Gel Blaster vs. Paintball: Which Hurts More?

Have you ever wanted to compare gel blaster and paintball?

If you have, you will find this blog interesting because we shall conduct a detailed gel blaster vs. paintball comparison to give you a clear idea of both toy guns and which one hurts the most.

Let’s start with a table of the differences between gel blasters and paintballs:

Difference Gel blaster Paintball Gun
Ammo Gel balls Paintballs
Speed (FPS) 250-280 300-400 FPS
Suitable age Suitable for ages 12+ Suitable for ages 18+
Cost $35-150 $200-300
Impact Lower firing impact Higher firing impact
Versatility More versatile and safer Less versatile/not as safe
Game rules More flexible game rules. More structured game rules
Pain Hurt less than paintballs Hurt more than gel blasters
Gear Fewer accessories and gear  More gear and accessories

Let’s continue this epic comparison:

Part 1: What are gel blasters, and how much do they hurt?

Gel Blasters Power

Gel blasters are toy guns that look and feel like firearms.

Gel blasters are similar to airsoft or paintball in many ways. However, the laws and regulations regarding gel blasters vary depending on your location. Thus, it is important to check with your local authorities to learn more about the use and legality of gel blasters.

What ammo do gel blasters use?

Gel blasters shoot hydrated gel beads. You get gel blaster balls ready by soaking dehydrated gel beads in water for 3-4 hours. The gel balls are non-toxic and available in various options, including fluorescent ones.

Portable bottle with Fluorescent Gel Balls

Once gel balls are ready, you load them into a magazine or hopper in readiness for shooting. Gels balls can travel up to 100+ feet, depending on the model and power of the gel blaster.

How much do gel blasters hurt?

The level of pain caused by gel blasters depends on various factors. These factors include the power of the gel blaster, the firing distance, and where on the body you get shot.

However, as Redditors have noted, getting shot with gel balls in regular gameplay generally causes a mild stinging sensation. The stinging sensation lasts seconds, and gel balls do not cause bruising or welts.

Does Gel Blaster Hurt

However, when fired at close range to a sensitive area, gel balls can be more painful and cause bruising. For example, getting shot in the face will hurt more than in the chest.

Repetition is another key factor; the more you get shot in one spot, the more it will hurt and the likelier it is to bruise.

Check the experiment a YouTuber did to demonstrate how much gel balls hurt and the kind of bruises caused by close-range gel blaster shots to the chest.

how much gel balls hurt

Part 2: What are paintballs, and how much do they hurt?

Paintball Guns

Paintball guns are toy guns used in simulated close-quarter combat games. They work by propelling paint-filled balls at high speed toward opponents.

Before gameplay, you load the paintballs into a hopper on top of the gun; from here, the paintballs feed into the firing chamber using gravity or a powered feed system.

After pulling the trigger, the paintball gun releases compressed air or CO2 into the firing chamber. This propels paintballs out of the barrel and toward their intended target.

The working principle of paintball guns

The exact firing mechanism used by paintball guns can vary, with some guns using simple blowback systems and others using more advanced electro-pneumatic systems that control the release of air and the firing rate.

Paintball guns come in various shapes, sizes, and styles; they are also customizable with accessories like better firing systems, scopes, hoppers, and tanks to suit your needs.

What ammo do paintball guns use?

Paintball balls used in paintball guns

Paintball guns use paint-filled balls (paintballs).

Paintballs come in different sizes, colors, and fill types, and each kind of paintball has specs that can impact the gun’s performance and the overall play experience.

Below are the different types of paintball ammunition:

  • Standard paintballs: This is by far the most common paintball type; it is 0.68 inches in diameter. Standard paintballs come in various colors, including bright and neon colors that are easy to see.
  • Low-Impact paintballs: As the name suggests, low-impact paintballs have a low impact, making them ideal for recreational play. They have a softer shell and reduced fill; this reduces the paintball’s velocity and impact upon hitting a target.
  • Tournament-grade paintballs: This type is ideal for professional and competitive play because of the high-quality materials and fill that offer improved accuracy and consistency. They are also generally 0.68 inches in diameter.
  • First-Strike Paintballs: AKA First Strike Rounds or First Strike Projectiles, these have a unique elongated shape designed to increase accuracy and range. They have a denser special fill than regular paintballs, allowing them to travel further and break less easily on impact.

A paintball fired from a standard gun can travel at speeds of 300 fps.

Since 1 fps equals .68 mph or 1.0973 kph, paintball guns with FPS of 280-400 fps can fire paintballs at 190-272 mph.

280 x .68 = 190.4 mph x 1.973 = 307.24 kph
300 x .68 = 204 mph x 1.0973 = 329.19 kph
400 x .68 = 272 mph  x 1.0973 = 438.92

How much do paintball guns hurt?

