Top 10 Best Paintball Gun Reviews of 2017
 Top Rated Markers For Beginner to Pro Players

paintball player silhouette

Last Updated: March 10, 2017

Finding the best paintball gun to fit your needs isn’t always an easy task. There are so many different styles of paintball guns on the market today it can be a bit confusing to find which one is the right choice for you. Luckily our team is here to help make it easier for you! With our years of experience on the field we have assembled a list of the top 10 best paintball markers currently on the market in 2017.

Whether you are beginner or pro, there is the perfect paintball gun out there for you, and our hands on buyers guide is designed to highlight the different features of the various models and styles. We have categorized the top selling and reviewed  paintball markers as either beginner, intermediate, or professional in our quick reference guide. Our goal is to help you save time and money by making sure you get the absolute best paintball gun for your experience level, while sharing our love of paintball with the world!

Remember, the most expensive paintball marker is not necessarily the best for everyone, you have to take your skill level and preferred playing style into account. A speed ball player will usually opt for a fast firing model with an autococker and rapid fire e-trigger, while woodsball players might lean towards tactical or simulation style paintball guns. But more on that below, lets take a look at our current top 10 paintball guns. We have also included our pick for the best paintball pistols for those looking for a trusty backup weapon. Remember to play safe and have fun!

paint splatter
tippmann paintball gun player

The Top Rated Paintball Markers of 2017

Tippmann Cronus

best paintball gun tippmann chronus

Planet PB Marker Review Score

A great entry into the more tactical and realistic looking Tippmann paintball guns. The Cronus is like the took the awesome 98 custom, and improved on it in every way. An optional removable barrel shield and stock can add a cool look to this intermediate level gun. Extremely positive user reviews on this one and it is known for it’s accuracy. With a rail system to attaching various accessories like red dot sights, lights or grips the Cronus certainly does not disappoint! With an extremely affordable price range and great overall durability, this is one of the best paintball guns for beginners or intermediate players who are looking for a high quality solid marker that will last.

Perfect for: Beginner - Intermediate players who want a well rounded paintball marker for a great price vs value ratio.

Tippmann A5 

best paint ball gun tippman a5

Planet PB Marker Review Score

The Tippmann A5 is like the big brother to the 98 custom….on steroids! With tons of options for realistic looking body kits, you can make your A5 look like a menacing AK-47, tactical HK 417, , a Spec ops MP5-SD or whatever your favorite gun is. With a wide multitude of stocks, barrels, magazines, grips and barrels available, the combinations are almost endless. The gun itself has a fire selector on the grip for safety and single shot modes, and can easily fire up to 15 paint balls a second.

You can also swap out the grip for an upgraded electronic trigger that supports full auto as well as single shot fire modes. Another sweet feature is the infamous A5 threaded barrel, which is compatible with a wide range of other paintball guns, making it easy to swap out. The A5 comes with an awesome loader right out of the box, the Cyclone loading system, great for smoothly loading the gun and avoiding chopping paint. All this combines to make the Tippman A5 an extremely versatile mid range package for any serious player. One of the most popular Tippmann paintball markers for scenario players. Read our full review HERE.

Perfect for: Intermediate players who want the best paintball gun for the money. Players looking to balance price and performance and have a ton of available accessories for upgrades.

Dye Proto Rail MaXXed

dye proto rail paint ball gun

Planet PB Marker Review Score

While the Dye Proto Rail might be on the higher end of the price scale for most entry level players, it's a great option for those looking to upgrade to a high end gun but still not break the bank. Dye makes some of the best paintball gear, with a focus on high quality production. The 14 inch barrel shoots straight and it can fire 15 balls per second, and rarely chops paint. Everything about this paintball gun screams quality.

