9 Tips to Improve Your Paintball Gun’s Accuracy

Improve Your Paintball Gun’s Accuracy

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If you want to be competitive at paintball, you must improve your paintball gun’s accuracy. Many beginners think it is all about firing rate and unloading as many shots as possible, but it’s not.

We would rather have an accurate marker that can’t shoot quite as rapidly than a marker that is the fastest available, but you have no idea where the shots will fly. The “spray and pray” method is not an effective paintball strategy.

Suppose you want to consistently be accurate at shooting a paintball gun. In that case, you need to accomplish two things: 1) shoot with good form/technique and 2) play with a durable top-quality marker that is both reliable and consistent.

Today we will focus on ensuring that your marker is in peak condition for accuracy. So we are making two assumptions: 1) you are playing with a reputable marker known to be accurate, and 2) you know how to shoot paint using the proper form.

We are going to teach proper shooting techniques in another post because, oh man, have we seen some crazy ways you guys try to shoot! Today though, it’s all about optimizing your marker for accuracy.

So make sure you read the entire article because your marker will perform below its accuracy capabilities if you’re not following all 9 tips.

Tips to Improve Your Paintball Gun’s Accuracy

1. Upgrade your tank from CO2 to HPA

One of the easiest ways to make your marker more accurate is to upgrade your tank to high-pressure air (HPA) if you are currently using CO2. The thermodynamic properties of HPA are much more consistent and a more reliable pressure source.

Before we jump into the reasons for switching to HPA, we want to clarify that you need to make sure your marker can operate using high-pressure air. Most new paintball guns use HPA, but it is important that you verify your marker can use it before making the switch.

CO2 is what the original paintball guns used, and it has been around for a long time, but CO2 started to get fazed out in favor of HPA over the last 10 to 15 years. So why has the paintball industry unanimously voted in favor of the switch to high-pressure air?

Think back to high school chemistry and the equation Pressure * Volume = Temperature. CO2 is very temperature sensitive, and using the P*V=T equation, we know that temperature and pressure are directly related. Therefore, if CO2 is temperature sensitive and the temperature in your tank goes up, so does the pressure! (And vice versa, i.e., if the temperature goes down, so does the pressure.)

Because CO2’s temperature does not stay consistent, if you go out and shoot 100 paintballs, the operating temperature (and pressure) used to fire the 1st paintball can vary significantly from the temperature and pressure on the 100th paintball.

And if your pressure is jumping all over the place, your accuracy will jump all over the place.

Do yourself a favor and upgrade to HPA. It’s much more consistent with its temperature and pressure, so your accuracy can be improved. Also, you can easily fill your HPA tank using our guide How To Fill Paintball Tank With Air Compressor.

2. Keep your marker as clean as a whistle

Playing paintball with a dirty marker is a surefire way to be inaccurate. We think dirty markers are the primary reason many paintballers complain about inaccuracy.

When a paintballer comes to us whining about how inaccurate their marker is, the first question we always ask them is, “When was the last time you thoroughly cleaned and inspected your paintball gun?”

And we don’t mean just simply running a squeegee through the barrel. When was the last time you cleaned and inspected the entire marker? It’s not just dirt and grime in your barrel that will make your marker inaccurate.

Need a quick checklist for what to clean and inspect?

  • raceway inside your motor
  • eyes
  • detents
  • bolt and hammer
  • barrel
  • body

Can you keep your marker clean as a whistle all the time? No! It’s impossible to play paintball and not have dirt and grime end up on and inside your marker.

But there is no good reason to let your paintball gun stay dirty. Make it a habit to routinely clean and inspect your marker frequently, particularly after a rough and dirty match. Keeping your marker clean as a whistle will greatly improve your accuracy.

Paintball Gun in field
Clean Paintball Gun in field

3. Don’t over-lube parts

Our third tip on improving the accuracy of your marker will take you some time and practice to really figure out if this is impacting you. It is important to keep strategic parts on your marker lubed up for maintenance and performance, but using too much lube on some parts can lead to it being spread into places where lube shouldn’t be.

And guess where extra lube eventually ends up? Usually in the barrel. If any lube gets in the barrel and coats it, the accuracy of your shots will become very erratic.

Unfortunately, we can’t tell you how much lube is too much; you will have to learn by trial and error. But if you notice lube making its way into your barrel, you might want to back off just a little on lubing up some of the parts in your marker.

4. Inspect your paint for imperfections

How many of you take the time to inspect your paint before using it? Yeah, we know it can take some time. And honestly, the quality control for most reputable paintball distributors is good. But they’re not 100% perfect with a flawless product.

You might not realize it, but small imperfections on a paintball round can greatly affect how it flies through the air. Paint with dimples, flat spots or divots can have a much different velocity and trajectory than paintballs with perfect round dimensions.

(Not to mention, you should be inspecting your paint anyway because one bad paintball breaking inside your marker because of imperfection can ruin your day.)

Don’t rely on the paintball manufacturer to catch every imperfection. Take some time to inspect your rounds for dimples, divots, or flat spots. We usually get our paint out the night before a match and give it a quick inspection. It can take anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes, depending on how much you plan on using, but catching a load that has imperfections before using it can have a big impact on your accuracy the following day.

5. Inspect your regulator and upgrade

We discussed how to upgrade from CO2 to HPA so your marker will have a more consistent operating pressure. After all, if your operating pressure, and subsequently velocity, is erratic, your shot patterns will also be erratic.

And upgrading from CO2 to HPA will significantly improve, but guess what else can prevent your marker from having consistent pressure/velocity? An inferior or faulty regulator.

