Glossary of Paintball Terms and Jargon

Paintball Terms and JargonWe have put together a fairly comprehensive list of paintball terms and jargon that players and professionals often use when describing paintball, woodsball, and speedball and paintball equipment. The terms that we use in the modern game of paintball can sometimes be buzz words or jargon but as in other sports and pastimes these terms tend to be learnt over time, however some words are important to know as they relate to paintball equipment and game play.

The Common Terms and Jargon Used in Paintball:

Below is a list of the most used and popular terms:

Agg: This is an abbreviated term for “aggressive”.

Anti-Chop Eye: This is a system that is used on some paintball markers and gives you an indication of the state or status of your guns breach.

Agitator: This is a device built into some modern electronic hoppers and feeders that senses if you have paintballs in the hopper unit and will operate a little motor which helps to shake (agitate) the paintballs allowing them to drop through the hopper into the breech of the marker.

Airsmith: This is a trained or certified individual that is authorised to work with HPG or high pressure gas and associated parts like valves, regulators and hose attachments. You will find that some paintball equipment manufacturers will state that certain product warranties may be void if you do not have air related repairs carried out by a certified airsmith.

ASA: This is an abbreviation for ‘Air System Adaptor’ and is a screw thread device that fits on the air tank allowing you to then connect the tank to your marker or air line.

Aztec: This describes a bunker, mainly used in Airball speedball, which looks like a pyramid with angled sides to a point and a flat bottom.

Baller: Somebody who plays paintball.

Back Bottle: This is a setup where the ASA of the air tank is screwed to the rear of the paintball marker with the optional addition of a butt plate which can be attached to the air tank to allow for shoulder placement firing.

Barrel Back: Most often a 2 or 3 part barrel that usually attaches to the marker breech and will have been bored to a specific size or it will hold a removable barrel sleeve of a specific bore.

Barrel Blocking Device: This describes a device to cover the end of the barrel and has various related names including a barrel condom, barrel sock, barrel cover or barrel plug. It is generally accepted that barrel plugs are not all together safe and a barrel condom or cover is required on commercial fields.

Barrel Break: A paintball that has broken in the marker barrel and coats the barrel with paint causing inaccurate subsequent shots.

Blind Firing: This is where somebody simply fires their paintball marker without directly looking in the line of fire, for example when a player points there gun over a bunker and fires in a general direction of where they think an opponent might be. This technique is generally banned on most fields.

Blowback: When a paintball is fired from the marker the air is deflected as the paintball pellet leaves the barrel of the gun.

Bolt System: The paintball marker bolt system is a device that physically pushes a paintball from the gun using the pressure from the air source. There are a couple of variants including both open and closed bolt paintball marker systems.

Bottom Line: This is device that attaches directly to the grip of a paintball marker and allows a constant air source to be attached directly or via an air hose to a tank situated elsewhere on your body.

Bounce: This describes a paintball that makes contact with a player but does not break. It can also refer to when a marker fires more than one paintball in a single trigger pull.

Break: When a field referee signals the start of a paintball game with either a whistle blow or when he shouts ‘Go, Go, Go!’

Breech: A place in the marker where paintball pellets are readied for loading into the guns firing chamber.

Bunker or Bunkering: A field object used for cover or an aggressive move to eliminate a player hiding behind a bunker.

Bunker Tag: On some fields they operate a bunker tag rule whereby if a player runs and physically touches or tags a bunker then the opposing players bunkering down behind it will be eliminated.

Burn: When a player sprays a quantity of paintballs at a field object or bunker with the intention to lay down enough fire to pin down the opposing player/s whilst moving to a new cover position.

Bushball: A term that loosely describes the game of woodsball.

Butt Pack: A piece of equipment holding paintballs that can attach to a belt or harness.

BYOP: Short for ‘Bring Your Own Paint’, this term applies to some fields that operate a policy where the player has to bring their own paintballs to play.

Can: A term used to describe a paintball bunker which look like a cylinder, often referred to as a ‘beer can’ or a ‘stand up’ bunker.

Car Wash: This is a bunker that appears like a round cylinder cut in half, has a curved top with a flat bottom.

Center Flag: A term that defines a paintball game type where a flag is placed in the centre of the playing field and the two teams endeavour to capture the said flag and recover it to their base.

Cheater Board: A circuit board that can modify or alter the rate of fire from a paintball marker, considered acceptable in the modern game it gives more control of the gun in pro player games.

Chop: This describes a paintball pellet that has effectively jammed in the barrel but has not broken, this happens in cheaper and less well made marker guns.