The Proto Rail Maxxed comes equipped with a e-trigger right out of the box, which means by using an electronic circuit to power the autococker firing mechanism, you save a lot of air over the course of several games. It also means reduced recoil, a quieter gun gun overall and tighter accuracy. Thanks to the compact design this is a relatively light marker and everything is well designed, as you would expect from the brand. The "sticky grips" are a nice addition, with the material adding extra grip and comfort, even if you wear tactical golves or go bare handed. For those with a bit higher budget this is an amazing option.

Perfect for: Intermediate players looking to a super high quality marker that is ready to go right out of the box and will up your game over a basic model.

Spyder MR100

best paint ball markers spyder mr100

Planet PB Marker Review Score

A similar design to the Tippmann Cronus, the Spyder MR100 sports a longer barrel and comes with a sturdy stock for added accuracy. The all black design looks great and the entire paintball marker is constructed from high quality materials that can take whatever you throw at it. The default double tap trigger makes it pretty versatile, for either speedball or woodsball thanks to the longer barrel which provides decent range.

Perfect for: Beginner - Intermediate players.

Tippmann US Army Project Salvo

best paintball gun project salvo

Planet PB Marker Review Score

The Tippmann Project Salvo is definitely one of the coolest looking paintball guns we have gotten our hands on, and one of our favorites for woodsball and indoor rec-ball games. This marker is great for those who want a realistic looking gun and love to play simulation games. This thing just looks badass and always get compliments from other players.

You can find the project salvo bundled with a red dot sight, collapse-able rear stock and front grip, which makes it extremely versatile for whatever game type you happen to be playing. Combine it with the fantastic cyclone feed system and you have an exceptional paintball marker to dominate the field. These accessories give it a bit of extra weight which could be a good or bad thing depending on your preference, but it adds to the simulation element and we like it. Thanks to to longer barrel, accuracy is pretty good. While you wont be shooting tight groupings like the high end Dye or Empire markers, it is more than accurate enough for non tournament play. If you are looking for a great looking paintball gun that can kick some ass, the Tippmann Project Salvo is a great choice.

Perfect for: Beginner - Intermediate players looking for a super fun, high quality paintball marker that looks amazing.

Tippmann 98 Custom

best paintball marker 98 custom

Planet PB Marker Review Score

To say the 98 Custom is one of the most popular paintball markers on the planet would be an understatement. From the fantastic price point that makes it attractive to first time buyers entering the sport, to it’s reliability and ease of use, there is no wonder why these things are constantly on back order at most local shops. This is what separates it from your average cheap paintball guns from Wall-mart.

The universal Picatinny rail system allows for the addition of optics like a red dot sight for reflex sharp target acquisition.  This Tippmann marker is a tried and true workhorse and quite possibly the best paintball marker for new players. Mechanical operation powered by CO2 or HPA. The integrated rail system means even though this is an entry level paintball gun, you can easily upgrade it over time, and add the insanely popular flatline barrel for added range and accuracy. One of the most popular paintball markers in the world. Many advanced players still have their 98 custom as a backup even after upgrading to a high end gun, great to loan to friends and get them into the sport as well! Read our full hands on Review HERE. 

Perfect for: Beginner players look for a great starter gun with tons of accessory options to upgrade and tweak performance.

Empire Mini

empire paintball guns mini

Planet PB Marker Review Score

Empire is the other high end paintball marker brand that consistently puts out amazing quality equipment. The Empire Mini really lives up to the name, it is hands down one of the smallest paintball guns on the market. This makes it extremely light weight and easy to control. The electronic trigger system makes it quiet and able to shoot as fast as you can pull the trigger.

The 2 handle design is comfortable and the included pressure gauge on the air connector is a nice touch, allowing you to quickly check the remaining air in your tank at a quick glance. This is a great entry level tournament style paintball marker and given the smaller size, quick rate of fire and overall accuracy, great for close quarters indoor play.

Perfect for: Intermediate players looking to a high end paintball marker that is compact and easy to use, with some premium features like an e-trigger and integrated pressure gauge.

