Indoor Versus Outdoor Paintball; Let's Get Ready To Rumble!!

Alright, so you and your buddies have decided you want to get into paintball. You've bought your guns and goggles, and you're gathered around the computer browsing a list of paintball fields in your area when you're faced with a dilemma. Should you go to an indoor or an outdoor field? In this article, I'll provide you with all the information you need to make an educated decision on which environment better suits your needs.

Indoor: Intense Action

If you tend to play during the winter, at night, or regularly have to cancel outdoor games due to inclement weather, you may want to consider playing at an indoor field. Indoor fields offer a closed, temperature-controlled environment that works perfectly for practice matches and casual play. If you are looking to experience varying game types, you may want to look elsewhere, as most indoor fields only offer a few amount of different games. That said, it is still very easy to kill a couple of hours and have a great time marking your friends up in a few rounds of speedball.

If you are new to the game, playing in a setting where you don't have to worry as much about terrain can allow you to focus more on improving your accuracy and your reflexes and allowing you to get some quick combat experience under your belt. Indoor fields also lend themselves better to coaching new players in the basics due to their simplicity. A quick recap of the ups and downs:

Indoor Pro's:

  • Temperature and lighting are controlled to allow off-season and night play.
  • Simplicity of terrain and game type makes it more newbie-friendly.
  • Excellent practice environment.

Indoor Con's:

  • Lack of variety, and limited space.
  • Strategies developed at an indoor field may require adjustment to translate to outdoor play.

Outdoor: Chaos and War

Outdoor fields offer several advantages over indoor fields, and tend to be the preferred choice for players. A combination of wooded and open terrain allows for a wider variety of play styles including, speedball, scenario play, capture the flag, king of the hill and many others. If weather is permitting, outdoor fields can offer quite a range of experiences.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to reenact Operation Overlord, storming the beaches of Normandy while taking heavy fire from ground troops and machine gun nests? Give this battle a shot in scenario play and see if you would have been the hero of the day in the most decisive battle of World War II.

Alternately, you could see who among your friends is the ultimate survivalist in a free-for-all game of elimination woodsball. The only real down side to playing at an outdoor field is the possibility of a game getting stopped short due to a sudden change in weather.

Outdoor Pro's:

  • Wider variety of game types.
  • Allows for development of general tracking and survival skills essential to mastering the sport.
  • More realistic for those seeking a survivalist or militaristic experience.

Outdoor Con's:

  • May not be available at all times of year, depending upon local climate.
  • Steeper learning curve than indoor due to terrain or scenario specific strategies.

Which One Do I Choose?

In general, my suggestion would be to go with outdoor if it is available to you, and if not, go with indoor. Woodsball is the classic Paintball setting, and should definitely be experienced before deciding whether you want to get serious about paintball or not. The historical aspect and general fun factor of scenario play makes it more than worth trying, and when you get right down to it, that level of immersion just can't be had at an indoor field. Learn the game playing at an outdoor field, then hit the indoor field to refine your accuracy and technique during off weather, and enjoy dominating your friends and maybe even a rival team or two on the battlefield.

Happy Hunting!!

About The Author

Niko Brain is a freelance writer and offers sound advice on the sport of Paintball. He runs his own personal paintball site and enjoys writing reviews on Paintball Markers and Paintball Equipment. He's your "Average Joe" paintball player and is an up and coming industry resource that loves to help newcomers to the sport.



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