Chrony or Chronograph: This is a device that is used to measure the velocity that a paintball travels through the air when fired from the marker. Most paintball guns have the facility to alter the rate of fire and you will find many venues specifying their maximum rate allowed in feet per second (FPS).

Chrony Station: A slang terms meaning a ‘Chronograph Station’, see Chronograph term above, but a public chronograph available to players and generally found at most paintball fields.

Clustering: A team of players closely grouping together.

Cocker: The abbreviated term for ‘auto cocker’ which means that a gun may be able to cycle the bolt system and ready itself for the next quick fire action.

Constant Air: The air tank of a paintball marker which can be a refillable HPA (High Pressure Air) or CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) tank. These constant air (CA) based tanks have superseded the original small 12g cylinders.

Covering Fire: When a player gives supporting fire to one or more of their team mates so they can move between cover.

CO2: An abbreviation for Carbon Dioxide which is the propellant contained in some paintball air tanks.

Darting: This is player that runs between objects whilst taking fire from opposing players.

Deadbox: Normally this is a zoned off area where if a player has been deemed to be eliminated they should go directly to. This area is called ‘The Deadbox’, this is a neutral area or zone where players gather until a game has finished

Dead Man Walking: A term sometimes used in a woodsball or a military simulation scenario where a player shouts ‘Dead Man Walking’ just to let other players know they are eliminated and heading for the deadbox.

Double Tap: Where a players fires two shots in quick succession with more chance of eliminating an opposing player.

Drift: This describes a player taking a slide between cover points or bunkers.

Drilled Barrel: A marker barrel which has holes at specific points along its length which can help the paintball shoot further and with greater accuracy.

Drop Forward: This is a device that allows you to attach your air tank further forward than you would normally have in a conventional setup, this offers better gun stability.

Dry Firing: When a player fires a marker without a paintball being in the firing chamber.

Dual-Flag: A common paintball game variation where you have two flags, one at each of the opposing players base or start point, the aim is to retrieve the flag at your opponents base and bring it back to your teams own base.

Eating Paint: This is a slang word for a player hit in the mouth area of their mask by a paintball.

Elbow: This is a device allowing the attachment of a hopper or loader to a paintball marker, usually an elbow is made from metal or plastic.

Expansion Chamber: This is something used in CO2 powered paintball guns and it is an area or chamber in the marker that allows for the carbon dioxide to expand prior to entering the valve. You find that CO2 air sources have the problem of retaining firing consistency on cold days due to the gas becoming liquid or unstable and having an expansion chamber helps the firing stability of the gun.

FPO: Short for ‘Field Paint Only’, where a specific tournament or a commercial paintball field operates a policy that you need to buy your paintballs from them specifically for that days play.

Fill Station: A device that is used for refilling your air tank, usually this will be a large air tank with a combination of a scale and valve to allow for the transfer of gas between the cylinders.

Flag Station: This is the location of the flag placed by a referee at the start of a game and a place to hang the opposing team’s flag to register a game win.

Flank: This describes the back and around the sides of opposing players and is often a tactic to move around a group of opposing players without being detected.

Fogged: This term relates to when the lens of a pair of paintball googles becomes clouded up or foggy due to air condensation inside the goggles or mask.

FPS: Short for ‘Feet per Second’, the velocity or speed of a paintball through the air after being fired from a marker, most paintball fields will only allow a maximum 300 fps limit.

Ghillie Suit: A term for a camouflage suit which is worn typically for scenario or woodsball paintball.

Ghost: This is an eliminated player who continues to play.

Gogged: When a player has been hit on the lens of the goggles or mask.

Goggles: A protective eye cover consisting of a strong plastic frame with a lens made from polycarbonate or similar clear material.

Going Liquid: This relates to when an CO2 (carbon dioxide) air tank source emits the gas and enters the valve in a liquefied state which can happen if operated on a cold day, typical indications include ice from the barrel or the marker completes freezes and stops firing.

Grenade: A paintball grenade is a balloon like device, filled with paint or liquid, thrown at opposing players and when it impacts on the ground results in a spray of paint which can eliminate multiple players – see our video article about ‘How to make paintball grenade‘.

Groupie: A general term for a supporter or a fan of a player or a team, a person that does not participate in the actual game play.

Gun Whore: This is a person that collects a large number of paintball markers and typically own more of them than actually use them.

Guppy: A slang term sometimes used to describe the plastic tubes that hold paintballs.

Hammer: A part of a blowback system on some paintball markers that makes the contact with the valve pin when firing.

