Like I was saying earlier in the week, paintball’s a game of attack and defend, what I didn’t say though was that to both attack and defend effectively, you’ve got to be able to hit your targets well. For a beginner, it can be pretty de-motivating firing all your paintballs, hitting nothing, and generally having to sit the rest of the game out. But even for the pros, having a good aim can really make or break your paintball game. Say your opposition know that your team’s full of great ‘sniper’ players, so what do they do? They keep moving, that’s what. So do you have to do in return? Practise hitting a moving, target of course.
First you’ve got to master the basics though, so here’s my tips on instantly improving your paintball aim and accuracy.
First of all make sure your paintballing equipment is up for the job. The paintballs shouldn’t be at all greasy (as this will slow them down and reduce accuracy) and they should fit your barrel well. Speaking of barrels, the longer it is the more accurate the marker will be.
It sounds obvious but practice. Even if just a few shots in the firing range will give you a distinct advantage over your opposition as, when you’re out in the woods, it can be tough to see exactly where your shots land – so better judge your aim in the clear beforehand.
If your marker has a sight, for goodness sake use it. So many players are content shooting from the hip but, by moving the marker up and against your shoulder, your accuracy should improve greatly. Obviously red dot sights are above and beyond what most people want to or can be bothered using, but this doesn’t mean you can’t learn a couple more tricks to give you that elusive edge. If you’re going for a sniper shot (the target’s in sight and unaware they’re about to be dust) always have the marker firmly against your shoulder and pull the trigger on an out-breath: this will calm your whole body. Likewise be aware of your balance when you’re firing, try and get some sure footing before you commit to a shot. Forget closing one eye like they do in the movies, this won’t make you a better shot – instead it’ll just mess up your field of perception and you’ll probably end up shooting a rabbit or something.
Hitting a target whilst you’re moving is even harder, and usually requires a degree of ambidexterity as you move your marker from one hand to another. If you have the time and some spare paintballs though, it’s well worth setting up a target and trying to hit it whilst your feet navigate a pre-determined obstacle course. As far as trying to hit a moving target goes, well, how understanding are your mates? Try something simple if you like, like swinging a bucket from a tree branch, but otherwise save it for the game zone, as I’m sure all these other tips will give you just the advantage you need to get a few more direct hits.