Paintball vs Laser Tag – Which is better?

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If you’re thinking about kids birthday parties, then two ideas usually spring to mind. Firstly, taking them to Laser Quest, where they can play laser tag to their hearts content. And for older kids, one of the first ideas you might think about is paintballing, which gives kids the opportunity to get messy.

Whilst airsoft has been around since the 70s, laser tag became one of the biggest fads of the 80s and 90s, with kids everywhere scrambling to play. Both of these are extremely fun to play, and are suitable for most ages. Though is one more suitable than the other for younger kids? And which one is more fun overall? Well, it’s hard to say.

Paintball vs Laser Tag

The main difference between paintball and laser tag is the pain you’ll endure while playing. Whilst laser tag is completely pain-free fun, you may end up with some bruises and bumps through playing paintball. However, paintballers may say that’s all part of the fun.

The argument about which one of these is better is really difficult. They’re both great fun playing them, and they both have advantages and disadvantages to them too. Whilst playing laser tag is really fun for kids, as you get older, it can get a little boring. You’re enclosed in a smallish space when playing laser tag at an actual venue, which is why you might want to consider getting your own laser tag set to play with yourself. 

And whilst Paintball is awesome too, there are some things that you might not like about it. So, lets take a look at the pros and cons of both paintball and laser tag.

Pros and Cons of Paintball

First of all paintball teaches teamwork, and trust in others. Paintball forces you to stick together with your team or else you will lose the game. You need to work hard at this sport if you want to be good at it, its not easy because sometimes you play people who are way better than your team.

They run around pouncing on each other while trying to win so they can brag about how good they are, meanwhile some players may try and sneak away from their team just to win themselves the game. Is that fair? No it’s not but that’s what makes playing in a group fun because if one person fails then the whole team does too.

  • Of course, with paintball you’re going to get the massive benefit of actually being 100% sure that you’ve hit your opponent. Depending on the type of laser tag you’re playing, hits can be difficult to notice. When you’re playing paintball, you’re going to be pretty sure if someones been hit when they’ve got a big paint splodge on them.
  • Another benefit of paintball over laser tag is that general, paintball feels much more realistic. Although laser tag is a good way to have fun, it doesn’t feel particularly realistic when you’re firing your guns.
  • If you like tactical games, then paintball is by far the better option. In paintball, you really need to work in teams to ensure the survival of yourself and your teammates. This is less true in laser tag.
  • Laser tag can be over really quickly, whereas you can make paintball into a full day activity.


There are of course cons to using paintball guns with your friends, and reasons why games may take you a little longer than playing laser tag. The protective gear you need to play paintball is just one of the reasons why some choose to avoid it.

  • Paintball is notoriously expensive, especially if you go and play it at a paintball center. One way around this is to get the best paintball gun for beginners, which can lower the rental costs, but ammo is still particularly expensive.
  • Although it doesn’t hurt too much, one downside of paintball might be that paintballs can hurt. For adults this might not make too much of a difference, but for younger children they might not like the pain caused by paintball, especially when getting shot at point blank range.

Pros and Cons of Laser Tag


  • Depending on where you play laser tag, you’ll have a different opinion on how the game itself really is. If you play real laser tag at a good laser tag center, then there’s no doubting that it’s enjoyable to play. 
  • Whilst paintball and airsoft are more targeted at those looking to take things a little more serious, laser tag is all about having fun. If you’re trying to avoid super competitive games, then laser tag might be a better option.
  • If you get your own laser tag set, then laser tag can actually be quite cheap. And even if you’re going to Laser Quest, then it’s going to be significantly cheaper than paintball because you don’t have to replenish ammo.
  • Generally, laser tag is a much better option for younger children. You can include young children and older children when playing laser tag, but you can’t do this when playing paintball.


  • The main thing that laser tag has is a real camaraderie, which you get in other outdoor sports like paintball. Laser tag is fun, but it’s not particularly competitive and it might not be enough for some people.
  • Although laser tag guns have improved a lot in terms of quality, you’re still going to get some shots that you swear hit, but don’t register. This is just part of laser tag, though it sure can be extremely frustrating at times.


Overall, paintball and laser tag actually aren’t that similar. Whilst laser tag might suit younger kids or the more casual player, paintball is a little more serious and physical. Usually, paintball is played outside in the terrain and requires a greater deal of exercise than laser tag, which requires more stealth. But all in all, they’re both very different games with the same premise of shooting each other!

If you can decide between the two, then it’s a good idea to give both of them a go. They’re both really enjoyable, and the likelihood is that both of them would be a good choice for any party or event.

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