Tippmann Alpha Black Elite

tippman alpha elite paintball gun

Planet PB Marker Review Score

Empire is the other high end paintball marker brand that consistently puts out amazing quality equipment. The Empire Mini really lives up to the name, it is hands down one of the smallest paintball guns on the market. This makes it extremely light weight and easy to control. The electronic trigger system makes it quiet and able to shoot as fast as you can pull the trigger.

The 2 handle design is comfortable and the included pressure gauge on the air connector is a nice touch, allowing you to quickly check the remaining air in your tank at a quick glance. This is a great entry level tournament style paintball marker and given the smaller size, quick rate of fire and overall accuracy, great for close quarters indoor play.

Perfect for: Intermediate players looking to a high end paintball marker that is compact and easy to use, with some premium features like an e-trigger and integrated pressure gauge.

Empire Axe

empire axe paint ball gun

Planet PB Marker Review Score

If you are getting into serious paintball tournaments, chances are you have see the popular Empire Axe in action. This is a high end paintball marker that can really unload paint fast. With multiple firing modes from single shot, ramping and full auto, you can lay down heavy fire with ease.

The Empire Axe lives up to the quality bar set set by the brand and advanced players looking for a rock solid paintball gun with a insanely good e-trigger system that can be adjusted for any game type, from speedball to extended outdoor woodsball games this is a great choice for those players with a bit of  a higher budget. Given the versatility, accuracy and many after market upgrade parts out there for the Axe, it is no surprise this paintball marker is on many players wishlists.

Perfect for: Intermediate -  advanced level players looking for one of the most accurate paintball guns on the market in 2017 for tournament play.

Tippmann X7 Phenom

best paintball gun x7 phenom

Planet PB Marker Review Score

Badassery? Is that even a word? Who knows, but it certainly sums up this top tier paintball marker. Like the A5, the X7 Phenom is insanely customizable and a common sight in simulation game types. The tactical visual upgrades look fantastic sitting atop the lightweight frame and it comes equipped with a mechanical single shot, but you can upgrade to the eGrip which has full auto, 3 round burst and single shot fire modes.

Another cool e-grip feature: if the battery dies mid game, you can still switch to single shot which is powered by propellant, keeping you in the fight. switching the gun to safe mode also turns off the internal circuitry to save battery power. This gun is deadly accurate over medium-long range and great for woodsball players, and the light frame combined with a compact body kit makes it perfect for close quarters Recball/scenario play. While the price point is significantly higher than the standard 98 custom, it has a well earned place in the hearts of many advanced level players, and one of the best Tippmann paintball guns on the market.

Perfect for: Players looking for the best paintball gun that is great for all game types, has tons of upgrade options and availiable accessories. A top of the line marker.

Paintball Gun Comparison Chart

Paintball Marker

HPA/CO2

Our Rating

Price Range

Tippmann Chronus

HPA or CO2

5.0

$$ - Check Current Price

Tippmann A5

HPA or CO2

4.7

$$$ - Check Current Price

DYE Proto Rail

HPA 

4.7

$$$$ - Check Current Price

Spyder MR100

HPA or CO2

4.7

$$ - Check Current Price

Tippmann Project Salvo

HPA or CO2

4.6

$$ - Check Current Price

Tippmann 98 Custom

CO2

4.5

$ - Check Current Price

Empire Mini

HPA

4.5

$$$ - Check Current Price

Tippmann Alpha Black

HPA or CO2

4.0

$$ - Check Current Price

Empire Axe

HPA

5.0

$$$$ - Check Current Price

Tippmann X7 Phenom

HPA

4.7

$$$$ - Check Current Price

The Best Paintball Pistols

A lot of serious paintball players like to carry a backup weapon in case of a jam or clogged barrel mid game. Having a paintball pistol strapped to your side can come in handy in such situations.In case you run out of ammo, having a full loaded paintball pistol ready to go is much faster than fumbling with ammo pods and trying to re-fill your hopper in the heat of combat. While they are certainly a luxury item, these handgun style markers can be extremely useful and fun to use.

