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Novices often imagine a situation in which they heroically charge through the enemy, gunning them down like Keanu Reeves did in the Matrix. In reality, (unless you happen to have superhuman reactions and hand-eye co-ordination), this will get you shot in a rapid and futile manner. Your basic shooting ability may well be better than your opponent's to some degree, but don't rely on it. Tactics are far more important than accuracy or quick reactions, because although these abilities may help you win individual shoot-outs, each one will still present significant risk.

Rather try to improve your accuracy and reaction time, you should aim to tactically manipulate the situation so that the odds are always weighted heavily in your favour. To make the right tactical decisions awareness and communication are vital. Many players have tunnel vision and concentrate on shooting the person in front of them rather than monitoring the overall situation, which is frequently a fatal error. Don't panic - sit back and analyse the big picture.


These tips are aimed at the recreational paintballer and many contradict those given by experienced pros such as Pete Robinson on the Paintballer site. This is because tournament paintball differs radically from the games played at most sites. Not only are tournament guns extremely accurate but it also is common to fire hundreds of balls per elimination. By contrast I aim to average about 20 because I don't bother shooting at anybody that I don't have a good chance of hitting.

In a tournament there are often only 5 players in a team instead of 15 to 30 and they will all be relatively experienced, which means there won't be a plentiful supply of easy targets. Consequently the pro philosophy centres around effectively gunning down your opponents in one-on-one shootouts rather than overall tactics. This may be appropriate in tournament but in my experience it is not the best way to become effective in the amateur game.

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