here you are, confused about both the games, and trying to pick one out.

Sure, archery tag is far less expensive. But are they the same in the rest of the characteristics? Can you enjoy them at the same level? Or one is better than the other?

Here is all you need to know about them. Our guide will discuss all the differences as well as similarities between both games. So let us start with the similarities first!

Similarities Between Archery Tag & Paintball Game

Action Packed

If you are looking for some action and thrill through your adrenaline, both games are just perfect for you. You can have fun outside your home and play with your friends.

The games allow you to work out in a fun way. There is a lot of movement involved in both games. So if you are looking for some recreational sport, you can for either of them.

Game Rules and Style

Both games have more or less the same rules. The games are played between two opposing teams. The number of team members may vary depending on the availability of people as well as the size of the field. 

Playing Paintball In Woods

The games played among the teams are almost the same. You either have to shoot the members of the opposing team with a paintball gun or tag them with an arrow (while playing archery tag) so they are no longer allowed on the field.

You can play elimination, attack and defend, capture the flag, and such other games using different equipment.

Field Type

Whether you are playing paintball or archery tag, the field is set in the same way. The opposing teams face each other from either side of the field. There are bunkers placed throughout the field to provide hiding places and allow the players to attack from the ambush.

Playing Archery Tag

Differences Between Both Games

Maturity Level

If you go back to the previous century, you will find the beginning of paintball. The paintball marker was designed in the 1960s as an easy way to mark hard to reach trees. It was only in 1981 that the first game of paintball was played.

Hence, paintballing is a relatively new game but, as compared to archery tag, it has matured a lot through all these years. Whereas, archery tag started as recently as 2011.

This is one of the reasons that paintball has got a whole lot of variety in its equipment. There are countless models in markers, hoppers, masks, and tanks. And still, there is always something new coming into the market.

And these innovations are not limited to equipment only; novelties are coming in the game modes and styles too. Some games also allow the use of paint grenades and smoke balls, thus making the games more interesting.

All this development gives you a lot more choices to consider if you want to be a professional player. You can find where your passion lies, and whatever you choose, the possibilities are countless.


If we talk about the expenditures, paintball is much more expensive than archery tag. You can play combat archery with an eye mask, a bow, and a few arrows that can be reused. All these things can be rented and you will have to pay field rent along with these.

Or you can simply buy your bow and arrows once and they will stay by you for years to come.

How Much Does Paintball Cost

But as for paintballing, you either buy or rent your equipment and pay the field rent like in archery tag, but here the equipment is a bit more expensive. The rental or buying price of a bow and a good gun is not the same.

Unlike reusable arrows, paintball markers use perishable ammunition. The paintball rounds or pallets are made of biodegradable material that can be used only once.

Other than that, guns use gas to work. You need to refill your tanks with Co2 or HPA as long as you want to play. All these recurring expenditures make paintballing an expensive sport.

Pro Tip: If you want to play a game quite often it is always better to buy your own equipment instead of using the rental one. For paintballing, you can do some research and get a membership from the best nearby field. This way, you will be a privileged player with many favors on the field, resulting in a bring down of expenses.


Considering the age and popularity of paintball, you can expect it to be a game of professionals. There are paintball arenas all around the world. Different tournaments are held for professional players.

The players can make a decent amount of money playing paintball. The winning teams often get cash prizes of a huge value.

Other than the players, there are countless people who are attached to the game directly or indirectly by making equipment or working as field helpers.

Archery tag is much younger in age. There are fewer fields and tournaments for this game. Though it is gaining popularity at a great pace, it is not even close to paintball for the time being. 

Pain Factor

Paintball rounds move with a 200 mpa on average speed once shot from a gun. You can imagine the pain it will cause when it hits your body.

That is why you need to cover your eyes all the time when you are in the field. Because apart from the temporary bruises, eye injuries can be pretty serious, some may take your eyesight.

You may also want to cover the other parts of your body if the pain is not your thing. Because the paintball bruises can really hurt especially if shot from a near distance.

This is why opponents are not allowed to shoot unless there is a 10 to 15 feet distance between them. Still, if you are hit, the pain can stay for days.

Archery Tags Different From Paintballs

Archery tag is absolutely painless in that regard. The arrow heads are covered in foam padding before they are shot from the bows. Thus the soft padding makes it almost painless. 

Age Limit

Archery tag is a super simple game with next to no risk for the players. Kids as young as 7 years can participate in the game.

