Paintball Vocabulary

by michael on December 1, 2010

in Paintball Gear,Paintball Information,Paintball Tactics


You know how much we like our movies here at Bedlam HQ and part of that is because of the geeky chats that are rife in action and spy movies. Bond’s tech-head Q was famous for trying to explain his geeky jargon in an idiot-friendly sort of way, and any war film is full of slang and cool abbreviations. So this post is going be all about decoding paintball vocab and breaking down what a few popular expressions mean. It’s by no way conclusive (there must be hundreds of terms), but these will hopefully give you a wee head start when you next hit the game zones.

Marker: Start with the basics. These used to be called paintball guns but, as they use compressed air or CO2 and are used to ‘mark’ an opponent, that term ‘gun’ didn’t really fit.

Hopper: This is the rounded plastic container which screws on top of a marker – its job is to carry the paintballs and be easily removed for quick refills. They can usually hold around 150 paintballs on average.

Pyrotechnics: A general term for anything that goes bang in the game zone! Pyrotechnics refers to flash grenades, smoke bombs, paintball grenades and anything else which is designed to disorientate your opponent or provide instant cover during game play.

Game Zone: Simple – this is where the action takes place. Markers can only be used in the game zone.

Safety Zone: Traditionally any part of a paintball site which isn’t the game zone. Markers must not be carried or used in the safety zone.

Bunker: A bunker is generic term for a shelter for players to take cover in or behind during a game. A bunker could be anything from a trench in the ground to an upturned lorry tyre.

Bunkering: This can either refer to trapping another player behind a bunker by using consistent fire on them, or instead moving from bunker to bunker towards the enemy. A full ‘what is bunkering’ description can be found in an older blog post.

Bunker Hugging: No it doesn’t refer to a player who is too scared to leave their bunker, it is actually when a player in a bunker keeps their marker barrel pinned against the outer side of the bunker when firing, to expose only the smallest possible profile to oncoming fire.

Bounce: A bounce is when a paintball hits its target but, out of sheer bad luck, doesn’t break and instead bounces clean off of it – resulting in no elimination.

Firing Blind: We all do it from time to time, especially when pinned in a bunker. You know another player is somewhere in the near distance but you can’t quite see them, so you fire blind and hope for the best.

Flank: A tactical strategy whereby two or more players provide fire cover whilst a third player uses the opportunity to move forward or take out a nearby bunker.

Ghillie Suit: A specialist camouflaged suit which lets a player blend into their environment. You can find out more about Ghillie suits in an older blog post.

Head check: The simple act of darting your head out from behind a bunker to check where your opponents are, giving them minimal chance to get a hit on you.

Hoser: The player who shoots so many paintballs at a bunker that, by the end of it, the bunker looks like it’s been hosed with paint.

Kamikaze: Very much from the John Rambo school of paintballing, a Kamikaze is a player who seems to have no regard for their longevity and instead just wants to fire as many shots as possible whilst probably also running/screaming towards the enemy.

Mowed Down: When a player (often a Kamikaze) is struck by multiple paintballs whilst on the move.

Mug Shot: Shooting someone right in the goggles.

Noob/Newb: A new player. Or in the derogative sense, an experienced player who is playing like a beginner.

Superman: The head first dive towards a bunker that paintballers often have to make.

Wiping: The illegal act of wiping off paint so that a player can remain in game play for longer. Only for cheats.

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