Tippmann TiPX Paintball Pistol

tippmann TiPX Paintball Pistol

Planet PB Marker Review Score

For those with a bit of extra cash to burn, the Tippmann TiPX paintball pistol is an awesome addition to your arsenal. An extremely high quality piece of gear, the TiPX comes with 3 magazines that carry 7 rounds of standard paintball ammunition making it quick and easy to reload. 

This paintball handgun is fairly compact and not too heavy, but still feels realistic. Small CO2 cartridges slot in under the barrel to provide semi automatic firing as fast as you can pull the trigger. There is also a small under barrel rail that allows you to attach accessories such as laser sights. This is by far the the best paintball pistol on the market today. High quality design from Tippmann and extreme reliability make the TiPX our top choice when it comes to sidearms.  

Perfect for: Intermediate - pro players who want a high quality luxury piece of equipment to expand their arsenal.

Kingman Eraser .43 Caliber Paintball Pistol

kingman eraser paintball pistol

Planet PB Marker Review Score

This company little paintball pistol is awesome for those who want a very small, reliable backup weapon. It allows you to move across the playing field very quickly if you sling your rifle and draw this, and the integrated magazine means no annoying hopper or tube to get in the way. This is probably the most compact of all the sidearms we have tested out and one of our favorites. 

This marker shoots smaller .48 caliber rounds, and fire at 250 fps, making it no slouch when it comes to firepower. The Eraser uses small CO2 cylenders just like the other handguns on this list, and can power through quite a few magazines in a single air cartridge. The aluminum construction means its extremely durable and can take quite a beating for those players who love to jump, tumble and generally abuse their gear.

Perfect for: Intermediate - pro players who want a high quality luxury piece of equipment to expand their arsenal.

JT ER2 Pump Pistol 

j2 ert pump paintball pistols

Planet PB Marker Review Score

For more casual players looking for a sidearm option, the JT ER2 pump action is a relatively compact handgun style marker that fits the bill. It comes with 3 loaded tubes that plug into the feed port, each carrying 10 0.50 caliber paintballs. 

It fires using small CO2 containers and comes with 2 of them right out of the box. This means unlike cheaper, spring powered paintball pistols, the ER2 actually packs quite a punch. Because of the tube feed system, this marker is not as compact and streamlined as the Tippman TiPX, but it is also a fraction of the price. Overall build quality is high and this is an extremely fun to use marker.

Perfect for: beginner- intermediate players who want a fun target shooting paintball pistol.


The Ultimate Paintball Gun Buyers Guide

Chances are if you have read this far, you are in the market for a new paintball gun. We hope our top 10 recommendations above has been useful at highlighting some of the better options out there. None of those models will leave you disappointing that's for sure.

If you need a bit more input to help narrow down your choices, then read on! There are really 3 main factors when it comes to choosing paintball guns: price, your experience level, and your preferred play style.

There is no point in having a top of the line gun if you only play casually once a month or it is your first time on the field. Likewise, if you are a hardcore player and are still using a cheap paintball gun you got 5 years ago. In that situation, chances are you would benefit from upgrading to a more advanced model now that you have invested in your own paintball gear and know you enjoy the sport. Let's dive in!

Choosing The Best Model For Your Play Style

Your favorite game type should vastly impact your purchasing decision when it comes to choosing the right paintball gun. It depends what game modes your local field supports, as well as the type of experience that resonates with you. If you are looking to move towards the pro circuit this probably means focusing solely on one play style and getting really good. However, more casual players might want a paintball gun that is suitable for whatever is going down at the local field on any given day, in which case something like the Tippmann A5, Cronus or Spyder MR100 would all be a great choices.

woods ball vs speed ball paintball guns

Woodsball vs Speedball. Which marker is right for you?

