8 Types of Paintball Game Modes

Paintball is fast, exhilarating and unpredictable - you never know what’s going to happen next. This rush is just one of the reasons people get hooked on the sport and keep playing again and again. Helping the unpredictability of paintball games is the number of modes or scenarios that you can choose from.

Some are more common than others in certain arenas, and depending on the number of players can decide which mode you play. One thing they all have in common, however, is that they’re incredibly fun and exciting. Even playing the same mode twice in a row won’t be the same experience as players learn and improve with every game.

To make sure you’re not going in blind, we’ve picked out some of the most popular paintball game modes and listed them below, so you know what to expect and can pick up a few bonus paintball tips along the way.

What Kind Of Paintball Games Can You Play?

There are an almost endless list of paintball game modes and experiences you can come across in the sport, although some are far more niche than others. In a lot of instances, you’ll be playing games from a core list offered by the arena for general play or using a scenario agreed by the players prior to starting - assuming you have everything required to do so.

New paintball experiences are created all the time, inspired by scenarios seen on film or TV, read in books, and even from video games. This creative freedom helps keep everything fresh, and there are plenty of players who want to participate in something new. You never know what might come from it.

1. Team Deathmatch

Team Deathmatch is probably one of the most common and popular types of paintball game, and is used at most paintball arenas. Players are divided into two teams and start at opposite ends of the arena. The goal here is to hit the opposing players and take them out of the game. Quite simply, the last team standing wins.

Top tip: Every shot counts in this paintball game. Don’t make yourself an easy target or you’ll be watching how things play out rather than taking part.

2. Resurrection

The Resurrection paintball match follows the same format as the Team Deathmatch, however, rather than sitting out the rest of the game once you have been hit, you can return to the entrance - or other ‘respawn point’ - and return to the action after a short period of time. This keeps the action going.

Another variation on this can be a free-for-all match, where there are no teams and every player works alone - or with whatever alliances you forge before the match starts. This works best in a much larger arena, and is a lot more chaotic as a result, but quite the rush.

Top tip: when you return to the match, find cover straight away and watch for how the game has shifted - or you may find yourself under attack before you know what’s going on.

3. Capture The Flag

In Capture The Flag, players are divided into teams and given a base. In each base is a flag. The goal of this paintball game is to capture the opposing team’s flag and return it to your base, while making sure your flag isn’t stolen.

This game requires a lot of tactical planning, as there’s both an attack and defend element. Letting everyone push forward leaves your own flag undefended and can lead to a very quick defeat.

Top tip: Give each player a role at the start, so everyone knows who’s responsible for defending their base or going for the other team’s flag.

4. Centre Flag

Similar to Capture The Flag, this paintball experience involves only one flag - right in between where the two teams will start. The goal is to capture that flag before the opposing team, and either bring it back to their base or take it to the opposing team’s base. There’s a much more urgent feel to this scenario as you aim to get to the flag first - or capture it from an opposing player.

Top tip: Find the best routes to the flag from your base, and make sure you have players ready to defend the flag carrier from attacks by the enemy team.

5. Bomb Squad

One team is given a series of packages to hide around the arena. The other team must find and claim these packages before the time runs out, while the first team will do everything they can to protect all, some or at least one package.

An alternative to this mode is that both teams are given a package and must infiltrate their opponent’s base, plant the package and ensure it is not discovered. Like the other version, this game also includes a timer.

Top tip: Hiding the packages is important, but so is setting the team up to defend them until the time runs out. The time adds an element of urgency to this game format.

6. Protect The President

In Protect The President (or other leader), players are split into two teams, with one being the defensive team and other being the attacking team. The defensive team will nominate a player who must be protected, and they will make their way across the arena. The attacking team wins by eliminating the protected player before they reach the goal. With cover, decoys, straight lines and all other routes available to use, there’s a lot of skill in this game.

Top tip: Planning your route is essential for this game mode. Know where you’re going and have members of your team scout ahead to make sure it’s safe.


The Assassins paintball experience is quite a unique concept. There are no teams in this game, and every player’s name is put into a hat. One by one, these names are drawn. The rule is you can only eliminate the player whose name you hold. When you eliminate that player, you get the card they are holding and can target the next player. The player with the most cards at the end of the game wins.

Top tip: Unlike other games, you must be careful and stealthy when approaching your target. This is less chaotic but no less tactical than other paintball games.

8. Attack And Defend

In the Attack And Defend scenario, players are divided into two teams. One is tasked with defending a base or structure, and the other team must attack it. The attackers will often outnumber the defenders, and be able to respawn, but there is a time limit. To win, the defenders simply have to eliminate or outlast the attacking team and keep them from raising their flag, while the attackers need to eliminate the defenders or raise the flag in the base.

Top tip: This is a challenging paintball game. It pays to be cautious and coordinate with each other as to who focuses on what objective or area of the base.

Coming Up With The Best Paintball Team Strategy To Win

Your paintball team strategy is a major factor in whether you come out victorious in each match. There’s more to the sport than rushing in head first and hoping for the best. You need good communication, an understanding of each player’s skills and the arena you’re playing in to make sure you can claim victory.

Each paintball game requires a different way of thinking to win, taking into account what you need to do to win - beyond hitting your opponents with paintballs. Remember, at the end of the day, you should have fun most of all.

Want To Know More About The Different Paintball Experiences?

The paintball experiences we listed above are just some of the game modes you’ll find as you get more involved in the sport. You might already have a favourite, or now have an idea about which one you’ll enjoy the most, but it can all change depending on who you play with and the arena you’re in.

With our paintball game breakdowns, you now know what to expect, but we can’t tell you everything - it would take all day! The best way to experience everything is to try them for yourself, but if you have questions that you simply must get answers to, our team at Modern Combat Sports are happy to help. Get in touch with us today and we’ll fill you in.