Airsoft and paintball are both popular games amongst the masses and while they involve using firearms for player versus player combat, the style and look of the gameplay as well as the equipment is quite different.
A close look at Airsoft shows that this sport is inspired by the military, as the game offers mock-military style objectives and combat and participants have to eliminate their opponents. A lightweight and small BB is fired by the guns used in Airsoft, which is made of bio-material, or compressed plastic. Military enthusiasts are drawn to Airsoft because the clothing and equipment is as historically accurate and realistic as possible.
As for Paintball, this game involves quick elimination of the players and it is very fast-paced. The projectiles used comprise of polyethylene glycol, dye and other water-soluble substances and they splatter upon hitting a player. This allows players to see who has been hit. The guns used in Paintball are called ‘Markers’ for this reason and their power source is compressed gas. The energy rating of these guns is higher as opposed to ones used in Airsoft because more energy is needed for propelling the larger paintballs.
What hurts more paintball or airsoft? As the sizes of the ammunition of the two games are vastly different, Paintball strikes hurt more than those of Airsoft. The projectiles used in Paintballs tend to have a higher impact rate, due to which players are required to wear light armor and need full-face protection. As far as Airsoft players are concerned, they have to wear safety glasses for the most part.
Only if it is a close quarter game, then Airsoft players are required to ‘pad up’ a bit because a hit might sting. While speed of wind, direction, distance and other factors can affect the hit, Paintball tends to hurt more than Airsoft.