Paintball Tips & Strategy: How to Win at Paintball

BY: Groupon Editors |May 19, 2017

For Dominick Schwartz, the paintball field is a second home. Schwartz grew up amid the makeshift forts and bunkers of Paintball USA, the SoCal paintball company run by his parents, Mike and April. Later, he joined the Army and completed tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

We asked Schwartz if some of the military strategies he learned in the Army translate to the far less-serious world of paintball. If you've picked up a paintball deal and want to win your next round, check out five of his favorite paintball tips below.

1. Leapfrogging

The move: You shoot while a teammate bounds forward unexpectedly. Keep doing this, and occasionally switching roles, until you've advanced to the desired position.

Why it works: Schwartz says you'll "rarely ever shoot straight in front of you. You're crossed up with the guy on the other side of the field ... so no one can run up on him and no one can run up on you." But you need to break this stalemate and advance on your opponent, so Schwartz recommends leapfrogging, one of his top paintball tips, which is modeled after a military technique known as "buddy livefire."

2. Flanking

The move: This paintball strategy is simple—the bulk of your team pushes forward while a smaller, secret force sneaks out to hit the enemy from behind.

Why it works: Flanking gives you a chance to get behind your opponents without them noticing. "They don't even see it coming," Schwartz says with just a hint of glee.

3. Dividing and Conquering

The move: First, split up the left and right sides of your team evenly, saving two players for the middle. "Just hammer the left and right side and maintain the middle," Schwartz advises. Then, when some of your opponent's forces have gravitated to the left or the right, "pull everyone back to the middle and run up that way." Gulp.

Why it works: If you think you're in danger of being outflanked by an opponent, this is one of the best ways to counterattack.

4. Playing Dead

The move: When you get shot in a typical paintball match, you have to call out "dead man walking" and walk off the field. Schwartz uses this to his advantage. "You can get up any time in a tournament game and pretend like you're dead," he explains. "You can't actually say it, because then it's a penalty. But you can just get up and pretend to walk off the field like you're dead and then just start shooting people."

Why it works: This simple trick play is designed to lull the enemy into a false sense of security. And as long as it's not explicitly against the rules of paintball, then it's totally legal. Whatever works, right?

5. Trading One for One

The move: To use this paintball strategy, all you need to do is abandon your own hopes for survival and run out into enemy territory, guns blazing.

Why it works: The theory is, "It's OK if I get shot as long as I take somebody with me," Schwartz says. Both teams might each be down one player, but by being the aggressor, you might even take some extra enemies down with you.