Harness: This device can hold all your paintball accessories including pods, tools and your air tank.

Head Check: This describes a player that checks for the position of opposing players and who peers very quickly around cover, also means the head count of the player group.

Hopper: This device holds a quantity of paintballs which fall into the markers breech ready for firing, the difference between a hopper and a loader is that paintballs are not forced into the breech of the gun.

HPA: Term describe an air tank containing high pressure air or nitrogen, typically the air will be pressurised to 3000psi or more.

Hot: When an opposing player is located behind a bunker or alternatively a marker gun that is firing paintballs at above the allowed velocity which is typically 300 fps.

ID: This is the barrel bore size and relates to the inner diameter of the barrel, typically you will hear this referenced in terms of the size of paintball pellets where a typical size would be .691 ID or .687 ID, a similar number or ID will be seen shown on all packets of paintballs you buy.

Jampuff: This is when a player may decide to run to the half way point of the paintball field and then recognise he or she has made a mistake and then turns around and retreats back.

JK: A player that goes against the rules by pointing their marker up in the air as if to indicate they are out of the game but then continues to play on.

Lazer: A term that has only recently appeared to describe a paintball marker that operates in a full automatic mode and will spray paintballs continuously at the opposition.

Loader: This is a device that holds a large quantity of paintballs and it force feeds them one at a time into the breech of the gun. Sometimes you may find hoppers with agitator paddles that shake the paintballs so they can be more readily loaded into the markers breech.

Marker: An abbreviated term for ‘Paintball Marker’.

Marshall: Sometimes you may hear a referee being called a marshall.

Mirror: This describes a bunker that is located on the far side of the paintball field.

MilSim: A common abbreviation for the word ‘Military Simulation’ where players aim to ensure realism in game play and weaponry.

Mug Shot: When a player takes a paintball hit in the front of their mask.

Muzzle Break: This is a relief port found on some marker barrels that can improve firing accuracy.

Neck Protector: A piece of protective gear worn around the neck area to help reduce the effect of paintball impact.

Newbie, Noob or Newb: This term describes a new paintball player, or somebody that is very inexperienced at the game.

Nitro: An abbreviation for the term ‘Nitrogen’ gas, rarely used today in air tanks.

One for One: Mainly used in tournament play this term means that a referee has called out a player for cheating but has added an additional penalty by also calling out his closest team mate.

Open Session: When a paintball event is open to the public by way of ‘walk-on’ play.

Outlaw Paintball: Used to describe a casual game of paintball between friends on their own land or somewhere apart from a commercial paintball venue, this is also sometime referred to as a game of renegade paintball.

Overshoot: This is when a player still carries on shooting even though the player they are shooting at has already been hit.

Paintballs: These are the spherical gel capsules containing the highly coloured glycol fluid that are fired from a paintball marker gun which are designed to break apart on impact, also known as paintball pellets or paintball ammo.

Painting: In short this slang word means ‘Playing Paintball’

Paint Check: When a player thinks they may have been hit by a paintball but they need clarification from the referee.

Pawn: This describes a player that may sacrifice their own part in the game in order to assist the team by way of this distraction method.

Playing On: A player has been hit by a paintball but still continues to play in the game, they may try to ‘wipe-off’ the hit, this is strictly against the rules and this practice will get you disqualified from the game, you should know that the referee can also penalise fellow team players for your misconduct in playing on.

Playing Tight: A team or single player may ‘Play Tight’ meaning that they will take extra care not to be seen by the opposing players.

Pods: A pod is a small container, usually made from plastic, which holds a quantity of paintballs and allows for easy loading into the hopper or loader of the paintball gun (typical pod holds 150 rounds).

Point Blank: A term that applies to a player who is effectively at very close range to an opposing player and shouts the words ‘Point Blank’ allowing the surprised player to effectively surrender without having to be physically hit with a paintball.

Point Sight: This is an LED based marker sight used to help the player line up and shoot the marker more accurately, this type of sight is non-magnifying and designed to assist with shooting.

Power Feed: A marker device that helps load the paintballs into the breech of the gun more quickly.

PSI: All air source tanks will contain gas that is pressured and that pressure rating being measured in pounds per square inch or PSI.

Quick Disconnect: This is a device that makes the air tank easy to detach from the paintball marker.

Ramfire: When a gun does not blow back the hammer far enough to trigger the complete firing action and this can result in the gun seeming to fire rapidly much like a full automatic mode. This will cause the gun to either chop the paintballs in the firing chamber or miss-fire.