On the other hand, paintball is a bit risky for the young. Kids with 8 years of minimum age are allowed to play with low impact guns. In case you are playing with high impact guns, kids under 12 years of age are not allowed to enter the game. However, age limit for paintballing could differ from one to other field.

Playing Archery Tags Vs Paintball


You can imagine how messy paintballing can be with all those paintballs bursting on your clothes, body, mask, and all over the ground and bunkers. It can be annoying for you if you are a person too careful about cleanliness.

And not only this, you need to clean your equipment thoroughly once you have played the game. It is not like cleaning your stuff every once in a while.

It is cleaning EVERY time you use your stuff or it is not gonna work properly. Apart from the gear, that paintball stained dress you wore to the field is still lying there to be washed.

You do not have to care about all these things if you are playing with a bow and a few arrows. There is no mess around the field that needs to be cleaned after you play.

Everything is neat and tidy just like you take it to the field. Though that shirt will be better after a wash as you must have sweated in it.

Messiness In Paintball Vs Archery Tag


Although both games are played with more or less the same rules, archery tag is a much shorter game than paintball in regard to timing. Where a game of paintball can take anywhere from 10 minutes to 2 days, a game of archery tag will rarely go above 15 minutes duration.

Field Size

Paintball fields are usually wider. Most paintball fields are half the size of a football field. The games are played during daylight because you need a well-lit place to play and shoot the pallets.

A popular game mode of paintball called Woodball is played in natural fields where trees and boulders provide hiding places.

On the other hand, you can play archery tag in smaller areas. You can book any field, like a tennis court, park, private property, or anything of the sort. It does not necessarily have to be outdoors. Archery tag gives you the freedom to play indoors as well as at night times. 

Pros and Cons of Paintball


  • A worldwide recognized game with a good scope.
  • A matured sport with a variety of equipment 
  • Can keep you busy with your friends for days at length
  • Can be played in natural fields


  • Can be expensive
  • Messy

Comparison Of Archery Tag And Paintball

Pros and Cons of Archery Tag


  • Easy On Budget
  • Does not hurt
  • Does not make a mess


  • Not available in many countries
  • Not so matured in regard to equipment

Comparison Table of Paintball Vs. Archery Tag

PaintballArchery Tag
Action InvolvedThere is a lot of running and movement involved. Running and movement are required but on a lesser level than in paintball. 
GamesElimination, Capture the Flag, Attack and Defend, etc.Elimination, Capture the Flag, Attack and Defend, etc.
Field TypeBunkers placed throughout the field or played in the natural environment where trees and boulders provide ambush. Bunkers are placed throughout the field.
Equipment RequiredPaintball marker, hopper/loader, eye mask, gas tanks, paintball rounds/ palletsBow, foam tipped arrows, eye mask
ExpensesCan be expensive considering the cost of equipment, field rents, as well as the paintball rounds and gas refills.Quite easy on the pocket as compared to paintball. There are no recurring expenditures other than the field rents.
MessinessPaintballs burst on impact and that is how the game continues. Thus all the paint splattering around makes a lot of mess in the field and on our equipment and body. There is no mess involved
Pain FactorPaintball bullets can be expensive and the bruises can stay on the body for days at length.Archery tag is almost painless
Field SizeRequires a wide field. The size of a paintball field is half the size of a football field.Can be played in smaller fields or even indoorsTimingGames timing range anywhere from 10 minutes to 2 daysMost of the games do not exceed 15 minutesAge LimitMinimum 8  years of age for low impact guns and 12 years of age for high impact guns is requiredKids as young as 7 years old can play without any risk

Wrapping Up

We will conclude the comparison by saying that both games are action packed and super fun. If you want to go for an easier option or if you are looking for a recreational sport for your kids, archery tag can be a better choice.

But if you want to play like a pro and invest your time in a real game, you better opt for paintball. Because this sport can be pretty intense and you get really into it, the choices are limitless.

About The Author

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David Wilson - Your Trusted Paintball Expert

David Wilson is your dedicated paintball guru with over a decade of experience in the thrilling world of paintball. As a seasoned player, tournament enthusiast, and certified Paintball Safe Game Instructor, he's committed to sharing expert insights, unbiased reviews, and valuable strategies to elevate your paintball game.

With a passion for safety and a mission to empower paintballers of all levels, David brings authority and experience to every article, ensuring you make informed choices and enjoy a secure and thrilling paintball experience. Join him on the journey to enhance your skills and embrace the camaraderie of the paintball community. Read More About David!

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