Paintball is an extremely fun sport, but unfortunately is also very expensive. With a case of paint costing anywhere between $50 - $100 plus entry and air fee, it can empty out your wallet before you can even think of buying more equipment. This is why I always shake my head when I see fellow players spending money on upgrades and accessories that they don't really need, especially if they spend over a hundred dollars on them. After reading this article, you won't have to worry about wasting money and can spend the cash you saved on paint and entry. Generally I see 10 things people waste their money on.
10. The Good Paint
I understand if you're playing in a tournament you want the best paint available, but if you are at a team practice or walk-on day, Ultra Evil paint isn't necessary. There can be up to a $40 difference between the field paint and tournament grade paint. If you are on a team or have a marker that isn't gentle on paint you may want to consider a higher quality paint than field grade, but tournament grade still isn't needed.
Think about it: If you save $40 every time you play - and you get out once a week - you save about $160 a month just switching paint brands. You can use this to buy more paint and entry, or some upgrades for your gear.
9. Anodizing / Engraving
I see this all the time on the internet. Players get their marker anodized or engraved to change the colours or put a picture on their gun. It looks really cool, but a simple two colour anodize can cost up to $150! Complex designs and gloss finishes can up the price more, not to mention shipping back and forth if you don't have a local shop that can do it for you.
If you want your marker to look cool, get a colour you like when you first buy it. Don't waste the hundreds of dollars on something that won't make you marker shoot any more straighter or smoother than it already is.
8. Brand Name
I have seen so many people with HK headbands and Empire gloves that cost them $50. I own a pair of paintball gloves too, they cost me $4 at Walmart and work just fine. I also have a headband I got at the dollar store that looks and works exactly like any other headband, but mine was $0.50. Both of these work super, and I paid way less money - who cares if I am not considered 'agg'? Jerseys are also a big thing, a Dye jersey can cost over $130, while a Proto jersey is only $60. The Dye will be slightly better quality, but unless you really need the extra protection it is not necessary. If you aren't on a team, an XXL or XXXL t-shirt will also do the trick.
7. LTD (Limited Edition)
Empire is famous for having a whole "LTD" line of jerseys, pants, and gloves. They make a large amount of these and then stop producing them so they can be 'limited'. They also have a cooler pattern or look than the regular edition apparel. They charge an extra $30 for their LTD pants, and many players will pay that extra $30 just so they can tell people it's limited edition.
6. MilSim Accessories
Yes, that scope on your Tippmann A5 looks really cool - but guess what? Paintballs aren't bullets, which makes using a scope in a game more difficult than just looking down the barrel. Not to mention it adds a bit of weight to your marker. A simple scope or red dot sight can cost anywhere from $50 to $200, plus a red dot will need batteries. This and other military simulation accessories (clips, stocks, rails, etc) will add a ton of weight to your marker, and are generally pointless.
5. Grips, Shells, and Body Kits
These are all good to have, but many players replace them with no need. Many players will buy a new shell for their Halo or new grips for their G4 simply because they look cool. The only reason you should replace your grips, loader shell, or body kits (ion) is if they are worn or cracked. If you want to waste your money making it look nice, go ahead but you need to realize that it won't make you play any better or gain you tons of respect at the field.
4. New Electronics
Before you buy a $200 virtue board or $50 upgraded board for your loader, ask yourself if you really need it. Do I need a certain mode my current board doesn't offer for a tournament? Does my loader really need to load any faster? Would a OLED screen really be worth the extra money? Ask yourself these questions before even thinking of buying new electronics, because over 50% of the time the answer to all three questions will be NO.
3. Small Internal Upgrades
A new spring is only about ten dollars, but do you really need it? That trigger looks cool, but is it that hard to walk your current one? If you are eying an internal under $20, it probably won't do a whole lot for your markers performance. The only upgrades I recommend are the bolt, feedneck (if your current is non-clamping), regulator, and ASA if you need an on/off.
Even if you lay woodsball, a pistol like the Tiberious 8.1 or Tippmann TPX will give you nothing but trouble. The purpose of a pistol is primarily to provide backup in case you run out of ammo mid-game. Really, it takes more time to take out the pistol from it's holster and put down your primary marker (and sometimes cock it back) than to take out a pod and reload. A pistol will hold 10 rounds max, and if you don't have a podpack and don't want one just make sure you stick in an extra ten paintballs in your loader. Not to mention they have short barrels, which will be inaccurate. A pistol is more of a novelty than a useful backup marker.
1. Paint in General
This is huge. I have good friends who go through a hopper and two pods in a five minute game, and they are front players! Especially if you play recreational paintball, you don't need to have your marker on uncapped semi or ramping. Usually on walk-on days there are a lot of new players, and high rates of fire on their back can give them a negative first experience. Cap your semi below ten, and keep it there. Also, if you don't need a case of paint per day, don't buy a case of paint! Players are always leaving the field with a bag of paint or two, and sometimes a field won't let you bring it back in if they are FPO. After a couple days, you should be able to tell how much paint you will need for the day.