The design and quality control of most regulators today is excellent. But they are made with flaws. To learn how to test your regulator. And if it isn’t operating properly, repair or replace it with a good regulator that will deliver consistent operating pressure.

6. Clean and inspect your hopper

We recommended making sure your marker is clean and listed several parts you should clean and inspect. But what we left out? The hopper!

It is just as important to keep a clean hopper as it is to keep a clean barrel. After all, everything that starts in the hopper eventually ends up in the barrel. If your hopper has dirt, oil, broken paint, or shell, it will ultimately end up in the market, leading to a wildly inaccurate shot.

7. Buy the right caliber paintballs for your barrel bore size

Another common mistake paintballers make is not correctly optimizing their paint and barrel bore size.
So what happens if you don’t select the optimal size paint for your barrel?

Paintballs that are too small for the bore will bounce around as they exit the barrel and won’t have a smooth flow. Paintballs that are too big for the bore cause friction between the paint and barrel as they flow toward the exit. This friction will cause them to either break in the barrel or create so much drag during their flow that they will lose velocity.

Paintballs Green
Paintballs Green

In either scenario, this negatively impacts accuracy significantly.

Need an easy test to see if you are using the correct-sized paintballs? Here’s how to do it.
Unscrew the barrel from your marker and grab a paintball. Drop a round down the barrel. If the paint drops straight through, you are using too small paint for the bore.

If the paint gets stuck in the bore, put the barrel up to your mouth and give it a small burst of air by blowing in it. Is it still stuck in the barrel? Your paint is too big for the bore. However, if the paint exits the barrel after a small burst of air, your paintballs are the optimal size for the barrel.

8. Use a clean squeegee when cleaning your barrel

Ready for one of our biggest pet peeves? Use a clean squeegee when you are cleaning your barrel. It drives us nuts when we see players putting a dirty squeegee down their barrel.

Why on earth would you use a dirty squeegee to clean your barrel? The whole point of the squeegee is to clean your barrel. Using a dirty squeegee is like using a dirty mop to clean the floor. If anything, you are probably doing more harm than good.

Your barrel will only be as clean as the squeegee you put through it. We have seen people use squeegees with dirt, grass, shell, weeds, etc., all over them.

Guess where all of the debris from that squeegee ends up? Using a dirty squeegee is like sanding down the inside of the barrel. So please use a clean squeegee when cleaning the inside of your barrel.

Clean Paintball Barrel
Clean Paintball Barrel

9. Upgrade your barrel

If you have spent time in an online paintball forum, you have probably heard lots of chatter about how important it is to upgrade your barrel if you want to have a more accurate marker. So why did we wait until tip #9 to talk about upgrading your barrel?

Undoubtedly, the barrel length on your marker impacts the accuracy of your paintball gun, but many players overstate the impact of upgrading to a longer barrel.

First of all, it doesn’t matter how long or awesome your barrel is if you don’t follow the previous eight tips we laid out. If your marker is dirty and not in optimal operating conditions, a longer barrel is not going to fix your accuracy issues.

However, if you are following the last eight tips and still have accuracy issues, it may be time to consider upgrading your barrel.

There are two factors where you can upgrade your barrel for accuracy: (1) The length of the barrel and (2) The quality of the construction.

Barrel size plays a small but important role in the consistency and accuracy of your shots. We prefer a 14″ barrel, but anything between 12″ and 16″ should provide adequate performance.

Keep in mind, though, that it is not just the length of the barrel that affects accuracy; the overall construction and quality are extremely important. In fact, there are many 12″ barrels out there that are better quality and more accurate than some of the 14″ or 16″ barrels.

The length of the barrel should not be the only factor affecting your decision on how to try and improve your marker’s accuracy. If you’re looking to improve the accuracy of your marker by upgrading the barrel, you need to consider both the length AND the quality of its construction.

We highly encourage upgrading to a top quality paintball barrel if you have the budget for it. However, don’t expect a new barrel to miraculously solve all your accuracy issues if you’re not following the other 8 tips we recommend.

Remember: having a consistently accurate shot in paintball requires consistent attention to detail.
That’s why you must follow all 9 tips we discussed because, unfortunately, if you make just 1 of these mistakes, it can negatively impact the accuracy of your paintball gun.


Paintball is a game of precision, and accuracy is key, especially for competitive play. Accurate shots are necessary to eliminate opponents strategically and gain an advantage on the playing field. In casual or recreational play, accuracy is less important, as the emphasis is more on having fun.

Paintball is a game of precision, and accuracy is key, especially for competitive play. Accurate shots are necessary to eliminate opponents strategically and gain an advantage on the playing field. In casual or recreational play, accuracy is less important, as the emphasis is more on having fun.

Paintball markers with two-finger triggers offer better comfort and control during play. This design improves accuracy by allowing players to pull triggers with greater precision. Two-finger triggers enable experienced players to fire faster and improve their performance. The choice between a one-finger or two-finger trigger ultimately depends on your personal preference and shooting style.


Whether you’re playing woodsball, speedball, or scenario, it is pretty much impossible to be competitive if you’re not playing with an accurate marker. As we said earlier, the “spray and pray” method is not an effective paintball game strategy!

Improving your accuracy can sometimes be frustrating. Sometimes improvements can be made with a quick, easy, and obvious fix, while other times, it seems like you’ve tried everything, and it can be a struggle to figure out what exactly is causing the marker to be so inaccurate.

That’s why it’s really important that you get to know your marker. Don’t just take it out of the box when you get it and immediately start playing. Take the time to read the manual to understand how it should operate. It’s much easier to diagnose the problem when you know something isn’t working as it should be.

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