Ramping: This is feature is found on more advanced markers and gives adjustment to the rate of fire once the trigger is pulled.

Rec Ball: An abbreviation for ‘Recreational Paintball’, any private or commercial field game other than a tournament.

Regulator: A device that limits and controls the flow of air pressure through into the marker, this helps firing consistency and efficiency with CO2 filled air tanks because it allows a consistent and lower pressure gun operation.

Remote: A device typically called  a ‘Remote Coil’ which consists of a high pressure hose and attaches to the air intake of the gun and attachment at the other end of the air source allowing for your air source to be attached on a belt or harness.

Rentals: A player may hire their marker, mask, goggles or protective gear from a commercial venue which is often referred to as ‘Rentals’ and rental equipment.

Rope: A line of paintballs fired rapidly from the marker.

RT: An abbreviation for the term ‘Response Trigger’ where you able to fire the gun multiple times with one trigger pull.

Run and Gun: A player shooting their gun whilst running between field cover points.

Run Through: This is a tactic or strategy adopted by a player and describes them running quickly through the field and tagging or bunkering a number of players, typically the run through player gets eliminated but the result is a number of opposing players outweigh his single sacrifice.

Scenario Game: A variation of paintball which is typically a more realistic recreation of a real war scenario and can last for hours or even run into days.

Scuba Fills: This is where an air tank is refilled from a remote scuba tank, see ‘Fill Station’.

Semi Auto: Describes a gun that when fired has the ability to then load the next paintball pellet into the firing chamber ready for the next shot, gives a more rapid rate of fire.

Shake and Shoot: Describes a hopper that is gravity fed but needs the occasional shake to manually agitate the paintball into the breech of the gun.

Snake: A type of field cover object made from cylinders, sometimes inflatable, and placed on the ground lengthways.

Snap Battle: When two opposing players get in a snap shooting battle.

Snap Shooting: This is when a player quickly moves in and out of field cover to fire their marker at an opposing player.

Speedball: Is the latest and fast action paced game usually played on a flat field and amongst inflatable objects or bunkers, see our article titled ‘Speedball vs Woodsball’.

Splatter or Spray: If a paintball hits an object besides a player like a tree or bunker and the resulting paintball splatter then marks clothing, this is not counted as an elimination as the paintball has not directly hit the player.

Squeegee: This is placed into the barrel of a marker gun to clean and clear any paint or glycol residue from the barrel, typically made of fabric or rubber. Also available as a ‘Straight Shot Squeegee’ which is able to be used without the need for dismantling the barrel.

Staging Area: This terms relates to the area of the field that is usually the base of field operations such as the shop or registration point.

Stock: This is attached to the rear of the gun which enables you to position the marker against your shoulder for steadier firing.

Sweet Spot: Used to describe a player spraying a line of paintballs into a specific area in the hope that an opposing player will get hit when they move between cover.

Tank: This is a cylindrical container holding the compressed air and is attached to the paintball marker.

Tape: A term describing the outer point or boundary of a paintball field.

Tippy: An abbreviation commonly used for a ‘Tippmann’ paintball marker gun.

Thermal Lens: Found in goggles, a lens made from several layers of material with a void between and air vents allowing moisture to not get trapped inside the goggle, see also ‘Fogged’.

Thumping: Is the action of the player hitting the strike knob on a marker at the exact moment of pulling the gun trigger, adds some power to the resulting shot.

Tombstone: Describes a bunker that has a rectangle shape and an angled or round top.

Tool: A device usually being a wrench or alum key that a player uses to adjust the firing velocity of the marker, see also FPS and Chronograph.

Unified Rupture Disk: This is a safety unit attached to an air tank which helps vent the pressure of the gas leaving the cylinder.

Waiver: A document that you may have to sign at a commercial paintball field to waive or accept personal responsibility for any injury that otherwise the field operator would be liable for.

Woodsball: A paintball game variation that is played in any natural setting or wooded area.

Zoning: A team may decide on a plan of attack which includes pre-defining zones or areas of the paintball field that team members will control or keep watch over.

Walk-On: A commercial paintball field may operate a ‘walk-on’ policy which allows players to simply turn up and pay a fee on the day to be able play.

Wipe: This is when a player has been hit by a paintball but cleans or wipes off the resulting paintball mark and continues to play, strictly against the rules and classed as cheating.

X-Ball: A paintball game variation based around ‘Speedball’ but there is a very large X type bunker placed right in the middle of the field.

Zebra: You may hear players using this term in relation to a field referee.


This glossary of paintball terms and jargon will be updated regularly and missing terms will be added when appropriate.

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