Woodsball Paintball Guns

If you are a fan of woodsball (field combat), scurrying around outdoors in between the trees, you are going to want a paintball gun with a longer range, and possibly a stock for added accuracy during long range shoot outs. Something like the US Army Alpha Elite or Project Salvo would suit you well. Beginners or those players on a budget looking to maximize dollar value could also go for the classic Tippmann 98 Custom. When you add the extended barrel for more range, along with an extendable stock and red dot sight you end up will an extremely reliable, full featured woodsball marker.

Speedball Markers

For speedball, accuracy is not a major issue as opposed to quickly putting paint balls down range. We would recommend the Empire Axe or Mini, or Dye Protorail as a well rounded guns for any situation the speedball field can throw at you. With their adjustable fire modes and compact designs, it is easier to stay in cover and get angles for firing at the enemy team. As we noted above, of all the models we have tested, the Empire Axe was the most accurate paintball gun we have tried to date and a great choice for players looking for some pro level gear. Higher end electronic paintball guns using HPA will also mean that you get more shots per tank fill, which is essential when potentially firing off hundreds of balls in a single round. 

RecBall and Milsim Paintball Guns

Fans of RecBall (indoors with bunkers and structures) might lean towards something more compact, possibly with a stock for added stability when rounding tight corners. In this case, the Chronus, X7 Phenom or the 98 Custom are all great choices depending on your budget. Recball is really fun because it combines elements of all game types. The tactical nature of Milsim and woodsball with the smaller arenas and cover based shooting of speedball. This is a really fun game type for beginners to try to introduce them to the sport. 

Milsim players are all about having the most hardcore war or tactical simulation as possible and you tend to see them outfitted with realistic paintball guns like the Project Salvo or US Army Alpha Black. Without a doubt Milsim players always have the coolest looking markers and paintball gear. From full tactical setups to using more role specific equipment, like sniper paintball guns with extremely long barrels and scopes that can provide long range support, to more rushing style setups with SMG style shorter markers that allow for quicker movement and mobility. 

paintball player silhouette

Mechanical or Electronic Paintball Guns: Which Is Best?

Your choice of marker means choosing between a mechanical firing system or an electro pneumatic one. In general electronic paintball guns eat up less propellant as they are firing using a 9v battery instead of extra gas to power the firing mechanism. Electronic trigger systems also allow for burst and fully automatic firing modes, and increase the speed of single shot firing as well. Less moving parts also tends to mean a more accurate gun with less recoil when firing. Many serious paintball players tend to go with electronic grips/trigger systems and the popularity of the A5 and X7 eGrip speaks for itself.

However, there are certainly some advantages to mechanical markers. They tend to be cheaper, less complex and easier to maintain. All the moving parts tend to be made from metal and can easily be disassembled and cleaned. There are no electronics, wires or batteries to worry about, which can make things easier for beginner players, not having to worry about turning on their trigger system, making sure batteries are charged etc. Sometimes simple is good!

Avoid Cheap Paintball Guns And Always Wear a Mask!

A vast majority of the cheap paintball guns available today are just not worth your money when it comes to performance, value and durability. As the paintball industry continues to explode at an astounding rate, various companies are trying to cash in by flooding the market with low quality, cheap paintball guns. This is why we fully endorse the quality bar set by Tippmann, Empire, Dye, Spyder etc. You can rely on them to work efficiently every time you are out on the field. No one likes an awesome day of paintball cut short by a faulty gun, its just not fun.

Don’t waste your time and money on a cheap paintball gun that won't last or chop paint constantly, when you could be dominating your opponents every time you step onto the field! Here at Planet-Paintball we hope to pass on our years of experience onto you to help you bring your skills to a whole new level.

Finally, Always, ALWAYS, wear a paintball mask each and every time you step on the field to play. This is mandatory in everywhere we have played and to be honest is just common sense. Your vision is priceless and this being an action sport with high velocity projectiles, we recommend choosing a high quality mask that won't fog or need to be constantly adjusted. 

>> Click HERE to see our recommendations for the best paintball masks of 2017 <<

>> Click HERE to see our recommendations for the best Tactical Gear of 2017 <<