According to Quora, paintballs hurt a lot, but the pain is not so bad that it can keep people from paintballing a second or third time.

How much do paintball guns hurt

However, please note that the pain caused by a paintball gun is subjective based on your pain threshold but can be significant enough to bruise your skin.

Some paintballers say the pain is like a sharp lingering sting. The impact may cause bruises, welts, and sometimes even broken skin. Wearing appropriate protective gear while playing the game may help minimize pain and injury.

The pain level felt from getting shot by a paintball varies depending on factors like the following:

Factor Its influence on pain level
Speed Low-impact, unmodded paintball guns hurt less than modded, high-impact ones.
Travel distance Point-blank shots will hurt more than getting shot from a distance.
Body part Some areas of the body hurt more than others.
Bounce back/burst A paintball that bounces on impact is more painful.
Repetitive shots:  Consecutive hits from a trigger-happy player will sting!

Many paintballers have described the stinging pain as a firm flick, with the pain lingering for a few seconds. Depending on the impact of the shot, you can sustain paintball injuries, including an open wound.

Part 3: Differences between gel blasters and paintball guns

Let’s now focus a bit more deeply on the critical differences between gel blasters and paintball guns and explore how that affects the pain caused by each toy gun.

Types of ammunition

Gel blasters use hydrated gel balls that are soft and burst on impact; Paintball guns use paintballs for ammo; paintballs are heavier, harder, and bigger than gel balls.

For example, .68 caliber or 17.3 mm is the most common paintball size. In contrast, most gel balls are 7-8 mm.

gel balls are 7-8 mm


Unmodded paintball guns have an average FPS of 280-300–300 is the standard FPS for paintballing.

In contrast, most gel blasters have an FPS of 90-300, but you can improve this with modifications.

Weight and ammo size

Paintballs are bigger and heavier than gel balls. That’s why getting shot with paintballs is likely to hurt more than getting shot with gel blaster balls


Gel blaster starter kits start for as low as $35, with a 60,000 bag of gel beads costing approximately $20>.

The average cost of a cheap paintball gun is $100, with a 2,000 bag of paintballs costing $50-$75.

Thus, paintballing is costlier than gel blasting.


Gel blasters have more and varying legal restrictions and regulations in different countries than paintball guns and gaming zones.

For example, according to the Brisban Times, all Australian states and territories except Queensland consider gel blasters firearms. On the other hand, gel blasters are legal in other places like the US.

Part 4: Do Gel Blasters Hurt More than Paintball?

No, gel blasters do not hurt more than paintball guns.

Here is why:

First, gel blaster balls are smaller than paintballs and much less firm. Although gel balls completely splatter on impact like paintball, their size/texture allows the hits to be less painful than paintball. Paintball can bounce instead of splatter, which can hurt more!


Gel blasters shoot lightweight, water-based gel beads. In contrast, paintball guns use paintballs filled with PEG, water-soluble substances, and dye as ammunition. The paintballs are larger, heavier, and faster (300 FPS) than (200FPS) gel balls. Thus, they can cause more pain upon impact.

The third difference between gel blasters and paintball guns that affects the pain caused is their firing mechanisms.

Gel blasters typically use a battery-powered electric motor similar to airsoft, while paintball guns use a highly compressed air mechanism. This difference in the firing mechanism affects the velocity of the ammunition. Paintballs fire at higher velocities, making them much more painful than gel balls.

The working principle of Gel Blaster
Safety-wise, gel blasters and paintball guns can cause injury if misused. That is why it is good to wear protective gear like eye protection and clothing when engaging in both activities and to follow standard safety recommendations like:
Recommendation Why it matters
Wear protective gear This helps minimize the risk of injury.
Don’t shoot other players at close range. Shooting each other at close range will cause more pain and bruising.
Don’t aim for the head, neck, or eyes. These are no-aim areas because they are very sensitive and easy to injure.
Always supervise kids under 14 years. Kids below 14 need adult supervision when gel blasting or paintballing+.
Avoid repetitive bull’s eye shots.  Avoid targeting the same spot for consecutive shots.


Based on everything we have discussed, it’s clear that shots from gel blasters and paintball guns both sting, but overall, paintballs hurt more than gel blasters and are likelier to leave a welt.

To wrap up, remember this important tidbit:

Whether you’re a gel-blasting or paintballing enthusiast, wearing protective gear and practicing safe gameplay is the best way to minimize pain and the chances of accidental injury.

We have covered other key safe gameplay guidelines in our other insightful blogs, so be sure to check them out.

Do Gel Blasters Hurt? Gel Blaster Safety Guidelines (2023 Update)
Gel Blasters Explained: Answers to 10 Common Gel Blasters Questions
Gel Blaster vs. Airsoft: Differences, Similarities, Features, & Which is Better

Gel balls gel blaster paintball paintball gun

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