Investing in a quality marker should be your first consideration if you are looking to start playing paintball. Nowadays, mechanical markers are the most popular option on the market, but there is much more to consider before you part with your cash. Are you a paintball purist? A pump marker might be the ideal fit for you. Got a bigger budget to play with? Electronic markers provide you with enhanced functionality and first-rate features, but may require a little getting used to if you have never used one before. Read on for our useful guide on what you should be looking for when shopping for the best paintball markers on the market. Looking for the perfect hopper to accompany your paintball marker? Check out our buyer’s guide and product reviews showcasing the best paintball hoppers on the market today!
Main Paintball Marker Types
Pump paintball markers were the most popular option for players for many years. Although pump paintball guns have largely been supplanted by mechanical models recently, the reliable design and consistent functionality of pump markers means they are still a worthwhile consideration. Unlike historic pump paintball markers, contemporary models use compressed air tanks to improve overall firing accuracy. However, the big draw of pump paintball guns is also its biggest drawback. These types of marker only allow you to fire off one shot at a time. Although auto-trigger features give you a little more flexibility than past models, some paintballers may find this single-shot approach very restrictive.
If you have ever rented paintball equipment at the field, chances are you have encountered mechanical markers before. These guns are very user-friendly and require minimal maintenance. They are also relatively affordable. These markers use compressed air or CO2 tanks in order to fire. Both tank types can be readily replenished at most paintball fields. If you are looking to play it safe, opt for a marker that utilises CO2 as the standard.
More advanced players will definitely understand the appeal of electronic markers. These types of paintball gun combine the efficiency of mechanical markers with cutting-edge electronics, granting huge gains when it comes to firing rate and accuracy. As with mechanical markers, electronic paintball guns require compressed air in order to function. The addition of a circuit board means certain aspects of your marker can be controlled electronically, while many models feature integrated display screens to provide you with updated data readings throughout your game.
Material & Build Quality
If you are lucky enough to be working with a large budget, you should definitely invest in a marker made from carbon fibre. This cutting-edge material is both lightweight and durable, making it the premium option for paintball marker builds. Aluminium is another worthwhile option. This material is very lightweight and relatively inexpensive, meaning markers made from it are generally the cheapest option you will encounter. However, aluminium is easily dented and damaged. If you do pick a marker made from it, make sure it is aircraft-grade aluminium.
Barrel Size & Bore Diameter
Barrel length is something to bear in mind when shopping for paintball guns. Longer barrels tend to produce more accurate results, even from greater distances. Shorter barrels are good for close combat scenarios and are more portable. The longer the barrel, the more time you discharged paintball has to straighten its trajectory. This is crucial if you are looking to hit your target more often than not.
Bore diameter is also important to consider when looking for markers. Your bore diameter will ultimately determine the maximum size of paintball ammo you can use. Most paintball markers utilise barrels with a bore diameter of 0.68, although there is a considerable range of options available on the market.
Looking for a new paintball gun to improve your game? Below you will find our pick of some of the best paintball markers you can currently find on the market.
The GTEK 170R from Planet Eclipse might cost you a pretty penny, but there is some very impressive spec on offer here. The 170R builds upon the success of the original GTEK, utilising the Gamma Core drivetrain that made that marker so efficient and reliable. Due to its robust design and reliable performance, the GTEK 170R is an ideal option for newcomers and more experienced players looking to indulge in regular gameplay. One standout feature of the GTEK 170R is the breech sensing technology that comes as standard, which allows you to trap a maximum of 30 PSI of pressure while the gun is being fired. This innovative feature will ensure your CO2 tank lasts for longer, while still ensuring consistently strong firing. Despite its powerful output, the GTEK 170R is a remarkably quiet choice of marker, making it an ideal choice for those who enjoy stealth and tactical gameplay.This marker is also a lightweight option. Aluminium and composite elements combine to produce a very sleek marker that weights a little over two pounds. With such a discreet carrying weight, you will have no trouble carting this marker around for hours at a time. It also provides you plenty of scope to load up on accessories and upgrades. Existing accessories include a clamping feed neck to keep your hopper firmly in place, along with strategically positioned rubber frame grips to allow for maximum comfort and handling. An LED board is also included as standard, letting you set the gun in various modes.
If you are looking for an all-in-one solution, this Action Village Tippmann Cronus Epic package is the answer to your prayers. The marker itself is very reliable, designed with regular use and high-performance functionality in mind. The quality composite body will withstand all manner of impacts and everyday wear and tear, while the in-line bold system and internal gas line make this marker a very reliable option. This paintball gun also features front and rear sights for better aiming, while a ported barrel is also on hand to improve your accuracy. Integrated Picatinny rails come as standard here, allowing you to tailor your marker with all manner of accessories and upgrades.Also included with the Cronus Epic marker itself is a wide slate of accessories. You will find an Empire X-Ray mask to provide essential protection while you paintball, with anti-fog lenses as standard. The mask also includes a chin strap, meaning it complies with most tournament rules. You will also find a Warrior Deluxe 4+1 paintball harness thrown in for good measure. This harness can be worn around the waist or attached to a paintball vest. This harness can be used to carry up to four paintball pods, as well as a compressed air tank. The harness can be easily adjustable via buckles and belts to perfectly fit players of all shapes and sizes. Also included in this great value package is a 20-ounce compressed air tank, as well as four Dye Alpha Pods for carrying essential paintball ammunition. If you can afford the considerable outlying investment, this paintball marker package will save you a small fortune in the long run.
If you are looking for a sleeker choice of paintball marker, the Empire Axe 2.0 might be just what you are looking for. Affordable and easy to use, the Axe 2.0 boasts some seriously impressive design details and integral tech that will give you the advantage. This marker features a Shockwave board as standard, allowing you to choose between a variety of firing modes. You can easily switch between semi-automatic firing, ramp firing, burst firing and fully automatic operation. With such variety on offer, this marker makes an ideal choice for paintballers of all levels. Other nifty features include a relay venting ASA regulator with on/off lever, as well as a push button bolt removal system. This removal system is particularly useful for those looking to carry out quick and easy maintenance in the midst of play, without having to reach for any complex tools.The Empire Axe 2.0 is also a more lightweight option than previous models from the manufacturer. Compared to previous models from Empire, the Axe 2.0 is ten percent lighter. Less carrying weight makes it a good choice for those looking to enjoy day-long gameplay. You can also expect impressive results when it comes to accuracy. The two-piece Driver XX barrel will help improve your firing precision across varying distances. Easy to handle and very affordable, the Empire Axe 2.0 is a reliable choice of marker that scores top marks for all-round functionality and accuracy.
If you are looking for a budget-friendly choice of marker that does not skimp on premium features, the Dye Rize CZR will definitely appeal. This marker boasts a two-piece True Core barrel s standard, along with a Hyper3 regulator. These elements combine to improve overall firing accuracy and reliability. The Dye Rize CZR is packed with innovative features that set this marker apart from other guns on the market. The internal Anti-Chop eyes and screw together bolt system allow for fuss-free maintenance. If you regularly find yourself having to undertake minor maintenance jobs in the middle of a game, the CZR is a user-friendly choice. This marker also features a patented self-cleaning system, further reducing the amount of effort you need to put in to keeping your gun in first-rate condition.This affordable marker also features a nylon reinforced feed neck, as well as an elongated body for enhanced ergonomics. This makes the CZR incredibly easy to handle at all times, while the lightweight build ensures you will not be weighed down by the paintballing essentials. In addition to a slew of integrated enhancements that sets the CZR apart from predecessor models from Dye Rize, an essential parts kit is also included. DYE Slick lube, an OG DYE barrel stock, tool kit and a 9-volt battery are all included to ensure your marker is good to go, straight out of the box.
The Tippmann 98 Custom Platinum Series paintball marker is an enduringly popular choice for players everywhere. This semi-automatic marker is the way to go if you are looking for reliable performance and good levels of accuracy. This versatile marker is also a good option for those keen to upgrade and enhance their paintball essentials. An accessory rail is included as standard, meaning you can enhance your market with upgraded components with ease. The Picatinny rail makes it simple to incorporate things like scopes, carry handles and other upgrades whenever you wish.This marker also benefits from a split receiver design. This allows you to gain quick and easy access to the internal elements of your market. This makes life incredibly easy when it comes to carrying out upgrades to your marker, as well as when you need to carry out on-the-spot maintenance to your weapon. This user-friendly marker is also incredibly durable. The receiver is constructed from aluminium die cast material, while a matte black finish ensures that your marker is protected from scratches, wear and tear. The Tippmann 98 is definitely the way to go if you want all-round functionality, solid performance and scope for customisation.
The KP3.5 KAOS pump paintball marker is a third generation design from Azodin. The KP3 builds upon the successes of its predecessor models, showcasing the strengths of a pump action paintball marker. Newcomers to paintball will find the KP3.5 incredibly easy to handle, while more experienced players will be able to put this marker to good use and enjoy precise firing and reliable performance. The KP3.5 boasts an internal ZeRO Assembly, along with an acoustic bolt that brings the operating pressure of the market down to 230 PSI. This makes it a more precise choice than other marker models, while also reducing firing noise. This means this paintball gun is a good bet for those looking to arm themselves for stealth and tactical gameplay.Further enhancements include a two-piece 14-inch barrel, an on/off ASA switch, a clamping feed neck and a Delrin pump handle. You will also find a single trigger frame as standard. All in all, the Azodin KP3.5 combines reliable performance and improved accuracy with superb ergonomics that make this marker a dream to handle.
The Tippmann TMC MagFed paintball marker is a good option for those looking for authentic aesthetics and first-rate functionality. Arguably one of the most realistic choices of marker from Tippmann, the TMC will make a fine addition to your existing arsenal and is a must for MilSim scenarios. The dual loading functionality of this marker will also appeal. You can choose between conventional hopper loading and magazine loading, giving you plenty of freedom when it comes to switching between gameplay scenarios. This semi-automatic marker also allows you to adjust the firing rate from 250 to 325 FPS.A 12-inch barrel will increase your firing accuracy, while the internal stainless steel gas line will ensure consistent performance. This marker also comes with front and rear adjustable sights, while the integrated Picatinny rails mean you have plenty of scope when it comes to customising your paintball gun to your liking. If you enjoy a wide range of paintballing gameplay scenarios, this fully pneumatic marker is definitely worth investing in.